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Old 10-15-2018, 07:53 AM   #1
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Last 5'er only had a converter. New 38MB has inverter also. I have a concern. I was on shore power for 3 days straight (also had 480 watt solar up). 43 degrees outside. Residential fridge worked fine, 38 degrees. Took RV to storage yard overnight. Left hooked up to truck (engine off of course). Went to pick up this morning. Battery/solar monitor showed 13.4 volts, but fridge light was off and temperature showed 50 degrees? Inverter light was still lit. Admittedly, I inadvertently left a hall light and a counter bar light on overnight, but can't think that it contributed enough to drop battery level enough to shut down the fridge? Is there a setting or something on the inverter that needs to be adjusted. I thought I heard that inverter shuts down when voltage drops to around 12. My Zamp gauge said 13.4. Wife is concerned about loading food in overnight tonight before we leave tomorrow am. Any input would really be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Rusty (Electrical Idiot)
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:08 AM   #2
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I'm guessing your Zamp gauge voltage was showing what the solar panel was putting out, not actual battery voltage.

Since the solar panel wouldn't have been charging overnight, the battery likely went dead. The solar panel 'maybe'had charged the battery enough before you got there to allow the inverter light to come on but I bet the refrigerator wasn't running.

Two interior lights and an inverter (and any other parasitic drains) are enough to deplete your battery overnight.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:11 AM   #3
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How many batteries did they install? They had 4 in ours when we picked it up.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:33 AM   #4
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Only two batteries. Cheapies. I'll keep them until I know I won't wreck them, then buy 4 good ones. 5picker, thanks for the quick response and great information. I'll be more careful shutting down.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:44 AM   #5
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Most INVERTERS have a LBCO(low battery cut out) that provides a back stop to keep the inverter from potentially drawing down the batteries too far - such as overnight when no solar or incoming Charging is happening.

If you left the fridge on, which is obviously on the Inverter, it would continue drawing down the battery during the night. When the level reached a certain point, such a 10.5, the Inverter would AUTOMATICALLY shut down.

In the morning, though, as the sun rose, the Solar would start providing some Charging, which may be why you arrived to find the batteries 'back' at a more normal charge level. The Inverter would probably have 'awakened' again, too, since it automatically comes back ON when the levels get back to a 12.0 or so point.
Your Inverter will determine what these automatic levels are set to, and may be able to be customized by your input, depending on the Brand and Model, and whether you have a separate Panel/readout for the Inverter.

If your fridge was not back ON, then something else caused it to lose power, such as a tripped breaker in your Main Panel, or even a tripped fuse/breaker on the Inverter itself. Otherwise, when the inverter came back online, the fridge would still have power.

As for the other 12v lights and such that you may have left ON, they would also draw down the batteries, thereby creating a situation where the Inverter would shut down even sooner, but still come back on again when the solar again started Charging the batteries in the mid-morning. They don't work thru the Inverter, though they still draw down the batteries, of course.
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Old 10-15-2018, 09:58 AM   #6
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Hi, Rusty. I just got to wondering if maybe there was a problem in switching from shore power to the inverter. I don't know how you're wired but I would think most permanent solar installations have a transfer switch that will switch between power sources automatically. If that didn't work then it's possible your fridge was still connected to the shore power circuit and therefore unpowered when you expected it to be running. That would explain why your battery monitor showed you had good voltage but your fridge light was off.

Just another idea to consider! Hope you get it figured out.
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Old 10-15-2018, 10:09 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaro80 View Post
... I would think most permanent solar installations have a transfer switch that will switch between power sources automatically...
Solar charging goes directly to the House batteries, it has no interaction with other systems... it is always charging the batteries when there is incoming sunlight. The solar Controller provides the Charging protocol, as it backs off when the batteries are 'full', and allows all the power in when they need it.

as for 'switching', that's more to do with the two main power sources - Generator and Shore Power, both 120v services. If you have an ATS(automatic transfer switch), it's because you have a built - in Generator. The ATS just keeps the two power sources from overlapping, if both are available at the same time.
The INVERTER typically also has an internal 'switch', or relay, which 'sees' any Generator or Shore Power coming in, and provides a bypass for this 120v power to the outlets that are connected to it, or the Main Panel's breakers that are set to it.
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for the responses guys. A lot to learn. Comforting to get such quick and knowledgeable responses. A lot to learn. This unit is a little more complex than my 2015 Dutchment Voltage toy hauler. The more I play with it, and with the on line help, I'm sure I'll figure it out. Thanks again.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:15 PM   #9
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This may or may not apply to the 2019 RS, so please take it for what it's worth.
Our RS has a master switch on the inverter that must be turned on at all times or else there will be no power going to the fridge and for the inverter to turn on out of stand by we have to push the inverter switch on the control panel also.

With our setup I turn battery charging off and run the fridge on inverter during the summer (solar panels free of snow season ), even on 50 Amp service.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:37 PM   #10
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Inverter issue

Rusty:
There have been alot of technical responses on this. I want to chim in by giving you my two cents.
I own a forest river cardinal and the is a button in the cabin to turn the inverter on. Also, there is a switch on the inverter itself. If you have checked this and all is good is the connections. I found the connections on all the terminals to be loose when I took possession of my coach. Being an old IT guy check the simple stuff first before you "ripe the heart out to stop the bleeding.
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