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IMPORTANT: Inspect your inverter wiring. Missing Chassis Ground cable.


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I changed out my Xantrex 2000 watt inverter due to a warranty claim. I found that the required Chassis Ground cable was never installed.

 

It’s the small center terminal between the two large Positive and Negative battery cables, between the two cooling fans. You can just reach in with your hand and feel for a heavy gage wire there, or use a small inspection mirror.

 

D3DB5E8F-D9AD-407C-8D10-7931545564B1.thumb.jpeg.199db286617476d42475df4930862c52.jpeg

 

The installation manual specifically requires a BIG cable here, minimum size 8AWG which is pretty hefty. They suggest that one the same size as the other two cables be used. There is a potential danger of shock (“Death or severe injury”) if the unit should fail without a chassis ground. Max load is 250 amps for this unit. That is a heck of a lot of current, so huge wires are required.

 

I used a pair of 4 AWG battery cables and installed crimped and soldered terminals. You can make a cable yourself, if you have the skills and knowledge. If you don’t feel OK about this, a professionally crimped cable should be installed.

 

I ran the cables forward to the battery box support column, using a 5/16” bolt and self locking nut. I used an existing hole that was missing it’s hardware.  ;( That support is welded at the bottom to the left main frame rail, so it is an excellent ground point.

 

I alerted Oliver Service and requested that they issue a service bulletin and send out cables as needed to all affected owners.

 

Here is my fix:

 

7826BBC4-D68F-4B26-845D-6A13E8C83248.thumb.jpeg.e74e5435b409fb246369193bf6a1d4b1.jpeg

60E74F69-109A-46F8-A262-8167AAE67298.thumb.jpeg.72ac590e5aa83ecfecf35dabc99dbac0.jpeg

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IMG_7118.thumb.jpg.115c0334f67b6ca5f4cf117432d885cf.jpg

 

Please inspect your inverter ASAP and respond here, and submit a Service Request if needed.

 

[attachment file=Xantrex Chassis Ground 01.png]

[attachment file=Xantrex Chassis Ground 02.png]

 

Install Manual: http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Power-Inverters/PROwatt-SW/975-0529-01-01_Rev-B(PROWatt%20SW%20Inverter%20NA).pdf

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

Xantrex-Chassis-Ground-01.thumb.png.f383c041f0d92270d10e22e52d79c591.png

Xantrex-Chassis-Ground-02.thumb.png.4eaa081a7e95892a769c0e3285957fa8.png

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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John,

 

 

 

Nice work.  But it's better to not solder the terminal connections.  The best is to crimp only.  This is because if the connection ever gets hot enough to melt the solder, the connection immediately fails completely. I have had this happen and was told very clearly when making up some welding cables to crimp only.   With the connection crimped, it will continue to work up to the melting point of copper.

 

If you are worried about corrosion, you can dip the cable end in No-Lox or equivalent before you crimp it.

 

In your case the cables seem big enough that they will never get very hot so it should not be a problem.

John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Thanks guys. I did crimp very solidly before soldering - even if the solder runs completely out, the joint will not fail. I do not have a hydraulic crimper, just one of these:

 

IMG_7099.thumb.jpg.d878880d1045a76672c9177ad2bf5e42.jpg

IMG_7100.thumb.jpg.7f248b76720673fa7a827d0da85020fc.jpg

 

They are not pretty crimps, but they are solid, and I have done a lot of battery/ winch cables this way with no issues.

 

How much is a professional crimper?

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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$40-$50 on Amazon. I can’t remember which one I got but I suspect that apart from the super expensive ones they’re all generic Chinese tools with different branding. The one I got was definitely high enough quality for the 50 or so crimps I had to do when swapping out my electrical. Also came in handy when making cables for a dual battery setup in the truck and for my portable winch.

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Thanks John. Just checked my 2018, #365, and it has the ground wire. 1st picture is with the looming on. 2nd with the looming pulled back. 3rd picture shows attachment to the ground block under the aft side dinette seat (foward of the battery box).

 

I think I’ll check ground on the 120 for my hot water heater next!

B543B11F-D9A5-4490-B6E3-EC9ADE62EBAD.thumb.jpeg.dd3a0b340f81432c37bb8c11feecacb9.jpeg

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2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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Thanks for the heads up J.D. I checked today, #359 is just as RnA above, #365. All is well here.

 

John D, I have the same crimper. It has served me well, from large 2/0 down to about #8, I've never had an issue, lugs stay tight, and I don't see a need to upgrade the hydraulic crimp . I've got more tools than I need as it is.

 

 

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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I suspect that John's missing ground is just another example of poor quality control on the early 200's.  I think Oliver should probably issue a service bulletin on this so that owners know to check.

 

Speaking of missing electrical bits - John, I'm curious if your trailer came with fuse blocks and disconnects for the batteries or solar.  Mine did not, and I don't know if that was because it was delivered unfinished or if it was Oliver's choice to omit them.  I was told that they felt they were unnecessary, but then I was told a lot of things and I've seen some recent trailers that at least have a fuse block in place.  IMO, it's unsafe to work on the electrical without both disconnects in place and not safe at all without a fuse block on the battery and a fuse or breaker on the solar.

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A missing ground wire is also the cause of the tow not charging the trailer through the 7 pin plug.  Reed and I looked into this and found it missing on both of our trailers. #200 and # 92.  I wrote about this a while back as something everyone should look at.  Make sure you are charging from the tow, and if not, look for the missing ground wire that attaches to the ground lug below the rear dinette seat.   I also called Oliver and was assured the problem was fixed before hull 200.  They knew about it and it had been fixed.  Not so.

 

This is a different wire than from the inverter, it's the tow vehicle negative that is in the seven pin plug and must go to the trailer ground lug in order to charge and have correct brake operation.

 

This missing ground wire seems to be the cause of Brake controller warnings too.  The ground, actually the negative wire, is not completing the circuit back to the tow and the brakes are apparently grounding through the trailer ball.  It sort of works, but throws a warning on the controller.

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John


"I only exaggerate enough to compensate for being taken with a grain of salt."


LE2 #92 (sold),   Black Series HQ19   

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Speaking of missing electrical bits – John, I’m curious if your trailer came with fuse blocks and disconnects for the batteries or solar. Mine did not, and I don’t know if that was because it was delivered unfinished or if it was Oliver’s choice to omit them. I was told that they felt they were unnecessary, but then I was told a lot of things and I’ve seen some recent trailers that at least have a fuse block in place. IMO, it’s unsafe to work on the electrical without both disconnects in place and not safe at all without a fuse block on the battery and a fuse or breaker on the solar.

 

No disconnects or fuses, unless they are hidden away. Are you trying to make me lose sleep?

 

My external solar port was wired poorly, unsecured and unprotected wires, directly to the battery, no fuse. I told Oliver about it and they seemed unconcerned that there was an unprotected hot wire. “The external panel you plug in has a fuse to protect the wires...” Yeah, but what about the trailer wires? The Furion install instructions require a 10 amp fuse near the house battery. But they did send me the parts and I crimped the holder in place in the battery compartment. I don’t know if they started adding fuses during the build process.

 

At some point you just get tired of thinking about this stuff, you have to take a deep breath and go camping.....

 

I still want pics and the full story behind your tongue jack and offroad hitch. Can you please start a new thread about them?

 

Thanks,

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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You can just reach in with your hand and feel for a heavy gage wire there, or use a small inspection mirror.

 

Sorry to be obtuse, but I want to check for this wire and am unsure of the location of our inverter. Before I move the bed and bedding, I 'd like to know if I can find it under the driver's side bed or rear dinette seat. Thanks.

Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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Spike - On my EII it is located on the port (left) side, access hatch on right (bed area) as you face the window.  The ground connection will be on the forward facing end towards the bottom. A flashlight comes in handy., you can see it very plainly.

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Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"
ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201

 

 

 

 

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On my unit, 2018 #365, it is located under the driver's side rear dinette.  Just aft of the battery box and pantry.  Vertically on the bulkhead.  The wires are located to the front of the trailer.

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2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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located under the driver’s side rear dinette.  Just aft of the battery box and pantry.  Vertically on the bulkhead.

 

Unless our Oliver is very much unlike yours, "aft of the battery box and pantry" would not place the inverter "under the driver's side rear dinette" but under the bed. What am I missing here?

Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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I have the Standard floor plan so that area is the Rear Dinette.  You must have the Twin. :)   If so then it would be under the driver's side Bed for you.  Also just above the driver's side rear tire for another reference point. - Randy

2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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I don’t have the inverter ground wire on hull 208 (2017). I don’t think that it should be attached to the DC negative buss bar, should it? But instead to the frame ground bolt under the rear dinette seat? Wouldn’t it be bad to have the inverter short internally and dump 120 AC volts directly to the batteries? I’m trying to figure if (especially due to solar charging) the DC negative should be completely separate from any AC grounds. Anyway, to be determined.

 

In answer to the switch and breaker question, Steve (ScubaRx) and I installed Blue Sky solar equipment on my trailer and when Oliver installed the rooftop panels I asked them to install a disconnect switch and a 30 amp breaker/switch. Something like this should be in line for maintenance/safety.  The switch disconnects the panels from the solar controller and the breaker is between the controller and the batteries. See photo.

C4082E59-04B4-4433-B994-F0C6FCDD7121.thumb.jpeg.34a4635e5cea33f72107b3f9a8c6277b.jpeg

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You must have the Twin.

 

Indeed we do. I guess the direction "aft" threw me off.

 

Just found the inverter under the driver's side twin bed--which I would consider aft of the battery box and pantry. I inspected the area to which John Davies alerted us with my iPhone on flash, which revealed, it seems, that all is well with the chassis ground cable:

 

IMG_7284.thumb.jpg.91ea668d8bbc869b1b046cd5a6bd31b0.jpg

 

The ground connection was found, as BackofBeyond suggested it would be, on the forward facing end.

 

Thanks, everyone, for  help with this.

Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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I don’t have the inverter ground wire on hull 208 (2017).

 

Perhaps, since I found it on mine--Hull 222 (2017)--Oliver started installing them sometime between the construction of Hulls 208 and 222?

Onward through the Fog!


EarthPicks of Cochise County


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Spike, it’s great that yours is installed, but not so great that there is a 1/2” eye terminal on a 1/4” stud. The actual metal-to-metal contact area is perhaps 30% of what it should be. It may be OK, but you should add 1/4 stainless flat washers on either side of the eyelet. EDIT, DO NOT DO THIS, SEE POST 499 below here. Or better yet, consider having a correctly sized one crimped on the end of the cable.

 

C6D77F30-324D-453A-B0E6-FF45512F213C.thumb.jpeg.273b985ff743f278aa1dc4854c3e9496.jpeg

 

Having a great big hole hugely reduces the area for current to flow, not good when you are expecting it to carry a very high amp overload in an emergency.... a 1/4 stud needs a 1/4 eye. In addition, the connection is much more likely to get loose from vibration since there is so much room for the terminal eye to shift sideways. Unfortunately the tech who installed your cable did not understand this.

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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3rd picture shows attachment to the ground block under the aft side dinette seat (foward of the battery box).

I really don’t like that the big cable is inserted into the ground bus like that. It is a marginal connection at best. It is acceptable for low current draw wires. But not ideal, even there....

 

472EAB90-618B-49B7-BE10-EA65F697DCA4.thumb.jpeg.6d96189b8ae81b243a4a5834b9cad9ef.jpeg

 

Ring terminal size & shape. The “flag” or “ring” of the lug that attaches to a terminal comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Lugs that provide a large surface area reduce resistance and the possibility of digging into soft lead battery terminals. Some breakers and inverters may need a smaller-size ring to fit on their terminals.

 

Avoid using set-screw-type compression lugs with finely stranded cable. Under pressure, the fine strands can twist and break off. The high number of strands makes the flexible cable’s connection “soft,” resulting in a connection that will be difficult to get tight and could potentially become loose over time. 

 

https://www.homepower.com/articles/solar-electricity/design-installation/inverter-battery-cables?v=print

 

At the very least, make sure your cable is tightly secured with nylon ties so it cannot flop around at the bus and weaken. It really ought to have a proper eye terminal and a separate ground point. If you don’t do anything about it, try to remember to check the screw for tightness every year.

 

I REALLY hope I am not sounding like a doom monger, talking so much about wire connections, but less than ideal wiring can literally cause fires. It takes no more effort to install a wire correctly during manufacture. Fixing incorrect wiring is time consuming, expensive and frankly a PITA....

 

These are a much better choice than what Oliver and the RV industry is using:

 

51ED46FD-6B44-435F-8B8E-E1BBECE04297.thumb.jpeg.06573abcffb1edb1c31ce4c2e728619a.jpeg

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I don’t have the inverter ground wire on hull 208 (2017). I don’t think that it should be attached to the DC negative buss bar, should it? But instead to the frame ground bolt under the rear dinette seat? Wouldn’t it be bad to have the inverter short internally and dump 120 AC volts directly to the batteries? I’m trying to figure if (especially due to solar charging) the DC negative should be completely separate from any AC grounds. Anyway, to be determined.

 

In answer to the switch and breaker question, Steve (ScubaRx) and I installed Blue Sky solar equipment on my trailer and when Oliver installed the rooftop panels I asked them to install a disconnect switch and a 30 amp breaker/switch. Something like this should be in line for maintenance/safety. The switch disconnects the panels from the solar controller and the breaker is between the controller and the batteries. See photo.

 

Nice work on the solar.

 

Your 120v ground circuit is bonded to the frame already.  This is to give any short against the frame an easy path back to source rather than just energizing the frame waiting for you to touch it to complete the circuit.  So the potential for your batteries to see the 120v is already present when you're plugged in or running the inverter and a short occurs.

 

I'm unfamiliar with the Xantrex, but I assume that the casing is internally bonded to the 120v ground.  So the external ground is primarily/exclusively for the 12v circuit.  That is, you might ask why you need an external ground if there is an internal one which itself goes back to the frame via the 120v ground circuit.  The reason is that since the battery is connected directly to the inverter, the 12 gauge ground wire on the 120v side would be insufficient to handle a short from the 12v side, as the amperage could be much higher.  In my case, with 4 battle born batteries that can deliver 200 amps each, that's potentially 800 amps of current.  Therefore you need a heavy gauge ground cable, which should be sized to handle a current that would blow your main fuse block.  If it is too small, then the wire would melt before the fuse blows.

 

Keep that in mind when sizing your ground cable.  8awg is probably a minimum, and might be fine for shorter cables.  If, however, you're going to run it some distance before connecting it to the frame, then you might want to oversize it as John did.

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By the way, I grounded the case of my inverter directly to a negative combiner post that I had installed next to the shunt for my battery monitor.  If Oliver has a similar post on their standard setup, then that would be a good alternate grounding point.

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"It may be OK, but you should add 1/4 stainless flat washers on either side of the eyelet. Or better yet, consider having a correctly sized one crimped on the end of the cable."

 

C6D77F30-324D-453A-B0E6-FF45512F213C.jpeg

 

Having a great big hole hugely reduces the area for current to flow, not good when you are expecting it to carry a very high amp overload in an emergency…. a 1/4 stud needs a 1/4 eye. In addition, the connection is much more likely to get loose from vibration since there is so much room for the terminal eye to shift sideways. Unfortunately the tech who installed your cable did not understand this."

 

You're better off putting a lug with the correct size hole on there.  READ THIS   From Xantrex before adding washers to the terminal.  OK if it's between the nut and the lug but not between the lug and the terminal.

 

"Q: Should I put a washer between the cable terminal

and inverter, or battery connector?

 

TECH DOCTOR: NEVER put a washer between the

conductor and the connector! All the ground wires in

our cars/trucks have those star washers to make a

‘better electrical connection.’ However, that is

acceptable in this circumstance for penetration of

paint and due to the low current needs of a 14 gauge

wire. On the other hand, when you’re putting 4/0

welding cable on a 3000W inverter, and you put a

steel (high resistance) washer between the copper, tin,

or brass cable ends and connectors (lower resistance),

you create an electrical bottleneck that will get

extremely hot. I’ve seen tons of inverters in repair with

melted insulators around the DC connectors which is

a sure sign that the flat washer, or lock washer, was

placed between the connector and the cable. The lock

washer, or star washers, are intended to be in direct

contact with the bolt-head or nut to reduce the

chance of loosening."

 

http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Tech-Doctor/Universal/Tech4-Universal.pdf

 

- Randy

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2018 LE2 STD #365


2018 GMC 2500HD SLT Duramax 4x4

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I must say, you guys are really good! How come you know so much and after 62 years on this planet I am so lacking! Even looking at this stuff, I doubt I would recognize this as an incorrect connection. Clearly, I am at the mercy of Oliver folks knowing what to do when they build my Oliver and afterwards keeping a close watch on the forum for this expert advice. Pictures are really a help for amateurs like me - thank you for taking the time to clearly describe with words, pictures, links, and guidance. Is it reasonable to hire an "expert" to do an annual quality/safety inspection to hopefully catch potential problems (similar to taking my Toyota Tundra to the dealer for routine maintenance since I am not an automotive expert)? Maybe an annual trip to Hohenwald for a service department checkout (TN is a beautiful state to camp, especially in the Fall).

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KWR


2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull#444


2019 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab, 4WD, Denali, Duramax 6.6L Turbo Diesel V8 Engine with Allison 6-speed transmission

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