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Old 04-12-2021, 09:10 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek isolator to aux battery issue

I have a 2002 Roadtrek 190 Popular and I am not getting full voltage from my isolator to the aux batteries (house batteries). The voltage leaving the isolator is 14.7 V which according to Sure Power rep is about right for my model, but the power at the first aux battery connection ( with battery disconnected) is only 12.2 V. So it seems like I am loosing voltage somewhere along the way. Has anyone followed the entire line from the isolator to the aux batteries. Mine leaves the isolator connects to a circuit breaker ( voltage still at 14.7 either side of the circuit breaker) heads up towards the motor the goes up onto the frame by the drivers front wheel then seems to head to the rear of the van but on the drivers side. I am going to try and follow it but thought if some has already done so it might save me some time. If you have does the line (wire) connect to anything else before reaching the aux batteries, like main cabin fuse panel?

I am planning on buying new 4 gauge wire and running a more direct route to the aux batteries but want to be sure I am not bypassing a critical connection.

When running the generator I get a reading of 12.7 volts on my aux batteries when they are normally sitting around 12.2 volts.

Any help would be greatly appreciated
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Old 04-12-2021, 09:33 PM   #2
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My guess (based on experience with my 2008C210P) is that the second circuit breaker in the charging line from the isolator is faulty and giving high resistance. There are 2 self resetting circuit breakers in the line between the isolator output and the batteries in the rear. The first one is mounted directly on the isolator and is to protect from a short circuit in the line to the back. The second breaker is to protect from the house battery from feeding the short from the other side. If you are exceedingly lucky, the breaker could be mounted nearby the battery switching relay: unfortunately, (as was my case) it is mounted in a metal box just behind the pull out battery box and just forward of the rear wheel. The box is small and the cover is mounted with 2 Robertson screws. These breakers, unfortunately, are prone to failure because they act as charge current limiters in the case of a deeply discharged battery. They are not really designed for this service as the contact arcs every time the breaker opens and, in time the contacts become burned and make a poor connection. They are typically 50 amp rating and are available for under $5 from AutoZone, NAPA, etc. I was able to reach the box by driving the rear wheel up on a small ramp, but it is obviously much easier if you have access to a lift. While it is not a good idea to bypass this breaker from a safety standpoint, I would replace the rear breaker with a larger breaker (say, 60 amp) so that the front breaker would open first. This would minimize wear and tear on the rear breaker during high charging while still providing adequate fire protection.
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Old 04-12-2021, 11:06 PM   #3
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thanks, I'll hunt for that second breaker tomorrow. Would much rather change a $5 breaker than rewire right from the isolator.
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:14 PM   #4
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Found out that the isolator is defective, but have a bigger problem. I discovered that my house batteries are somehow connect to my engine battery. Even with all wires off the isolator I still get 12.2V at the first house battery. Noticed that the engine battery has 3 wires connected to the + post. Not sure if this is common or one of these the connection to the house batteries. The search continues......
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Old 04-13-2021, 10:37 PM   #5
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On my 12C190P, the generator starts off of chassis battery. Go to the rear of your RT and crawl under it. Look up between the generator and LPG tank at the underside of the floor. There are several large diameter positive wires connected on studs and maybe circuit breakers. Check these to see if they're corrosion free and voltage readings to ground.
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Old 04-13-2021, 11:06 PM   #6
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Typically there is only a single cable connected to the starting battery and the only connection between the house and starting batteries is through the isolator. It appears that someone has done some rewiring.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for that information. I was thinking that I may just remove the two additional wires on the starter battery and see which one was feeding my house batteries. I have ordered a new isolator, so hopefully I will have solved the mystery by the time the isolator shows up. Stay tuned.......
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Old 04-14-2021, 12:57 PM   #8
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2002 so it's a Chevy? If so, some info:

A 2002 Chevy RT would have come with a Hehr isolator. That's a diode type isolator. It is a 4 post isolator and would have 5 wires connected, one being the voltage sense wire. Sure Power makes diode type Isolators and also makes Separators. At some point RT started using Sure Power separators but that came well after '02.
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Old 04-14-2021, 03:34 PM   #9
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My 2008C210P came with an Isolator. I think that Booster said that his 2007 came with a separator: if that is the case, it appears that 2007-2008 could have had either one from the factory.
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Old 04-14-2021, 11:41 PM   #10
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Thanks. The Sure Power unit that is defective was a 2013, so not the original. According to the Sure Power tech support, you can tell the year by the first two numbers in the serial number.
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnnyFry View Post
My 2008C210P came with an Isolator. I think that Booster said that his 2007 came with a separator: if that is the case, it appears that 2007-2008 could have had either one from the factory.
My 2008C210 came with a Isolator. But that has been replaced with a Blue Sea Automatic Charging Relay!
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Old 04-18-2021, 05:11 PM   #12
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On my '08 210 RT Popular, the cable leaves the isolator, and like yours exits the engine compartment and enters the frame headed towards the rear of the vehicle. On the passenger side and forward of the rear tire, the cable exits the frame and enters a junction box with leads from the batteries, inverter/charger, and the Onan (for starting the genny). This junction box (remove the cover) is your next test point. See pics attached.
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Old 04-18-2021, 05:37 PM   #13
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If possible, could you identify the components that the wires are attached to in your pictures? Thank you
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Old 04-18-2021, 07:01 PM   #14
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Thanks for the information and taking the time to send pictures as well. I'll hunt for the box and check my connections there.
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Old 04-19-2021, 04:49 AM   #15
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The line running through the circuit breaker is from the isolator in front, the fat one in the middle goes to the battery,
the next one over (smaller gauge) goes to the battery switching relay, the last one goes to the Onan starter
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