Help from Bushtracker: New gear in the pipeline

Submitted: Friday, Dec 10, 2004 at 01:53
ThreadID: 121638 Views:4154 Replies:2 FollowUps:1
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Note from Steven Gibbs, Director: Look, this is not a sales pitch on any of the gear I am telling you about here, but I have had a few people ask that new gear coming down the pipeline might be posted for peoples own planning purposes, so here goes... And I will update postings from time to time.... Only in terms of helpful information....

LED Lights: We have been playing with LED lights during all of 2004, are building a new 22' Show Van due out in Feb-March 05, with all flush mounted swivel eye lights in the Halogen format only with bright white LED's and they only burn a measured .055 amps.... Theoretically we can run 15 of them for only about 3/4 of an amp total.... A major power savings. We are going to see just how they actually work to determine amounts and placement of the lights and then if satisfactory we will offer them in Production... What has held us back was the quality of the light, and the blue tinge is now replaced by brilliant white and the price has come down to affordability…

Own new Show van will have two large LED truck backup lights under the awning as well, for awning lights. No more worries about turning them off at night, as they burn so little power. They are currently very expensive, and I will be the first to trial them for future optional equipment. Hopefully the price will come down soon and make them more affordable. Currently they are a bit expensive at about $150 installed. Our new van will also test a new bar or strip LED lighting system… Should be interesting. We are going to try and develop a retrofit capability for those that want to convert over for the power savings. The power savings difference with normal usage in a larger van, can be about equal to the power used by the refrigeration, it is quite significant.

Diesel Hot water service and combo unit with forced air heating: This is just in the pipeline now, from the Webasto heater people, and it will be a combined diesel water heater and forced air heater in one unit. We will hopefully have the first one operational by March and be able to give some reports on it… . STAY TUNED…..

Vacu-Flush Toilet: There are some serious advantages to this unit besides just the China bowl. The vacuum- flush system means that there is far less odour in the ensuite as there are no chemicals and the holding tank is mounted elsewhere. It does not work with all layouts, due to a limit on the run of the waste line to the canister, but we have it available now.

Air Bag Suspension: Not that our normal suspension is not up to the task, it has stood the test of time and evolved to be extremely reliable for eight years now.... But, due to requests, we have developed a full load sharing independent with air bags....

The Load Sharing Full Air-Bag Independent Suspension with heavy duty 1.2T airbags and heavy duty shocks, is now available, and may be desirable to some for these reasons:
1) Adjustable ride to suit different road conditions.
2) Less weight, a savings of about 50 kilos….
3) Side to side levelling with ball valves.
4) Ability to lower height to store in a shed.
5) Additional air compressor on board, with 20' lead to pump up tyres..

New Solar Regulator:
We now have what is probably the best of all of the Solar Regulators we have ever seen, in the new 40 amp one we have had developed. It is much more friendly in operation, with LED lights in a variety of categories of information, and a rolling 5 sec readout of everything, and an audible alarm....

Ours has it in a simple format of 5 sec rolling readout:
· Amps in from solar,
· Load out from batteries,
· Battery voltage,
· and LED lights for "Load off"
· Critical Alarm,
· Boost enable,
· Solar Charging,
· System run,
· Battery conditions "High voltage, Battery normal, Battery medium, Battery low, and Battery Low disconnect.. "

Ours also has all of the new solar technology like PWM Pulse width modulation, where it stores up small trickle charges to pulse in higher values to the batteries where the small trickle would normally get wasted by the resistance in the batteries at very low amperage.. Also programming selection for type of batteries, Load on/off, and alarm reset. It is a top bit of gear.

New Batteries Available: The newest technology Hybrid AGM with German A-200 Gel

The Absorbed Glass Matt (AGM) batteries are the latest technology. They, like the German Gel Cells, also take the Solar input about 10% better than the normal deep cycle batteries. The reason is the normal deep cycle batteries have such heavy plates (so they don’t crash on the corrugation), which takes the 240 Mains charging alright but burns too much of the soft solar charge to excite the plates enough to begin accepting a charge… This is called “warming the plates” and means that the thinner the plates, the easier the charge is accepted and the less that is wasted… But if the normal deep cycle batteries had the thin plates with the liquid electrolyte, they would fracture and fall to bits on the rough tracks.. The German Gel Cells can have many thinner plates because they are packed with Gel, and the Absorbed Glass Matt Batteries are padded with the AGM. Now, the latest Technology is using the German A-200 Gel in the AGM batteries. We have imported these now, German A-200 Gel in a Hybrid AGM, and our initial tests have been very impressive. They have taken extreme abuse in our tests, and held up well. We have them in Stock now, in 100 Amp Hour sealed Hybrid AGM with German A-200 Gel.

New single independent suspension 16’ option:
We now have a single suspension, for a 16’ van so that the wheel boxes do not interfere with a very nice island bed layout… It works well, for those with smaller Tow Vehicles that do not have the capability to tow a larger van, as it took an 18’ minimum to get the island bed layout done well with our Tandem Independent Load-Sharing suspension.. Now it can be done in 16’. We still do not recommend the single suspension, for the six reasons posted on our Website at which involve off-road superior ability, better brakes, and better on road highway safety, in the Tandem form…. However, for some with the smaller Tow Vehicles, the island bed layout is more important, and here it is! 16’ with an island bed, front cargo holds, and full ensuite!

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Reply By: Deleted User - Friday, Dec 17, 2004 at 04:44

Friday, Dec 17, 2004 at 04:44
Thanks again Steve
Peter Mackenzie
AnswerID: 565500

Reply By: Deleted User - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 00:40

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 00:40
Hi I am a new member and have many issues to resolve before I have my van is built. I believe that the Webasto diesel furnace may not be legal in all aus states? Now that Bushtracker is providing a 'diesel option' it may be opportune to offer an evaporative A/C model as well to complete the heating/cooling requirements for low humidity areas. As you are aware, evaporatives are very efficient in west,south and central zones of the country. For my information, does Bushtracker offer a split A/C unit mounted below floor level (where the weight is best located) and ducted to the ceililing of the van?
AnswerID: 565501

Follow Up By: Bushtracker - Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 23:06

Monday, Jan 24, 2005 at 23:06
Hello Frank and Brenda
Steven Gibbs here, Director, Bushtracker…..

Several things here: On the Diesel heater, there is no air exchange in the van with the heating air cycle loop… There is a heat exchanger and the combustion air does not come into the van, the heated air is another separate closed loop… So no, I believe it is Legal in all States…

Second thing, yes we are testing an evaporative cooler right now…. It is in my 4x4 Dual Cab Mack Horse truck… Great idea! Except that it does not work well on the coast with the humidity. OK, inland… So far it is showing to be about half of the cooling power of our air units… In any sized van you would need two of them minimum… OK, then there is the cost… very expensive. Now, for just a nap, just over the bed in marginal weather… Maybe… But I want to get it out in the marginal weather a bit more our west before I give that answer. Not sure if it should be viewed as overall air conditioning for the van…

Third thing… Split air systems and your “below floor” unit… The below the floor units are out… Just don’t work well with the air exchange for the condenser down in the bulldust, and takes up tankage room… Now we have done it, and ducted the air exchange up above on the sides of the van to get the condenser heat out up above the bulldust… But, impractical and expensive for no reason….

As to split air units themselves: On the roof top air vrs the split system, there are a few problems…

First, the two piece split system, is larger than most people think, and the evaporator unit is quite large, about the size of small piece of luggage… But then the condenser and compressor unit is even larger, about the size of a mid sized piece of luggage… They just take up too much room in storage..

Secondly, if you have a problem requiring parts for a roof top unit, you can have it quite easily removed and they can ship it too your next destination when it is fixed… But the split system requires you to leave the van, and even worse: They have to have complete access to your van and all your personals while they effect repairs…

So for reasons of storage and ease of repairs should they be required, we still think the roof top unit is best… However, you can have what ever you want…

Kind regards, stg
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