Advances in power management and solar power have made big news in the RV world of late, especially with the new eTrek and CS-Adventurous models built on the Mercedes Sprinter chasis by Roadtrek Motorhomes. New and efficient power control and management systems have put these advanced new Class B motorhomes on many a wish list because of their ability to extend time boondocking, or dry camping off the commercial campground grid.
But now Roadtrek is making these advanced new solar power systems available as a retrofit for older models.
Bill and Lisa Gruner from Huntsville, AL recently made the trek north to Roadtrek's Kitchener, Ontario, Canada headquarters and had solar panels installed on the roof of their 2008 model RS-Adventurous Roadtrek. “We've cut the cord,” said Bill, a retured engineer who has worked with NASA and the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. “This is terrific.”
Wife Lisa, a software engineer, says the trip to Kitchener was “like a journey to the Roadtrekers Mecca.”
“We're are no longer dependent on shore power and a generator,” she said. “This solar upgrade gives us freedom to camp anywhere.”
It took three days for the Gruner's retrofit to be done. Installing the solar panel, a charge controller, transfer switches, a new 3,000 watt inverter, two new house batteries and wiring everything together is a major job.
Jim Hammill, Roadtrek's president, says the factory has several different solar retrofit options available, dependent on the model of the motorhome.
“We've had great success with this,” said Hammill. “There's a real demand for bringing these advanced power systems to older models and our customers are delighted to have the flexibility of being able to do dry camping longer.”