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Old 09-09-2007, 10:03 AM   #1
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My wife and I are planning to buy a new motorhome real soon and are looking at the 2008 Essex. We are fulltimers considering an all electric coach. We would greatly appreciate any pros and cons on the following items we are trying to justify on the Essex.

1) Powered house window shades.
2) Electric heat for the tile floors.
3) AGM battery option
4) Vorad Collision Avoidance System (front)
5) Security System

Any opinions and comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:03 AM   #2
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My wife and I are planning to buy a new motorhome real soon and are looking at the 2008 Essex. We are fulltimers considering an all electric coach. We would greatly appreciate any pros and cons on the following items we are trying to justify on the Essex.

1) Powered house window shades.
2) Electric heat for the tile floors.
3) AGM battery option
4) Vorad Collision Avoidance System (front)
5) Security System

Any opinions and comments would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:17 AM   #3
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Gene & Kaye, welcome to iRV2.

We have several Essex owners that will be able to help you with your questions.

As to the AGM batteries, I would get them, as they are superior to conventional batteries.

Keep us posted on your buying process.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:28 AM   #4
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Gene & Kaye:

<UL TYPE=SQUARE>1) Powered house window shades.
2) Electric heat for the tile floors.
3) AGM battery option
4) Vorad Collision Avoidance System (front)
5) Security System[/list]</div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Power window shades are a wonderful option and as such I would do them again...One touch at each window or a theater option closes them all at once...Not certain about theater option on the EXDP, Peter can remind us.
I have granite everywhere but the bedroom and underfloor heat as well. The floor heat keeps the chill off in all but the coldest climate and makes your piggies toasty too!
Another must have...
AGM's with an all electric coach are a no brainer...Chassis batteries will never be AGM's as the cold cranking amps aren't strong enough, but I'd opt for the AGM's.
Vorad Collision Avoidance also comes with "smart cruise" which I LOVE!!
I set the distance I want to be behind a vehicle with the range button and it keeps me there....If a car pulls into that zone and slows, the smart cruise slows accordingly. If the car pulls into that zone and continues to accelerate away, there's no change.
All I do is steer!
The security system works like any other car alarm for the most part, except there is also a pager that you can wear that will alert you to an alarm if you're within say the confines of a campground....Also works like a "call button" if someone in your coach is looking for you, but with cell phones, they'd probably just call you anyway....
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:33 AM   #5
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Gene & Kaye,
Welcome to iRV2 and the Newmar corner. Get the AGM batteries.
1. it is one less thing to worry about or do (no water to put in the batteries).
2. AGM batteries require a different charger than water filled batteries. One might as well get them, at time of manufacturer, and have the correct charger installed by the factory.

Once you take delivery of the EXDP, consider joining the Newmar Kountry Klub (NKK). It is sponsored by the manufacturer. There are many different events one can participate in as well as local chapters. A great bunch of folks belong to the Klub.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:53 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum Gene and Kaye. My opinion is as follows.

1) I have them. They are great. Much better quality than the manual and are like the Hunter Douglas type that are veiled and open after they are full extended. They work well. I would never go back to manual.

2) I have it. Great. 3 zone all programmable for time and temperature. Good for normal mornings and for operating in cooler weather. Requires the full ceramic tile option(all but bedroom). Zones do livingroom, kitchen and bathroom.

3) I don't have them. Wish I did. All electric coaches work their batteries harder than normal causing lead acid fill batteries to be very messy. If mine don't clean up soon I'm going to replace them with AGM.

4) I don't have it. I was told it was an anoyance more than anything else. I have heard good things too. Your call, or perhaps another member can shed better light on that one.

5) I've got it. Very touchy. So touchy I rarely use it. If you really want to save a few bucks, don't go for it. If money is no object, get it.

Things you MUST oder, but may not think so.

A) Extra bedroom mounted touch screen. It is far easier to use and is actually user friendly. This is a definate.

B) The Girard awnings. While they are expensive theey are worth it. The coach was designed for them and Girard awnings are lifetime garranteed.

C) Power basement slideouts. These two way power trays make basement retreival easy. In my mind well worth it.

D) Spartan OEM Smarttire tire monitor. It monitors each tire in real time for both pressure and temperature. It can be checked via TripTek, or if readings fall or climb out of range, it will alarm and display immediately.

E) This may not be a must have but, the optional remote rear camera ordered along with the standard will give you two rear cameras. Add an additional in dash monitor will give you both side view and rear when passing. This is much better and also similar to the King Aire standard equipment.

There may be more. I hope this is of some help or at least entertainment for you.

Peter
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:25 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the replies. This is great information and my wife and I have a lot to think about.

Peter, you mentioned the Girard awnings. I guess I assumed that the Essex comes standard with these Girard awnings. On the Standard sheet it says Girard Power Bedroom and Slideout Window Awnings. Also the standard includes the Integrated Girard Power Box Side Awning and a Girard Power Front Entrance Door Awning. Is there some other awning I shoud consider? Is the large integrated side awning a wind sensor type?

Thanks, Gene
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:35 PM   #8
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There are usually two awnings up there, this seems to mention one and I can find no mention of the rear one anywhere...confusing.

WINDOWS, AWNINGS & VENTS-Standard
"˘ Girard® Power Bedroom and Slideout
Window Awnings
Integrated Girard® Power Box Side Awning
"˘ Girard® Power Front Entrance Door Awning
"˘ Slideout Awning Covers
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Old 09-09-2007, 01:43 PM   #9
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Gene, As Bob says, it is confussing. The EXDP for '07 came stanard with power awnings, CareFree, I think. For all Girard it was an additional $9,000 or so. Anyway, it is worth specifically inquiring to assure you know what you will get.

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Old 09-10-2007, 04:26 AM   #10
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Gene,
I hope you have closely looked at your fulltiming plans and really want the all electric rig. Some fulltimers really like the option of drycamping or using some of the state, national, or COE parks that have limited hookups. Some of the most beautiful places we visit do not have full hookups and 50amp power. Having the propane frig and cooking allows us to use many camping / traveling options without the excessive use of the genset. We can be "off the post" and only need to run the genset for several hours every 2 days.

And be careful with axle weights and real cargo capacity by axle. You may get a rig with an advertised 3,500 lbs of CCC but find out an axle is at max before you load your fulltiming gear.
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:38 AM   #11
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Hopefully iRV2 member "RVDude" will check in here soon as he's traveling and doing some boondocking himself in his brand new Essex.

I'd suspect he'd be an excellent source for some boondocking comments...
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:48 AM   #12
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We have an all electric 07 Essex with AGM's and love the coach. We dry camp a fair amount. Last month we spent 5 days at the Central PA Auto Auction with no hookups. One day didn't run genset at all. Next couple of days ran it 2 hours in A.M. and 2 in P.M. Just as easy to dry camp in the all electric Essex as the old coach.

You don't need to spec. a different charger for AGM's but you or the factory will have to go into the preferences in the energy management system and tell it you have x number of AGM's. If you don't the charge profile will be slower.
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:15 AM   #13
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Dick, Any idea what it costs to replace 8 six volt wet cells with 8 AGM's? Perhaps Lane will chirp in as he did it recently, but maybe only 6 batteries.

Peter
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Old 09-10-2007, 07:23 AM   #14
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I was quoted a price recently from a Newmar dealer in FL for 8 AGM ( remove, replace and reprogram) at $2,000-$2200 depending on the time required.
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