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Old 08-09-2013, 12:20 AM   #281
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Anything battery related you have to be a little skeptical. Same with smartphones and tablets. They are great the first few months but batteries do start to deteriorate. There has always been a steady drop off in performance of auxiliary batteries in Bs in my experience and performance was never as stated.
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Old 08-09-2013, 03:41 AM   #282
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

My concern about the E-Trek is that it is a lot of "version 1.0" technology, and too much "black box" stuff for my tastes. I had a feeling the battery banks wouldn't keep up, especially with the fact that no lead-acid battery, be it AGM, flooded, or gel should ever be discharged under 50% for good lengths of time... which means one really needs to run with two times the battery capacity, or get lithium-ion batteries... which require their own special charger or else things might go boom in a hurry.
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Old 08-11-2013, 12:53 AM   #283
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I saw somewhere from this thread stated that the E-trek operates at different voltage from 6v all the way up to 110v. This is interesting Because the only type of charging technology that I know can charge a dead battery to 80% in 30 min is the kind used in Tesla and maybe Nissan leaf. This charging technology requires high voltage and only applies to lithium batteries. And it requires very elaborate battery managing system(which is the core patent to electric car companies) that can charge and discharge each cell within the lithium battery.If Roadtrek possesses such technology, I wouldn't blame him for being overprotective. But it also seems odd that they don't even mention it, since all other companies that are able to develop such technology are proudly advertising for it.
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Old 08-14-2013, 01:00 PM   #284
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

An e-trek showed up on e-bay.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2014-...a34b6e&vxp=mtr

No specs about options or anything. Pretty poorly done listing.

You don't hear anything about backlog anymore, I wonder how they are selling? How much discount off of MSRP?
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:20 PM   #285
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Default Roadtrek E-Trek - Information update

The information on Roadtrek's E-trek package has been updated. I hadn't checked lately so I don't know when it was updated. The current info is consolidated in the "E-trek Operation FAQs" on their website.

Air conditioning runtime has been updated with:

Quote:
How long will the coach air conditioner run off of the batteries? Will it run all night while I am sleeping?

It depends on how hot the outside temperature is, how much charge the batteries have when you go to bed, and how cool you set the temperature in the coach.
and more thoroughly explained

Quote:
How long has the air conditioner ran off the batteries in testing?

In testing, we have run the air conditioner for 9 hours, when the outside temperature was 95 degrees F with 60% humidity (a normal day in some areas; adjust the results to suit your conditions). There were no other items on in the coach. This set of conditions allowed the compressor to cycle down normally and reduces power draw for 30-40 % of the time. Time will vary based on humidity, temperature, direct sunlight exposure and several other conditions. The batteries were at full charge to start these tests.
note: Nothing else was running, no fridge, no TV etc.

Charging the E-trek batteries has been clarified with:

Quote:
How long does it take to charge the batteries?

When running the inverter, a minimum battery charge will be preserved by a "power save" setting in the inverter that emits a small alarm telling you to charge the batteries. From the point of that alarm, assuming you are not running a lot of appliances at the same time, you can charge your batteries to the point that will allow you to return to normal usage in 30-40 minutes (do not stop charging at that point). If you run the batteries right down with the inverter off, you may need to charge them for up to 2 hours before you can return to normal use.
Re: idling - Don't forget the info I received from Sprinter Engineering Support in April of this year.

Quote:
Re: Sprinter Van - Extended Idling

Mark,

Per your request, with the SCR technology of our engines, we do not recommend idling a Sprinter for longer periods than 2.5 - 3 hours.
Even with the high idle engaged, you should not exceed the aforementioned times to avoid clogging the DPF or damages to the EGR valve.
Fyi, the fuel consumption is .4 - . 5gal. per hour of idling.
If air conditioner run time is a problem then my guess is that those customers will have a generator installed or maybe lithium batteries. I think the majority of customers will still be quite happy with their E-trek equipped units.

Check the Frequently Asked Questions page on Roadtrek's website for updates:
http://www.roadtrek.com/faq.aspx (select "E-trek Operation FAQs")
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:54 PM   #286
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Default Re: Roadtrek E-Trek - Important information update

The E-trek design is way overkill for my B travel habits of now over 110,000 miles.

Thinking about it.

One of my favorite desires is to camp in the southwest in spring and fall when overnight temps drop. During the day we spend our time outdoors and even in 90F temperatures we have with the sliding door screen and back door screen comfort in dry heat by eliminating the enclosed heat buildup. So far we have run air conditioning but a few very short times mainly to drive out the humidity.

In the summer we camp the upper Midwest northwoods of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. There is little need for air conditioning.

In the Rocky Mountains we've camped in high wooded country. Again, the need for air conditioning is minimal.

We camped mostly in Texas for two months in March and April this year. We needed to run our air conditioning that whole time but once mainly because of the humidity buildup. That was for about two-three hours and that one time was with an electrical hookup.

We got as far as Key West, Florida in October two years ago. The whole month from Galveston, TX to Key West we never ran our air conditioner.

Last summer we went to Alaska, a 10 week trip. We did not run our air conditioner once.

We have gone as long as 5 straight days with no hookups in a Sierra Nevada Mountain National Forest in California and in Glacier National Park on one (CA) or two (Glacier) batteries with minimal or no daytime travel. In both instances we did run our generator to top off not more than an hour each day. Mainly it was to brew coffee or run the microwave.

Good planning is one key. Maybe 40 years of tent camping experience conditions one in how to behave in the wilderness. Obviously don't go to Arizona and Florida in the summer if you can help it.

If conditions get onerous, it doesn't take much common sense to seek an electrical hookup campground. An awful lot of nice state parks (generally our preference) have electrical more than naught.

Maybe people who live in the South may need that much electrical to run air conditioning. My advice is reverse what I do and head north at the proper time.

-------

If I did try to go all electric, I definitely would investigate the lithium ion battery route. The other batteries are too iffy to totally depend on.
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Old 08-24-2013, 06:59 PM   #287
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Default Re: Roadtrek E-Trek - Important information update

Marko,

On top of those revised estimates, they still don't go into, what I think, the rapid decline in battery performance. The second year is never as good as the first year and then you go through a frustrating nursing period until you absolutely have to replace your batteries. A generator and propane are more consistent.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:16 PM   #288
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

There's a post on Battery University by an E-trek owner http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/arti ... ce_charge/ that indicates that with the fridge on and the air conditioner etc. on batteries only during the hot Florida summer the batteries won't last as long.

Quote:
On August 11, 2013 at 9:13am
****** ***** wrote:

...............This CS Etrek is supposed to run AC , fridge and microwave(when needed) for 9 hrs. The unit only gets 4 hours with 11000 BTU AC and Fridge on continually here in Florida. My battery array is 8 six volt batteries and also a 240 watt solar panel for extra charging. It also has a dual alternator as one is used for the battery array at 3500 watts on idle and 5500 watts going down the road. Is that right? Should it only get 4 hours or less when not plugged in? Thanks ******
Roadtrek clarified runtime and charge times: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...art=275#p16305 so if the a/c has to run fulltime then 4 hours runtime on batteries with the fridge etc. running sounds about right to me.

See Davydd's post here for some tips: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...art=275#p16306 (sorry Davydd I was moving and editing posts and I didn't mean to bury that one. Good tips and info.
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Old 08-24-2013, 08:41 PM   #289
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Very interesting Marko!

So the 9 hours of running with the compressor on has turned into 6 hours or less of compressor on time, as long as nothing else is running.

The recharge your batteries (hint hint to full) in 40 minutes has changed to you will have enough charge to function and shut off the inverter alarm, but you won't be anywhere near full.

Obviously, if you want AC all day and night, you would have to idle the van at least 1/2 of the time, but against the MB recommendation. Not stated though.

These specs actually seen reasonable, especially compared to the originals.

Do you think Roadtrek will change their tune about all the folks who questioned the original specs and were told that the Roadtrek engineers were smarter than them, and that they should just shut up and believe?

I agree with Davydd, in most cases it just doesn't matter anyway, but with the exception of if you are a sunlover and go to hot places a lot, and don't have shore power. The big issue is the air conditioning (and only when no shore power), and I think Roadtrek just overreached on that one. They did seem to realize it on the CS Adventurous, as that can still be had with a genny, I think.

For us, a properly setup CS sounds great, except for the price. Get the diesel heat and hot water, compressor frig, big inverter, solar,and at least 440AH of batteries, and the propane generator, if they can build it that way. I would certainly get the engine generator also, so the batteries could recover better on shorter daily excursions, as there is really very little downside to that. I think that would make a awesome class b, and a spectacular boondocker.

I commend Roadtrek for coming forth with better, and more realistic, specs. I am sure it was not an easy decision with all the chatter, and animosity, that has been around about the claims at times. I hope, and think they will, continue to pursue the technology in a realistic, usable manner, expanding on the CS with e-trek features, and also getting them into their other products.

Very encouraging news, IMO.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:07 PM   #290
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I think we all knew it would take until this summer to get a real idea of the performance to be expected.

So 4 or 5 hours runtime in hot climates, then idle the van for the two hours as noted by Roadtrek if you are running the air conditioner, fridge, water pump, lights, TV etc. all only on battery power. You want to make sure you have enough battery power left so that fridge keeps cooling, water pump works etc. overnight.

With this new info I think we'll start to hear from a few owners. They will be able to share ideas to maximize battery runtime etc.

I had an email yesterday from someone looking at an Advanced RV unit. They said that Advanced RV is using engine auto start through the Silverleaf Electronics unit that interfaces to the MB Sprinter engine in their no propane generator units. When the batteries are low, the engine starts (only if set on autostart) goes into hi-idle and charges the batteries. That automated approach is a bit easier than the E-trek but you'd have to make sure the auto start is off during campground mandatory quiet times.

There is some pretty neat stuff out there if you can afford it.
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:01 AM   #291
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I finally got around to reading all the link Marko put up to the Roadtrek FAQ section on the e-trek.

I particularly like the last paragraph:
Quote:
"IMPORTANT: Do these answers guaranty me any specific performance?

No. Ultimately, you have to consider the environmental factors, usage and battery life when using the coach. We engineered and installed the combination of appliances to achieve the best possible functional results for you, with the greenest possible results, along with the security of knowing the engine can run and charge the coach when needed. This is truly a special product, that you can use and enjoy performance far beyond other RVs."
It sounds like they have learned their lesson when it comes to making lots of promises and then steadfastly insisting they were proven.

I wish they had just started this way. I don't think it would have had any real affect on sales, and it would have been much better for their credibility and reputation.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:36 PM   #292
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

The line between humble and arrogant is most often drawn with a market share pencil in the RV world. IMO.

Given the choice, and even assuming that money was no object, I'd still rather have a lower base priced unit with the most efficient combination of "conventional" RV power systems available, like the virtual CS you described in your Aug 24 post. I'm with Davydd and others on the all electrical RV being the equivalent of an all electric car, with it's range and capacity limitations. In the real world, there are some things that are physically impossible to do without sacrificing or abusing some other aspect of the overall system, and it's often at an unreasonable or prohibitive cost.
I also agree that if you know and understand the capabilities of your RV, you can effectively plan your trips to best utilize the resources you have available to you for your own comfort, on or off grid, and at different times of the year, and in different geographical locations.
Like he said (paraphrasing), "if you don't like it hot, avoid Florida and Arizona in the summer".
I think I'll keep passively looking for a small C (View, Navion, Solera, etc.) with the more "conventional" types of off grid power supply equipment. I believe I prefer maximum redundancy, when it comes to boon docking. We'd also enjoy a bit more living space, and if it limits some of the places we can go, we'll have to accept that. I still think it'll be worth it to us, at the end of the day.
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Old 08-31-2013, 02:06 PM   #293
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

The new FAQ is good. The old info is now "water under the bridge". We can't change the past but we can learn from it and move forward.

I'd like to see an interactive "Which Roadtrek is right for me?" on Roadtrek's website now. That might help new purchasers sort through the product mix; especially the mix and match E-trek package variables.
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Old 08-31-2013, 03:16 PM   #294
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
The new FAQ is good. The old info is now "water under the bridge". We can't change the past but we can learn from it and move forward.

I'd like to see an interactive "Which Roadtrek is right for me?" on Roadtrek's website now. That might help new purchasers sort through the product mix; especially the mix and match E-trek package variables.
I agree completely. I hadn't been to the site for a while and poked around a little while I was there. It appears that the "e-trek" is starting to be referred to as a "package" in a lot of places. I wouldn't be surprised to see it disappear as a distinct model, and be an option on CS Adventurous and RS Adventurous, maybe even on the Agile and whatever replaces the Chevies. I also would not be surprised to see most of the e-trek package features to be available as standalone options. I have been a critic of Roadtrek's repeated throwing out new models one after the other, hoping something sticks, and I think this really starts to address that. The CS and RS are different floor plans, kind of like the traditional two Roadtrek models of the past, Popular and Versatile, with different floor plans and target markets. By making the e-trek package an option on both, as well as the other options they already have, they are truly moving toward giving the customers what they want, not what happens to have been built.

Marko's interactive Roadtrek builder would be a really nice feature (I think it is a great idea), especially when it comes to options that might clash, like lots of batteries and an Onan (same space needed?). Potential buyers would also be able to put in what they intended to do with the Roadtrek, and get recommendations as to what options would be best for them. It would also make each unit essentially "order ready", without conflicts or questions, simplifying the order processing and unit building. Systems like this are often even tied to the inventory and production control systems at the manufacturer so they can give a realistic estimate of delivery time. I have often longed for an ale-carte approach to class b building by Roadtrek, and I think this would be a very good step in that direction.

Another thing I ran across on the site, which I knew about but had forgotten, was the leaving of Hannemeyer in the June/July time frame. It said he was vice president of sales, so the co-CEO thing they started with after the takeover must have ended a while ago. I wonder if this had something to do with newly found transparency?

Whatever the reasons or causes, I think Roadtrek is truly headed in the correct direction at this point. I hope it continues as they move in to the newer base vans that are coming. They have a very good opportunity to start off with a clean slate, new product, and do it the way the market currently wants.
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:24 PM   #295
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I was just looking at the Roadtrek site to look at the CS floorplan for someone, and noticed they have changed the etrek FAQ again. This time they totally eliminated the details about how long the AC will run, which we can still see in Marco's post earlier. Looks like even giving relatively accurate specs can result in some customer (or lawyer) blowback? That's too bad, as a lot of public will not bother, or know how to, go through the amps/watts/time etc drill to figure out what to expect.
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Old 12-07-2013, 08:23 PM   #296
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

There really are so many variables that will affect A/C run time on the batteries so it is probably better not to note specific times because people will expect to meet those specifics. It just doesn't work that way on batteries. Battery state of charge, battery age, solar output, what else is running in the coach, outdoor temperature, indoor temperature, heat soak, humidity, temperature set point, sun, shade, ..................

There's enough in the FAQ I think to get people to think about it and then do a bit a research and ask questions. I think it would be a lot easier to explain running the A/C on batteries in a conversation that allows you to gauge the persons level of knowledge on the topic.
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Old 12-07-2013, 09:41 PM   #297
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
There really are so many variables that will affect A/C run time on the batteries so it is probably better not to note specific times because people will expect to meet those specifics. It just doesn't work that way on batteries. Battery state of charge, battery age, solar output, what else is running in the coach, outdoor temperature, indoor temperature, heat soak, humidity, temperature set point, sun, shade, ..................

There's enough in the FAQ I think to get people to think about it and then do a bit a research and ask questions. I think it would be a lot easier to explain running the A/C on batteries in a conversation that allows you to gauge the persons level of knowledge on the topic.
I guess I have to kind of agree, as we all know that the variables are huge, and folks don't understand how it works, or doesn't. (there is a person on the Yahoo board right now who runs the inverter of the van to charge an Ipod). But--it sure does leave a big opening for less than stellar dealers to tell folks some tall tales of running the AC, and such. There probably isn't a really right way to do it, which it appears Roadtrek has figured out, as they have tried most of the ways to state things.
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:27 AM   #298
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Actually they are getting more and more vague. If one is going to pay $129,000+ for an RV I would hope they'd have better answers and information to mull over. But so far on all the message boards and from the Roadtrek evangelist who got the first one there has been very little assurance of anything. If anything, if you can't rely on it for air-conditioning it seems the systems they mention are extreme overkill for everything else in my experience.
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:12 PM   #299
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I was told by a large B dealer that they are retrofitting E-treks with propane generators that auto turn on when the batteries get too low.....
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Old 12-08-2013, 05:26 PM   #300
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
Actually they are getting more and more vague. If one is going to pay $129,000+ for an RV I would hope they'd have better answers and information to mull over. But so far on all the message boards and from the Roadtrek evangelist who got the first one there has been very little assurance of anything. If anything, if you can't rely on it for air-conditioning it seems the systems they mention are extreme overkill for everything else in my experience.

The "Roadtrek evangelist". That's a good one David. Right on the nose....$$$$$
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