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Old 10-15-2018, 06:53 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, 07:08 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, 08:11 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, 08:33 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, 08:44 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, 08:58 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, 09:09 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, 10:59 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, 04:15 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, 06:37 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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Old 10-16-2018, 04:10 AM   #11
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Thanks again. Both switches were on, but I'll check batteries at first light before we hit the road this morning. I suspect it may be just "user error".
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:02 AM   #12
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A couple of cheapie batteries likely cannot keep a residential fridge plus a couple of lights and detectors on overnight.

You are talking likely 80 amps dc. 1000 Watts. That is not much.

Batteries are the weak link in rvís.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:34 AM   #13
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Hey Rusty, lots of good advice here. As our rigs are very similar (mine is 38 FB) I think we have the same inverter mounted on top of the water cabinet. I just want to add that in addition to making sure you turn off all your lights, I always check the inverter visually. The light on it glows green when connected to shore/generator power and Amber when on the batteries alone. The face also reads the output voltage if you can see it. The way itís mounted it is tough to see on mine, but it can be done. It should read something like 110. Also, if you plan on doing a lot of boon docking more storage would be helpful so 4 batteries would be a good idea. I donít boondock so I stuck with 2 and have never had a problem for 10 plus hours. Also, once you put your food in the fridge and it gets down to temperature, the mass of the frozen stuff actually reduces run time on the fridge (as long as you donít open the door a lot).

Have a safe trip and a great time!

Ed
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:34 AM   #14
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Thanks again. Both switches were on, but I'll check batteries at first light before we hit the road this morning. I suspect it may be just "user error".
Rusty
Rusty,

We had our dealer install 4 6v Dekka GC15 225 AH batteries in our coach before we took delivery. We tested the solar, inverter, fridge for 1 week with no issues. We will be switching to Lifeline 6v AGM batteries when we transition to the road next Spring.

Pete
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:40 AM   #15
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$685 per battery?????? WOW!

I could go through about 4 batteries at 4 years each for less than that.
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:50 AM   #16
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$685 per battery?????? WOW!

I could go through about 4 batteries at 4 years each for less than that.
Only $350 per battery. I have had AGM in Marine applicationís and they last at least 50% longer than lead wet cell batteries. A real plus is not off gassing and need to check water levels ever.

https://powersportbatteries.com/life...v-battery.html
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Old 10-16-2018, 06:54 AM   #17
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I admit I know nothing about them. This is what Google found:

https://bdbatteries.com/products/lif...hoCPBUQAvD_BwE

They'd have to last forever at that price.........and even then would be expensive.

I run Optima's in my boat, too. And I'm no more impressed, based on cost and life, than I am with regular good Trojans. I am always learning, though.......and open to new stuff.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:20 AM   #18
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My two cents.....It's a Residential frig. How cold did it get in the camper that night ? I have a Residential frig in my garage and I shut it down each winter as it gets too cold for the frig to operate. If I forget to clean it out, everything begins to thaw out. Are these Residential frig's in RV "Cold weather rated" I don't know as I don't have one in our TT. Maybe others would know how these frig's are rated.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:36 AM   #19
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I admit I know nothing about them. This is what Google found:

https://bdbatteries.com/products/lif...hoCPBUQAvD_BwE

They'd have to last forever at that price.........and even then would be expensive.

I run Optima's in my boat, too. And I'm no more impressed, based on cost and life, than I am with regular good Trojans. I am always learning, though.......and open to new stuff.
Also had Optimaís in my boat, not impressed as you said. My Sears Platinum AGM lasted 8 years and weíre still going strong when I sold the boat.

The battery you referenced is a 400 AH battery, in my application if they would fit the battery compartment I would only need 2 of them. I also like that AGM batteries are not affected by vibrations, rolling down the road frequently they will hold up better.

My 2c, when dropping 6 figures on a coach whatís another $1500 for batteries that will last longer, charge faster and do not require any maintenance.

Pete
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Old 10-17-2018, 06:11 AM   #20
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Spent our first night after travelling a whopping 450 miles. May have figured out my issue. Could have been the battery disconnect was off. I guess the lights still work with the switch off (so someone told me). Thanks jacgec for filling me in on what my inverter should look like. I'll double check and see if my panel reflects like yours. Hoping all is good and it is just my inexperience. I assume it is working properly as it was on all day as we were driving. Thanks again all.
Rusty
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