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Old 12-13-2014, 03:37 PM   #161
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

I guess if the RV electrical system design can accommodate the battery specs without damaging it, it's all good. If not, it seems like expensive overkill, depending on what you're trying to accomplish with the extended capacity. Off grid capability is nice to have, but eventually, the cost outweighs the benefit in a real sense. IMO.
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Old 12-13-2014, 04:03 PM   #162
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
Davydd-i have a question for you. In his research Marko brought out the possible problems with alternators burning out because of the tppl battery accepting such high charges. wouldn't a lithium battery also possibly have same issues-if it is an issue-the article that brought up alternator burnout was from 2011-alternators might be better now. why not asky mike nuemendorf-you will have 800 amps of lithium to keep charged.-just wondering
Gerry,

If you will note the article Advanced RV wrote in going farther off the road with their battery systems they said they could charge up to 300 ah. I was told by Mike Neundorfer they were aware of this issue and had designed methods to control it. That's all I know at this time. When I did my analysis you will see I said I would use 200 ah to arrive at a period of time to recharge the batteries. Truth is I am only guessing that just to see if the conservative time was reasonable meaning 150 miles of driving to totally recharge 640 ah when I historically average more than that per day when on the road.

65,000 miles / 400 camping nights (est.) over 3.5 years = 162.5 miles

That doesn't mean I have to drive every day. I had already decided a 400 ah battery bank was more than enough for my needs sans air conditioning and that was deliberately conservative. I went to 800 ah just to not to leave anything on the table and I suspect I could now go nearly a week on that if I stuck to my past camping habits. Heck, I could test some of the air conditioning claims now which is not a priority for me.

If Roadtrek is aware of this burning out an alternator then I would think they have done something as well. However, as I mentioned before they seem to overstate numbers as absolutes. Whether marketing is not listening to their engineers I don't know. If they have conveyed that Northstar battery as equivalent to 400 ah then they were mistakenly deluded by the 400 number in the model or they are stretching once again. As I mentioned I think it might be equivalent to 300 ah with wet cell or conventional AGMs and your usable ah is around 150. Now you have to ask yourself could you just as easily recharge that amount of ah with your camping and driving habits or not, or would you need the Northstar's faster charging. One thing I would do is go back and read Booster's testing on his trip last fall.
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Old 12-15-2014, 02:49 AM   #163
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

One of the things I like best is the rear lounge area:

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Old 12-15-2014, 03:24 AM   #164
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

The bed on the driver's side electrically folds down wide enough for two people. That's how they get sleeping for three they say. The video also said 50 cubic feet of storage. I take that to mean behind drawers and doors. That is tremendous. Look at the video. Both beds have drawers under and those overhead cabinets are a lot deeper than any Sprinter Class B that I know of. They use two latches on the drawers under the beds. The latches are those Marine style pull out rings. That's quality. The bathroom seems deep enough they probably don't need those awkward doors they've been using on their Sprinters. The beds stop short of reaching all the way to the back doors, so there is some versatile tall storage across the back. They did their homework on this design. Note they had to break their traditional bad design habits to do so. However, as I mentioned in another thread I don't desire to mix inside/outside storage and activities. I like what they did. It just doesn't meet my criteria and desires.

200 watts solar
185 ah battery with deeper discharge than regular AGMs at 80% (according the Gerry. Video didn't say)
2000 watt inverter
280 amp alternator?
Onan generator?
Have they said fresh/gray/black tank sizes?
5 cubic foot refrigerator
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:41 AM   #165
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Davydd-Jim Hammill told me today that our discusions about the battery were sent to him by someone on this site. he assures me that the base configuration of the zion will be able to run an air conditioner for at least 90 minutes off the batteries omly without running the engine(assuming the battery(s) have a full charge. he did not tell me how we will have to see. i odn't know who is sending him our posts.
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Old 12-15-2014, 12:27 PM   #166
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Gerry,

I'm getting a 15,000 BTU air conditioner and am estimating an average of 125 amps per hour to use it. That is about as high as it would get in a B. That's more than you would get with a Zion. I would have to assume an 11,000 BTU air conditioner would draw less (haven't looked it up) and Roadtrek may be looking at highly efficient models. Say you have been on the road. Then your battery should be fully charged. If you have that Northstar battery you have 150 usable amp hours. So, in effect there are air conditioners that will operate on less than 100 ah so you would get your 90 minutes. Solar would be contributing during that time to further reduce the load off the battery. So, yes, Hammill is right if you plan right. That means for fast charging you would have to continue on down the road to re-charge your batteries before stopping for the day and that would not be much more travel. I may be describing this in a simple way but it is kind of simple math for general estimating. So, your battery is fully re-charged when you stop. If you have propane on board I see no reason why you couldn't boondock. I've done so with less than what you would get.

If you plan and travel right following temperatures and seasons, most of the time you probably could open all your windows and run your ceiling exhaust fan only. My Great West Van stabilized the inside temperature with the outside temperature that way to prevent heat build up. Traveling in winter, spring and fall most anywhere you probably would not need to run your air conditioner. In the campground I preferred the full back doors screen and the full sliding door side screen to air conditioning and have rarely camped when air conditioning would have been needed overnight. I got caught in Kansas in September 2013 once when it hit 100F during the day. We camped with the back doors and sliding door open and screens in place and it was comfortable without air conditioning. Just don't go to Disneyworld in July.

I view an air conditioner more as a de-humidifier. Sometimes there is no way to avoid it no matter what the temperature, especially in the south from Texas and east. When we encounter those conditions there are many campgrounds with shore power. Most state parks have shore power and they are our preferred campgrounds.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:38 PM   #167
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

I'd also agree with Davydd on the AC usage pattern.

My needs are mostly the roadside stop kind of thing - an hour stopover to lunch or to go into a store and leave the dog in the van.

Sounds like the Zion is borderline on battery capacity for this. I guess the choice to go with this AGM type battery is a function of cost and a huge weight penalty. They probably dare not go with any more capacity because of the extra weight of additional batteries.
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Old 12-15-2014, 03:51 PM   #168
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

i want 2 hours for the cats. other than that not an issue.i'll have to wait and see
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Old 12-15-2014, 08:35 PM   #169
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

this sounds good- i don't know


Quote:
T.P.P.L. manufacturers, by contrast, claim that 80 percent to 100 percent of the capacity can be used and that the batteries will still deliver an acceptable cycle life. That, and the fact that their recharge rate is considerably faster than traditional flooded-cell batteries, makes them worthy of consideration. Add to it the T.P.P.L.’s minimized gassing probability, totally immobilized electrolyte, and its ability to be mounted on its side if necessitated by space constraints, and I think that a T.P.P.L. battery is an excellent choice for cruising sailors. The initial purchase price is a bit on the high side, but I can more clearly see the payback over time versus other choices, and the no-maintenance features really add appeal in cruising applications.
i pasted above from an article-i don't know why blue highlights is not around it
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:47 PM   #170
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Better specs on the Odyssey PC1800-FT, better price
http://shop.odysseybattery.com/p/pc1800-ft
http://www.odysseybattery.com/marine_battery_specs.aspx

Just a note for anyone considering these as a replacement battery - check your charging system specs.
Booster shared this doc: www.odysseybattery.com/documents/US-ODY-TM-002_1014.pdf and pointed out this:

Quote:
Note the charger current in the bulk charge mode
must be 0.4C10 or more. A list of chargers approved by
EnerSys for use with ODYSSEY batteries is available at
www.odysseybattery.com under FAQs.
The minimum 0.4C10 of the Odyssey PC1800-FT is around 76 amps. For example, the converter charger in my van is only rated 45 amps.

The trickle charge voltage is high also.

Quote:
To achieve maximum life from your ODYSSEY
battery after completing the charge time in Table 5, we
recommend that you switch your charger to the 2A trickle
charge position and leave the battery connected to the charger
for an additional 6-8 hours. The trickle charge voltage should
be 13.5V to 13.8V.
The Fast charge capability in Table 6 is interesting if your charger can pump out 0.8C10 or 1.6C10 or 3.1C10 (152 Amps or 304 Amps or 589 Amps for the Odyssey PC1800-FT).
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Old 12-26-2014, 02:06 PM   #171
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
............. I have been trying to discern in advance and don't know. the reason i am not sure is the the second alternator option for the promaster does not seem to exist. chrysler doesn't offer one and there seems to be no outside provider that makes a second alternator bracket for the pentastar yet.

the standard alternator on the promaster is 180 amps and a 220 amps is orderable . however no second alternator which roadtrek uses in the e-trek and 1/2 e-trek options. nationsalternators does sell a 270 amp alternator that replaces the current promasters alternator.
any updates on this Gerry?

Sportsmobile still has a note on their site:

Quote:
Note: ProMaster/Transit 2nd alternator not available at this time.
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Old 12-26-2014, 04:30 PM   #172
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Marko-Jim hammill says it has the second alternator-either they are making their own bracket or have commisioned one.

the promaster zion has the 220amp alternator that is option from Ram and the second 280 amp alternator.
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:55 AM   #173
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

I see triple and quad alternator kits available and also 375 amp alternators. As soon as cell prices drop; recharging a big pack won't be an issue.

http://www.nationsautoelectric.com/dual ... r_kit.html

A while back; I checked on some battery prices:

60AH and 100AH prices:
For sample battery we offer $1.25USD/Ah.
For order quantity below 10,000Ah, we offer the price at $1.18USD/Ah,
For order quantity above 10,000Ah, we offer the price at $1.14USD/Ah,

http://www.tnd-battery.com/

I'm sure prices have dropped by now and also; a large battery order would be at even lower prices of course. What does the price need to be to make big packs in B's more common place?

One more option for proven batteries:

http://www.balqon.com/balqon-battery-cells/

These are still likely currently the best money can buy:

http://en.calb.cn/

These solar cells are 22% efficient:

http://store.evtv.me/products.php?cat=22

Seen any rated higher?
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Old 12-30-2014, 01:58 AM   #174
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model...

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
............. I have been trying to discern in advance and don't know. the reason i am not sure is the the second alternator option for the promaster does not seem to exist. chrysler doesn't offer one and there seems to be no outside provider that makes a second alternator bracket for the pentastar yet.

the standard alternator on the promaster is 180 amps and a 220 amps is orderable . however no second alternator which roadtrek uses in the e-trek and 1/2 e-trek options. nations alternators does sell a 270 amp alternator that replaces the current promasters alternator.
any updates on this Gerry?

Sportsmobile still has a note on their site:

Quote:
Note: ProMaster/Transit 2nd alternator not available at this time.
I asked Nations about the dual kit: "we will have it done by January with production up and in full supply by February 2015 in both standard and Lithium compatible options."

http://www.nationsautoelectric.com/
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Old 12-30-2014, 02:06 AM   #175
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Many here are more up on the lithium stuff than I am, but I just looked at the 9kW Balgon pack. The charge and discharge amps look much lower than one would expect form 750Ah of 12v lithium, I think, something under 1C. Also odd that the recommend a standard bulk, absorption, float charge program, which I thought was a no-no for lithium. Maybe I am remembering wrong. If they are right, can use a standard charger, and have good protection in the pack, the $4K is getting into the consideration range, for sure.
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:05 AM   #176
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtz
.............I asked Nations about the dual kit: "we will have it done by January with production up and in full supply by February 2015 in both standard and Lithium compatible options."

http://www.nationsautoelectric.com/
Interesting. Lithium compatible options on their alternators. I wonder what the difference is. Higher or lower voltage set point? I still have lots to learn

The Roadtrek Zion press release: http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...hp?f=13&t=3395 noted that they will officially begin production in February 2015.
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Old 12-31-2014, 11:34 AM   #177
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Here's a listing for the Promaster Zion by a dealer in Mn with some new pictures showing bikes stowed in the center aisle from different angles. For some reason there are a few pictures of other B's mixed in there. Maybe somebody can pick out which one's these are. One of them looks like a Euro model


http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2015-Ro ... -113767675
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:14 PM   #178
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Here's the dealers site: http://www.lakeregionrvs.com/pre_owned_ ... eh=4067331

The three Zion interior photos on Lake Regions site (so far) are:







I wonder if a shorter persons feet would reach the floor when the passenger seat is rotated? That step up to the cab area in the Promaster is a design challenge for all the Class B builders I think.

Has anyone seen photos of the drivers seat rotated?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg zion.jpg (85.4 KB, 776 views)
File Type: jpg zion bikes.jpg (105.9 KB, 775 views)
File Type: jpg zion step.jpg (73.2 KB, 775 views)
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:30 PM   #179
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Yes it does pose a challenge.

Winnebago extends that floor a bit. On 59G they use it as a chase to run pipes. On 59k, they give you an underfloor storage compartment. I don't recall what it looked like on the Lexor, but maybe that is why they didn't opt for rotating seats?

Interesting thing from the pics of the Zion. Look like those cabinets under the beds are fixed. On the drivers side is a motorized sofa that glides over the cabinet. On the passenger side, it must just be cushions.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:45 PM   #180
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Default Re: Roadtrek is making a ProMaster model... Zion

Re: the drivers seat - right there in front of my eyes!

http://www.lakeregionrvs.com/new_galler ... ov=4067331

4th photo maybe? The one with Mike Wendlands name in the corner.

The guy's thighs are on a on a down angle so maybe sitting forward in the seat. His foot looks to be near the table base plate. The table must rotate to allow you to get out.
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