RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > RV SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGIES FORUMS > RV Systems & Appliances
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 12-05-2017, 11:12 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 25
Xantrex HFS Charging/Solar Issues

This is a last ditch effort at a solution before I bite the bullet and call in the mobile RV guy to try and fix a system I paid several thousand dollars to the dealer for that has never worked correctly.

I had a solar panel system installed on our TT when we bought it but it's never worked correctly. It was some months before we were boondocking and attempted to use the inverter for the first time. When we did it fried the batteries, the TV and the Inverter/Charger. The dealer replaced all the fried components free of charge including an upgraded newer inverter/charger.

First time out after, we hooked up to shore power and before long got an E10, overcharge, on the display. Everything seemed to be actually working and we didn't have much choice so we just carried on. Same overcharge when hooked up at home.

Again some time passed until this Thanksgiving before dry camping. The inverter seemed to be working fine until after a couple of hours the low voltage alarm went off. We only have the TV and one power outlet with a cell phone charger on inverter power. We had originally been told we could go for 2-3 days. We're in Central Texas where lack of sun is not normally an issue. I hooked up to the truck and ran the engine for a while. Brought the charge up some but not to a full 12 volts. Spent the rest of the day turning the truck off and on as the low voltage alarm kept going off.

Being rather fed up with the dealer and hoping not to have to drag the trailer back down there yet again I've been attempting to try and solve the problem myself. I have little technical knowledge, so consulted the RV.Net forum. After several posts and replies and an additional confirming conversation on the phone with a local mobile RV tech, the consensus was that the OEM converter and the Xantrex converter both charging at the same time was the most likely cause. On advice, I disconnected the "converter pos" black lead inside the OEM converter/breaker unit and connected to shore power. No overcharge but again the battery ran low. The read out hovers between 11.3 last night to 11.7 this morning. I have unplugged the TV so it is not even drawing standby power. There is nothing else running except the stereo unit on standby which I can't turn completely off. That shouldn't be drawing much to worry about anyway.

The system is:
2x6 volt AGM batteries
150W solar panel
Xantrex HFS 1055.
2015 27' Jayco Whitehawk Summit.

Here is a link to photos of the battery wiring and the Xantrex. https://www.dropbox.com/s/j3etcsh3fb...erter.jpg?dl=0

Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
__________________

littlesonny is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-05-2017, 11:34 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
PJStough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 843
Wow, those are serious problems! What do you have for a charge controller, and what do you have for a display?

Your 150 watt solar panel will only put out about 8 amps or 9 amps at 13.5 volts which should not over load any battery.

I cant imagine how such a small solar panel could fry anything. One thing I thought about is that your onboard charger should be shut off when you have the inverter on so as to prevent it from trying to charge the batteries through the inverter.

If you are plugged into shore power, and have the inverter off, so it is not inverting, but the charging section is on, the combination of the two charging sources should not be a problem.

Also, a 12 volt battery, that shows less than 12 volts with no load, is essentially a dead battery.

Hope this helps.
__________________

__________________
Paul & Ann Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J
http://stoughrvadventure.blogspot.com/
PJStough is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2017, 02:50 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 679
Xantrex HFS Charging/Solar Issues

What solar controller do you have and what voltage is it set for, for equalization?

I have a Zantrex HFS 2000 and I get a E10 code when my Morningstar charge controller goes in equalization mode, 15.7 V, temp compensated.

I know you have AGM batteries and mine are CG. Both your Zantrex and charge controller need to be configured for AGM.
__________________
2012 Dodge C3500 DRW 4x4 Long Box, WeatherGuard 90 Gal transfer tank, B&W Companion Hitch
2012 Keystone Montana 3100RL, 520W Solar, 460AH batteries, Morningstar MPPT 45 CC, Bogart 2030RV monitor.
drdarrin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-05-2017, 04:46 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Apache Junction, Az
Posts: 828
Are the inverter/charger and solar controller setup correctly for your batteries? is Number 1.
The inverter itself uses about 5 amps. Now for every 1 Amp AC this equals to 10 Amps DC.
What type, qty. fort batteries do you have?
__________________
Dale&Susan, 08 Alfa Gold, DaGirlsRv Blog
2015 F-150XLT_1600W Solar_880 AmpHr
Magnum_MS2812
gatorcq is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 08:08 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 25
Thanks for the responses. As listed in the OP and shown in the photos linked to I have 2 6 volt AGM batteries connected in series.

I'm pretty sure it wasn't the solar panel that fried the first installation but something incorrect with the installation itself. What exactly I don't know. The dealer never told me.

The on board charger has been disconnected which seems to have cured the overcharging. The problem now is not enough charge, which was the other side of the problem.

The Xantrex Inverter/Charger has been set for AGM batteries. Not having a clue what the other settings should be and as a suggestion in the manual I went to the default settings and then changed just the battery type assuming that would also change whatever settings were required for that type.

A controller for the solar panel has been mentioned a couple of times. I have no idea if I even have one as such or where it would be if I did. I have been under the impression that the Xantrex Freedom HFS being both a charger and an inverter handled the output from the solar.

The next suggestion that has been made is to check the voltage being fed to the Xantrex. I'll be doing that sometime today.
littlesonny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 08:23 AM   #6
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,706
I'm confident as you continue to educate yourself you will be able to fix this yourself.

You need a meter/shunt. Without this you are guessing about your batteries.

Most problems that include, " system never really worked right " are voltage drop caused by insufficient wiring.

Follow the wires from the solar panel if possible. It would really help to see pics of the batteries, charger, etc.

Many of us put the built in converter (or inverter/charger) on it's own AC breaker so that it can be turned off when running on solar.


In the first post; Did you disconnect your converter and then plug into shore power? If your batteries aren't fully charged and you do this you could expect even a functioning small solar system to show low batteries.
__________________
1996 Tioga Class C
400 amp/hrs solar, Trimetric
Retire 2020 GLW
okcnewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 09:20 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
PJStough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 843
It sounds like you may not have a solar controller which could account for the over voltage issue. A lot of solar panels put out higher voltages, some up around 48 volts, but the amperage is low. For example, a 150 watt panel could put out 48 volts at 3.25 amps, and it is the job of the solar controller to reduce the voltage to around 13.2 volts to 15.x volts with the commensurate increase in amps. for example, 150 watts/13.2 volts=11.37 amps.

BTW, I have 600 watts of solar, and a Progressive Dynamics 60 amp converter/charger, and I run them most of the time at the same time with no over charging, or high voltage issues.
__________________
Paul & Ann Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J
http://stoughrvadventure.blogspot.com/
PJStough is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-06-2017, 11:03 AM   #8
Senior Member/RVM #90
 
MSHappyCampers's Avatar


 
Monaco Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Columbus, MS
Posts: 32,849
Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Sorry I can't help with the problem! Keep her between the ditches!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
__________________
Joe & Annette

2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
MSHappyCampers is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 12:15 AM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 25
okcnewbie: From the OP- Here is a link to photos of the battery wiring and the Xantrex. https://www.dropbox.com/s/j3etcsh3fb...erter.jpg?dl=0

The on board converter is ganged at the breaker to "utility". What "utility" is I don't know. I was told the converter might still be drawing current even though the breaker was switched off which is why I should try disconnecting it.

Yes, I had shore power disconnected when I disconnected the OEM converter. then plugged shore power back in. I assumed that the Xantrex would then charge the batteries from shore power which is what the manual says it would do. Don't understand what the solar panel would have to do with it at that point.

I've been under the impression that the solar panel runs through the Xantrex and would supply charging current to the batteries and act as some sort of control device as well as being a link between shore power and batteries. I believe I need to see if I can check the voltage coming into the Xantrex from the shore power but it's been a really miserable weather day and I haven't gone out there yet. Seems like I should also check the voltage from the solar but I haven't figured out which cables make that connection. Again see, link to photos of the battery wiring and the Xantrex. https://www.dropbox.com/s/j3etcsh3fb...erter.jpg?dl=0
littlesonny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 12:39 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
vsheetz's Avatar


 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: SoCal
Posts: 13,562
You have a minimal capacity solar and battery system. I would not expect the solar to be capable of much more than battery maintenance when in storage. Its not a boondocking capable system. No way 2-3 days without charging. Imho.

My previous RV had 600w of solar and four 6v wet batteries. My current RV has 1500w solar system and six 6v wet batteries.
__________________
Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
vsheetz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 05:26 AM   #11
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,706
How close is the Inverter/charger to the batteries?
Could you add a pic of the fuse for the inverter? Between the battery and the Inverter.
Your Inverter does not have an input for the solar panel.

I'm only seeing one tiny photo of the inverter. I didn't see any photos of the batteries, etc.
__________________
1996 Tioga Class C
400 amp/hrs solar, Trimetric
Retire 2020 GLW
okcnewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 10:30 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 25
OKCNewbie: I'll sort out the size of the photos I linked to later this afternoon.
The inverter is something like six feet from the battery bank.

vsheetstz: I have a 27' Jayco Whitehawk TT. Not a full blown RV motorhome. The only thing run off the inverter are two outlets, one for the TV and one general outlet to run a cell phone charger or a laptop. When boondocking the only other electrical things are the lights. Water heater and fridge are on propane. A/C and microwave can not be used.

What was explained to me at the time of the original installation is that the batteries when fully charged would be sufficient to run the TV for a few hours, like to watch a game or a movie, and charge a cell phone. The solar panel was supposed to be enough to recharge the batteries, assuming sunlight, after a few hours during the day. It would not be a limitless time frame but depending on how many amps we drew would be enough to run for two or three days. I expected to at least be able to watch a game or a movie for 3-4 hours at night and have the batteries recharge to near full if not completely full the next day. BTW, the batteries are both 192amp,which I understand is the total amperage for both since they are in series, the totally amperage being equal to one not two added together.
littlesonny is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 10:37 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
PJStough's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 843
What do you have for a solar controller?

What are the specs on your solar panel, or the make and model number?
__________________
Paul & Ann Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J
http://stoughrvadventure.blogspot.com/
PJStough is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-07-2017, 11:58 AM   #14
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,706
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlesonny View Post
....What was explained to me at the time of the original installation is that the batteries when fully charged would be sufficient to run the TV for a few hours, like to watch a game or a movie, and charge a cell phone. The solar panel was supposed to be enough to recharge the batteries, assuming sunlight, after a few hours during the day........
When you get this working you will be able to do that for sure. Keep in mind that even the propane items use DC (except stove)
Start the trip with charged batteries;
5hrs of TV (50 WATT) = 15 - 20 amp/hrs
5hrs of lights = 15 - 20 amp/hrs
5hrs of sun = 50amp/hrs or more.
So during the day if all you were doing is watching TV your batteries would stay 100%.
TV 's seem to use less then rated watts IMO.
__________________

__________________
1996 Tioga Class C
400 amp/hrs solar, Trimetric
Retire 2020 GLW
okcnewbie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
charging, solar, xantrex



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Has anyone installed Xantrex HFS 2000W CountryFit iRV2.com General Discussion 34 06-13-2016 09:07 PM
Xantrex 2021 Freedom 458--charging both chassis & Coach Ron and Marsha Tiffin Motorhomes Owners Forum 4 10-12-2012 05:00 PM
Xantrex panel charging amps JLMunsil Alpine Coach Owner's Forum 14 09-06-2011 10:52 PM
Xantrex 2000W Inverter/Charger only charging at 13.3v? David Bott RV Systems & Appliances 23 01-30-2011 06:52 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:20 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.