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Old 11-04-2015, 08:20 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek E-Trek Battery Replacement

We recently went on a short trip with our 2014 rig and had some troubling issues with our batteries. Everything seemed to be dead 12v and 24v. When we returned home they were still dead a few minutes after driving/charging all day. We checked the voltages of the individual cells and the batteries that were connected to "Balancer" were totally dead.

The service center near us installed a "battery balancer" next to the solar charge controller and replaced the bad cells.

Finally, my question. Is it possible that more than just the two batteries need to be replaced? How would I check them to see what state of health they are in?

Here is the battery setup we have: https://docs.google.com/drawings/d/1...it?usp=sharing
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Old 11-05-2015, 10:38 PM   #2
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.......... Is it possible that more than just the two batteries need to be replaced?
Yes.

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........ How would I check them to see what state of health they are in?
Maybe a battery load tester. I don't have one but had to pick the best 12 batteries out of 24 that where on the bench. I charged them all up fully (in parallel) then disconnected them all and let them rest a couple of days. Then I picked the 12 best (highest resting voltages).

This will become a popular question as E-treks get older.

Typical battery advice indicates that you'd replace all of them at the same time. But, you'd probably end up with two dead ones in a year or two if your battery usage and maintenance remains the same.

My guess is that it must be very difficult to get all the batteries fully charged unless you keep the coach plugged in.
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Old 11-06-2015, 12:42 AM   #3
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Maybe a battery load tester.
I think I may give this a try. If I run the A/C it should give me some good readings.

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But, you'd probably end up with two dead ones in a year or two if your battery usage and maintenance remains the same.
I wish Roadtrek would be more upfront about a recommended usage and maintenance regime. They tend to skirt the question whenever we ask for "Best Practices". We do our best to keep them charged and in tip top condition but still ended up with this problem.
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Old 11-06-2015, 07:58 PM   #4
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An agm battery is an agm battery. they want to be fullycharged at all times-that's their nature.

after using them you want to get them to full charge as soon as possible.


discharging some then letting agm sit without recharging as soon as possible is bad.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:09 PM   #5
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Gerry's got it right and that's pretty easy to do with one or two batteries. It get's harder with varying cable lengths, more batteries, series and parallel connections combined etc.

The A/C should put a substantial load on the system and should allow you to see if any batteries are weaker.

Here's a topic that you might find interesting. Booster discovered that mismatched cable lengths can lead to a charging imbalance:
http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f5...ical-3660.html

Some photos of your setup might help members come up with suggestions.

Most Etrek owners probably won't opt to replace all 8 AGM's at once if it can be avoided.

Does anyone know if the special Etrek warranty covers the batteries?
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:17 PM   #6
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I think I may give this a try. If I run the A/C it should give me some good readings.



I wish Roadtrek would be more upfront about a recommended usage and maintenance regime. They tend to skirt the question whenever we ask for "Best Practices". We do our best to keep them charged and in tip top condition but still ended up with this problem.
Load testing usually works better for starting or combo batteries than for deep cycle styles. What is important in an RV is capacity testing, which can be done at home, if you have an good ammeter in the circuit.

You would just turn stuff on until you hit the 5 or 20 hour ah rating of the battery bank in amps (1/5 or 1/20th of the amp hour rating) and let it run until you hit the 10.5 amp cutoff that the spec uses.

Roadtreks setup of 24 and 12v systems essentially cuts your capacity in half for just 12v stuff, with all the rest only for inverter runs. The balancer will help somewhat, there are also other ways that might be better, such as running all on 24 volts with a 24 to 12v DC converter for the 12v loads. That way you would use, and recharge all the batteries together, which is generally considered much better.

I doubt you will get much out of Roadtrek, as it might reflect poorly on the system design, and the lack of good monitoring.
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Old 11-06-2015, 08:47 PM   #7
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Does anyone know if the special Etrek warranty covers the batteries?
We had the unit serviced and Roadtrek covered the replacement of the two dead batteries under warranty. I am just worried that more than just the two completely dead batteries were affected by the poor charging/balancing configuration. When it comes out of warranty we don't want to be stuck with replacing the whole bank of 8.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:09 PM   #8
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What is important in an RV is capacity testing, which can be done at home, if you have an good ammeter in the circuit.
I am working on installing a TriMetric battery monitor to help us better understand the system. That should provide us with a good ammeter right?

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there are also other ways that might be better, such as running all on 24 volts with a 24 to 12v DC converter for the 12v loads.
I agree, I have considered changing a few times but as it is still under warranty we were hoping Roadtrek would fix the problems as we would consider them manufacturing/design defects.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:10 PM   #9
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Somewhere in the near past, Roadtrek added the etrek batteries to the 5? year warranty on the rest of the etrek. Hammil made a big deal out of it on their Facebook site IIRC what folks said back then. They now have gone back to the manufacturer warranty on the AGMs, so probably a year.

Do you have any warranty information with the unit? Hopefully, you will be in the 5 year time period.
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Old 11-06-2015, 09:28 PM   #10
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I just looked at the "etrek supplement" owners manual for 2014 on the Roadtrek site and it says the batteries are covered for 6 years. If you don't have a copy with your literature, I would print one out so you have it if you need it.
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:17 AM   #11
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Default Roadtrek E-Trek Battery Replacement

The E-Trek brochure on the RT website states: "Extended RV Warranty: 6 year unlimited mileage/km limited warranty covering the manufacture of the motorhome, appliances, electronics, plumbing and batteries (excludes chassis)." But the E-Trek warranty description on the main "our models" page clearly excludes AGMs from the 6-year warranty. I think this is a very recent change.
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Old 11-07-2015, 12:48 PM   #12
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Here is a link to the discussion about when Roadtrek changed the warranty AWAY from the 6 years to one year. It was in 2015, so shouldn't affect the 2014 of the OP, I hope.

Roadtrek warranty change? - Class B Forums
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:08 PM   #13
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Default Roadtrek E-Trek Battery Replacement

Ah, thanks! This discussion did seem vaguely familiar. Glad my 2013 has the 6-year AGM battery warranty. Will be interesting to see how long they last with careful use. So far so good.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:03 PM   #14
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The 6 year E-trek AGM battery warranty is/was great. You're almost sure to need the batteries replaced in that 6 year time frame in a mostly electric coach.
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Old 11-07-2015, 02:11 PM   #15
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AGM battery manufacturers rarely give 6 year warranties. What was Roadtrek thinking?
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:32 PM   #16
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That's a question that has come up frequently over the past few months, even for those of us who have had positive experiences with RT.
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Old 11-07-2015, 04:43 PM   #17
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Didn't the 6 year warranty get put on because Hammil was getting a lot of pushback on the Facebook site about expensive batteries that didn't seem to be lasting very long? I seem to remember somebody posting a quote from there, someplace, where Hammil said something like "to take out any of your concerns about battery life/cost, we will put a 6 year warranty on them". Probably an ill advised, knee jerk reaction.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:34 PM   #18
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The 6-year E-Trek warranty dates back to at least March 2013 when I took the plunge. The new "worry free" warranty did get some FB discussion as I recall.
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Old 11-07-2015, 11:25 PM   #19
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I just searched through one of the early etrek topics here and saw it on an order sheet from Oct 2012 so it must have been on from just about the beginning.
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Old 11-18-2015, 06:19 PM   #20
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I did a simple load test by turning on a few high load appliances for 15-20 minutes. I took voltage readings before any load and during the test.

After resting for a week:
A: 6.33v
B: 6.43v < New Cell
C: 6.94v
D: 6.88v
E: 6.43v < New Cell
F: 6.34v
G: 6.94v
H: 6.88v

Under 50% load:
A: 5.31v
B: 5.39v < New Cell
C: 5.32v
D: 5.34v
E: 5.32v < New Cell
F: 5.14v
G: 5.36v
H: 5.32v

Does this tell me that cell F is also experiencing failure?

E-Trek Battery Layout (1).jpg
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