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Old 10-02-2013, 03:12 AM   #22
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Southeastern Virginia
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Default Re: New Advanced RV Being Built

I write this Tuesday evening after two days at the factory. I drove the new rig away this afternoon.

First -- to answer questions that have been asked: The batteries are Concord Lifeline Model 31XT. I have 4 AGMs. To run air conditioning off the batteries probably requires 6 lithium batteries as they can be, I think, more deeply discharged without shorting life.. The refrigerator is a Nova Cool RFU 6800 12 VDC 2-door with the freezer on the bottom. Each compartment has its own evaporator plate but there is only one temperature control which is in the top fridge compartment. I purchased two refrigerator thermometers. After a few hours running the fridge part was at the correct temperature but the freezer was about 25F but not down to a desired 10F. The freezer was completely empty and that may have been the problem.

The two days at the factory were intense. Although I had pre-studied some manuals and although I am familiar with the Sprinters the learning curve for this old man was and still is steep. All the folks were fantastic and everyone who was needed was available for as much time as I needed. Mike (the "leader") and technical/production people of all skills were available to tutor me. No one minded if I asked the same question more than once. The item most difficult to master is the Silver Leaf computer/control touch screen system that runs everything. It controls and monitors (with alarms settable for all desired levels) things like batteries, tank levels, climate controls (air conditioning/heat) --- you name it, Silver Leaf runs it! Automatic water tank fill was an interesting feature. The neatest thing is the automatic engine start with advance to fast idle for running the 220 amp alternator. At the moment Mercedes is limiting that to 45 minutes at a time, but it can be repeated as necessary. Everything is interlocked via Silver Leaf. For example the engine will not auto start unless the tranny is in park and the parking brake is on. There are many minor systems to master such as outside motion detector photocell lights and six wheel tire monitoring system. The Espar heating/hot water system controlled by Silver Leaf takes some understanding as it is all automatic if desired, but one does not want to run the burner if shore power is available. The built-in shore power "surge protector" analyses the income power for stability for 2.5 minutes before completing the connection!

Several small tweeks and changes were made at my request. I did not want a nav system, but we changed the installed radio to get one that was satellite and iPod ready.

We went for a test drive to a location a few miles away for a photo shoot. On that drive the alarm system started chirping at random times and this had not happened at the factory. It was a mystery but I guess it was the alarm company's tech support that provided the solution. A tiny cable was plugged into the wrong connector on a circuit board. This was basically the only glitch needing troubleshooting to be fixed.

Complete tech manuals have been down loaded onto my computer and given to me in print form. Number one is the Mercedes book. The second is their manual about the Advanced RV including the Silver Leaf and many other systems including check lists. The third is the compilation of all the manuals from suppliers.

There is excitement at Advanced RV as employees have been added and deliveries are being made.

I am tired and am going camping for a couple of days in this area to be near the factory in the event that a problem were to arise. By the way, Advanced maintains a 24/7 hot line that reaches knowledgeable technical help.
2013 Advanced RV
Southeastern Virginia
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