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Old 11-29-2015, 10:02 PM   #1
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Default 07 Roadtrek 190 electrical upgrade

After the last 3-4 years of testing, changing, and living with our various charging systems styles in our 07 Roadtrek C190P, we finally figured we were ready to do a major upgrade to address as much of what we leaned as possible.

The major parts are really not anything extreme or odd, and I think would, and have been, the choice of many folks who looked carefully at what was available and capable of doing an accurate job of charging batteries while not interfering with each other or other systems.

Magnum MS2000 inverter/charger----2000 watt PSW inverter, 100 amp charger

Magnum BMK shunt based monitoring kit---basically a shunt and interface box

Magnum ARC50 advanced remote for the Magnum parts---the remote is where all the versatility and setability lives, so without it all the other parts are very basic

Blue Sky 2512 solar controller with Pro remote--same deal as with Magnum--all the capability is in the remote, including shunt based control

3X100 Grape Solar panels

Blue Sea main disconnect switch, separated circuit fuse panel

440 amp hours of Lifeline AGM batteries---4 GPL4CT six volt GC2 case

250 amp DC Power Engineering engine alternator--used as standard alternator, not as a separate engine generator

3/0 cables from alternator to batteries to inverter

Blue Sea manual control power relay from the alternator to coach--no automatic separator or isolator

InPower digital amp/volt meter with two inductive pickups--dash mount display, pickups for total amps to coach and amps to batteries

The onboard Onan generator has been removed

The goal of the upgrade was to get more battery capacity, have it be AGM so faster charging and better for large loads, all charging shunt based transitions based on amps, rapid charging from shore @100 amps, rapid charging from engine @ 200 amps. Our only major inverter use is for the microwave as everything else is native 12 volt. We do have a compressor frig so we use more 12v power for that, with a total daily use of 30-50 amp hours in most cases.

Secondarily, but very important to us, was to not lose any storage space, especially on the inside of the van. We all have seen this type of conversions, done mostly at dealers or repair places, that put all the batteries, chargers, controls, etc in the storage area under the rear bed or sofa, and we would not do the conversion it we had to have it that way. We have also seen lots of setups, many of them new units, that sacrifice an entire interior cabinet to house the charger, controls, monitor panels, etc. We weren't willing to do that either.

With the picture limits per post, I will try to break things up somewhat logically(?) as best I can. In reality, the inverter/charger and other control stuff is one standalone project, the battery installation another standalone, and the engine charging upgrade a third standalone. We did them mostly together.

Thanks to the Class B forum and it's very knowledgeable members. Lots of excellent discussion has made it so much easier to work through.
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Old 11-29-2015, 10:39 PM   #2
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We had switched to a full time rear bed a long time ago, so all the rear area under the bed was clear wheelwell to wheelwell. The original charging stuff was behind the passenger wheelwell as were all the different changed systems we had tried. The new stuff was to go into the same area without losing space under the bed.

I cleared the area to get dimensions and cut back the Roadtrek wall covering a bit, up to the height of the underbed area. The entire charging setup and controls are all mounted to one frame with the inverter on top of it, and the rest mounted to frame itself, under the charger. Nothing is mounted to the floor or other places (other than the frame itself), so it all can go in and out as an assembly.

The frame is just angle iron, with the flange directions chosen to allow component mounting surfaces, and clearance to mount it to the floor.



It has an overhang on the wheelwell side so it can get the charger further to the front to gain space in the rear. It does not tip over with the charger on it, though as the center of gravity is back far enough.



The components mount to the frame around the edges, leaving wiring room in the middle.




The shunt and the disconnect switch are intentionally overhung to the wheelwell end, as that is where the existing cutout is for the battery cables. With the two of them overhanging the opening, the cables can come right up to them without having to turn 90 degrees. The other side of each of them allows the cables to be straight out the other side to the rear of the frame. Not having the cables making a big loop into the frame saved a lot of space and made putting the frame in place and the cables hooked up very easy.

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Old 11-29-2015, 10:52 PM   #3
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I was able to almost completely prewire the system on the bench, which made it much easier. The assembly is then set in place and the van wiring attached inside it without the inverter on top yet. The big cables for the inverter are already installed in the frame and ready to attach to the inverter when it is installed on top.









All the stuff that needs to accessible is on the inside face of the frame. Main disconnect, solar panel switch, air compressor switch, fuse panel.

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Old 11-29-2015, 11:24 PM   #4
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There was plenty of room for the inverter on top of the frame, but there was a problem with how to hold it down on the van outside wall side. The wall covering overlaps the top of the inverter and one end, and the other end is too tight to reach in to put a nut on a stud. To get around it, I welded bolts in the frame to work as studs, and then made "tall", really tall, nuts for them.



By leaving them up a bit, as shown in the pic, and doing this modification to the inverter flange, it makes it possible, even easy, to assemble and tighten.



There was actually very little to cut out of the flange to open the slot, as it had a big diameter keyhole in it already. Maybe .08" or so cut out.

This allows me to set the inverter on the base, slide it into the slots, and then push it 90 degrees to the side to engage the original slot position. It worked out very well, and is very fast and easy.

The tall nuts are high enough to clear the top of the inverter, but not go under the wall covering and can easily be tightened with an open or box end wrench. I put light hold Loctite on them before I screwed them on, as there is no way to have lockwashers.



The outer flange bolts normally. The frame itself is bolted through the floor with 6 bolts.

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Old 11-29-2015, 11:37 PM   #5
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Whenever I am done, or nearly done, I try to do a review of everything and pretend that it was built by some other than me. It can be a good way of reevaluating some of the decisions. One thing that came up was that Magnum says the base can approach 200*F so it needs to be on non combustible surfaces. Angle iron doesn't burn so I didn't worry about it. When I went back, it just worried me that the radiant heat off the base would not be good for the components below the inverter in the frame. I took it back apart (luckily that is really easy) and made an aluminum base for under the inverter. The inverter mounting flange is lower than the bottom of the unit, so there is an air gap above the new base.



With all the changes over the years, the rear section of the bedframe had been modified several times, and needed it again. It has a few extra pieces in it. I cut off and replaced the inner rear corner and made it a single instead of tow leg setup. It clears everything pretty well. I even left it in place when I took off the inverter to add the base plate.

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Old 11-29-2015, 11:57 PM   #6
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We were able to reuse the existing side panel to the front of the inverter area simply by shortening it by about 1.5" and then reinstalling the channel the supports the inverter panel. I also drilled extra cooling holes as this is the side that the exit air comes out. As it turns out, our tube that holds the awning hardware blocks them a bunch, so I will probably add another row a bit lower.



The cover panel for the inverter section is made out of plexiglass. I had used plexi on our last system so I could see the indicator lights on the components and really liked it. We don't have as much that we need to see, but it allowed a bit of a different switch setup by allowing visibility.



These are the cutouts for switch access, the main disconnect and the two toggle switches. The panel comes off easily if I need to get to the fuse panel.



The panel needed to angle in at the rear to blend with the rear door opening, and getting a bracket the right angle, or bending the plexi, really sucks to do at home. To get around it, I used a piece of stainless steel hinge instead. I put it onto the backside of the panel's two pieces and held it on with 3M VHB tape, which also hid all the hinge but the center. It moves to any angle to match the mounting, which I made after the panel. The big holes are air inlets, and will be covered with screen mesh on the inside of the panel.

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Old 11-30-2015, 12:09 AM   #7
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That is beautiful! You, sir are an artist (genius)...
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:09 AM   #8
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With the plexi panel in place, you can reach in to activate the switches, but gear in the van won't be able to hit them.



The panel is held on by the channel on the left side and two
thumbscrews on the right. The tube in front is our window washer.

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Old 11-30-2015, 12:21 AM   #9
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I cleaned up some of the extra and leftover wiring in the wheelwell area before closing it back up. The 110v box connects the old power to charger from the main panel, to some of the outlets that used to run off the small inverter from Roadtrek. We now are wired directly from shore power to the inverter/charger which also has it's own breaker and transfer switch. All 110v comes out of the inverter now and to the main panel.





We had a very bad experience with cooling air "looping" when we did our compressor frig install, so I am a bit paranoid about it now. I put a little bit of fiberglass in to block the hot exhaust air from going back to the inlet.



Roadtrek had originally left the panels a bit short to allow airflow, so they are still the same. The big hole gets our awning tools tube in it.

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Old 11-30-2015, 12:30 AM   #10
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Here is what it looks like mostly done, but without the bed base on in the rear.



Should have rotated this one (oops), but it shows the minimal amount of connections needed when the inverter is put onto the base.



This is with the bed base back in place, all areas are still wide open.



And closer from the rear



All and all, I am happy with the way it turned out, and hopefully I still will be after I do a full load heat test of it! One goal checked off, no lost space.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:49 AM   #11
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Really nice set up booster! Any idea on the weight difference between the Onan set up and this set up?
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by AK49er View Post
Really nice set up booster! Any idea on the weight difference between the Onan set up and this set up?
I ran some rough numbers on the battery swap part of it a while ago. We removed the Onan, two GC2 260ah batteries, and one 115 amp gr27 battery, and installed the 4 Lifeline GC2 batteries. That came out close to a wash on total weight, but moved it back a little bit. Roughly got about 27# less weight in the front and 27# more in the rear.

I think the charger part will add about 10# to the charging area, so it would probably take 3# off the front and put 13# in the rear.

Not all the big a change it would appear.
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Old 11-30-2015, 01:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
.............................

Magnum MS2000 inverter/charger----2000 watt PSW inverter, 100 amp charger

Magnum BMK shunt based monitoring kit---basically a shunt and interface box

Magnum ARC50 advanced remote for the Magnum parts---the remote is where all the versatility and setability lives, so without it all the other parts are very basic

Blue Sky 2512 solar controller with Pro remote--same deal as with Magnum--all the capability is in the remote, including shunt based control

3X100 Grape Solar panels

Blue Sea main disconnect switch, separated circuit fuse panel

440 amp hours of Lifeline AGM batteries---4 GPL4CT six volt GC2 case

250 amp DC Power Engineering engine alternator--used as standard alternator, not as a separate engine generator

3/0 cables from alternator to batteries to inverter

Blue Sea manual control power relay from the alternator to coach--no automatic separator or isolator

InPower digital amp/volt meter with two inductive pickups--dash mount display, pickups for total amps to coach and amps to batteries

The onboard Onan generator has been removed

........................................
Nice parts and awesome install
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Old 11-30-2015, 02:33 PM   #14
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With the Onan removed, we had room for the 4 GC2 batteries in its place, although it is a bit tight to put the 4 across. Putting them in a 2X2 pattern would have been easier, but also would have moved more weight the rear and off the front, so we went with the 4 across setup.

I had originally planned to go directly to the main frame rails from the ends of the battery support base, and even had built the base, but once I got to looking closer, it would have been a heavy and relatively difficult mounting to make. It would also have been necessary to have some support to the center of the frame for stabilization, so I decided to reconsider the idea and look for a more spread out support method that would support and stabilize at the same time.

The Chevy has a "C" shaped frame section connecting the two sides of the main frame right behind the differential. It is the limiting factor for width and height. With 4 across, you wind up right at the upper corners, which are a big radius, so you lose height and width range do to hitting in the upper corners. If you get within about 3/8" of the corners on the diagonal and keep the battery tray bottom to under about 1.5" tall at the batteries bottom, you can keep everything high enough to not be a road clearance issue.

There is also a formed hat shaped frame section to the rear of the C shaped cross frame. It also ties the sides together and is only 1-2" in height in the center, and it is about 1" off of the van floor. It is full of openings and flanges and is where Roadtrek mounted the main supports for the Onan, so there are 4 holes already drilled in it. I used the 4 holes to mount two support brackets to that section of frame. I don't care for hanging supports from bolts unless I have to, and in this case, I was able to make the brackets slip above the frame and actually be sitting on the top of it. The brackets have welded nuts so the bolts go up from the bottom into them.



I was going to hang all the rear support bars from these two brackets, but once in place, it got obvious that it would all be much cleaner and stronger and assembly if I had some support in the center, too. Here I did have to hang on the bolts, which isn't great, but the bolts are lock washered and semi-permanent Loctite. It was a very tight fit to get the bolts into the pieces from the top and to tighten them.



The van crossframe does not extend to the front very far, ending just behind the differential cover, so there isn't anything very substantial to attach to. For this amount of weight, the van body floor would probably be fine, but isn't accessible in the finished van, and it would put supports on the rubber support body and on the solid frame, which isn't great. The nearest support I could find was the frame half of the body mount area which is at the frame rail area. I mounted a 2X2 by 3/16 angle between the frame side of the body mount, drilling and bolting through. All the front support bars will hang from this angle. You can see the crossbody frame section that limits the height in the pic.



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Old 11-30-2015, 02:59 PM   #15
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The battery tray is 2 X 1.25 X 3/16 angle for strength, with a grid of 1" square 16ga tubing to support the batteries at the perimeter, all welded together. I also put a .06" aluminum sheet on top of the tubing to protect from road trash. There is extra space allowed around the batteries to the angle, so I can put a 1/4" rubber pad and stabilizer all around them. The channels welded to the angle all around are to give a good place to bolt the supports while the batteries are in the tray, which is necessary from me, as it goes into the van with the batteries in place.



Here are all the parts in one place, when I painted them. 3 angles for the rear top support, on angle for the front support, battery tray frame, and 16 support bars. The support bars are 1.5 X .125 hot rolled steel.



The hard part with this kind of mounting is getting the initial position set at the right height, centered, level, etc. The end support bars on the front and rear are nearly straight down, so are easier to work with for leveling, so I drilled the top holes in them and hung them from the upper supports, at the 4 corners. I then put the tray with the cardboard dummy batteries in it on the transmission jack and lifted it to the right position as close as the jack could get it. With it on the jack, I picked one corner on the rear as datum as it was where I wanted it, transferred the hole in the frame to the support, drilled it and then bolted it in. I then did the other rear hole the same way after shimming the tray to the right place. The front two were also done the same once the rear was solidly located. After that is was just a matter of fitting the support bars one at a time by bolting them at the top and transferring the hole location from the frame to the bar, taking it out and drilling it, and reinstalling. Time consuming, but it gets all the bars in the right place, and spreading the load well. All are location specific, so they had to marked. Here is what it looked like once all were fitted, still with the cardboard batteries. The bars still needed trimming.


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Old 11-30-2015, 03:18 PM   #16
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I have always had relatively low opinion of battery hold downs. They always seem to look like an afterthought, and are most often a bar across the batteries, and often bent and loose when you go back after use.

Since the batteries would only have to go up 1" to get out of the tray, I wanted to try to get a bit better holding of them, and if possible ensure some cooling space between them. I finally decided to try to build a hold down that would do both for all the batteries in one piece. I used 1X1X.125" aluminum tee, 1X1X.125" aluminum angle, and 1/8X2 aluminum bar to make a riveted together hold down. The rivets are flat heads from the battery side of the tee, so all is flush on the batteries.



The tee also takes care of the spacing of the batteries.



The next issue was how to hold it down in a way that would be even on all the batteries and easy to hook up, either before putting in the assembly, or after once the supports were on. The cables on the rear side of the batteries made it so making the pull down to be on before install wasn't practical. After a few changes in plans, I decided to try using turnbuckles mounted to the support bars after install. It worked well and allows total adjustment to the entire assembly. I was lucky that all the support bars also attach to each other or common points, so I could assemble them on the tray with batteries with it out of the van. It was much easier to do the turnbuckle fitting out in the open.



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Old 11-30-2015, 03:42 PM   #17
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The install with the batteries in the tray and the hold down in place went very easily. I hung the rear 6 bars from the angle ahead of time, loosely, as they are very hard to get into the angle with the batteries in the way. Rolled it under, moved it roughly in position, jacked it up and pushed it back until the rear supports lined up and bolted them loosely. Went to the front and sides and put on the supports one at a time as all of them are accessible. Tightened up all the supports tight, with lockwashers and nyloks. Hooked up the turnbuckles to the support rods and cranked them snug. Put in the battery cables. Probably a little under 30 minutes total. It appears to be very strong and stable at this point. I will be interested to see how it survives some rough roads.

Here is the finished rear of the in place setup.



From the passenger side.



This is the battery cable tie point on the frame behind the batteries. The engine cable, battery cable, and inverter positives come together here. 300 amp fuse of the small variety on the post to the batteries, small fuse is for the voltage sense line to the cockpit volt/amp meter. The inductive pickup for the cockpit amps is on the cable to the batteries.



The big cable from the front was a bit of a problem finding a place to run it where it wouldn't be vulnerable to road trash. The smaller one we had before, I ran through the tube that Roadtrek put on to protect the gas tank, but the big cable didn't fit. I finally wound up adding a section of 1.25 pvc conduit, mounted to the same tube by the tank. I moved all the wires and airlines that were in the Roadtrek tube to the conduit because of all the screws going into the Roadtrek tube.

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Old 12-01-2015, 08:33 PM   #18
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Unfreaking believable!
Herb K
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Old 12-01-2015, 09:30 PM   #19
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Unfreaking believable!
Herb K
Booster does do things extremely well Here's more of his projects: http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...mods-3353.html

Welcome to the forum Herb
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Old 12-03-2015, 01:24 AM   #20
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Nice work Jim! Excellent packaging & documentation.
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