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Old 05-25-2020, 05:16 AM   #1
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Default Chevy Roadtrek Battery Drawer Repair

After removing, prepping, and painting my 2008 Roadtrek 210P battery drawer last year I noticed a return of some corrosion. So I took a new approach this year and used a truck bed liner coating as a top coat. This stuff seems pretty tough and will hopefully last a lot longer. I also solved the problem of the drawer scraping the drawer base bolt heads by lowering the drawer rails. The battery drawer now slides better than ever. I documented both processes and products used in the attached pdf.
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:02 AM   #2
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Very nice work. I had some amount of rust and corrossion in the sliding battery compartment of my Airstream Avenue (similar to a 190P). But not nearly as bad as yours.

After my conversion to lithium batteries, installed inside, I re-purposed the exterior battery box to hold leveling blocks and some tools.
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:22 PM   #3
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Thanks Rowie. I thought about going Lithium but at my mileage/age (125K/12 yrs), I decided to save my money for my next class B. I've got my list of "wants", but haven't found one that has them all within my budget. Sadly I've resigned to the fact that it won't be on a Chevy chassis, but otherwise they are getting close!

In addition to the drawer repair, I'm considering installing a switch to control alternator charging of the coach batteries. We tend to drive for long distances so it would probably help the corrosion issue by limiting overcharging of the coach batteries and the resulting gassing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:12 PM   #4
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Thanks Rowie. I thought about going Lithium but at my mileage/age (125K/12 yrs), I decided to save my money for my next class B. I've got my list of "wants", but haven't found one that has them all within my budget. Sadly I've resigned to the fact that it won't be on a Chevy chassis, but otherwise they are getting close!

In addition to the drawer repair, I'm considering installing a switch to control alternator charging of the coach batteries. We tend to drive for long distances so it would probably help the corrosion issue by limiting overcharging of the coach batteries and the resulting gassing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!

IMO the best shutoff is the Blue Sea charge relay with remote switch. It can be had as a manual switch only or as a auto charge relay with manual override. The cheap and easy is to just put a switch in the ground lead on the Surepower separator to shut it off when wanted.
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Old 05-25-2020, 07:21 PM   #5
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Thanks booster, I highly value your opinion. I'll take a look at that switch.

(just fyi - I wish I had a separator, but I have an isolator)
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Old 05-25-2020, 08:16 PM   #6
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Thanks booster, I highly value your opinion. I'll take a look at that switch.

(just fyi - I wish I had a separator, but I have an isolator)

That makes the Blue Sea with auto charge relay/separator look like and even better choice.


Bedliner is really cool stuff, I use it on a lot of things they wouldn't think of normally. The wheelwells under the bed in the roadtrek are done and have been perfect for years with stuff bouncing off them, the step tread on the rear bumper, rocker panels and quarter panel bottoms for rock protection. Easy to brush on, sticks well, lasts forever. Only downside is you have to have room for the thickness of it. When we had slides in our Roadtrek, I would have done the rear box with bedliner, but there wasn't enough space for it so I wound up using 3M rubberized undercoating, which also held up well.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:39 PM   #7
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Thanks Rowie. I thought about going Lithium but at my mileage/age (125K/12 yrs), I decided to save my money for my next class B. I've got my list of "wants", but haven't found one that has them all within my budget. Sadly I've resigned to the fact that it won't be on a Chevy chassis, but otherwise they are getting close!

In addition to the drawer repair, I'm considering installing a switch to control alternator charging of the coach batteries. We tend to drive for long distances so it would probably help the corrosion issue by limiting overcharging of the coach batteries and the resulting gassing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again!
My Lithium upgrade necessitated the installation of a DC to DC charger due to the different battery chemistry. But you could do the same, even though you have lead acid batteries in both your coach and engine. I put a switch on it so that it only charges when I want/need it to.

However, mine and all the others I know about, allow you to set charge profiles, but not charge levels. I'd prefer to set my own charge rate in 5 amp increments like my inverter/charger allows. Mine is 40 amps or nothing. Borderline for my standard alternator, but it handles it fine on the highway. However, I see occassisonal voltage dips around town in stop & go traffic running the ac hard at idle.
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Old 05-26-2020, 01:40 AM   #8
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Booster, I recently saw your post on using the bedliner coating for the side steps. Unfortunately I had already replaced mine with new tape a few years ago. Maybe next time!

I do have a couple questions for you regarding the electrical system wiring. I've added a remote volt/amp meter for the coach batteries so I've traced the positive and negative wires going into the battery box. I thought the positive would be coming into the box from the isolator, but both red and black went up through the wheel well to terminate on the TrippLite (black) and the battery disconnect relay (red). Which leads me to ask where does the coach battery wire from the isolator terminate? Is there a terminal block under the coach where this wire terminates and ties together the battery disconnect, coach battery, and generator? Before I add any switches, relays or convert to a separator, I've got to understand this wiring. Not knowing how these are tied together is driving me nuts. I've been meaning to raise my 210 and get under it and trace wires but too many other projects!

I've looked through your battery separator and 190 electrical upgrade threads (impressive projects and great documentation!), and was wondering how you made your wires? Do you have a compression tool to attach the terminals to the wires?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-26-2020, 10:07 AM   #9
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Booster, I recently saw your post on using the bedliner coating for the side steps. Unfortunately I had already replaced mine with new tape a few years ago. Maybe next time!

I do have a couple questions for you regarding the electrical system wiring. I've added a remote volt/amp meter for the coach batteries so I've traced the positive and negative wires going into the battery box. I thought the positive would be coming into the box from the isolator, but both red and black went up through the wheel well to terminate on the TrippLite (black) and the battery disconnect relay (red). Which leads me to ask where does the coach battery wire from the isolator terminate? Is there a terminal block under the coach where this wire terminates and ties together the battery disconnect, coach battery, and generator? Before I add any switches, relays or convert to a separator, I've got to understand this wiring. Not knowing how these are tied together is driving me nuts. I've been meaning to raise my 210 and get under it and trace wires but too many other projects!

I've looked through your battery separator and 190 electrical upgrade threads (impressive projects and great documentation!), and was wondering how you made your wires? Do you have a compression tool to attach the terminals to the wires?

Thanks in advance.

We have a 190P so is likely different than your 210, but we did have a binding posit connection under the van that tied the two batteries together (ours were fore and aft of the right rear wheel) and pickup up the connection from the separator. From the binding post there was another cable up to the inverter/charger and 12v power switch area electrical area. Yours may be similar but with only a single cable from your batteries as they are in the same place.

You may find the post difficult to see if it is fairly dark under the van, as ours was pretty heavily sprayed with some sort of undercoating product and tucked up behind the generator, mounted to the van sheet metal floor.

I use a hammer powered crimper to put lugs on cables. It works pretty well as long as you have it set on a very solid surface. Downside is that you have always take the cable to the solid surface, so no doing it inside or around the van. The one I have is like this but different brand. I use a short handled maul on it.

https://www.amazon.com/Z-Red-B790C-H...s%2C209&sr=8-3
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Old 05-26-2020, 11:16 PM   #10
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Mystery solved! The weather cooperated today so I moved the RT so a level spot (the street) and traced the 12V wire from the isolator back to the coach. Upon dropping down thru the engine compartment it disappeared into the frame on the passenger side. It wasn't easy to find its exit, so I traced the 12V wire from the generator and found the junction point under the coach. It is attached to the inside of the frame just in front of the passenger rear wheel well. I always wondered what was under this strange looking cover! There's actually a circuit breaker tied to the junction point so knowing what's under this cover may be useful in the future.

Now that I better understand the wiring, I'm leaning towards installing a manual switch in the engine compartment (I have to research switch temperature limits) to limit overcharging of the coach batteries. Given the way we travel in our RV (a lot of long drives), it really won't be that inconvenient. Comments? Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2020, 01:10 AM   #11
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Mystery solved! The weather cooperated today so I moved the RT so a level spot (the street) and traced the 12V wire from the isolator back to the coach. Upon dropping down thru the engine compartment it disappeared into the frame on the passenger side. It wasn't easy to find its exit, so I traced the 12V wire from the generator and found the junction point under the coach. It is attached to the inside of the frame just in front of the passenger rear wheel well. I always wondered what was under this strange looking cover! There's actually a circuit breaker tied to the junction point so knowing what's under this cover may be useful in the future.

Now that I better understand the wiring, I'm leaning towards installing a manual switch in the engine compartment (I have to research switch temperature limits) to limit overcharging of the coach batteries. Given the way we travel in our RV (a lot of long drives), it really won't be that inconvenient. Comments? Thanks.

I don't think the heat will be an issue under the hood as long as you are away from very hot stuff like exhaust manifolds. If an isolator could survive I think a battery switch would too. I don't ever recall seeing any temp limits in the specs for the switches.


That said, I would get really tired of having to open the hood to make changes on and off, but I don't know your use patterns. There are times when it is a good thing to have a long day at absorption voltage, like if start out pretty low on charge. It can easily take 8+ hours to fully charge. It does get important to know when to stop, so if you have a shunt based monitor, you would look for the fully charged light or the correct amps to the batteries. You would need a dash switch to do that while driving.
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Old 05-29-2020, 06:50 PM   #12
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nice job - do you think the corrosion is due to overcharging?
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Old 05-29-2020, 07:07 PM   #13
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nice job - do you think the corrosion is due to overcharging?
Welcome to the forum!

I'm not speaking for bwatters60. But in my case, my old lead acid batteries were clean on top. No corrossion on the terminals or cables. But I had a few really bad corrossion spots on the metal strap buckles and on the battery drawer. That, and my desire for more capacity, spurred my convesion to 200Ahs of lithium relocated inside my van. I repurposed the old external battery tray for storage of my leveling blocks and other items.
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Old 05-31-2020, 04:25 PM   #14
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nice job - do you think the corrosion is due to overcharging?
I think one of the previous two owners must've had some battery leakage. But I'm sure overcharging has also contributed to the issue. Now that I better understand the physical wiring of 12V in my RT, at some point I'll follow booster's advice and replace the isolator with a separator and ACR. But now that we're into our travel season that will probably have to wait for next winter, or failure of my isolator.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:03 PM   #15
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Yes, there a small metal box behind the battery box whi h contains a 50 amp self resetting circuit breaker and a large terminal stud where the charging wire from the isolator (through the circuit breaker), the wire from the coach battery, the hot lead to the TrippLite all come together. You need to have the rear up in the air to access it so it would be difficult to do on the road if the breaker failed, and they do fail, killing your charging from the alternator.
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Old 05-31-2020, 05:52 PM   #16
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Default Thank you!

Now that I better understand the wiring, I'm leaning towards installing a manual switch in the engine compartment (I have to research switch temperature limits) to limit overcharging of the coach batteries. Given the way we travel in our RV (a lot of long drives), it really won't be that inconvenient. Comments? Thanks.[/QUOTE]

No real comment, I mostly lurk here, but I have a 2008 C210 Popular and will check up on this drawer today. I got it used, and everything has been great on it, but the house batteries are due to be replaced and will inspect this drawer closely.

I learn a lot here.

Again, thanks everyone.

Jim
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:04 PM   #17
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I also have a 2008C210P with 165,000 miles. Happy to help when I can.

John
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