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Old 03-11-2015, 06:26 PM   #1
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Class A Hybrid

Not that I have the wherewithal to buy one, but I think that it is about time the major manufacturers came out with Class A electric hybrids. It only makes sense. Equip them with a huge battery bank for regenerative braking (no more engine brake needed), extra power for climbing, coach power when camping etc. They could also have large solar arrays to help keep it charged up. Seems like it would be a natural fit, but I do not see anything like this on the horizon. Any comments?
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:34 PM   #2
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There goes your wife's storage space.......
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:39 PM   #3
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Larry and Cheryl,

I am in total agreement with you - a Gas/Electric or Diesel/Electric Hybrid RV would be an incredible platform...and it was being marketed just before the 2008 economy bust and the 2009 collapse of the RV market

Freightliner is still publishing about it on their website:
MB-HEV Chassis
And other chassis makers are making Hybrid chassis for delivery trucks too.


Was discussed on iRV2 here:
FCCC ecoFRED Ready For Production
and here:
40% Better Fuel Economy - HYBRID Class A?


Our 3,700lb Hybrid SUV is still going strong with 135,000miles on the odometer now, demonstrating the capability of Hybrid drives and still getting an average of 32mpg...wish it would come back to the RV world.


Safe travels
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:50 PM   #4
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Dare not find any flaws with "Eco-friendly" solutions in this politically correct world of ours but still think we are about one generation away from a Hybrid that off-sets the negative impact of manufacturing and disposal of the current options for storage batteries--but someday.....
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:04 PM   #5
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I think the cost and weight of the batteries would negate any advantage on long distance RVing. How many folks would spend $200k extra to get a boost up the first five miles on a Colorado hill? And after the first five miles of downhill, the batteries would be fully charged and no more regenerative braking. And that is before you talk about losing all your underfloor storage.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:15 PM   #6
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I also think we are at least a generation away. They have some city buses and delivery trucks now but the amount of space the battery bank eats up for the relatively small gains you would realize just do not make sense. And the factory they make the batteries in would be a massive Superfund site if it was in the US. There is precious little that is "green" about Hybrids but with fuel cell technology in the next few years there may be a real chance.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:38 PM   #7
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$200,000 extra, just for the Hybrid drive!?
A company named XL Hybrid will modify a Class 2-4 chassis right now for about $10,000...and that is a modification, so wasteful compared to OEM.
The OEM price for a Hybrid chassis could be even more inviting.

Except for Prius buyers, the anti-Hybrid sentiment has all but killed Hybrids in the US market - and that's too bad.

And BTW, Hybrid vehicle batteries are recycled (a controlled system for auto dismantlers) - and - on descents, the motor charges the battery using regenerative braking - and once the battery is charged, there is no loss of braking as the excess voltage is released though induction in the system - like the Welcome To TELMA USA Driveline Braking system.

Safe travels
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:16 AM   #8
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Actually, I think the $200k is probably on the low considering the cost of batteries. A replacement battery for a Tesla was quoted at $30,000. Even a gas motorhome runs up to 25,000 pounds, so roughly 5 times the weight of a Tesla. Five times $30k will be about $150k, plus you add 4000 pounds of dead weight. And that is before you add the electric motors and associated hardware.
Hybrids do best in a stop-and-go environment, where regenerative braking and engine shut-downs at traffic lights make a decent mileage improvement. A good example is the Chevy Volt, which does great in town, but on the highway, the Volt mileage is bested by several non-hybrids. I'm not aware of any RVers that do a lot of stop-and-go driving, so a hybrid drivetrain would not make any sense.
As far as electromagnetic braking, if potential/kinetic energy is converted to electrical energy, that energy has to go someplace. If it is converted to heat, it would need a massive heat sink.
The so-called anti-hybrid sentiment stems from the fact that the Prius is not very good as far as cars go--not a single car magazine has been complementary towards the Prius on it's handling, braking, etc. The majority of car buyers buy cars on criteria other than mileage.
Bottom line: Hybrids are great for in-town, not so good for long distance, and RVs fall in the latter category.
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Old 03-12-2015, 12:41 AM   #9
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I would disagree re hybrids are only good in town, not so good for long distance. We have a Toyota Camry Hybrid and took a 5000 mile trip to Mt Rushmore and back taking many scenic drives and side trips thru Colorado/Utah on the trip. Overall we averaged 44 mpg on the trip. That was figured by both the onboard computer as well as me doing the actual math. It also had plenty of power and no problems going up/down the grades in the Rocky Mountains.


I really think the hybrid MH is in the near future and the cost won't be as expensive as people think. On a $28k car the hybrid was about 4K more, due to the battery cost for the most part. Do the math on a $300k MH it may only be about $40-45k more. Maybe I'm being optimistic, but the batteries are being built better and cheaper in cost as the years go by and they get the system down better.
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:43 AM   #10
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problem with this is when it gets cold ,you cant go the same distance ,just ask anybody with a electric car how far they can go in the winter
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Old 03-12-2015, 08:57 AM   #11
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Electric power is most beneficial in stop & go driving - it's tough to beat a big internal combustion engine for highway cruising in a large vehicle (lots of wind resistance). It seems, though, that smaller IC engines could be used if there was an electric assist for hill climbing and standing starts. Not clear there is a lot of $$ advantage in doing that, though. A 200 hp engine + a 100 hp electric motor (with batteries) is probably quite a bit more costly than a 300-400hp engine alone. I doubt if there would ever be enough operating cost savings to make it worthwhile, so there would have to be "eco" reasons as well.

And the range of electric hydrids is still limited. Those much better batteries remain elusive.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:53 AM   #12
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It seems country coach was doing some engineering work for one.

Not sure where that went.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike and Cha View Post
I would disagree re hybrids are only good in town, not so good for long distance. We have a Toyota Camry Hybrid and took a 5000 mile trip to Mt Rushmore and back taking many scenic drives and side trips thru Colorado/Utah on the trip. Overall we averaged 44 mpg on the trip. T
The flaw in your logic is that your car's good highway fuel economy isn't due to it having a large battery and electric motor, but other optimizations made for fuel economy.

For a car, hybrids make sense. For a vehicle that does only long drives, not so much. A better solution would be turbo-compounding, which is just starting to show up on long haul trucks.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:38 AM   #14
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Here's an example by Winnebago, from 2009. Go to the bottom to see the MSRP$$$ Not sure if they sold any, but here is what you asked for.
EcoFred Winnebago Adventurer For Sale
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