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Old 03-28-2019, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default RoadTrek Zion EcoTrek lithium option - does it always have two disconnect switches?

Hello, I am about to purchase a used, 2017 Zion.

The seller claims it has the 400AH lithium package. I cannot seem to find anywhere though a sure statement one way or the other - does the ABSENCE of the two battery disconnect and reset switches on the headliner above the sliding entry door (to the right of the main control panel) mean that it does NOT have the lithium batteries?

What is more confusing, I have seen listings on RV Trader going both ways - some say AGM 400 AH. (I didn't even know that was an option - I thought only Simplicity had the AGM and it is only 150 AH, single battery.) Others say EcoTrek 400AH and show the switches; others say it, but don't show the switches.

I remember reading that RoadTrek added those switches so people could preserve their second battery from the parasitic discharge of the unit. Was this only a retrofit though done by dealers/warranty? And that is why new units don't have them? Or is it as I fear, and the absence of those switches, in a 2017 or newer, means it's AGM onboard, NOT the EcoTrek lithium batteries?

I don't think the seller knows enough to check under the seat and report on the batteries. The unit is far away so I am trying to keep down on the number of trips. Somehow I forgot to look at the batteries my first time there!

I also thought at one point, that ALL Zions had lithium batteries! (and just different in their amounts, either 400 or 800 AH)

I just cannot seem to find the answer anywhere in RoadTrek's own website or PDF files, nor in any searches I do. I am hoping someone can put my mind at rest one way or another! The unit is pretty scuffed up otherwise even with less than 30,000 miles, but it seems a lot of used Bs are, and the next closest would require multiple days of driving or flying, so I guess I have to put up with what I can find locally.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:19 PM   #2
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If it has Ecotrek lithium batteries then it will have the Ecotrek switches somewhere in the cabin.
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Old 03-28-2019, 05:27 PM   #3
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the base zion has an AGM Battery a northstar sms 400.

Ecotrek was an option that could be added
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Old 03-28-2019, 06:24 PM   #4
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the base zion has an AGM Battery a northstar sms 400.

Ecotrek was an option that could be added
Hi Gerry.

The AGM is inside somewhere or is it under the van?
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:36 PM   #5
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Thanks. That's too bad, I guess I will still take it but was hoping I was getting the EcoTrek. (or perhaps better this way, and I can upgrade myself later if the AGMs aren't lasting long enough for me?) The unit has pretty much every other feature - both screens, all power steps, two solar panels, VoltStart, alternator - not the leather seats - so I was kind of assuming they would have ordered it with the EcoTrek with all that other stuff going on.

I did see the one series of videos where they guy upgraded his Simplicity's AGM to the Battle Born lithium iron batteries. I thought the alternator's regulator was supposed to match the lithium iron batteries, though! (whole point of having the separate system, instead of charging from the higher voltage main engine alternator, meant for lead acid batteries) Hopefully I can adjust that later? Along with the main charge controller's profile. (his video covered the latter, but not the former... or maybe I am misunderstanding, and the alternator does NOT directly charge the lithium or AGM batteries in the RoadTrek setup? Only in aftermarket setups?)
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Old 03-28-2019, 07:37 PM   #6
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Hi Gerry.

The AGM is inside somewhere or is it under the van?
I know you asked Gerry, but I believe the Simplicity and Zion always put them in front of the left (driver's side) rear wheel well, under the bench that is there.
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Old 04-04-2019, 04:54 PM   #7
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Related question - I figured I'd keep it in the same thread - so the unit I saw (and purchased) has the AGM. I was surprised that they are mounted underneath! Can anyone confirm where the EcoTrek batteries would be installed then in the Zion? Do they also get put underneath, but in some sort of insulation? Or do they get relocated to under the rear benches?

I probably won't change it, due to the issues I've read about with the Voltstart and the lithium batteries. I really wanted to get a few hours of AC or electric heat though without running the engine. But if the batteries are not even installed in the same place on the AGM vs lithium/EcoTrek setups, then that adds more complexity than I thought. (re-routing and extending cables, giving up more storage space, etc.)
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:41 PM   #8
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Sounds like the seller is having trouble telling you the details still.

If it has the Underhood generator, it must have the lithiums. AGMs can't really handle the high C-rate charge current like lithiums can.

I don't know if I'd recommend buying a used rig with lithiums without a warranty! I'm in the process of removing my ecotreks and replacing them with a custom lithium setup. My rig is only 18 months old, and both my ecotreks have failed. You can still get service done on them, but my quote was 7,000$ to replace both, no roadtrek warranty coverage.
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:51 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by chris_g19 View Post
Sounds like the seller is having trouble telling you the details still.

If it has the Underhood generator, it must have the lithiums. AGMs can't really handle the high C-rate charge current like lithiums can.

I don't know if I'd recommend buying a used rig with lithiums without a warranty! I'm in the process of removing my ecotreks and replacing them with a custom lithium setup. My rig is only 18 months old, and both my ecotreks have failed. You can still get service done on them, but my quote was 7,000$ to replace both, no roadtrek warranty coverage.
Underhood generator was always available for a AGM vans from Roadtrek...
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Old 04-04-2019, 07:54 PM   #10
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Good to know. I haven't seen the AGM ones, but it must be different than mine which does 260A rated, which would destory an AGM pretty quick.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:27 PM   #11
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Where are the EcoTreks located on yours? My build sheet definitely does not mention EcoTrek, only the Voltstart/underhood generator. I am just wondering if your EcoTrek lithiums are underneath the chassis also? Or are they above board? I figure they must be inside to protect from low temps, but perhaps not.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:28 PM   #12
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Good to know. I haven't seen the AGM ones, but it must be different than mine which does 260A rated, which would destory an AGM pretty quick.
It has a Balmar regulator that can be set to AGM charge profiles.
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Old 04-04-2019, 08:37 PM   #13
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I'm going to answer several questions at same time about my 2015 zion which i no longer have.

1. the standard battery was the Northstar sms agm 400. its 187 amp hours and is a specialty battery that telecoms use. it gives the equivalent of 210 amp hours.

2. It is under the van on its side. it is about 5 inches thick if i remember. you could look it up. it is 130 pounds.

3. It is a 'pure lead thin plate' battery. It will accept a charge almost as fast as a lithium battery so the underhood generator works fine with it.

If your interested look up pure lead thin plate agm
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Old 04-04-2019, 09:47 PM   #14
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Default Roadtrek I have the Zion with 200 solar one agm battery underneath the left rear tire

[I have a road track Zion the AGM battery is beneath the left rear wheel. I have 200 solar solar works pretty well I get about an hour of air conditioning in the summer before the volt starts. You Can add another AGM battery right next to the one that sits there.startsUOTE=HitchNride;91503]Related question - I figured I'd keep it in the same thread - so the unit I saw (and purchased) has the AGM. I was surprised that they are mounted underneath! Can anyone confirm where the EcoTrek batteries would be installed then in the Zion? Do they also get put underneath, but in some sort of insulation? Or do they get relocated to under the rear benches?

I probably won't change it, due to the issues I've read about with the Voltstart and the lithium batteries. I really wanted to get a few hours of AC or electric heat though without running the engine. But if the batteries are not even installed in the same place on the AGM vs lithium/EcoTrek setups, then that adds more complexity than I thought. (re-routing and extending cables, giving up more storage space, etc.)[/QUOTE]
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Old 04-04-2019, 10:53 PM   #15
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Yeah the Balmar is awesome, I love that thing, but still need a smaller alternator because the balmar only reduces field down to 65%

Quote:
Originally Posted by HitchNride View Post
Where are the EcoTreks located on yours? My build sheet definitely does not mention EcoTrek, only the Voltstart/underhood generator. I am just wondering if your EcoTrek lithiums are underneath the chassis also? Or are they above board? I figure they must be inside to protect from low temps, but perhaps not.
Hey, my EcoTreks are underneath the chassis, near the middle. Ask me anything about them, I studied the design and all it's components in detail. Here are some pics.

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=1Hi02Pan5DRD2njl7bkUnREnSn6LbCA1S

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=10R-jFkKbRyjLPMg00470pfD_lZBPfTBI
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:13 PM   #16
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I have the same set up. It has worked pretty well. Didyou have any problems I should look out for? Why did you sell it? Did you ever add another agm ? QUOTE=gerrym51;91524]I'm going to answer several questions at same time about my 2015 zion which i no longer have.

1. the standard battery was the Northstar sms agm 400. its 187 amp hours and is a specialty battery that telecoms use. it gives the equivalent of 210 amp hours.

2. It is under the van on its side. it is about 5 inches thick if i remember. you could look it up. it is 130 pounds.

3. It is a 'pure lead thin plate' battery. It will accept a charge almost as fast as a lithium battery so the underhood generator works fine with it.

If your interested look up pure lead thin plate agm[/QUOTE]
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Old 04-04-2019, 11:33 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Cokkie View Post
I have the same set up. It has worked pretty well. Didyou have any problems I should look out for? Why did you sell it? Did you ever add another agm ? QUOTE=gerrym51;91524]I'm going to answer several questions at same time about my 2015 zion which i no longer have.

1. the standard battery was the Northstar sms agm 400. its 187 amp hours and is a specialty battery that telecoms use. it gives the equivalent of 210 amp hours.

2. It is under the van on its side. it is about 5 inches thick if i remember. you could look it up. it is 130 pounds.

3. It is a 'pure lead thin plate' battery. It will accept a charge almost as fast as a lithium battery so the underhood generator works fine with it.

If your interested look up pure lead thin plate agm
[/QUOTE]

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Old 04-05-2019, 12:42 AM   #18
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Huh. Never heard of those before. Just googled it. Looks like the chemistry is same as AGM, but has the higher C rate as you mentioned. However, doesn't seem like a really great choice for a full-timer because the cycle life is even worse than a standard AGM.
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Old 04-05-2019, 12:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris_g19 View Post
Huh. Never heard of those before. Just googled it. Looks like the chemistry is same as AGM, but has the higher C rate as you mentioned. However, doesn't seem like a really great choice for a full-timer because the cycle life is even worse than a standard AGM.
These people

https://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/Fa...Technology.pdf

claim that Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) is another name for "AGM".
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Old 04-05-2019, 01:26 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by avanti View Post
These people

https://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/Fa...Technology.pdf

claim that Thin Plate Pure Lead (TPPL) is another name for "AGM".

if you looked at what i posted. the zion has the northstar sms agm 400.

It is an agm battery. However its thin plates enable it to charge faster and discharge more efficiently than a standard agm. it is closer to a lithium than a standard agm, I did not say it was equal to a lithium though,

the thicker plate standard agms actually do have more energy when more slowly discharged than tppl. however they cannot charge nearly as fast or discharge nearly as efficiently. however if your just drawing a steady 5 amps or so and not the big fast discharges for an air conditioner they work just fine
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