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Old 06-21-2008, 02:45 PM   #1
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After 6 years of faithful service my Xantrex Freedom 458 Inverter/Charger now fails when I depress the invert button. The inverter makes a loud humming sound and in about 5 seconds the red fault light is displayed on the remote panel. The model is 81-2010-12(221). The Lifeline AGM batteries (4 years & 4 months old) are at full charge when I turn on the inverter. Xantrex tech support recommended disconnecting all power to the unit waiting 2 hours and then reconnecting. The results were the same. The unit appears to be working correctly when using the generator or shore power.

My main considerations include:
1)buying a new replacement unit on the internet Any suggestions?
2)Removing the unit and taking it to an authorized Xantrex service center which estimates a typical cost of over $600.
3)Removing the unit and blowing it out with an air compressor

Any recommendations and experience would be appreciated.

Here is a link of the unit http://rvparts.com/ProductPage.asp?i=16FDM2012SS

We have an Alpine Coach MDDS36 manufactured in June 2002.
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Old 06-21-2008, 02:45 PM   #2
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After 6 years of faithful service my Xantrex Freedom 458 Inverter/Charger now fails when I depress the invert button. The inverter makes a loud humming sound and in about 5 seconds the red fault light is displayed on the remote panel. The model is 81-2010-12(221). The Lifeline AGM batteries (4 years & 4 months old) are at full charge when I turn on the inverter. Xantrex tech support recommended disconnecting all power to the unit waiting 2 hours and then reconnecting. The results were the same. The unit appears to be working correctly when using the generator or shore power.

My main considerations include:
1)buying a new replacement unit on the internet Any suggestions?
2)Removing the unit and taking it to an authorized Xantrex service center which estimates a typical cost of over $600.
3)Removing the unit and blowing it out with an air compressor

Any recommendations and experience would be appreciated.

Here is a link of the unit http://rvparts.com/ProductPage.asp?i=16FDM2012SS

We have an Alpine Coach MDDS36 manufactured in June 2002.
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Old 06-21-2008, 06:11 PM   #3
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Duwain, I do not know if this will help you or not, but I spoke with a fellow RV'er at a rally that had the same problem you are describing. It turned out he had removed his 4, 6 volt batteries, to clean and repaint the battery compartment and failed to re-wire the batteries correctly when he re-installed them. He was able to rewire the batteries correctly and his 458 worked fine after that.

Good Luck - Glenn
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Old 06-21-2008, 07:38 PM   #4
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Thanks, Glenn. There is an event that could have contributed to the problem that occurred between the day it last worked and the time I noticed it did not work. We were traveling west of Johnson City, TX and when we were passed by a pick-up truck pulling a trailer, a 4x8 piece of plywood flew off the trailer. It hit us broadside breaking both front windshields and obstructing our view. As I slowed down the plywood fell to the pavement and went under the RV and tow vehicle.

I could not see any problems that were caused by the plywood passing under the coach. I may have missed something. The 12 volt system in the coach appears to be working.
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Old 06-23-2008, 06:20 PM   #5
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Duwain:

After spending much time on the Internet shopping, I bought mine from Solatron Technologies. She was able to send it out the next day and was significantly less expensive. Not only that, but she also quickly replaced a different product and waited for Xantrex to reimburse her directly. That's service!
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Old 06-24-2008, 04:50 AM   #6
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I appreciate receiving the link and endorsement of Solatron Technologies. Did you convert from the Freedom 458 to the RS2000? If you did, then -- did you install it yourself? was the wiring the same? and are you pleased with the RS2000?

Many thanks, takepride.
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:01 PM   #7
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Duwain:

I actually went from the Freedom to a RS3000 that was "fried" when the Surge Guard failed to stop a spike. However, Xantrex quickly offered to replace it at no charge. At the time, they were out of stock on the RS3000 and sent an RS2000 to use until they were available.

They did ask me why I wanted such a big inverter. I explained my power hungry coach (residential reefer, computers, satellite, etc.) and that I also plan on adding even more solar. I wanted something as robust as possible. The price difference was only about $75. I couldn't explain however, the most important point, I wanted it because Frank has it (I know, what a lemming).

The RS 2000 has worked out great (6 months) with no problems. Everything works as advertised and moving from modified sine wave to true sine wave cured problems I was having with my TV, my reefer, my computer and my convection oven.

I still have to collect on the replacement RS3000, now that they are available again.

The installation is not difficult. It did require a new control panel and AGS, and they required pulling some wires (cables). Everything is "plug and play".

The biggest issue I had was that I wanted to reclaim the space where it sat, on the floor, in the bin just forward of the rear wheels. I installed two angle brackets between frame members and it now sits up, between the rails, just under the floor.

After removing the various covers, that bin now passes all the way through (though with the cord reel on one side of the other end) and I'll be adding a sliding tray at some point. Lots more storage.

Good luck, you'll be very happy you dumped the old one!
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:10 PM   #8
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Takepride,

Another advantage with the RS3000 is that it will charge at a higher rate. I was going to have WRV change mine while it was there, as it was a "trade job" and I wouldn't be stuck with an old one to sell. I have too much old (1 year old) stuff now. I still would like to put one in, it would charge our 8 house batteries quicker, but it is low on my priority list.

Dale
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Old 06-24-2008, 08:26 PM   #9
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Dale:

You're right! I'd forgotten about that reason and now recall that I'd forgotten it when I explained it to the Xantrex tech. It's actually a very good reason, especially when generator fuel is pricey and a quicker charge is important when dry camping.

Combined with AGM batteries, the charge rate is amazing. Well worth $75 just for that.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:11 PM   #10
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Do you think loose connections (WRV) caused the failure? Should those internal connections be checked for tightness? Guess I should read up on mine to determine which model and what I need to do to keep it happy. I do know that the inverter must be turned off, even if you power off the coach (12V side) it will continue to run.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:56 PM   #11
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Old:

Yes the inverter does continue to run. It is "isolated" from the chassis, so turning off the engine does not affect the coach side. However, my solar (100 watts) keeps my (all)batteries charged, one florescent light running for security and my reefer without any help. But if I am dry camping, I occasionally need to run the generator to recharge everything that I've used up.

While dry camping in winter with daily overcast, I'll turn off the inverter when I go to bed. The reefer stays plenty cold and of course most of the lighting still works.

If you plug in while stored, keep the inverter on to keep the batteries charged.

The new coaches came with the RS2000 and is apparently very adequate. As to tightening connections, I don't think opening the inverter is a good idea. Checking the connections to the inverter is a good idea.
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Old 06-24-2008, 10:29 PM   #12
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Takepride,

I wish my coach only needed occasional running of the generator while dry camping to charge the batteries. Somewhere in the 05 to 06 range the power drain on the system has gone up a lot.

I am not sure what all connection to the inverter you are referring to and actually I think that opening at least the 115v connection panel would be a good Idea. After seeing all of the other loose connections in the 115v system, this would be some connections that I would be suspect of. I will check those tomorrow on our coach. In my years of repair, loose connections caused a lot of damage, causing burnt wires and connectors. Make sure that the inverter is powered down or disconnect the 12v ground to it, as it is not on any disconnect switch from the batteries.

Dale
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