2016 SS Agile -- Location of Battery Separator

Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if someone could tell me where I can find the battery separator on my 2016 SS Agile. I am currently experiencing all house electrical failure where neither the Inverter, nor 12VDC operates. Essentially, all electrical system, including the LED lights are dead. It almost appear as if some type of relay (not sure where and what) is opened but cannot seem to be able to find where that may be located.

Lastly, not sure what the warranty state is now that Roadtrek is under new ownership.

Thanks,
John
 

Aggie

2010 Roadtrek SS Ideal
My Roadtrek is 6 yrs older than yours but the separator on mine is located in the engine compartment, upper firewall on passenger side.
 

Mein Sprinter

2010 Roadtrek SS Agile
Hi Everyone,

I was wondering if someone could tell me where I can find the battery separator on my 2016 SS Agile. I am currently experiencing all house electrical failure where neither the Inverter, nor 12VDC operates. Essentially, all electrical system, including the LED lights are dead. It almost appear as if some type of relay (not sure where and what) is opened but cannot seem to be able to find where that may be located.

Lastly, not sure what the warranty state is now that Roadtrek is under new ownership.

Thanks,
John
Mine is 6 years old as well.

The actual location of the battery separator is as shown:

Original 2010...



Newer separator:





Hope this helps

Cheers....
 
Thank you Mein Sprinter. Mine looks completely different. Not sure if this is the issue. Issue all started with first, the lithium batteries would not charge. Then 12V circuits went dead -- then the Inverter would not turn on.



Mine is 6 years old as well.

The actual location of the battery separator is as shown:

Original 2010...



Newer separator:





Hope this helps

Cheers....
 

Attachments

Also another odd thing was there was no cover on the separator unit though at the time of purchase I thought that this was normal. Anyone who might tell me how I can check it to see if I need to replace it or not? And if I do need to replace it, where would I be able to get a replacement as I'm not even sure if the "New" Roadtrek would cover it under the 6 year warranty.
 

RT.SS

Member
Most likely you don’t have a separator. You have Ecotrek Lithium battery and that usually comes with a 2nd alternator (Underhood Generator-as RT calls it). If that’s the case, your coach and chassis batteries are independent of each other. Your Lithium could be offline; did you try to reset it?

On warranty, I’ve heard that Rapido will cover warranty only to certain amount; you have to call them to verify.


Edit: the pix you posted is the Balmar regulator for the underhood generator.
 
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irvingj

2015 RT SS Agile (3.0L)
I'm not sure how applicable this might be, but I got this diagram shortly after we bought our SS Agile in 2015. I think it came from RT. We had some serious issues with the charging system while on our first trip that summer (made good by RT under warranty).

We do have the "underhood generator" and not a genset as shown in the diagram, but it did help me to at least visualize the system -- this was/is our first RV.

I believe ours may have been an interim model prior to the release of the e-trek versions: it has 300W of solar on the roof and 4 (not 2) "standard" 6V golf-cart VRFLA coach batteries.

Thought the diagram might be of some help; note that it does indicate the presence of a battery "separtor".
 

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Hi irivingj!

Greetings from Chapel Hill NC BTW!

First yes, today, I had the opportunity to look at the unit more closely, and you're correct. This is a Balmar (Balmar.net) MAX CHARGE MC-614 voltage regulator unit from the 2nd alternator. I discovered that the 10A fuse harness that connects to the unit was opened; not sure what actually caused it. But then I replaced it with incorrect amperage fuse and it shorted again the saw smoke come off the regulator as well as the harness that connects to the 2nd alternator. I presume that the unit had an internal short which the higher amperage fuse caused the over amperage short to burn out the connector, horrible smell was eminating from it afterwards. So now the question is, if I just replaced the unit, I wonder if I would get electricity in the house?
I'm not sure how applicable this might be, but I got this diagram shortly after we bought our SS Agile in 2015. I think it came from RT. We had some serious issues with the charging system while on our first trip that summer (made good by RT under warranty).

We do have the "underhood generator" and not a genset as shown in the diagram, but it did help me to at least visualize the system -- this was/is our first RV.

I believe ours may have been an interim model prior to the release of the e-trek versions: it has 300W of solar on the roof and 4 (not 2) "standard" 6V golf-cart VRFLA coach batteries.

Thought the diagram might be of some help; note that it does indicate the presence of a battery "separtor".
 

Attachments

Also I found something weird, I measured the voltage from the 2nd alternator while engine was running and the voltage read about +12.4 volts; when measured during when engine is shutoff, it still read about +12.4V. I would think that the voltage should be about +13.8V while engine is running. This now leads me to suspect that the internal circuitry for the alternator may have went bad?
 

irvingj

2015 RT SS Agile (3.0L)
We could never prove my theory, but what I suspected happened was that there was an improperly-crimped plug on the molex-style connector to the second alternator: it had pulled free one time when I unplugged it (to prevent further over-charging), and appeared to have no bends in the copper wire strands where it should have been crimped onto that little "bullet" end.

Not really conclusive, but it did have the appearance of not being crimped properly. My further suspicion was that that particular wire may have fed the feedback circuit that determined how much amperage to put out to the coach batteries, hence the constant overcharge, but again, that's just an educated guess. We ended up with 3 out of 4 batteries totally fried and one that had only about 24% of its capacity left in it.

This was when we were in Oregon; I had been in touch with both RT and the outfit that designed the extra charging system (Nations Electric, Point Girardeau, MO). We couldn't stay long enough in one spot to have the system repaired, so we just dealt with it (plugged in every night) until we headed home to NH. We stopped at RT in Ontario on the way back, and they replaced essentially everything, even gave us a car to use for the day.

Replaced: All four batteries; second alternator ("underhood" generator); alternator wiring harness; and, IIRC, some of the heavy wiring back to the two batteries in the rear.

I do not recall whether the additional alternator had an external regulator or not, but it could have. I just didn't happen to see one.

I'd suggest you do two things:
1) Contact Gary (I think) Nations at Nations Electric and talk to him; I found him to be very straightforward and helpful.
2) Take a close look at that molex plug's wiring where it connects to the alternator.

I suspect the 12.4V you measured was simply the batteries' standing/resting voltage. Sounds like the charging system's doing nothing.

Hope this helps, and let us know what you eventually find.

EDIT: I'm making the assumption, of course, that your system is similar to mine...which certainly may not be the case. According to research I did back in 2015, Nations Electric, a family-owned business, has been designing, fabricating, and in some cases installing, high performance electric systems for marine, automotive competition, and RV use for a number if years. I believe the arrangement was that they designed the system used in our Agile and shipped the parts as a "kit" to RT in Ontario for on-site installation.
 
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RT.SS

Member
If I have to guess, there is a short in the field output wire (blue wire in the harness) from Balmar to alternator, short could be in the connector or alternator itself. The 10 amp fuse is from positive output of the alternator, the field wire is also positive, if it gets grounded it can blow the fuse and possibly melt the field wiring/ fry the Balmar (smoke?) if higher rated fuse was used.

If you cannot reset the Ecotreks, most likely you have completely discharge it and it shut down. It needs an outside power to wake it up, and that is the job of the Aux. AGM battery (located underhood) but if that battery is also depleted then you're back to square one. The AGM also acts a buffer for the 2nd alternator. Check the AGM voltage to confirm, if it's low, hook a charger to it to bring it up to full charge...then try to reset the Ecotreks again. Do not replace the Balmar fuse until you figure out the cause.

The solar and inverter were originally wired into the Ecotrek discharge side, so when Ecotreks are offline- it is not getting a charge current from solar or inverter/shore. And because your Underhood is non-functioning then your Ecotrek battery most likely was severly discharged and it has shut down.
Sorry for many typos as it is hard to type on a tiny mobile screen. Good luck.
 
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Thank you Irvingj (again!).

As suggested, I will contact Gary. This is the first time having major issue with the SS Agile. With the Warranty problem and lack of dealers near me that can service my B-van, I am sort of having buyers remorse?? Though I love my van, I realized that it is completely useless until electrical system is restored. Even the electrically folding bed does not function so even a simple thing to be able sleep in the camper is difficult. So not its just sitting in my driveway.

Hopefully I will get it repaired soon...
We could never prove my theory, but what I suspected happened was that there was an improperly-crimped plug on the molex-style connector to the second alternator: it had pulled free one time when I unplugged it (to prevent further over-charging), and appeared to have no bends in the copper wire strands where it should have been crimped onto that little "bullet" end.

Not really conclusive, but it did have the appearance of not being crimped properly. My further suspicion was that that particular wire may have fed the feedback circuit that determined how much amperage to put out to the coach batteries, hence the constant overcharge, but again, that's just an educated guess. We ended up with 3 out of 4 batteries totally fried and one that had only about 24% of its capacity left in it.

This was when we were in Oregon; I had been in touch with both RT and the outfit that designed the extra charging system (Nations Electric, Point Girardeau, MO). We couldn't stay long enough in one spot to have the system repaired, so we just dealt with it (plugged in every night) until we headed home to NH. We stopped at RT in Ontario on the way back, and they replaced essentially everything, even gave us a car to use for the day.

Replaced: All four batteries; second alternator ("underhood" generator); alternator wiring harness; and, IIRC, some of the heavy wiring back to the two batteries in the rear.

I do not recall whether the additional alternator had an external regulator or not, but it could have. I just didn't happen to see one.

I'd suggest you do two things:
1) Contact Gary (I think) Nations at Nations Electric and talk to him; I found him to be very straightforward and helpful.
2) Take a close look at that molex plug's wiring where it connects to the alternator.

I suspect the 12.4V you measured was simply the batteries' standing/resting voltage. Sounds like the charging system's doing nothing.

Hope this helps, and let us know what you eventually find.

EDIT: I'm making the assumption, of course, that your system is similar to mine...which certainly may not be the case. According to research I did back in 2015, Nations Electric, a family-owned business, has been designing, fabricating, and in some cases installing, high performance electric systems for marine, automotive competition, and RV use for a number if years. I believe the arrangement was that they designed the system used in our Agile and shipped the parts as a "kit" to RT in Ontario for on-site installation.
 
Thank you RT.SS! Though not following 100%, so far this is really enlightening to me, and it sounds very logical even with my limited understanding. I believe the Ecotrek shuts down when voltage readout falls below +12.5VDC on the panel. I will try to charge up the battery under the hood and go from there. Thank you!

If I have to guess, there is a short in the field output wire (blue wire in the harness) from Balmar to alternator, short could be in the connector or alternator itself. The 10 amp fuse is from positive output of the alternator, the field wire is also positive, if it gets grounded it can blow the fuse and possibly melt the field wiring/ fry the Balmar (smoke?) if higher rated fuse was used.

If you cannot reset the Ecotreks, most likely you have completely discharge it and it shut down. It needs an outside power to wake it up, and that is the job of the Aux. AGM battery (located underhood) but if that battery is also depleted then you're back to square one. The AGM also acts a buffer for the 2nd alternator. Check the AGM voltage to confirm, if it's low, hook a charger to it to bring it up to full charge...then try to reset the Ecotreks again. Do not replace the Balmar fuse until you figure out the cause.

The solar and inverter were originally wired into the Ecotrek discharge side, so when Ecotreks are offline- it is not getting a charge current from solar or inverter/shore. And because your Underhood is non-functioning then your Ecotrek battery most likely was severly discharged and it has shut down.
Sorry for many typos as it is hard to type on a tiny mobile screen. Good luck.
 
Hi RT.SS, good news, you were right, the issue is somewhere on the Underhood Charging system. When I plugged my charger to the AGM battery under the hood, then pressed the battery separator switch, power came on. I want to ask you one more question. Any way to determine if the alternator is good or not? If the engine is running, should it not output a +13.8VDC on the harness? For the voltage regulator module, that I know has been burnt out for sure as I saw smoke come out of it when I had (stupidly) replaced it with a higher amperage fuse when I had discovered that it was burnt out. Well at least I am somewhat relieved as now I know it's not something major!
 
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RT.SS

Member
Look up for the Balmar MC-614 manual online, the bottom pages is for testing and troubleshooting of the Balmar and Alternator.

The UHG (alternator) will not work withouth the Balmar. The Balmar MC-614 is a programmable regulator / battery charger, the alternator output voltage is dependent on programmed settings, usually you will see 13 + volts from alternator output when it is charging.
 
Did some testing today using DMM on the harness as described on the MC-614 user's manual. Result was not good. Only positive voltage being read from the RED lead, the others, BROWN and BLUE both shows no output -- with ignition OFF and with it ON. I haven't yet performed continuity check on each lead, it could have been shorted inside the cable loom. I will most likely check it one more time before making any conclusion whether this or that may be bad. I really hope that it's the wires that may have shorted and not the alternator had gone bad. Fortunately though, I can just charge the AGM to charge the Lithiums located in the back. I was able to charge up the house batteries last night to about 13.5 which typically lasts me a whole day. Only problem is in order to charge these temporarily, I'd have to carry around a small generator. But willing to deal with this little hassel until the underhood generator issue has been resolved.

Look up for the Balmar MC-614 manual online, the bottom pages is for testing and troubleshooting of the Balmar and Alternator.

The UHG (alternator) will not work withouth the Balmar. The Balmar MC-614 is a programmable regulator / battery charger, the alternator output voltage is dependent on programmed settings, usually you will see 13 + volts from alternator output when it is charging.
 
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Thank you RS.SS. I was thinking of just removing the Underhood generator and Voltage Regulator unit altogether and just installing an automatic battery separator unit wired directly to the coach battery which will just charge the AGM and Lithium when the vehicle is moving. This extra gear it seems is nothing but hassel. Just wanted to get your opinion on this, thank you.
If your Ecotrek battery module is online, you should be able to charge it via solar and shore via inverter/charger.
 
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All, I have another question. If the engine is running, and suppose that the alternator is functional, would the field (BLUE) wire show a output DC voltage of about +13.8?
 
Okay, so I've decided to add another circuit separate from the Balmar system that will be wired to the main battery for slow charging with a directional valve. At some point I will be fixing the Balmar system but for now, I just need to get the AGM and Li charged while I am driving to my destination so speed of charge is not critical as I also have portable gennie. I went with 120A Blue Sea SI unit which I think should do the job.
 

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