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Old 07-03-2017, 05:42 AM   #1
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Default Today I ordered an Aktiv 1.0

I ordered an Aktiv 1.0 today.

I wanted a van out here on the west coast. Considering how it's laid out, and the equipment, I think it's a pretty good fit for a solo adventurer like myself.

After a lot of thought, I decided that the cassette system is something I can live with. You can still use it easily at all the many dump stations - it only takes a few seconds to dump it - pull it out, put the nozzle in the hole, push the button. Plus you have about a million other places you could dump it like vaults or rest stop bathrooms. I'll probably always use a dump station. But I like the idea of having the option.

I like that it doesn't devote tons of space to a bathroom, or the galley. No huge refrigerator, which is fine for one person on a vegan diet. The bath is adequate and has what you need, including a shower. What I do like is the build quality is much better that these low-grade lines like the Sunlight, and the others. I might argue it's better than the Zions and certainly Simplicity.

My big want was the short length of 19'. And I wanted room for my outdoor equipment in the back like I had on my Travato G. I also like the euro aesthetic of this van - the cabinetry and hardware - the acrylic awning windows - the big skylight.

I also ordered all the tech features - the lithium batteries, the autostart and the solar. It also comes with a spare tire and the underhood generator as standard features. I got the granite color with the unpainted bumper covers. Not keen on the chrome grill - I may mod that with some plasti-dip or a wrap.

It should take 3 months to build it. They truck them to the dealer and not drive them, so it should have very few miles on it when I get it. The wait will be tough.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:52 AM   #2
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.

Woohoo

I would like to hear the dinette comparisons.


.
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Old 07-03-2017, 06:09 AM   #3
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Congratulations, nice unit.

I went on the Hymerís site and found this galley picture interesting regarding construction. It looks like either structural aluminum framing or possibly just cosmetic edge finish. All my cabinets are built with aluminum frames and I wonder if Hymer is doing cabinets also using weight saving aluminum frames.
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Old 07-03-2017, 06:10 AM   #4
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Congratulations, nice unit.

I went on the Hymer’s site and found this galley picture interesting regarding construction. It looks like either structural aluminum framing or possibly just cosmetic edge finish. All my cabinets are built with aluminum frames and I wonder if Hymer is doing cabinets also using weight saving aluminum frames.
yes, all their cabinetry is aluminum framed. Airstream does the same thing. Much stronger and lighter.
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Old 07-03-2017, 06:13 AM   #5
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.

Woohoo

I would like to hear the dinette comparisons.


.
Table has more positions - against the wall (i.e. no table), a small table or a fold-out leaf for a bigger table. The seat is automotive grade. The table is higher so you can actually get your legs under it. There is no low cabinet to hit your head on.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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Hope you post, as in the past, your thoughts on the unit. I have especially appreciated your blog website. You will be the first that can truly compare the Travatos to the Aktiv which is my main interest. Thanks for sharing so much of your knowledge.
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:26 PM   #7
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That's a really nice layout! I like the way it can seat and sleep four and you can leave the bed made up while still having a ready dining table. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it once you have had a chance to experience all the features.
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:52 PM   #8
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Congrats Wincrasher!!

Are you trading in your Travato?

Are you on the Activ Facebook page? There are 2-3 issues to be sure to check before you leave the dealer. (one is the trailer wiring/exhaust pipe... hopefully fixed since it is now known... another with GU installation)

It is still on my shortlist for my next rig. Want even shorter though, so need to see whether I can live with the low quality of the new Avion.

Is the three month wait confirmed? There was a poster over on FB this weekend who was ranting and raving on every thread that there is a 9 month wait if you order (among other things). Seems he wanted a 2.0 with the 1.0 bed in a particular color and was pissed that he couldn't get immediate gratification.

We await your reports!!
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:58 PM   #9
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Congrats Wincrasher!!

Are you trading in your Travato?

Are you on the Activ Facebook page? There are 2-3 issues to be sure to check before you leave the dealer. (one is the trailer wiring/exhaust pipe... hopefully fixed since it is now known... another with GU installation)

It is still on my shortlist for my next rig. Want even shorter though, so need to see whether I can live with the low quality of the new Avion.

Is the three month wait confirmed? There was a poster over on FB this weekend who was ranting and raving on every thread that there is a 9 month wait if you order (among other things). Seems he wanted a 2.0 with the 1.0 bed in a particular color and was pissed that he couldn't get immediate gratification.

We await your reports!!
I hope it's not that long! Dealer told me they were running 12 weeks, so we'll see what they come up with once the paperwork is processed. Hopefully it's the custom orders that cause the long wait times.

Not trading my Travato. Keeping it on the east coast for now.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:19 PM   #10
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When I looked into ordering a Transit in another color for a Class B, I was told it could delay the special build by as much as 16 weeks because they had to get into the queue for units from Ford. Sounds like the person with the delayed order wanted a specific color and the Class B manufacturer will have to wait until they can get the desired color from Dodge.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:46 PM   #11
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Color of the van is not a factor in delivery with the Mercedes Benz Sprinter. But most converters only deal with a set amount of colors and Roadtrek on Sprinter's has an unexplained upcharge that has nothing to do with Mercedes Benz as far as I can tell. If they offered the color as standard they probably have no delay.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:00 PM   #12
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Default ecotrek + solar?

Congratulations on your choice.

Just curious as to why you would order both lithium and solar. Makes sense if you stay stationary for long periods, otherwise within a few minutes underhood generator will fill up batteries and solar energy goes to neverland. Meanwhile, extra weight, aerodynamic drag plus a hefty cost.
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Old 07-04-2017, 06:38 PM   #13
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Congratulations on your choice.

Just curious as to why you would order both lithium and solar. Makes sense if you stay stationary for long periods, otherwise within a few minutes underhood generator will fill up batteries and solar energy goes to neverland. Meanwhile, extra weight, aerodynamic drag plus a hefty cost.
Well you are correct in that this small solar setup won't deliver any significant charging to such a large lithium battery pack. That's not why I included it.

What it will do is keep ahead of the draw from the refrigerator, the BMS, and a roof ventilator. This will be of primary importance while parked between trips. It's certainly more convenient to have it on the roof than deal with a portable panel, which I've done in the past.

Yes, it's kinda pricey. But you are not really paying for the hardware. What you are paying for is the cabling, roof penetrations, system deign, etc. One thing I think they have done wisely is use a MPPT controller and mounted several small panels instead of a couple large one. What this does is allow for the inevitable shadows you get on the roof of a van. Solar on a van is problematic at best. At least it will be warranted for 6 years, along with everything else.
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:02 PM   #14
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With 300W on the roof in a nice summer camp we donít need shore power nor engine nor generator while camping for days with no driving. By midday batteries are back to 100% SOC. That is the value of solar for us.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:25 PM   #15
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With 300W on the roof in a nice summer camp we donít need shore power nor engine nor generator while camping for days with no driving. By midday batteries are back to 100% SOC. That is the value of solar for us.
We also see the same with our 300 watts, just got back from 3 weeks out and about, never turned on the engine generator. Gotta love the summer sun!
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:29 PM   #16
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It's a double edged sword, no? For it to be useful, you have to be parked in the hot summer sun!
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Old 07-04-2017, 10:33 PM   #17
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There are always tradeoffs varying between each of us. We don’t go very often to Arizona so a little of sunshine is good for us Oregonians.

There is a rarely mentioned IR blocking advantage of solar panels. With the air gap between the roof and the panels they block considerable amount IR radiation reaching the roof. About 50% of my roof is covered with panels at 1”-1.5” air gap allowing for air movement. So, indeed my van will need to be in the full Sun exposure to harvest but while there I will be getting a 50% “shade”.

Before ACs double steel roofs were common in tropical climates, today you can still get some.
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Old 07-05-2017, 03:58 AM   #18
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Wincrasher. Wow I am surprised you bought an Aktiv. We seriously looked at one but bought a RT Agile instead (we love it) mainly for dual zone layout and I really didn't like the Travato driving position. Anyway, we really liked many things with the Aktiv (bathroom, windows, skylight, underhood generator, etc). I hope you enjoy it and I am very interested to hear about your experience. Does this mean you are selling the class A?
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:10 AM   #19
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Wincrasher. Wow I am surprised you bought an Aktiv. We seriously looked at one but bought a RT Agile instead (we love it) mainly for dual zone layout and I really didn't like the Travato driving position. Anyway, we really liked many things with the Aktiv (bathroom, windows, skylight, underhood generator, etc). I hope you enjoy it and I am very interested to hear about your experience. Does this mean you are selling the class A?
No, I'm not selling the A. I need it for my work lodgings.

Initially, I was planning to use the A for weekend excursions, but that plan died right away. Not only is easy fueling an issue in Southern California, but every time I was going out, I was taking a huge risk. If anything were to happen to the A, like an accident, or a breakdown, then I'd be up a creek for a place to stay while I'm trying to do a very demanding assignment. It's just not worth the risk. It does make an excellent little apartment while I'm working, have all the luxuries and space to be comfortable.

So in order to keep to my plan of actually experiencing the west, but on weekend jaunts and short vacations, I need a B out here. Going and getting my Travato from back east would not be a cheap undertaking either - $2-3k to ship, or going and driving it out - airfare, plus a week off. Besides, I need it on the east coast, and my newly retired sister might be using it here and there.

So I decided I would either build a DIY van, or buy something already converted. I wanted something smaller, as I want to explore some of the west coast cities. I flirted with the idea of converting a Transit Connect or Promaster City, but ultimately decided that was too small. The Aktiv 1.0 pretty much filled the bill for what I had in mind. Small, but with a certain level of luxury I'm accustomed to. A price that doesn't break the bank.

Waiting to hear back on the delivery estimate - if it's too long (like the 9 months thrown around in one of the Facebook groups, then I may need to come up with another plan - I'd like to do some traveling in the fall when the weather cools down from these triple digits we have here in the summer.

I could certainly buy another Travato or do a Sportsmobile if this order doesn't work out. I'd not buy a Roadtrek as I don't care for their layouts or interior finishes. I do want to try out the electrical tech for myself and see if it's adequately sorted now. They only required a $1k deposit to place an order, so the impact is minimal if I change my mind.
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Old 07-05-2017, 02:31 PM   #20
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I just looked out the window and saw a pig fly past our house. Wincrasher buying a product from Jim Hammill leads to all kinds of strange happenings...
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