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Inverter issue or batteries? 2003 Dynasty


MHRookie

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Hey folks,

trying to troubleshoot an issue I’ve not encountered before…

2003 Monaco Dynasty w/ Trace RV2012 inverter & 2 yr old Trojan T-105’s for house.  Upgraded coach with Bluesea ML-ACR

Traveling, turn on inverter for refridge (not traveling long enough to use generator).

start off, batt’s are 100% & bank rate is at 14.2 from alternator.

by end of 5 hour run, inverter stops showing the “charge light” and shows bank at 74%.
 

when we stop overnight, absorption charge makes banks show 14.9 & while combined, the radio flickers… I then isolate the banks, and in about an hour the inverter shows 100%, float rate at 13.4 & charging.  I then reconnect banks to keep charged…

is the inverter on the Frits or could it possibly be a battery issue (1of4 fried??

thanks for any insight!

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Are you sure your Bluesea is latching while driving allowing the alternator to charge the batteries?  You can confirm by starting the engine and monitoring the Bluesea and after ~1-2 minutes it will latch. 

Did you install the switch that allows you to select ON/OFF/Automatic?

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1 hour ago, jacwjames said:

Are you sure your Bluesea is latching while driving allowing the alternator to charge the batteries?  You can confirm by starting the engine and monitoring the Bluesea and after ~1-2 minutes it will latch. 

Did you install the switch that allows you to select ON/OFF/Automatic?

Yes, it is latching.  I did not get the switch installed yet I am manually cycling the blue Sea.

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35 minutes ago, jacwjames said:

With the engine running suggest checking the voltage at the chassis battery and the house batteries.  My alternator charges at 14.2 volts.  Does the display for the inverter show this voltage?

Yes it does.  It’s acting like the inverter isn’t getting the charge signal.

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11 minutes ago, MHRookie said:

Yes it does.  It’s acting like the inverter isn’t getting the charge signal.

With the engine running and Bluesea latched both battery banks should charge at the same rate.  But you're saying that the house  battery isn't charging??  Beside the refrigerator is there anything else consuming power???

My display also shows weird stuff either charging with generator and/or driving.  I can be running the generator and it won't show that it's building a charge on the Xantrex display but after I shut it down it will settle down eventually show full charge.  I don't rely on the readings until everything settles down. 

I installed a Victron 712 shunt monitor, I can see the house voltage but also the chassis voltage.   I have the App on my phone and can check via bluetooth to confirm battery voltages. 

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Both banks are latched and charging at 14.4 and that reading is coming from my overhead solar charge display.

using a volt meter both banks are latched when checked at the bluesea in the RRV.

the trace rg7 display is what is showing non charging issue.

 

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Mine has done the same thing, but now with the Victron I know whats going on. 

In the past I've asked similar questions, but mostly wondering how the AGS function can operate with such a discrepancy in voltages.  I was told to check all connections etc, but never could solve the problem.

Maybe someone has a good explanation. 

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9 hours ago, MHRookie said:

by end of 5 hour run, inverter stops showing the “charge light” and shows bank at 74%.

Kurt - I am not an expert on your particular inverter.  When you say "charge light" are you talking about the light on your remote panel that indicates the charging state, bulk, absorption, float?  On my inverter, Magnum 2012, the charge light is only illuminated when on shore or generator power.  The charger function is not engaged when only running the engine and the alternator is charging the batteries directly via voltage regulator/BIRD.  Just curious if your inverter is the same?

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Bill & Ivan,

Ok, I’ll agree with that.  
My issue then is… with only the refrigerator on inverter and hooked to alternator while driving… house bank should stay fully charged (always were before).

then when stopped at night hooked up, it should NOT charge at 14.6 or higher absorption rate should it?

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Recheck your Blue Sea install.  Somethings wrong.

Try a set of jumper cables from the chassis battery to the house battery bank on your return trip.  Also, make sure you fully charge all batteries from either shore power or the generator before departure.  

Leave your Trace inverter on in charge mode all the time (unless in storage and disconnected from shore power).   Let your refrigerator cool down before departure.  

Good luck!

Edited by vito.a
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Vito,

coach+ & alt+ - hooked to one lug + wire hooked to a single fuse

house+ - hooked to other lug + wire to fuse block

ml-ACR neg - hooked to negative

no switch installed yet.

in storage - switch turned to on position & within 10 minutes, it senses inverter/charge presence & latches

driving - manually turn switch off - go start coach - within 10 min, it senses alt charge and latches - alt output is 14.2

nothing is getting hot & it seems like inverter is working correctly ( except absorption rate seems high). It gets house to 100% & changes to float mode at 13.6 & I auto latch banks to charge both

if I try to keep auto latched during absorption’s high rate, it makes dash radio flicker.  Also, if latched during start up, it seems like to much power as dash lights & tones don’t work.  If unlatched, works fine.

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mhrookie.  I am a big time boondocker.  I bought a clamp a round voltage and draw meter at a big box store to check my draw when using different items in coach. I discovered that the overhead circuit (using satilite dish, tv, vcr) was taking a big draw.  I installed a remote cut off like you may use to turn on/off xmas lights from inside the house. I plugged into that switch and plugged everything into a power strip. If I remember right that draw was 2 to 4 amps. I still have a factory refer but can't tell you what it draws but mostly set on propane when boondocking anyway. 02 Monaco Dip.

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8 hours ago, MHRookie said:

  - alt output is 14.2

nothing is getting hot & it seems like inverter is working correctly ( except absorption rate seems high). 

14.6V is about right for absorption charge mode.

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11 hours ago, MHRookie said:

 . . . then when stopped at night hooked up, it should NOT charge at 14.6 or higher absorption rate should it?

Mine does the same thing.  As soon as I plug into shore it goes into forced charge mode for a period of time (30 min?), whether the batteries are fully charged or not.  Xantrex 458 inverter.  The batteries are fully charged in route.  I normally ride with the inverter off (no AC).  I've looked for a switch (hardware and software) to disable that "feature" but come up empty. 

- bob

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  • Tom Cherry changed the title to Inverter issue or batteries? 2003 Dynasty
9 hours ago, MHRookie said:

Vito,

coach+ & alt+ - hooked to one lug + wire hooked to a single fuse

house+ - hooked to other lug + wire to fuse block

ml-ACR neg - hooked to negative

no switch installed yet.

in storage - switch turned to on position & within 10 minutes, it senses inverter/charge presence & latches

driving - manually turn switch off - go start coach - within 10 min, it senses alt charge and latches - alt output is 14.2

nothing is getting hot & it seems like inverter is working correctly ( except absorption rate seems high). It gets house to 100% & changes to float mode at 13.6 & I auto latch banks to charge both

if I try to keep auto latched during absorption’s high rate, it makes dash radio flicker.  Also, if latched during start up, it seems like to much power as dash lights & tones don’t work.  If unlatched, works fine.

Back to basics.  First, having Trojans is great.  Not knowing their condition and trying to diagnose is chasing a ghost.

Buy a $20 quartz halogen work light at Lowes. i think it is 450 Watt.  Use it to discharge and determine the state of charge.  You do not have a “Shunt” style meter and installing that is not for me….and not for me.

Determine the SOC.  You may be happy or sad…but evaluating your inverter without knowing the condition or how much the batteries will or should take is the first step…

Only then, can meaningful comments and recommendations be made.

 

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Tom & others… latest info.

Shut down all power to coach & let batteries rest for a few hours.  Prior to shut down RG7 remote said house at 100%, charge light blinking & batt full light on

All 2 house batts measured 6.65 & 2 @ 6.68

plugged everything back in…..

Back at ML-ACR - house at 14.6 / chassis @ 12.7 -then ACR latched and both banks @ 14.6 (at ACR @ on each bank by voltmeter)

come inside coach - RG7 remote said absorption charge & battery SOC is 76%…. (Within an hour, it should switch to float and say 100% and banks at 13.6…

I’d say my issue lies in the inverter/charger & RG7.  Checked inverter in bay and it’s humming but I cannot tell if fans are blowing (don’t feel anything).  Also, the on/off button doesn’t turn off the remote like it’s supposed to.

any additional things I should check?

 

thanks! 

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1 hour ago, MHRookie said:

Tom & others… latest info.

Shut down all power to coach & let batteries rest for a few hours.  Prior to shut down RG7 remote said house at 100%, charge light blinking & batt full light on

All 2 house batts measured 6.65 & 2 @ 6.68

plugged everything back in…..

Back at ML-ACR - house at 14.6 / chassis @ 12.7 -then ACR latched and both banks @ 14.6 (at ACR @ on each bank by voltmeter)

come inside coach - RG7 remote said absorption charge & battery SOC is 76%…. (Within an hour, it should switch to float and say 100% and banks at 13.6…

I’d say my issue lies in the inverter/charger & RG7.  Checked inverter in bay and it’s humming but I cannot tell if fans are blowing (don’t feel anything).  Also, the on/off button doesn’t turn off the remote like it’s supposed to.

any additional things I should check?

 

thanks! 

I reread your original post.  What you gave as information, I can't use to totally diagnose as there are too many unknowns.  Then throw in the MC-ACR and it gets complicated...at least to me.  Maybe others...  SO, back to basics and how to test the batteries....that, right now, to me is an unknown. Without knowing the condition of the batteries and what the "TRACE" is seeing, I can't make a judgement.

FWIW, the SOC reading on the Trace Remote is just a fancy "Voltage converted to SOC". You would need a Shunt style SOC system to know the REAL SOC.  That is an expenditure of upwards to $300 and also some recabling and modifications. Many have done this as they feel the information is critical. I depend on my Inverter to recharge and also monitor how long the batteries run down under a load....so I don't really know or perhaps can "interpret" the SOC. I need to know what the batteries are capable of and also what they are doing.

BOTTOM LINE.  You FIRST POST asked about Trace and then threw in the ML-ACR. You had an issue of NOT ENOUGH capacity when driving, but the MC-ACR "SHOULD" have kept up.  That is really TWO separate issues and my brain deals with ONE....used to TWO....at a time.  SO, my advice....disconnect or turn off the ML-ACR. THEN test the batteries. You need a good Hydrometer ($15) and a 450/500 Watt Halogen Work light. All the "I took the batteries to NAPA or such and had them tested" is not really helpful nor giving any REAL information.  Even the $500 - $1000 Carbon pile testers will NOT WORK NOR PROVIDE ACCURATE information on RV Deep Cycle Storage (flooded or AGM). You can read and research and Trojan says NO and LifeLine (the supposed Premier AGM) says NO.  YES, a carbon pile load tester works GREAT on a starting battery...so....the only WAY to test is to charge and discharge and test....or DRAWDOWN.

I also ASSUME that you totally removed the Battery Isolator that came (per the drawings) on your 2003 Dynasty.

The basics are this....EZRED SP101 Battery Hydrometer, Factory

BUY one of the above on Amazon.  Read how to use.  There is a TOP LINE (molded in).  Always have the electrolyte at the top line and level....this one is simple and accurate. Buy the Lowers 450/500 Watt $20 Quartz Halogen trouble light...  THEN you are good to go.

Use the Selector Switch or whatever to turn OFF the ML-ACR. Cover a solar panel or remove the charging leads from the controller. NOW....  Turn OFF BOTH banks.  Check to see if you STILL have Voltage at the Inverter. Look at your prints.  The Set we have in the files, on page 63, shows the Disconnect Switch and then a 300 Amp fuse and then your RV2012 inverter...so disconnecting the house switch should suffice.

NOW.  Remove the Jumpers.  Measure the battery voltage. Check the Specific Gravity and write down all the reading. Let this sit for an hour or so. IF you have a gremlin in the Trace...then it should go away.

I would UNPLUG the BTS (Battery Temp Sensor). These things do WEIRD things when the short out....so leave it unplugged and get down to SIMPLE BASICS...

On page 74 of the prints, there is a picture of the TRACE. I do NOT know what the 4/0 cable to the Klixons High Current Plate it. I would disconnect it....so that ALL you are doing is discharging and recharging the Inverter.  Some Dynasty owners might help here...but I am going for PLAIN JANE (no offense to her genetics).

NOW...  after sitting....then reconnect the Jumpers.  Turn on the Disconnect....then let the Trace start up and charge. After it gets to FLOAT and you have LOW amperage..., maybe 10 Amps...or is FULL....then stop.

NOW...  Disconnect and test again. Remove the Jumpers...  check the Voltages and SG.  NOTE...  you are TESTING a fully charged battery that has a SURFACE CHARGE...  then reconnect.  NOW, use your VOM and test across the bank.  The Voltage should be high.  You have to DRAIN or knock off the Surface Charge.  Turn on an exhaust fan or some lights.  MEASURE at the BATTERY....across the 12 VDC positive and negative.  When the voltage reads around 12. 6 or so....the surface charge is off.  YES, the Chart says....12.73 (12 VDC column) is 100% SOC. BUT, you are reading the LOAD.  Then turn off ALL INTERIOR DC...or AC.... The "Bounce Back" or pop back or recovery voltage should be around 12.75 or so...  NOW...  That means that the Battery is at 100% SOC.  BUT.... beware.  You have to exercise the batteries and drain them a few times to regenerate or equalize (NOT EQUALIZE CHARGING) the cells.  So, you now hook up the 450 Watt work light.  Monitor the Battery Voltage every 15 minutes. When it gets to around 11.95 or 12.0....STOP. Then....  REMOVE THE LOAD.  Disconnect the switch. Remove the Jumpers.  Measure the individual batteries and cells (Volts and SG). Whatever you get here will be around 50% SOC.  Then you refill, if necessary the cells, and recharge. Measure and knock off the surface charge again. 

It usually takes only 3 cycles. NOW....on that FINAL CYCLE...  Run the fans or a little AC...  THEN when you see 12.6/7, DISCONNECT the bank. Pull the Jumpers.  Let them sit...  That is the REAL STATE of CHARGE...  if they are GOOD...then they will read, each battery, 6.37/4.  If they read LOWER than that....use the chart (Battery 101) and that is all they are GOOD FOR.  

NOW...btw...  if they recharged each time and all is well....then your TRACE IS OK.  Then turn back on the ML-ACR.  Run or drive and see how it work. I PERSONALLY would NOT reconnect the BTS lead and use the MH for a while.  Once you understand HOW it work and all is well...then plug that back in.  IF IT GOES BONKERS....then get a NEW BTS.

That's the way I would do it.  Otherwise, it is just a shot in the dark, without a GOOD CLAMP ON AMMETER, to tell if the Trace is charging.

That's it....

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Any chance you have replaced the RC7 remote OR inverter in the past? I have and since then the charge state and time-to-go don't work right, I never trusted them anyway. They never change. I just assume a different non compatible firmware revisions between the units and don't worry about it since I have a different better monitoring way. But it always starts in bulk charging when hooked up and goes through the stages no matter how charged the batteries were and what the solar controller shows for it's state. It just steps faster when already charged. I think that is normal. I don't however have the ACR since my isolator and maintainer still function fine, don't think it matters here.

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Ivan,

     Yes the original isolator, batt boost solenoid, lambert all did the same thing as the ML-ACR…. Charge batteries… nothing is smart about either method other than newer technology AND change the requirement of a Leece Nevell alternator (I got a duvac 28si).

I did at one point (about 80%) have the old trace out and a newer pure sine installed but I got the wrong one so had to hook everything back up.  Maybe that has started my issue… no way to tell.

I will be replacing the current set up this spring when I get back home.

thanks for your time & thoughts.  At the end of the day, nothing is getting hot or no odd smells so I am off the path of the coach burning down at this point.

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