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Hello all,

What motors are on the market that can drive a large format Class A motorhome? I've seen a few older posts here about EV conversions of RV's but I've not seen anything recent. I'm familiar with motors up to the Warp series and the AC50, but nothing larger. What is out there?

I'm just working on a thought experiment as I'm converting my dead 1980's riding mower (It has a beautiful 3" hole in the block!) to electric drive. My dream project would be a Class C or Class A motor home giving it even 100 mile range. Drive a little bit, stop, charge, repeat. Again this is more of a thought experiment than something that will actually be built.
 

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I have a 37-foot Class A motorhome. Imagine four large sedans, SUVs, or minivans... and that's the weight, bulk, and power requirement. Mine is on the only gas-engined chassis available for Class As in North America... the Ford F53. There are lots of diesel-powered choices. The only engine available for this chassis is a 6.8 L V-10, at something like 365 horsepower.

Four AC-51 motors - one driving each wheel through reduction gearboxes - might work, given that huge battery pack. It seems to me that liquid cooling (as used by modern production RVs) would be a better idea.

There are certainly suitable motors, found in commercially available battery-electric and series hybrid transit buses. It would be interesting to see the price...

This short-range battery-powered motorhome idea might work, if one could count on finding another fully-serviced RV park within the range for each night, by paying for a site with 50-amp 240-volt power and recharging from the site power. 50-amp 240-volt power is the common service for large RVs; the next step down is 30-amp 120-volt. Most RVs are quite functional with no power provided at the site at all (except those who insist on air conditioning, who need either power provided or a generator). I doubt many people would be comfortable with this sort of constraint.
 

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Our old Oshkosh diesel motorcoach is about 22,000 pounds and includes a 10kw diesel genset.

I'm guessing 1.2 KWHR per mile in any event if he didn't mind traveling 25mph he could probably coax the genset to range extend at almost that speed

That way he could "move" if he exceeded his batteries short range.

Or better yet get a Vixen RV which stock got 30mpg, was lightweight and aerodynamic
 

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Our old Oshkosh diesel motorcoach is about 22,000 pounds and includes a 10kw diesel genset.

I'm guessing 1.2 KWHR per mile in any event if he didn't mind traveling 25mph he could probably coax the genset to range extend at almost that speed

That way he could "move" if he exceeded his batteries short range.
The series hybrid idea could work as a backup, although I would hope that the driver would sit off the road and charge until a safe speed was possible. Charge for a couple of hours, drive for a few minutes, repeat...

This rig could end up in a bizarre mode in which it uses utility electrical energy stored in an enormous and expensive battery pack to drive to a site, where it then uses gasoline or diesel in a dirty and noisy little engine for power while camped anywhere without services. Normal RVs use reasonable priced and decently clean-running engines to get to a place where they use a common battery set for electricity. :rolleyes:

I hope if an engine is used for series hybrid operation (only as required), that it gets a better engine and generator set than the usual RV genset.

Or better yet get a Vixen RV which stock got 30mpg, was lightweight and aerodynamic
The question was specifically about something much larger than that (although the Vixen was a Class A):
What motors are on the market that can drive a large format Class A motorhome?
For more range per unit energy, smaller is certainly better; any size of vehicle is an RV if it is equipped that way. The Vixen was about the size of the smallest current Class C models - or a wider-than-usual Class B - and needed a pop-top for partial standing headroom... a feature so annoying that a raised roof was later added to the later version.

Unfortunately, it would be hard to find a forward-cab wide-body low-floor van to use as the basis for this style of motorhome without buying a rare three-decade-old vehicle or custom-building the whole structure.
 
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