12 Jun California dreaming: Retrofitting a 2018 Newmar New Aire
Between the noise of the generator and the concerns for the environment, RVers including Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars, are searching for new methods of energy storage that won’t sacrifice the usability of their RVs.
Recently, Holland Motor Homes has done their part by retrofitting Class A and Class B RVs with the latest lithium-ion energy storage systems from Volta Power Systems.
Their most recent project was a 34-foot, 2018 Class A Newmar New Aire RV owned by Taylor.
From California with love
For Taylor, along with searching for a safe and environmentally friendly option, it was vital to eliminate the vibrations and noise of the generator. Taylor sought the peace and quiet of the outdoors but was limited because of his RV’s generator.
The retrofitting process started because of Taylor’s care for the environment, something he prioritizes in the manufacturing of his guitars as well. Taylor had tried a number of homemade lithium systems in the past but was not getting the results he hoped for.
He reached out to his local Holland Motor Homes location in California and learned about Volta because the owners of the California and Holland locations were brothers. From there, Taylor made the trip and the installation process began.
Once the RV arrived, Scott Vroon, service manager at Holland Motor Homes, met with Taylor to discuss goals for the installation and devise a plan.
“As with any retrofit, our main challenge is to install the system using primarily unused spaces throughout the RV,” Vroon said. “Due to the size and layout of a Class A RV, the challenge was running wire to all the components. With components located inside the RV and underneath, we used more wiring than ever before but still accomplished what we set out to do.”
Ultimately, Vroon and Taylor decided to install a powerful Volta System, equipped with 40,000 Whrs of storage at 58V.
The installation and testing process took three weeks, and the goal was to allow the RV to operate the same as before but with a more powerful and environmentally responsible option.
“With Bob’s NewAire, we needed to provide a lot of stored energy and additional power to meet the energy needs of his coach while meeting Bob’s conservation goals,” said Jack Johnson, co-founder of Volta Power Systems. “Holland Motor Homes did a great job with this retrofit and now Bob can get away with the power he wants without the negative effects of a generator.”
The NewAire was equipped with two 3600W inverters for 7200W of pure sine wave 120V power, enough to run every appliance on the vehicle including A/C simultaneously.
With this retrofit, Vroon and team had to develop, install, and test a new secondary alternator bracket for the 6.7L Cummins diesel engine. Unlike other installations, the Cummins ISB engine and this particular chassis didn’t have a secondary alternator position. The new bracket made it possible to add Volta’s 190 amp 58V alternator, capable of 11,000W of alternator-driven generation, atop the Cummins ISB engine.
Holland Motor Homes also expertly installed Volta’s custom made State of Charge (SOC) gauge, an easy-to-use on and off switch and an inverter display, all completed with a factory-installed look.
Back on the open road
Once completed, Taylor flew to Holland and picked up his RV, and drove all the way back to California delighted not to have any shortage of power and no need to run “that annoying generator.”
According to Vroon, Taylor’s four-day trip home exceeded his expectations. The system operated as promised and he was able to power all appliances with no issues, without the noise of a generator.
“We never want to disrupt the usability or aesthetics of the RV and with a little creativity, we accomplished those goals,” Vroon said.
For more information about retrofitting a vehicle with a Volta System, visit Holland Motor Homes at www.holland-motorhomes.com.