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Old 01-07-2013, 06:25 PM   #41
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Good reading as we are really interested in purchasing a Prius. I must clarify that by saying my WIFE is interested. She is interested in fuel economy although she has a lead foot and is a speed demon. Can't talk to her. I can average 22 mpg on our Honda CRV and she can't get over 18 mpg when she is driving. She is a terrible driver when it comes to fuel economy. Yet, she wants to get involved in "the environment" by becomming more fuel conscious. ARGH!
I get a bit irate when I ride with DW. Same thing with mileage. I'll get 25 to her 20 most tank-fulls in her SUV. I anticipate traffic lights and traffic slow downs. She's still on the gas when the light ahead is red. One time I really upset her. I asked if the car she used in Drivers Ed was a Kiddie Kar (peddles for motivation - like a bike). She gave me a strange look. I said "Apparently, you don't consider it driving if you're not pushing a peddle. If you're not pushing the brake, you're pushing the gas." It was not a fun trip from there. Now, I just try to keep my mouth shut. A few bucks worth of gas is cheaper than divorce.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:46 PM   #42
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DW's Camry Hybrid has almost 70K miles on it and my Prius has 8K. The Prius did 1500 miles to from NC last year and the Camry has several 1000-2000 mile trips on it thru hot, very cold & elevations. I wouldn't have any reservations about a hybrid on a trip of any length or elevation, they're not different in use than an ICE car IMO. I'm trying to imagine what your concerns might be?
My concern was that on long trips or uphill drives over big mountains, the gasoline engine might not have the stuff needed if the electrical motors ran out of juice. I was also concerned with the heat buildup from a long trip causing battery problems. But, from what I have read here that is not an issue. I do appreciate the feedback from real people who have used these cars under real conditions, not just on a test track.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:21 PM   #43
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I just did a quick look at the technical info, and am surprised that the Prius battery does not really hold that much energy. From Wikipedia,
The traction battery is a sealed 38-module nickel metal hydride (NiMH) battery pack providing 273.6 volts, 6.5 A·h capacity and weighing 53.3 kg (118 lb)[114] is supplied by Japan's Panasonic EV Energy Co. They are normally charged between 40–60% of maximum capacity to prolong battery life as well as allow headroom for regenerative braking.
The energy storage is 273.6V X 6.5 Ah = 1780 Wh. How much is that? To picture it, suppose we use up the entire battery capacity and not just 20% like the Wiki says for longevity, let's see how high we can lift the car with that energy.

So, 1780 Wh = 6.408 MJ = 4.7 million foot-pound.

If the car weight is perhaps 3400 lbs with 2 passengers, then ignoring all drag and inefficiency in conversion, that energy can drive the car up 1380 ft in elevation. If the battery charge/discharge is limited to 20%, and if we consider the various inefficiencies and losses, then the useful energy storage would be a lot less.

By the way, two golf-cart lead-acid batteries may be close to the weight of the above battery. They store 12V X 200 Ah = 2400 Wh. RV users typically limit the depth of discharge to 50% for battery longevity. However, they usually last only 3 or 4 years, or 1000 to 1200 cycles.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:31 PM   #44
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My concern was that on long trips or uphill drives over big mountains, the gasoline engine might not have the stuff needed if the electrical motors ran out of juice.
The battery supplements the engine and smooths out the torque curve. It doesn't replace the engine, but rather gives it someplace to store the excess energy and re-use it later. Otherwise the engine is powerful enough to haul in excess of its rated capacity, but I'm not sure if it's rated for towing.

The car has at least 13 computer controllers. Its motto should be "It just drives"...

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I was also concerned with the heat buildup from a long trip causing battery problems.
There have been times when passengers (or large, hairy dogs) have blocked the main battery's air intake ventilation filter in the back seat. It's rare, and it gives plenty of warning when it happens, but it still seems to happen once or twice a year.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:48 PM   #45
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Why, there should have been a town called Armadillo in Texas.

Amarillo or Armadillo, it still conjures up the same animal in people's mind. My next RV trip will take me through there, most likely.
Since the Jim Bowie Restaurant in Bowie, Texas, burned several years ago, we now eat at the Armadillo Grill in Bowie. We have to watch what we eat because we want to have a good appetite when we arrive at the Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:54 PM   #46
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... we now eat at the Armadillo Grill ...
Is that the one with the motto: "Tastes like roadkill chicken!"... ?
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:14 PM   #47
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Great thread! Even if we get off topic a little, it sometimes serves the purpose. One post I expected and never got: can you get power seats in a Prius? If not, that's a deal breaker. Wife must be able to touch a button and have seats move to her preferred position. We don't have that now in the Honda CRV but that is what she wants.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:18 PM   #48
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I did a Web search on "Armadillo Grill", and there are several throughout the country. Wonder if it is a restaurant chain, or just a common and popular name for a steak house.

Anyway, back on the hybrid EVs, it appears that the main reason for their high MPG is that the electric propulsion is mainly to provide a boost for short-term acceleration, so that the combustion engine can be of a smaller size. Indeed, when going up a long climb, the battery would run out fairly quickly.

It will be a long time before hybrid engines can be practical for RVs. Heck, before anything else is done, they should design these motorhomes so they do not all look like a brick!

Aerodynamic drag is a huge effect in autos. I have told this story before, but it is worth repeating. In between my two homes, whose elevations are several thousand feet apart, I have driven many vehicles over this familiar highway. Observing how a vehicle coasts down a 6% slope tells you a lot about its aerodynamic drag. My minivan would slowly speed up past 75mph over a mountainous stretch and I would have to brake to avoid going over the rail. My Nissan SUV would max out at about 70mph terminal velocity. That's terrible! That explained why the SUV had such bad gas mileage, compared to the minivan which is heavier and has a bigger engine.

And about the motorhome dragging the toad, forget it! I occasionally thought I needed to give it gas to go downhill at 60mph. Good grief!
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:21 PM   #49
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I did a Web search on "Armadillo Grill", and there are several throughout the country. Wonder if it is a restaurant chain, or just a common and popular name for a steak house.
I understand it tastes more like chicken than steak...
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:23 PM   #50
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With a lot of BBQ sauce? Or should I order it spicy?
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:24 PM   #51
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With a lot of BBQ sauce? Or should I order it spicy?
Order it breaded - covers up the tire marks.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:26 PM   #52
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Which would you prefer, white or dark meat?
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:28 PM   #53
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No preference. Never touch the stuff.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:47 PM   #54
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Which would you prefer, whitewalls or dark meat tread?
Maybe that'll clarify the harvest method...
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:56 PM   #55
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Tire threads aside, here's why one should be careful with armadillos: leprosy!

Here's some info from the Web (bold-faced words are mine). I guess BBQ sauce would not be sufficient to make the meat safe.
A little background first: armadillos are one of the few animals, aside from human beings, that carry the leprosy-causing bacteria. The disease itself — which is characterized by disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage — is extremely rare in the U.S., with about 150 cases diagnosed annually. Most Americans who contract leprosy have worked in areas overseas where leprosy is endemic, such as parts of Brazil, the Congo and India; these cases are considered imported.

But, then, health authorities found that up to one-third of U.S. cases appeared to have been contracted in country — even in victims who didn’t seem to have had any contact with a human leprosy patient. These cases were most common in the states of Texas and Louisiana, but the range is now slowly expanding. Armadillos — almost by process of elimination — were suspected, but there was no solid evidence.

The NEJM researchers — from the Global Health Institute and Louisiana State University — drew up a study that included 33 wild armadillos known to have the disease, and 50 leprosy patients. They found a new strain of M. leprae, called 3I, in 28 armadillos and 22 patients who had never been abroad (and thus could not have contracted the disease from other people with leprosy). After sequencing the new strain and comparing it to other known strains from around the world, the researchers concluded that the leprosy patients and the infected armadillos had the same strain. The fact that eight of the patients recalled having contact with armadillos, including one who frequently hunted and cooked the animals for meat, only bolstered the researchers’ confidence.
PS. Leprosy should now be added as another item in the list of hazards for living in Texas.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:23 PM   #56
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Reading this thread - and also reading the blog of the lady who travels in, and lives out of, her Prius, got me to wondering how long it will be before we see hybrid RV's.

The type of Class C that I'm interested in typically gets around 10-12 mpg. A class C that gets 20-25mpg would be a wonderful thing methinks - especially with a full complement of solar panels on the roof helping the efficiency.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:38 PM   #57
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I would guess that the current hybrid engine technology, if applied to a smaller and streamlined RV like the Sprinter-based class B, would get to 20-25mpg easily. The diesel engine is already at 18mpg, I believe.

But it is really hopeless for the conventional brick-like class C. As I described in an earlier post, the terminal velocity of my class C is only around 65mph going down a 6% slope. That's when the aero drag is equal to the gravity pulling the vehicle down.

So, when traveling 65mph on level ground, overcoming that aero drag requires the same force as pushing a perfectly streamlined vehicle up a 6% slope. That's terrible!
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:40 PM   #58
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Reading this thread - and also reading the blog of the lady who travels in, and lives out of, her Prius, got me to wondering how long it will be before we see hybrid RV's.

The type of Class C that I'm interested in typically gets around 10-12 mpg. A class C that gets 20-25mpg would be a wonderful thing methinks - especially with a full complement of solar panels on the roof helping the efficiency.
Around here the UPS brown delivery trucks are all hybrid and they look similar in size to small RV's so maybe it won't be too long.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:46 PM   #59
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I suspect that the delivery trucks get more advantage from hybrid engines due to their stop-and-go profile, plus low speed driving. I mostly drive my RV on long trips and at sustained highway speeds. The aerodynamic effects overwhelm anything else.

If we have no drag, once an object is up to speed, it requires no energy to keep it moving. And aero drag on brick-like vehicles far exceeds tire rolling drag.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:46 PM   #60
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Tire threads aside, here's why one should be careful with armadillos: leprosy!

Here's some info from the Web (bold-faced words are mine). I guess BBQ sauce would not be sufficient to make the meat safe.
A little background first: armadillos are one of the few animals, aside from human beings, that carry the leprosy-causing bacteria. The disease itself — which is characterized by disfiguring skin sores and nerve damage — is extremely rare in the U.S., with about 150 cases diagnosed annually. Most Americans who contract leprosy have worked in areas overseas where leprosy is endemic, such as parts of Brazil, the Congo and India; these cases are considered imported.

But, then, health authorities found that up to one-third of U.S. cases appeared to have been contracted in country — even in victims who didn’t seem to have had any contact with a human leprosy patient. These cases were most common in the states of Texas and Louisiana, but the range is now slowly expanding. Armadillos — almost by process of elimination — were suspected, but there was no solid evidence.

The NEJM researchers — from the Global Health Institute and Louisiana State University — drew up a study that included 33 wild armadillos known to have the disease, and 50 leprosy patients. They found a new strain of M. leprae, called 3I, in 28 armadillos and 22 patients who had never been abroad (and thus could not have contracted the disease from other people with leprosy). After sequencing the new strain and comparing it to other known strains from around the world, the researchers concluded that the leprosy patients and the infected armadillos had the same strain. The fact that eight of the patients recalled having contact with armadillos, including one who frequently hunted and cooked the animals for meat, only bolstered the researchers’ confidence.
PS. Leprosy should now be added as another item in the list of hazards for living in Texas.
That may be true, but keep in mind that armadillos love to dig up and eat underground yellow jacket nests, that is, the larvae.
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