Prevost Introduces Innovative Energy Management System
Prevost recently announced development of a new energy management system that reduces fuel consumption by using the engine’s downtime (braking, deceleration, and other negative torque situations) to charge the batteries and compress air.
PRIME (Power Recovery by Intelligent Management of Energy) focuses on eliminating parasitic loads on the engine by managing the duty cycles of the alternator and air compressor. Instead of constantly charging, the alternator will use engine negative torque (braking and deceleration) to generate “free” electricity. Depending on the air requirement of the vehicle, PRIME also will trigger the production of compressed air on negative torque.
PRIME utilizes absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries and a Vanner 80 series battery equalizer. AGM batteries can take repetitive deep discharges, are durable (more than 400 cycles), and can last up to four times longer than lead-acid batteries. These sealed, spill-proof batteries require no maintenance.
The Vanner battery equalizer monitors the battery’s state of charge, temperature, and voltage to prevent overcharging and overheating. Based on a battery’s state of charge, the software determines whether the battery needs immediate charging or if it can wait until the next zero load on the engine to trigger battery charging using free energy. This maximizes battery life.
PRIME has an estimated fuel savings of 2 percent, which will vary by duty cycle. Maximum fuel economy is obtained when traveling on a mix of hilly and flat portions that allow the batteries to be charged only when the vehicle is in free wheel. This means the battery will be charged with free energy and no fuel consumption will be dedicated to charging the batteries.
PRIME will be standard on 2014 model H3-45 VIP and X3-45 VIP coach conversions.
Bret Michaels To Host “Rock My RV”
Rock star and TV personality Bret Michaels has signed a deal with the Travel Channel to host an original series of motorhome-inspired shows called “Rock My RV.” The eight half-hour-episode series began production in November 2012 and is slated to begin airing in May 2013.
Fans of Mr. Michaels know him as a longtime RV devotee, and now Travel Channel is revealing for the first time just how deep his passion runs. During the series, the rocker will lead a hand-picked team of skilled custom RV designers and fabricators as they transform travelers’ ordinary RVs into outrageous mobile mansions.
“Between touring and traveling, I spend a lot of time on the road and my tricked-out custom coach is my home away from home,” said Mr. Michaels. “I crisscross the country and live in my tour bus, and I know how to take an RV from ordinary to extraordinary. I can’t wait to put my expertise to use and show people how to make their RVs rock.”
Even before becoming famous as a musician and TV star, Mr. Michaels was an avid motorhome enthusiast, having grown up traveling in his family’s Winnebago, and he understands just what these vehicles mean to their owners.
Pennsylvania Introduces “RV Friendly” Signs
Pennsylvania has become the latest state to welcome RVers with the official “RV Friendly” logo sign, designed to let travelers know which businesses can accommodate their RVs.
The state recently adopted the popular “RV Friendly” highway sign logo for use in the state’s local business logo program. The RV Friendly sign is a highly visible, round, bright-yellow reflective sign with “RV” in the center. It is designed for roadside businesses — such as fuel stations, restaurants, tourist attractions, and lodging/camping facilities — to place on their existing highway gas, food, and lodging logos indicating their ability to provide adequate space and resources for RVers.
“We are so excited that the RV Friendly logo signs have been approved,” said Rebecca Lenington, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania RV and Camping Association. “We’ve been working on this for a while and feel it is a win-win for both RVers and local businesses.”
The RV Friendly signs are a valuable tool for RVers since they provide an indicator as to which business can accommodate them as they shop, eat, or fuel up. Businesses must meet certain requirements in order to be RV Friendly, such as having high canopies, an adequate turning radius, and 12-foot-wide lanes.
Florida’s Roadways Remain Open To International Visitors
Beginning on January 1, 2013, unbeknownst to many international travelers, a new law became effective in Florida that required all foreign drivers to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) while operating a vehicle in the state. The IDP is a document that translates an individual’s driver’s license into 10 languages, making it easier for law enforcement officials to interpret foreign licenses.
Unfortunately, information about the new requirement was not widely publicized until after the law went into effect. To alleviate concerns for international tourists, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) announced on February 14, 2013, that the Florida Highway Patrol will defer enforcement of the law requiring the IDP for an undetermined length of time. The DHSMV will work with the state legislature in the coming months to review and provide some clarification for the law.
This announcement is particularly good news for Canadian travelers, who make up Florida’s largest international tourism market and can travel to Florida by personal vehicle. Visit Florida, the state’s tourism bureau, along with AAA, the Canadian Automobile Association, and law enforcement agencies throughout the Sunshine State are helping the DHSMV publicize the fact that Florida’s doors are open and the law will not be enforced at this time.