“What’s He Up To Now”: Class B List Updated & Other Random Projects


Well, it’s November again. Since we’ve been home all month, I’ve had time to get a few projects cooking. Starting with my annual Class B Manufacturer List update.

Fall 2017 Class B Manufacturer List – Now including ridiculously tall coaches!

This year, only one builder dropped off the list, and I had four new Class B additions.  I couldn’t possibly cover them all, but there are also lots of new models and floor plans to choose from this year.  Maintaining the list is sort of a labor of love for me.  It’s been great to see the list explode from just a few manufacturers a couple years ago to over twenty today.  More evidence of the huge and growing popularity of this segment.

But that’s not all I’ve been up to lately.  I also upgraded the lithium battery system in Lance!

It’s not any bigger… but it is.

There will be a post with more details soon, but basically, Lithionics has been busy updating their batteries and BMS, and well… I just had to have it.  Our battery, which is still in the same size case, now has 525 usable amp-hours (up from 420), and the latest version of their BMS.

Believe it or not, the BMS is actually more exciting than the amp-hour upgrade.  Lithionics BMS now includes a feature that I’ve wondered why nobody has included since the dawn of lithium batteries:

Temperature monitoring.

Basically, the system can now prevent charging a frozen battery (which is very bad for lithium), and can prevent any kind of activity on a too-hot battery (which is also bad).  I really can’t wait to try this out, but first, I have to wait for it to get REALLY COLD.  Super-nerdy battery posts ahead!

This is almost an afterthought, but here’s another project I’ve started working on:  shelving for our galley cabinets.

Hey! I just remembered I love woodworking!

It felt good to be doing some straight-up woodworking for a change.  This is not nearly done yet, but I think it will work out just fine for us.  I’ll be making something for under the galley sink as well.

And finally, there’s this:

I decided I was “towable-curious”. 😉

I call him George.  He’ll be following Lance around sometimes.

Again – more details to come on that one when he’s ready for his debut.



James is a former rocket scientist, a USA Cycling certified coach, and lifelong fitness buff. When he’s not driving the RV, or modifying the RV (or – that one time – doing both at once), you can find him racing bicycles, or building furniture, or making music. In his spare time, he works for a large IT company.


    19 thoughts on ““What’s He Up To Now”: Class B List Updated & Other Random Projects

    1. Matt Gross

      Hey James, Congrats on the upgrade with the new BMS. Curious how the battery handles charge and discharge sources? Are there still only one set of positive and negative terminals? While it’s great that the battery now handles shutting off the battery with low temp (I’ve been asking for this for a while from different BMS makers), but my concern is if there is only one connecting for both charge and discharge loads then if it shuts down the battery for discharging, you’d have no way of powering the heater to warm up the batteries. I have a DIY lifepo4 setup and I’m looking at a secondary relay for all the charge sources that the BMS can trigger to disconnect the solar load. This would address the alternator and solar, but my only problem is shore power as Magnum doesn’t have any options for remote shutdown of the charger. Maybe an inverter/charger upgrade is in my future if Xantrex can support this. Hopefully your future post will talk about this.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        Yes, there are still only one set of terminals. Charging and discharging are managed internally somehow – according to my understanding.
        I have to put a lot more time in with this new BMS before I can write a good post, but it’s coming.

        Reply
    2. Tim Huffaker

      I see your going to Louisville to see the new RVs. I wonder if you could ask winnebago if the Paseo could come out with fords diesel like the Fuse.

      Thank you.

      Reply
    3. Roger

      That’s a nice domestique towable you’ve got there. I’d be careful about the occasional breakaway, but it’s unlikely that either would swap positions, even though Lance is not much of a Sprinter. Do you think hooking up with George will slow down climbing in the mountains?

      Reply
    4. David

      Is that the infamous Greg Schultz of the Travato dump light? You all are celebrities of sorts. You ought to take a picture of the three of you, Greg, Russ and James 🙂 all forward thinkers and not affraid to innovate.

      Reply
    5. John Thorpe

      George is just more room for new toys. I can’t wait to see the inside all decked out. Next his and her class B’s. WOW

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We don’t have any plans for his and hers Class Bs… but that’s an awesome idea!
        (Mine would have a lot less sand tracked in…)

        Reply
        1. Stefany

          OOOO how fun, his and hers! Mine would have a totally groovy hipster chick design accentuated with bright colors, beads, and lots of shiny things! (…though I’d still need James on hand to keep it clean…) xoxo

    6. Smiley

      James, I had a Ford Windstar Mini van as a sales rep for Serotta bicycles and used to rent a U haul trailer (I think an 8 ft long one) and would take tons of bikes and stuff in the trailer to bike rallies and century rides. That Towable will suit you guys well when taking kayaks and bikes along on vacation.

      Start finding big hills to climb as Mallorca is around the corner.

      Reply
      1. James - Post author

        We’re planning on doing a bunch of climbing in December and January!
        Our George is just a 4×6 trailer. We hardly notice he’s there.

        Reply
    7. Roger Bohnke

      Towing? Oh my goodness! I know the G can hold a ton, but after reading about all your sports gear, bikes and now boats in the van, I was wondering how you do it. Can definitely see the need for George! Looking forward to hearing the details.

      Reply

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