Any GTAM'ers have a tiny/micro camper? | Page 6 | GTAMotorcycle.com

Any GTAM'ers have a tiny/micro camper?

PrivatePilot

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Used my daughters Kia Soul again for simplicity. No hitch on the Volt yet and I didn’t want the first test to be a 600km essential haul right out of the gate - the tried and true vehicle was the go-to.

Jury is still out on if the Volt is going to even haul it honestly given the weight and aero drag. I scaled it in Bowmanville on the way back and was a little surprised at the number - then again they did sell it to us with all the contents (and Quite a bit of it) plus a huge battery and a full propane tank. And there was probably 50 lbs of snow and ice still frozen to it lol.

That’s another bridge to cross yet. I just wish the hitch wasn’t a $500 gamble for such. Gotta admit the possibility of selling the Gen1 and moving up to a Gen2 isn’t in my head again. I may ask to borrow my BIL’s 2018 Volt (which already has a class 2 hitch) and do a test overnighter somewhere come the nicer weather. If it hauls it with ease it’s worth considering in the end with mine. If it’s on the edge with the Gen2 (which is a more capable tow vehicle vs the gen1 with better engine output and stronger drivetrain in general) then selling the gen1 and coming up with another plan is the best I think.
 

ToSlow

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Why not just buy a vehicle that you know will haul it?

I never second guess
 

PrivatePilot

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Because I’m not interested in having a gas guzzler to drive the other 300+ days of the year we’re not towing.

I used to daily drive a 1 ton dually diesel. I don’t want or need that anymore.

The Gen2 Volt is almost certainly up to the task hapily while still giving us the benefits of staying electric and great economy the rest of the year.
 

PrivatePilot

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If you need a hitch check out U-haul. They install them at a good price. Incentive to have you rent one of their trailers.

The only one they have for the first gen Volt is only a class 0.5 (it’s a long story) with a 100# tongue and 1000# gross limitation. No good for me.

Jury remains out on whether I’m even going to try pulling it with my Gen1 or not.
 

GreyGhost

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The only one they have for the first gen Volt is only a class 0.5 (it’s a long story) with a 100# tongue and 1000# gross limitation. No good for me.

Jury remains out on whether I’m even going to try pulling it with my Gen1 or not.
Given the crazy cost of the Gen1 hitch that might work and potential for disappointing results, I would probably put that money towards a gen 2.
 

PrivatePilot

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Given the crazy cost of the Gen1 hitch that might work and potential for disappointing results, I would probably put that money towards a gen 2.

Yeah, thinking about it still for sure. I just hate putting another $10K over and above what I'll likely get for the Gen1 into buying a Gen2 when in reality I'm only driving under 20km a day right now to and from work, and that's it.

Just selling the Gen1 and buying something like another 2011/2012 Soul (since I kinda like them having driven my daughters a few thousand KM now, and I know it tows well) has crossed my mind...and take the other $2-$3K left over and put it against the trailer purchase cost.

Keep it for a year or two until a Gen2 Volt again comes down to a more palatable price and then move back an EV.

I'll tell you, having put gas in the Soul for the last week though (and driving it a lot this week for other stuff) has certainly served to remind me who dirt cheap driving an EV is in comparison. I burned $50 worth of gas in the Soul this week alone - had to take my wife to some medical appointments out the other side of Toronto, did some running around picking up some stuff I bought online, etc. $50 is a whole months worth of electricity in the Ioniq.

I'd sure miss the EV thing though.....ugh.

Option 3 is to keep the Volt and such as is, & just buy a dirt cheap tow pig vehicle and put it on the road for just the summer months and park it and take the insurance and everything off for the winter.
 

Scuba Steve

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Yeah, thinking about it still for sure. I just hate putting another $10K over and above what I'll likely get for the Gen1 into buying a Gen2 when in reality I'm only driving under 20km a day right now to and from work, and that's it.

Just selling the Gen1 and buying something like another 2011/2012 Soul (since I kinda like them having driven my daughters a few thousand KM now, and I know it tows well) has crossed my mind...and take the other $2-$3K left over and put it against the trailer purchase cost.

Keep it for a year or two until a Gen2 Volt again comes down to a more palatable price and then move back an EV.

I'll tell you, having put gas in the Soul for the last week though (and driving it a lot this week for other stuff) has certainly served to remind me who dirt cheap driving an EV is in comparison. I burned $50 worth of gas in the Soul this week alone - had to take my wife to some medical appointments out the other side of Toronto, did some running around picking up some stuff I bought online, etc. $50 is a whole months worth of electricity in the Ioniq.

I'd sure miss the EV thing though.....ugh.

Option 3 is to keep the Volt and such as is, & just buy a dirt cheap tow pig vehicle and put it on the road for just the summer months and park it and take the insurance and everything off for the winter.
Can you just borrow the soul when you need.

Sent from my couch using my thumbs
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
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Certainly an option, but my daughter is in college in Lindsay, so the vehicle is realistically an hour away most of the time.

The swap out and return process then becomes a 4 hour commitment every time - 2 hours each time, twice.

I was doing some GoogleFu on "vehicles with surprising tow ratings" and low and behold, look what I found....


Look at the 4th car.

When you compare the numbers side by side..


Gen 1 engine capabilities.
Output (kW / hp @ rpm):63 / 84 @ 4800 (est.)

Gen 2 engine capabilities
Output (kW / hp @ rpm): 75 / 101 @ 5600

So the Gen2's engine makes an additional 12 horsepower.

Gen 1 electric capabilities.

Motors (two);drive motor, 111 kW; generator motor, 55 kW

Gen 2 electric capabilities

Motors (two);twin-motor arrangement, 110 kW

This bit is a little unclear. The 55kw generator capacity on the Gen1 is the big issue here (read more below) but it's unclear to me how many kw the Gen2 can actually generate - it can't be 110kw knowing what I know. I'll dig some more.

Gen 1 electric horsepower

Power (kW / hp):111 / 149

Gen 2 electric horsepower

Power (kW / hp):111 / 149

Gen 1 Torque

Torque: (lb-ft / Nm):368 / 273

Gen 2 Torque

Torque: (lb-ft / Nm):294 / 398



When you put all the numbers together, what stands out is the Gen2 with about 20% more horsepower and likely *some* increased generator capacity as a result. But how much is unclear.

And this is where it gets technical.

My concern with the Gen1 isn't the raw ability for the car to haul the trailer. I know it'll do that just fine....it's for the engine to keep up with the power demands - the Gen1 can only make 55kw of power with the engine wound right out wide open but the car can use north of 100kw at full load.

With the car in Mountain mode there will be a "buffer" of extra battery capacity held onto for hard demands ...so if the car is drawing 100kw and the engine only provides 55kw, the battery buffer provides the rest and the engine tries to rebuild that buffer afterwards.

Therein lies the problem. I know the car will pull the trailer (and probably quite well at that, electric power wins all the time), but if the car is consuming (for example) 60kw at cruise and the engine can only generate 55kw, well, the battery is slowly getting drawn down. When the battery reaches 16% on the Volt it loses it's **** and goes into a reduced propulsion mode so that the engine can bring the battery back up to a safe baseline 22% again.

The big million dollar question is....how many kw will the car consume towing the trailer at 90kph which is what I'd be happy towing at.

Looking at these numbers I'm starting to think more and more that maybe I just need to spend the money on the damn hitch and YOLO it.

If it works, it's a win. If it doesn't, well, I take the hitch off and try to recover 50% of the cost at least and then go with one of the plan B options.

I crossposted this to my EV thread as the nitty gritty tech details are more fitting over there and somewhat OT to this thread. Anyone interested in debating the tech bits as opposed to the original RV topic, please head over there to respond instead.
 
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Brian P

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Unless you are towing through the Rocky Mountains or perhaps some places in NC/TN/KY, it is not going to take 55 kW to pull that trailer at that speed. Even down south, if you manage state of charge a bit, what's stored in the battery plus what the engine is doing should be enough to get up most hills without slowing down too much. The really steep bits tend to be shorter and on secondary roads with lower speed limits.

Back of notepad calc suggests that if the whole rig weighs 2500 kg, going up a 6% grade at 90 km/h will take about 36 kW, leaving almost 20 kW left for aero drag. It might slooowly eat into the battery now and again on a hill like that but if you have to slow down to 85 km/h ... on those hills, there will still be big trucks in the truck lane going slower than that.

It's not going to do 130 km/h without ever slowing down with that trailer in tow, but I get the feeling that you're not expecting that.

Nothing in Canada on main highways anywhere east of the Rockies is going to bother it much.
 

Brian P

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I should add that I towed two bikes on an open motorcycle trailer behind a 90 hp (66 kW) VW diesel for years. Heading south on I75, the first hill that it wouldn't pull on cruise control in 5th gear was the one just across the Ohio river from Cincinnati as you enter Kentucky. It never needed downshifting below 4th, and I never got pushed below 100 km/h. Acceleration was a figment of your imagination, but it didn't slow down, either.

edit: I split a ride to Barber Motorsports Park with a friend who had a similarly underpowered diesel Jetta, also with two bikes on an unaerodynamic open trailer. Somewhere north of Nashville on the way there, we went down a big, long hill ... "it'll be interesting to see how the car handles this on the way back". Well, it was in the middle of the night on the way back, and we never noticed it, which means it did it in 5th on cruise control.
 
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GreyGhost

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Certainly an option, but my daughter is in college in Lindsay, so the vehicle is realistically an hour away most of the time.

The swap out and return process then becomes a 4 hour commitment every time - 2 hours each time, twice.

I was doing some GoogleFu on "vehicles with surprising tow ratings" and low and behold, look what I found....


Look at the 4th car.

When you compare the numbers side by side..


Gen 1 engine capabilities.
Output (kW / hp @ rpm):63 / 84 @ 4800 (est.)

Gen 2 engine capabilities
Output (kW / hp @ rpm): 75 / 101 @ 5600

So the Gen2's engine makes an additional 12 horsepower.

Gen 1 electric capabilities.

Motors (two);drive motor, 111 kW; generator motor, 55 kW

Gen 2 electric capabilities

Motors (two);twin-motor arrangement, 110 kW

This bit is a little unclear. The 55kw generator capacity on the Gen1 is the big issue here (read more below) but it's unclear to me how many kw the Gen2 can actually generate - it can't be 110kw knowing what I know. I'll dig some more.

Gen 1 electric horsepower

Power (kW / hp):111 / 149

Gen 2 electric horsepower

Power (kW / hp):111 / 149

Gen 1 Torque

Torque: (lb-ft / Nm):368 / 273

Gen 2 Torque

Torque: (lb-ft / Nm):294 / 398



When you put all the numbers together, what stands out is the Gen2 with about 20% more horsepower and likely *some* increased generator capacity as a result. But how much is unclear.

And this is where it gets technical.

My concern with the Gen1 isn't the raw ability for the car to haul the trailer. I know it'll do that just fine....it's for the engine to keep up with the power demands - the Gen1 can only make 55kw of power with the engine wound right out wide open but the car can use north of 100kw at full load.

With the car in Mountain mode there will be a "buffer" of extra battery capacity held onto for hard demands ...so if the car is drawing 100kw and the engine only provides 55kw, the battery buffer provides the rest and the engine tries to rebuild that buffer afterwards.

Therein lies the problem. I know the car will pull the trailer (and probably quite well at that, electric power wins all the time), but if the car is consuming (for example) 60kw at cruise and the engine can only generate 55kw, well, the battery is slowly getting drawn down. When the battery reaches 16% on the Volt it loses it's **** and goes into a reduced propulsion mode so that the engine can bring the battery back up to a safe baseline 22% again.

The big million dollar question is....how many kw will the car consume towing the trailer at 90kph which is what I'd be happy towing at.

Looking at these numbers I'm starting to think more and more that maybe I just need to spend the money on the damn hitch and YOLO it.

If it works, it's a win. If it doesn't, well, I take the hitch off and try to recover 50% of the cost at least and then go with one of the plan B options.

I crossposted this to my EV thread as the nitty gritty tech details are more fitting over there and somewhat OT to this thread.
OBD scanner hooked up to the soul. Check throttle % at 90 km/h cruise. You know hp of soul and percentage of that power req'd, therefore you have a reasonable estimation of power to pull your house.

I was going to say watch whatever John Kelly from WeberAuto said, but he did Gen1 transaxle detailed video but does not appear to have done Gen2.
 

Brian P

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Actually, if the Soul (automatic?) would pull the trailer in top gear, or in whatever gear requires less than 3000 rpm, on level ground, you have no worries.
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
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OBD scanner hooked up to the soul. Check throttle % at 90 km/h cruise.

I have exactly that and have used it when towing but didn't really check the stats at 90kph.

I just looked back and did see this photo towing the camper last year headed back from Gaspe.

The GPS Coords show we were on Highway 40 at the time, so I'd have probably been doing 100kph. Keep in mind different trailer but honestly probably similar weight and wind profile so I'd call that a wash.

1613786755644.png

Tranny was warm, yeah, the Soul really could use a tranny cooler for heavier hauling...but it was pretty warm that day I remember. Pulling it down into third gear manually helped get temps down a little lower. The goal was to keep the torque converter locked (top right gauge was TC slip, so I could see visually when it was locked or not).

As you can see I was running at about 74% load. I think this was going east and we had a pretty decent tail wind hence only burning 11.8L/100km which I thought was freakin spectacular given we were pulling a 1800-1900# trailer. Any sort of headwind or higher speeds increased those numbers fairly dramatically. It's a 2L 142HP engine.

Coming home from Quebec last weekend with the new camper I was running 105kph and it seemed to be pulling harder honestly - used more fuel and was hovering in the mid 80% load numbers...but it was crappy road conditions and there was ice and snow stuck to the trailer..and a head wind as well IIRC.

So, if any of the math gurus want to crunch the numbers, go for it. I'm just not sure the engine horsepower/kilowatts thing directly translates to electric motor/kilowatts?

If so, the 140HP engine generates 104kw of power. Given as how it was hovering around 75-80% demand on the OBD gauges most of the time towing at 100, that equates to a ~80kw sustained load.

But I'm lost at this point....80kw on an ICE doesn't equate to 80kw on an electric motor...does it? My engineering knowledge falls apart at the comparisons between the two.

If so, well, it's not going to work as I've got a 30kw deficit already at 100kph and it's not going to close that much dropping the speed by only 10kph.

FWIW I also have a hefty gauge setup in the Volt on a tablet through the OBD2. I'm a geek, I like seeing all the nuts and bolts going on behind the scenes....and if I do tow, well, all those guages become a whole lot more useful all of a sudden, especially the temperature ones.

1613786562383.png
 

PrivatePilot

Ironus Butticus
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Actually, if the Soul (automatic?) would pull the trailer in top gear, or in whatever gear requires less than 3000 rpm, on level ground, you have no worries.

Just posted some numbers above I suspect you'll have the knowledge to chew on.
 

Brian P

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74% "load" is a kinda arbitrary number. The next one, "torque request", is more meaningful. It's not percentage of maximum engine power. It's percentage of maximum torque. In order to figure out power, I need RPM.
 

PrivatePilot

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Stumbled across this clip my wife took (on my request, again, because numbers geek) while I was driving. Looks like I was thinking ahead.

I think it'll provide everything you need.


Like I said, oddly I found the bigger/heavier trailer pulled easier than our new smaller/lighter one, but I'm pretty sure weather conditions and ****** aerodynamics were at play - there was a LOT of crusty snow and ice frozen to it I couldn't get off that was there for the whole trip home. Had just put 2 brand new tires on it as well (that's another story) before departing and admittedly I didn't check their pressures...they might very well be low.

On the aero front however it should be kept in mind that the Soul is a higher vehicle than the Volt as well, so it may move air up and over the trailer better than the Volt will, so there may be some negatives there too.

I also need to keep in mind that conditions are not always going to be ideal. Towing head on into a 50kph headwind some day while maintaining 90kph speed is going to have an effect on overall power demands.
 
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Brian P

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So the Soul's engine is only spinning 2500 rpm in that video according to the tach. It's making less than half rated power at that speed. It's not only well below rated-power RPM, it's below rated-torque RPM.

Rated torque of that engine is probably somewhere near 140 lb.ft. 55% of rated torque is 77 lb.ft. At 2500 rpm, that's about 38 horsepower (30 kW).

I can plausibility-check it out of the fuel consumption, too, but there's more math involved.
 

Brian P

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At 2500 rpm and 100% VE the engine would draw in 150,000 litres of air per hour = 180 kg of air per hour at STP. Divide by air-fuel ratio 14.7 gives 12.2 kg of fuel per hour which is about 16.3 litres. If you are doing 100 km/h (your speedo is probably a little high - they all are) that's 16.3 litres per 100 km. Your instantaneous fuel consumption of 11.8 is 72% of that ... which correlates very well with the "load" in your instrument display. ("Load" is what the fuel injection system is using to calculate how much fuel to squirt in. It's a bigger number than "requested torque" because "load" includes internal friction, pumping losses which are greater at part load, etc.) It's not at all surprising that requested torque would be 55-ish percent when "load" is 74%.

I think 30 kW is a fair estimate of how much power it's actually taking to roll down the road under those conditions.
 

PrivatePilot

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I think the fuel consumption number on the OBD feed is extrapolated (although it seemed reasonably accurate based on real world consumption) so be careful relying 100% on that.

The strong possibility exists for me to go grab the trailer on Sunday and take it for a little test tow through the hills and dales if you need more numbers Brian.

I think I'd be pretty confident the Volt will pull fine on the flats the more I crunch the numbers.

My concern will be....the hills and dales. I use Taunton road between Clarington and the 35/115 as a good example - it's pretty up and down.

When in mountain mode the car will start with a 45% SOC leaving lots of buffer for heavy up hill pulls.

My concern is with the way the drivetrain behaves on the Gen1 even in mountain mode.

- 22%SOC to 45% SOC the engine will not really run a whole lot above power demand to replenish the mountain mode buffer...so it's safe to assume it may be depleted faster than it rebuilds while moving. Only in low-load situations or while stopped will it replenish that buffer. I don't really want to have to stop regularly.

- At below 22% SOC the engine will run at WOT (Panic mode) to rebuild to *at least* 22% SOC again before the engine will return to "OK, emergency has passed" mode and return to normal operation, but we still potentially have the fact the mountain mode buffer back to 45% SOC may not be replenishing very fast, potentially, at all.

- If we hit 16% SOC and the engine can't keep up (long uphill grade after the mountain mode buffer was exhausted as above) the car will dump into reduced propulsion mode and I'd be pulling over to the shoulder at that point as there's no way we'd be able to keep moving. There's lots of places that could be very, very bad.

I need to figure out what the replenishment rate of mountain mode is. That's also another big limitation potentially with only 55kw of generation capacity on the engine - if just maintaining 90kph on a side road is using 50kw of it (for example) there's only a handful of kw left to go towards buffer replenishment, assuming the engine is running at WOT which is fine, but not quite guaranteed either as my experience has been that the software takes a gentle "we'll get there eventually" approach to mountain mode buffer replenishment.
 

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