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Old 03-30-2019, 09:24 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek 190P Converter/Charger

Okay, slowly making progress on a 2014 Roadtrek Popular 190 that had been sitting unused for 2 years. After a long, wet winter during which not much work happened beyond some inside cleaning and repairs/adjustments to the cabinet hardware, I'm now tackling the coach batteries. I think they are toast, but I have removed them and will take them to be tested. The factory set-up is 2x6V AGM.

Acting on advice from folks here, I have temporarily installed the small 12V flooded battery from our small Scamp travel trailer. Seems to work!

Here's my question, and I apologize for being such a newbie. This camper is a huge step up in complexity from the Scamp.

Where is the converter/charger located on this unit? I'm not seeing anything that looks like the power center on our Scamp. I was told there is a switch I need to change from AGM to flooded for proper charging from shore power. Where is it?
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Old 03-30-2019, 09:31 PM   #2
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It is probably in the rear storage area on the far right side, to the rear of the wheelwell, as I don't think they have moved them. There will be a removable panel on the right side as far to the rear as you can be. If there is power sofa, the right side legs will be a PITA to get around to some extent.
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Old 03-31-2019, 05:07 PM   #3
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Hi Jon, that's where ours is in our '13 Ranger. We have the power sofa/bed (wish we didn't), it is a p.i.t.a! I can see the unit, but no way I can get into it to switch anything...
Hope you figured it out by now. What 6v batteries do you plan to use & where to buy them? Costco in Prescott doesn't have AGM. Can you find anything in Showlow or Payson ?
Regards, Ric.
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Old 04-02-2019, 09:44 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies. I see the compartment but have not opened it. For the moment I am trying to determine if I have a "leak." I installed the small, fully charges 12V and 2 days later the charge monitor showed it all the way down to 1/3. As far as I know, I only turned the battery on for about 30 minutes and tested a few things to see if they worked, nothing that draws a lot of power. Then I turned it back off.

I removed and recharged it, reinstalled, tested, and turned it off. Going to monitor for a couple of days to see what happens.

Shopping for 6V AGM batteries. Prices seem all over the map. O'Reilly does sell 6V AGM locally (lots of golf carts around here), but reviews aren't good. They can be shipped, no?

Trying to find out in the owner's manual whether there is really a switch on the converter/charger for AGM or flooded. I can see what y'all are saying about the difficulty of accessing the compartment.
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:40 AM   #5
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Test results:
I recharged the test battery and reinstalled it. The battery switch was off and the camper was not connected to shore power, but I noticed some sparking as I connected the negative electrode- in my experience that means something is drawing current, right? That shouldn't be happening with the battery switch off, no?

After it was installed, I turned the battery switch on, and the meter showed 4 bars, full. I turned the battery switch off. Next day, turned it on and checked- showed only 3 bars, and turned it back off. After another day, down to 2 bars.

At that point I removed the battery and put it back on the charger.

In only 48 hours with the battery switch off, the camper pretty much completely discharged a 12V battery, around 100A-hrs, I think. Please tell me that's not normal...

Something is wrong, and I don't want to spend hundreds on new coach batteries until I figure out what it is. Any ideas where to start?
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Old 04-06-2019, 12:53 AM   #6
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Test results:
I recharged the test battery off the coach and reinstalled it. The battery switch was off and the camper was not connected to shore power, but I noticed some sparking as I connected the negative electrode- in my experience that means something is drawing current, right? That shouldn't be happening with the battery switch off, no?

After it was installed, I turned the battery switch on, and the meter showed 4 bars, full. I turned the battery switch off. Next day, turned it on and checked- showed only 3 bars, and turned it back off. After another day, down to 2 bars.

At that point I removed the battery and left it on the charger.

In only 48 hours with the battery switch off, the camper pretty much completely discharged a 12V battery, around 100A-hrs, I think. Please tell me that's not normal...

Something is wrong, and I don't want to spend hundreds on new coach batteries until I figure out what it is. Any ideas where to start?

The sparking at connection is typical for most chargers as the have internal electronics powering up, particularly capacitors.


You should be using about .5 amp in a typical Roadtrek with AGM batteries and nothing on except the detectors, so 12ah per day or 15% or so of the usable 80% of capacity of an AGM. The problem comes with what to do about the fact you went down about double that. Without an ammeter on the system you don't know if the batteries just have low capacity or if you have an extra load in the van to look for.


Best would be to find a battery shop that can capacity test the battery, and/or check the van for resting power use (easy to do), I think. Otherwise, you will just be guessing. You could also buy a cheap ammeter and learn how to use it, as that can be very useful for any RV owner.


The fact that the van sat for a long time unused would probably indicate bad batteries, though.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:12 AM   #7
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...The fact that the van sat for a long time unused would probably indicate bad batteries, though.
I've already removed the bad original AGM's. I'm currently testing with a good 12V flooded battery from my travel trailer.

So are you saying the detectors are powered up even when the battery is switched off? Guess I assumed the battery switch completely isolated the battery(-ies) for long-term storage.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:25 AM   #8
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I've already removed the bad original AGM's. I'm currently testing with a good 12V flooded battery from my travel trailer.

So are you saying that the detectors are powered up even when the battery is switched off? Guess I assumed the battery switch completely isolated the battery(-ies) for long-term storage.

My mistake, I saw you a said you turned it on, but didn't see the turned. No the detectors don't run with it off, and nothing else should either except for the charger unless something had been added ahead of the switch.


The only thing that I can think of is if the inverter is on. Do you have a separate inverter switch, probably in the front by the porch light or main panel?
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:19 AM   #9
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My mistake, I saw you a said you turned it on, but didn't see the turned. No the detectors don't run with it off, and nothing else should either except for the charger unless something had been added ahead of the switch.


The only thing that I can think of is if the inverter is on. Do you have a separate inverter switch, probably in the front by the porch light or main panel?
It's on the main panel over the door and it's off.

Why would the charger be running? It's not plugged in to shore power. (I've been charging the battery with a separate portable charger in my shed.)

Nothing has been changed or added since the factory. Mom only used it for one long trip, and she always plugged into power at campsites. Since the trip she drove it occasionally for another year but didn't camp in it, then it sat for a year and a half.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:30 PM   #10
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I just took a look at the 2014 owners manual and it appears that if your inverter switch is on the main panel you would have the750 watt inverter. Traditionally that size was a Tripplite inverter/charger and is the same one our 07 190 had in it originally. It used a small amount of power when connected to the batteries when not on shore power, but nowhere near what you appear to be seeing.



That leaves you back to finding where the power is going. If the disconnect is working most everything should be off that uses 12v unless they have wired things differently in the later years. Do the indicator lights on the detectors go off when the disconnect is shut off? That would test the disconnect and if the detectors are wired in all the time.


The manual didn't say if you have a propane or compressor frig, so that might still be hooked to the batteries when the rest is off. If the light goes off inside with the disconnect, that would be your indication.


Check to make sure the audio 110v outlet doesn't have power, as well as the one over the sink. This will confirm that the inverter isn't somehow turned on at the charger.


If you don't find anything in the above stuff, I would pull all of the 12v fuses in the main box and disconnect the connection to the coach at the separator under the hood to get it out of the picture. In this condition there really should be no way for power to leave the batteries except to the charger, so repeat the test you ran on battery life. If you still run down, you are left with either the charger being bad or something is wired directly to the batteries that you will have to find.


I don't think it was mentioned, does this have any solar on it? If so, those are commonly hooked up directly to the batteries and can slowly drain them if parked indoors.
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Old 04-06-2019, 11:07 PM   #11
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Thanks for the detailed response. It gives me some specific steps to move forward. Fridge is 3-way absorption.
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Old 04-22-2019, 07:50 PM   #12
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Update... Charging system, isolator, battery shut-off all test good. 2@6V flooded batteries installed and setting on Tripplite changed from AGM to wet cell.

Tech had no explanation for the discharge I experienced with the 12V test battery and could not reproduce. Going to monitor the state of charge for a few days and see what happens. If there continues to be unusual discharge in storage, we'll install a negative disconnect at the battery.

To answer a couple of questions, no solar, and thermostat, detectors, and fridge all go dark when the battery disconnect is engaged.

Making progress. Thanks for the information and advice.
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Old 04-22-2019, 10:07 PM   #13
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Default DC clamp meter.

I have a middle of the road AEMC CM605 which is similar to this clamp tool on eBay; it is great to troubleshoot leaks. Easy to use, fast and it will save money in long term. There are many of these DC clamp meters up to expensive Fluke. https://www.ebay.com/itm/SE-06-AC-DC...39?_mwBanner=1

Good luck chasing these pesky leaking ghosts.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:52 AM   #14
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After monitoring the new batteries for a couple of weeks, there still seems to be an unexplained power draw. The 2x6V batteries only seem to last about 5-7 days with battery disconnect and inverter shut off and no shore power. I noticed an electrical humming noise coming from the compartment above the DVD player, where the antenna and cable connections are housed. The sound seems to be coming from the black box at the left of this photo, which has two buttons, A for antenna and B for cable.
3A293841-D999-420D-8377-9B678DB00F85.jpg

Could this be my problem? If so, how do I shut it off?
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Old 05-03-2019, 01:19 PM   #15
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After monitoring the new batteries for a couple of weeks, there still seems to be an unexplained power draw. The 2x6V batteries only seem to last about 5-7 days with battery disconnect and inverter shut off and no shore power. I noticed an electrical humming noise coming from the compartment above the DVD player, where the antenna and cable connections are housed. The sound seems to be coming from the black box at the left of this photo, which has two buttons, A for antenna and B for cable.
Attachment 7541

Could this be my problem? If so, how do I shut it off?

That looks to be the cable/antenna selector box and those don't use power. You may have a powered antenna and there would be an amplifier running for that if it wasn't shut off. Follow the antenna cable back and see if you find anything along the way.
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:20 PM   #16
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That looks to be the cable/antenna selector box and those don't use power. You may have a powered antenna and there would be an amplifier running for that if it wasn't shut off. Follow the antenna cable back and see if you find anything along the way.
The antenna appears to be in the picture. Mine is always powered with the battery switch turned on, nil amount of power, maybe < that a quarter amp?
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Old 05-03-2019, 03:32 PM   #17
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The antenna appears to be in the picture. Mine is always powered with the battery switch turned on, nil amount of power, maybe < that a quarter amp?

That sounds about right and would be about 6ah per day. Ours is similar but has a separate on/off for the antenna. Both the battery switch and the antenna switch have to be on for it to use power.
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Old 05-03-2019, 04:11 PM   #18
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That sounds about right and would be about 6ah per day. Ours is similar but has a separate on/off for the antenna. Both the battery switch and the antenna switch have to be on for it to use power.
I'm guessing the amp draw is 4-5, near 5 amps, but not to be missing any amps I just clicked on Amazon, one more switch in the B. Thanks booster, would not have done it without you.
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Old 05-03-2019, 05:55 PM   #19
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Okay, mystery solved, newbie mistake, I hope...

It looks like the inverter was on after all. All the other rocker switches in the panel are top for "on" and bottom for "off", but when I reversed the inverter switch, the buzzing noise stopped.

Batteries are fully charged and we'll see if they stay that way.
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