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Old 02-18-2015, 01:55 PM   #81
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Batteries are designed with an end use in mind so it's good to compare as many specifications as you can.

Lifeline GPL-4DA Marine / Yacht / Vehicle Battery
http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/marineflyer.php?id=5

Weight: 124 lbs
Ah 20hr rate: 210
RC: 390
CCA at 0°F: 1,100A
Cycles at 80% DOD: 550
L 20.76" x W 8.7" x H 8.64"

Northstar SMS-AGM-400 Battery
http://buy.northstarbattery.com/p/sms-agm-400-battery

Weight: 131 lbs
Ah 20hr rate: 186
RC: 400
CCA at 0°F: 1,400 A
Cycles at 80% DOD: 400
L 22.05" x W 4.92" x H 12.6"

What does “20 Amp Hr rate” mean?

http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/articles ... mean-.html

Quote:
For deep cycle batteries the standard rating is 20 hours. So, if a battery has a rating of 100AH @ 20 Hr rate, then that battery was discharged over 20 hours with a 5 amp load.
Lifeline GPL-4DA Marine: 210ah / 20 hours = 10.5 amps per hour for 20 hours

Northstar SMS-AGM-400: 186ah / 20 hours = 9.3 amps per hour for 20 hours
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:50 PM   #82
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Mark as i said in my earlier response Reserve Capacity is a better way to measure standard agm to tppl agm.

however even if the reserve capacity of the northstar is superior i still think only one of them is not enough capacity for Roadtreks 'engine generator'.

if 2 i would think differently
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Old 02-18-2015, 05:42 PM   #83
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

If you are running a winch or other similar high current draw item
The Lifeline will run a Fantastic Fan longer. It depends on what you are using the battery for.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:09 PM   #84
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Both the reserve capacity and 1,5,20,100 hour ratings are measuring how much power the battery will deliver under a certain set of circumstances, so there really is only a difference of the point they measure.

Personally, I prefer the hour ratings, because they give you more options for data points and address fast and slow discharge rates. They apply equally to all battery sizes and AH capacities.

The reserve capacity is a 25 amp load for all batteries, so a small battery is discharging at a 1 hour rate and a 400 amp battery is discharging at the 16 hour rate. Both of these rates are probably too fast for a deep cycle battery to be evaluated at for RV use, at least our RV. We have checked our discharge rates many times, and most of the time it is more than the 100 hour rate (on average) and always over 75 hour rate. I want to be able to see which battery performs best under the conditions it will be working. In our case that is long slow discharge, not a high drain, short duration, situation.

Starting and deep cycle have always been rated differently for exactly these reasons.

Starting batteries do the high discharge thing in cars and trucks, so they have been rated in reserve capacity. Deep cycle batteries run stuff a long time at lower discharge rates, so the are rated with the hour capacity ratings, which let you chose how fast a rate to look at.

All battery manufacturers are going to advertise whatever spec makes them look the best, so you get a lot of variation in what specs you see from brand to brand.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:32 PM   #85
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

There is another thing to look at in the advertising and literature. You often hear of very high acceptable charging rates for various, but not all, AGMs. The thing is that in most situations, the variation between them is mute because they will all (the high rate ones) take more charge rate than the RV can supply.

For instance, the 210AH battery Marko listed from Lifeline is approved to charge at 525 amps, which is more than an engine generator will put out. Claiming you can charge faster than that doesn't really mean anything if you can't provide it, and these days, 210AH is not considered a lot of battery bank. If you had the more desirable 400AH, you could charge them at 1000 amps, if you had it.

IMO, anything over a charge rate of about one times the AH capacity (1XC) for AGMs, is a wast of time because you still have the 4 hour hold time to get them full. Doubling the charge rate saves you 1/2 hour out of a 5 hour charge cycle, but costs a lot in hardware and space, and generates a lot of heat. If you have lithium, it is another story because you don't have to get them full. There you would save 1/2 hour out of an hour charge cycle, so there is more benefit.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:37 PM   #86
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Fellas-the wife and I wanted the zion-so the battery it has is what i've got. I don't think roadtrek should call it a 400 amp battery-they use the amp hour or watts designation on all their other batteries.


their website says 400 amps-what can i say-it is what it is
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:44 PM   #87
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
There is another thing to look at in the advertising and literature. You often hear of very high acceptable charging rates for various, but not all, AGMs. The thing is that in most situations, the variation between them is mute because they will all (the high rate ones) take more charge rate than the RV can supply.

For instance, the 210AH battery Marko listed from Lifeline is approved to charge at 525 amps, which is more than an engine generator will put out. Claiming you can charge faster than that doesn't really mean anything if you can't provide it, and these days, 210AH is not considered a lot of battery bank. If you had the more desirable 400AH, you could charge them at 1000 amps, if you had it.

IMO, anything over a charge rate of about one times the AH capacity (1XC) for AGMs, is a wast of time because you still have the 4 hour hold time to get them full. Doubling the charge rate saves you 1/2 hour out of a 5 hour charge cycle, but costs a lot in hardware and space, and generates a lot of heat. If you have lithium, it is another story because you don't have to get them full. There you would save 1/2 hour out of an hour charge cycle, so there is more benefit.
Booster- so would you agree that getting the engine generator for my 186 amp battery-as opposed to just using the 220 amp standard alternator is overkill or would it make sense to have both alternators?
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:02 PM   #88
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

My guess would be that the engine generator would be overkill to have the engine generator, with the only exception being if the factory 220 amp unit was either really low amp at idle or dropped a lot of capacity when hot. A good 220 amp alternator will probably do about 100 amps at idle and 150 or a bit more hot going down the road. That will fill your battery very quickly to the 80% range and then the resistance to charge starts to climb and the amps drop, so the size of the alternator doesn't really matter any more. Of course, as we have often talked about, you would need adequate wiring for whatever you chose.

With the ability to charge you batteries that quickly, you may want to get an ammeter or battery monitor in place so you can see what the amperage to them is while you are driving. If you also add a disconnect, you will then be able to shut off the charging when they get full to prevent overcharging. It is very common for folks to come off shore power with full batteries and then drive 10-12 hours, putting full charge voltage on the full batteries the entire time, which is not good for them AGM, or wet cell. Lithium are usually OK because the BMS shuts them off.

IMO, being able to monitor the charging from the engine, and shut it off when you are full, is right near the top of what folks can easily do to prolong their battery life.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:11 PM   #89
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
My guess would be that the engine generator would be overkill to have the engine generator, with the only exception being if the factory 220 amp unit was either really low amp at idle or dropped a lot of capacity when hot. A good 220 amp alternator will probably do about 100 amps at idle and 150 or a bit more hot going down the road. That will fill your battery very quickly to the 80% range and then the resistance to charge starts to climb and the amps drop, so the size of the alternator doesn't really matter any more. Of course, as we have often talked about, you would need adequate wiring for whatever you chose.

With the ability to charge you batteries that quickly, you may want to get an ammeter or battery monitor in place so you can see what the amperage to them is while you are driving. If you also add a disconnect, you will then be able to shut off the charging when they get full to prevent overcharging. It is very common for folks to come off shore power with full batteries and then drive 10-12 hours, putting full charge voltage on the full batteries the entire time, which is not good for them AGM, or wet cell. Lithium are usually OK because the BMS shuts them off.

IMO, being able to monitor the charging from the engine, and shut it off when you are full, is right near the top of what folks can easily do to prolong their battery life.
i guess i will have to assume roadtrek know how to wire an alternaror-they've been doing it long enough.

oh by the way MARK. i did ask roadtrek how zion is wired. all shore power and generator(onan) power thru th inverter/charger-power does pass thru
but no 120 volt power without inverter/charger on-and it distributes all power
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:28 PM   #90
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

I think most of the manufacturers are behind in the alternator to coach wiring. I have never seen any Roadtrek (can't say about the proprietary ones) that had a factory disconnect or battery monitor. All of the older ones also have undersized wiring that can't handle AGM charge rates, even though they were sold with AGM batteries. I would hope they got this stuff straightened out on the new models, but I can say I haven't heard anything about a monitor or disconnect on them to this point.
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Old 02-18-2015, 09:44 PM   #91
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

I don't think there is a reason for them to bother with upsizing the wiring. I've seen relatively high wattage solar installs, except with really skinny wires, and getting a fraction of the energy that would be available should a proper gauge be used. However, the numbers are there for advertising, and with the fine print of "your real numbers of incoming energy may vary", this is a legit thing to do.

One item I'm having as part of my SMB build is (if it is possible and makes sense), running 1-2 gauges thicker than specified, whenever possible. A van is a relatively small vehicle, so might as well do the job right.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:43 PM   #92
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22
I don't think there is a reason for them to bother with upsizing the wiring. I've seen relatively high wattage solar installs, except with really skinny wires, and getting a fraction of the energy that would be available should a proper gauge be used. However, the numbers are there for advertising, and with the fine print of "your real numbers of incoming energy may vary", this is a legit thing to do.

One item I'm having as part of my SMB build is (if it is possible and makes sense), running 1-2 gauges thicker than specified, whenever possible. A van is a relatively small vehicle, so might as well do the job right.
I think you may have hit it right on the head with this. Legit, but not desirable 145 amp alternator, 220AH of battery, good advertising of features. Connected with 4 ga wire and 80 amp breakers, just don't say anything. As long as it is safe and doesn't catch fire, very few will know that it is not working as well as it should. The only clue would be the incessant clicking of breakers tripping and resetting, until they failed. (this has come up numerous times on the Yahoo board-"what is all the clicking going on when driving after my batteries got low?") Add a disconnect that would make the batteries last 6 years instead of 3, no matter because they got out of warranty.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:33 PM   #93
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
.............oh by the way MARK. i did ask roadtrek how zion is wired. all shore power and generator(onan) power thru the inverter/charger-power does pass thru but no 120 volt power without inverter/charger on-and it distributes all power
Maybe something like this?

Shore power..\
...................\___ Transfer Switch ______ Inverter Charger_____ AC panel_____Load(s)
................../
Generator..../

If so, maybe the battery will charge if running the genset for air conditioning for example. I think you already said that's doesn't matter for you but it would be good info to know for others.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:44 PM   #94
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerrym51
.............oh by the way MARK. i did ask roadtrek how zion is wired. all shore power and generator(onan) power thru the inverter/charger-power does pass thru but no 120 volt power without inverter/charger on-and it distributes all power
Maybe something like this?

Shore power..\
...................\___ Transfer Switch ______ Inverter Charger_____ AC panel_____Load(s)
................../
Generator..../

If so, maybe the battery will charge if running the genset for air conditioning for example. I think you already said that's doesn't matter for you but it would be good info to know for others.

they said onan would charge the batteries - it appears tripp lite was the one with the issue. roadtrek no longer uses tripp lite for larger inverters. they use Powerstar-which they warranty themselves. i researched powerstar- they are chinese but their devices are used worldwide and they have a good rep.
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Old 02-19-2015, 06:33 PM   #95
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

This is one of the better manuals I've seen for the ZL Power / Power Star LW series:
https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0408/ ... MANUAL.pdf

Charging amps are listed as 35A or 70A.
The units appear to be grouped: 1000w/2000w/3000w and 4000w/5000w/6000w so I'd guess 35A charging for the smaller units and 70A charging for the larger units.

The "A.G.M 2" charge curve setting described in the manual looks suitable for a Northstar TPPL battery.

Previous TPPL battery care discussion : http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...p=23560#p23560
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:10 PM   #96
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

That would have to be a different Tripplite than most Roadtreks got, as those were only 750 watts. Roadtrek only ran a couple of outlets off them. I think Campskunk mentioned a different inverter, one of the big ones that could run everything maybe Xantrex, as being the culprit that kept a lot of folks from being able to charge their batteries off the Onan.
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Old 02-22-2015, 10:45 PM   #97
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Video of a Roadtrek Zion with white cabinetry:

[youtube:294pbvhk]o6bkJdK8nBs[/youtube:294pbvhk]

I don't see a hitch on the rear. You can see what looks to be the propane tank and the campground power inlet:



If you want to carry bikes outside then you should be able to source a Fiamma door mounted Carry-Bike for Fiat Ducato / Ram Promaster: http://www.fiamma.com/EN/products/carry ... ke_van_dj/

You could put bikes inside but then you give up access to beds, rear seating and the rear storage compartments.

If you think you'll ever want or need a cargo box on the rear then check to make sure it has a hitch or that a hitch can be added.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Roadtrek Zion maybe no hitch.jpg (55.1 KB, 535 views)
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Old 02-23-2015, 12:07 AM   #98
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

it has a hitch only for 2000 pounds.(class 3 hitch) this is the same one i saw in hartford. it does not have all the stuff on it. it's the initial touring for shows model it went to the midwest after hartford show. no shower curtains. missing other stuff-they rushed it out

the tv in sale models will be on right.
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Old 02-26-2015, 03:23 PM   #99
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

Does anyone else have concerns about the Zion cargo capacity? It seems a bit anemic to me.

OCCC is 1250lbs, tanks are 36.5/23.5/9.6 gal so that's about 577lbs when full. So that leaves 673lbs for occupants, cargo and installed options (generator, spare tire, solar system etc.)

I'm comparing this to PleasureWay ProMaster Lexor which has OCCC 1680lbs and tanks 29/20/12 gal which is 506lbs when full. So that leaves 1174lbs for occupants and cargo (and there are no options available so that's it).

It just doesn't seem like there's much capacity left with the Zion, especially if you have any options installed (although I don't know the weight of each option).
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Old 02-26-2015, 05:29 PM   #100
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Default Re: Roadtrek Zion - Promaster based Class B Motorhome

since they are the same van they have same capacity. they use the same basic components so how could they be so different.
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