Happy to help, Dave. Remembering that I'm a relative XV-JP novice, here's some answers that might also interest other forum members . . .
Originally Posted by DavidEllzey
1. What is your average gas mileage hwy/city? The XV-JP manual, in what I considered to be a nice piece of honesty, says to expect between 8-15 miles per gallon, the lower amount while off-roading. My tanks of fuel on the drive back to Portland were between 11 and 14 miles per gallon cruising the interstates at 65-70. The lowest amount was into the I-80 southern Wyoming 30-knot headwind (inevitable, from my experience, regardless of the direction I'm going ). The best was with a tailwind down the Columbia Gorge. A stock geared truck would do somewhat better.
2. How much does the rig weigh? Right at 7,000 pounds, I was told.
3. Does it pull up mountains okay or does it feel much worse than a stock Rubicon? Not a good question for me, as I've never driven a stock JK and also my truck was regeared. Actually, I'm also no good to ask because I'm used to driving my Series 80 (slow) and my Unimog (glacial) up hills, so the XV-JP seemed like a rocket. It's got 205 horsepower, I think, and has 7K instead of 4K pounds to motivate, so the ER's not going to be fast compared with a stocker. On the other hand, if you care to look at it this way, it'd be tough to find any self-contained motorhome with better performance.
4. Does anyone know if EarthRoamer has converted a manual transmission XV-JP yet? I don't know, but I would like to say that I have no quarrel at all with the automatic. It seems well suited for the engine and had no annoyances. I wouldn't be looking to a manual thinking there's anything wrong with the slushbox.
5. Assuming sunny days with 10 hours of sunlight each day, do you think the solar panels would be able to keep up with at least a full week's worth of use by 2 people including excessive laptop usage? Well, you probably need to do the math based on your specific laptop's consumption. The 80-watt solar panels would put something a little below that into the batteries. The charger on my laptop says it can pull up to 3.5 amps DC which would be about 40 watts or about half the panel's input. The other major power draw would be the fridge, which can draw up to 6 amps, or about 70 watts, on high power. The complication, of course, is that neither the laptop charger nor the fridge will draw those loads continuously, or even close to continously. My spider sense says that you'd probably be OK if you truly got 10 hours of pretty direct sun. However, also consider that if you drive anywhere, even for an hour or so, the batteries will get recharged from the engine alternator and those batteries (offering 210 amp-hours, so figure 105 AH available) will offer a nice reserve.
If you have any other questions I can answer, post 'em up. I'm glad to help.
Last edited by mhiscox; 11-22-2008 at 10:18 PM.
2007/2012 custom Jeep Rubicon EartthRoamer motorhome
2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited
2003 Mercedes 2500 mid/tall Sprinter camper
2006 Honda PS250 Big Ruckus Expedition Scooter
1996/2002 Honda XR600R highly-modded