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PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options

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Bsla11

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PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« on: January 24, 2020, 05:08:00 pm »
Hey all,

Been reading everything I can on this forum that last week. Coming from a large 5th wheel and looking to pull the trigger on a new PC next week

We have picked most options but still undecided on 4x4 and solar on a Model 2552. Obviously not going to be rock crawling but nice to have in the Chicago area with the snow and occasional sandy beach while traveling as well as boondocking in the desert when we go out west. Just retired and hopefully see a Alaska trip in our future as well.

We have learned there are tradeoffs with most RV decisions but anyone regret 4x4 due to the stiffer ride. Coming from a Ram dually that is really stiff when not towing not sure how the ride will be in the 2552 with 4x4? I realize it will be loaded so that will help smooth the ride.

I did a test drive on 2552 without 4x4 and it was fine. Up to this point we have been mostly in campgrounds due to 42.5 Ft 5th wheel size.

Second option is a newer Battle born battery package from PC. I guess Battle born created an optimized system for PC. From what I can piece together itís 2 12v battle born batteries with heat warps, SC-2030 Charge controller, TM-2030 battery monitor. In addition to this package 2x150 Watt panel solar package is needed. 300 watts of solar panels seems a little light. Kept asking if a third panel could be installed but I guess not enough room. Model numbers for charge controller and monitor have not be confirmed.

Total for all solar installed 7k

Thanks for reading,

Brian

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hutch42

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Re: PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2020, 06:13:34 pm »
Second option is a newer Battle born battery package from PC. I guess Battle born created an optimized system for PC. From what I can piece together itís 2 12v battle born batteries with heat warps, SC-2030 Charge controller, TM-2030 battery monitor. In addition to this package 2x150 Watt panel solar package is needed. 300 watts of solar panels seems a little light. Kept asking if a third panel could be installed but I guess not enough room. Model numbers for charge controller and monitor have not be confirmed.

Total for all solar installed 7k

I suppose if you are going to live off the grid for more then 3 days at a time or do some serious off season camping the lithiums seem to be what folks are using.  If not, just paring a couple of 6V AGM's with a lower cost 200 Watt solar system.  The 2552 should only burn 80-110 amps a day 3 season camping (unless your a 120V AC guy through the inverter.).  Also a lot of retros to lithium are trying to fit them inside the coach to keep warm.  There so light weight could fit them under on of the beds in a 2552 save all the warming issues.  Good luck.

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mikeh

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Re: PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2020, 10:18:39 pm »
Brian,

Unfortunately, I can't help with your 4x4 ride question.  I can only say that over a variety of road conditions, I have been quite happy with the ride on my 2019 2552.  It has the standard suspension, without Liquid Springs.

I picked up my new 2552 almost exactly one year ago.  At the time of my build, the Battle Born lithium package was not offered.  I did opt for the Trojan AGMs and the 300 watt solar package.  My unit is also equipped with the SC-2030 charge controller and the TM-2030 battery monitor.

I haven't done a great deal of boondocking to date, but the solar package has worked great in my applications.  If stored externally (providing solar access), between the AGMs and solar charging I never worry about battery condition or charge during extended storage periods--it's simply always at 100%.  The TM-2030 monitor provides complete and immediate readout on house battery status and charge/discharge.  Since PC has currently removed their option price list from their website, I can't tell how that $7K solar price you mention is structured or what other options might exist.  My own solar, which seems to be identical except using lead acid AGMs instead of lithium, was priced at less than half that last year.  I do recommend the solar, but would want to examine options and pricing a little closer.

All the best,     Mike

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2020, 11:23:26 pm »
Hi Bsla11,

Your implication is that you live near Chicago.  I live near Chicago, north of Elgin, IL.

My opinion concerning a 4x4 is that unless you are planning on going places often where a 4x4 is an absolute requirement, I would shy away from it.  I say this in-part because of the location of your home base.  Every trip out west will require driving thousands of miles across the Great Plains.  Not just a rough ride that will be hard on your house and contents, but your increased height will wrestle harder, wind turbulence and uneven road surfaces.  I consider model 2552 to be a great choice considering the over-all length to wheel base ratio, so you will have that going for you.  But adding a Quigley 4x4, I just don't see that fun to drive thousands of miles on interstate highways.  Hopefully someone with a 2552 4x4 will provide "experience" driving across the Great Plains multiple times.

Another question I have concerning a Quigley 4x4 conversion.  I never see pictures of them towing another vehicle.  It makes me wonder if towing has issues.  So if you plan to tow another vehicle, that would be another question to ask PC-4x4 owners.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2020, 11:31:28 pm by Ron Dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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2 Frazzled

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Re: PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2020, 07:07:15 am »
I can't speak on the 4x4 but I do regret not getting solar on the roof. We will be having it installed hopefully soon. We carry a small 100 watt solar suitcase and it does great if there is sun but the hands-off roof-top solar is the way to go if you plan to boondock. We've spent weeks at Big Bend and Organ Pipe National Monument using just that little solar panel. We are extremely careful with water and energy use and spend most of our time out playing so we can manage but it would be nice to not monitor and worry about it so much.

I don't know how the Phoenix solar package compares to after market installs. I know some owners have three panels up there. I plan to shop for newest best technology when the time comes and load her up.
John, Holly, and sometimes Chloe.
Travel Blog: Spiritofthewoods.net

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JLeTempt

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Re: PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2020, 08:19:01 am »
I don't know about 4x4 but I do know something about the Battle Born batteries. Apparently my new 2552 is in the paint shop due to be delivered 2nd or 3rd week of Feb.  I was informed a couple of months after PC agreed to put 2 batteries under the driver side bed that for legal reasons, they now will not do it.  Apparently, lawyers are concerned that the next owners after me might try to put regular batteries under the bed which is an absolute no no.  The Battle Born batteries were not an option offered to me, but I provided them with the information for what I wanted including Victron products. It remains to be seen if I get exactly what I wanted.  My batteries will be installed in the usual battery bay which will be enclosed and have heat pads.  This is fine for me for now.  My reason for under the bed installation was so it would be easier for me to add additional BB batteries if I wanted. I have 2 solar panels also with a 3000 w inverter.  I had a Truma Aqua Go plus hot water installed as well as the Lagun table option installed with mounts in 3 different locations.  I also opted for a 12V refrigerator ILO of gas/electric. I did order the liquid springs with the safety plus stabilizer so that I can come as close as possible to the drive/ride I had in my Newmar with comfort drive.  This will be my 2nd and last motorhome.  My wife and I traveled full time in our Newmar and loved it.  Unfortunately she died last June.  My plan is to live and travel in the PC full time until I can no longer do so. I want to be sure it's exactly what I want for the way I intend to use it.

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biglegmax

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Re: PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2020, 11:47:38 am »
Brian,

I have no experience with a 2552, but we have a 2350 4x4, currently 26k miles since we ordered it. It really comes down to how you are going to use your MH. We live in the west and have found that we are enjoying the off seasons much more than the busy seasons. That can equate to colder temps and poor roads.
 The quigley would handle rock crawling just fine, but the PC will not. I have owned a lot of 4x4's in 50 years, I would say this is no worse driving than any other. You will lose about 1-2 mpg( I'm around 8.5), gain 17" wheels, more ground clearance, some suspension upgrades.
I'm not sure why you could not tow with it, maybe Ron could elaborate his concerns. We do not tow at this time,but have purchased a toad for if and when we decide.

 The 4x4 gives you a little more of a peace of mind for year round travels, but there are other good alternatives. We  custom ordered our chassis with a limited slip rear end, not sure thats what PC provides. If you opt to not do a conversion now, a locking rear differential can be added, as can a complete 4x4 conversion down the road.
You mention you are coming from a large 5th wheel, you might also consider the weight the conversion adds, taking away from your net carrying capacity, something you might miss.

When we ordered our PC, lithium was not an option, so I have no experience there. We have completely gutted the charger/inverter/ panels/batteries  and added 600 amps in 4 lifeline 6 volt AGM's and 640 watts of solar. The system is great, but heavy, and really overkill. We mostly camp away from the crowds and services but you have to remember you do have a generator. I hate them and really didn't want one, and rarely use it, but it is still a good alternative for those gaps you might have in power shortages. Water is always your limiting factor.

I would be very hesitant to strap some extremely expensive lithium batteries into the current mounting location, without a complete heated /monitored/secure enclosure. I would also be hesitant to be a test for a new product for PC, who has no experience with lithium and very little with solar, or related quality components. UNLESS you live next door to the factory and enjoy that kind of thing.
 Congrats on retirement and enjoy your travels.
Doug


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RVCamping

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Re: PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2020, 08:57:23 am »
Brian - we have a 2018 2552 4x4 and we love where it can take us. We also have 300 watts of solar and the Bogart 2030 solar controller and battery monitor with two 6V, 215 AH, Crown AGM batteries wired in series. Wanted lithium, but at the time, PC would not install a lithium system for us.
Solar has met our boondocking needs quite well, water is always your biggest limiter for length of stay.
As for needing the 4x4 and how it handles, follow the "Considering four down need input" post (scroll to page 3) for my comments and pictures on towing our AWD Envision with the 2552. This is not an issue.
Last comment you may want to refer to all of my posts to read about uploading the Star software to gain more horse power and better shifting, no slide for 4x4 and others. PM me if you have other specific questions I could help you with. - Dick
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 08:59:55 am by RVCamping »

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Ron Dittmer

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Re: PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2020, 10:34:14 am »
I'm not sure why you could not tow with it, maybe Ron could elaborate his concerns.
As I mentioned, I just never seen pictures of PC 4x4s towing a vehicle and wondered "if" there were issues doing so.  It was on my mind that maybe the hitch sits way to high above the pavement for towing 4 down.  An offset hitch receiver for some vehicles might be too extreme.

I am not saying there is a problem.  I am saying to "make sure" there is NOT a problem towing your particular 4-wheel-down tow vehicle with the Quigley option.

Also, the Quigley "might" reduce towing capacity because the extra weight "might" take from the GVWR or GCWR.  I am not saying that is a problem either.  I am saying to "make sure" it is not, more-so with E350 4x4s.  Get educated on what you can expect....whatever that reality is.
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer

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Bsla11

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Re: PC 4x4 / Battle Born package options
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2020, 03:18:47 pm »
Really appreciate all the great comments.

After going back and forth many times we decided to not get the 4x4. From where we live in the Midwest it will be more useful to have a smoother ride and we will have to mitigate any areas that might requite 4x4.

As far as the PC Battle born package it seems it was created after PC had a discussion with Battle Born. It sounds like Battle Born made some general recommendations on solar setups. It's still unclear on what's include in the package so i'm not going with any solar from PC. I am going to have a system designed by a company that does solar full time and have PC pre-install the cabling.

I do think it's a lot to expect RV manufacturers to know the best way to design and install a solar system. The great thing is they are very willing to pre-wire to my specifications. 

BTW JLETEMPT you solar system may be whats considered the Battle Born package as they said it was loosely based on a recent build just getting completed.

One "option" we did want was 2021 V8 7.3L I'll post details in another thread as I receive them.I know the v10 has been solid for a long time but been hearing good things about the new v8