What do you think of the Advanced RV Sprinter?

pattonsr

New member
Diamondsea,

You said the engine starts and then switches from regular idle to the fast idle. How does the automatic engine start module turn on fast idle?

I believe Advanced RV orders a fixed fast idle and not the adjustable fast idle. Do you have any information on whose automatic engine start module Advanced RV uses?

What determines when the engine is shut down? Would it run for more than two hours if you are gone for the day?

As you can see, I have more questions than answers on how using the engine as a battery charger works. The Roadtrek E-Trek says they have an additional generator or is it a second alternator to make charging of batteries easy and fast. But they won't provide any detail on how it works.

The Advanced RV is relying solely on the engine alternator at 220 amps. Do you know how the house battery bank is connected to the starting battery? They told me they are not using a device like the Sterling ProAlt C. But I have not found out what they are using or how they know how many amps are flowing since they do not use a battery monitor with a shunt to measure SOC.

Barry
 

Diamondsea

New member
Barry --

Your questions are getting past my level of knowledge as I have put my trust in Mike at Advanced. My guess is that you should ask them and post what you find out here as others might be interested. I admit that I am taking a small level of risk by being on the leading edge of Class B technology. Mike seems to have an impressive level of successful engineering over some years in his other current business. I will say that I talked with a Roadtrek factory person at an RV show about their electric version and I was not impressed by their approach.
 

pattonsr

New member
Diamondsea,

The Advanced Rv approach seems to be a subset of the Roadtrek approach. Both are relying on the Sprinter engine to replace a propane or diesel generator.

I hope you post with your actual experiences with the Advanced RV. I have not seen any posts of real world experiences with a Roadtrek electric or an Advanced RV.

Barry
 

Davydd

Active member
My impression and knowledge is Advanced RV (and Great West Vans) was working on all electrical systems sans propane long before Roadtrek's E-Trek. I wouldn't call them a subset.

With 47,000 miles on my current 2011 Great West Van, only 10.5 hours on my propane generator and running my air conditioner maybe three times now at the most over 300 days on the road, I suspect worrying how the Advanced RV would work would not be a major concern for me. It might even be overkill with my use habits and trip planning following optimum weather.
 

georgelesley

New member
We own a ERA 70A sprinter. We just had the screen door option installed by Advanced RV and a rear door screen as well. We also had a pull out pantry built and installed in the kitchen area where a cushion we never will use was stored. Also had a better converter charger installed. The work was top notch in all respects. Mike and his crew could not be nicer to work with.

Their RV is beyond our budget, but if it were not, it would be in our future.

Mike also has a very successful smoke stack scrubber business that has been around a long time. With his approach to business and the way he treats people he has virtually NO employee turnover. I expect he will be around a long time.
 

MWarren

2015.5 Unity CB
George, we got a 70A Era in January. Can you give us a ballpark figure for the sliding screen door from Advanced RV. Since they have put one on your Era maybe the next time will be easier for them. They quoted me a $2,000 figure 6 months ago. Thanks.
 

gregowski

Member
I've seen pictures of the Advanced RV models and they certainly look like they have a very high level of build quality. But $2K for fitting a screen door? I was told by someone who saw the Advanced RV models at the January Tampa show that a number of builders had the same screen door solution, it's made by Phantom Screens and various models are sold at Home Depot, as well as at least one lower-end competitor, ODL retractable screens.

http://www.phantomscreens.com/products/do-it-yourself/screen-it-again/monarch/

Greg
 

georgelesley

New member
George, we got a 70A Era in January. Can you give us a ballpark figure for the sliding screen door from Advanced RV. Since they have put one on your Era maybe the next time will be easier for them. They quoted me a $2,000 figure 6 months ago. Thanks.
We were quoted $2300, or less than 2500 for sure. I think they might be a bit higher after doing ours. It involved more tedious fitting than they first thought. Mike did stick to his quote.

Cost be damned, we couldn't be happier with the result. One minor suggestion. I put open cell foam wx stripping on the inside of the door on the outside of the lower cabinet. There was a fair sized gap all around ours, big enough for some small bugs to get in. I did put some caulk around where their install curved to fit the van side just behind the stove area. I actually used the black silly putty type stuff that electricians use to seal house entry points. Not even visible.

We had a few other things done, let me know if you would like to hear about them.
 

georgelesley

New member
I've seen pictures of the Advanced RV models and they certainly look like they have a very high level of build quality. But $2K for fitting a screen door? I was told by someone who saw the Advanced RV models at the January Tampa show that a number of builders had the same screen door solution, it's made by Phantom Screens and various models are sold at Home Depot, as well as at least one lower-end competitor, ODL retractable screens.

http://www.phantomscreens.com/products/do-it-yourself/screen-it-again/monarch/

Greg
It is not as simple as it seems. Basically they are fitting a rectangular door into a curved, irregular opening. Much hand sewing goes into the screen that seals the rest of the opening not sealed by the screen door, as well as custom made and fitted wood and trim pieces. It all depends how you want the finished product to look. I could have gotten one of the sprinter store screens for much less. Not nearly as easy to use or as neat to look at. Good, custom work is expensive. Could we have saved money getting it done some where else or doing it ourselves, probably. We are at the point in our lives where we just wanted it done right, quick, and easy. Our feeling is that this is our last RV, and we will enjoy this quality work every trip we take in the RV the rest of our days.
 
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Davydd

Active member
I've seen pictures of the Advanced RV models and they certainly look like they have a very high level of build quality. But $2K for fitting a screen door? I was told by someone who saw the Advanced RV models at the January Tampa show that a number of builders had the same screen door solution, it's made by Phantom Screens and various models are sold at Home Depot, as well as at least one lower-end competitor, ODL retractable screens.

http://www.phantomscreens.com/products/do-it-yourself/screen-it-again/monarch/

Greg
Great West Van came out with the side sliding retractable screen door in 2008 with the second generation Sprinter model. No one else offered it in the Sprinter Bs until Advanced RV in 2012. LTV Free Spirit SS now has one but I don't think the LTV Free Spirit does. That's it as far as I know unless there are some recent developments.

It is a little more involved than just filling a nice rectangular opening like a standard door. The Sprinter opening is a curved opening. Door jambs and headers have to be custom built to fit and in the case of GWVan, ERA 70a and Advanced RV, a sidelite screen has to be custom built and framed in with the kitchen counter. Sure, the screens can be had and I don't know what the raw cost would be to an individual, but I doubt with the exception of an experienced woodworker could do it himself, let alone in a day's time. So, until some individual comes forward with that do it yourself experience it is speculation whether Advanced RV is too expensive. Right now it is the only game in town if you want one for an ERA, LTV FS, Airstream, Pleasure-way, Sportsmobile and Roadtrek and not attempt to DIY.

Edit. I find no Phantom retractable screen door sold by Home Depot.
 
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Davydd

Active member
Both the Free Spirits now offer the screen according to the 2014 Free Spirit video released yesterday

-Randy
Watched that video. LTV makes a good B in the free Spirit. Lots of refinements for 2014. The screen appears to be the same as the Free Spirt SS in that it covers the full opening rather than stop at the kitchen counter. However, during the whole video the sliding door seems to stop short in opening rather than open fully. I'm not sure I like that if that is the case.

The other cue they finally picked up on was to put the electric sofa on side rails to give full unimpeded storage underneath.

Getting back on topic, Advanced RV would still be my choice over the LTV Free Spirit.
 

georgelesley

New member
Watched that video. LTV makes a good B in the free Spirit. Lots of refinements for 2014. The screen appears to be the same as the Free Spirt SS in that it covers the full opening rather than stop at the kitchen counter. However, during the whole video the sliding door seems to stop short in opening rather than open fully. I'm not sure I like that if that is the case.

The other cue they finally picked up on was to put the electric sofa on side rails to give full unimpeded storage underneath.

Getting back on topic, Advanced RV would still be my choice over the LTV Free Spirit.
I will say though Dave that we liked the small table LTV now offers that slides side to side. We are looking into getting one for our ERA and replacing the large on that goes in the front which we find too big.
 

Uncle Dave

2013 3500
For many years Sprinter has offered a fast idle option to facilitate charging without building up carbon in the engine. The standard alternator is now 220 amps. The engine starts and then switches from regular idle to the fast mode. Advanced offers up to six batteries as well as the big inverter being standard. AGMs are standard, lithium batteries are an option. The air conditioner is a 15,000 BTU soft start (reduced initial current surge) model.

No propane. Heat is via an Espar that heats glycol stored in a tank that is also heated electrically if shore power is available (a diesel generator is an option). Domestic hot water is instant via a coil in the always hot tank. Coach space heat is from this system. To keep your toes comfy there is an option of a heated floor also!

Hello Diamondsea,

Hope things are going well with your new RV.

Question sir,

When you mention a diesel generator was an option, did you get any clarity on that?

There seems to be some fuzziness and differing of opinion on wether this was/is offered by Advanced RV - or that they have ever built a unit with one.
I thought I recalled a video where Mike mentioned it was an optional but maybe not.

Thanks.


UD
 

Diamondsea

New member
My Advanced RV was built at my request with only the standard engine alternator as I have no need to run A/C when off the grid. I think that they are built now with a large second alternator on the engine dedicated to charging house batteries via a separate multi-stage smart charger. AGM and lithium batteries are available in various sizes. Automatic engine start and advanced to fast idle provides unattended charging. They are continuing to advance the state of the art so I suggest that anyone interested contact them.
 

Davydd

Active member
DiamondSea,

EcOasis: Electrical Power and Charging System

Advanced RV does mention the second alternator as in engine alternators in their EcOasis write up for off-grid capability. Also this article did briefly allude to installing a propane generator if desired. Mike N said the second alternator was a standard now. There is no mention of a diesel generator. Uncle Dave was asking because of your original quote saying a diesel generator was an option.

I've requested casual use of air conditioning such as stopping for lunch with the cat in the van. We think 4 lithium batteries along with solar will cover that and would probably let us live off-grid indefinitely and have full AC electrical (coffee pot, induction cooktop, microwave, outlets) use of our B without, of course, the constant air conditioning. We don't plan to use our air conditioning much or travel in climates that would require it. If we did, shore power would be sought. Last week we were in 90 degree weather and the ceiling Fantastic (MaxxAir) fan with 5 vented windows did the job during a lunch stop. We are going with auto start and no propane generator. We will be getting that second alternator but I am still not sure how it functions in the setup.
 

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