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Old 04-11-2017, 05:25 AM   #11
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Default Tracer-3215RN

The Tracer-3215RN controller came with my 2016 ZION SRT. One AGM battery, no voltstart The 3215RN works good with the 200 watt panels on top.

I never had a problem with it in the year since I had the RV. I didn't have to touch it. It's installed in a small cupboard to the left of the refrigerator, at the top. Hard to see anything in there. So I got a got a MeTer MT-5 remote display for it. $12 on eBay and it connects to the controller with ethernet cable.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:51 AM   #12
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The Tracer-3215RN controller came with my 2016 ZION SRT. One AGM battery, no voltstart The 3215RN works good with the 200 watt panels on top.

I never had a problem with it in the year since I had the RV. I didn't have to touch it. It's installed in a small cupboard to the left of the refrigerator, at the top. Hard to see anything in there. So I got a got a MeTer MT-5 remote display for it. $12 on eBay and it connects to the controller with ethernet cable.
As far as I know, Roadtrek uses this same solar controller on every solar equipped coach but they don't provide any operating manual for this controller. I had to surf the internet to find one.

It's interesting. Some builders prominently display their solar controllers. Roadtrek on the other hand sticks it in the back of a cabinet making it hard to read and certainly not easy to configure. On first impression, that seems counterproductive but on second thought, there may be more method to doing this than meets the eye. Could be they they stash the controller out of sight to discourage tinkering with the solar charging parameters by folks that don't appreciate the potential for battery damage and even failure caused by an improperly entered charging program.
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Old 04-11-2017, 12:10 PM   #13
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I am not familiar with that model of controller, but can say that if it is does not run off of a shunt, it can't do a a good job of taking care of the batteries, regardless of how they program it. Because of coach loads, etc, there is no way that the unit will know if the batteries are full or not, so it will guess, or run off straight timers, to determine the charging stages, neither of which are very accurate.

Roadtrek doesn't seem to like to use mainstream components anymore, with private label or unknown brands. I can't say if it is to save money or give better products, but sure does make it hard for customers to know what is going on.
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Old 04-11-2017, 01:10 PM   #14
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I have Bogart's Trimetric solar charger and meter. It appears to be rock solid and Ralph at Bogart is a real treasure. He answered the phone promptly every time I called and patiently led me through setting up the charge parameters for my particular batteries.
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Old 04-13-2017, 08:51 PM   #15
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I am not familiar with that model of controller, but can say that if it is does not run off of a shunt, it can't do a a good job of taking care of the batteries, regardless of how they program it. Because of coach loads, etc, there is no way that the unit will know if the batteries are full or not, so it will guess, or run off straight timers, to determine the charging stages, neither of which are very accurate.

Roadtrek doesn't seem to like to use mainstream components anymore, with private label or unknown brands. I can't say if it is to save money or give better products, but sure does make it hard for customers to know what is going on.
Roadtrek maintains that their multiple charging sources, i.e. alternator, shore power and solar are integrated to ensure compatability with each other and are designed for correct charging programs for the batteries employed. How they presumably accomplish that has never been explained. What's disconcerting is that the manual for the controller they use permits the selection of various lead acid battery types but there is no choice for lithiums that requires a different charging format than lead acid batteries require.

Their lithium batteries and inverter are proprietary but I think that's not a cost saving measure and more likely a requirement for product modificaton of these components to meet their particular specs. In a way, it accrues to the benefit of the owner. For OEM branded components, the OEM warranty has to expire before the Roadtrek warranty takes effect. For proprietary components, the Roadtrek warranty applies from the get-go.
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Old 04-13-2017, 09:10 PM   #16
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Until Roadtrek decides to put a proper battery monitor in place, none of us or any of their customers will have any idea how well they take care of the various battery types. That is likely why there is no monitor, as they don't want anyone to know how well, or poorly, they do it.

They also leave their customers not having any way to know how much power they have left in their system, which can be very frustrating when you run out unexpectedly.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:16 PM   #17
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They also leave their customers not having any way to know how much power they have left in their system, which can be very frustrating when you run out unexpectedly.
Well, at least their control panel panel is finally equipped with a 4 digit voltmeter measuring 10 millivolt increments which you can interpolate to provide a rough estimate of battery state.
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:23 PM   #18
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I have this same one in mine and never touch it. i have the zion with agm and 200 watts solar. as long as the green lights are on on it-the second one blinking green when battery full-i',m happy
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:02 AM   #19
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I have this same one in mine and never touch it. i have the zion with agm and 200 watts solar. as long as the green lights are on on it-the second one blinking green when battery full-i',m happy
Roadtrek probably programmed your controller during the build to match your AGM batteries which is fine. What's not clear is whether the controller can cope with the recommended liithium charging protocol which is to dispense with maintenance charging and shut off if it senses a fully charged battery. I couldn't find any battery choice in the manual that will implement this protocol.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:37 AM   #20
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The AGM program is actually as important as the lithium with shutoff, and if there is no way for the controller to measure current to the batteries, it has no accurate way to determine when the batteries are full.

Just because a controller or converter has an AGM setting, that does not mean it knows how to charge your battery bank properly. It most likely runs on timers, so it will be correct at specific bank sizes and state of charges. About all the will be correct are the voltages.

We have a very nice, and not cheap, Magnum inverter/charger and if we run it on the preprogrammed AGM setting, and not off of the shunt options, it would do a horrible job on our battery bank of AGMs. A setting like that can't work on everything as it is not a one size fits all type application.
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