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Old 02-15-2013, 01:03 AM   #241
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I agree about the touring taking care of everything idling-wise, but if you are moving regularly, you don't need all the batteries either. Unless, of course you need the AC, and that usage is still up in the air for the e-trek, IMO. Anti idling laws are getting much more prevalent, and if the Sprinter needs to have the idle speed increased to survive (we have heard as high as 1800 rpm) you would get caught really fast, I would think. What would cure all of this would be for someone to come up with a decent, quiet, non vibrating, generator.
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Old 02-15-2013, 05:03 AM   #242
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I've been lazily watching this thread for quite a while and really don't know what the problem is.

First, there are actually people out there doing things in these rigs. They are in production, right?--they are not vaporware. These people are reporting on what their experiences are. Are people here arguing that what these people are experiencing can't be happening? If so, I would tend to believe the hands on people. Now, if R-trek is claiming something that isn't being experienced by actual users that is another thing entirely.

I talked with a R-Trek rep recently, and he said that they were experiencing such good results for dry campers wit the E-Trek that the thing that is keeping them from being out longer is the fresh water tank and they are trying to re-engineer the rig to give a bigger fresh water capacity.

Another thing I've noticed is that many are arguing that idling while charging will damage the engine. But, are they really idling? Idling or almost idling with a load is a lot different than free idling I believe (I'm not an engineer). Also, there are many diesel generators that are in use for providing power in distressed areas (floods, power outages, etc.). Diesel engines are the engine of choice for those applications IIRC, so there must be some technology available to protect the engine. It might be as simple as a different filter.

We are in the process of buying a rig right now, and we considered the E-Trek not an option because it is new and they will probably need to work the bugs out.

I imagine that they are not perfect, but some of the results I've heard border on astounding, and once RT has traveled up the learning curve a bit, they will probably have a very nice product to offer. Despite the fact that we're not buying a RoadTrek, I applaud them for their efforts in innovation.

Just my 2 cents........well maybe only 1 cent, because I've only been half following this thread.

.............Rocky
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:35 PM   #243
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I think it would not be an understatement that we all have been waiting, impatiently, for some actual owners to speak out. So far, the only one I know of is the guy who does the blog, and he appears to be on the Roadtrek payroll to some extent. His comments related to the power use and dry camping were very lacking in any details about conditions, or usage, so no useful information was available. I think most folks would do just fine, and not have any power draining issues, as long as they don't use the air conditioning much, unless plugged in. The change to diesel heat and hot water should make a big difference, as heating off the batteries would be very difficult, and Roadtrek seemed to figure that out very early. Without AC, 800AH @12v, even with a compressor frig using 50AH/day should let you dry camp a week or so. Run the AC, and you could be done in a day.

The Diesel being loaded at idle making a difference has been discussed a bit other places, with no real data to say if it would help, or not. The power needed for 3500 watts is less than 5 horsepower, so it would be considerably less than the power used to drive the van on the highway, which is what MB says they want you to do after a period of idling. Increased idle speed, is said to help, but it has to be pretty high idle. Most are saying around 1800 rpm. Combining that with the extra load may give even more benefit, but it won't be at the full 3500 watts for very much of the time, I would think. Mercedes claims the engines shouldn't be idled much without being driven, and that there is nothing that can be done. Hopefully, someone will come up with a better solution. From what I have read, the repairs that would be needed if there was a problem would be in the many thousands of dollars.

My bet is that is going to be one of the first steps in future changes to class b's, along with companies like Advanced RV, that will make them less dependent on generators and hookups. Perhaps even Onan will catch on and improve their product to compete better.

As many of us have said before, the e-trek is a fascinating idea, and it would be well suited to the way we camp (don't use the AC much). At $135K, it is too much for us to consider, but all b's are getting very pricey. But for those that can afford one, I just wish Roadtrek would be a bit more upfront on the specs, and answer the questions folks have been asking. $135K is a lot to spend based on blind faith IMO.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:47 PM   #244
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

That sums it up nicely booster.
I wish another buyer would show up up on any forum or group and share some info. Someone interested in sharing info and who has just a bit of tech knowledge.

We will have to wait until Summer temperatures and humidity arrives to know how long the batteries will last running the air conditioner.
The E-trek's 1 year anniversary will be this September so we should know more by then if someone else buys one and reports their summer usage.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:59 PM   #245
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Default Re: Roadtrek RS E-Trek

AIMS 6,000 watt inverter listed on the Roadtrek RS E-Trek order sheet now:

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File Type: jpg Feb Roadtrek E-Trek pricing.JPG (165.7 KB, 809 views)
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:36 PM   #246
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

You are not going to get any accurate information on air-conditioning usage until after this summer. In both Florida and Arizona in the winter you should be able to get by without needing to run it at all or run it in any continuing way to get a real performance evaluation. So I doubt there is any really reliable real use available yet.

In regard to that idling. I'm looking at the one exterior photo I took of the driver's side of the E-Trek van and did not see the exhaust on that side. Is it on the camping side close to or under the awning? If so, that would not be very smart.
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Old 02-15-2013, 09:40 PM   #247
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Thanks for the reply, Booster.

We did briefly consider getting an E-trek--but it was very brief. Any new products usually have bugs, and there is no discount for being a guinea pig here. So predicted low reliability coupled with high price threw the E-trek off our list immediately. For now, we'll stick with tried and true technology.

Regarding the heating being a big power sink--I know that the Nissan Leaf Car was being redesigned to offer the occupants more comfort via heated seats and heater steering wheel rather than heating all the air in the car. Here is a blurb from an article about the new 2013 leaf: There are also some power-saving tweaks, such as a more frugal heat-pump cabin heater, heated seat for all seats, heated steering wheel and heat shield ceiling, an special energy-efficient BOSE stereo, as well as changes to the regenerative brake control system to make it more efficient.

If we truely have reached global Peak Oil as many feel we have, there may come a day when we'll see an all electric Class B. I think that is down the pike a ways, but the E-trek is a step in that direction.

..........Rocky
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Old 02-15-2013, 11:13 PM   #248
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

The car companies are re-thinking electric cars. They feel they've exhausted what they can do with them in hitting a dead end. Plus they aren't selling as hoped. So maybe it is quite aways down the pike considering a B is a long hauler and the electric cars major limitation is distance.

As for heated seats and steering wheels, good luck with that hope. I've got heated seats in my cars. That's not the answer in cold weather like we encounter in Minnesota.
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:54 PM   #249
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I just looked at the Lake Region RV site, and they still show the e-trek that was at the Minneapolis show as available. Quite a few of the other B's that they had at the show or on their lot are shown as "sale pending" or "sold", which is pretty typical to what we have seen in past years. They usually nearly sell out what they have in stock due to the show.

Of course, the e-trek could still be being held waiting for financing or such, but right now it looks like it has not been sold, and at the show it was discounted off of retail by over $10K, IIRC. If there really is a huge waiting list for them, I would think someone, from somewhere in the country, would have grabbed it at that price and availability.

I am still amazed how many of the B's have now passed the $120K mark, and look to soon pass $130K (retail asking), per the site.
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Old 02-16-2013, 10:57 PM   #250
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Interesting indeed. I guess the dealer network must be aware that increasing prices are going to leave some of them with expensive inventory on their lots, over time? I wonder if Roadtrek et al absorb some of the inventory costs on a consignment style supply system? I guess the market will ultimately determine what they're worth, like everything other big ticket item. It's getting beyond the reach of the average middle class customer, unless you can find a deal on a decent used one somewhere down the road.
Perhaps the new chassis arrivals from Ford/Chrysler-Fiat will help reduce the prices in the near future?
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:53 PM   #251
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

The e-trek at Lake Region is now marked as sale pending, but the Ranger that had been marked that way is now shown available.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
The e-trek at Lake Region is now marked as sale pending, but the Ranger that had been marked that way is now shown available.
I talked to Dale yesterday. The E-trek is indeed sold and pending on working out the details of a trade in.

I picked up a 4-page brochure on the E-trek. The air-conditioning on batteries is explained...

When it is hot, the auxiliary batteries will run the 110V air conditioner with the compressor on for over 9 hours - and longer under normal use when the compressor runs only intermittently.

The key word there is intermittently. That's a big variable based on temperature and thermostat setting. And batteries?

Standard is: Batteries - auxiliary eight 6V AGM deep cycle (1600 amp hrs.)

Option is: Batteries - auxiliary - lithium ion three (2400 amp hrs)
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:11 PM   #253
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
The e-trek at Lake Region is now marked as sale pending, but the Ranger that had been marked that way is now shown available.
I talked to Dale yesterday. The E-trek is indeed sold and pending on working out the details of a trade in.

I picked up a 4-page brochure on the E-trek. The air-conditioning on batteries is explained...

When it is hot, the auxiliary batteries will run the 110V air conditioner with the compressor on for over 9 hours - and longer under normal use when the compressor runs only intermittently.

The key word there is intermittently. That's a big variable based on temperature and thermostat setting. And batteries?

Standard is: Batteries - auxiliary eight 6V AGM deep cycle (1600 amp hrs.)

Option is: Batteries - auxiliary - lithium ion three (2400 amp hrs)
That seems to be a continuation of the standard line they have given for a long time. 9 hours of AC with the compressor on, longer with it cycling. Did they also give the 40 minute recharge of the van running statement?

I just looked at the Roadtrek site, and they don't have the e-trek listed as a standalone model. In the "specifications" section, they now show an e-trek option under the Aventurous. Good idea, on their part, IMO. They have been adding and killing way to many models for a while, so this should make any future adjustments easier, and is getting them more toward the ale-carte build model, which I think would be a better situation for them.
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Old 02-21-2013, 05:30 PM   #254
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

On the specifications page http://www.roadtrek.com/specifications_2013.aspx under RS Adventurous, they list two 6 volt batteries as standard, 220 total amp hours:

Quote:
two 6V, 220 total amp-hrs.
then, when you scroll down and add two additional 6 volt batteries:

Quote:
two more (4 total) 6V AGM deep cycle aux. batteries (800 total amp-hrs.), solar charging system (240 W), Frigidaire one burner induction stove (110V, replaces 2 burner propane)
the amp hours magically jump to 800 amp hours

Using the 6 volt amp hour rating only works if it is a 6 volt Coach.
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Old 02-21-2013, 06:19 PM   #255
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
On the specifications page http://www.roadtrek.com/specifications_2013.aspx under RS Adventurous, they list two 6 volt batteries as standard, 220 total amp hours:

Quote:
two 6V, 220 total amp-hrs.
then, when you scroll down and add two additional 6 volt batteries:

[quote:1g3qm2b3]two more (4 total) 6V AGM deep cycle aux. batteries (800 total amp-hrs.), solar charging system (240 W), Frigidaire one burner induction stove (110V, replaces 2 burner propane)
the amp hours magically jump to 800 amp hours

Using the 6 volt amp hour rating only works if it is a 6 volt Coach.[/quote:1g3qm2b3]

I noticed that, also. But, we have to remember that Hammill said that "an amp-hour is an amp hour. They are being very selective/deceptive in their ratings and specifications, I fear. I think the less technical folks are in danger of being sucked in based on inconsistent specs.

As a sidelight. I heard back from Mercedes, whom I had asked if the high idle option changed their recommendations on idling time. They replied that it did not change the allowable time, that they stated as I hour max before driving to clean out the DPF and EGR.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:54 PM   #256
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

The e-trek that is at Lake Regions RV is shown available again. The deal Davydd mentioned must have fallen through. When I saw that, I did a quick search to see if there are others available around the country, as I would think Roadtrek would steer folks on the waiting list to the available ones. I found a few on RV Trader and some more on various dealer sites, so the backlog we heard about at introduction must have gone away, if the sites are accurate and current.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:15 PM   #257
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

The photos of that one don't help. You can see the salt from winter travel under the hood and on the floor etc. Somehow even the steering wheel even got dirty. I kind of thought they were "look at what condition it was in when it arrived here" photos for Roadtrek and that they would only be up for a short while. Cushions are all over the place, looks like rust on the hitch.

They should post new photos of it after being detailed. Make it look like a $100k plus vehicle.

Has anyone seen any other E-Trek owners (other than Mike Wendland) on any forum or group? Hopefully a few will get online and share their experiences.

Hard to believe that more than 6 months has passed since the E-Trek was added to the Roadtrek lineup. Time sure does fly by.
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Old 04-22-2013, 06:01 PM   #258
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Stumbled upon a new E-trek topic http://forums.trailerlife.com/index.cfm ... /26888768/

There's lots of interest in RT's rapid charging of the eight on-board batteries.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:20 PM   #259
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Stumbled upon a new E-trek topic http://forums.trailerlife.com/index.cfm ... /26888768/

There's lots of interest in RT's rapid charging of the eight on-board batteries.
I guess those guys would qualify as some of Jim Hammill's "armchair engineers" that aren't smart enough to know how 12 volt systems work Of course many of us fit that category, too. They bring up all the important questions, that have been discussed here, the Yahoo board, RV.net, many times. The only dumb part of the questions is that Roadtrek won't address them.
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Old 04-22-2013, 10:59 PM   #260
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The rapid charging part will generate a lot of excitement as it becomes more widely known and shown to perform as promoted.

Quote:
Electrical power generation is provided by a 3500 W generator mounted to the vanís diesel engine that can charge eight depleted auxiliary batteries in only 40 minutes.
I don't think anyone has figured out how RT is doing that.

Can it (the rapid charging) be accomplished with a regular 3500 watt generator or can it only be done with the under-the-hood generator?
Are they supplementing the 3500 watt under-the-hood generator with output from the Sprinter van's alternator?

The specs page still shows that it has a 1600 amp hour battery bank but that is not included on the E-trek page http://www.roadtrek.com/models.aspx?Mod ... ountry=USA or the Etrek info page http://www.roadtrek.com/etrek.aspx those pages currently show:

Quote:
All this reserve power is stored in up to eight 6V AGM batteries and distributed directly to 12V lights and appliances and through a 5000 W inverter to 110V appliances like the inductive heat stove.
Last September the press release indicated it was a 2,500 watt inverter so maybe they have now standardized on a 5,000 watt inverter.

Roadtrek's website looks like they've updated it a bit and there's info on the CS Adventurous there now. It's looks like that has all caught up with production of the units They really do have an interesting product mix right now.
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