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Old 01-28-2015, 04:21 PM   #61
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

I have a 2013 Leisure Travel Free Spirit SS with the small slide-out. I love it. As an architect, I like the interior clean lines and the use of space. I have a bike rack on the back, and had the rear interior storage customized to carry skis. Two solar panels on the roof, insulated tanks, separate shower. Last June I rented out my house in Portland, Oregon for one year, and took off. Right now I can't imaging going back to my stick house. I spent 10 weeks in Alaska, and visited many National Parks. This particular Class B meets my needs - I travel alone with my dog. I have had two Roadtreks but those floor plans were too restrictive to live in for a year. I can easily boondock in my Free Spirit SS. I get 22-24 MPG, and can maneuver and park anywhere. I can hook up in a flash. In my opinion, convenience is the greatest asset of my Class B.
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Old 01-28-2015, 10:10 PM   #62
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Add to that the fact that the new generation are much less likely to DIY a van, and I think there will be a market. With no car, they will have the funds to do it.
There are a lot of Youtube videos with people DIYing their truck or van as a SHTF vehicle or low cost camper. It does happen, it's just not very main stream. And I'm sure some of them eventually move up to a motorhome of some type.
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Old 01-29-2015, 04:41 PM   #63
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

SHTF? I 'll give it a shot . Show House Thunder Funder ? How close was I ?
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Old 01-29-2015, 07:42 PM   #64
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

How about... Small House Too Fast?
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Old 01-30-2015, 01:36 AM   #65
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

I think it's about "something" hitting the fan.....
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Old 01-30-2015, 02:16 AM   #66
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

I have seen a number of "bug-out-mobiles" on YouTube. I do applaud the ingenuity of the designers, but if I wanted what is essentially a bed and a storage area, I'd just buy a cap for the bed of my current pickup, use some 2x4s to make a bed frame, and call that done. However, I really am a RV-er, not a camper these days. I can pop a tent and set up, but I just don't want to, and even dealing with my current travail trailer isn't fun.

What I wish to see is more progress on appliances that are directly diesel powered. More stoves like the Webasto model, perhaps with an electric burner so if at FHU, the stove can be used. The advantage of getting rid of propane is that there is only one fuel to worry about, and if one is with full hookups with appliances that are all diesel/electric, it makes perfect sense. Plus, gas is already on the way up... the people crowing about permanent oil lows are wrong. The future will be hybrid diesel vehicles, as stated above. Having appliances that can handle both electric and diesel will add a lot of usability.

Of course, there is the humble toilet. As a compromise between the ease of positioning a cassette toilet and the ease of use with US systems of a black tank, I'd like to see more macerator toilets. As an added bonus, since stuff is already ground up before it hits the black tank, it makes it easier to dump.

Then, there are the rear doors. I would like to see "B" upfitters replace them with their own models. Done right, the doors would function identically, or perhaps be limited to a 180-190 degree opening range... but could be able to store significantly more stuff in them without adding much space.
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Old 01-31-2015, 09:20 AM   #67
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

I'd love to see more Class B vans with articulating beds like Davydd's "Alvar" from Advanced RV.
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Old 01-31-2015, 02:36 PM   #68
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

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Originally Posted by SiennaGuy
I'd love to see more Class B vans with articulating beds like Davydd's "Alvar" from Advanced RV.
There will be some videos posted soon on how it works. Advanced RV did a professional video they will edit for their website news and YouTube. I had my iPhone set up for controlling the bed so could not video and operate the bed at the same time.
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Old 03-28-2015, 05:34 PM   #69
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

Diesel fuel cells may become a viable option for electricity in an RV sooner than we think. That would be a big advance. They might compete with large LiFePO4 battery bank installations or be complimentary to smaller LiFePO4 battery banks in the future.

There's an interesting video on Eberspächer's site here: http://www.eberspaecher.com/en/top-thema-01.html

Quote:
The maximum output is 3kW
3kW should be plenty for a Class B. It's hard to tell how big the Eberspächer unit is.

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Extensive practical testing will be carried out in 2014. It’s planned to launch the fuel-cell APU initially on the North-American market at the end of 2017.
You wouldn't need a 3kW unit if combining it with a large LiFePO4 battery bank. A unit that pumps out 50ah might be enough to top up the battery bank in a reasonable amount of time. The advantage of the 3kW unit to an RV manufacturer would be the simplicity of the setup - no really complex systems needed other than the fuel cell.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:47 PM   #70
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

Powercell is another company developing a 3kw (3000w) diesel powered fuel cell.

http://www.powercell.se/products/powerpac/

This one is 24v DC I think. PDF file: http://www.powercell.se/wp-content/uplo ... werPac.pdf

I have no idea what these diesel powered fuel cell's will cost.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:48 PM   #71
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

I wonder what the "warm up" time to full output is on the fuel cells?

If they were fast enough to cover the starting of high load stuff like an air conditioner, you would hardly need any batteries at all.

If they are slower, you would need to use them like a generator, turning on ahead of use, which is still not much of big deal.

The 3K would be nice, that is for sure.
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Old 03-31-2015, 10:16 PM   #72
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

A fuel cell would solve alot of tough problems.

If sized adequately, it could power electric motors to drive the coach, and when parked, have enough power to run the house. You could basically have a full powered coach with little to no maintenance. Hopefully I live long enough to see such a beast in an affordable format.
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Old 03-31-2015, 11:19 PM   #73
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

You will never (he confidently predicts ) see a diesel fuel cell large enough to be the prime-mover of a truck. All the REAL alternative energy R&D is quite properly directed toward renewable fuels. In the fuel-cell segment, that means hydrogen. Of course, that implies a whole new distribution infrastructure, which is why many people consider battery technology to be a better bet.

Both of the devices that Marko has pointed to are APUs -- meant to provide auxiliary power as an alternative to diesel idling. They may prove very interesting as a near-term replacement for RV gensets. Energy adequate to power an electric vehicle is a whole different ballgame--nobody will bother.
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Old 04-01-2015, 02:48 AM   #74
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

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Originally Posted by gerrym51
the simple reason most younger people are notinterested in B's is that they don't have a lot of free time and they have kids. b's are best for 2 people touring.

some body with 2 kids a 2weeks of vacation is more interested in towing a trailer to a campsite.

the older you get the more attractive a b becomes.

that does not mean there aren't some younger people with b's. but roadtrek will tell you their prime market is 60 and over.
Right. Young folks almost always refer to the need for sleeping for 4 not just two. My son at 48 has 3 girls and he likes our PW Plateau TS but it is unusable for them. Small C class rigs are often cheaper and have more versatility for families. With 2 people you get the choice of a Sprinter for older adults and I think Promasters for the younger set. The PW Promaster model is quite nice for a couple but again, it is not for more than 2 and is lovely but pricier. Utility and cost is important to young families. The Winnebago 59g is nice but is very tight space wise inside but will appeal to practical folks who want those features and not concerned about a nice gallery ie what I have even...
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Old 05-03-2015, 05:42 AM   #75
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

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Originally Posted by markopolo
My guesses based on things you listed:...Froli - I haven't tried it so no guess on that
...
SPRING TIME!

Just got our Beast from the stable where it rested for six long winter months.
Installed the coach batteries, drained and cleaned the tanks and checked all sytems. It's a GO!

First thing I installed is the Froli bed spring system. Works like a charm. Can be ajusted precisely with the very well designed clips. Haven't slep yet, but the foam mattress with two inch of memory foam seems very confortable. My main goal is to help me get a dryer mattress when sleeping in warm weather. It is designed to provide more ventilation without requiring a complete overhaul of platform beds. Bed slats are also used, but when combined with a lifting mechanism the structure becomes very heavy. Our platform bed is simply the aluminum sandwich board with plastic honeycomb used for the Safari Condo Alto trailer wall panels. It's only 3/4" inch thick. No other structure than the actual lift system.

I've used the Froli STAR system with the firmest settings (narrow spacing) including the red add-on clip that attaches to the spring. Quite a bill for Queen size bed springs, but when you buy it from a USA reseller that gets it from Germany and sends it to Canada, you can expect a hefty price.

Where to buy them
STAR http://froli-systems.myshopify.com/collections/star

On my Kampervan FB page https://www.facebook.com/kampervanfun?ref=hl

More photos on the album https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?...2388992&type=1
and my Kampervan Flipboard blog https://flipboard.com/@gogeorges/kampervan-u5qd3sehy



The batteries are back and in top shape (under the platform bed with the electric lift)
What a wonderful Flex bed system, it's out of the way in seconds to access the huge cargo bay.

LOVE this van. Been waiting six long artic months! Can't wait to get back camping!





UPDATE: Went camping!

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Old 05-04-2015, 01:56 PM   #76
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

What a great list of questions. I just do not feel Ford, Hyundai, Fiat, Chrysler offers the same quality as Mercedes at this time. That is not to say they won't step up to the plate. I an excited about the answers that will come to your questions....John
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:00 PM   #77
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

FCA (Fiat Chrysler Autos) will continue to mainly aim for the low cost fleet market. Hyundai just will go into a market with brute force and throw enough marketing capital to grab some share, likely by hemorrhaging money for the first few years on the model, just to get it a niche in the US. Chevy likely will keep their Express because their R&D design costs have been long since recouped, and that a lot of upfitters don't want to retool for a different model.

Mercedes is likely going to lead the pack in features, safety, and other items. They live and exist in the US because of their good name and upscale features.

Which leaves Ford. Ford's offering is going to be the best gasser out there. No, they don't have the length or options of the Sprinter, but one can build a decent "B" on it with a reasonable towing capacity. It would be nice if Ford would make a longer wheelbase model, but it wasn't that long ago when a 21-22 foot Sprinter upfit was considered long.
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Old 05-15-2015, 09:18 AM   #78
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

Just a couple of thoughts on what has turned up here in Australia.: Greater variety of Vans,;Diesel heaters are being used for heating and cooking,as well as other types
Solar is common, so are Lithium batteries, fuel cells tried by a couple of Caravan makers , but are expensive.
No gas engines in Australia, the trend is for more diesels, ;LED lights common.
The Hymercar is a Campervan here or would be classified as such. My Sister will eventually show up with her Campervan tomorrow, a VW Transporter based device. Hope to get some photos.
Interior Design in Australian Class B's is a mixture of Aussie Modern and European
Drop down beds common in quite a few Conversions
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Old 05-15-2015, 04:30 PM   #79
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

Fuel cells are the next point of innovation in the next 5-10 years. Lets take an EFOY fuel cell that can run 30 days at a 100% duty cycle on 10 liters of methanol, giving out ~10 amps of charge. If one has an 800 amp-hour battery bank and just uses the bank on weekends, even without solar or shore power, the batteries would be fully charged on Friday and ready for a trip.

I am still disappointed that Truma killed the VeGA fuel cell. Had it come down to the price of a generator, it would definitely have a space in a RV, just to keep batteries charged off the propane system while the rig is in storage.
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Old 05-15-2015, 05:01 PM   #80
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Default Re: Wonder what big advances will hit "B"s next

I know little to nothing about fuel cells. Are there any RVs actually using them? The other thing is you mentioned 10 amps of charge. Is that per hour? If so does that mean 80 hours of charge to be ready for a weekend? That I would not understand especially if using an RV any extended period of time because 10 amps could not keep up with usage. Nor it seems to me can solar with a small footprint of collectors. That leaves generation by generator or engine, and shore power doesn't it to keep up with electrical usage? Either would take but just a few hours.
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