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Old 10-09-2012, 11:57 AM   #61
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Thanks Mike, that must be it: "total coming to you"
I kept hearing "total company to"
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:32 PM   #62
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
I think that at some point you would also have to add in more frequent oil and filter (fuel and oil) changes due to the large time idling, which, on a Sprinter can be a significant cost, when compared to a 1 quart oil change in an Onan.
This is beginning to sound like a "barge pole" situation for Roadtrek, if/when potential buyers realize the possible downsides, coupled with the many question marks sprinkled around their "new" technology. Like the Chevy Volt before them, this starts to sound like good intentions with questionable execution, and possibly some incorrect assumptions about the functional aspects of some of the components.
It would be nice if they either responded to these questions directly, or at least guaranteed/warranted these possible situations in an iron clad manner, which I doubt they will, because it hasn't been tested and proven over time. Like booster said, the downside is potentially costly, when compared to an Onan oil change. Or, the requirement for a major engine repair due to excess idling, which then gets bounced back to them as not warranted by MB, for whatever reasons.
Then there's the issue of extended idling time and the effects on the environment. Funny story, I was sitting in a laundromat parking lot about 2 years ago, and while waiting for some laundry to finish, I decided to run the generator and exercise it as it was about due anyway. Didn't a nice old lady shamble over to me after a few minutes of run time, and ask me to turn it off as it was "loud and she could smell it" so she said?
How does a full timer living in a class B keep his 3 batteries charged and survive off the grid for days at a time? (campskunk, for example). His '04 C190P has a couple of "green" power sources added to help keep him charged up, not the least being 3 solar panels and a small wind turbine. Can't recall if he's got a generator.
Bottom line, bless their little hearts for trying, though.
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Old 10-09-2012, 12:55 PM   #63
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

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Originally Posted by Mike
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
I think that at some point you would also have to add in more frequent oil and filter (fuel and oil) changes due to the large time idling, which, on a Sprinter can be a significant cost, when compared to a 1 quart oil change in an Onan.
This is beginning to sound like a "barge pole" situation for Roadtrek, if/when potential buyers realize the possible downsides, coupled with the many question marks sprinkled around their "new" technology. Like the Chevy Volt before them, this starts to sound like good intentions with questionable execution, and possibly some incorrect assumptions about the functional aspects of some of the components.
It would be nice if they either responded to these questions directly, or at least guaranteed/warranted these possible situations in an iron clad manner, which I doubt they will, because it hasn't been tested and proven over time. Like booster said, the downside is potentially costly, when compared to an Onan oil change. Or, the requirement for a major engine repair due to excess idling, which then gets bounced back to them as not warranted by MB, for whatever reasons.
Bless their little hearts for trying, though.
I totally agree with Mike, especially the "bless their hearts for trying" comment. As I have mentioned before, it sometimes seems that Roadtrek is rapidly trying and dropping random models, trying to find something that sells and makes money. Experience has shown (personal and from others) they tend to have some issues with new models, changes, etc, so the E-trek may, or may not, be trouble prone. It has a lot of new stuff in it. New tech is great, but if you are going to plunk down $130K, some assurances would be nice. It also would be nice to be able to get some of the E-trek stuff as options in the other models, and vice-versa. Perhaps Roadtrek needs to do more market testing of the desirability/salability/reliability of individual, new/innovative options, rather than diving in with a complete model each time.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:12 PM   #64
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Sprinter Engineering Support replied promptly to my inquiry re: extended idling on current model Sprinter vans:

Quote:
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 damage to the EGR valve.

Fyi, the fuel consumption is .4 - . 5gal. per hour of idling.
I have contacted Mercedes-Benz on a few occasions and have always been impressed with the speed of their replies.

SCR = Selective Catalytic Reduction
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:40 PM   #65
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

So maybe 2 hours idling at the most to be on the cautious side and a good highway drive in-between periods of idling to get everything up to proper operating temperatures.

Just a guess here about high output second alternators - I think you could replace up to 400 ah in the large battery bank with 2 hours of idling. Maybe?
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:52 PM   #66
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I'm still not sold on the whole extended idling thing.
I can see the green advocates protesting at Roadtrek in Kitchener/Waterloo, and asking them not to build the "dirty, polluting" E-Treks. Like I was approached for running my noisy/smelly Onan, might an E-Trek owner be approached to shut off their vehicle by passers by, or campground operators, either private or public. Creating "quiet time" violations? Not a problem if you boon dock in a truck stop, or a Walmart (maybe?), but in a regular campground I would expect there might be complaints.

Assume you've idled for 2.5-3 hours. Then what? Change the oil/filter? How does one track total engine usage, including idling? Add an Onan-like usage meter? How long after idling before you can drive the van? Is there a recommended wait period after engine high speed idling shut down to allow it to be driven safely? Or, do you have to sit and wait a bit?

Until they get all the bugs shaken out of this one, I'll stick with propane and solar (if I ever get that sorted) and maybe even a small wind turbine, if I ever decide I need to stationary dry camp for longer periods than a day or two. Might be nice to avail oneself of some of this technology on the other models, but I'm also thinking an owner of an older non-Sprinter model might be able DIY it better, when obtaining their own hardware and pricing. As you and others have done.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:32 PM   #67
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Maybe the discussion on idling is mostly academic and doesn't apply to real world use of most campervans. Do most Class B'ers get sites with electricity when camping anyway? I try to when it is hot and I need A/C.

And, if you mostly tour around with just overnight stops dry camping then I think you'd have enough power for one night and then hit the road again. No idling needed. Quiet coffee in the morning Mike Instant hot water too!

You'd probably be more likely to be frowned upon for idling (at 0.4 to 0.5 GPH fuel usage) than running the Onan (at 0.6 GPH fuel usage) even if the Sprinter engine is quieter.

You really need to know how you will use the RV before buying.

Also, I don't think a rest period after idling is needed - the opposite would probably be better - drive it and get it up to operating temperature, blow out, burn off, the bad stuff. Correct me if I'm wrong about this.
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Old 10-09-2012, 07:59 PM   #68
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I wonder how much practical research goes into developing Class B's. I dry camp about half the time as my preferences are national forests, national parks and state parks. It seems lately most state parks I go to have electrical hookups. Given that in over 36,000 miles of travel and camping somewhere in excess of 200 night now my generator as but 8.8 hrs of use on it. I just recently went 4 straight nights in Glacier National Park with no hookups and no driving anywhere and had little drain on our batteries and only ran the generator in the morning for less than a half hour to brew coffee. Propane was important mainly for the refrigerator. In our two month trip to Alaska we got by on one tank full of propane which has a 9 gallon tank. My habits and experience tells me that the E-Trek may be a bit over engineered.
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Old 10-09-2012, 08:51 PM   #69
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

We, also, have few hours on our generator. We have tried to stay in places with electricity when it is going to be hot or cold, but that has been pretty easy because we aren't retired and roaming yet. Reservations make life easy in that respect. Once we start to go for longer periods of time, with no set destination or time frame, I expect a lot to change, and generator, off grid camping, will surely be one of the changes. Until proven, I agree with Mike that I would not risk a very very expensive Sprinter engine or DPF to do something a propane Onan could do. It might be fine, but that is far from determined IMO.

Re the add on high output alternators that were mentioned earlier. I am tempted just to buy a couple of the 250 amp GM alternators, and a Honda 10hp, and make my own generator. I might even be able to fit it under a Roadtrek?
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:27 PM   #70
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

It just occurred to me that the pricing of the RS E-Trek might not be as high as people expect with all the "new" tech stuff on-board.

The 6 extra AGM batteries, high end Outback inverter and 250 watts of solar might cost $3,000. In any case, less than what the Onan gen would cost. The new appliances might equal out in cost compared to the old ones. That allows the subtraction of the propane tank, piping and labor for propane installation. The unit can be built faster as there are less body cut-outs and therefore less labor. Pricing could actually be less than the RS Adventurous.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:14 PM   #71
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

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It just occurred to me that the pricing of the RS E-Trek might not be as high as people expect with all the "new" tech stuff on-board.

The 6 extra AGM batteries, high end Outback inverter and 250 watts of solar might cost $3,000. In any case, less than what the Onan gen would cost. The new appliances might equal out in cost compared to the old ones. That allows the subtraction of the propane tank, piping and labor for propane installation. The unit can be built faster as there are less body cut-outs and therefore less labor. Pricing could actually be less than the RS Adventurous.
The price estimates we have seen sure seem to be all over the map. $100-135K I think. As Marco says, some things will be cheaper, others probably more. With the high amp 12volt power used, wiring, fusing, switches, etc will have to be much larger, fuel cell would be spendy if wanted, solar with markup probably close to $2K. The upgrade alternator setup might be as much as $2K, depending on what they use.

I think Roadtrek is doing the customers a disservice by not announcing pricing. Give the folks the information and stop playing silly marketing games. With all the hype they have ladled out, it would be hard not to be disappointed, as nothing could live up to the promotional stuff dished out.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:33 PM   #72
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I forgot about the Efoy......... and the extra alternator
It is supposed to be at the California RV Show in Pomona, October 12-21, 2012
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:52 PM   #73
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

[quote="markopolo"It is supposed to be at the California RV Show in Pomona, October 12-21, 2012[/quote]

So we get TWO MORE MONTHS of endless teasing? arrrrrgh
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:14 PM   #74
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

only two days, the 12-21 is the 9 days of the show
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:53 PM   #75
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

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only two days, the 12-21 is the 9 days of the show

OOOOOps-read first-type later-must remember that!
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:12 AM   #76
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davydd
I wonder how much practical research goes into developing Class B's. I dry camp about half the time as my preferences are national forests, national parks and state parks. It seems lately most state parks I go to have electrical hookups. Given that in over 36,000 miles of travel and camping somewhere in excess of 200 night now my generator as but 8.8 hrs of use on it. I just recently went 4 straight nights in Glacier National Park with no hookups and no driving anywhere and had little drain on our batteries and only ran the generator in the morning for less than a half hour to brew coffee. Propane was important mainly for the refrigerator. In our two month trip to Alaska we got by on one tank full of propane which has a 9 gallon tank. My habits and experience tells me that the E-Trek may be a bit over engineered.
Sounds familiar in terms of propane usage and generator use. We mostly tour and couldn't ever hope to recharge our AGMs with the generator, but that said, touring (our GM alternator) seems to recharge them just fine, and we've never run low, except the time I left the fridge on DC after we'd stopped for the night. Probably drained the batts well below 50% but they seem to have survived. That was over 3 long trips ago. Your last sentence sums up my feeling on this, too.
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:18 AM   #77
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Re the add on high output alternators that were mentioned earlier. I am tempted just to buy a couple of the 250 amp GM alternators, and a Honda 10hp, and make my own generator. I might even be able to fit it under a Roadtrek?
Incorporate yourself, patent the product design, and market it as the "booster juice" compact RV generator.

(hang on, i think that name's already taken???).
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Old 10-10-2012, 01:22 AM   #78
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
only two days, the 12-21 is the 9 days of the show

OOOOOps-read first-type later-must remember that!
you might have been right the first time. he won't give up until we all buy an E-Trek,
no matter how confusing and expensive they are.
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Old 10-10-2012, 05:55 PM   #79
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

I just can't help it!

The "Black Box" is sure to elicit some comments................

From FB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Hammill
Mark, Many of the answers requested here are actually proprietary information. How the electrical system is built includes a proprietary controls system that incorporates many devices of different voltages and uses them effectively. One of the things you will see in the video, on a cart with parts, is a black box that Roadtrek has designed and built. That box is a sealed unit, and will be provided and serviced by only Roadtrek if needed (not likely). Heat will be provide by the heat strip and an electric quartz heater, which like all the other appliances, runs off the batteries and all the power generation included. Like AC, heat is not an issue. This unit runs self contained. I will not break down voltages or technical details due to the proprietary nature of the system.
I would just have to look in there!
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Old 10-10-2012, 08:13 PM   #80
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Default Re: New Roadtrek RS E-Trek

when management uses the phrase "proprietary information" it often means "i haven't got a clue what it does, or why it's there". unless its a tiny cold fusion reactor, which i doubt. if they can't tell you what it does, like Nancy Pelosi answering the question about what will Obamacare actually do, before they voted on it, ("well, we have to pass it, so we can find out what's in it.") it's just nonsense.
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