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Old 09-21-2015, 03:19 PM   #1
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Electrical, Battery, Inverter Mumbo Jumbo for Dummies

Tried using the search feature, find it difficult to find what I'm looking to find out. Sorry if this is repetitive info to all you rv old timers.

When I picked up the coach the guy doing the explanation of the systems went through what he knew.

Then Craig went through the system with me and after a while it just goes in one ear and out the other.

I just started the coach and got a buzzer and across the screen on dash said batteries low. Maybe this is normal. After a couple of mins. it stopped. Seemed to turn the motor over ok.

I just have it plugged into a 20 amp. 120v. cord till I get an adapter to plug into my 30 amp. air compressor outlet. The only thing that's on is the fridg. so I thought that would be enough to keep it going and the batteries satisfied.

Is there an easier read than the book on the inverter that would describe all the functions and when you should be using them? This is the manual that I'm referring to. Anything easier or will it sink in after a while ?

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Old 09-21-2015, 03:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by 5456Mich View Post
I just have it plugged into a 20 amp. 120v. cord till I get an adapter to plug into my 30 amp. air compressor outlet. The only thing that's on is the fridg. so I thought that would be enough to keep it going and the batteries satisfied.

Attachment 89470
I can't help you with the manual but please be aware that your camper is 30 Amp 120 volts. Your air compressor is most likely 30 Amp 220 volts.

Plugging you camper into this will do a fair amount of damage to your camper and possibly you. Could electrify the camper skin and anyone who touches it.

Please verify the voltage at your air compressor before using it.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:35 PM   #3
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https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/...ging-puzzle-2/

This may be helpful to you for charging the batteries once you get it all figured out.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:55 PM   #4
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That is perfectly normal for the low voltage warning and buzzer when you first start your engine. If has recently been covered in a post explaining the system.

Do heed the advice regarding the 30 amp voltage. It MUST be 120 volts.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:58 PM   #5
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I can't help you with the manual but please be aware that your camper is 30 Amp 120 volts. Your air compressor is most likely 30 Amp 220 volts.

Plugging you camper into this will do a fair amount of damage to your camper and possibly you. Could electrify the camper skin and anyone who touches it.

Please verify the voltage at your air compressor before using it.

The Berkshire has a 50 amp 220v system if I'm not mistaken.
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:40 PM   #6
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The MH will accept:
120VAC / 15A
120VAC / 20A
120VAC / 30A
120/240VAC / 50A (which really is two phases at 50A each, thereby you have 100A total)

Low voltages may do harm; not the amp capability. When you hook up to 120VAC / 15 A, it puts out no amps, except when there is a demand.

These power inputs to the MH will not damage the MH as long as the proper adapters are used. Of course, you will not be able to run much on the lower amperages and you will find out when your home's breaker pops.

Many have the low voltage displayed upon engine start and has been attributed to the engines air heater that draws many amps. - Hank
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:06 PM   #7
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The MH will accept:
120VAC / 15A
120VAC / 20A
120VAC / 30A
120/240VAC / 50A (which really is two phases at 50A each, thereby you have 100A total)

Low voltages may do harm; not the amp capability. When you hook up to 120VAC / 15 A, it puts out no amps, except when there is a demand.

These power inputs to the MH will not damage the MH as long as the proper adapters are used. Of course, you will not be able to run much on the lower amperages and you will find out when your home's breaker pops.

Many have the low voltage displayed upon engine start and has been attributed to the engines air heater that draws many amps. - Hank
So Hank I'm not an electrician by any means and guess I'm getting confused here. If I have a 30 amp 220 line in the garage that was used for my compressor will that harm anything or is it permissible ? Haven't used it yet because of not having the right adapter.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:13 PM   #8
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If I have a 30 amp 220 line in the garage that was used for my compressor will that harm anything
Yes that will harm a lot of things in your RV. DO NOT try to plug in there.
There will be some folks along shortly to explain it all.
Please wait until you get all the info on RV electric plugs first.


ETA: the low voltage indication on the dash is for the chassis batteries, not the house batteries.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:20 PM   #9
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Yes that will harm a lot of things in your RV. DO NOT try to plug in there.
There will be some folks along shortly to explain it all.
Please wait until you get all the info on RV electric plugs first.


ETA: the low voltage indication on the dash is for the chassis batteries, not the house batteries.

Ok thanks. Will not use it. Glad I asked ! I did realize that the warning on the dash was for the chassis batteries. D But don't they also get a trickle charge from the inverter ?
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:04 PM   #10
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http://www.dasplace.net/RVWiring/wiring.html

This might help explain it. Just remember that a RV operates on 120. Nothing in a RV is 220. A 50amp is two 120 v lines that feed two separate systems. If you had plugged in the 220 line you would have blown ever component in the MH unless you used a surge protector. A very good reason to always use a surge protector.



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Old 09-21-2015, 06:06 PM   #11
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You can jump off your existing plug and wire a plug next to it that will work. Check the diagram for the proper way to wire it. You would not be able to use both plugs at the same time but it would work.



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Old 09-21-2015, 06:23 PM   #12
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RV Wiring

This might help explain it. Just remember that a RV operates on 120. Nothing in a RV is 220. A 50amp is two 120 v lines that feed two separate systems. If you had plugged in the 220 line you would have blown ever component in the MH unless you used a surge protector. A very good reason to always use a surge protector.

So glad I didn't have the adapter !
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:25 PM   #13
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Me to. That post would have been heartbreaking for everyone. Well mostly you but we all would have felt bad.



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Old 09-21-2015, 06:32 PM   #14
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This is for the chassis system.... getting low voltage on the CHASSIS batteries when starting is probably an indication that one or both if them is failing. It was on my rig; I replaced both batts, problem gone.

This is for the house system, what some folks call shore power..... Whatever you do NEVER apply a voltage over 120V to the coach.

Over amperage is nothing; in fact the the more amps available, the better.

MAJOR over voltage (like 220/240) is instant damage.

The chassis system and the house system are linked together somewhat. First off, even when plugged into shore power, many things (lights, fridge fan, furnace fan, ceiling vent fans, etc.) are STILL running off house battery power.

(This is not true for residential fridge's, however. They always run on 110/120).

Running items on battery power even when plugged into shore power is necessary because they are 12 volt items. Your inverter/converter simply recharges the batteries "on the fly"; that is, produces enough of a charge to balance what's currently being drained out of house batts.

Remember CON-verter 110/120 Volts stepped down to 12 Volts.
IN-verter 12 Volts stepped up to 110/120 Volts.

Not so long ago, converters/inverters were two separate physical boxes. Today, they've placed both functions in a single device.

Then, when you're driving down the road, the engine alternator charges the CHASSIS batts FIRST (if charging needed) , then charges the HOUSE batts second (again if needed).

When connected to shore power in a CG the reverse is true. Inverter/charger charges house batts first (if needed) then CHASSIS batts second (again if needed).

The last item of note is that there is a switch in the drivers area, that if your CHASSIS (starting) batts are low, you can hold that switch down and get a temporary boost for the starter, from the HOUSE batts. Not unlike having someone "jump" your car from another car with jumper cables.

Hope this does not just confuse you further, Joe..... I think I've covered the major points...... Anymore questions just ask.

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Old 09-21-2015, 06:43 PM   #15
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I did realize that the warning on the dash was for the chassis batteries. D But don't they also get a trickle charge from the inverter ?
When on shore power, the chassis batteries will get charged only after the house batteries are full. When the Chassis batteries are charging the AUX switch on the dash will glow or flash.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:51 PM   #16
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The Berkshire has a 50 amp 220v system if I'm not mistaken.
NO!! 50 AMP ***120*** volt system.

Actually what you really have are TWO 50 AMP 120 Volt systems. So 100 amps total. This comes in on three wires..... Two 110/120 Volt "hots" and a neutral. So each one of the "hots" and the neutral provide 110/120 at 50A.

Check your 50A plug... it will have the 3 wires I mentioned PLUS a ground wire (there simply for safety).

If the neutral is ever "open" (defective), you now have a single 50A but ***240*** Volt system. A good surge suppressing system will protect against this. Without a good protection box, if the CG has faulty wiring with the neutral "open" you will bring 240 right into the camper and likely burn up a LOT of stuff.

I've heard of a guy that pulled into a CG and the power infrastructure was so bad, that when he tried to plugin the pedestal fell completely over. Again a good SP will take care of all problems such as that.

Once again, Joe...... Hope this helps.

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Old 09-21-2015, 06:53 PM   #17
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Thank you all so much for your input, and if you have more I'm all eyes . lol
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:57 PM   #18
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That is perfectly normal for the low voltage warning and buzzer when you first start your engine. If has recently been covered in a post explaining the system.

Do heed the advice regarding the 30 amp voltage. It MUST be 120 volts.

Mmnsc.... I thought it was perfectly normal too, until one day the rig just wouldn't start at all. Replaced both chassis batts and have never seen the message or buzzer again.

With mine, ONE of the batts was completely failed with a large bulge on the side. The other seemed to be OK, but they say ALWAYS replace them in pairs.

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Old 09-21-2015, 07:02 PM   #19
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Tried using the search feature, find it difficult to find what I'm looking to find out. Sorry if this is repetitive info to all you rv old timers.

When I picked up the coach the guy doing the explanation of the systems went through what he knew.

Then Craig went through the system with me and after a while it just goes in one ear and out the other.

I just started the coach and got a buzzer and across the screen on dash said batteries low. Maybe this is normal. After a couple of mins. it stopped. Seemed to turn the motor over ok.

I just have it plugged into a 20 amp. 120v. cord till I get an adapter to plug into my 30 amp. air compressor outlet. The only thing that's on is the fridg. so I thought that would be enough to keep it going and the batteries satisfied.

Is there an easier read than the book on the inverter that would describe all the functions and when you should be using them? This is the manual that I'm referring to. Anything easier or will it sink in after a while ?

Attachment 89470
Joe,

Your coach should be just fine plugged into 120 15 or 20 amp line you just cannot run everything but you can run frig and keep battery charged. This is what I have had for mine since I purchased it in 2008.

When starting the coach the preheat and diesel engines take a lot of current to start and initially report low bat on the dash dash display. Once running the alternator will kick in and message will go away. Many have reported seeing this. It has never been a problem for me.

If you want to wire a 50 amp line for your coach see the attached jpg. It shows the proper way to wire the plug.

Just give me or Craig a shout and we will help you out.

FYI - look on youtube there is a good video going through the ME RC50. Just search on it. I have forgotten which one it is but it was not to hard to find.
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Old 09-21-2015, 07:42 PM   #20
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Thank, Harderd..... I've been trying to educate myself about the electrical system for the last month of so, maybe spent 40 or 50 hours reading, writing up questions and researching the questions. When it come to solar, picking are slim. This is a great link, thanks for sharing.
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