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Old 01-14-2021, 10:47 PM   #1
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Default Adding the optional 2nd battery to a Roadtrek Popular 190

I have started collecting material to add the 2nd optional Group 27 battery to my 2004 Chevy Express 3500 Roadtrek Popular 190 this spring. This was an option through 2009.

In 2010 Roadtrek started putting two taller batteries in front of the rear wheel in a single compartment. This can be retrofitted into an older van as per Booster's post here:
http://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/vi...hp?f=12&t=1994
As of 2020, the larger battery compartment door can still be found at Mobilife but they don't have any tray parts.
https://www.mobiliferv.ca/rv-parts/r...ery-door/6346/

What I am trying to do is very simple because the storage compartment in the 190 is already big enough to accept a Group 27 battery and you can buy the optional tray from Mobilife (this is new old Roadtrek stock, I'm not sure how many they have).
https://www.mobiliferv.ca/rv-parts/r...ery-tray/6792/
The installation is supposed to be as simple as drilling some holes in the side of the compartment and bolting in the tray. You could save some money and make your own tray if you want to.

The reason I am staying with Group 27 batteries instead of installing the more desirable GC2 (Golf Cart 2) batteries is that there are quite a variety of deep cycle Group 27 batteries that could meet my requirements without giving up too many amp hours.

This job will take a few months to complete because my van is in storage so I'll split the post up a bit. This will also help with managing the photos.
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:05 PM   #2
Bud
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stevemo View Post
I have started collecting material to add the 2nd optional Group 27 battery to my 2004 Chevy Express 3500 Roadtrek Popular 190 this spring. This was an option through 2009.

In 2010 Roadtrek started putting two taller batteries in front of the rear wheel in a single compartment. This can be retrofitted into an older van as per Booster's post here:
https://www.classbforum.com/phpBB2/v...hp?f=12&t=1994
As of 2020, the larger battery compartment door can still be found at Mobilife but they don't have any tray parts.
https://www.mobiliferv.ca/rv-parts/r...ery-door/6346/

What I am trying to do is very simple because the storage compartment in the 190 is already big enough to accept a Group 27 battery and you can buy the optional tray from Mobilife (this is new old Roadtrek stock, I'm not sure how many they have).
https://www.mobiliferv.ca/rv-parts/r...ery-tray/6792/
The installation is supposed to be as simple as drilling some holes in the side of the compartment and bolting in the tray. You could save some money and make your own tray if you want to.

The reason I am staying with Group 27 batteries instead of installing the more desirable GC2 (Golf Cart 2) batteries is that there are quite a variety of deep cycle Group 27 batteries that could meet my requirements without giving up too many amp hours.

This job will take a few months to complete because my van is in storage so I'll split the post up a bit. This will also help with managing the photos.
You are in Luck. IF you can do the above, you don't need to do much of anything except run some cables and drill some holes - no trays....

Bud
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Old 01-15-2021, 12:27 AM   #3
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Yes, the tray can be completely optional if you have a stool or block of wood to support the battery while you disconnect the cables. The rails have fallen apart on my rear battery so that's the situation I am in with it until I can obtain some new rails. The batteries are 60+ pounds so I recommend the trays.

Below are a few photos of the optional battery I found on the internet including Booster's photos.

If anybody has additional photos of the factory install and cabling that would be helpful because the manual doesn't show any details on the wiring diagram. I anticipate using a pair of isolator blocks as splitters. Connecting a bunch of cables and the shunt onto the rear battery terminals seems like it would be a nuisance to maintain.
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File Type: jpg Roadtrek Simulator.jpg (21.9 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg img_9449_2_f71856d75e945b21095ad0977cbed327.jpg (25.9 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg img_9449_3_36e136be5af9bd487a6d0f28ffb358a1.jpg (21.5 KB, 8 views)
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Old 01-16-2021, 02:56 AM   #4
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I found a picture of the back of compartment amongst some photos I took when I got the van. It also shows that it is fairly well supported so that's a good thing.

The current stage of the project is to sketch out the system and figure out where the components are going to go. The electrical compartment in the van isn't adequate to house any bus bar or insulated studs so I'm trying to figure out where to put that. 600 Amp bus bar seems to be the way to go. https://www.bluesea.com/products/210...3_8in-16_Studs

I also need to decide if I want to size the wiring for a 2000 watt or 3000 watt inverter. The batteries won't be up to snuff for running 3000 watts for a significant period of time unless I toss additional batteries in the van somewhere.

All of the inverter manufacturers provide wiring details. I've used Samlex before so that's where I'm getting my information. I would say Victron probably makes better equipment.

Go to page 44 of this document for 1500 and 2000 watt sizing:
https://www.samlexamerica.com/docume..._0220_Hrez.pdf

Go to page 36 of this document for 3000 watt sizing:
https://www.samlexamerica.com/docume...-1119_Hrez.pdf

The good news is I bought 50 feet of 4/0 cable and a hydraulic crimper last year.

The bad news is the Roadtrek converter (battery charger) is entirely inappropriate for charging batteries larger than anything found on a motorcycle.

Here are some videos of how I did this with my 1991 Roadtrek Versatile. It is far easier to do when you have everything located in one place.



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File Type: jpg IMG_0612.jpg (166.2 KB, 8 views)
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Old 01-20-2021, 02:05 AM   #5
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I found a 1000 amp 2-pole bus from Victron that is cheaper than two Blue Sea bus bars and it's also arranged to hold 4 fuses.

https://www.victronenergy.com/dc-dis.../lynx-power-in

This video is quite useful but you need to skip 80% of it.



We'll see what my system looks like when I'm all done.
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Old 01-21-2021, 05:23 PM   #6
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You should be able to squeeze a group 31 battery in both stock locations. It is tight, and you take out the tray, but if you install AGM batteries, you don't need to get to them. In my 2004C190P, I installed three Lifeline GPL-31XT batteries, 125 Amp Hours each. Take a look at this thread: https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...llel-9834.html
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