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Old 01-25-2020, 06:19 PM   #1
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Default 2003 Roadtrek 200 popular, remove coach battery ?

2003 Roadtrek 200 popular.

Iím thinking about upgrading my coach battery to a lithium ion battery and system. Iím at the beginning stages. But first things first.

I know where the coach battery is, and I can see it. But it does not look like itís easy to remove it. Does anyone know if the cables are long enough to unbolt the battery and lower it to the ground so I can gain access to the terminals on top? Iíve looked around for videos, or how toís as to how to do this but canít find any.

Depending on what is involved in this upgrade, I am probably going to relocate the battery if possible.

Any advice welcome.
Thanks.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:42 PM   #2
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Might be helpful for others to know your chassis make. Is it one of the last Dodge model years or an early Chevy?
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:45 PM   #3
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Might be helpful for others to know your chassis make. Is it one of the last Dodge model years or an early Chevy?

A Roadtrek 200 will always be on a Chevy cutaway chassis.
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Old 01-26-2020, 12:04 AM   #4
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Booster is correct. It is a 2002 Chevy Express 3500 Cutaway (all the 200 pops were on that chassis). The RT (coach) year model is 2003. Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2020, 11:40 AM   #5
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Where is the battery located? Post a photo if you can.


Some models, older than yours, had a through the floor box. There would be a rectangular cut out in the carpet.
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Old 01-26-2020, 03:16 PM   #6
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The cables are not long enough to drop the battery with them attached, as I recall. As of about three-fours years ago I no longer use that location on my '00 200.

It will help greatly to remove the propane fill assuming that it's in the same location as mine was. I remounted the fill farther toward the passenger side on the same support.
doing that not only made battery removal/install quite a bit easier it also allows filling the propane tank without removing the draw bar from the hitch receiver.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:52 AM   #7
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MaroPolo, see attached. These were taken today from under the passenger side of the vehicle facing the drivers side. I tucked the camera way up to get the top of the battery. In fact, it now appears to be a regular SLA battery given the view of the fill caps on top. Not good. The second picture should read "Underside of rear storage compartment floor"

Steve J, thanks for the tips. I will probably attempt this in the spring when the New England Wx is better suited for being under a vehicle. I think you are right. The cables appear to be too short to completely lower the battery. If I DO decide to go through with this, I am going to look into an alternative location for the new battery. WTH was Roadtrek thinking !!!!!

Thanks to all for the help thus far.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg RT batt1.jpg (51.4 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg RT Batt2.jpg (69.2 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg RT batt3.jpg (65.5 KB, 14 views)
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:11 PM   #8
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Awesome photo's! Looks like real challenge though. If the wingnut is too tight or corroded on then this tool should help: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f6...rench-819.html

Once ground is disconnected it should be less dangerous.
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Old 01-27-2020, 12:21 PM   #9
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Is there no access to the battery from inside the RT?

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Old 01-27-2020, 03:37 PM   #10
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Is there no access to the battery from inside the RT?

Johnnie
No.

Extra characters to meet minimum.
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Old 01-27-2020, 03:44 PM   #11
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The hold down for mine was quite corroded. The Optima that it came with was over nine years old and the previous owner lived a few miles inland from the Gulf.

Some folks have placed an AGM battery or two in the rear compartments, though though one should watch the weight limits.

In my case the original Onan was removed and I set up a hinged battery carrier in it's place. Much gooder battery access. I believe Booster installed a battery bank in place of his Onan, also.
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Old 01-28-2020, 01:38 AM   #12
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MarkoPolo, That's a GREAT idea for a wingnut tool. I'll be making one as soon as I get home (10 days). I got a very lengthy email back from Battle Born Batteries re my conversion idea. I haven't had the time to digest it all. I should be able to get to it tonight.

If relocation is (he says with the hope of optimism in his voice) a simple extension of the two POS cables and extending or finding a new chassis ground, I may seriously consider a relocation.

Thanks to all for the help.
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Old 01-29-2020, 03:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
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MarkoPolo, That's a GREAT idea for a wingnut tool. I'll be making one as soon as I get home (10 days). I got a very lengthy email back from Battle Born Batteries re my conversion idea. I haven't had the time to digest it all. I should be able to get to it tonight.

If relocation is (he says with the hope of optimism in his voice) a simple extension of the two POS cables and extending or finding a new chassis ground, I may seriously consider a relocation.

Thanks to all for the help.
If you're referring to the basic wiring of the new batteries, that is pretty simple.

But (isn't there always one), Lithium batteries need special charging profiles. So you need a new shore power charger with a lithium profile. I replaced mine with a combined inverter/charger to make replacement simple. Plus, you need a DC to DC charger to charge the lithiums from your alternator and keep them isolated from your lead-acid engine battery. Finally, you need a State of Charge (SOC) Monitor to track lithium charge levels as it's not as simple as lead-acid batteries where you can tell fairly precisely by voltage alone.

With Renogy parts, my own labor, and $2700 later, I had my 200Ah lithium upgrade. Doing it "on the cheap" so to speak. Figure $3700 for a similar set up with Battle Borns, and Victron for the other parts. But at least that's with top of the line parts.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:12 PM   #14
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and often larger current capacity wiring, and a way to keep the batteries above 32F or automatically disconnect them to prevent damage when charging is occurring ...............
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:43 PM   #15
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A friend has a very sophisticated solar set up at his home, he has Lithium batteries. The Lithium batteries has made for a very expensive project.

I will stick with AGM batteries.

Just MHO

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Old 01-30-2020, 12:27 AM   #16
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A friend has a very sophisticated solar set up at his home, he has Lithium batteries. The Lithium batteries has made for a very expensive project.

I will stick with AGM batteries.

Just MHO

Johnnie
Yes, costly. Too bad more manufacturers don't offer 200Ah lithium standard like Pleasureway. But I believe their inverter was wimpy initially, and should be 2000W minimum to run the microwave. This is basically the upgrade we did for $2700 (with the exception we went with 3000W inverter).

Not everyone needs huge battery banks to run roof air conditioners. If a mild (but significant) lithium were done by the manufacturers, the cost would be only a little over half of user-conversion costs due their purchasing power to lower cost and the savings of not having to scrap already installed systems.
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