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Old 02-01-2019, 01:25 PM   #21
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Sadly that is Europe only (see here).

14kWh is a pretty big battery (the one in my C-Max was ~7kWh) and thus really would provide a lot of power for camping. Too bad they should bring it over here.

Agree!!! GM and Ford both build some pretty cool vehicles overseas. I've seen lots of them that GM builds in China...got to tour a few of them in person at a GM "internal museum" in Michigan. I was surprised to hear the GM builds more vehicles in China than they do in the U.S. Safety issues are what keeps them from the U.S....plus profit margins are very small.
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:11 PM   #22
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I'll be the the folks at NHTSA would crap themselves: if they ever got a close look at some of those vehicles...
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:25 PM   #23
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Sadly that is Europe only (see here).

14kWh is a pretty big battery (the one in my C-Max was ~7kWh) and thus really would provide a lot of power for camping. Too bad they should bring it over here.

Agree 100%.

Even without the hybrid version, there is a lot to like about the Transit Custom, and I think it would be very well received by a lot of do-it-yourself builders who want or need a daily driver that is also gareagable at home.

It comes in 2 lengths and 2 roof heights. The factory high roof model has 5’-10” of interior height, so it’s quite a bit more than the low roof RAM ProMaster which is the only other van in US that provides close to standup room for shorter people, yet has overall height under 8 feet. Even after a little insulation, 5’-7” or so would make moving around inside much easier than old low-roof vans. And all in a vehicle that is garageable through an 8-foot door.

On diesel, these vans are rated at ~30 MPG, so they would make great second vehicles, maybe even primary vehicles that can be used for light camping. With a gas engine about 25 MPG should be possible. The hybrid would just be icing on the cake.
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Old 02-01-2019, 03:36 PM   #24
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Agree 100%.

Even without the hybrid version, there is a lot to like about the Transit Custom, and I think it would be very well received by a lot of do-it-yourself builders who want or need a daily driver that is also gareagable at home.

It comes in 2 lengths and 2 roof heights. The factory high roof model has 5’-10” of interior height, so it’s quite a bit more than the low roof RAM ProMaster which is the only other van in US that provides close to standup room for shorter people, yet has overall height under 8 feet. Even after a little insulation, 5’-7” or so would make moving around inside much easier than old low-roof vans. And all in a vehicle that is garageable through an 8-foot door.


On diesel, these vans are rated at ~30 MPG, so they would make great second vehicles, maybe even primary vehicles that can be used for light camping. With a gas engine about 25 MPG should be possible. The hybrid would just be icing on the cake.

I would buy the diesel tomorrow if it were available here. I have a Chevy Express 2500 LWB up-fitted for basic overnighting. I bought it for the dogs (lab hair) but "we all" use it for excursions downtown, day games, etc. This little Custom fills many gaps!!
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:32 PM   #25
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For us a Custom could work OK except for not having space for a shower. But since we mostly stay in campgrounds with nice showers and often break up longer camping trips with occasional stays in hotels, a smaller van like this would be great about 90% of the time. It would only be while boondocking at football games that not having a shower would be a problem.

Years ago we downsized to a van because we planned to rent trailers or motorhomes when we needed extra space, and in retrospect it worked out pretty well. Now with renting of RVs becoming even more common, we are seriously considering staying with a van-size motorhome. Versatility and ease of ownership is a real plus for us.

Westfalia converts the Custom by replacing the roof on three models so they can have an overhead bed, providing sleeping for 4, but I would prefer a standard Ford high roof for just the 2 of us. I would rent if camping with others anyway as we’ve done in the past, so sleeping for 2 is plenty. It would have to have a shower though.
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Old 02-01-2019, 04:45 PM   #26
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Shower...YES. I see this as a weekender or day cruiser. We have an old tent style shower house from the redneck racing days with the converted bus. I'm not a fan of convertible interiors...(using same space for sofa and converted bed, wet baths) but what a great product otherwise. Other than heading out for a week or 2 months or a year...this would work fine. Excellent Party Wagon!!
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Old 02-09-2019, 08:53 PM   #27
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Cool to see, cool to talk about just not practical for the majority of RV users in the US. We generally travel much further than current battery technology can accommodate. I'm holding out for the nuclear reactor powered coach where the atomic pile in stored in my mother-in-laws car with her in it towed behind us.
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Old 02-09-2019, 09:58 PM   #28
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... with a remote operated, quick-release hitch: no doubt!
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:56 AM   #29
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... with a remote operated, quick-release hitch: no doubt!
Yeah buddy!
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:28 PM   #30
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It doesn’t have to be all or nothing, does it? Somewhere between present fuel-powered motorhomes and future 100% battery-powered are many hybrid options that could improve motorhomes short term. Ford alone has already introduced two types of very different hybrids that could be adapted for motorhome applications.

I guess it depends greatly on what you’re trying to accomplish. My personal interest is more in using the powertrain’s electrical capabilities to improve camping (the house’s function), while others seem more interested in improving driving economy. Not that there can’t be some overlap between these two goals.
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:47 PM   #31
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I guess that we'll all have to see where that "Green New Deal" referendum ends up...
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:51 PM   #32
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Chance..."brain storm"!! I just figure out a solution for you!!! Get any old motorhome that fits your "camping while traveling" requirements. Buy a small cargo trailer and place a forklift battery or 2 in it! Wire that battery into an inverter system large enough to supply your A/C's!! Those batteries run an entire 8 hour shift of loading and unloading in warehouses without any issues...that's a lot of power!!
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:21 PM   #33
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Wouldn't that be just about like towing around a small nuclear powerplant behind you?
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:02 PM   #34
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Wouldn't that be just about like towing around a small nuclear powerplant behind you?

That is exactly what he wants!!! And somehow...he'll end up with it!! Hope he has lots of outside plugs for us!!
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Old 02-11-2019, 04:16 PM   #35
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Remind me to buy a 1,500 mile long extension cord!
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:16 PM   #36
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Chance..."brain storm"!! I just figure out a solution for you!!! Get any old motorhome that fits your "camping while traveling" requirements. Buy a small cargo trailer and place a forklift battery or 2 in it! Wire that battery into an inverter system large enough to supply your A/C's!! Those batteries run an entire 8 hour shift of loading and unloading in warehouses without any issues...that's a lot of power!!
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That is exactly what he wants!!! And somehow...he'll end up with it!! Hope he has lots of outside plugs for us!!
I purchased quite a few of those forktruck batteries on different projects, and they are quite large and heavy. Given the same lead-acid battery chemistry, they are not much different than golf cart batteries of equal total weight.

If you like large batteries, you should have seen the ones used on a hybrid bus our school worked on decades ago. I don’t recall exactly but they were probably well over 1,000 pounds each, and there were two. A diesel charged the batteries constantly.

I’m helping a friend with engineering on restoring a classic motorhome, and one goal is to upgrade electrical system and house batteries to run rear A/C in bedroom overnight without using the generator. To make it work right, the hardest part is charging the batteries fast while driving. It’s a fairly unique (obsolete) engine so finding a bracket for a second alternator doesn’t seem an option. He wants to have a Volta system’s capability without spending an absolute fortune. He also wants to run front A/C off alternator while driving so generator doesn’t have to run so much.

Once most of this hardware comes from chassis manufacturer, the cost will be a small fraction of what we are looking at, and will become a no brainer. I prefer new stuff, and think a second alternator like on new Ford 7.3L V8 would be a great start.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:33 PM   #37
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What sort of unique and obsolete engine are we talking about?
(We had a Starcraft with a 413 in the doghouse...)
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:00 PM   #38
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Olds 455 cubic inch (7.5L) with 3-speed auto (no overdrive).

FWD unit was used at least on Cortez, GMC, and Revcon motorhomes mostly during 1970s.

Alternator capacity can be upgraded easily because original was small by present standards. However, engine was never used on trucks or commercial applications as far as I know, so no factory brackets for a second alternator. Belt drive is being upgraded so there may be a chance to make additional modifications. Trying to rebuild something that old is almost like starting from scratch — I suppose much like building your own van camper except larger and much more complicated due to old stuff that has to be fixed, replaced, or upgraded. It’s very expensive so hard to justify unless you just want to and can do it.
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:16 PM   #39
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Have you checked with JEG'S, to see if they've got a bracket that could be used?
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:14 PM   #40
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Find somebody in here that has a CNC lathe and get them to cut you a bracket custom fit to the application.
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