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Old 03-13-2018, 09:28 PM   #41
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Nope...read the article.... still nope
Which article? Haven't seen one, just videos.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:48 PM   #42
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Wow 8.7kWh battery, that is bigger than the one in my C-Max (7.6kWh).
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:08 PM   #43
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The onrush of technological advancements seems to almost be increasing exponentially.
So if the battery packs are almost ready: how big can they make the alternators?
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:38 PM   #44
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Only a matter of time before one of these is turned into a Super duper C:
https://www.tesla.com/semi
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:00 AM   #45
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I asked this similar question a while back, but rather about SOLAR, versus Alternator, though the two certainly would be best together. Doing away with huge onboard generators, I think, is in the future.

If you offset the cost, weight, and storage area of a generator, not to mention the ongoing maintenance since it is an 'engine', you have a LOT of room for more/larger inverters, alternators, and batteries... though, admittedly, you would probable still want an 'optional' smaller, maybe even 'portable', generator just to charge the batteries when parked and weather conditions aren't optimal for solar.

For the solar part, I want to know why someone hasn't produced a light weight roll-out awning array. When parked, an awning provides shade, but is also another huge sqft area for solar. The roof is limiting for solar, so finding other avenues is important moving forward.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:28 AM   #46
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...snip...
For the solar part, I want to know why someone hasn't produced a light weight roll-out awning array. When parked, an awning provides shade, but is also another huge sqft area for solar. The roof is limiting for solar, so finding other avenues is important moving forward.
My guess is that there simply isn't a solar array that is flexible enough, efficient enough, and inexpensive enough for an RV.

(Its the old saying: You can have flexible, efficient, and cheap--pick 2.)
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:49 AM   #47
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.....cut.....

... though, admittedly, you would probable still want an 'optional' smaller, maybe even 'portable', generator just to charge the batteries when parked and weather conditions aren't optimal for solar.

.....cut.....
Regarding this need, you may find it interesting that Hymer/RoadTrek signed an agreement for use of small fuel cells that run on propane (if I recall correctly). The size is not large enough to power the air conditioner on a steady-state basis, but in combination with RT lithium batteries, it should power A/C overnight without van engine having to run as a generator.

Because fuel cells are so expensive, I personally would prefer a larger battery bank, and larger alternator as well (if it made sense). Since motorhomes have huge engines anyway (compared to Onan 4-kW generator), we might as well use it as the largest possible alternator so it doesn't have to run as long.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:56 AM   #48
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Wow 8.7kWh battery, that is bigger than the one in my C-Max (7.6kWh).
One report stated they use automotive battery technology because at 48 Volts they are not limited by cells that don't add up to 12 Volts. This means that the battery bank itself (due to different chemistry) can power an inverter much larger in capacity than anyone would need in an RV.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:11 AM   #49
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Since we rarely use our generator, but sometimes do, this time I went for the propane powered generator, instead of diesel. Seems for a rarely used engine, there will be potentially fewer fuel related problems. So far so good, when we have used it, seems fine.
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Old 03-14-2018, 03:45 AM   #50
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Which article? Haven't seen one, just videos.
This is one of several
You are being redirected..."Volt Start & Lith
edit..
Hmm will not let me hot link the in-depth article..
Basically just their "hurrah for Us" about developing a system where you use Lithium batteries plus solar and their "Volt Start" to replace ever needing a generator for boon docking..
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:13 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by saddlesore View Post
This is one of several
You are being redirected..."Volt Start & Lith
edit..
Hmm will not let me hot link the in-depth article..
Basically just their "hurrah for Us" about developing a system where you use Lithium batteries plus solar and their "Volt Start" to replace ever needing a generator for boon docking..
Looked like it worked to me: at least linked to an article describing the system.

80 lbs/200 amp hour seems a little high (Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries).

The interesting thing I read is that they still have a genny...
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:44 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by saddlesore View Post
This is one of several
You are being redirected..."Volt Start & Lith
edit..
Hmm will not let me hot link the in-depth article..
Basically just their "hurrah for Us" about developing a system where you use Lithium batteries plus solar and their "Volt Start" to replace ever needing a generator for boon docking..

Thanks much. I thought you were referring to an article on the Winnebago Travato with the Volta 48-Volt system, which is quite different. I'd like to see a good objective review for comparison.

I've also read many reviews about the E-Trek having issues, yet others like it a lot. I guess it depends on expectations and how you plan to use it; and like many things RV-related, also on luck.

Compared to a RoadTrek with 400-aH of battery capacity we looked at a year ago, this Travato has roughly twice the battery capacity, reportedly twice the charging speed, and almost twice as large an inverter, which can now power the entire coach with 30-Amp service.

These differences seem significant to me, and would affect the way we could use the camper. However, the devil is in the details (and cost), so we'll have to see how good it really works. Regardless, it's a great step in my opinion.
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Old 03-14-2018, 04:12 PM   #53
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Here's the first review I've seen, with more coming after they complete a week of "real-world" testing.

https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-reviews/...thium-powered/



In comments and Q&A section the reply about the need for solar is exactly what I've been thinking. James estimates that 30 minutes of fast idling will produce as much electrical energy as solar in a week, so what's the point? He equates it to dumping a gallon of water in a swimming pool -- you have more water but does it matter? Since we move around often, solar in this type of rig would be a negative.
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:28 PM   #54
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New generator-less coach suggestion

Seems to me, if you don't require roof AC, then a properly designed coach doesn't need a generator. Every load could be driven with a sine wave 2-3 KW inverter off of the batteries that are charged with the engine while driving. A couple extra batteries or a LiIon battery pack could store maybe 2-3 KW for the same cost as the bulky and heavy generator. The engine running is probably quieter than most current generators and capable of 1.5KW to recharge the batteries when required. Solar cells are light, cheap and could also be part of the "Eco-Friendly" package and don't take up valuable interior space. There will be days that are uncomfortaby warm but much of my driving is on the California coast and would not be a problem. This design would not satisfy everyone and for those who need AC, plug in at the RV campground. Boondocking-live with natures temperatures. Any takers?
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Old 03-14-2018, 05:55 PM   #55
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Any of you guys ever tailgate? Generators rule!
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:34 PM   #56
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Wait until we all start setting up miniature wind-powered generators also... right along side of our solar panel arrays!
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:59 PM   #57
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Any of you guys ever tailgate? Generators rule!
Yes, but only the last two years. Before that I had very little need for any kind of generator because we used campgrounds with full hookups, or occassionally slept in rest areas late at night where we could survive without A/C.

Tailgating for football weekends changed our needs a lot in 2016 & 2017. While we still don't want a noisy generator to haul around all the time, we need to be able to run A/C at least 5 or 6 days and nights a year.

Granted, a $1,000 Honda inverter generator would work "good enough", but these new systems are so much better. While still very expensive, I like the idea of camping in National Parks where generators are not allowed during most of the day or at night, and without having to give up electrical conveniences.

As many have stated, it always comes down to A/C requirements that drives the need for these expensive lithium/inverter systems.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:24 PM   #58
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My guess is, eventually, solar and battery technology will advance to the point that generators really will not be necessary, however, we are not there yet. Having said that, we are closer then we were, even five years ago, but there is still a long way to go. For today, IMO, a generator is still a necessity in todays RV.
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Old 03-15-2018, 06:27 PM   #59
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I agree...

Unless.........


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Old 03-15-2018, 07:56 PM   #60
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I made a mistake in using term “generator-less” in thread title. Some of you appear to be taking that literally.

Obviously, I meant motorhomes without a “CONVENTIONAL” Onan-type generator, but that’s not to say these E-Trek- or Volta-type power systems don’t have a generator. They’re just different. Mostly these systems use a large engine instead of a small lawn-mower-type 1 or 2 cylinder for power, can often produce much more electrical power, and can store excess power/energy for later use so generator doesn’t have to operate as many hours.

If not for higher cost, I can’t imagine many RV owners preferring an Onan 4-kW generator over a Volta system. Even the small system in the Travato Class B has the useable battery capacity of 12 golf-cart batteries, and can reportedly charge that battery capacity in about an hour. Such a system can run the house A/C while driving down the road, or power a residential fridge for a few days before a quick charge is needed.

I look forward to full reviews, but expect that the seamless electrical power from these systems will make conventional generators hard to go back to. They are noisy, vibrate, and exhaust fumes are not particularly clean.
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