Twice now in the two years that we have owned the Roadtrek we have used it as a place to go to in a power outage and this last time with Sandy it was for a week. Yes, we can use the generator for power and to charge the batteries but with Sandy, there was a real concern that the gas tank would get too low with no where to go to get gas to keep going this way. The solar panels would have resolved that as we were doing fine on the inverter when we needed to conserve fuel and not run the generator. We also have an AC/DC only fridge and we could have started that as soon as the power went and saved a lot of what we lost in the house fridge - if we had the solar to keep the batteries up. We would add the two additional batteries which would increase our AGMs to four. With that and the RT solar (which does not need direct sunlight, but just daylight), we could get by without the generator at all. For less than $5,000 (which does not come easy to us) we could expand our RT's functionality - for us - immensely. We are not running to do the job. We need to save the money and we also are looking to hear from others who do this first.
IMO, Roadtrek is overselling the solar panels a bit. 240 watts of solar is not all that much. We have just gone through all the calculations as we are adding the same type of panels to our 07 C190P. The 200 watts we are putting on, per the manufacturer, should do 60 AH per day with high sun, no shade, 30AH per day in lesser conditions. When they say the work in low light conditions, Roadtrek is conveniently leaving out the part about reduced output. Those 240 watt panels will do about 35 AH per day in the normal conditions of shade, low sun angles, etc. We, also have a DC frig, which takes between 15 and 45 AH per day depending on use and conditions. Just the detectors use over 10 AH per day. Watch some tv and you use a bunch more. Just the inverter with no load is using over 1 amp in our Roadtrek. It is highly unlikely that you are going to be able to live continuously off-grid on the 240 watt panels, especially with a DC frig. We have 375 AH of house batteries and another 60AH we can use for the frig off the starting battery, so we have about 350AH of usable power. The batteries should take us for 5-7 days if we are careful and it not too hot. We figure the solar will add another 3-4 days to our time, it sun conditions are decent.
I couldn't tell for sure, but from the pics I have seen, it looked like it would be very tight to get around the bed when the van door was closed. Anybody seen one in person or seen how much room there really is?
Where did you get the 500 amp hours a day out of the solar information? The e-trek has 240 watt panels, of the same type as we just bought for out C190P (200 watts), and we were told to expect about 60 amp hours per day in good sun and 30 in worse conditions. That would put the CS's 240 watts at about 72 amp hours per day, not 500 (which would take a huge system).
Is there a cheap MB option. :)
Does the fast idle option work off of the cruise control?
It is my understanding that the newer units run the high idle off of the cruise control.
What may be of interest is what is considered high idle. On the Sprinter boards they are talking about 1500-2000 rpm, which is really high. It would be quite loud and use considerable amounts of fuel (some talked of a gallon per hour).
Can't imagine being next to a Sprinter at 1800 rpm for extended periods of time. I would think it would get you booted from the campground.
Since Class B's and small C's are pretty much the only use for the Onan 2800, I doubt any manufacture sees it cost effective to design a gen-set for such a small market.
Getting back to the E-Trek, I want to know how long term idling is going to affect the Sprinter engine, even with the fast idle installed? Well MB warranty cover it? What about the states than have banned idiling for more than 5 min, if air temp is over 32 degrees?
Every thing I read says extended idiling is bad for the new Diesel engines.
There are a lot of questions Roadtrek has not answered, and I would sure want them answered before I purchased an E-Trek.
The idling question has been discussed a bunch on some other boards. It appears MB wants you to run at highway speeds regularly to clean the DPF and EGR systems, so the idea of spending longer periods while boondocking may be out of the question, regardless of what Roadtrek says. Replacing a DPF is not cheap, and neither is an EGR service, so I also think that there needs to be further information on the subject.
I am starting to think that a direct injection gas engine may be a better choice for an E-trek style vehicle.
What a gang of nit-pickers... :C
Why are so many here afraid of change? If one doesn't like the concept, just don't think about buying one. Allow those who are interested in the systems carry on the discussion.
I can't speak for the others, but I really like the concept and the attempt to move in a new direction. I do, however, have some very big questions concerning the specs and promises that Roadtrek is putting out there. I fear that there will be quite a few, less than technically advanced, folks that will plunk down big bucks and then not come near what was promised for performance. I wish Roadtrek would address the questions directly. It shouldn't be all that tough to give complete information.
The owner of the first Etrek to be delivered can be contacted on his website - Roadtreking.com. Contact him and I am sure he can answer exactly what it can do and can't do and how it does it.
Everyone speculates - the unit is not out to dealers yet and has already sold to production levels. Mike, who is at the site linked, seems to be willing to talk about his new ETrek and there you can ask him directly.
If you read his website, it seems to be pretty obvious he is doing PR for Roadtrek and is certainly not unbiased. I would expect he will just repeat the standard lines that are in the video he made at Roadtrek, like that you can run the air and everything else for 10-12 hours on batteries and then charge them back up in 40 minutes.
I have also seen a B with scissor jacks on the bumpers. Personally, I would not be willing to give up the load capacity of that 4 good sized jacks would eat up. Maybe a 125#? Plus that extra weight is way overhung on each end, which is also not a good thing.
We camped next to an RV like that in the Yukon,
Wouldn't you just love to change a flat tire on that one!
I know it's not really a B but if it had bullet proof glass this would suffice. Having a system to sanitize water would be handy and the 1,500 mile range on one tank of gas would let you out distance most other vehicles. The $700K price tag would be a little tough along with the 8 mpg but what price can you put on protecting your family from zombies?
UNICAT self-contained expedition vehicle
Here ya go-what a bargain at under $100K.
We also lost a very expensive mat in Sleeping Giant park while out for the day. There were also several cars broken into at the beach that day. Luckily, they didn't see the power cord. Wasn't the rangers, we checked with them, but apparently there are lots of "vultures" that swoop in whenever they think you have left, and pick up anything there. We now take everything with when we leave, except for an "occupied" cone with our name on it so it less likely to be usable for anyone else.
The mileage and cost per mile for the Sprinters have both been taking a hit on the later models, when compared to the earlier versions. The engines got bigger, as did the vans, most are now on duals, etc, so the days of an I5, 2500 Sprinter that got 22-24 mpg are pretty much gone.
As was mentioned, it will be interesting to see how the Ecoboost does on fuel and power. It is claimed to be a turbo engine specifically designed for heavier vehicles, compared to most previous turbos that were on "normal" gas engines and could not reliably handle the continuous boost situations you see in the bigger vehicles.
It will also be interesting to see if a direct injection gas 6.8 liter V10 shows up from Ford, or a similar 4.8, 6.0, and 8.1 from GM. The direct injection engines usually gain considerable hp and mileage over their port injected predecessors and could put further pressure on the diesels.
We also vote aisle shower, space is just too valuable. The aisle is actually as big, or bigger, than the enclosed one, which also lets you use the aisle if you want.
We aren't bashful and I took off all the foldout privacy door extensions from the bathroom door and the cabinet to the rear of it. The van rear has heavily tinted windows, so no one will see in as long as it is darker inside than outside. The clear windows where someone might see in are in the front and the bathroom door blocks that. If you have the lights on at night, you also have the curtains pulled, so you are fine. Besides, if someone wants to work hard to see a couple of old folks naked, have at it!
......If the red light and two green ones are on the battery is approximately 3/4 charged, etc.
The state of charge could be anywhere between 40% and 90%. A red light and two green ones indicates that the battery voltage is at least 11.9 volts and less than 12.7 volts.
12.5 volts = 90%
12.42 volts = 80%
12.32 volts = 70%
12.20 volts = 60%
12.06 volts = 50%
11.9 volts = 40%
Nice chart and info here for reference:
Good reading if you want to make your batteries last longer. Many sites recommend not going below 50% state of charge and you just don't know when you've done that with a basic monitor panel.
I thought my memory was going totally flat on me, as I remembered the 12.0 volts as being in the 20% rather than closer to 50% SOC. I looked at a bunch of sites, and it seems that both information is out there, depending on who you believe. Our plug in volt meter has a chart on it that uses the 25% at 12.0. Trojan site shows the 40% at 12.0, like Marco's reference. One site showed a chart for Optima batteries that said a starting battery (red top) would be at 40% and a deep cycle (blue top) would be at 25%. Very confusing.
I think it is time for me to check voltage vs specific gravity on ours to see what that indicates. I also have a Trimetric monitor that I need to get put in, so I can see what that says.
I can help with your first question.
If it is a KiB Monitor Panel (newer than 1992)
Full: C - CHARGE 12.7 volts
2/3: G - GOOD 11.9 volts
1/3: F - FAIR 11.2 volts
E: L - LOW 6.0 volts
Which points out that the panel is a very poor indicator of battery state of charge. At battery at 12.0 is nearing the 80% discharge most would say is the limit of draw down. The other problem is that the reading is influenced greatly if there is a load on the battery, even a small one. The voltage will read low when loaded, so they say to let the battery sit an hour with no load before testing, which nobody does. KIB probably realized this and lowered the thresholds to compensate for loading, as up to a few years ago, the voltages were higher at each of the points. Best is to get a digital voltmeter to check with, as they are cheap and accurate.
It is mostly personal choice, I think. We have a Roadtrek 190P that has a driver side kitchen. It also has a window in the kitchen. DW is claustrophobic, and has no trouble in the Roadtrek, but did in any of the B's that had the driver side totally filled with cabinets and bathroom, floor to ceiling. We have heard of others say similar things. My guess is that the kitchen window and more balanced design allow her to have space all around her, but the big "wall" in the other styles totally closes off that side. We are actually using the kitchen about 2 minutes a day, so what the view is really doesn't mean much of anything. We have always been baffled by the folks that say they spend so much time in the kitchen, as we cook outside 99% of the time.
That is what I am saying! Thanks for a positive post. Some people go thru life being pushed around, others put their foot down and say enough is enough.
So then are you saying the amenities in the RV are needed for "your" disability?
This is very confusing. :h and would change everything.
Well, everything except the fact that it's still an RV.... ;)
And that is probably the most valid point of all this. Things like a wheelchair ramp go against the rules, and I can't think of another way of accommodating without breaking the rules. There is a very high probability that accommodation could be made in this case without breaking the rules (different vehicle).
I think this would also be looked at more favorably by the HOA, and others, if the issue had been brought up when the RT was purchased, or even before. It now looks like he was trying to get by without getting caught originally, did get caught, and is now trying to find another way out of it.
Im not getting that out of what this man is trying to abuse handicapped rules. Handicapped is handicapped.Does not necessarily mean that its got to do with a wheelchair (though it might, Im not his judge) Lot of people that I know, personally , can not ride for longer than 15-30 minutes without having to use a bathroom. Or , if someone is elderly and they are driving somewhere and they have to have access to a bathroom, quickly. Or if someone is in a wheelchair and wants to go to a park,,,,most parks, still do not have wheel chair access. People have colostomy bags, urine bags. that have to be changed...you name it. Sorry, that trumps the HOA.
I did not say that the handicapped sticker is bogus. I said that if the first time it showed up was when he wanted to get around the HOA rules, it could be a hard sell with a judge. He never said if his other vehicles, or past history, required a handicap sticker. If they didn't, he will need to prove there is a reason that he needs a Roadtrek now, and not just a handicap sedan or wagon, but didn't need anything before the confrontation. Handicap rules are very necessary, for a lot of people, but preventing abuse is equally important, to make sure the folks that really need protection don't get lumped in the with the less than ethical folks, and lose that protection. Judges know that.
Unless all your other vehicles have handicap stickers, and have since before the confrontations, I would think you will have a tough time with the handicap theory. I think any judge would ask why your handicap vehicle has to be a Roadtrek, with a bathroom, shower, kitchen, etc, and not a just an accessible vehicle. For the able bodied, a Roadtrek is a second vehicle to be used for camping (and banned by the HOA). I would think the same would apply for a handicapped person who had a stickered "normal" vehicle.
It does somewhat bother me that this appears to be a use of the handicap rules, which are very needed for handicapped persons, to try to get around rules that have nothing to do with handicap issues. All that would do would be to hurt the ones that really need the protection.
I did a little research and a few calcs based on the most efficient compressors I know of-Danfoss.
The Danfoss is rated at about 1.4 watts/watt for heat removal capacity. Go through the conversions for a 10000btu AC and you would use about 235AH/hr of air conditioning. 3 hours would put you at more than 80% discharge, as others have said.
If Roadtrek is saying the batteries can run AC all day, they are counting on a very low duty cycle on the AC.