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Old 02-26-2015, 03:52 PM   #21
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Default Re: second thoughts

I don't remember where it was but someone posted the link to the alternator/charger kit. I don't recall the price but I don't think it was $3,000 But I guess it is worth it for the new technology. Seems like they could add another battery somewhere. Thanks for the updates.
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:33 PM   #22
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Gerry you deleted the generator. Did you add the spare tire back in or was that deleted also? The reason I ask is if you deleted the spare tire perhaps that would open up space for additional batteries might help some with the run time for your air conditioning. One other thought is possibly adding a remote monitor for the temperature inside the rv. You would be able to check the inside temp on your smart phone whenever and as often as you needed. We will be traveling with our dog and are having this added into our rv for peace of mind. Hope all goes well in your build. Jim
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Old 02-26-2015, 08:39 PM   #23
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Gerry you deleted the generator. Did you add the spare tire back in or was that deleted also? The reason I ask is if you deleted the spare tire perhaps that would open up space for additional batteries might help some with the run time for your air conditioning. One other thought is possibly adding a remote monitor for the temperature inside the rv. You would be able to check the inside temp on your smart phone whenever and as often as you needed. We will be traveling with our dog and are having this added into our rv for peace of mind. Hope all goes well in your build. Jim

i asked roadtrek if i could have additional batteries in the tire area if i left tire on back. they said the zion was enginerred for this 1 battery and no additional ones would be considered. Down the road they might do the engineeering for another but i might have to wait a year or more. believe me i asked 4 times
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:21 PM   #24
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For what it is worth we have been way off grid for three days with no cellular. We have been out for nearly a month now with our cat in the warmest area of the United States in southern Arizona and California. We have left our cat numerous times in the van as we went for hikes or meals. Saying that you will see posted just about everywhere that it is illegal to leave pets unattended. It was posted as such at the San Diego Zoo. As I said before, running a generator, engine or air conditioner also unattended is going to draw attention to any authorities or do gooders. Simply put scratch that idea. Plan your trips and activities acordingly so the van will not overheat.

Right now we are back in the Arizona desert. We have our sliding door open and our back doors open with screens to keep our van temperature comfortable. Our temperature extremes have been a low of 28 on Mt. San Jacinto in Idyllwild, CA to 85 in Quartzsite, AZ. We were just in Joshua Tree NP for two nights and the temperatures ranged from 78 during the day to 44 at night.

We rarely ever used our Onan on our previous Great West Van. 14 hours in 65,000 miles and a year's worth of nights. Most of that was to brew coffee in the morning and test start it. It was a propane Onan. A gas Onan needs much more care and exercising I think. Personally Gerry, with a compressor refrigerator you will have the equivalent use of a single battery RV for everything else. That means you will have no problem with overnight boondocking stays but you would have to drive every day. Also your desired campsite is going to be an electrical hookup for any extended stay. You might not do multiple nights in a national park as we just did and I doubt you could handle parking in BLM land as we are doing now. Our autogen, BTW, can be started and stopped automatically or manually by our Silverleaf panel keyless. We could do it remotely as well but haven't figured all that out yet as I seriously doubt now that it will ever be a feature I need. This morning we recharged our batteries down about 186 amps in one hour of driving 35 and 45 mph to get out of Joshua Tree NP. We don't have to drive much to recharge.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:53 PM   #25
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Davydd,

What campground did you stay in at Joshua Tree?
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:13 AM   #26
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White Tank one night and Jumbo Rocks. In a previous year we had stayed at Black Rock Canyon and Cottonwood.
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:41 AM   #27
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Gerry, just remember fans circulate air they do not cool, so your RV will never get cooler than the outside temp. and in hot weather no where even close. Mans skin sweats, and fans evaporate the sweat, so we feel cooler, animals sweat through their noses, and paws, a fan would need to blow directly on their noses to help, then it would be minimal.
There is so much more involved than just outside temps. Insulation, number of windows, the ground and nighttime temps also play a big role. Summertime the days are longer, so the ground temps stay hotter longer. I would think during the summer months, and if parked in the sun anything over 75 would need the A/C to keep a pet healthy. I guess you will just have to do some trial and error testing to see what works for you. What works for one persons Class B may not work for yours.
Side note, It was about 90 out, and we had the car very cool, ran in the store for about 5 min, my dog barks, and someone going by called the SPCA on us. We know this because we overheard her tell someone in the store. If someone sees your cat there is always a chance they will call the authorities.
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:09 PM   #28
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The idea is to stabilize the van temperature with the oust side air. We can pretty much do that. The other idea is don't be a fool and plan weather accordingly. Northerners don't camp when it is 0 outside they head south like where I am now in the Arizona desert at 72 degrees, a place you will never find me between March and October. Do southerners have the common sense to go north or simply seek altitude in the summer? Rarely would you need air conditioning in the Rocky Mountains or the north woods of the upper Midwest or New England in the summer. You could drive to Alaska and back never using air conditioning (done it.)

You also just have to adjust your habits when you have a pet on board. There will be times you just have to change your plans.
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Old 02-28-2015, 04:48 PM   #29
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I would think that if you live in the south, and are not retired, the rules would be totally different. Can't drive from southern Florida to somewhere cool for a 3-4 weekend trip, or even a week, and those length trips were about all we could take when we were working. I would certainly think the Southerners would need a way to cool their van and pets well below ambient.
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Old 02-28-2015, 05:13 PM   #30
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I spoke in generalities and not specific circumstances but wonder what the percentage of B owners there are not retired or tethered to a fixed work place. It is simple. As I said you have to adjust accordingly if a southerner. Also you just have to plan for an electrical hookup if you plan to camp in hot, humid weather. Personally I do my best to avoid that and feel a northerner has an advantage to do so in overall planning.

Sitting in the desert at my computer desk enjoying the breeze coming through the screened back doors and side sliding door. You can see the cat peeking over te kitchen counter.
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Old 02-28-2015, 09:52 PM   #31
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I re read all the posts, and still So, they make an alternatorz/generator that runs off engine power big enough to run roof ac? Wha's the use of that when you could just run van ac with engine running? Ye need both to keep crits cool? We travel with our hound (aka, dog), and she loves waiting in my truck or car when I keep temperature good for her. Winter is not bad here for her inside waiting, but summer is my issue. I don't want to leave engine running, also illegal in some of my areas. Onan too loud, eh? Is there a solar thingamabob with batteries that can run ac? Seems that's the only way to go... But wha' do I know?

And davydd, yes, we southerners have very good common sense! Obviously, you are not a southerner. This is not the Arizona desert.

Many times we stay at full hook up sites, but then go out for a few hours usually right in middle of day when it's hottest. I'm talking southern heat and humidity. And, we don't like going much farther north in east than North Carolina mountains. West is totally different weather! As much as you Minnesotans need heat in January, we need ac in July. Minnesota nice. That's wha' I'm after.
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Old 02-28-2015, 11:33 PM   #32
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After reviewing the technomadia website it does not appear that ac can run all the time off solar.
http://www.technomadia.com/2015/02/the- ... ditioning/
Although that link does mention a person with a travel trailer running everything off solar.
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Old 02-28-2015, 11:54 PM   #33
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I can run air conditioning for at least 5 hours off our batteries. That is way more than I'll ever do if 10 years of B history holds. I once ran about three hours for the sole purpose of drying out the van in humid and hot South Padre Island and that was on shore power.

The experimental Roadtrek Etreks with 1600ah of lithium ion batteries and over 600 watts of solar I believe we're put together for the sole purpose to prove you could run air conditioning 24/7. If they installed an 85 ah 12 volt air conditioner they could achieve it. I know such an air conditioner exists.
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:25 AM   #34
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Think you made a good choice on the switch out. Those Onan gas models are the pits for maintenance and to keep running correctly with the ethanol mixes.
We've also owned the diesel and now the propane model. So far I like the propane by far the best for maintenance and lack of issues, and it's the quietest of the 3 models. But this is not an option for your Zion.

You'll like that 3.6 gas engine in the PM. Smooth, quiet and powerful for what it is. Best of all, no EGR valve to cause issues either. We had to let ours idle once in 90+ degree heat for 2 hours in our Jeep Wrangler with a packed engine compartment, and the temp gauge stayed in the normal range. They, Chrysler, are using a variable speed engine cooling fan, so in the heat, it'll be screaming....
Excited to hear your experiences with this unit
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Old 03-02-2015, 03:02 AM   #35
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Think you made a good choice on the switch out. Those Onan gas models are the pits for maintenance and to keep running correctly with the ethanol mixes.
We've also owned the diesel and now the propane model. So far I like the propane by far the best for maintenance and lack of issues, and it's the quietest of the 3 models. But this is not an option for your Zion.

You'll like that 3.6 gas engine in the PM. Smooth, quiet and powerful for what it is. Best of all, no EGR valve to cause issues either. We had to let ours idle once in 90+ degree heat for 2 hours in our Jeep Wrangler with a packed engine compartment, and the temp gauge stayed in the normal range. They, Chrysler, are using a variable speed engine cooling fan, so in the heat, it'll be screaming....
Excited to hear your experiences with this unit
We're you running the air conditioning at the same time? If so it might hold the temperature in the van at a comfortable temp with the addition on the roof top air conditioner for a more extended time if someone had a pet and wanted to leave for awhile as long as they could remotely monitor the inside temp. Just some thoughts Jim
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:02 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tenbike2
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobojay
Think you made a good choice on the switch out. Those Onan gas models are the pits for maintenance and to keep running correctly with the ethanol mixes.
We've also owned the diesel and now the propane model. So far I like the propane by far the best for maintenance and lack of issues, and it's the quietest of the 3 models. But this is not an option for your Zion.

You'll like that 3.6 gas engine in the PM. Smooth, quiet and powerful for what it is. Best of all, no EGR valve to cause issues either. We had to let ours idle once in 90+ degree heat for 2 hours in our Jeep Wrangler with a packed engine compartment, and the temp gauge stayed in the normal range. They, Chrysler, are using a variable speed engine cooling fan, so in the heat, it'll be screaming....
Excited to hear your experiences with this unit
We're you running the air conditioning at the same time? If so it might hold the temperature in the van at a comfortable temp with the addition on the roof top air conditioner for a more extended time if someone had a pet and wanted to leave for awhile as long as they could remotely monitor the inside temp. Just some thoughts Jim


i think we will get this to monitor

http://www.amazon.com/Elertus-Sensor-Re ... ure+sensor
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:02 AM   #37
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this is about the engine generator versus the onan. i have posted ad nauseum about this subject an i am sure most of you are tired of it.

However- i am having second thoughts about the Onan. Davydd has convinced me in most cases the cats will survive on fantastic fan.

i cannot fathom wanting to run the Onan. Never really wanted it BUT wife and i want zion so it seemed necessary.

we
will be doing mostly campground of some kind(wife likes them)

does anybody here really like the Onan?. do you go out of your way to not use it.

just looking for opinions. I can still change my order
It is a fair question. Personally, I use the Onan often as I only have one battery and have to charge it up with the generator when I am not in a full service location or even shore power. I have used it twice downtown in Edmonton on a sweltering day to run aircon so we and the pooch didn't expire. I have used it to even power up my brotherinlaws 5th wheel when his/his old generator died: I ran both our rigs on aircon with my littled 2800. I guess for those with lots of solar power and/or more than two agm batteries an onan might be extraneous.
I will get another rig soon and include the onan. I have found it useful whereas others like Davydd said he seldom used his on previous B class rigs he had. The option of using engine alternator with engine running to me is goofy and environmentally unsound plus I really wonder about the engine loving such an impositiion,
Good luck.
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Old 03-04-2015, 05:10 AM   #38
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i just can't imagine leaving Onan on in a parking lot either
Why not? Leaving engine running isn't any better. I have never had anyone complain about my lp onan running when I am up at the Walmart and need onan for power--while my wife shops. We are not allowed to run ANY engine for more than 3 minutes around here where I live but I can run onan. Many places over here, have laws prohibiting leaving your vehicle engine running for more than a very short period. The police sure don't want to see vehicles with engines running and nobody inside. If they hear an animal you are in big trouble.
I guess it depends on your own needs and the rules obtaining in your city,town,village or wherever jurisdiction.
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Old 03-04-2015, 08:12 AM   #39
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the ironic thing about idling laws is the Onan probably pollutes more in a few hours than the vans engine will in a month. I still vote yes on the Onan.
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Old 03-04-2015, 01:35 PM   #40
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Default Re: second thoughts

When we purchased our new to us RT, I never really thought about the generator. The unit we finally bought had one. Over 4 years later, am I glad it did.
Sure it has its drawbacks - it's noisy and requires regular exercise. But with our travel style, we find it useful enough to outweigh the disadvantages. Also, it's parked right next to the house, so with the Onan close by, we don't worry about power failures and what can happen to the contents of our house freezer!

We have often used it in shopping center parking lots without issues. We usually park on the edge of the lot, and no one seems to care. If someone does walk by, they might give the RT a look, but it seems more like a surprised look that such a small vehicle has a generator. When having lunch we can have the A/C going and use the microwave, toaster, small oven, etc.

From what I have read, the jury is still out as to whether having the engine (gas or diesel) run at idle for long periods of time is harmful. In my mind, it just doesn't make sense. The Onan is designed to do just that.

It's true that I don't have a huge battery bank, solar and a powerful inverter. That might change my mind on the road.

Bill
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