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Spike

Inverter Problem and Incidental Mystery

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Inverter Problem:

We are getting ready for an excursion to Flagstaff to play at the Flagstaff Folk Festival and just discovered that our Xantrex PROWatt 2000 Inverter is not functioning. We have a 2017 Oliver Elite II with solar and four Trojan AGM 6-volt batteries.

 

Disconnecting the remote switch from the unit, I cannot get the unit to turn on with the unit’s main power button. There is no display or power light. I have fooled with the GFI switches to no avail.

 

I am starting to suspect that the unit has gone bad. I plan to call the company and/or take it to my local RV shop on Monday if I have time. (We have to leave on Tuesday.) However, I am posting here to see if anyone may have an idea of something else to check.

 

I have little knowledge of the electrical system in our Ollie or of electrical systems in general, so I will need some very elementary directions and vocabulary if someone has a suggestion of checking something that might be causing the problem—other than an inverter that needs to be replaced—and how to deal with it. Might there be a fuse somewhere that needs to be replaced? Something else?

 

I am including two photos: one of the inverter inside the passenger side compartment nearest to the pantry, and one taken to the right of the inverter.

 

Incidental Mystery:

 

Seemingly incidentally, when checking the battery compartment to see if there might be a loose connection, I discovered, a cable with its end unconnected to anything extending into the compartment. It seems like it was never connected to any of the battery terminals (so it must not be related to the inverter), but I am wondering if anyone knows to what this cable may be intended to connect. Is it there for a feature not included in my Oliver II? One photo is of the end of the mystery cable; the other shows where the mystery cable exits the compartment--at the top left, above the other two wires. Can anyone solve this seemingly unrelated mystery?

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Spike -

 

I had a similar problem but I could always turn on the inverter with the button located on the main unit.  As it turned out, the problem was as simple as tightening all the connections and unplugging then re-plugging in the remote cable (the one that looks like a telephone wire).  Having said this, it is my gut feeling that your unit is fried.

 

Also, I have no idea on that battery cable.  Obviously it was attached to something at one time but it is not apparent to me from your pictures as to where.

 

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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the problem was as simple as tightening all the connections and unplugging then re-plugging in the remote cable

 

Yeah, I was hoping it was something as simple as that, but the inverter has no response when the unit's button is pushed.


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Do these pics help you any?

 

P1010177.thumb.jpg.f633b059fa7c26229a69b1871a323fc5.jpg

 

P1010178.thumb.jpg.e678e2d8e8307d0fb27a28ae02390fb9.jpg

 

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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Bill, they just make me wonder what that cable with the loop at the end is in your compartment--something not in mine. Thanks, though.


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Can you check the input voltage to the inverter?  If input voltage is good then I’d say your inverter has failed.  I had an output from the inverter problem and it turned out to be the GFCI internal to the inverter.  My inverter was fine but couldn’t get power past the GFCI.  I replaced the inverter, bought it through the Xantrex factory outlet.

 

As for your other spare wire, that is troubling to me and I’d say Jason at Oliver should be consulted.

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George and Gretchen


Gig Harbor, Wa.


Hull Number 178

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I think that cable with the loop is actually the battery watering hose.

 

You said you fooled with the GFCI switches.  Does that mean the one on the inverter and the one under the dinette?

 

From the looks of the terminal on the red cable, it has been connected to something.  Can you take a picture with the battery tray pulled out so we can see all of the battery terminals?

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Can you check the input voltage to the inverter?

 

Do you have a suggestion on how to (safely) check that?


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You said you fooled with the GFCI switches.  Does that mean the one on the inverter and the one under the dinette?

 

Yes, both.


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From the looks of the terminal on the red cable, it has been connected to something.  Can you take a picture with the battery tray pulled out so we can see all of the battery terminals?

 

I could do that, but I can tell you that there are no terminals--I checked--where it could have been connected; they are all connected to other cables and the nuts are secure.

 

OK, I just took that photo, which includes that loose cable.

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That cable is the positive feed to the inverter. The other end goes to the 250 amp ANL fuse located in the rear dinette access. Hard to see in the third picture of the batteries but it most likely should be on top of the other lug on the terminal just to the right as you're looking at the picture. Can you provide a broader view of this area. Also which battery option do you have. AGMs?

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Do you have a multimeter to test the input voltage?  The terminals are on the back end of the inverter.

 

Your picture shows the front with the GFCI and a cable plugged into it.  You access the back end from the rear seat for the dinette.  You have to pull 2 screws out to raise the lid.  The back of the inverter will be under the pantry and has a positive and a negative cable as well as a ground wire.


Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Sorry for the post overlap. I see in your latest picture that they are AGMs. The cable should be on top of the short jumper going to the rear inner battery. Who worked on this last and why?

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20190622_211650.thumb.jpg.12da9cad0c5f96ac7265d0b40ba152a8.jpg

 

This is a picture of my lead acid batteries.  The arrow point to where that cable is connected on my battery bank.

 

 

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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Looks like bhncb has you covered so I’m stepping out.

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Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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You access the back end from the rear seat for the dinette.  You have to pull 2 screws out to raise the lid.

 

I have raised that lid, but I am fairly certain that the back of end of the inverter--the whole inverter--is in the compartment shown in my first photo. There is a red and black cable attached to that back end. Isn't that how it should be?


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Yes, the whole inverter is under the bed. Check for 12v between the two large cables connected to the inverter. Also, check for 12v on either side of the main fuse (150A I think) which is under the rear most dinette seat. Open the seat hatch and look to your left. You’ll see the red No. 4 welding cables, follow them to the main fuse. I think the others are correct in that the unattached red cable in the battery compartment should be attached, but check the above voltages first.

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That cable is the positive feed to the inverter. The other end goes to the 250 amp ANL fuse located in the rear dinette access. Hard to see in the third picture of the batteries but it most likely should be on top of the other lug on the terminal just to the right as you’re looking at the picture. Can you provide a broader view of this area. Also which battery option do you have. AGMs?

 

Well, if that indeed is the positive feed to the inverter, that would explain the situation. However, I see no indication that any of the terminals had this attached. Also, when the batteries, yes AGMs (see my original post), slide all the way out on the tray, the loose cable, if connected, would not reach the terminal that you mention.

 

I think the attached photos are the best that I can get right now--one as a broader view, and the other more towards the back of the tray.

 

I could, I suppose, attach this loose cable, but I am leery of doing so, for two reasons: 1) I don't want to damage something from my ignorance, and 2) it baffles me how it shows no sign (loose nuts, etc.) of ever having been attached.

 

I will probably have to wait til Monday and have my RV repair guy take a look. Thanks so much for your input.

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I want to thank everyone for their input and suggestions. I will have to call off the investigation for the day. I will take another look at the suggestions and the situation tomorrow. If I can't come up with a solution by then, I will try to contact Jason at Oliver and possibly my local RV guy. Thank you all!


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The cable should be on top of the short jumper going to the rear inner battery. Who worked on this last and why?

 

That loose cable being attached to the rear inner battery--without going back out now to look at the situation again--would make some sense, for as I mentioned above, if it were attached to the front battery, it would prevent the tray from sliding all the way forward.

 

I have had no one do any work the battery compartment, and I certainly have not done anything in there myself, and no one has worked on the inverter. If that cable has been disconnected by someone, that would be one hell of a mystery.

 

As I wrote above, I will have to end the investigation for the time being. Thanks much for your input.


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One last for the night.  It might have been attached to the inner battery terminal at the other end of the jumper. Same electrically. However, that jumper should be flipped over, or reversed end for end, so the upside-down lug is on the inner battery. Then your loose cable goes on top of that lug.

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Sunday Update on Inverter Problem and Mystery Cable--and Three More Questions

 

Thanks to mountainoliver and bhncb, I have ascertained that the mystery loose cable is indeed the cable that should be connecting my batteries to my inverter. This may, in fact, be good news, as it would seem to indicate that perhaps my inverter is not fried and all I need to do is reconnect that cable.

 

I am still baffled about how this cable became disconnected, as there is no evidence of a nut having secured it to any of the terminals. I have never done any work inside the battery compartment, nor have I had any work done by others in there. All I can figure is that it was never properly attached at the factory. Perhaps a worker had thought he or she would just temporarily attach it to test the inverter, thinking that he or she would attach it properly later--and then forgot all about it. It is nonetheless weird that the set-up would have worked for two years before failing.

 

Because I know next to nothing about electrical systems, and because I want to avoid damage to the system and myself, before attaching the cable to any battery terminal, I want to make certain that I am attaching it to the correct one. Thus I seek further advice.

 

I present here two photos of the back of the battery compartment. (I have previously ruled out the suggestion that I attach it to one in the front, as the cable, when the tray is open, does not reach that far.)

 

Question number 1: Can someone tell me with certainty to which terminal I should connect the cable?

 

Mountainoliver advised me to test for 12v on both sides of the fuse under the rear dinette seat before attaching the cable. I am unsure of why this may be important, but I used the voltage tester pictured below, and I get a weak "beep" and only two bars lighting up as I do when I test things like a USB cable in the trailer--as opposed to a much louder sound and all of the bars lighting up when I test the 110 outlet in my house. (I do wonder, if the cable is not connected to any battery, why I would get any signal at all.)

 

Question number 2: Does this mean that I should go ahead with attaching the cable to one of the terminals?

 

Question number 3: Are there further things to consider to make certain that I inflict no damage on the system or myself when reconnecting this cable?

 

I apologize for what might seem to be my overcautiousness and perhaps inexcusable ignorance. I AM grateful, however, for folks patience and help with this issue. Thanks!

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I suspect what you said is true about the cable never having been hooked up. That doesn’t explain how your inverter has been working for the past two years. It is obvious that it was attached at some time though.

 

The reason that the cable appears too short is that there is too much inside the coach. Push some back into the battery compartment and it should easily reach the proper battery terminal.

 

The red cable (positive) should be attached diagonally opposite the black cable (negative). This allows for all batteries to contribute equally to power needs.

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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The red cable (positive) should be attached diagonally opposite the black cable (negative).

 

Just to be clear then, are you telling me that the cable going to the inverter needs to be attached to the right-hand terminal closest to me as I open the compartment? (I have received differing opinions on this.)

 

Also (I just checked), the cable that you suggest pushing further into the compartment will not be pushed or pulled; it is secured to the compartment wall with a fixture seemingly meant to do so.


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First of all, that tester is for AC circuits and has not use for trouble shooting this problem. You need either a DC voltage meter or tester.

 

The evidence of the loose cable having been previously connected is the ring around the hole on the lug, which is from the kerf nut serrations. Since the lug on the loose cable appears to be in a right-side-up orientation, it was previously installed either directly on a battery stud or on top of another lug that is orientated upside down like the one on the short jumper connected at the outer rear battery positive terminal.

 

If you're not comfortable tackling this, by all means wait until tomorrow or whenever your RV specialist is available. If it were mine, I would reorient the short jumper between the positive posts of the two rear batteries so the upside-down lug is on the inner battery stud. Then stack the loose cable lug on top of it. Secure kerf nuts on both batteries. (100 in lb if possible)

 

I sure hope the mystery gets resolved.

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