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Old 03-18-2018, 12:08 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by LB_3 View Post
The greatest part of our Lithium upgrade (after the creature comforts that came with adding a big inverter) is eliminating the battery anxiety. Iíve gotten to the point where I only check the battery status every second or third day.



If I could have designed our van from scratch, I would have gone with a 24v or 48v system. Even oversizing all my wires and using 4/0 cables (as big around as my thumb) for the inverter, Iím never comfortable seeing in excess of 100 amps anywhere in the system.


My current battery setup consists of four Group 24-12v Costco Interstate batteries, when fully charged they are only good for about 20-24 hours before dipping below 50% (280Ah - 140Ah usable to 12.03v) with just the fridge and frugal use of light, fans and a little TVs watching. If the rig was driven daily for 3-4 hours, we would be okay overnight. In your experience, would a 300Ah lithium setup and 2 hours of daily driving gives me longer usage? I heard that the MB alternator can charge up to 200A current and if so is there any danger to the lithium? I can see a voltage dips every hour or so while engine charging vs every 4 hours via the Magnum on shore power, see attached screen grab of my Bluetooth battery monitor...
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Red is engine charging, note the large dips, maybe for the batteries to rest from such strong current?
Yellow is float charging via the Magnum on shore power. Even during bulk and absorb phase I observed no such large dips.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:29 AM   #22
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Well, the long-awaited Pure3 lithium Travato review was released, but it's kind of a dud because the alternator crapped out on them. Thus, they were forced into that well-known fate-worse-than-death scenario - shore power hook-ups, ugh.

There's still some interesting content in the post, but I was anticipating a full-on experiential-style review of what it's like to be off-grid in the thing. Maybe next time.
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:17 AM   #23
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Well, the long-awaited Pure3 lithium Travato review was released, but it's kind of a dud because the alternator crapped out on them. Thus, they were forced into that well-known fate-worse-than-death scenario - shore power hook-ups, ugh.

There's still some interesting content in the post, but I was anticipating a full-on experiential-style review of what it's like to be off-grid in the thing. Maybe next time.
Thanks for the heads up on the blog post. I was waiting for the YouTube vid to show up and would have missed this.

I think the surprising thing to note was the drag on the engine from the second alternator. They must be using some really hefty magnets in that thing to present enough of a load to the engine that they have to tap into the CANbus to monitor engine performance and adjust alternator output accordingly. Yowza. Since this is the Volta system, ANY van using this system will experience the same thing, so it's not like it's a "Winnebago thing". The Sprinter-based ARVs that are being built with this solution will experience the same behavior, but the saving grace there is the torque from the MB 6-cylinder diesel will likely have far less trouble spinning the alternator. It will be interesting to see how this plays out on the new MB gas chassis coming later this year.....

Last.....bummer Winnebago didn't put a "watts in/watts out" digital meter in their system, similar to what's available in the GoalZero Yeti. It's nice to be able to look at the display and see that at the current charge/discharge rate, the battery will be full/empty in approximately X amount of time. Very useful, and hopefully this will be added to their system in a future revision.
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Old 04-02-2018, 08:29 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Air99 View Post
My current battery setup consists of four Group 24-12v Costco Interstate batteries, when fully charged they are only good for about 20-24 hours before dipping below 50% (280Ah - 140Ah usable to 12.03v) with just the fridge and frugal use of light, fans and a little TVs watching. If the rig was driven daily for 3-4 hours, we would be okay overnight. In your experience, would a 300Ah lithium setup and 2 hours of daily driving gives me longer usage? I heard that the MB alternator can charge up to 200A current and if so is there any danger to the lithium? I can see a voltage dips every hour or so while engine charging vs every 4 hours via the Magnum on shore power, see attached screen grab of my Bluetooth battery monitor...
Attachment 306566
Red is engine charging, note the large dips, maybe for the batteries to rest from such strong current?
Yellow is float charging via the Magnum on shore power. Even during bulk and absorb phase I observed no such large dips.
If youíre using 140AH per day a 300AH lithium (240AH useable) would last you about 41 hours. The real advantage in your situation would be the charging rate. LiFePO4 batteries bulk charge all the way until full so you wonít have to spend hours floating. Lithium batteries can charge up to 3C or in this case (900A) but that would likely reduce cycle life. Charging at 120A like Amirm is doing would fully recharge depleted batteries in 2 hours.
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Old 04-02-2018, 10:57 PM   #25
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If youíre using 140AH per day a 300AH lithium (240AH useable) would last you about 41 hours. The real advantage in your situation would be the charging rate. LiFePO4 batteries bulk charge all the way until full so you wonít have to spend hours floating. Lithium batteries can charge up to 3C or in this case (900A) but that would likely reduce cycle life. Charging at 120A like Amirm is doing would fully recharge depleted batteries in 2 hours.


Much thanks for the helpful tips!
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:43 PM   #26
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Well, the long-awaited Pure3 lithium Travato review was released, but it's kind of a dud because the alternator crapped out on them. Thus, they were forced into that well-known fate-worse-than-death scenario - shore power hook-ups, ugh.



There's still some interesting content in the post, but I was anticipating a full-on experiential-style review of what it's like to be off-grid in the thing. Maybe next time.


Thanks for the link, I guess itís still ďprototypeĒ and what a juggling act to squeeze all the gizmos in there, now even the fresh water is smaller too!
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Old 04-03-2018, 05:33 PM   #27
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At approximately $30K MSRP for this option, almost 1/3 of its overall MSRP, seems like a huge jump in price for an entry level Class B.
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:42 PM   #28
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General anecdotal measurement of "the herd" -

Airstream share at the recent Class B rally was 11%. Screengrab from (and HT to) "My Van Trip to Tennessee" YouTube video by Humble Road.

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Old 06-06-2018, 06:11 AM   #29
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A different anecdotal reference - self-reported Sprinter-based RV ownership participation on Sprinter Forum. It supports other references in suggesting that the sales field is wide open. A company with a superior Sprinter-based product could really revolutionize the entire landscape if they wanted to (and had the insight and instinct that market domination would demand).

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Old 06-06-2018, 11:10 AM   #30
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Agree, healthy competition is great for the consumers. Brand loyalty is one thing but not the ONLY thing!
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Old 11-15-2018, 06:21 AM   #31
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This article will no doubt be posted elsewhere on Air Forums, but here it is for the B van subforum: Airstream's take on its growth, market share, and future.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90265781...e-of-airstream
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Old 11-15-2018, 10:21 AM   #32
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This article will no doubt be posted elsewhere on Air Forums, but here it is for the B van subforum: Airstream's take on its growth, market share, and future.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90265781...e-of-airstream
Well written article, thanks for sharing.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:09 AM   #33
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I've spoken to several winnebago sprinter owners at campgrounds. I always approach them when I see them and ask how they like it. Most have had problems, including leaks. Most have problems with dealer service and I was told that to go to Winnebago directly for service is a greater than 1 year wait list. One owner was a previous Airstream owner and they said they regret not staying with Airstream. I am meeting a friend this weekend to look at Leisure vans. Should be interesting.
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:32 AM   #34
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I've spoken to several winnebago sprinter owners at campgrounds. I always approach them when I see them and ask how they like it. Most have had problems, including leaks. Most have problems with dealer service and I was told that to go to Winnebago directly for service is a greater than 1 year wait list. One owner was a previous Airstream owner and they said they regret not staying with Airstream. I am meeting a friend this weekend to look at Leisure vans. Should be interesting.
MANSDERM161 - this is why I am counting my blessings that I can do some maintenance and upgrade mods myself. Even if under warranty or willing to pay them to do the work, the long wait is frustrating. Also, having resources in this forum has & will continue to be a big help to me/us in getting things fixed when dealer network can't squeeze as in right away. Without help from this forum, I would be lost.
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Old 11-15-2018, 01:10 PM   #35
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Me Too! I love the forum
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Old 11-20-2018, 09:30 AM   #36
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If a buyer wanted a micro-campervan, this would not be a bad choice. What is shown here is basically what I did years ago (pre-Interstate) to my long-suffering Sienna, except these guys made a design that is far more elegant and optimized. Mine was closer to the end-member condition of "crap scattered randomly all over the minivan". Except I did carry a small portable marine toilet in mine; this appears to have none (good luck with that in treeless undeveloped places such as west Texas).

https://newatlas.com/nest-cuckoo-min...57233/#gallery
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Old 01-01-2019, 06:51 PM   #37
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Tag line of this thread: "the herd is advancing".

Reality right now: "the entire herd is in the toilet".

This article below might be paywalled for most users (I'm a WSJ subscriber). It's the first piece I've seen that reports on how poorly RV manufacturers are doing.

Excerpts:

"In the past year Thor has lost about two-thirds of its value and Winnebago some 57%. Leading RV retailer Camping World Holdings has done even worse, losing three-quarters of its value....

...according to Thor, the company’s shipments are down significantly. Its most recent results for its fiscal first quarter showed a 21.3% drop in revenue and an 83.2% drop in pretax profit..."

(Edit: Camping World is the retailer that decided to go culture warring about 16 months, with its CEO telling people of certain political affiliations not to shop at their stores. The relative numbers suggest those people may have taken heed.)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/rv-stoc...ss-11546351380
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Old 01-01-2019, 09:24 PM   #38
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(Edit: Camping World is the retailer that decided to go culture warring about 16 months, with its CEO telling people of certain political affiliations not to shop at their stores. The relative numbers suggest those people may have taken heed.)
INTERBLOG - I have never looked at businesses through any political lense. Some people say I should. Maybe, but I just like to go to businesses that provide what I want and that want to provide it to me. But who am I to second guess a very intelligent CEO's marketing and business acumen. So if said CEO says "do not shop at my stores" I figure he knows what he speaks of. So I will gladly oblige and give my $ to a different business that wants my $
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:13 AM   #39
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Maybe, but it takes backbone to put your mouth where your money is, like the owner of CW has done. Bully for him. I wonder is they have a branch that sells Airstreams, I will look into it.

If sales are down across the whole board of RV manufacturers it is because the RV industry is a leading indicator, not because the owner has suggested some possible customers go elsewhere.

It will be interesting to see which RV companies and dealerships make it through a significant economic downturn.
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Old 01-02-2019, 04:54 AM   #40
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Camping World took over Safford RV in Virginia and initially really upped the stock of Airstreams on the lot. Now they have physically moved the Airstreams to a seperate lot in Ashland, Airstream of Virginia. Service gets no rave reviews. Yet another dealer enhancing COLONIAL's REPUTATION.

For myself, I am aging out in a year or six, so the old EB will do just fine with some regular maintenance. And all the great innovations like Alde and touch screen everything..bleah... mo' shop time, less pleasure.

Now IF I win a lottery and have stupid money all bets are off, but reality bites.
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