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Old 04-26-2019, 05:54 AM   #1
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Default Ecotrek upgrade

Hello,

I have a 2018 Adventurous XL with 800 ecotrek system. It is serving me okay, but it seem like the wifey likes the A/C too much and I just can't seem to get enough juice from the batteries. I was looking at possibly adding another 800ah system. The questions I had are:

1. I see that currently the 4 modules are located behind the rear axle with room for two more. Would placing two new ones there be okay?

2. Where does RT place the other two in the XL chassis?

3. Are the battery boxes available from another source?

4. what other upgrades (aside from cabling) would I need for the install. (found the source for the battery switches).

5. Is there a wiring schematic for the system?

6. I believe that I have 470W solar. Would increasing it to 600W just be a matter of adding another 130W panel, or am I looking a replacing some panels with larger ones? Would I need to upgrade any solar controllers/ inverters?



and finally, am I going down the wrong path?

Thank you for taking the time to read this thread.
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:38 PM   #2
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Those are some great questions and someone here should be able to help out.

I'll mention some other ideas:

More battery capacity might not help as much as expected if say part of the problem is recharge time or recharge amount. Additionally, if you're running the air conditioner while idling to recharge the batteries then the net input won't be much.

I'd first get the model number for the air conditioner and find out the specs for it. I've had inefficient A/C's (like 1600W power consumption) and better units at around 1100W.

Next I'd somehow determine the State of Charge (SOC) parameters of the existing setup to see if additional amp hours can be had. For example, if it is set to operate between 20% SOC and 90% SOC then you're only able to use 70% of the 800Ah you purchased. If you could tweak it to operate between 10% SOC and 95% SOC for example you be able to use 85% of the 800Ah you purchased.

Also, contact KS2 Corp to see if they can tell you what SOC range your modules are set at and how to max them out.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:22 PM   #3
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"Am I going down the wrong path?"

I think so. Wifey needs to be more adaptable. Travel at cooler times to cooler destinations. Maybe leave wifey in nearby motel room which would probably be cheaper.

Open windows and fans achieve a lot. You may spend All your time replacing the power to run the AC and have achieved nothing. Also you could leave her home, heh, heh. That could get expensive, too.

After thinking about it, you are in the generator mode and may as well go get one.
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Old 04-27-2019, 02:46 AM   #4
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If you go the genny route I'll recommend a Champion inverter model. The one with a remote key fob. 2800 watts, quieter than an Onan, and has correct RV 30 amp plug. About 8-900 bucks at Amazon. Three year warranty and US based customer service.

Did I say quieter than an Onan?

Good luck with what you decide to do.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:28 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. I do have the under hood generator. Was hoping to run it less often. I have found some of the parts. Just waiting to see if Roadtrek NA gets bought out and parts become available.
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Old 05-01-2019, 09:34 PM   #6
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I don't believe you will have a problem both charging batteries and running air conditioning with the under hood generator. I have a 3500 watt generator and 5000 watt inverter on my 2015 Etrek. I think the limit on charging will be the charger.

That said, if you want 24/7 AC in extreme heat without shore power then a separate generator is probably a better choice. Assuming your current rig doesn't use propane, I think the idea of a relatively quiet gas generator would be the best option.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:52 PM   #7
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Hello,

Thank you for the response. I have propane onboard. Are there generators which are as quiet as the engine idling? This might be an option for me as well.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:53 PM   #8
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"Ecotrek upgrade"

Is that a misnomer? Just never heard of that happening.

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Old 05-01-2019, 10:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thawk View Post
Hello,

Thank you for the response. I have propane onboard. Are there generators which are as quiet as the engine idling? This might be an option for me as well.

If you are going to run the AC as much as your wife wants, a generator is probably best. To get quiet it would have to be a portable and could be gasoline or propane with a hose to your van tank or from loose tanks. The good portables are very quiet compared to an Onan or an idling diesel.
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Old 05-02-2019, 12:03 AM   #10
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I don't know whether you can find a generator as quiet or quieter than the engine idling.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:11 PM   #11
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I wouldn't bother with the expense of upgrading solar. Your current array should be sufficient for fridge/lighting and other "light-duty" usage. Solar will not generate enough power to significant'y impct your AC performance.
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Old 05-02-2019, 05:38 PM   #12
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The answer depends on how many days you camp. If you full time, a generator would be the cheapest option. If you are a weekend warrior, turning ac on only during the hottest part of day or when connected to shore power would be cheaper. Even if you don’t want to stay at a campground over night, it may be worth it to hook up for the hottest part of the day to recharge batteries and get the van nice and cooled down. Find the cheapest hookups with few amenities. I plan on staying at the beach in the Deep South most of the summer when daytime temps get up to 100 quite often. I will be staying at a casino rv site for shore power. There are no showers bathrooms or any amenities, but you do get access to the adult only pool with nearby bar for $30 a night as well as power and water. It beats the cost you’re paying in fuel to run the generator.
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