Sunday, September 30, 2018

Fall 2018 Ford Tech Session

Fuse - Ford Tech Session

Ford sent Mike Blackner to the Fall 2018 rally to talk to us about the Transit portion of our Fuse.

He reminded us that the warrantee is 5year/100,000 miles on the diesel engine and  5 years/60,000 miles on the transmission and other parts of the powertrain.

Ford Transit Cutaway

The transmission on the Fuse is the same 6 speed transmission on a F-150 pickup truck and there are a huge number of these in service for many years.

He recommended to us that as we are driving that we use the Tow/Haul Mode.  He said that this is a better mode since it delays some of the shifting to create less heat.   It is easier on the transmission with fewer gear shifts.  Works better going up and down hills but no real difference on flat ground.  Reason that it is not on by default is that is is not quite as fuel efficient.

He talked about new things Ford is looking at for 2020 and asked what we thought was most important.  The things that Ford was looking at was Hybrid electric vehicles, Swivel Seats, 360 degree cameras, TPMS for all 6 wheels and high power inverter/alternator setups.    I think that the consensus from the group was TMPS and the swivel front seat would help us the most.

We also brought up my EZ-Fuel issue where some nozzles have gotten caught in the anti-siphon mechanism.  He took the question on if there was a tool or something that would make recoverable without having to break something.

There was a question on integrating the Ford sound system with the Winnebago Sound system so people could use their Sirrus/XM with the cabin speakers.

There was a question about using the Ford display for the GPS with the backup camera so we did not need the backup display Winnebago attaches to the windshield.

As they get answers back to us, we will post them to the facebook group.

There was a question on the wheel covers which is a Winnebago question since they supply the covers, not Ford.

We also asked about Ford doing more with the dealers to encourage them to work on RVs.  Mike pointed out the web site but we let him know it seems to be out of date and not as accurate as it could be.

There was a lot of other discussion so if I missed something in the notes it is me.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Fall 2018 Winnebago Tech Session

Fuse Tech Talk 23F tour

Had a great Technical session at the Fall 2018 Compact Coach Rally/Get together.

Lee, Mike, and Anthony from the Winnebago Team answered a bunch of questions for the group and Chris from the Travato line answered a bunch of questions on Lithium batteries.   I am not doing them justice but here is what I captured.

On Lithium batteries.  In the Travato line, the lithium battery setup is 8.7 kilowatt hours of storage.    It is a 48volt system that includes a 3.6Kilowat inverter (30 amps 110v), a DC-DC converter to convert from 48v to 12v and a second alternator on the Travato engine.  Winnebago is trying to determine the demand for a setup like this in the Fuse.  Question is how many people would buy this given the price in the Travato is $20,000.   They are thinking on drop in replacement replacements for the existing 12v batteries that would greatly increase the storage capacity of the batteries, but would only cost $2,000.   They did say that the second alternator on the Travato can charge that huge battery bank in 1 hour and 20min.

Air Conditioner - They have found a much quieter Air Conditioner for the Fuse.  A RVP 13.5 ductless unit.   It should be starting to be used in new units in the next couple of months.   It will come equipped with the chill grill functionality and with this unit it will be possible to put the thermostat on a wall plate though they have not decided it they are going to do this.    It is a new unit and should be able to be retrofitted to older Fuses.

Generator -  Onan is working on a new generator.  Probably available in the next year or so.  Winnebago has added isolators and a new bracket to the later Fuses that helps with vibration noise some.   I got to see the installation on the factory line and it seems much better that the original installations.

Compressor refrigerator -  They have shifted to the Danby 110v units on the latest fuses.  They used Novacool and NorCold units in a few 2018.5 units but moved to the Danby since it was less expensive an gave similar performance.  Downside is that you need the inverter on for it to work.   Winnebago did test this configuration on the Fuse and the Danby ran almost 48 hours on just battery.

Stabalizers vs levelers.   There was a question about did anyone know of a source for levelers for the Fuse.  No one has found one that works on the Transit.  Some discussion about the rear levelers came into play.  The comment was that the stabilizers took play out of the springs when deployed which seemed to equal maybe an inch of movement.  

Bike rack on the hitch.  How much weight could the hitch safely hold given the cantilever forces when you put a bike rack on the hitch.  No real answer since some real engineering would be required.  One of the folks who was present has done something similar for a storage container but they added some braces from the bumper attachments to add strength/take part of the load.

There was a request for the bedroom TV bracket to be able to move so change the TV orientation.

There was some discussion about making the bathroom sink more usable.  Maybe with a larger sink or a different fixture.  A user has done a mod accomplishing this.  Says it made a huge difference with just a little help.

We asked about the improving the mattresses .

We brought to Winnebagos attention the continuing problems with the ATS, break lights with bad LEDs, water in the backup lights, water getting into the outside compartments.  We also brought up some of the window and roof leaks.

The last thing we brought up with Winnebago was the front table in the A not being usable when the slide is in.  Winnebago showed us a concept that seems would fix the problem.  A very unique idea. (Basically the table bracket would attach to the front of the sofa.)

We then got a tour of the new 23F View they had been brought over to the site to show us.  Next to it was a cut away transit straight from Ford.

2019 Fuse(Y2) changes

Winnebago supplied us with the list of changes for the 2019(Y2) Fuse lineup:

Model Line-up

  • 423A - Carryover, 4/6/18
  • 423T - Carryover, 7/9/18
  • 423F - New, 8/13/18

New Standard Features for Y2
  • New wrap around cab window privacy curtain.  Drop the Covercraft folding window blinds
                                         Wrap around privacy Curtin
  • New lightweight thermoformed construction for all countertops and tables
  • The 423T bed changed to a two piece mattress with a living hinge
  • The standard front TV bracket will hinge on the left side for the 423A & 423F
                                         TV Bracket Change
  • Changed to a water manifold system
  • The optional 1000-watt inverter will be a standard item
  • The DC refrigerators will change to a Danby 110V residential refrigerator
                                         Danby Refrigerator
  • New exterior deluxe graphics design, "Winter Blue"
                                        Winter Blue paint
New Optional Features
  • Optional #41M, Roof Vent, Powered Ventilator Fan, will be a standard Feature
  • Replaced Driftwood woodgrain with Honey Cherry woodgrain

Make sure you understand everything is subject to change without notice.

Transit 350HD Cutaway Photos

Our Fuses are built on the Ford Transit 350HD cutaway van.   Ever wonder what it looks like without the Fuse attached.  Here are some photos I took:

Fuse 23F photos

We were given the opportunity at the Compact Coach rally to see the new Winnebago Fuse 23F coach and get a tour by the designers.   Here are the photos I took