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Old 05-06-2020, 07:31 PM   #1
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asking the experts:) what do you guys think of storryteller mode 4x4 on sprinter?

Hi all, I have been watching this forum for years now and have learned alot.
But I am now considering a RV from storyteller RV out of alabama? anyone have eny experience on these rv's? or opinions? would you consider one if needing a straight forward van with large bed and off grid AC (tons of battery power)? Input is much appreciated...

thks
Stuart
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:06 PM   #2
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Stuart I'm certainly not an expert, but I did get a chance to walk through one of their vans and talk to a representative last summer. As a current E-350 SMB owner, I must admit that both my wife and I were very impressed with their vans. The build quality seemed high end and the floor plan we saw was very well thought out and executed (it would be a solid pass on the interior shower for me however). If I was in the market for a Sprinter type vehicle, I would certainly give them a very hard look and they even gave us matching Storyteller t-shirts
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Old 05-06-2020, 10:23 PM   #3
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I second what Steve C had to say. I've had opportunities at 2 different expos to view the Storyteller vans. I was able to walk through and I talked pretty extensively with one of their reps at one of the shows. The layouts are very well thought out and every bit of space is wisely used. In addition, I saw nothing but top quality materials being used and all of the equipment installed was high end. The attention to detail was definitely there. I was impressed with everything I saw and the sales guy I talked to knew everything about the builds inside and out. The fact that he was able to answer every question I had was reassuring. They're expensive, but from what I saw they look to be worth it. If I was in the market for a Sprinter van I think Storyteller would be at the top of my list.
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Old 05-08-2020, 05:59 PM   #4
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It is great to see more Class B builders, especially if they are putting out a high end product. If this floorpan works well for you, this is probably a great option.

The problem with a company having one single floorpan option "with no customization" is that they are dramatically limiting their customer base (in a fairly small Class B market to start with). For example, my wife would have absolutely no interest in a floorplan without a private toilet. That is the advantage of Sportsmobile, Advanced RV, etc. is that you can design the RV exactly the way you want it. For $150k, I would want it perfect for our needs.

I would also do a very careful mathamatical analysis of your energy needs and battery usage if off grid AC is one of your primary needs. I would figure out exactly how you are going to recharge those batteries off grid each day to use them for AC. I would want know how long I have to drive or idle the van each day to recharge those batteries for AC.
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Old 05-08-2020, 06:44 PM   #5
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Yes, the salesperson was very knowledgable that we talked to also. And the inside did seem like quality materials. The shower inside was nice, but we would most likely use the outside shower. so I agree it would be nice to have some options, we probably would not have the shower inside at all, but it also is place to put beer/pop on ice and let it drain out, and a good palce to have a mirror and shave, so in a way it makes snse to use the area like that and still have option for a shower inside.

these vans have a diesel fired furnace/hot water heater using glycol as the heat tfer medium made by eberspacher? has anyone heard of this product or know anythign about its quality/reliability? its supposedly works up to about 9000 feet and loses efiiciency the higher up you go. I guess it works at 13000 feet even but is not really much of a heater at that point.

as far as the batteries in this, it takes about 2 hours to recharge when driving and keeping rpm above 2500ish...
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Old 05-08-2020, 08:39 PM   #6
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The Espar diesel systems are awesome. They are primarily sold to over the road truckers for cab heating so they don't need to idle their engines all night for heat. The one in our Sportsmobile works great. I would not have any concern about that.

The whole off grid AC idea though is another story. I definitely wouldn't trust the salesman on that one. I can't see on their web site how big their lithium battery bank is. As I recall, even with a huge 800 Ahr lithium battery bank, the most you can run a typical AC unit off grid is 6-8 hours without recharging which may not even get you through the night much less a hot day in a hot van. I would do your homework on that whole idea. Do some research on wwwclassbforum.com. Here is a good place to start.

https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...ries-8125.html
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Old 05-08-2020, 09:18 PM   #7
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Here is another good and honest Lithium battery summary from Advanced RV. They also use the Volta battery systems. They rate their 800 Ahr lithium systems as being able to run the AC unit off grid for 4-6 hours before they need charging. The Volta system is rated at 5.4 hours.

https://advanced-rv.com/wp-content/u...hite-Paper.pdf
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Old 05-17-2020, 10:08 AM   #8
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I love the quality and the floor plan of the storyteller. The open, non-fixed shower was a big plus for me. And I loved the seat bed as well as the murphy bed. It is too expensive for my budget, but I would buy one in a hearbeat if I was going to spend that much on a van rv. I also don't need the 4x4 or the off grid battery bank for my needs - which is, I believe, part of the expense. I do hope they decide to build one on the new ford gas chassis - I would probably end up with one if they did that.
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Old 05-17-2020, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sjappers View Post
Hi all, I have been watching this forum for years now and have learned alot.
But I am now considering a RV from storyteller RV out of alabama? anyone have eny experience on these rv's? or opinions? would you consider one if needing a straight forward van with large bed and off grid AC (tons of battery power)? Input is much appreciated...

thks
Stuart
The guys from Storyteller Overland are super nice and if this RV meets your needs and budgets, you should buy it!. One person here suggested going with a custom build instead, but, except for a very few specific builders, a custom build won't be RVIA certified, so RV financing won't be available. This might not matter to the you, the initial buyer, but it will hugely impact resale values as the number of people able and willing to write a large check for a used custom camper van is pretty limited.

This post caught my attention because we have been recently discussing the merits of large, lithium battery. Compared with AGM, a lithium battery will be expensive and picky about temperatures. It is not really needed for cooking (a 200AH AGM battery will power a microwave and/or induction cooktop). But heating or cooling take so much power that running those off AGM is not really practical in a camper van. A small rooftop A/C is rated at 1500 watts (that is also the size of a very modest electric heater). If you use simple math, a 15 kilowatt-hour battery (equivalent to a 1,250 amp hours at 12 volts) could run the A/C for 10 hours. Another dilemma with this kind of power is that you can't realistically charge it with solar. It would take a football field worth of 300 watt panels to replace 15kwh in a good day of solar charging. A typical camper van alternator puts out 1500-3000 watts, so you are looking at 7-15 hours of driving to fully charge the battery. The big lithium systems often use 6000 watt alternators, but you are still looking at 3-7 hours of engine run time to charge your battery.

Roughly, I estimate a 8kwh battery and 6000 watt alternator will cost at least $15k (maybe more). You lose significant (25-50%) capacity when the battery is cold and, below a certain temperature, you'll have to use heating to keep the battery warm, losing even more power. We are torn about this. $15k seems like a lot for 4-8 hours of A/C that has to be replaced by hours of engine running. On the other hand it is a cool, interesting technology and you can run your stove, laptop and LED lights for days without much concern.
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Old 05-17-2020, 11:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sjappers View Post
Hi all, I have been watching this forum for years now and have learned alot.
But I am now considering a RV from storyteller RV out of alabama? anyone have eny experience on these rv's? or opinions? would you consider one if needing a straight forward van with large bed and off grid AC (tons of battery power)? Input is much appreciated...

thks
Stuart
Sjappers - just to be clear, when you said '...off grid AC' did you mean off grid Alternating Current AC or off grid Air Conditioning AC?
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