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GreenHornet 03-17-2013 04:38 AM

Hybrid RV Ideas :-)
 
I was just thinking about how cool it would be to build a Hybrid RV :-)

My wife is always talking about how cool it would be to have an RV. I imagine that if the day ever comes where we can actually retire we will travel the country in one.

So in a way this thread is for fun but also to get ideas so that in the event I win the lottery or do retire maybe I will get around to putting all the ideas together and build a hybrid RV.

I did some initial research a few years back and came across the Vixen RV. They had a diesel model that got upwards of 30mpg. Now for a 20+ foot RV that is pretty amazing to me. My question was always could it be improved with a better diesel of today and hybridizing it. Or could I come up with a better design like something more inline with the Dymaxion but front wheel steering!

Well if you have ever thought about hybridizing that Suburban, VW camper or RV chime in I would love to hear your ideas!

Who knows maybe we could come up with a good game plan and in time build a really cool hybrid RV!

Here are a few links to the Vixen RV for reference = Vixen Motor Home | HomePage

Welcome to Vixen 21 Motorcoach Website.

GreenHornet 03-17-2013 04:51 AM

The Vixen used the BMW M21 Diesel engine

Here are the specs per Wikipedia

"The BMW M21 was a 2.4 L diesel straight-6 engine.

It was introduced in 1983 with the BMW M20 design as its basis. It was available with a turbocharger. It was also the last diesel sold in the North American market in the E28 before the reintroduction of a diesel by BMW in the North American market E90 in 2009, the BMW M57
Models Engine Displacement Power Torque Redline Year
M21D24 2.4 L (2443 cc/149 in) 85 kW (114 hp) @ 4800 210 Nm (155 lbft) @ 2400 5350 1983
85 kW (114 hp) @ 4800 220 Nm (162 lbft) @ 2400 5350 1983
63 kW (84 hp) @ 4600 152 Nm (112 lbft) @ 2500 5150 1985

Applications:

1986-1992 E28 524d/524td, E34 524td
1985-1993 E30 324d/324td
1984-1985 Lincoln Continental Mark VII
1984-1985 Lincoln Continental
1986-1987 Vixen 21 TD and Vixen 21 XC
1992 UMM Alter II (Very rare UMM model, only 4 were made)"

Not sure what the curb weight of the Vixen was but it had to be pushing 5,000lbs I bet so they really had that engine loaded well which would make sense why it did so well fuel economy wise.

What modern diesel engines would be the best candidate for a swap as far as fuel economy?

pete c 03-17-2013 08:44 AM

I have had this same idea. I think hybrids make all the sense in the world in an RV application because it would eliminate the need to run a noisy generator when camped and in need of AC.

If that old beemer could get the vixen to 30 mpg, imagine what the same rig with a tdi 6 speed or dsg auto could get if you put a nice boat tail on it. The vixen is very clean aerodynamically up front, but, it is flat as a board at the stern. I would guess that such a vehicle could get to 35mpg, maybe a little better if hypermiled.

Another nice one would be a newer Rialta with the fwd VW chassis. Why in the hell they never put the TDI in this ecapes me. There is also the Lesharo. It came with a renault TD, but, it was a turd in that application. Some repower them with chrysler V-6 fwd successfully.

GreenHornet 03-17-2013 03:43 PM

Hey Pete,

Those are some good thoughts you had on the TDI and transmissions. That was one area if I recall that the Vixen was pretty weak on. The Vixens gear ratios were not very well optimized for the weight and size of engine. It had over heating issues big time I guess as a result. The TDI engines although a fortune to fix are a nice compact package that would be a nice upgrade over the Beemer. The TD engines maybe the PD 1.9 would be even a better option as you can mod the heck out of them and you don't have to deal with all the electronics of the new TDI if you are not so computer inclined!

It is crazy to think that the Vixen with a 2.4L diesel could achieve 30mpg and here we are many years later still with cars that don't even get that! It makes me wonder what I was thinking working and promoting for GM all that time. I am a bit embarrassed actually, I guess we all live and learn.

A boat tail on the vixen, better engine, better transmission it would be very interesting to see just what these changes would make let alone hybridizing it. The 5,000lbs+ RV just might put many of our cars fuel economy to shame.

I am curious now what platform the Vixen used. I wonder if it was a donor chassis or scratch built? I am also curious how they built the body to me it seems like 5,000lbs is light for an RV, but honestly I really don't know much about them. What I do know is we have trucks and suburbans that weigh more than that so to be around 5,000lbs in something that big that is pretty impressive at least at first glance.

I will definitely look into the Lesharo and the Rialta. As I said I really don't know much at all about RV so everything will be new to me. I figure I had better start now though and prepare for the day if it comes :-) It would be awesome to travel Through the Americas RV style there is just so much to see and do. It would be even more awesome to do it with an RV that was modern, highly efficient and economic to drive.

I guess the first thing I need to look into is the chassis or foundation. You would need something solid that is for sure. I wonder if some RV share chassis platforms it seems like it would be the case.

Well Pete thanks for sharing your great ideas keep them coming my friend and I will do the same :thumbup:

Talk to you later,

Greenhornet

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-17-2013 09:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenHornet (Post 361776)
I did some initial research a few years back and came across the Vixen RV. They had a diesel model that got upwards of 30mpg. Now for a 20+ foot RV that is pretty amazing to me. My question was always could it be improved with a better diesel of today and hybridizing it.

The current Volkswagen 2.0L TDI has more power and torque than the stock BMW 2.4L turbodiesel, and since it's shorter would be easier to assemble a custom hybrid driveline. If you could bolt the Volkswagen engine to a Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid transmission, which hardest part seems to be integrating the electronics from the transmission and the engine, that would be a good setup.

You could also look at this hybrid S10 conversion to get some ideas: http://ecomodder.com/forum/showthrea...uck-22080.html

pete c 03-18-2013 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenHornet (Post 361844)
Hey Pete,

Those are some good thoughts you had on the TDI and transmissions. That was one area if I recall that the Vixen was pretty weak on. The Vixens gear ratios were not very well optimized for the weight and size of engine. It had over heating issues big time I guess as a result. The TDI engines although a fortune to fix are a nice compact package that would be a nice upgrade over the Beemer. The TD engines maybe the PD 1.9 would be even a better option as you can mod the heck out of them and you don't have to deal with all the electronics of the new TDI if you are not so computer inclined!

It is crazy to think that the Vixen with a 2.4L diesel could achieve 30mpg and here we are many years later still with cars that don't even get that! It makes me wonder what I was thinking working and promoting for GM all that time. I am a bit embarrassed actually, I guess we all live and learn.

A boat tail on the vixen, better engine, better transmission it would be very interesting to see just what these changes would make let alone hybridizing it. The 5,000lbs+ RV just might put many of our cars fuel economy to shame.

I am curious now what platform the Vixen used. I wonder if it was a donor chassis or scratch built? I am also curious how they built the body to me it seems like 5,000lbs is light for an RV, but honestly I really don't know much about them. What I do know is we have trucks and suburbans that weigh more than that so to be around 5,000lbs in something that big that is pretty impressive at least at first glance.

I will definitely look into the Lesharo and the Rialta. As I said I really don't know much at all about RV so everything will be new to me. I figure I had better start now though and prepare for the day if it comes :-) It would be awesome to travel Through the Americas RV style there is just so much to see and do. It would be even more awesome to do it with an RV that was modern, highly efficient and economic to drive.

I guess the first thing I need to look into is the chassis or foundation. You would need something solid that is for sure. I wonder if some RV share chassis platforms it seems like it would be the case.

Well Pete thanks for sharing your great ideas keep them coming my friend and I will do the same :thumbup:

Talk to you later,

Greenhornet

There is another option, the best option, IMO,which is why I have one parked in the yard, the Toyota pickup based C class. Actually, there are 2 in the yard, mine, a '90 V-6 and someone else's that I am working on, a 91 V-6 shortie (18 fter).

These are awesome RVs if you don't need a lot of room or beds for 6 people. I would recommend an earlier 80s model with the 22R/22RE 4 cylinder, which is quite possibly the best damn engine ever made.

The 4 cylinders can get an honest 17-18 mpg and with a 4 speed could easily be hypermiled into the 20s.

If you are interested in them, there is a very active yahoo group (toyota campers) and another very good website, toyotamotorhome.org.

The toys with their aerodynamically challenged C class layout will never meet the mileage of the vixen or lesharo, but, they are more livable inside (real bathroom) and they are approximately 1,000,000 times more reliable than the vixen or lesharo. And parts are as plentiful and cheap as any other vehicle, seeing as there are still millions of these pickups still rolling around.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-19-2013 01:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pete c (Post 362015)
There is another option, the best option, IMO,which is why I have one parked in the yard, the Toyota pickup based C class. Actually, there are 2 in the yard, mine, a '90 V-6 and someone else's that I am working on, a 91 V-6 shortie (18 fter).

These are awesome RVs if you don't need a lot of room or beds for 6 people. I would recommend an earlier 80s model with the 22R/22RE 4 cylinder, which is quite possibly the best damn engine ever made.

The 4 cylinders can get an honest 17-18 mpg and with a 4 speed could easily be hypermiled into the 20s.

Those Toyotas are also a good option for a fuel-efficient camper project, due to their more conventional driveline layout being easier to work around :D

slowmover 03-20-2013 09:39 AM

The below is my opinion. I'm also a third generation owner of aluminum travel trailers and of other types (in our family it was also boats & airplanes, not just motorhomes, etc) over more than forty years.

One needs to define what is meant, personally, by a "recreational vehicle". For some it is some form of "camper" they take out a few weekends and week or two each year accummulating around 5k miles. But they really love it as college alum for tailgating at football games.

A motorhome, of whatever type, falls down pretty fast when it comes to space efficiency due to drivetrain constraints. Most of all, in capacities.

The functions of an RV (a camper) are:

1] All weather shelter

2] Potable water use (storage and interior/exterior distribution whether mechanically or electrically). Then, storage of contaminated water.

3] Propane. Really, a very close second to water. Heat for shelter, water & cooking plus refrigeration. If it weren't for the virtues of propane RV's wouldn't exist.

4] Electrical. What the uninitiated think of as almost primary is in fact optional. Not necessary outside of furnace blower and refrigeration temp regulation. As Americans seem unable to live without their Jesusphones and TV, this means extensive (heavy) solar and a fossil-fuel generator. Not one or the other.

Water capacity is the limiting factor for extended stays outside of the infrastructure grid.

Trailers nearly always have the edge when it comes to efficiency. One can always change the tow vehicle given emphasis on trailer aero exterior shape, low ground clearance, independent suspension, low center-of-gravity. Shape, not weight, is key.

So, when making comparisons of types (and further refinement in choices inside those types) be sure that capacities somehow match up with expected use.

I can find ways to do the same recreational traveling with an 11-mpg motorhome and use less engine fuel than with a 30-mpg VIXEN update. When water is the limiting factor, this is an easy case to make.

Engine fuel seems to be the limiting factor in travel. It isn't . . as it cannot be separated from other energy inputs required. These aren't cars. Moving one around is secondary to it's purpose, ironically.

"Travel" is defined as nights aboard on an annual basis over miles travelled. And around here one can find ways to minimize fuel burn for a given vehicle (trip plan).

Then, "Type" of travel is the place to start, IMO, before becoming enamored of a particular vehicle.

Most RV travel is of the shirt sleeve variety. Chasing nice temps in nice climates. No Minnesota winter or Arizona summer. Basically, above 50F and below 80F. At all times. And neither too dry nor too wet . . they also constitute significant challenges to the question of capacities. Pushing this envelope outwards is where the difficulties arise . . otherwise, tent camping would be on the menu.

So, refine what one feels is the travel goal with sensible parameters. Tackle the question of capacities inherent to a vehicle type or combination as corollary in thinking.

If one wishes to start from a general reference, I'd use one to three weeks at a given location and then moving 300-miles to the next. Graph it out this way as a default for looking at things like engine fuel burn.

The aesthetics of a vehicle[s] is the fun at this stage, granted.


Finally, make provision in feeling/thinking for illness & injury. If one is incapacitated for two weeks, how well will the thing work? As well, in fitting this purchase and ongoing expense into lifelong financial planning, how well will it substitute for what the RV'ers call the S&B (the sticks & bricks house) for when climate & weather or man-made problems make that uninhabitable, or it ceases to exist? After all, a well-chosen (well-designed & constructed) RV can be a life-long asset, not simply a luxury cost.

.

elhigh 03-20-2013 10:00 AM

As I recall from reviews of the day, the Vixen with the diesel and manual (!?) usually pulled away from the stop sign trailing the delicate odor of cooked clutch. Not brisk off the line, so to speak.

A few years ago I read a fascinating page by a guy called Mr. Sharkey who had a converted electric Rabbit, he wanted more range. He made a diesel powered pusher trailer from the front end of a diesel Rabbit with a manual transmission (!?) which he controlled from the front car via a confabulated array of repurposed devices (for instance, a remote operated cordless drill to activate the clutch, driving a jack screw to press and let up on the clutch pedal!)

His site appears to be gone but an archived websnap is here: Mr. Sharkey's Home Page | MrSharkey.Com

Fascinating stuff. He also used the diesel pusher to help along an ancient old RV that normally could barely sustain 45 motor down the road at a decent 55-60. If I can find more/better/more current details, I'll update this post.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-21-2013 01:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elhigh (Post 362374)
A few years ago I read a fascinating page by a guy called Mr. Sharkey who had a converted electric Rabbit, he wanted more range. He made a diesel powered pusher trailer from the front end of a diesel Rabbit with a manual transmission (!?) which he controlled from the front car via a confabulated array of repurposed devices (for instance, a remote operated cordless drill to activate the clutch, driving a jack screw to press and let up on the clutch pedal!)

According to his page, the transmission was a 3-speed automatic. Well, getting the controllers for the clutch and a manual shifter to work properly would be too much harder, and become even more dangerous in case of a failure.

elhigh 03-21-2013 02:04 PM

3A = 2nd gen
 
He did the pusher trailer twice; the first version was a manny. The websnap may not have caught the older pages. I don't know how or why that would work that way but I definitely remember a stunned afternoon of eating lunch at my desk, marveling at the off-the-shelf workarounds the guy built to operate the manual remotely.

GreenHornet 04-08-2013 06:53 PM

What would make a good light weight chassis for a small 20 foot RV anyone?

mozul 04-08-2013 07:02 PM

If you are building it yourself, I'd go with the Mercedes Sprinter chassis. It is diesel. They have several ready-made RV's on that chassis including the Itasca Navion Itasca Motorhomes - 2012 Navion

pete c 04-08-2013 10:29 PM

I always thought an older bread truck would be good. Many are 4BT powered, aluminum bodied, so they shouldn't be too heavy. They are bricks, but that just makes it more fun to try to aero mod them. And they are an awful lot cheaper than a sprinter.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 04-09-2013 01:57 AM

I believe it would worth to wait for the Ram ProMaster instead of getting a Sprinter. The lower cargo platform, since it's FWD, allows to a lower overall height without sacrificing the internal height.


Quote:

Originally Posted by pete c (Post 365763)
I always thought an older bread truck would be good. Many are 4BT powered, aluminum bodied, so they shouldn't be too heavy. They are bricks, but that just makes it more fun to try to aero mod them. And they are an awful lot cheaper than a sprinter.

The 4BT is a great engine, all-mechanical which eases the adaptability to some different-grade fuels and doesn't have an ECM to be turned into e-waste when something goes wrong.

slowmover 04-09-2013 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenHornet (Post 365747)
What would make a good light weight chassis for a small 20 foot RV anyone?

Why not dissect a SPORTSMOBILE or ROADTREK to see what is aboard and how it is configured (space, weight, capacities). Check vehicle manufacturer (GM or FORD) curb weights, and then above aftermarket weights, dry to get an idea of how the additions weigh.

As well, an AIRSTREAM BAMBI. A moho gives up a good deal of "living space" compared to a trailer for the drivetrain and controls.

The AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE is much loved by it's owners. Note the prices new and used. Again, do a dissection.

See also the layout of AVION or CAYO truck campers from 1968-1971. Space utililization. They tended to weigh 1800-lbs "dry" and about 2200-lbs "wet".

As in my post above: is this to be an all-weather camper where you expect to both cook and sleep onboard? That is fundamental (and the biggest FE penalty) as glorified car camping (modified minivan, for instance) with a tent is highly FE-concious by comparison.

A "pop-up" trailer, or HI-LO, is the best place, IMO, to compare moho versus trailer if one is genuinely concerned about en-route fuel economy for an all-weather camper. A CASITA, also (and likely the best value as a TDI Rabbit can be made to pull one).


.

GreenHornet 04-09-2013 11:20 AM

Hey Slowmover,

Thanks for all the useful advice and pointers :thumbup:

My thought for this was to build a scratchbuilt RV from the ground up. This way I could tailor it exactly for not only our needs but for best fuel economy and comfort as well.

We would use it to travel the entire North America and most likely down to the Panama Canal! Who knows we may also venture into South America with it as well.

Since we would be spending a lot of time in it we would need it to be fully established so bathroom, kitchen, living area would most likely be preferred. I know this is what my wife would want so if I am going to do it I would like to make her happy and comfortable.

slowmover 04-10-2013 10:50 AM

There are examples of "scratch-built" out there. Ranging from folks who take an existing trailer shell (AIRSTREAM), to truly from-the-ground-up.

While the work and craftsmanship is, at times, mind-bendlingly good (and some just pedestrian) everyone has to work with the same constraints. Space is a bigger problem to arrange over weight (and more important, overall shape).

Thus the recommendation on "dissection". Dimensions, first.

Re-inventing the wheel (trying to do better what professional engineers and designers have done for decades) usually comes up short. I would assume it, in fact, that compromises in one direction lead unerringly to shortcomings in another. The evidence is apparent given some experience with which to read some of the blogs and threads.

RV's are duration-limited according to water capacity. And are fairly well impossible without propane. Space to sleep, and the ability to cook. All else is detail (and of minor consequence by comparison).

Where re-supply on a daily basis is possible, then fuel to move the vehicle can be minimized. Past 48-hours or so is where the difficulties start to arise. System size[s] and complexity.

Look forward to what you come up with.

On this site (in other threads) are some examples also worth noting, among them, ULTRAVAN.

.

War_Wagon 04-10-2013 01:53 PM

I don't know if you folks have seen them in your areas, but around here a lot of the UPS trucks are hydrids. UPS Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fleet - UPS Pressroom

That has the possibility to be a good start for a conversion vehicle as it's big enough, though I have no idea as to the details of the drivetrain. Might be something to look into. :snail:

Edit: judging from the picture, I am thinking they are built by Eaton. http://www.eaton.com/Eaton/ProductsS...ons/index.htm#

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 04-11-2013 01:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by War_Wagon (Post 365995)
I don't know if you folks have seen them in your areas, but around here a lot of the UPS trucks are hydrids. UPS Hybrid Electric Vehicle Fleet - UPS Pressroom

That has the possibility to be a good start for a conversion vehicle as it's big enough, though I have no idea as to the details of the drivetrain. Might be something to look into. :snail:

Edit: judging from the picture, I am thinking they are built by Eaton. Hybrid Applications

Finding a retired hybrid UPS truck might be still hard. BTW Hino also offers a hybrid truck back there...

GreenHornet 08-26-2013 01:33 AM

Hey gang,

Well I purchased a 1977 12 seat Dodge Sportsman the other day. You could say it was an impulse buy. We have been talking about getting a larger vehicle for years and I finally decided the time was right. The van had been sitting in a barn for over 12 years. It was a single owner van with only 56K miles on the drivetrain. I got it for $750 which is not bad considering the Dana 60 rear end can often fetch a higher price than that!

So after a solid hour playing with the carb my friend and I got the fuel up the lines and into the engine. Once we got it there the engine idled as if it was new off the lot. We opened up the valve cover to peer into the engine and much to our astonishment the engine was cleaner than just about any used engine we had ever seen.

So now that I got this 4,600lb beast what the heck am I gonna do with it?

Although this is not my ideal RV candidate it would make a solid family hauler for extended road trips. I have a good sized family and we often go camping so in this sense it makes for a great vehicle for my family needs. I did a little research and did come across several Sportsman RV converts so the RV possibility is there if desired. However the more I look at it the more I envision something completely different.

I tend to think the Sportsman makes a much better candidate for a modern streamliner than an RV! The thought of creating a modern streamliner with the ability to seat 12 comfortably is quite enticing to say the least.

The first modifications will most likely be an engine and transmission swap.

The stock engine is a 360 V8 with an A-727 3 speed transmission. This combo with the Dana 60 rear end nets a combined 12mpg!

If it was you what would be your engine and transmission swap choice for the Sportsman?

GH :-)

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 08-26-2013 04:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenHornet (Post 387182)
If it was you what would be your engine and transmission swap choice for the Sportsman?

I'd probably get some.. guess what.. 4-cylinder turbodiesel :D

Either the Cummins 4BT or some Japanese one such as the Isuzu 4BD1-T, altough Hino also had some interesting engines into its cabovers. Regarding the transmission, I would probably not disconsider a manual 5-speed, probably an NV4500 if I couldn't get a ZF.

Jasen 08-26-2013 04:35 AM

JB3 is finishing up his diesel chevy Astro conversion. So far he's showing 7-10 mpg increase over what the gas v6 would get.

GreenHornet 08-26-2013 11:12 PM

Hey CR,

The 4BT Cummings would be interesting and keep it inline with Dodge fans. Being that its mechanical a swap would be a piece of cake so to speak. I think it weighs close to the 360 V8 but offers much more low end torque. I know the Dana 60 rear end would not have an issue with it. I would just need to find a suitable transmission. Peaking around the net a bit I found several in the 1,700-2,200 price range so not to bad on the wallet either. I think realistic fuel economy with this option would be somewhere around 28-30mpg if the aero was on point and the correct gearing is chosen. Not bad for a 1 ton 12 passenger van. I think my only complaint with the 4BT and this is common is the heavy vibration at idle these engines exhibit. Other than that I could definitely see a 4BT in the Sportsman Van.

GH :thumbup:

GreenHornet 08-26-2013 11:26 PM

8 Attachment(s)
Here are some Van Streamliner pics I ran across while surfing the net for body style ideas!

GreenHornet 08-26-2013 11:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jasen (Post 387218)
JB3 is finishing up his diesel chevy Astro conversion. So far he's showing 7-10 mpg increase over what the gas v6 would get.

Hey Jasen,

I checked out JB3 Astro Van project and I think its great. I especially like the fact he utilized a manual T5 transmission with the Mercedes engine. I am a big fan of these transmissions and will utilize them in my TIGON hybrid car projects. With some tweaks he should be able to get over 30mpg soon. Thanks for introducing me to his project.

GH :)

a8ksh4 08-27-2013 12:01 AM

I wish there were a 2BT or 3BT cummins motor available in the states...

Has anyone ever though about chopping the top of their van and sloping it down to sort of boat-tail? I'd bet that one of the already-efficient sprinters would see a few more mpg by tapering the top down by a couple ft to the back. Not to mention wheel covers and underbody stuff.

GreenHornet 08-27-2013 12:21 AM

Yes as a matter of fact and that was one of the main reasons I chose the Dodge Sportsman. It is a body over frame design as such lends itself nicely to body modifications. Many different RV builds were designed off this chassis so lots can be modified here.

There is a smaller Cummings 4BT a little less known than the 3.9L it is the 3.3L. They are also making a 2.8L currently which is supposed to go in light duty trucks.

GreenHornet 08-27-2013 12:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a8ksh4 (Post 387394)
I wish there were a 2BT or 3BT cummins motor available in the states...

Has anyone ever though about chopping the top of their van and sloping it down to sort of boat-tail? I'd bet that one of the already-efficient sprinters would see a few more mpg by tapering the top down by a couple ft to the back. Not to mention wheel covers and underbody stuff.

I think a modern streamliner would be cool with a diesel micro hybrid drivetrain. Although I really want to put a Cummings in the Van I have all ready designed up a micro hybrid based 1.9L TDI for the TIGON project. If I modified the engine with a hybrid VNT turbo and some other mods I could easily surpass the stock 360 V8 torque and horsepower ratings. This engine design would easily push me over 30mpg and give me all the torque I would need for passenger and light duty towing scenarios. The engine also weighs much less at around 420lbs compared to the 750lbs Cummings 4BT. I could also use the T5 transmission which I have all ready and have planned to use with various TIGON models. The more I think about it the more I am tempted! With the TDI and T5 I could probably get the Van curb weight under 4,000lbs which would greatly enhance performance and keep it more inline with what the VW engine is more used to pushing around. It is hard to imagine a 12 passenger vehicle under 4,000lbs but it could be done with a composite shell and careful major component selections.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 08-27-2013 02:28 AM

Last year I went to a New Holland tractors dealer and saw an engine that is basically a 3-cylinder version of the Cummins 4BT. Wouldn't be my choice for a Sportsman, but if it wasn't so high it could fit an Asian forward-control van nicely...


Quote:

Originally Posted by GreenHornet (Post 387397)
There is a smaller Cummings 4BT a little less known than the 3.9L it is the 3.3L. They are also making a 2.8L currently which is supposed to go in light duty trucks.

The B3.3 is actually a Komatsu engine, while both the B3.9 (4BT) and the ISF2.8 are real Cummins-designed engines. The B-series was co-developed with Case for use in agricultural machinery, while the F-series (both the high-speed 2.8L and the low-speed 3.8L) were co-developed with Foton and are made in China. The ISF2.8 can lead to a decent performance as much as a gasser V6 would, while the ISF3.8 is a better replacement for a V8 gasser. It's also lighter than a B-series.

SoobieOut 06-24-2014 03:05 AM

Read a good post about a woman living in her Prius. She has found some creative ways to turn it into a single person RV of sorts.

Great idea for someone traveling alone and needs to travel many miles for minimal costs. I especially like the part where the Prius can start and stop the engine as needed for heating and A/C when parked.

http://www.cheaprvliving.com/other-c.../living-prius/

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 06-24-2014 10:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MorphDaCivic (Post 431649)
Read a good post about a woman living in her Prius.

I have seen some pictures of a Prius converted into an RV, with the rear hatch replaced with a module similar to those Toppola used in old Saabs.

freebeard 07-09-2014 02:31 PM

I have a utility van/camper interior in my VW Superbeetle. So far it includes a 6ft rack, large Koolatron fridge, curtain rods but no curtains, speakers with 1/8" jack (working on an amp), solar panel under the backlight, and... a compass?

http://ecomodder.com/forum/member-fr...ocalmotive.jpg

This would fit a Dodge as well as the VW. Basically it's an airfoil bumper to lower the stagnation point, a boattail for the rear, and a stripe in the paint to connect the two.

freebeard 03-25-2017 10:37 PM

Replying to myself again. [mutter, mutter]

But I was looking for somewhere to post this and it is on topic. Elsewhere there is a thread about a modern equivalent to the Beetle for light weight, but this is about RVing.

Just A Car Guy: Nick made his own camper from his Honda Element (cheaper and more reliable than an old VW van)

Parallels to a VW camper include the rock-and-roll bed and double side doors; but I was struck by the side-sliding cabinet door that allows for the bike handlebar, and the outdoor sink that addresses slowmover's concern. Sorta.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-x-OtwPXo9...werewwww44.JPG

As for the hybrid part, a watercooled 20hp alternator is apparently the easy way.

cRiPpLe_rOoStEr 03-31-2017 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by freebeard (Post 537076)
As for the hybrid part, a watercooled 20hp alternator is apparently the easy way.

I'd rather use some Euro minivan such as the Renault Kangoo or the Fiat Dobl currently available in America as Ram ProMaster City instead of the Honda Element, but it doesn't seem to be so bad at all.

Anyway, maybe the hybrid setup seems to be even more beneficial in an RV since it would eventually render a genset unnecessary.


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