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Old 09-27-2017, 03:14 PM   #1
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Default Can we relocate battery on 2003 Roadtrek Popular 200?

Has anyone relocated the 2003 Roadtrek Popular 200 battery to a more accessible place?

We have chosen to search for and buy a 2003 Roadtrek Popular 200. However, we will not be able to park the unit at our home, and have no way to plug it into shore power in storage. We will need to take the battery home with us at the end of trips to recharge it completely and to keep it charged if we don't use the unit for some months.

I confirmed with a Roadtrek tech that getting it out from under the coach will be almost impossible without a hoist --- they are not designed to be removed, naturally.

If you relocated the battery, where did you put it?

I have been researching Class B and Class C rvs for over 18 months and keep coming back to the Roadtrek Class B 200/210 because the layout works best for us. We are constrained to buy a unit that is at least 15 years old because of Canadian laws regarding imports from the U.S. So... the 2003 Popular 200 was our unit of choice until I read the manual. Not being able to relocate the battery may end up being a deal-breaker for us.

Thank you for helping if you can!
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Old 09-27-2017, 03:19 PM   #2
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.

1. Your batteries are probably fully charged after a long drive home. They should be ok for a couple of months

2. You should take the RV out for a drive every month, so that the batteries can be charged and the generator can be exercised.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:28 PM   #3
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Thank you for responding. The manual says that the battery should be fully charged before it is left in storage, and recharged at least once per month. But the manual adds that it needs to be recharged on the generator for 12 hours (!) or by running the engine, usually by driving. It doesn't say how long the engine needs to be running.

I've been in touch with the Roadtrek service people in Kitchener Ontario, who told me that the battery could be relocated to one of the external-access storage compartments (at great expense) so we do have a fall-back. But I would very much prefer to recharge the battery without removing it.

So... the big question is, how long would we need to "drive around" before the unit is fully charged from full depletion? Some of our weekend trips will be no more that 1.5 hours to 2 hours from home and that doesn't seem to me to be long enough.

As an aside, it seems to me that tanstaafl ! should be the motto of all RV owners.
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Old 09-27-2017, 07:33 PM   #4
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For long battery life,
you should avoid draining the battery below 50%

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Old 09-27-2017, 07:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egraham View Post
Thank you for responding. The manual says that the battery should be fully charged before it is left in storage, and recharged at least once per month. But the manual adds that it needs to be recharged on the generator for 12 hours (!) or by running the engine, usually by driving. It doesn't say how long the engine needs to be running.

I've been in touch with the Roadtrek service people in Kitchener Ontario, who told me that the battery could be relocated to one of the external-access storage compartments (at great expense) so we do have a fall-back. But I would very much prefer to recharge the battery without removing it.

So... the big question is, how long would we need to "drive around" before the unit is fully charged from full depletion? Some of our weekend trips will be no more that 1.5 hours to 2 hours from home and that doesn't seem to me to be long enough.

As an aside, it seems to me that tanstaafl ! should be the motto of all RV owners.
If you are discharged a quite a ways, 1-2 hours will not get you full from driving, especially with an isolator like you have in a 2003. A full charge will several times that if you want to get totally full.

Many of found that the solution for no power storage includes adding some solar to keep the battery charged, assuming sun is available.

If you go with an AGM battery, it could likely be put inside the van for a lot less cost than modifying a side pod to handle it, and it would be easier to get out, besides.
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Old 09-27-2017, 08:13 PM   #6
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On sailboats, AGM batteries are stored inside the saloon, often under one of the settees.

Might we do the same in the 2003 Popular 200? That is, might we put the battery/batteries in the area occupied by the seat (or the wardrobe) behind the passenger seat?

And might you be able to recommend a Roadtrek-competent RV technician in the Washington DC area with whom I could discuss options? I don't want to pursue our search aggressively until I have an answer to the problem of charging the battery. And my experiences with RV Dealer/Repair shops have not been happy ones.

Thanks to all of you who are responding!
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:19 PM   #7
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It will likely be the least expensive to put the battery inside, somewhere around wherever the existing wiring comes through the floor to the battery charger and other electronics area. Once you find where that is, you can find the best place to put it the battery so you can also get it in and out easily if you need to.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:05 AM   #8
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Just my personal observations. My 210 has batteries in an outside drawer. There were more 210 models made, therefore available. I think the rear doors of the 210 make life easier.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:48 PM   #9
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.

In the old days, RVs used wet cell batteries.
They had the batteries on a sliding tray (drawer)
for easy checking of water level.

At some point, when the batteries were switched over to AGM/Gel (maintenance free),
The sliding tray is omitted.
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Old 09-28-2017, 04:46 PM   #10
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While that may be true, my comment is in reference to "egraham" post where he says he is looking at 2003 RT 200/210 models. As mine is a 2005, The earlier 210 would likely have the slide out drawer.
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