Monday, December 14, 2015

Battery Separator Upgrade to Blue Sea ML-ACR 7622 Automatic Charging Relay

My Roadtrek came with Sure Power Battery Separator Model 1315-200, a 200 amp solenoid version. The separator works fine, but draws about 1.5 amp when solenoid is energized and that is a significant solar energy loss.

I replaced mine with Blue Sea ML-ACR model-7622, a 500 Amp magnetic latching (bi-stable) automatic charging relay with manual and remote control. It is pretty expensive, about $200 US, but for me it is well worth it. Per manufacturer, it draws very low current (<40mA to monitor terminal voltage) in the "ON" or "OFF" states, and draws moderate current for very short time when changing state. It is dual sensing, senses charge on both batteries. It also has a start and engine isolation feature, but I did not use those. With the remote switch, I can manually isolate and combine batteries from the driver seat. I usually leave it to auto mode and turn it off (isolate) when house battery is charging from solar panels. For most applications, the cheaper 120 amp continuous rated Blue Sea SI-ACR should be plenty enough for alternator charging.

The replacement is pretty straight forward, same wiring were used from the old Sure Power isolator. ML-ACR terminal studs wiring for the batteries are interchangeable, so no need to trace what wire goes to start battery or house battery. I only needed to run 3 new wires (red remote, red (+), and yellow led wire) to the remote switch which I mounted on the dashboard next to the headlight selector switch. I also have to slightly enlarge the (+) cables ring terminal holes as ML-ACR terminal studs are slightly bigger (size 3/8") than the old isolator. You can change the (+) cables terminal rings at this point if you prefer going that route.

Blue Sea ML-ACR automatic charging relay wiring diagram.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Permanently Mounted Bullseye Level for RV Leveling

I bought an inexpensive bullseye level from eBay which I found to be pretty accurate comparing to my other levels and couple of Android apps. If you prefer, a T-level like this from Amazon (Camco 25543 T Level ) should also work ok. I decided to permanently mount the bullseye level on the driver seat base right uppermost corner. I picked this mounting location for easy visualization from the driver seat which makes it easy to instantly check RV "levelness" while parking or when finding a level ground on campsites and during RV leveling using my Andersen Camper levelers.

The bullseye level mounting bracket is fabricated from aluminum angle bar/ flat bar, and a recycled mini tripod head. With the tripod head, I can zero/recalibrate the level at my convenience. To zero the bullseye level, I use a second bullseye level placed on the bottom of the RV freezer compartment then drove the RV to a level ground, with the bubble level on the freezer reading zero, I adjusted the other level with the bubble at dead center.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

DIY Rear Table Swivel Adapter/ Roadtrek Rear Table Modification

Getting in and out of the rear table has been a problem for us, there is barely enough room to move around it. You literally have to suck your guts in to squeeze through around the table. Moving the tabletop base further off-center is not an option for me as it will put too much strain on the tabletop, not to mention the modification needed for its storage. The tabletop also doubles a bed platform and cannot be modified or shortened.

My solution is to modify the table leg and adding a swiveling arm. The swivel arm will add 6-inches off-set of the tabletop from the center pole and allows the table to easily swivel out of the way if needed. It only needs few materials which are readily available at your local home improvement store but it does involve some metal welding/fabricating.

The rear table swing-away adapter.