Monday, December 14, 2015

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

My Roadtrek originally came equipped with the Sure Power Battery Separator Model 1315-200, a 200-amp solenoid version. While the separator functioned properly, it drew approximately 1.5 amps when the solenoid was energized, resulting in a significant loss of solar energy.

I decided to replace it with the Blue Sea ML-ACR Model 7622, a 500-amp magnetic latching (bi-stable) automatic charging relay featuring manual and remote control capabilities. Although it comes with a higher price tag of around $200 USD, the investment has proven worthwhile for me. According to the manufacturer, it draws very low current (<40mA to monitor terminal voltage) in both the "ON" and "OFF" states, with a moderate current draw for a very short duration during state transitions.

The Blue Sea ML-ACR is dual-sensing, detecting charge levels on both batteries. It also includes a start and engine isolation feature, though I opted not to utilize those functionalities. With the addition of the remote switch, I can manually isolate and combine batteries from the driver's seat. Typically, I leave it in auto mode and only switch it off (isolate) when the house battery is charging from solar panels.

For most applications, the more affordable 120-amp continuous rated Blue Sea SI-ACR should suffice for alternator charging.

The replacement process is quite straightforward, using the same wiring as the old Sure Power isolator. The ML-ACR terminal studs for the batteries are interchangeable, eliminating the need to trace which wire goes to the start battery or house battery. I only had to run three 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. Additionally, I slightly enlarged the ring terminal holes on the [+] cables as the ML-ACR terminal studs are slightly larger (size 3/8") than the old isolator. If preferred, you can also change the ring terminals on the [+] cables at this point.

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.