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Old 05-16-2019, 11:09 PM   #71 (permalink)
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I think you definitely need to know how you want to RV.
Are you the "we need to get there ASAP" people? Or the "let's eat lunch, walk the dog & walk around the town" people? It may have a big effect on things. It may be more a Route 66 RV vs. an I-70 RV.

You would definitely need to know your vehicles capabilities and plan very well. You may find that there are some places you can't go.

So do the trucks have 2 battery systems? 1 drive & 1 for lights/ac/radio? Or 1 traction battery with a step down circuit for the auxiliary stuff?

You talked of adding solar power. Is there a reason it couldn't be used to, albeit slowly, charge the traction battery? Since the cab & box are seperate could you make a solid awning with PV panels instead of a roll out canvas one?

The consensus is that charging variety is needed. A 120v/240v charger where you can adjust the amperage of the output would be ideal. Does anyone make one?

Most rv's have a long tail past the rear axle. Are there capabilities near you to properly extend the vehicle? The rear section may be able to lower than the original frame.

With weight and aero changes a gearing change may help optimize efficiency. Are they possible with these vehicles. Didn't the AeroCivic work best at well above highway speeds?

Don

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Old 05-17-2019, 08:47 AM   #72 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonR View Post
....It may be more a Route 66 RV vs. an I-70 RV....

So do the trucks have 2 battery systems? 1 drive & 1 for lights/ac/radio? Or 1 traction battery with a step down circuit for the auxiliary stuff?..

...You talked of adding solar power. Is there a reason it couldn't be used to, albeit slowly, charge the traction battery?

Don
Definitely more of a Route 66. In Wisconsin, we have lots of nice state parks with RV outlets, and they are spaced not too far apart.

BATTERIES:
Technically, 3 battery systems on the trucks. One is a 24V system for the truck - headlights, horn, all that kink of stuff. A SECOND 24V system, which is independent for the box. It runs the power roll-up doors, interior lights, etc.
Then thirdly is the high voltage battery pack that powers the electric drive motor.

Solar COULD be used to charge the drive batteries, but it would be complicated. There are VERY FEW systems designed to charge high voltage directly. For home solar, high-voltage batteries are against electrical code with the exception of manufactured turn-key system batteries. (I think the idea is that they want to keep solar installers and home-owners from being electrocuted...)
High-voltage solar BATTERY solar systems tend to be proprietary with just a few companies.
It would be quite a bit of cost and complexity to really do solar right. There might be some potential for a sponsor though!
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:56 AM   #73 (permalink)
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This project has been interesting so far.

Again, keep in mind that it was basically a friend saying "Ya wanna go on a road trip to get an electric truck?"

I wasn't the one planning it out or anything. Just a helping out a friend. An electric RV is just one of several ideas for a truck like this.

Unfortunately, the truck did NOT fit on the trailer, and there were a number of other issues that limited what we could do. So, we removed the batteries and brought those home, with the idea of getting the truck later when we COULD properly transport it, or at least strip off all the EV components.

I know... Everyone is going to say "What a shame! It worked!", but you know what's a real shame? The truck just sitting forever in a junk yard with nobody buying it, no one ever knowing if it worked or not, and it never being used at all.

A big part of this project was just to see what condition the trucks were in and see if one could work, be useful etc., that MORE of them could then be purchased and sold, used as parts for conversions, turned into RVs and Food Trucks, and be put back on the road.

But first we needed to get back home.
And we wanted to do that WithOUT going empty-handed.

So here's your cringe-worth video of us REMOVING the batteries!

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Old 05-17-2019, 04:17 PM   #74 (permalink)
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Any thoughts about incorporating some kind of towed generator? Just as a range extender rather than a main charger. It can be whatever fuel you want, including hydrogen if you are going for completely emissions free.

I've long wondered about a Family Electric Minivan, how it would be perfect for a towed range extender for those rare "camp in the mountains" trips, while otherwise it's only getting the kids and groceries.
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:50 PM   #75 (permalink)
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Many RVs have a generator on them anyways.

On a big solid truck like this, I don't see why a generator couldn't be built on as a range extender. It could just be essentially left permanently in a storage box mounted on the outside below the frame.

It would have to be a pretty substantial generator. The truck is heavy and not aerodynamic. Other than than, I don't see why it wouldn't work.

Seems like a pretty reasonable Hybrid option.
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Old 05-17-2019, 07:56 PM   #76 (permalink)
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Allison H50EP

I have had similar idea for hybrid using Allison H50EP that is used on hundreds of hybrid buses. I like the Freightliner EconicSD.
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Old 05-18-2019, 01:52 PM   #77 (permalink)
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I have been thinking the same thing. having a new winebago with a kit from a third party that makes utility truck conversion was going to be super expensive and useless on the highway. Also the RV parks I checked had 50 amps, but only 110 volts. From what I have heard most RV parks are 110V only. Currently thinking about converting a new stick shift Chevy Colorado and buying a 30ft or less trailer. then add on a dual AC-30 motor and 40-100kwh of batteries...
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:42 PM   #78 (permalink)
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First off: “RV” dies not denote a motorhome. Boats, jet skis and snowmobiles are all RVs. As well as assorted types of camping vehicles.

Fully self-contained is what one looks for as to independence from re-supply. That independence is what defines it AS a camper, and that is the propane system. To heat the cabin, cook the food and to heat water for cleaning and bathing. Preserve fresh food via refrigeration. And lighting.

There isn’t an adequate substitute for propane.

Just an awful lot of weight, complexity & increased risk in the LEAST IMPORTANT SYSTEM: Electrical.

A system that is barely necessary. (Desire NOT need). Operate the furnace fan and a water pump (which could be manual) are the two necessary electrical draws.

It would sure help this RV were systems addressed first.

It is THE BALANCE of weight, mass and complexity of the SEVERAL systems AGAINST the projected nights aboard WITHOUT external supply of any sort.

Propane makes a camper possible. Water storage & management is a bare second in importance as it is likelier to be the limiting factor of nights aboard without re-supply.

Water is heavy. Fuel tanks on trucks are mounted as low as possible for this reason.

Propane tanks need very particular securement and venilation.

Time to start investigating what is standard to Class C and Class C motorhomes.

Water destroys more campers than anything else. In trailers of my type (see sig link) it is from plumbing leaks. The shortest possible runs are best. My 35’ trailer contains ALL plumbing in one ten foot span on the port side. But it’s complicated in details. One MUST be able to flush lines with air to prevent freeze-up on days where local temps don’t rise above freezing.

Last: Emergency exit from sleeping quarters. Don’t expect to get past a kitchen (where most fires occur; every type).

What’s the weight of the truck? Start there. CAT SCALE (use app). You’ll need baseline numbers to address future tire wear issues, as well as handling, braking and steering issues. See Roger Marbles RV Tire Safety blog (retired tire engineer).

Box trucks are lousy to drive. COE means no crash protection. Shock absorbers on vehicles like this aren’t much good past 30k. They’ll retain the hydraulic oil, but the gas charge will have leaked away. Means more body roll (greater sensitivity to passing vehicles and wind gusts).

That little thing isn’t really meant to be a highway vehicle. Just local in-metro delivery.

What powers the brakes? How robust is that system?

.

.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:58 PM   #79 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enator View Post
I have been thinking the same thing. having a new winebago with a kit from a third party that makes utility truck conversion was going to be super expensive and useless on the highway. Also the RV parks I checked had 50 amps, but only 110 volts. From what I have heard most RV parks are 110V only. Currently thinking about converting a new stick shift Chevy Colorado and buying a 30ft or less trailer. then add on a dual AC-30 motor and 40-100kwh of batteries...
The tow vehicle drivetrain isn’t nearly as important as having a truly aerodynamic travel trailer. And man trans hasn’t been “better” since roughly 1956 (the Chrysler TorqueFlite broke the barrier). The advent of six speed autos in 1T diesel pickups circa 2007 even killed off that niche.

And the “best” tow vehicle is still the family sedan. Can load everyone into it. Weighs right at 4000-lbs empty, rides on a fully independent suspension withba wheel base no greater than 122”.

Highway travel increases risk. RVs are notorious for getting people into trouble as they think their lifetime of commuting has relevance.

It doesn’t.

Cutting risk is the game. With the vehicle that is an EXACT fit to solo family use (not pickups).

The Euro-spec Dodge Magnum of a dozen years ago with its turbodiesel was likely the best ever tow/family vehicle.

As it’s the cousin of the still produced Dodge Charger, that vehicle with the V6 drivetrain is suitable for nearly every all-aluminum aero travel trailer ever built.

And as it’s a fleet car, long in production, gremlins got cancelled ages ago. Service anywhere.

You guys are making the same TYPE of mistake with campers found on RV boards. Going camping SHOULD NOT drive vehicle specification, per se.

The genuinely economical choice is

1). Lowest risk by design
2). Longest life per reliability.
3). Able to tow the trailer.

Trailer shape (plus independent suspension with anti-lock disc brakes) is Job One.

.

.

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