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Our RV, Lance, has had a lot of modifications. But probably none are more significant and extensive than the modifications to his electrical system. Many of you have asked about getting the same kinds of modification done to your own Class B RV. But to pull that off, you would have needed to either hire it out, or be somewhat of an expert.
Well, no longer. Roll the video!
We’ve reviewed Coachmen’s Galleria campervan before. We liked it – particularly the attention to detail on the cabinets. Well, Coachmen has been at work updating the Galleria, and they now offer a Lithium-powered option. We just HAD to review it again. It’s not a cheap option, but it will get you just about all the significant upgrades that Lance has. Here’s what I mean:
Lithium Power – the Galleria with the Li3 option has no generator (just like us), a second alternator (the same model we have), a Xantrex inverter (again, the same one we have), and a Lithionics battery with the latest generation BMS. This battery is actually *bigger* than ours by about 75 amp-hours. So basically, you get the same electrical whiz-bang that we’ve got… only better.
The Nova Kool RFU 7300 – A dual-compressor refrigerator. I replaced our refrigerator with this model, which doesn’t run on propane. It runs just like the refrigerator in your house. This particular model (with two compressors) is a bit hard to find, but Coachmen got it – the exact same model – in their updated Galleria.
The Dometic Penguin II – We replaced our air conditioner with the Dometic Penguin model this past summer, and noticed (and measured) improved performance. The Galleria starts off with this AC unit on top already.
Data Logging – You even get the same ComBox from Xantrex and the same model little Wi-Fi router! These two, in combination, will allow you to get detailed performance data from your Xantrex inverter on a tablet. Many people might not bother with this, but I love it.
And if those were the only cool things in the Galleria, we’d be pretty impressed. But they’re not. This new Galleria has some options and features that we don’t even have in Lance. For example:
The Shower Miser water saver system – This is brilliant. Basically, it circulates water through your plumbing system until hot water reaches the tap. This prevents you from dumping a half gallon of water down the drain while waiting for hot water to arrive. In a Class B motorhome, that’s a huge deal! Basically, when the button turns grey, your water is hot. I wish I had this…
The Cabinetry – I’m a bit of a woodworking nerd, and I know how to build good cabinetry. But that doesn’t mean I always do it, particularly in the RV. The cabinetry in the Galleria is some of the nicest that we’ve ever seen in a Class B. The drawer boxes are solid maple and dovetailed (with no gaps). Sure, I know how to do this, but I don’t always go through the effort for myself because it takes too much time. With the Galleria, you get better cabinetry than you have in your house – standard.
Solar Power – You can get the Galleria optioned with up to 300 watts of solar power on top. You won’t have to add them yourself like we did!
There are actually more updates and neat features (his & hers charging centers, for example), but you’ll have to watch the video to see them all. But suffice it to say, if you were looking for a rig with top-notch tech, and a solid dose of traditional craftsmanship in the cabinets – you’d be smart to have a look at the Galleria.
That’s all for now!
How long should it take to get hot water with Truma system on Mix 2
That depends on a whole range of things. But generally, when we had a combi, we would allow 20 minutes to get hot water.
I’m a new owner of the 24FL and it’s a huge mistake. Into my 3rd failed weekend. Can’t keep the batteries up even on shore power. The ac is a total failure in this Texas heat. The convection oven knocked off or overloaded the system 2 with the AC on. Have not eaten in it. Have not slept 1 night in it yet. I bought this because of what I’ve read about boondocking. My dealer just ran tests on my batteries and they won’t last at all like they’re saying. Maybe a couple of hours of fan but certainly not the AC for 6 to 8 hours. I’m taking a huge loss but I’m selling it. Was supposed to leave for my 3 state journey next weekend. Looks like it’ll be my F150 and Motel 6.
First – sorry to hear that you’re having difficulties! This is really strange to hear, because we have basically the same system in our RV and we haven’t had trouble like this in nearly two years. Seriously!
There’s definitely something wrong with your system. I’d bet it can be repaired, but it sounds like you’ve decided to throw in the towel. For example, if your AC won’t keep up, even when it’s running, that’s likely a problem with the AC itself, and not the power delivery. Also, if shore power is not adequate, then it sounds like the charger part of your inverter is simply dialed too low. In any case, if you decide to keep it, I bet the manufacturer would work with you to get it corrected. If not – best of luck!
No generator for dry camping? How long does it take running the engine to recharge the lithium batteries? I would prefer a generator with auto start feature over having to run engine when batteries run low. The li3 battery system is definitely the draw over other Mercedes class b vehicles I want to buy.
I didn’t run any tests at the show, but it would probably take a few hours to recharge the battery pack if it were completely depleted. It would absolutely recharge faster than a generator would.
James, does the Coachmen Galleria Li3 have an auto start feature to recharge the batteries when they are low? I can’t find this information anywhere. Do you know?
I don’t believe it does, because Coachmen is adhering to Mercedes Benz rules. If anyone does include auto-start/high-idle on a Sprinter, they’re playing fast and loose with the MB warranty.
Ok, that’s actually really good information; I didn’t know that. Keep up the great work and my wife and I love you guys!!
I, literallky today, looked at the 24FL with lithium system, and it is listed as having a 2500 Onan Lp Gen with gen start/auto start. Also ita listed as having a 41gallon LP tank. Largest tank for a class B i have seen. Aren you sure yours had no generator? Seems to be standard on the Galleria.
I figured out my confusion. The paperwork at the dealer showed it on, their then a line item removing it. They are a new Coachmen dealer and didn’t know.
Anyway, I just bought one fo these 2018 24FL with Li3 and this review played a large part of my decision making!
Welcome aboard, Jeff!
You’re going to love the Li3 system as much as we’ve loved ours.
Hope to see you on the road soon!
Great review as always, James & Steph! I’ve been considering a Galleria because of the Ram (gas) chassis. 2019 models all seem to be on MB diesel. Can’t seem to get an answer about this from Coachman. Any thoughts given your Travato experience? Thanks!
I don’t believe the Galleria is offered on the ProMaster chassis.
We think it’s a solid platform for building an RV, and we haven’t had any troubles with ours that I didn’t cause myself.
Was the cushioning/bedding in the rear bench seat/bed comfortable? I recently toured some Midwest Automotive Design vans that looked nice on video but had rear bench seats/beds that were flat and hard (among other disappointing surprises).
Thank you for an excellent review!
I probably shouldn’t answer that question then.
For one, I don’t remember having a strong feeling one way or the other on the bedding materials.
And more importantly… Stef says I’d be happiest sleeping on plywood! So I think our tastes in bedding are probably pretty different. 🙂
Is the Coachmen Galleria 24FL or 24GL suitable for boondocking compared to a RoadTrek RS Adventurous or ETREK?
Thanks for your reply in advance and the awesome video(s),
We don’t cover the Roadtreks that closely, so I really can’t compare the two. We haven’t reviewed a Roadtrek in a few years.
Our own rig, Lance, has a very similar electrical setup, and we boondock all the time. We prefer it, in fact. So no concerns on that aspect.
Cold weather in the Galleria might be a bit of a challenge.
Will be using my ‘B’ full-time for awhile and really want to spend the winter skiing.
Can you you point me in a ‘B’ direction that can handle the winter weather as I don’t want to have to move with the weather if I don’t want to.
I am so in love with the Galleria but am hesitant to pull the plug until I can figure out the cold weather issue.
Any thoughts on the subject would be very welcome.
Manufacturers are going to be hesitant to label their rigs as “4 season” because so much of the 4 season capability has to do with you, the end user.
I’ve written a few posts on the subject. Try searching this site with “winter” in the search box and you’ll find my best thoughts on the subject.
I don’t recommend any specific rig though. That’s up to each customer to decide for themselves!
Finally, lithium batteries (or bat-trees as Dean from Leisure says), induction cooktop, two compressor fridge, solar with no generator, all in a B van, and MB even saying an all electric chassis by 2019…..wow, that will be wonderful.. Who will do it all first? Winnebago? PWay, Galleria, Leisure way?? I do know you two will be the first to review it!
We’ll certainly try.
(I think we’re still a couple years away from an electric chassis with enough range to make it practical as an RV though…)
How come no road test of the PleasureWay Plateau XL. That unit seems to have a lot going for it but I don’t see anyone doing more than a walk through ?
We’ve done it. Both floor plans.
Search “Plateau” on our site.
I’ve watched your review of this rig several times now, and appreciate the thoroughness you provide. As I’m looking to purchase my first rig this year, this coach is on my short list… however you point out that the tanks and water lines are exposed underneath. Is there a way (aftermarket) to protect those lines for some cooler weather camping? Being new to this RV world, I’m just not readily sure what is available, and have come to trust your opinions on such things.
If this was already answered in the comments above, my apologies for missing it.
Aftermarket, about the best you can do is to add heat tape to any exposed lines and tank heaters to the tanks. If you are thorough with that, it may work (depending on how cold you’re talking about). The problem with those solutions is that they use a lot of electricity. That might not be a problem with the lithium version of this coach, it all just depends.
Another approach you could take would be to try to find someone to spray-foam the tanks for a little more insulation. That won’t help the lines though, and unless you found someone who knew what they were doing, it could make an awful mess of things…
I live in a ‘winter-esque’ climate now, and with the RV aim for warmer temps (above freezing). My concern, which I failed to convey properly was those times I’d get caught off guard or if I had to make stop where temps would be below freezing. It wouldn’t be my goal to stay in that environment, just thinking of those ‘oh crap’ times.
Thank you, so much, for the advice above. Both ideas I had considered as options, but wasn’t sure of the viability.
In your travels, have you seen – or know of – any other manufacturers who are exploring the lithium approach similar to this Galleria?
Advanced-RV has more or less led the way in this area. They’re a custom builder and we like their work.
PleasureWay has been installing lithium batteries (but not the big inverter) for a while now.
Roadtrek has been doing something similar (but not the same) for quite some time.
Others may be considering it, but nothing has been released yet.
Curious what model router you are using for the data logging? Is it 12V and 4g?
12v yes. 4G no.
It’s this one: Netgear N300
I’d have to get a 4g hotspot to wire into it to make it really cool. As it is, it’s about 50% cool just for the data logging.
I’m thinking about going this route as this does have 4G so you can get your data remotely.
I’m thinking about going Victron with their Color Control GX that you can add GPS. You can track solar production, inverter states and battery stats even without their batteries. The GPS is nice as you can set Geofences so if the van is moved without your knowledge, you can track it.
If it’s 12v, then go for it!
In our install, that modem sits on the floor in a cabinet next to the inverter – not a great location for cell signals.
We had a Victron monitor previously, and had no issues with it.
Did you swap out your battery monitor? If so, what did you replace it with?
Yes – we used to have the Victron, but now we have the Lithionics one. The same round monitor you see in this video.
Hi James and Stef – Thanks for the great work you do on behalf of us all, and the industry too. We really enjoy reading your Blog.
We are about to take delivery of our first fully electric drive vehicle, and are very excited about the prospect of driving around with a reduced environmental footprint. With that box checked, our thoughts have moved on to the next challenge: finding an electric drive RV.
Currently we are touring in a Sprinter based Class B, and have been watching the news from Mercedes regarding the electric Sprinter they are rolling out next year. Admittedly, it will be a while before they get the range needed by the RV industry, but there is no doubt they eventually will. (Our car has a range very close to 250 miles, or 400 klicks, so things look promising.) Have you had any conversations with Class B manufacturers as to what the future holds regarding an electric Sprinter and its potential for an RV?
There will be challenges for the industry as they adapt to a new Class B concept, but it will be fascinating to watch how they do it. I can’t think of a more qualified team capable of reporting on the progress as it occurs… any chance you can keep us up to date?
Well naturally, we’d be all over developments like that.
As of right now, there’s really not much to report though, because as you pointed out, there’s not an electric-drive chassis capable of RV-type distances and cargo capacities.
Eventually, yes, it will happen. We’ll be right there when it does!
Love your reviews of various class B units. You cover things that other reviews don’t discuss at all. I like that Jammes crawls under the units and comments on design. One thing he mentions is is the water pipes are below the floor which makes the unit only a two season use without antifreeze in the fresh water. Are there brands and models that have design fresh water tank inside and perhaps more importantly the plastic water pipes inside as these would be more susceptible to freezing on a night with temps dipping to under 32 degrees?
Currently, many of the Winnebago models have the fresh water plumbing inside. Beyond that, I don’t know who else is doing it.
It’s our hope that before too long, the whole industry will be paying attention and doing this as standard.
I have heard Coachmen is utilizing both the underhood generator as well as the Mercedes alternator to combine the amps going to the battery. Can you verify, as this would be a better way to juice the lithium versus high idle.
I’ve discussed this with the Xantrex/Lithionics crew, and yes, that was their intention.
I do a manual version of the same thing on our setup. The Coachmen should do it automatically, as the BMS has a CAN bus interface.
Well, with 2018, they finally got rid of the propane fridge. Not just equipped now with lithium batteries and Truma Combi, but also finally compressor refrigerators! Yes!
And they seem to have beefed up the insulation. R-38 Reflective insulation in floor and 16dB noise reduction. Remote control lights are a nice touch.
Huge counter space for cooking.
Unlike many class b’s – the driver can actually lean the driver’s seat a bit.
The one flaw is the size of the black tank (12 gal). The fresh water tank is 30 gallons, however. Why they do this on B’s is a real mystery to us. The black tank is the true limiting factor for boondocking. I can always find or bring extra fresh water. Go figure.
I’m with you. Most people say the grey tank is the limiting factor, but I’ve always found it to be the black tank as well.
Our last RV had a 30 gallon black tank. I’m considering that my minimum size requirement for us to move back to a traditional system and away from the composting toilet.
Hi James great review as always! But…… you are going to really love this comment! After watching this video I realized this is the one I’ve been looking for. I went to my local dealer today in FL and bought one! Not just anyone, the one you actually reviewed!
How I found out was after talking to Greg at the factory he told me there are several orders in the pipeline but there were only 2 Li3 units on the ground so far and they were sent to different shows and I got yours! Thanks to you and Stef for a great video review that I can proudly show my friends!
I’ve been a subscriber for awhile now I would have never got this if it wasn’t for you both! You guys have an open invitation whenever you pass through FL for dinner out on me. We live 5 miles of 75 in The Villages. Email us anytime you are passing through. Happy New Year! And Thanks again!
Nice! You should go look for where Stef an I carved our initials!
(OK, there are no initials.)
But seriously… congratulations and welcome to B-ownership! You’re going to love it. You got a top-notch power system, that’s for sure.
We’re actually on our way to Tampa for the RV show there. If you’ll be nearby, stop in and see us at the show!
What booth will you be at? If I go I’d like to say thank you in person for all you do for your followers.
We’ll be spending most of our time at the Winnebago Class B display. We’ll be in and out, but if you hang out there, you’re bound to find us eventually.
I loved this review and have watched it several times. Somehow I just discovered you and your reviews a few days ago and have watched several of your reviews. My wife and I are completely new at this. We recently retired and want to go for a high-quality Class B. I really like this Galleria 24FL, just as you reviewed it, with Lithium but with 3 solar panels maxed out. Is there some way to calculate the generating capacities of the solar against the storage of the Lithium and the power draw of everything on board to get a sense of constraints or overkill? Would Coachmen have those figures? Must I go through a dealer, or could I deal direct with Coachmen? Sorry, newbie questions. You and Steff are great reviewers. All the best for 2018 and thanks a lot!
It sounds like you should read my post on How Much Solar Do I Need On My RV!
It’s pretty long, but I lay it all out there for you. (Short answer, 3 panels is probably overkill, and if it isn’t, just run the engine for a few minutes.)
Coachmen will probably want the sale to go through a dealer, but I’ve heard of others contacting them directly for technical questions. I would start with their 1-800 number for customer service and see where that gets you.
Thanks, James. You wrote a fantastic post about solar power for an RV! Very thorough and beautifully written. Your whole site is interesting. Also, you appear to be into healthy eating, judging from your recipes. My wife and I have been on a WFPB diet for years and have really reaped healthful rewards from that. Thanks again for your info, and best wishes for 2018.
Glad you like the website!
Yes, we try to encourage a more active and healthy RV lifestyle. We’re not perfect, but eating healthy is a big part of that.
Fitness is the other big part.
Hope to see you on the road soon!
I checked this RV out at a recent RV show here. I was looking at Pleasure Way & RoadTrek because of the lithium setups. I like the Leisure Travel Vans a LOT but they have NO plans to go to Lithium or compressor fridge. IF you could have Any class B of your choice, which one would you 2 pick?? Etrek, CS Adventure, Coachman?
Well, if I could choose ANY RV, it would certainly be the one we already own, as it’s perfect for us. But if I had to choose from only those three that you mentioned, it would unquestionably be the Coachmen.
It doesn’t have Lance’s IED/mine proof skid plate.
No, it doesn’t. But last I heard, Gordon was working on a model for Sprinters as well. Don’t have the progress report on that one yet, but I think eventually it will be available.
The next thing they will copy is the air suspension and self leveling systems. And maybe a Max Air remote fan. And, they may change the name to Lance II. Won’t use yellow paint though… 🙂
That would be super awesome.
(They’d still need to work out bike storage and winter camping though!)
Excellent review! Thank you. I’ve always loved the lithium/volt start on Roadtrek but just couldn’t live with the dated interior design of the RT. IMHO, Coachmen has just made it an easy decision…the Galleria has a refined interior along with the excellent lithium technology. Even though Coachmen’s lithium option isn’t cheap, it comes in a good 20k lower than the RT with similar equipment. When Coachmen takes the final step and makes it cold weather compatible, I’ll be pulling the trigger. I wish a class C maker (like the Navion/View or Wayfarer) would also embrace the lithium/cold weather features.
The cold-weather compliance is something we try to stress to manufacturers when we do these reviews. Eventually, they’ll all get there. Some of them are moving in that direction already. Same with lithium. Eventually, this stuff will be common (and we’ll try not to take all the credit for it… 🙂 )
OK. You can take MOST of the credit. Any chance you two will review the Tiffin Wayfarer. I know it’s more class C than B and y’all are more into Bs. But, it is Sprinter based. The high quality of interior and exterior build on the Tiffin are undeniable. But, I’d love to get your take on the various components/technology used. We need your checklist for the Wayfarer!
The Tiffin has not been on our radar, and I don’t think we have a dealer locally.
But perhaps the next time we see it at a show!
Hi James, Am still on the fence on the birthday bike trip to Majorca but speaking of bikes, where would we put our bikes on this rig? I did see a kewl review on a euro spec van which had a permanent high raised bed in the back. On the outside, the van (a class B) had two doors, port and starboard offering a large pass thro with bike tie downs. I think this may be a better plan than the new Revel with its movable bed. Have you seen one of these? Great review, Steff never misses :-).
On this rig, the bikes would have to go on a rack or in the trailer. So it wouldn’t work for us.
You should probably have a look at our post on the Euro rig types from our European trip this summer. We’re trying to get someone on this side of the ocean to make a “Compact C”. If someone can pull that off, it will probably be our next rig.
Another great review. I thank you so much for the information you guys provide. Coachman seems to have their eye on what the class B consumer is searching for. I’m loving the changes.
I wish you’d be less generous with the “well, they don’t market it as a four season rig” excuse. Far too many class Bs are not fully usable in winter because they don’t bother to make them so. One of the ideal use cases for these is to park at trailhead, and go snowshoeing or skiing, and come back to a warm place and take a hot shower and have a hot meal. Except in most of them, you can’t.
Some manufacturers are coming around, some are a bit slower.
We could start applying a bit more gentle pressure with our reviews.
Great Great Great review! I have been looking at your site for some time and am close to pulling the trigger on a Coachmen Galleria (based on your review) however, my wife and I checked out the Hymer Aktiv today and are now struggling with a decision. The Aktiv with the EcoTrek seems so sweet for off-grid camping. It was great to see this Li3 review-except the price point on them is significantly more than the standard Galleria.
I did see your interview with the Hymer rep, but would love to know your opinion (if any) of the Aktiv.
You both are so entertaining and provide great information. Thanks again for what you do.
We’ve not done a detailed review of the Aktiv, so I couldn’t answer that question fairly.
Best bet would be to look at some owners groups for the Hymer products – ask other owners and see what they have to say!
Excellent review of a beautiful RV, ..when are all of the manufacturers going to realize that we also want to use our Class B coaches in winter?!
I’m working on them!
Give us a few more years and we’ll convince them.
I wonder if you can compare the cabinetry quality with the cabinetry in PleasureWay RVs. I have a new PW Ascent, and while I wouldn’t call it perfect, it’s truly excellent IMHO—much better than the cabinetry of many other rigs I’ve looked at over the years, even recently. What do you think?
Now THAT’s a good question.
To do that properly, I’d really need to see them side by side. I’ve not looked at Pleasure-Way’s cabinetry with an eye to a comparison.
Next time I see one, I will!
(And that I can’t answer the question without even thinking about it tells me that they’re both good!)
Chuffed that a North American mass producer is getting the power management system right. Now if we can just get them together with a company that does exciting designs. Add a little mood lighting, wine, and Barry White and next thing you know you have a Revel/Wonder that I would buy.
I’ve heard people say that too much of a good RV thing is no good for you baby…
But I don’t know about that…
What is the price of this Galleri Li3?
I can’t say for sure, but there are some on RV Trader that look new listed for 108-122k ish.
Add to that the approximatley $22k for lithium.
But I’m not an official Coachmen spokesman. Best bet would be to ask their customer service.
Thanks for a great review. I know everybody has their preference, but I’m not a big fan of macerators… aren’t they a bit slow and prone to malfunctioning?
To be completely honest, I’ve never been that big on macerators either, for the exact reasons you mention.
But usually those are smaller units that twist on to the bayonet fittings on the sewer outlet. This one was a bit different. It was a box-mounted device. I’ve seen it demoed at trade shows and it seems more robust than the cheaper twist-on ones.
It *is* still something that can break – as compared to a gravity dump (I’m pretty sure gravity will never break), but it seems better than most, and may have been required to deal with a unique under-rig plumbing situation.
Yay, the future is here as long as you have a Coachmen Crossfit for cooler weather. The wall covering material looks “different” doesn’t it, like it is soft and scuffable?
Good catch, Greg! We didn’t mention anything about it in the video, but I went back over my notes, and here it is:
“New Interior Marine Grade PVC interior wall colors and texture. Will never rot/mold/crack or breakdown like cloth or ABS.”
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Outstanding review as always…no flames…Hallelujah