RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 10-26-2018, 03:14 PM   #1
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 907
Observations on a new 2018 Fuse

My wife and I just returned from the shakedown trip for a our new 2018 Fuse and I wanted to take a moment to comment on the RV, both the good, questionable and odd, in case it might help others searching for a new RV. This is not meant as a review, just a collection of observations from our 3 1/2 day trip in a one week old RV.

Many of these observations ar the result of a comparison with our previous 2005 Pleasure-Way Class B RV and hence are probably colored by moving from a small van RV to a small Class C RV and users might want to keep that in mind when reading this post.

GREAT:

1) The coach drives like a dream. The ride is smooth, but not mushy, the RV corners very nicely and mostly stays in place on the highway. Our previous RV used to have its own "wander lust" and sometimes it took an effort to keep it in its own lane. Not so with this Fuse.

2) Fuel economy is pretty good, but I do not know what the right speed for the best fuel economy is. Over a trip of about 1000 miles (Arizona to California and back) we averaged about 16 mpg at about 65 mph. I had hoped for more, but feared it would be less, so I am more than satisfied. Our previous, and lighter, Class B was a gasser and gave us about 13.5-14 mpg overall so it is nice to get better economy with a much larger and heavier RV. The Ford diesel is reasonably quiet, is peppy and runs at about 2100 rpm at 65 mph.

Part of the drive was on back roads through the mountains west of San Diego and I thought that the constant switchbacks and 20 mph turns, speeding up and slowing down and the steep inclines would not do my mileage any favors, and that was true, but the effect was relatively minor with the RV still giving me 15.3 mpg.

3) The solar cells that came with the Fuse (the flexible panels) seemed to give the batteries a surprisingly large constant charge. The panel in the RV that displays the solar current at times showed about 2.4 amps, which seems like a large amount for 2 panels.

NOT SO GREAT:

1) I sometimes wonder at the decisions the engineers apparently made when putting this coach together. Our floor plan is the 23T with the slide out RV queen bed. The slide is at right angles to the rest of the coach and the bedroom has its own TV that is hooked up to the main DVD player at the front of the coach. The problem is that the dvd remote signal can not reach the DVD player when it is used in the bedroom slide because it is infrared and there is no line of sight path from the remote to the player. Thus if someone watching the TV wants to pause, backup, fast forward or otherwise control the DVD player from the bedroom they have to get out of bed, walk to the main area of the RV, press the appropriate buttons, walk back, look at the TV to make sure it worked, and repeat as necessary.

Surely the cost of a second DVD player would have been small and much, much more convenient. Of course this problem would not occur with other floor plans.

2) The refrigerator is really large for a small RV with a very good sized freezer. That is a plus and should be under the GREAT category, but the fridge is 12 volt only and thus draws from either shore power (which is converted to DC for the fridge) or from the batteries. The refrigerator works very well and kept our food much colder than the refrigerator in our old RV but I do not see how this will work for any extended dry camping. One day is probably OK, but an extended 3 or 4 day dry camping spell would seem to be too much for the batteries.

That is conjecture on my part, and the single day dry camping we did still left our batteries showing fully charged, but I do not know if the batteries could hold out for several days without a charge from driving.

ODD:

Some things on the RV just seem odd.

1) The toilet bowl is the largest I have ever seen anywhere, and sits high enough off the ground that my wife, who is 5' 3", says her feet do not touch the floor when she uses it and the seat is so wide she feels like she will fall in.

I looked at it and it is just huge. Perhaps there is a reason, perhaps it is to accommodate some people, but it just seems very, very large.

2) There are 2 outside cabinets that use the lift-up type doors (as compared to the open to the left or right doors), but only one has one of those little plastic handles that keeps the door from falling back down. The one door missing it is the one for the propane tank so when someone is filling the tank someone else has to help hold the door open. I don't seem why they designed it that way.

There are other things to list and my original post had more than a dozen in both the GREAT and NOT SO GREAT categories, but this is probably enough to give people a flavor of what they might expect. All in all we love the coach and are planning our next trip, but I do wonder what they were thinking when they designed some of the amenities in the RV.

Comments welcomed.
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 04:15 PM   #2
Ed & Lynn
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Central Oregon Coast
Posts: 70
A few comments in response:

I will presume that you have the 2018.5 year model as opposed to 2018.0 model. Several changes were made for the 2018.5. One was a new improved refrigerator. Yours is a compressor refrigerator, unlike the 2way or 3way fridges that can run off propane, etc. Your fridge runs solely off battery 12V. It is bigger, more reliable, and does not require the coach be level to run. Additionally, I don’t think it draws enough current from your batteries to be a problem for boondocking. Your solar system should be more than adequate!

Speaking of your solar system, I am a bit confused when you said the panels were the ‘flexible’ type? The ones provided on all the Fuses I have seen were standard 100 W rigid panels....and your 2018.5 model year should have come standard with TWO of those, giving you 200W of solar energy. In full direct sunlight that should be providing about 10 Amps of charge current to your batteries.....and your coach should also have come with TWO batteries. ....more than enough energy to go the night with TV, furnace, and the fridge. That fridge, incidentally, only draws somewhere between 1 and 3 Amps.....WHEN ITS RUNNING. It does NOT run constantly, but like your home fridge, cycles on and off.

Can’t address your toilet issue....mine came with a cheap Thetford plastic one that leaked from day one. We replaced it with a superior Dometic porcelain toilet. I will admit, though, that the toilet height is a bit much for short people. Our Fuse, BTW, is a 23A model.
CoastalEd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2018, 05:00 PM   #3
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoastalEd View Post
A few comments in response:
I will presume that you have the 2018.5 year model as opposed to 2018.0 model. Several changes were made for the 2018.5. One was a new improved refrigerator. Yours is a compressor refrigerator, unlike the 2way or 3way fridges that can run off propane, etc. Your fridge runs solely off battery 12V. It is bigger, more reliable, and does not require the coach be level to run. Additionally, I don’t think it draws enough current from your batteries to be a problem for boondocking. Your solar system should be more than adequate!
Thank you for your response. How would I tell which year model I have?

As for the refrigerator itself, I had a hard time believing how quickly it became cool and how cold it kept the food. My sole concern was with how long the batteries could continue running the refrigerator without plugging into shore power or using the generator.

My concern came from the manual which specifically said that the solar system could not keep the batteries from discharging due to the normal drain on the batteries from the incidentals in the RV - the engine electronics, the smoke detectors and other small drains - so I just assumed that the refrigerator, which must draw more than 2 amps, would be a problem. It is a relief to hear that it should not be a problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoastalEd View Post
A few comments in response:
Speaking of your solar system, I am a bit confused when you said the panels were the ‘flexible’ type? The ones provided on all the Fuses I have seen were standard 100 W rigid panels....and your 2018.5 model year should have come standard with TWO of those, giving you 200W of solar energy. In full direct sunlight that should be providing about 10 Amps of charge current to your batteries.....and your coach should also have come with TWO batteries. ....more than enough energy to go the night with TV, furnace, and the fridge. That fridge, incidentally, only draws somewhere between 1 and 3 Amps.....WHEN ITS RUNNING. It does NOT run constantly, but like your home fridge, cycles on and off.
This was our second choice of an RV. At first my wife wanted a new Class B and we looked at the Era. As I thought we would be buying that I climbed up the ladder and looked at the roof and the 2 rigid solar panels attached to the roof rack so when we decided on the Fuse I again climbed the ladder and looked at the roof. There are 2 flexible solar panels glued to the roof. I was a bit surprised because I thought Winnebago had decided to use all rigid panels due to the heat issues with the flexible ones, but there they were on the roof of the Fuse.

The change is even more of a puzzle to me. The panels presumably provide a 12 volt charge to the batteries and being rated at 100 watts they should provide about an 8 am charge, power being the voltage times the current. But the solar meter clearly shows the amps, ampere-hours and voltage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CoastalEd View Post
A few comments in response:
Can’t address your toilet issue....mine came with a cheap Thetford plastic one that leaked from day one. We replaced it with a superior Dometic porcelain toilet. I will admit, though, that the toilet height is a bit much for short people. Our Fuse, BTW, is a 23A model.
I did not know that Dometic made porcelain toilets for RVs, but knowing that now I think I may have to replace it. My wife is a small woman, 5' 3" and 110 pounds on a good day and the seat is just too big for her. I am about 5' 7" and weigh about 140 pounds and it is big for me as well, although I am not in any danger of falling in. Still only my toes touch the ground when I use it.

The toilet is actually quite nice with a foot pedal for flushing rather than the hand lever in our old RV, but it is really quite big.
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2018, 07:32 PM   #4
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 907
Roof Solar Panels

I went to our RV today to take a photo of the solar panels to post in this thread, and you can see it below. When I climbed to the top of the RV and took a second look at the solar panels I began to wonder if these were really flexible as I thought, of if they were a different kind of rigid panels.

The RV we thought we were going to buy was an Era and the solar panels on its roof were thick, perhaps an inch from front to back, and clearly rigid. They were mounted on the roof rack so air could pass above and below them to keep them cool. These are very thin, perhaps 1/4 inch, and set on the roof itself, but I noticed that they were not really glued, but attached with what look like screws. All of this has made me wonder if I was wrong in saying that they were flexible. They are clearly not the thick rigid panels I had seen, but I am not sure that they are really flexible.

We went to the dealer today and I climbed to the roof of one of the 2019 Fuse models and they have the same type of solar panel as this one. The question is, was I wrong in thinking that these are flexible?

Here is the image:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/jbmmpoukoc...anels.jpg?dl=0
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2018, 11:24 PM   #5
Winnebago Camper
 
charge-it's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 41
Looks like they are indeed flexible. SunPower SPR-E-Flex-100 Flexible 100 watt Solar Panel
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	sunpower-spr-e-flex-100-flexible-100-watt-solar-panel-2594224327.9433670.jpg
Views:	77
Size:	79.4 KB
ID:	170484  
__________________
1999 F53 Chieftain L35U

Picture Posting Guide
charge-it is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2018, 08:23 AM   #6
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by charge-it View Post
Looks like they are indeed flexible. SunPower SPR-E-Flex-100 Flexible 100 watt Solar Panel
Following the link to the description of the solar panels I noticed that they are rated at 5.9 amps. That puzzles me as how can 6 amp panels producing 12 volts be rated at 100 watts? It seems to me that they ought to be rated as 60 watt panels as they is the maximum they are rated at.

I am not trying to be picky, but I just don't see why they are rated at 100 watts.

NEVERMIND:

I read the complete spec and the panels are actually rated at 17.1 volts at 5.9 amps, and that turns out to be 100 watts.
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2018, 05:51 PM   #7
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Sanialabad, Peoples Republik of Canuckistan
Posts: 946
FWIW, the 2018 and newer View/Navion have the same 2 X 100W Zamp/Sunpower flex panels as standard equipment, presumably to provide a little extra charge for the batteries to offset the cumulative draw on the batteries from the various 12V systems, including the fridge. Our fridge is also 12VDC only, and so far our panels (I added the 3rd rooftop panel last summer) and 2 NAPA FLA batteries have had no problem keeping up with the power demand. The panels are screwed down and caulked in place, but there are gaps along the edges of the panels to allow a small amount of clearance underneath, which may allow some airflow, certainly more so when driving than standing still.
I plan on upgrading the stock batteries to lithium, when these batteries wear out.
Winterbagoal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 10:09 AM   #8
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
FWIW, the 2018 and newer View/Navion have the same 2 X 100W Zamp/Sunpower flex panels as standard equipment, presumably to provide a little extra charge for the batteries to offset the cumulative draw on the batteries from the various 12V systems, including the fridge. Our fridge is also 12VDC only, and so far our panels (I added the 3rd rooftop panel last summer) and 2 NAPA FLA batteries have had no problem keeping up with the power demand. The panels are screwed down and caulked in place, but there are gaps along the edges of the panels to allow a small amount of clearance underneath, which may allow some airflow, certainly more so when driving than standing still.
I plan on upgrading the stock batteries to lithium, when these batteries wear out.
Do you do a lot of dry camping? Or do you mostly have electric hookups where you go?

I have been looking into adding a 3rd panel (and hence all of the posts as I try to figure out what to do) but am really uncertain as to whether or not I need a 3rd panel. Adding one myself (if I don't break the RV) should be relatively inexpensive and I don't mind spending $250-$300 or so to do that, but having a local shop do it means adding $1000 to that total and, in that case, I need to be sure it is money worth spending.

What current do you normally find your batteries are drawing?
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 12:40 PM   #9
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Sanialabad, Peoples Republik of Canuckistan
Posts: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMike View Post
Do you do a lot of dry camping? Or do you mostly have electric hookups where you go?

I have been looking into adding a 3rd panel (and hence all of the posts as I try to figure out what to do) but am really uncertain as to whether or not I need a 3rd panel. Adding one myself (if I don't break the RV) should be relatively inexpensive and I don't mind spending $250-$300 or so to do that, but having a local shop do it means adding $1000 to that total and, in that case, I need to be sure it is money worth spending.

What current do you normally find your batteries are drawing?
In 10 years of travel in various coaches, I can count the number of times we've been plugged in at a formal campground/campsite, on a 3 pronged plug.
The cost of doing it yourself versus having an authorized Winnebago RV shop do it is something to consider. We had our dealer install our 3rd panel, because we wanted the warranty to cover it if it screws (ha!) up somewhere down the road. It cost us close to $1000 for one 100W flex panel, installed, on that basis. Most of that was the cost of the ZAMP/Sunpower panel. They really gouge you on them.
I'm not sure what our average draw is, because I don't have any battery monitors installed (yet) to watch them. On a good day with lots of sun, with the fridge, Truma on standby, propane valve on, water pump on, and lighting/TV use, we've harvested anywhere from 20 to 60 amps over the day, so that might give you a bit of a guess. The ZAMP ZS-30A panel isn't what I would call intuitive. We've never woken to any battery level below 12.6V on the panel.
Sorry, not much help there.
Winterbagoal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 01:20 PM   #10
Ed & Lynn
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Central Oregon Coast
Posts: 70
No need to have a professional add an additional solar panel on your roof. It is easy since it just plugs in to an existing jack already on the roof . NOTHING else needs be done in the Fuse. You can currently buy an excellent 100W solar panel from Home Depot for $95.00. Suitable mount brackets can be found on Amazon for $12. And up per set of four. The plug that connects the solar panel DC wires to the Winnebago roof jack is actually just a standard 2 pin trailer hitch plug.....readily available in hardware and auto stores for a couple dollars. Further, no need to screw the mounts to the roof of the Fuse.....in fact not really recommended for this Fuse. Use quality 3M double sided tape, also available in hardware stores and Amazon. AM Solar sells such tape, and high quality Rocker foot mounts too. ( I recommend you check out there web site ....www.amsolar.com .
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Grape-So...E&gclsrc=aw.ds
CoastalEd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 01:26 PM   #11
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
In 10 years of travel in various coaches, I can count the number of times we've been plugged in at a formal campground/campsite, on a 3 pronged plug.
The cost of doing it yourself versus having an authorized Winnebago RV shop do it is something to consider. We had our dealer install our 3rd panel, because we wanted the warranty to cover it if it screws (ha!) up somewhere down the road. It cost us close to $1000 for one 100W flex panel, installed, on that basis. Most of that was the cost of the ZAMP/Sunpower panel. They really gouge you on them.
I'm not sure what our average draw is, because I don't have any battery monitors installed (yet) to watch them. On a good day with lots of sun, with the fridge, Truma on standby, propane valve on, water pump on, and lighting/TV use, we've harvested anywhere from 20 to 60 amps over the day, so that might give you a bit of a guess. The ZAMP ZS-30A panel isn't what I would call intuitive. We've never woken to any battery level below 12.6V on the panel.
Sorry, not much help there.
Actually that was quite a bit of help.

Our local dealer wants $1350 for installing a single panel. When I spoke with the service guy I was told the panel was about $750 and there was 4 hours of labor. As far as I can tell the existing panels that came with the RV are SunPower 100 watt flexible panels and cost about $250 on Amazon so $750 seems terribly excessive as does 4 hours of install time. At the moment I am trying to decide between (a) trying to do it myself, (b) going without a 3rd panel and (c) having the dealer do the install. I guess I will see how our regular camping goes before I decide. We do dry camping about 25% of the time but usually for not more than 1 or 2 days but, as you say, presumably a dealer install would include it in the RV warranty.

I have checked with other places that do solar installs in this area but either they will not give me a firm estimate without seeing the RV or their estimates are higher than the dealer. I guess solar is a profit center for RV dealers and repair shots now.

One additional thought I had was to buy a panel from Amazon, convert it to the Zamp connector and just plug it in as a portable panel using the extra port (if I can find it) on the side of the RV. That might tell me if it is worth having a 3rd panel added but I am sure the dealer would not accept it as a panel to add to the roof and I would end up being stuck with it. I am pretty sure that I would be interested enough to plug it in initially, but suspect that after a couple of months I would just get too lazy, and that is another reason for either doing the install or having it done.

You are averaging between 20 and 60 amp-hours a day and that is a figure I can measure our system against. We live in Arizona and if there is one thing we have a lot of, it is sun, so I will check on our next trip. We are going to a location that has electric but I think I may not plug the system in, at least for the first day, and see how it goes.

If you have never seen your batteries below 12.6 volts I would say that the 3 panels you have are sufficient for your needs. We are not heavy power users and during the day we would only use some lights, perhaps some USB ports to charge a phone and, of course, the refrigerator. At night we watch a dvd on the small TV and that probably is a considerable power draw. I guess we will know more next week after our trip.

Thank you for the information.
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 03:01 PM   #12
Winnebago Camper
 
aspengirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 25
Regarding the outside storage door that doesn't have the little device to hold the door open ... We have a door like that, too, on our Aspect, and assume the little device was not included on that particular door because of the adjacent slide out. If the door was latched open when the slide was deployed, we'd lose the door and who knows how much other damage might occur. I don't know if that's the case with your Fuse though.
__________________
Larry & Paula
Adorable Toy Poodle Bailey
2017 Winnebago Aspect 27K
aspengirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 03:53 PM   #13
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by aspengirl View Post
Regarding the outside storage door that doesn't have the little device to hold the door open ... We have a door like that, too, on our Aspect, and assume the little device was not included on that particular door because of the adjacent slide out. If the door was latched open when the slide was deployed, we'd lose the door and who knows how much other damage might occur. I don't know if that's the case with your Fuse though.
Interesting design consideration.

In the case of our RV the door under the slide opens out to the right, not up, so it does not interfere with the slide. The door that does not have the latch is the propane door. That opens up and there is no slide above it, so that is not a consideration, although it does make me wonder if it might be for one of the other floor plans. I will take a look out of curiosity.
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 08:42 PM   #14
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Sanialabad, Peoples Republik of Canuckistan
Posts: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMike View Post
Interesting design consideration.

In the case of our RV the door under the slide opens out to the right, not up, so it does not interfere with the slide. The door that does not have the latch is the propane door. That opens up and there is no slide above it, so that is not a consideration, although it does make me wonder if it might be for one of the other floor plans. I will take a look out of curiosity.
Both of our lower forward storage doors on the driver's side open upwards and both have the piston parts that hold them open. However, since both are also underneath where our slide opens, they only open to a maximum of 90 degrees to the closed position (or just parallel to the ground) so they don't hit or interfere with the slide, were it to (be) open. This limitation makes the forward storage bin and the access to the dump/propane fill area a little more difficult, unless you're the "duck walk" king/queen of the campground. I wish they had used side opening swing doors, instead of these flip up models. We had sideways openers on our Sunstar, and they were much better.
Winterbagoal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 09:06 PM   #15
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Sanialabad, Peoples Republik of Canuckistan
Posts: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by AJMike View Post
Actually that was quite a bit of help.

Our local dealer wants $1350 for installing a single panel. When I spoke with the service guy I was told the panel was about $750 and there was 4 hours of labor. As far as I can tell the existing panels that came with the RV are SunPower 100 watt flexible panels and cost about $250 on Amazon so $750 seems terribly excessive as does 4 hours of install time. At the moment I am trying to decide between (a) trying to do it myself, (b) going without a 3rd panel and (c) having the dealer do the install. I guess I will see how our regular camping goes before I decide. We do dry camping about 25% of the time but usually for not more than 1 or 2 days but, as you say, presumably a dealer install would include it in the RV warranty.

I have checked with other places that do solar installs in this area but either they will not give me a firm estimate without seeing the RV or their estimates are higher than the dealer. I guess solar is a profit center for RV dealers and repair shots now.

One additional thought I had was to buy a panel from Amazon, convert it to the Zamp connector and just plug it in as a portable panel using the extra port (if I can find it) on the side of the RV. That might tell me if it is worth having a 3rd panel added but I am sure the dealer would not accept it as a panel to add to the roof and I would end up being stuck with it. I am pretty sure that I would be interested enough to plug it in initially, but suspect that after a couple of months I would just get too lazy, and that is another reason for either doing the install or having it done.

You are averaging between 20 and 60 amp-hours a day and that is a figure I can measure our system against. We live in Arizona and if there is one thing we have a lot of, it is sun, so I will check on our next trip. We are going to a location that has electric but I think I may not plug the system in, at least for the first day, and see how it goes.

If you have never seen your batteries below 12.6 volts I would say that the 3 panels you have are sufficient for your needs. We are not heavy power users and during the day we would only use some lights, perhaps some USB ports to charge a phone and, of course, the refrigerator. At night we watch a dvd on the small TV and that probably is a considerable power draw. I guess we will know more next week after our trip.

Thank you for the information.
You're welcome.
As I said, we paid our Navion dealer to have it done "professionally" by an authorized WGO dealer to protect our warranty. It was somewhere around C$750 for the single panel and maybe 2 hours of labour up here, plus tax and it came out to around C$1000. I've seen prices on panels as low as $1/W so it was a tough one to get over, but if anything goes wrong, particularly leaks or other damage, I wanted to be able to say, "your people installed the panel that caused the damage", especially on a brand new vehicle. Overkill maybe, but that's just me. New vehicle warranties are easily compromised if you don't "look before you leap".
The 4th panel port in our Navion (for a non-permanent portable panel) is located inside the water/electrical storage bay at the very rear on the driver's side. It's tucked way inside it, on the back wall, so you have to have long arms, be able to duck walk, and install a coax cable connector by sense of touch, to connect it. It's also limited to a 60W max power panel, probably due to fusing on the connection to the charge controller, and the total capacity of the ZAMP ZS-30A charge controller system itself. FYI.
Once we did see the batteries sort of toggling between 12.6 and 12.5 but the sun got a little higher in the sky and it stayed in 12.6V and up as the day progressed and the panels lit them up. I asked the co-pilot, and she remembered it did touch 12.5V in the morning once or twice. That's still down to about 80% of the total charge available, which isn't too bad considering we left everything on or on standby overnight.
In future trips, we thought we might use a couple of medium size freezer packs in the freezer, and to turn the fridge thermostat setting down or off overnight to conserve power if it looks like we're using more than normal. We don't carry a lot of (or any?) frozen food, so "cool" (around 40F) overnight in the lower fridge compartment is probably all we'll need. Ambient temperatures considered.
__________________
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 JKU (sold @ ????)
2016 Sunstar 26HE, V10, 3V, 6 Speed (sold @ 4600 miles)
2002 Roadtrek C190P (sold @ 315,000kms)
Winterbagoal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-2018, 09:19 PM   #16
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Sanialabad, Peoples Republik of Canuckistan
Posts: 946
Quote:
Originally Posted by charge-it View Post
Looks like they are indeed flexible. SunPower SPR-E-Flex-100 Flexible 100 watt Solar Panel
Yes, they are flex panels.
I watched (and was shown) the 3rd panel install, and they actually drizzle some of the adhesive (it's almost like beads of caulk) all over the mounting area, after a good cleaning. It was like decorating a cake with a signature made of chocolate syrup. They then press the panels down on that and drive the 6 screws and washers into the holes (also filled with sealant, like pumping grease into grease fittings) with more sealant on each screw, to try to get the best overall weatherproof/waterproof seal. So, there are actually some small pockets of air underneath the panel where it rests on the cake decorations, after it's glued/screwed down. Whether it makes much difference in the grand scheme of ventilation under the panel is debatable, but it might help a bit.
__________________
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 JKU (sold @ ????)
2016 Sunstar 26HE, V10, 3V, 6 Speed (sold @ 4600 miles)
2002 Roadtrek C190P (sold @ 315,000kms)
Winterbagoal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2018, 07:51 AM   #17
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by Winterbagoal View Post
Yes, they are flex panels.
I watched (and was shown) the 3rd panel install, and they actually drizzle some of the adhesive (it's almost like beads of caulk) all over the mounting area, after a good cleaning. It was like decorating a cake with a signature made of chocolate syrup. They then press the panels down on that and drive the 6 screws and washers into the holes (also filled with sealant, like pumping grease into grease fittings) with more sealant on each screw, to try to get the best overall weatherproof/waterproof seal. So, there are actually some small pockets of air underneath the panel where it rests on the cake decorations, after it's glued/screwed down. Whether it makes much difference in the grand scheme of ventilation under the panel is debatable, but it might help a bit.
I keep seeing comments from posters saying that the flexible panels are not as reliable as the rigid ones so I am a bit surprised that Winnebago is still using them on new RVs, or at least some new RVs. We looked at an Era and it came with 2 rigid panels attached to the roof rack but the Fuses and apparently other Class C RVs come with the flexible panels instead and no roof racks. I am sure it makes sense to Winnebago but it does not to me.

In any case if I install a 3rd panel (and I believe I will) I will probably add another flexible one and hope for the best. I assume a rigid panel will have more of a negative effect on the fuel economy since it will present another barrier to the wind when on the highway but that is all guess work on my part. The Fuse is a large vehicle and the part of the solar panel facing the wind is not large.

I climbed up to the top of the RV yesterday to take some photos and when I looked carefully at the solar panels that the Fuse came with I noticed that they were not flat on the roof but seemed raised above the roof a small amount, probably from an installation you described, so perhaps there is some air movement under the panels when the RV is in motion.
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2018, 09:11 AM   #18
Winnebago Master
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Sanialabad, Peoples Republik of Canuckistan
Posts: 946
It's a big decision, and these things aren't inexpensive. Nor are the parts and labour for the upgrades, if you go the factory parts/install route.
We had previously upsized from a Class/Type B van to a Class/Type A Sunstar, but were disappointed by the bigger rig. Choosing the Navion, with the diesel power plant was almost a leap of faith considering all the naysayers on the various forums, but you're always going to get that, no matter what the topic. It's the nature of these forums.
Do your homework, take your time, and you'll make the right choices.

The flex panels do have a lower profile, and may improve fuel economy a smidgen. Less drag, better performance.
__________________
2018 (2017 Sprinter Cab Chassis) Navion24V + 2016 JKU (sold @ ????)
2016 Sunstar 26HE, V10, 3V, 6 Speed (sold @ 4600 miles)
2002 Roadtrek C190P (sold @ 315,000kms)
Winterbagoal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2018, 12:14 PM   #19
Ed & Lynn
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Central Oregon Coast
Posts: 70
The perceived fuel economy from using solar flex panels is negligible. The difference in wind resistance is probably not measurable compared to the mass of the Fuse RV front. The use of flex panels probably benefits mostly from weight reduction. Flex panels weigh around 4.5 pounds. I believe a standard 100w solar panel is around 20 pounds. My 2018 Fuse came with one Zamp 100W standard panel. I added one additional 100W standard panel purchased for $95. from Home Depot. The total cost with additional mounts, a plug, etc. was about $120.00. My actual cost was a bit higher than what I just stated because I used a superior ‘rocker mount’ set purchased from AMsolar. Because I used 3M double sided tape to mount the panel mounts to the roof instead of screws, the entire installation on the roof took less than half an hour.
CoastalEd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2018, 03:18 PM   #20
2018.5 Fuse, model 23T
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Apache Junction, AZ
Posts: 907
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoastalEd View Post
The perceived fuel economy from using solar flex panels is negligible. The difference in wind resistance is probably not measurable compared to the mass of the Fuse RV front. The use of flex panels probably benefits mostly from weight reduction. Flex panels weigh around 4.5 pounds. I believe a standard 100w solar panel is around 20 pounds. My 2018 Fuse came with one Zamp 100W standard panel. I added one additional 100W standard panel purchased for $95. from Home Depot. The total cost with additional mounts, a plug, etc. was about $120.00. My actual cost was a bit higher than what I just stated because I used a superior ‘rocker mount’ set purchased from AMsolar. Because I used 3M double sided tape to mount the panel mounts to the roof instead of screws, the entire installation on the roof took less than half an hour.
I spent some time this morning contacting Zamp Solar and Back Country Solar trying to find connectors to hook a generic solar panel to the existing Zamp roof top Solar Cap, but with no luck. I first contacted Zamp who told me that they did not have any hardware that could be used to connect MC-4 panels to their SAE connector, and suggested that I call Back Country Solar. They (Back Country Solar) were fairly short with me on the phone, basically telling me that they did not have any such connectors, they did not sell the type of solar panel that was on my RV (the SunPower panels) and that I should probably look elsewhere. I am paraphrasing but the sales guy was not very helpful or very friendly.

Most if the people posting about this have said that the work is pretty simple, and I believe it must be, but without some guideline as to how to convert the MC-4 to the Zamp SAE I am at a bit of a loss. I can buy an MC-4 to SAE connector for about $20 at Amazon, but then I have to find a way to reverse the polarity. I know there is such a connector because I saw a video about using it, but there was no information about where to buy such a thing.

I suppose I will eventually get it worked out, but it is a bit frustrating at the moment. If I were more of a handy-man this would probably be easy, but tools and I do not generally get along well ...
AJMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
fuse


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
2008 Sightseer 35J Observations. Belgique Winnebago Class A Motorhomes 7 11-27-2007 04:19 PM
Observations from my weekend DIY lube job smlranger General Maintenance and Repair 16 10-27-2006 09:11 AM
'06 Vectra Observations....She's HOME!!! rebelsbeach Winnebago Class A Motorhomes 224 09-26-2006 06:15 PM
A couple of interesting observations for 2006 Winnies John_Canfield Winnebago General Discussions 31 12-16-2005 07:07 AM
New Winnebagos, roof edge questions/observations smlranger General Maintenance and Repair 50 02-24-2005 12:24 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Winnebago Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×