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Old 08-08-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
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Default E Trek battery replacement

I recently purchased a 2015 Roadtrek E Trek. I knew there was a reasonable chance I'd need to replace the batteries on it, and that appears to be the case. After driving 8 hours, the battery charge indicator only gets to the 'F' (2 dots). Still enough power for lights and fridge, but not enough for cooktop or microwave. When I run a voltmeter across the batteries, 3 in the back and one in the front show ~6.3V; the other 3 in the back and other 1 in the front show ~5.7V. I called Roadtrek, and after pointing me to their battery reset "How to" (which doesn't seem to apply for my AGM batteries!), they suggested I have a dealer perform a load test. I'm trying to arrange that now. Presuming that at least some of the batteries are bad, I have a few questions:
1. If 4 of the batteries need to be replaced, should I replace them all?
2. Is it fair to assume that the 4 batteries showing ~5.7V need replacing? (I'm sure that it's not that simple, but had to ask).
3. If I am replacing, the batteries, can I simply order 6V 200AH batteries and swap them out? I've seen recommendations for Lifeline batteries, but there are others listed (Amazon lists a 6-pack of UB-GC2 Golf Cart SLA / AGM Batteries for $1400, for example).
4. Is there any benefit (or harm) to moving up to a larger capacity (240AH) in the same physical size?
5. I've read on here about battery balancers/equalizers (not really clear on the difference), which seem to be a good idea. Brand recommendations? Is this something I can install myself (I'm not an electrician, but can follow directions)?
6. Should I be considering taking it to Roadtrek and replacing it with a lithium battery system? Any idea what the cost would be to replace the controller and use 4 of their lithium batteries?
I realize that some of this has been addressed on earlier threads. I got lost in the technical details on many of these, and was hoping there might be some updated info as well. Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:50 PM   #2
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I recently purchased a 2015 Roadtrek E Trek. I knew there was a reasonable chance I'd need to replace the batteries on it, and that appears to be the case. After driving 8 hours, the battery charge indicator only gets to the 'F' (2 dots). Still enough power for lights and fridge, but not enough for cooktop or microwave. When I run a voltmeter across the batteries, 3 in the back and one in the front show ~6.3V; the other 3 in the back and other 1 in the front show ~5.7V. I called Roadtrek, and after pointing me to their battery reset "How to" (which doesn't seem to apply for my AGM batteries!), they suggested I have a dealer perform a load test. I'm trying to arrange that now. Presuming that at least some of the batteries are bad, I have a few questions:
1. If 4 of the batteries need to be replaced, should I replace them all?
2. Is it fair to assume that the 4 batteries showing ~5.7V need replacing? (I'm sure that it's not that simple, but had to ask).
3. If I am replacing, the batteries, can I simply order 6V 200AH batteries and swap them out? I've seen recommendations for Lifeline batteries, but there are others listed (Amazon lists a 6-pack of UB-GC2 Golf Cart SLA / AGM Batteries for $1400, for example).
4. Is there any benefit (or harm) to moving up to a larger capacity (240AH) in the same physical size?
5. I've read on here about battery balancers/equalizers (not really clear on the difference), which seem to be a good idea. Brand recommendations? Is this something I can install myself (I'm not an electrician, but can follow directions)?
6. Should I be considering taking it to Roadtrek and replacing it with a lithium battery system? Any idea what the cost would be to replace the controller and use 4 of their lithium batteries?
I realize that some of this has been addressed on earlier threads. I got lost in the technical details on many of these, and was hoping there might be some updated info as well. Thanks in advance!
You'll get a wealth of informative responses here to the technical questions you're asking, so I'll address the separate matter of who bites the cost bullet for replacing these batteries. The current warranty for Roadtrek AGMs is one year. However, the 5 year Roadtrek warranty for 2015 models included the AGMs. Since that warranty transfer to subsequent owners, you may have recourse with RT for replacement.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:26 PM   #3
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You'll get a wealth of informative responses here to the technical questions you're asking, so I'll address the separate matter of who bites the cost bullet for replacing these batteries. The current warranty for Roadtrek AGMs is one year. However, the 5 year Roadtrek warranty for 2015 models included the AGMs. Since that warranty transfer to subsequent owners, you may have recourse with RT for replacement.
I believe the warranty would depend on when the van was originally sold as new. On or after Aug 1 2015 the new warranty would apply with no coverage for AGM batteries beyond 1 year.

If the van was sold new before Aug 1 2015 then the warranty for the AGM batteries on an E-Trek would be for 6 years. Here is the old warranty.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150319...-warranty-info
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:31 PM   #4
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I highly suggest you do allot of online research before making a decision on how to proceed. It may save you allot of money and headaches. Lithium batteries, if you choose, will save you hundreds of pounds of weight and you will have the space increase the capacity 2 or 3 fold of what you have now, but it costs $$$$. The MFG conversion will be the most expensive. I would go to the nearest electric car conversion shop in your area for the best advice and cost. They would probably save you 40% in cost. Also ,they have been working with lithium batteries long before the RV industry.
Again do more research before proceeding.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:36 PM   #5
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I recently purchased a 2015 Roadtrek E Trek. I knew there was a reasonable chance I'd need to replace the batteries on it, and that appears to be the case. After driving 8 hours, the battery charge indicator only gets to the 'F' (2 dots). Still enough power for lights and fridge, but not enough for cooktop or microwave. When I run a voltmeter across the batteries, 3 in the back and one in the front show ~6.3V; the other 3 in the back and other 1 in the front show ~5.7V. I called Roadtrek, and after pointing me to their battery reset "How to" (which doesn't seem to apply for my AGM batteries!), they suggested I have a dealer perform a load test. I'm trying to arrange that now. Presuming that at least some of the batteries are bad, I have a few questions:
1. If 4 of the batteries need to be replaced, should I replace them all?
2. Is it fair to assume that the 4 batteries showing ~5.7V need replacing? (I'm sure that it's not that simple, but had to ask).
3. If I am replacing, the batteries, can I simply order 6V 200AH batteries and swap them out? I've seen recommendations for Lifeline batteries, but there are others listed (Amazon lists a 6-pack of UB-GC2 Golf Cart SLA / AGM Batteries for $1400, for example).
4. Is there any benefit (or harm) to moving up to a larger capacity (240AH) in the same physical size?
5. I've read on here about battery balancers/equalizers (not really clear on the difference), which seem to be a good idea. Brand recommendations? Is this something I can install myself (I'm not an electrician, but can follow directions)?
6. Should I be considering taking it to Roadtrek and replacing it with a lithium battery system? Any idea what the cost would be to replace the controller and use 4 of their lithium batteries?
I realize that some of this has been addressed on earlier threads. I got lost in the technical details on many of these, and was hoping there might be some updated info as well. Thanks in advance!
Is this a 4 AGM battery E-Trek, not an 8 AGM battery E-Trek? I thought all E-Trek AGM vans were configured with 8 AGM batteries??

Yes, it would be best to replace all the batteries in order to get a reasonably balanced set to start with.

Have you found 240 AH AGM batteries that are the same size as the GC2 golf cart size used by Roadtrek. If they are a high quality brand then it should be no problem to use them.

For a 4 agm configuration there is no need for a battery balancer/equalizer since it is a 12 volt battery bank, not the 24 volt battery bank used in the 8 AGM configuration. If you actually have an 8 AGM battery van then Roadtrek should provide the battery balancer/equalizer under warranty.

As far as I know, Roadtrek does not offer the Ecotrek batteries as replacement batteries, they are only available on a new production vans.
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:59 PM   #6
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Not a battery expert for certain. But replaced 360 ah oh agm which at 50 % discharge were low most morning with no worry plenty of power 600 ah lithium. If don't need ac which is not often, never think about power shortage. 3 or so dry camping more if careful. Recharge quickly from alternator. Bucks for sure but the camping experience if you dry camp is totall worth it I think.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:04 PM   #7
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It has 8 AGM batteries. Four of them (1 in front, 3 in back) show ~6.3 V. The other 4 (1 in front, 3 in back) show ~5.7 V.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:22 PM   #8
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It has 8 AGM batteries. Four of them (1 in front, 3 in back) show ~6.3 V. The other 4 (1 in front, 3 in back) show ~5.7 V.
You should determine if you already have a battery equalizer installed. The typical one used by Roadtrek is a Cooper unit that would usually look like this model...

Sure Power 12040E10 Battery Equalizer

I have seen them mounted in various places including near the inverter under the bed.

The Cooper battery equalizer will reduce the risk that the batteries become unbalanced which leads to failure of the batteries that are used to supply 12 volt power from the center of the battery bank. The battery equalizer forces the 12 volt point in the bank to always be 1/2 of the voltage of the 24 volt point in the bank and improves the charging of the complete battery bank.

I would contact Roadtrek to determine when the van was originally sold and if it is before Aug 1 2015 I would insist that they replace all the batteries under warranty and install the battery equalizer if one is not installed already. Most vans with the equalizer and a new set of batteries have pretty good performance. If the van was sold after Aug 1 2015 then the batteries are not covered by a warranty but I would still expect Roadtrek to pay for the installation of the battery equalizer to prevent the same problems you have after new batteries are installed.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:42 PM   #9
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I would contact Roadtrek to determine when the van was originally sold
Or, for a more objective source, you should be able to find the first date of registration from a service like CarFax.
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Old 08-08-2017, 10:50 PM   #10
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Or, for a more objective source, you should be able to find the first date of registration from a service like CarFax.
Roadtrek can tell you the date it was placed in service by vin #.

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Old 08-08-2017, 11:04 PM   #11
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There always seem to be an awful lot of eteks showing up on ebay, I think there where two or three when I looked few days ago. I would guess folks are finding out the AGM setup is destined to destroy the batteries unless an balancer is installed, but they don't know about the balancer solution and bail on it.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:23 AM   #12
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Roadtrek can tell you the date it was placed in service by vin #.

Bud
It seems some people don't trust Roadtrek to give correct info in order to avoid warranty coverage...

I don't recall any owner reports to support that view but I could have missed hearing about attempts by Roadtrek to avoid honoring the warranty.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:28 AM   #13
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I like the Carfax idea if they turn it down, just to be sure.
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Old 08-09-2017, 12:35 AM   #14
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I like the Carfax idea if they turn it down, just to be sure.
Agree, you have to contact Roadtrek in any case to update the owner info in order to get recall notices. If they say it was originally purchased after Aug 1 2015 it would be prudent to confirm it. Also prudent to confirm that Mercedes has the correct in service date for the chassis in case the first owner didn't make sure it was done.
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Old 08-09-2017, 01:57 AM   #15
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I believe the warranty would depend on when the van was originally sold as new. On or after Aug 1 2015 the new warranty would apply with no coverage for AGM batteries beyond 1 year.

If the van was sold new before Aug 1 2015 then the warranty for the AGM batteries on an E-Trek would be for 6 years. Here is the old warranty.

https://web.archive.org/web/20150319...-warranty-info
Thanks for digging down to the details. Roadtrek generally provides changes to the model year around midyear. Our 210 which was ordered in late May 2016. It was built in June/July 2016 and delivered in late July as a 2017 model on a 2016 chassis. So I believe the 2015 Etrek models started delivery in mid 2014. Consequently, while possible, I doubt that any build after August 2015 would be a 2015 model. It would more likley deliver as a 2016. I'm told there are exceptions. If there is a surplus of chassis for a particular platform, I think they delay advancing the model date to ensure that there isn't more than a one year difference between the model year and the chassis year.
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:03 AM   #16
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During the early recession years, Roadtrek had rebates on one and two year old models that they and the dealers still had on hand, so there were 3 years of models available for some versions. There were some good deals to be had because that was also before the started jacking the pricing as quickly as they did after that.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:49 AM   #17
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Thanks everyone for looking after my best interests. I contacted the original owners, and they said they purchased it in June 2015. Hopefully, everything will work out. These are really nice folks that really never used the batteries- had it plugged in to shore power for 2 years. This all seems to fit with the model of some batteries being overcharged and some undercharged, so some batteries failing, due to the AGM configuration. Trying to get in touch with my friendly "neighborhood" Roadtrek dealer to get the wheels turning...
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Old 08-09-2017, 04:53 AM   #18
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Thanks everyone for looking after my best interests. I contacted the original owners, and they said they purchased it in June 2015. Hopefully, everything will work out. These are really nice folks that really never used the batteries- had it plugged in to shore power for 2 years. This all seems to fit with the model of some batteries being overcharged and some undercharged, so some batteries failing, due to the AGM configuration. Trying to get in touch with my friendly "neighborhood" Roadtrek dealer to get the wheels turning...
If you are on Facebook you should join the Roadtrek & Hymer Owners Group. Lots of owners there who are glad to share info.
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Old 08-09-2017, 05:30 AM   #19
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.

Depending on whether you have more time or money...

You can try to revive the batteries by desulfating them with a smart charger.

Lots of youtube video on how to do it.

Those are tough batteries; some people have them for 10 yr !
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Old 08-09-2017, 02:04 PM   #20
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The resulting 4 good & 4 not good battery outcome was also reported by another E-trek owner on this forum. His most recent post: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f2...html#post49650
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