Ecotrek 200 failures

South Bird

New member
Thanks for the information on Magnuson-Moss. Very helpful to know. I e-mailed Roadtrek Yesterday and will follow up with a call tomorrow. Hopefully this gets resolved soon. In San Diego.
 

South Bird

New member
Quick update. Roadtrek immediately responded and followed through several repair attempts. Ended up with new remote start and it is now working. Was happy with how quickly Roadtrek responded and reached out to dealer.
 

Moto Vita

Member
I have an update, and possible solution, to my issues.
After getting my van back with it's fourth new Ecotrek lithium pack I called and talked to the boss at RT customer service. He gave me some simple checks to perform and report back to him. He instantly identified what he believes is the problem and said it's a simple adjustment to prevent overcharging the batteries that's needed. Unfortunately he wouldn't tell me how to do it so I'll be making another 200 mile round trip to the dealership.
Had I not called customer service I would have just kept burning through batteries for who knows how long. The lack of communication in the RV industry is truly appalling.
 

Moto Vita

Member
Mota Vita there is a fair chance you have a Balmar MC-614 external voltage regulator. They use a magnetic reed switch for programming, people say it's a pain but fairly straightforward. Hope this helps.
http://www.balmar.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/PDS-MC-614-H.pdf
Thanks, that does appear to be what I have. It was interesting reading but without Roadtrek's specs there's not much I can do with it.
I shake my head to think RT approved thousands of dollars for warranty replacement of batteries without having a tech check those settings. They must be operating with an obscene profit margin.
 

XLent

New member
Thanks, that does appear to be what I have. It was interesting reading but without Roadtrek's specs there's not much I can do with it.
I shake my head to think RT approved thousands of dollars for warranty replacement of batteries without having a tech check those settings. They must be operating with an obscene profit margin.
MV, if your able to find out the "magic" settings for the Balmar; that info would be greatly appreciated.
 

XLent

New member
PM sent, I don't fully understand the info. If you need anything else let me know.
MV, the Balmar 614 is an electronic regulator for an alternator. As you know, they have adjustable parameters for for charging profiles for different types of batteries. The video concerning the "double time" adjustment rountine is confusing; however, on my boat, I adjusted the 614s without problem by following the steps outlined in the Balmar instructions.
 

Moto Vita

Member
I've now lost Ecotrek # 5, in 13 months of ownership.
The RT rep I talked to this time suggested, in a roundabout, non committal, way, that if a Ecotrek pack is allowed to discharge to a point that it turns itself off that it may be difficult, or impossible, to "wake it up" and discharging to that point should be avoided. He gave me a couple of things to try to get it charging that didn't work.
Has anyone here had the experience of a battery discharging to the point of turning itself off and never recharging? It seems to me that the low voltage self disconnect is there to protect the battery from excessive discharge and it should work the same as a cell phone or cordless tool etc. and simply accept a recharge after a self disconnect.
I don't know that my failed Ecotrek self disconnected but if we can't trust our batteries to do so, and then accept a charge, we should at least be warned of it.
I've left a message for the upper level tech that helped me last time, hopefully he will be able to shine some light on the situation.
 
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Moto Vita

Member
Had a long talk with the main man at RT today. I'm told there's a whole new program for batteries and their management systems. Now I just have to hope my one remaining Ecotrek holds up until I get back to WA, then I have to go through the headache of getting the dealer to work on it, hopefully for the last time.
 
Hi Moto Vita, I have been watching the evolution of Roadtrek's E-Trek since I was asked to get out from under the one that i was laying under at the Hershey RV show in 2013. Ha At that time it was a 24VDC system. They have really been trying to get it right, and I believe they eventually will.

The reason for my interest isn't to buy an ETrek but to build the best version I can with my 2015 3500EXT. I have been comparing the progress of RT and ARV against years of my own experience operating cross country trucks and heavy equipment and have frequent discussions with my adult son who is a EE and software engineer. My patience and desire to have the best possible system exceeds my desire to be done quickly only to discover I should have taken a different path.....I totally enjoy the research/design phase of these projects.

Last month, while at the 2018 Work Truck Show in Indianapolis I had the chance to talk to a rep from Volta Systems, the 48 vdc guys that ARV is using now and also with an engineer that has worked for Xantrex for many years. So in the course of our very long discussion (Xantrex engineer), I asked him if he was familiar with Roadtrek and asked why they had designed their system using the 200 amp Ecotrek switchable module approach? Because I just couldn't wrap my head around why they would do it that way, and wouldn't that be harder on the lithium cells by increasing the odds of overtaxing individual banks. He basically told me that he was very aware about RT's issues because Xantrex had been approached by RT to help eliminate the problems they were having.
So he had thoroughly examined the way RT had designed their system with the "expandable" modules and concluded that Xantrex would not be involved without a complete re-design.

Just a heads up, like I said I think Jim Hammill and RT are a good bunch of people and will get this figured out. If it was me I would take advantage of Jim's easy access (he posts his direct email address on the RT FB page pretty often) and deal directly with him at this point and if you can, show a willingness to go back to the factory at Kitchener, Ontario. All guesswork will be eliminated if you go that route.

Good luck, please keep us posted.
:cheers:
 

Moto Vita

Member
As I understand it more even distribution of power and load within the lithium pack is the core of the coming updates. Also some changes as to how the inverter is used, and probably more. I get the impression that this is a very recent development and maybe not fully fleshed out yet.
It never made sense to me that the only way to run my fridge on AC power, when plugged in, was to turn on the inverter. Now they plan to switch to DC power only to run the fridge.
I'm not interested in a trip to Ontario, I think I'd walk away from the vehicle first, which is certainly in my mind.
 

Moto Vita

Member
Tomorrow is my appointment to drop off my RT at the dealer for new batteries and updates so hopefully in the next few weeks I'll get to use my RV again.
I'm surprised that I don't hear of anyone else having the problems I'm having.
 

Mr.Mark

New member
Moto Vita, how did it go with your E-Trek battery replacement? Your experience will sway me greatly if I decide to add a class B along with my class A. I have Lithium Ion batteries in my Prevost conversion, at 3.5 yrs. and 45,000 miles, they have performed wonderfully. The batteries are expected to last at least 10 yrs. minimum. :bounce:

Safe travels,
Mark
 

Moto Vita

Member
Things have not gone well thus far. The dealer called me after having the van for a month and said it was ready. After being dropped off to pick it up I learned that they had replaced the batteries but not performed the wiring upgrades, they had also not addressed some other non electrical issues that were on the work order. The service adviser did not have an explanation. Later phone calls resulted in the dealer claiming they couldn't get the tech help they needed from Roadtrek and Roadtrek claiming the dealer didn't initiate a claim that would have got them the necessary help, none of which explains the dealer telling me the van was repaired and ready for pickup.
Now I'm waiting for a call from the dealer telling me when I can take the van back to finish the repairs. The answer to the question you're thinking is that it's 300 miles to another dealer and I don't know if they will be any better, or even willing to help me.
I would not recommend buying a Roadtrek product unless you're confident that you have a convenient, reliable, service oriented, dealer to take care of you. I can pretty well guarantee you that there will be issues to deal with.
 

Moto Vita

Member
Just thought I'd post a follow up report. I've passed the one year mark without experiencing any Ecotrek related problems, which is fortunate since I no longer have warranty coverage and don't know where I'd get any support.
 

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