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Old 05-31-2021, 04:51 PM   #1
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Default NHTSA Recall - Roadtrek Play/Zion/Zion SRT - Generator May Damage Batteries

May 14, 2021 NHTSA Campaign Number: 21V356000
Generator May Damage Batteries Damaged AGM battery caps can detach. In addition, a damaged AGM battery that is replaced with a lead-acid battery can lead to an acid spill. Either of these scenarios can increase the risk of injury.
NHTSA Campaign Number: 21V356000
Manufacturer Roadtrek Inc.
Components ELECTRICAL SYSTEM, EQUIPMENT
Potential Number of Units Affected 70
Summary
Roadtrek Inc. (Roadtrek) is recalling certain 2020-2021 Zion, Zion SRT, and Play motorhomes. The undermount generator that charges the Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) house batteries may have a faulty internal regulator, which could damage the AGM batteries and cause electrical system failure.

Remedy
Dealers will inspect and if necessary, replace the undermount AGM generator, free of charge. Owner notification letters are expected to be mailed May 31, 2021. Owners may contact Roadtrek customer service at 1-888-762-3873.

Notes
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

6 Affected Products
2 Associated Documents
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Old 05-31-2021, 08:16 PM   #2
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Strange. The generator doesn’t charge the AGM batteries, the converter or inverter/charger does.
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Old 05-31-2021, 08:24 PM   #3
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I wonder if they are talking about a second alternator that might be programmed wrong for AGM batteries?
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Old 05-31-2021, 08:32 PM   #4
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Perhaps an auxilliary high output alternator, mounted "under" the engine, is what they are referring to by undermount? As a part of the charging system "faulty internal regulator"?
I was puzzled by the mention of "AGM battery caps can detach" in the title abstract.
Sorry, but it's not my area of expertise. I just post this stuff up when I think it will help an owner.
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Old 05-31-2021, 08:34 PM   #5
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Makes more sense. I don’t have a UHG so didn’t think that way.
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Old 05-31-2021, 08:49 PM   #6
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No worries.
Oh look, it's cocktail time.....
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Old 06-06-2021, 07:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike View Post
I was puzzled by the mention of "AGM battery caps can detach" in the title abstract.
Sorry, but it's not my area of expertise. I just post this stuff up when I think it will help an owner.
AGMs can handle a small amount of gassing. If they are severely overcharged they have vents to release gas. It sounds like the faulty regulators exceed the capacity of the vents and the battery overpressures to the point of rupturing the case.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:03 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
AGMs can handle a small amount of gassing. If they are severely overcharged they have vents to release gas. It sounds like the faulty regulators exceed the capacity of the vents and the battery overpressures to the point of rupturing the case.
I haven't heard of, or read about any exploding Roadtreks, but it's possible, I suppose. If your theory is correct, I guess they must have been noticed before any major damage or other unusual events occurred.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:12 PM   #9
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I haven't heard of, or read about any exploding Roadtreks, but it's possible, I suppose. If your theory is correct, I guess they must have been noticed before any major damage or other unusual events occurred.

If the caps pushed out, that would be a good thing as then they would leak and rupture the case, I think. Biggest worry might be gassing and then a short in the plates to ignite.


Any AGM that gasses a significant amount, especially if it pushed out caps, is essentially toast at that point.
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Old 06-06-2021, 08:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by booster View Post
If the caps pushed out, that would be a good thing as then they would leak and rupture the case, I think. Biggest worry might be gassing and then a short in the plates to ignite.


Any AGM that gasses a significant amount, especially if it pushed out caps, is essentially toast at that point.
Makes sense to me.
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Old 06-07-2021, 01:06 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by hbn7hj View Post
Strange. The generator doesn’t charge the AGM batteries, the converter or inverter/charger does.
It does in Roadtreks. Our underhood generator charges my AGMs whenever I drive. The inverter is only turned on when plugged in or if I wish to use the AC or microwave.

And who the heck would put a non-AGM in a box under the body?

There was a batch of bad UHGs that were supplied to Roadtrek just before the bankruptcy. I wonder if some of them slipped into the inventory during the sale to Rapido. Nations Starter also replaced those UHGs before the crash. I had one of the bad ones and it boiled my brand new AGMs... fortunately replaced under warranty just before.

Thus far, none of the new owners on the owners group in FB have reported any issues like we had back in 2018. Boiling batteries do have a distinctive smell. lol There were none that exploded.
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
I wonder if they are talking about a second alternator that might be programmed wrong for AGM batteries?
Diving into the docs on the NHTSA site it looks like an already recalled Nations Alternator is the problem:

"Faulty internal regulator that may potential enter a stage of overvoltage exceeding 16 volts potentially damaging the RV mounted auxiliary AGM batteries. It could possibly render the electrical system inoperable requiring AGM battery and engine generator replacements."

The problem dates back to the defunct EHGNA Roadtrek:

"In this further review, we cross checked the alternators in question and found them to be part of a recall population issued by the previous owners of the Roadtrek brand. It appears that their containment was not 100% effective and inventory purchased from the receiver of the previous company contained a small quantity of contaminated recalled product. As a precautionary measure we have decided to do a recall to have this population of vehicles inspected to confirm that there are no other defective alternators in use in the field."
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Old 06-07-2021, 04:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by LostInWoods View Post
Diving into the docs on the NHTSA site it looks like an already recalled Nations Alternator is the problem:

"Faulty internal regulator that may potential enter a stage of overvoltage exceeding 16 volts potentially damaging the RV mounted auxiliary AGM batteries. It could possibly render the electrical system inoperable requiring AGM battery and engine generator replacements."

The problem dates back to the defunct EHGNA Roadtrek:

"In this further review, we cross checked the alternators in question and found them to be part of a recall population issued by the previous owners of the Roadtrek brand. It appears that their containment was not 100% effective and inventory purchased from the receiver of the previous company contained a small quantity of contaminated recalled product. As a precautionary measure we have decided to do a recall to have this population of vehicles inspected to confirm that there are no other defective alternators in use in the field."

Did Roadtrek ever use a Nations alternator with an internal regulator?


I thought they all had the Balmar external regulator, and the settings or wiring for it was the problem they had back then.
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Old 06-08-2021, 11:50 AM   #14
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Did Roadtrek ever use a Nations alternator with an internal regulator?

I thought they all had the Balmar external regulator, and the settings or wiring for it was the problem they had back then.
Yes and they still do. The Balmar is only used with the lithium battery system while rigs like mine with AGMs have an internal regulator.

It appears that my guess of the problem of mixed up old inventory was correct. Thus far none of the new buyers have reported the problem. It doesn't take long for the problem to become obvious. My reading was 17.0 when I caught it.
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