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Heavy-Duty RV Maker Considering Hybrid or Hydrogen-Assisted Platforms

27 August 2007

Kingsley Coach, a manufacturer of custom coaches mounted on class 7 or 8 heavy-duty chassis, is considering alternatives for a hybrid or hydrogen-assisted version of its K-3 model custom coach as part of an environmental and fuel economy push designed to make the K-3 the first hybrid RV model on the market.

K3
A Kingsley K-3.

The company may use either a hybrid-electric system or a hydrogen injection system to help improve gas mileage and reduce emissions. Kingsley is also pursuing the use of solar panels on their coaches as an alternate source of power for convenience items within the coach.

We have started discussions with several manufacturing companies about the concept of a hybrid RV and are excited about the possibilities. With the current high cost of fuels, it clearly makes sense for us to explore the  possibilities of a hybrid technology. Preliminary research indicates that fuel savings can amount to 35 percent on electric hybrids and 15 percent on hydrogen injection systems

— Allan Smethers, CEO

The standard Kingsley K-3 is based on a Volvo 780 chassis with fully automatic transmission and 465 hp engine. A 7.5 kW Guardian RV Generator fueled by LPG provides interior power.

August 27, 2007 in Brief | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack (0)

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The RV industry needs to get busy on hybrids. If we get an oil shock, the market for Rvs, at least these big ones will evaporate like it did in the seventies. I remember RV plants shutting down from small pull behinds all the way to the big stuff. People couldnt afford to use them. All we need is some bad weather or another Bush_Cheney war.

As much of a stickler as I am about fuel economy, RVs which are seldom used bother me much less than SUVs, which are driven on a daily basis (and often don't get much better mileage!). For one thing, a little back of the envelope calculations show that fuel costs are far less of a problem for RV owners because of the lower number of miles driven, and the relatively high cost of the vehicle. Some of these coaches cost up to $250,000 and are often driven only a few hundred miles before being parked for a week or more. Most RV owners who can afford Class A motorhomes would still use them even if fuel costs were to hit $10.00 per gallon. When you consider that nice hotel rooms cost $200 to $300 a night in resort towns, the RV becomes a good alternative in spite of high fuel costs. You also have to consider that someone vacationing in an RV is therefore NOT flying anywhere, which arguably is much worse for the environment. They also contribute to the domestic economy instead of, for example, Mexico, Jamaica, or the Bahamas.

Having said all that, I'm glad to see that work is being done, and I hope there is a completely sustainable electric RV available by the time I retire (2035 or so).

My husband and I show dogs, and we do not have an RV yet but would like to get one in the next few years. I am certain that a Hybrid RV would be of great interest and welcomed within the dog show community. We spend allot of time driving from state to state, but the high cost of fuel is affecting our sport. People are staying home or staying locally to compete because they just cannot afford to drive 800 miles round trip. Entries at dog shows and trials are down nation wide. Most enthusiasts have an RV or travel trailer, and if they don't they want one. RV's make the show life so much easier. It saves you hotel costs and allot of hassle. I know the show community is a very small percentage of the national population, but there are RV companies that build RV's specifically for the dog lifestyle, so it's worth looking into.
You can bet that as soon as a Hybrid RV is available on the market for a comparable price I will be out at the lot.

My husband and I plan to retire, in 2013, it has been our dream to travel and see the US by motor home. We feel that dream will be out of reach for us now that the gas prices are so ridiculous. We are hoping that there will be a few more energy efficient options very soon.

We've converted our 30' Lazy Daze Class C to electric. Not an easy project because of the automatic tranny but still doable. The entire roof was converted to solar which doesn't really help much with the charging but it does contribute. A combination of lead acid batteries in the coach AND pulled on a trailer behind the RV provide the power. (trailer is also covered in solar as well). Maxwell's boostcap technology (ultra-capacitors) provides the startup energy to get to speed. Batteries provide cruise speed at 55 mph. Onboard 4kw generator extends the range considerably while only pulling 1.5 gallons per hour under load. Depending on terrain we can make 400-500 miles in a day. I wish we had done it years ago. Without the generator the range is about 85 miles - it could be further but we never deep cycle the batteries.

Hey ccolonni,

Am very interested in your story. Could you contact me offline to discuss? More people need to know this is doable. This may be the first succesfull Hybrid RV conversion I have run accross in several years of searching.

Reagads,
matts@modernind.com

I have a 2003 Prius car now, I am trying to sell my home & get a full size RV & pull my car behind, all I need is a Hybrid RV & will be all set! Please Hurry!
Tom WPB Fl.

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