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Old 09-17-2019, 04:29 AM   #1
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Default Roadtrek volt start

I just bought a 2018 Roadtrek with volt start... I'm not sure if I am engaging it correctly. Can anyone tell me the proper procedure?
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Old 09-17-2019, 06:37 AM   #2
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I just bought a 2018 Roadtrek with volt start... I'm not sure if I am engaging it correctly. Can anyone tell me the proper procedure?
I have the factory PDF for Voltstart but I can't seem to load it here. PM me an email address and I will send it to you as an attachment.
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Old 09-17-2019, 10:52 AM   #3
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I have the factory PDF for Voltstart but I can't seem to load it here. PM me an email address and I will send it to you as an attachment.
Send to scrubby43@gmail.com

Thanks
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:40 AM   #4
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I just looked at a used 2014 RoadTrek E-Trek this past week, and we are thinking of getting it. I saw some comment online about a switch on the dash to activate the genie that starts the engine; but this unit has a multi-position rocker switch above the sliding door, with an “auto” position. Putting this switch in auto position allowed the A/C to come on. I did not see a separate switch on dash, on this unit, so, maybe . . .

We did not have time to spend with this RV to see if the engine would start to recharge batts . . .

I would like to learn more about this RV, and Volt Start, and E-Trek. I like what I’ve seen so far!

The website for RoadTrek is currently inactive, due to their closing/shutting down. Hopefully this is temporary.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:44 AM   #5
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I just looked at a used 2014 RoadTrek E-Trek this past week, and we are thinking of getting it. I saw some comment online about a switch on the dash to activate the genie that starts the engine; but this unit has a multi-position rocker switch above the sliding door, with an “auto” position. Putting this switch in auto position allowed the A/C to come on. I did not see a separate switch on dash, on this unit, so, maybe . . .

We did not have time to spend with this RV to see if the engine would start to recharge batts . . .

I would like to learn more about this RV, and Volt Start, and E-Trek. I like what I’ve seen so far!

The website for RoadTrek is currently inactive, due to their closing/shutting down. Hopefully this is temporary.
Welcome to the forum Modersical!

There will be no Roadtrek as we know it. Westfalia is buying mostly just the Roadtrek name (a lot of debate on this topic, so others may disagree). The suppliers of some of their Etrek systems may be able to provide some support, but don't count on any warranty for your 2014 Etrek system and know that it is generally held in low esteem. Clunky to use and very high parasitic drains on battery capacity. Of course, there are some who love their Etrek and have not had major problems. They are the exception, not the rule.

PS- the above assumes it has the lithium batteries. There were a few Etreks made with conventional lead-acid battery banks. Don't know if those systems had the same problems as the lithiums.
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:52 AM   #6
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Welcome to the forum Modersical!

There will be no Roadtrek as we know it. Westfalia is buying mostly just the Roadtrek name (a lot of debate on this topic, so others may disagree). The suppliers of some of their Etrek systems may be able to provide some support, but don't count on any warranty for your 2014 Etrek system and know that it is generally held in low esteem. Clunky to use and very high parasitic drains on battery capacity. Of course, there are some who love their Etrek and have not had major problems. They are the exception, not the rule.

PS- the above assumes it has the lithium batteries. There were a few Etreks made with conventional lead-acid battery banks. Don't know if those systems had the same problems as the lithiums.

Yep, I agree, but there were quite a number of etreks make with 8 AGM batteries, as that was the original layout and the lithiums came later as an option before being standard.



The AGM battery versions were split 24v so only 1/2 the batteries ran the 12v side, leading to uneven discharge and charging unless you added a battery balancer. It is possible a used on would have a balancer as many users put them in and Roadtrek got forced to put some in on warranty also. Without a balancer, depending on use pattern, they could eat 8 batteries in a year, from what have heard.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:14 PM   #7
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NEW QUESTION:

I very confused about how the inverter interacts with the ETRECK - VOLT START system when the system is connected to shore power. Seems like everyone has a different understanding.

When connected to shore power does the 100v "by-pass' the inverter and supply power directly to the appliances, etc. -- or -- does the shore power merely power the charger feature and re-charge (maintain) the lithium batteries, thus providing 110v power to the coach the same way as if the coach was not connected to the shore power?
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:38 PM   #8
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NEW QUESTION:

I very confused about how the inverter interacts with the ETRECK - VOLT START system when the system is connected to shore power. Seems like everyone has a different understanding.

When connected to shore power does the 100v "by-pass' the inverter and supply power directly to the appliances, etc. -- or -- does the shore power merely power the charger feature and re-charge (maintain) the lithium batteries, thus providing 110v power to the coach the same way as if the coach was not connected to the shore power?
When plugging into shore power a transfer switch in the inverter switches 120V power from the inverter to the shore power source. The inverter switch has to be on for shore power to pass through. Your inverter remote should have little green LEDs to indicate the status.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:47 PM   #9
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Thank You --- once again!!!
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:13 PM   #10
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Thank You --- once again!!!
Switching the inverter on to bypass it is a little counter-intuitive but that's the way it works with the units provided from Roadtrek.

When disconnecting shore power the inverter will resume providing 120V. Remember that with the inverter just idling in standby it consumes around 5 amps so when going off the grid, if you don't need inverter power, shut it down to conserve battery discharge.

What model coach do you have with what battery capacity? Do you have the owner's manual?
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:55 PM   #11
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HI,

I have a 2018 CS Adventurous. It is equipped with 2 -- 200 EcoTrek powerpacks.

I think I'm starting to get an understanding of the mechanics of the system (with your help). I do have a manual, but find it somewhat confusing.

I lost the inverter after 8 days on the road. The first time I had to use the roof top a/c the inverter almost caught on fire... smoked like crazy and meted the positive battery connection. I let it cool down and turned it on the next day - no load - and it worked for awhile, then just died. Working on getting approval from the extended warranty company for a replacement... Hope they cover it -- not cheap.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:56 PM   #12
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HI,

I have a 2018 CS Adventurous. It is equipped with 2 -- 200 EcoTrek powerpacks.

I think I'm starting to get an understanding of the mechanics of the system (with your help). I do have a manual, but find it somewhat confusing.

I lost the inverter after 8 days on the road. The first time I had to use the roof top a/c the inverter almost caught on fire... smoked like crazy and meted the positive battery connection. I let it cool down and turned it on the next day - no load - and it worked for awhile, then just died. Working on getting approval from the extended warranty company for a replacement... Hope they cover it -- not cheap.
I emailed you documentation on the inverter and a system wiring diagram.

I believe a direct replacement for the inverter is available at Sunshine State RV in Gainesville. In any event, I would consult with them to determine the cause of the meltdown i.e., whether it was internal or external to the inverter.

That said, I would not replace the unit with another Powerstar if for no other reason because the battery charging section does not offer a charging protocol consistent with the latest charging profile recommended for the lithium batteries. There is a replacement offered by KS2 in Canada that does have the proper charging profile setting for lithium batteries.

While you are tangling with this, you also need to address the Balmar regulator that controls the Nations alternator and program it for the current recommended charging protocol.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:51 AM   #13
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Holy cow. This gets more detailed as we progress..

I will contact Sunshine first thing tomorrow.. This I knew as much as you have forgotten.. lol

Thanks again..
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:52 AM   #14
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That should have said "wish I knew ...."
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:55 AM   #15
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The more I learn about rv electrical systems, the less I understand.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:17 AM   #16
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The more I learn about rv electrical systems, the less I understand.
Thank you for verbalizing my feelings! And thanks above for the welcome.

The 2014 RT E-Trek we are considering seems to be functioning as intended, but most of the components are things I have not dealt with before, but they are fascinating! My fascination is rapidly leading me down the path to being too hopeful maybe that I am considering getting one of the good units. And hopefully that all these “fancy” electronics keep working!

I believe the 2014 E-Trek May have been the first model. That would place it as being before the Erwin Hymer Group bought RT in 2016.

This rig should still have a bit of original 6 year warranty; however, the recent bankruptcy situation has apparently relieved the company of those liabilities. The German gentleman from the Rapido Group that has been in charge of the Westfalia rigs has stated already that the 6 year warranties are gone; future RT rigs will have a 2 year warranty; and any current new or recent purchasers will have a 2 year warranty honored.

This 2014 RT E-Trek has a bank of 6-6V AGM batts under the back floorboard, if memory serves me.

I have heard conflicting stories as to whether you can swap out lithium batteries for lead/acid or AGM batteries. I was told recently by an RV dealer that you could swap them out . . . Just pay the bucks . . . But I thought you had to have a different charging system. This latter thought seems to be what someone said above when they spoke of changing the charging protocol if switching to lithium . . . I think I am phrasing this as mentioned above???

So what all needs to be done to switch to lithium batteries, or is it better to not go there?
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:41 AM   #17
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You need to find a way to keep them above 32F if you want to charge them. Lithiums need to be inside the coach furnace environment or have heaters. Charging profile is the least of your concerns. Better to not go there without a lot of thought.
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Old 09-19-2019, 01:05 PM   #18
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Thank you for verbalizing my feelings! And thanks above for the welcome.

The 2014 RT E-Trek we are considering seems to be functioning as intended, but most of the components are things I have not dealt with before, but they are fascinating! My fascination is rapidly leading me down the path to being too hopeful maybe that I am considering getting one of the good units. And hopefully that all these “fancy” electronics keep working!

I believe the 2014 E-Trek May have been the first model. That would place it as being before the Erwin Hymer Group bought RT in 2016.

This rig should still have a bit of original 6 year warranty; however, the recent bankruptcy situation has apparently relieved the company of those liabilities. The German gentleman from the Rapido Group that has been in charge of the Westfalia rigs has stated already that the 6 year warranties are gone; future RT rigs will have a 2 year warranty; and any current new or recent purchasers will have a 2 year warranty honored.

This 2014 RT E-Trek has a bank of 6-6V AGM batts under the back floorboard, if memory serves me.

I have heard conflicting stories as to whether you can swap out lithium batteries for lead/acid or AGM batteries. I was told recently by an RV dealer that you could swap them out . . . Just pay the bucks . . . But I thought you had to have a different charging system. This latter thought seems to be what someone said above when they spoke of changing the charging protocol if switching to lithium . . . I think I am phrasing this as mentioned above???

So what all needs to be done to switch to lithium batteries, or is it better to not go there?

You probably have two more batteries from the coach bank under the hood of the van so a total of eight six volt batteries.


They would be wired into two banks of four batteries in series and then the banks paralleled. The system runs on 24v for charging all of the batteries together from the engine generator, solar, and shore power. The inverter runs on 24 volts. The batteries will have a center tap on them so pulling 12v power off 1/2 of the batteries, and this is where a big part of the issues with them begins as it puts the batteries in the bank at different states of charge at recharging, so some get overcharged and some undercharged.


The long cable to the front of the van for the two extra batteries also messes up the balance because of the cables resistance.


This is why a battery balancer has found to be needed to keep the systems from causing early battery failures, as it will balance out the state of charge between the two 12v halves of the battery bank.
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Old 09-19-2019, 04:43 PM   #19
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You probably have two more batteries from the coach bank under the hood of the van so a total of eight six volt batteries.


They would be wired into two banks of four batteries in series and then the banks paralleled. The system runs on 24v for charging all of the batteries together from the engine generator, solar, and shore power. The inverter runs on 24 volts. The batteries will have a center tap on them so pulling 12v power off 1/2 of the batteries, and this is where a big part of the issues with them begins as it puts the batteries in the bank at different states of charge at recharging, so some get overcharged and some undercharged.


The long cable to the front of the van for the two extra batteries also messes up the balance because of the cables resistance.


This is why a battery balancer has found to be needed to keep the systems from causing early battery failures, as it will balance out the state of charge between the two 12v halves of the battery bank.
Thanks, Booster! So where do I head to get a battery balancer? Is it complicated to install? Ballpark pricing?
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Old 09-22-2019, 05:50 PM   #20
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Default Balancer Install

Here is how I installed my Battery balancer in my 2015 CS etrek. FYI, I was criticized a lot initially for bring this problem out, but eventually RT realized it was a real problem and started covering it under warranty. My understanding was that persons had to sign a non disclosure agreement before it was installed by RT.

Anyway, I have attached details of my installation and item numbers from where I purchased parts IF it does not come thru you can PM me.

Good luck. My RT was been working very good since installing the balance. Another issue you may have (as others have) is with your Norcold Refrig. RT put out a video telling people to remove a resistor from the refrigerator. Don't do it. It bypasses a Norcold safety feature. The real problem has to do with a voltage drop due to poor wiring. Not everyone has had the issue. I fixed mine by rewiring directly to the battery with larger cables. Others have fixed theirs by replacing the fuse connection to the refrigerator.

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Davis, CA
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