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Old 05-31-2020, 05:51 PM   #1
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Unhappy Solar/Lithium - rig is dead any suggestions

Hi guys,

All of the parts of this story have complex back stories but here is the main situation. Bought a new travel trailer, imagine 2670mk, had some nice mods done before we took delivery - two weeks ago - the gopower 570W solar kit with 3000 inverter and 4 lithium batteries. We did not get much info from the dealership on the solar other than handing us the manuals, but we like to read manuals anyway (but havent yet) It took us 2 days to get it home, we parked it in a storage lot. I have to move it, it is totally completely dead. The worst thing is I can not get the front jack to move so I can hitch it up, but also no lights etc. The dealership told me to plug the electricty in to my truck which I did - still dead. The first thing I did was check the batter cutoff - it is "on". I am considering buying a generator to charge the batteries (if that even works) and then I could take it to a dealership. I do have an extended warranty but cant find the paperwork, it is probably with the manuals in the trailer behind a slide and unreachable.

Tomorrow I think I will need to call a mobile rv tech - do you have any suggestions before I do that .............and............how do you call a RV Tech?

Any advice would be appreciated,

Cindy
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Old 05-31-2020, 07:53 PM   #2
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Your idea to connect a generator is a good one. Make sure the AC, other electric appliances are off and you should see some progress in charging it up.

Your tow vehicle may not have a charge / 12v line at the plug for the trailer - these are sometimes left out, or may have a blown fuse.

Iíve had the best luck finding RV repair through recommendations from folks I know. Your storage lot probably can help there.

Last, do not tow this on the street until you get the batteries charged; the breakaway switch that activates the brakes if things go wrong uses battery power to apply the brakes and minimize the problem.

Having just written this, I am thinking that you might have pulled the breakaway switch by mistake when you parked the trailer (it is new to you, after all). This is something that would kill the batteries overnight, certainly.

Hope this helps!!

Mike
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:25 PM   #3
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You can also charge the batteries with jumper cables from your truck battery. If I remember right. I read somewhere it takes more charge current to charge lithium batteries from being completely drained. If they are good batteries like battle born they have a built in battery management system (BMS) to keep them from being completely drained. Good luck.
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Old 05-31-2020, 08:56 PM   #4
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Every suggestion is appreciated. My lithium batteries are somewhat built in to my storage area and not easy to access. I dont think I pulled the breakaway switch but that is the kind of bone head move I am expecting to discover - I will check
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:35 AM   #5
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sorry for the problem, it's got to be frustrating. but it is resolvable!

i think i would take a deep breath and then get some data to assess the situation. get the dc voltage reading from the batteries. this will tell you if the batteries are charged or not. assuming those lithium batteries were charged when you picked up the trailer they should not be anywhere near discharged in such a short period of time unless they had a load on them. the brake away switch is a possibility. possibly the heater or vent fans left on. but if the batteries show they are charged then there is another problem. it could be the disconnect switch, the resettable circuit breaker, or even a cable that came loose during the trip home (this actually happened to us). one thing you might be able to try also is to hook up jumper cables from your truck to the lithium batteries and then see if you jack / lights work.

if you call a mobile rv tech interview him on the phone to see if he understands electrical problems. you don't need a guy who knows wheel bearings but not electrical circuits.

let us know what the resolution is. i have a feeling it is going to be one of those problems that is difficult to diagnose and then super simply to correct. i doubt that anything is damaged.
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Old 06-01-2020, 07:45 AM   #6
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Does your system have a meter/shunt installed? Every system should IMO.
Do you actually know the voltage at the batteries/charger?

If you could include pics of the schematics/batteries/etc. it would make it easier to help you troubleshoot.

Good luck.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:26 AM   #7
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The most frequent issue with new TT's and new owners is leaving appliances on when parked in storage. This is not as simple as it sounds in some TT's.

Of course any device could be and do get left "on". However, many things in a high end TT's use 12 volt power when they appear to be "off".

Next is the main "off" switch that some TT's have. When shut "off', some appliances stay "on". Most notably is the propane detector, but other things have been know to be always "on".

You said the battery disconnect switch was "on", but you did not say if it was "on" when you stored it. I assume it is a switch near the batteries that actually disconnects everything. That would be the second disconnect switch is some TT's.

You may need to read the manuals to learn how the new EMS and solar work. You may also need to find out from the dealer how the solar was wired in.

If it were me, I would get a digital volt meter from my local hardware store and begin tracing and testing to figure out how everything works.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:29 AM   #8
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Electric Jacks

There is probably a jack handle for the electric jack stored somewhere in the TT you can use to operate the jack with out 12 volt power.
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Old 06-01-2020, 08:37 AM   #9
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"If" the batteries are actually dead (most likely low voltage disconnect), not knowing the brand of lfp batteries they are most likely in protective mode from the bms.

With 570w of solar how come that's not charging the batteries, under covered storage?

Was the inverter left on, not knowing what you have and mine as an example my 3000w inverter will draw 48ah in 24 hrs just at idle. "If" your batteries are 100ah each in 7 day low voltage will happen and if the bms protects the batteries they shut themselves down.

More information is needed of the system to properly help other than throwing stuff at a wall to see what sticks.
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Old 06-01-2020, 10:56 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rcadventures View Post
... Bought a new travel trailer, .....
Cindy

Welcome to the forum. Part of the process is sharing your mistakes so others can learn. First mistake is buying a new RV. Your first RV is a learning experience and hopefully not an expensive one.

Before buying an RV you should buy a 12v test light, DVM, and power meter.
Then you should make the dealer show you how everything works by measuring with your tools.

This is when you find they only know how sell you thing you do not need.

The purpose of solar is to tell people you have solar. More often than not it does not work and when it does it does not work very well.

The purpose of lithium batteries is to spend 10 times what most do for GC2 batteries so you can heat coffee in a microwave at a rest stop.

The traditional way of charging batteries is with the 12v alternator on your engine. An hour of driving would keep batteries charged until you plug in
at a campground.

If you are going to dry camp for any length of time you need a generator.

The purpose of your generator is to brag to others about your expensive generator.

I bought a $88 Harbor Freight generator 6 years ago. It charge batteries, run the frig, and a TV so you can not hear the generator. Works for that purpose better than solar.

I have now owned two vintage MH that were new to me. I have learned to keep Onan generators running. The f basic design flaw is they are designed to run two air conditioners and just charging batteries does not put a large enough load on them. My Onan is installed such that only oil and air filters can be changed with out pulling the generator out of the MH. Too much work to keep it in top condition for infrequent use.

Just bought this as a backup: https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Power...-p/71-5999.htm


I bought it because of the price, size for storage in the MH basement, and it can be lifted by one person if they do not have a bad back.

I ran half a gallon of gas through it and changed the oil. It holds voltage and frequency at full load.

A word about generator reviews. They are all BS including Consumer Reports. For the price of small generators these days it does not make much sense to run 25 to destruction to test quality and reliability.

For charge batteries, you do not need fancy.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:25 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by followingsea View Post
Welcome to the forum. Part of the process is sharing your mistakes so others can learn. First mistake is buying a new RV. Your first RV is a learning experience and hopefully not an expensive one.

Before buying an RV you should buy a 12v test light, DVM, and power meter.
Then you should make the dealer show you how everything works by measuring with your tools.

This is when you find they only know how sell you thing you do not need.

The purpose of solar is to tell people you have solar. More often than not it does not work and when it does it does not work very well.

The purpose of lithium batteries is to spend 10 times what most do for GC2 batteries so you can heat coffee in a microwave at a rest stop.

The traditional way of charging batteries is with the 12v alternator on your engine. An hour of driving would keep batteries charged until you plug in
at a campground.

If you are going to dry camp for any length of time you need a generator.

The purpose of your generator is to brag to others about your expensive generator.

I bought a $88 Harbor Freight generator 6 years ago. It charge batteries, run the frig, and a TV so you can not hear the generator. Works for that purpose better than solar.

I have now owned two vintage MH that were new to me. I have learned to keep Onan generators running. The f basic design flaw is they are designed to run two air conditioners and just charging batteries does not put a large enough load on them. My Onan is installed such that only oil and air filters can be changed with out pulling the generator out of the MH. Too much work to keep it in top condition for infrequent use.

Just bought this as a backup: https://www.rvupgradestore.com/Power...-p/71-5999.htm


I bought it because of the price, size for storage in the MH basement, and it can be lifted by one person if they do not have a bad back.

I ran half a gallon of gas through it and changed the oil. It holds voltage and frequency at full load.

A word about generator reviews. They are all BS including Consumer Reports. For the price of small generators these days it does not make much sense to run 25 to destruction to test quality and reliability.

For charge batteries, you do not need fancy.
If you can't help the original problem the OP asked about why bother giving your standard opinion on solar. I'm surprised you didn't add in the stick and brick properties you own just to make more useless noise in a thread.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
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Welcome to the forum. Part of the process is sharing your mistakes so others can learn. First mistake is buying a new RV. Your first RV is a learning experience and hopefully not an expensive one.
There is nothing inherently wrong with buying a new RV. It's the appropriate choice for many buyers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by followingsea View Post
The purpose of solar is to tell people you have solar. More often than not it does not work and when it does it does not work very well.

The purpose of lithium batteries is to spend 10 times what most do for GC2 batteries so you can heat coffee in a microwave at a rest stop.
I'm writing this while sitting in an air-conditioned RV, in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no hookups, no need to run the generator, and no desire to go to a park. Our solar serves us very well, hasn't had any issues, and we can't imagine going back to a rig without it. Our lithium bank replaces what would be literally a ton of GC2s once you account for Peukert's law.

I'm telling you I have solar, sure; I can heat coffee in the microwave at a rest stop, sure; but your claims that it usually doesn't work and when it does work that it doesn't work well, are entirely baseless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by followingsea View Post
The traditional way of charging batteries is with the 12v alternator on your engine. An hour of driving would keep batteries charged until you plug in
at a campground.
You aren't going to bulk charge off an alternator. Most are limited to 30A, or less, through the fused 7-pin connection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by followingsea View Post
If you are going to dry camp for any length of time you need a generator.

The purpose of your generator is to brag to others about your expensive generator.

I bought a $88 Harbor Freight generator 6 years ago. It charge batteries, run the frig, and a TV so you can not hear the generator. Works for that purpose better than solar.
I could go on, but it sounds like you either had a poor experience with solar because you cheaped out on it, or are trying to justify your decision not to buy it. Whichever it is, it isn't relevant to this thread.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:45 AM   #13
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If a mobile repair hasn't been called, rent a generator from HomeDepot or similar for $100. Let it charge the batteries for a couple hours. During that time, get a handheld multi meter and check the TV plug for a constant 12Vdc source, the jack will work and the trailer can be connected to the TV, and the slides will work so the manuals can be accessed. Spend the rest of the time with the manuals.

Once it has charged enough, tow it home and plug it in.
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:37 PM   #14
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Thank you for the ideas. The camper is in the open and gets lots of sunshine until the last 2 days it was a bit cloudy.
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