Jump to content

Can’t get help. Electrical/voltage problem.


Katjo
 Share

Recommended Posts

We bought our used 2021 Oliver Elite ll last month, we were so excited to have found one near our home. 
Unfortunately we can’t use it!  Our cabin lights go bright to dim, on and off intermittently, refrigerator doesn’t work, air doesn’t work, awning won’t go out. We have checked all fuses, breakers. Lithionics checked the batteries, all good. Electrically monitor shows no errors. Xantrek shows voltage at 14.2. Solar power is full.  We have spoke to Mike at Oliver a few times and he said it may be a ground issue but that’s all he said which doesn’t fix it. We checked all the grounds and all are tight. So now we think it may be a voltage problem with the inverter/converter but that’s just an uneducated guess. We did have a mobile rv specialist come out and he couldn’t find the problem. We can’t get into any service centers until mid July. 
This has been horribly frustrating and incredibly disappointing. Can’t get any help/service. In the meantime we’ve cancelled 2 trips and soon another trip, a family re-union rally that I’m hosting in a few weeks that I won’t be able to attend. What we have discovered is good luck if you need service or parts. We have called numerous service centers and the soonest we can take it in is mid July and if they need parts who knows how long that will take. Michigan has a short camping season, we’ve already lost half of it. At this point I’m having a lot of regret that we sold our Airstream that never gave us any problems for this Oliver that we can’t use. I took the word of the seller that everything worked, that was my first and very costly mistake. Second mistake was believing you can get service in a reasonable time frame. I was wrong. If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate any help. 

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do the refrigerator, AC and awning work, and do the lights go from dim to bright, when connected to shore power?  Or do those problems occur only when operating on DC power?  Have you tried the refrigerator on propane?  Have you checked your inverter with a voltmeter?

  • Like 1

Hull #?

Central Idaho

2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, Rivernerd said:

Do the refrigerator, AC and awning work, and do the lights go from dim to bright, when connected to shore power?  Or do those problems occur only when operating on DC power?  Have you tried the refrigerator on propane?  Have you checked your inverter with a voltmeter?

The refrigerator, AC and awning do not work. We are connected to shore power. The interior cabin lights sometimes work but intermittently dim and/or don’t work. We tried the refrigerator on LP and still didn’t work. We checked plug on frig and it is plugged in. Not sure if the mobile rv checked invertor with voltmeter. 

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sorry for your trauma, and finding a reason for a flaky electrical system can be very hard. With so many 12 volt circuits being involved in the problem it seems to me that the cause is between the batteries and the distribution panel. Maybe inside the panel itself. Can you duplicate the failures by moving wires? A detailed inspection of every wire may be in order, perhaps there is a failed crimp or a loose terminal.

I know for SURE that the 12 volt fuse holders are very prone to getting loose, the little brass “ears” that grab the blades of the fuses can be bent back by careless fuse installation, then the connection goes away entirely or becomes sporadic. This has happened to my fridge and the Natures Head toilet, both quit unexpectedly. Both are on separate circuits, both had loose fuse contacts. Get a small pair of precision needle nose pliers, insulate the tips with tape or heat shrink tubing, and check every single fuse holder, Remove the fuse, tighten the two pairs of ears slightly by squeezing them together, and reinstall the fuse straight in using the pliers, do NOT just jam it in with your fingers. That bends the ears! I borrowed this pic from dhaig, I hope he doesn’t mind. It clearly shows those ears..

A821E812-49BB-40D6-9415-D38381152B56.jpeg.96e4421fcee2b9131ec22712be1a5976.jpeg

Do some detailed poking around, eventually you should figure this out. Good luck.

And for all buyers, always insist on a pre-purchase inspection if you are not able to do it yourself. If a trailer’s systems don’t work as advertised, or the trailer has signs of neglect, run away.

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 4

"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, Safari snorkel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Sorry to hear about these issues and that the former owner was not up front about the problems.  Very disappointing. You might try a local electrician, it might take a little time to get acquainted with the electronics in the trailer, but after that it is pretty straightforward.  Good luck!  Mike

  • Like 3

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

I am sorry for your trauma, and finding a reason for a flaky electrical system can be very hard. With so many 12 volt circuits being involved in the problem it seems to me that the cause is between the batteries and the distribution panel. Maybe inside the panel itself. Can you duplicate the failures by moving wires? A detailed inspection of every wire may be in order, perhaps there is a failed crimp or a loose terminal.

I know for SURE that the 12 volt fuse holders are very prone to getting loose, the little brass “ears” that grab the blades of the fuses can be bent back by careless fuse installation, then the connection goes away entirely or becomes sporadic. This has happened to my fridge and the Natures Head toilet, both quit unexpectedly. Both are on separate circuits, both had loose fuse contacts. Get a small pair of precision needle nose pliers, insulate the tips with tape or heat shrink tubing, and check every single fuse holder, Remove the fuse, tighten the two pairs of ears slightly by squeezing them together, and reinstall the fuse straight in using the pliers, do NOT just jam it in with your fingers. That bends the ears!

Do some detailed poking around, eventually you should figure this out. Good luck.

And for all buyers, always insist on a pre-purchase inspection if you are not able to do it yourself. If a trailer’s systems don’t work as advertised, or the trailer has signs of neglect, run away.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Thank you for the suggestions. As far as pre-inspection goes it’s the same as service, can’t get an inspector out for 6-8 weeks they are that booked (at least in my area) and most sellers are not going to wait that long. In theory it’s a good idea but scheduling is like everything else, all booked up with long wait times. 

  • Sad 1

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Mike and Carol said:

Sorry to hear about these issues and that the former owner was not up front about the problems.  Very disappointing. You might try a local electrician, it might take a little time to get acquainted with the electronics in the trailer, but after that it is pretty straightforward.  Good luck!  Mike

Thank you, Mike. We could definitely use some luck right now.   

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All sellers should consider having a full inspection performed before listing the trailer, and have that report available for a buyer to study. The crazy long wait times are very bad, there is nothing you can do about that as a buyer, I guess, but a seller has no excuse!

John Davies

Spokane WA

  • Like 4

"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, Safari snorkel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators
1 minute ago, John E Davies said:

…but a seller has no excuse!

 

I agree.  I can’t believe someone would sell with major unresolved electrical issues.  

  • Like 4

Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

ALAZARCACOFLGAIDILKSKYLAMDMSMOMTNENVNMNYNCNDOHOKSCSDTNTXUTVAWVWYsm.jpgALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMAMS

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

All sellers should consider having a full inspection performed before listing the trailer, and have that report available for a buyer to study. The crazy long wait times are very bad, there is nothing you can do about that as a buyer, I guess, but a seller has no excuse!

John Davies

Spokane WA

Absolutely!! Here the wait time for an inspector is 6-8 weeks. Can’t expect a seller to wait that long. 

  • Like 1

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are not comfortable troubleshooting electrical issues yourself, then I concur with Mike and Carol:  engage a local electrician to track down the source of your issues.  Any good electrician should be conversant with both AC and DC electrical systems.  Hopefully electricians in your neck of the woods are not booked out until mid-July!

  • Like 2

Hull #?

Central Idaho

2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Rivernerd said:

If you are not comfortable troubleshooting electrical issues yourself, then I concur with Mike and Carol:  engage a local electrician to track down the source of your issues.  Any good electrician should be conversant with both AC and DC electrical systems.  Hopefully electricians in your neck of the woods are not booked out until mid-July!

Thank you, that’s a great suggestion. 

  • Like 1

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Katjo said:

The refrigerator, AC and awning do not work. We are connected to shore power. The interior cabin lights sometimes work but intermittently dim and/or don’t work. We tried the refrigerator on LP and still didn’t work. We checked plug on frig and it is plugged in. Not sure if the mobile rv checked invertor with voltmeter. 

How about contacting the previous owner to find out what happened. They may or may not know the answer. It would be  disappointing if an owner knowingly sold you a trailer with that big of a problem. Good luck. Also ask Oliver service if any repair tickets were ever noted.

  • Like 3

Grant  2022 GMC Denali 2500 HD 2019  Elite 11😎

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Following @Rivernerd's thoughts, do the problems continue if you disconnect shore power and run only off the batteries with the inverter turned off? If so, I agree with John that the problem is most likely between the batteries and the distribution panel. If the problems only manifest when you're plugged into shore power, the converter/inverter is a likely suspect.

Stephanie and Dudley from CT.  2022 LE2, Hull #1150: Eggcelsior.

Tow vehicle: 2016 GMC Sierra 6.0 gas dually 4x4.

Our Oliver journey: Steph and Dud B's RV Screed

Where we've been RVing since 1999:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.e6391b9064a3f8f0951751f985664135.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A bit more testing and info would be helpful in diagnosing the issues, to see if it’s an AC electrical issue or DC electrical issue.  A simple test as a starting point.  If you plug into shore power and plug a lamp into one of the electrical outlets in the trailer, does the lamp light up?   That will at least tell you whether the shore power connection is good.  Does the EMS display show voltage and frequency or any error codes? Should look like these photos.  
 

37196F05-0798-450E-8F77-3F3C2D5A2BA9.jpeg

63D810FA-FC76-4AC8-A5B5-D77C78F6843D.jpeg

A6B5ABF6-B211-4A96-9D1A-0B988B92910E.jpeg

  • Like 1

2019 Oliver Legacy Elite II - Hull #461

Tow Vehicles:

Primary - 2019 Ford F-250

Backup - 2019 Nissan Armada 

visited-united-states-map.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, Landrover said:

How about contacting the previous owner to find out what happened. They may or may not know the answer. It would be  disappointing if an owner knowingly sold you a trailer with that big of a problem. Good luck. Also ask Oliver service if any repair tickets were ever noted.

Did talk to previous owner, claims there were no issues with the camper. He said everything worked except one time he had a fuse blow on the refrigerator when on solar. 

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

I too am sorry for the issues that Katjo is having.

However, at this point it is a bit rash to point blame at the seller - electrical issues can and do occur without warning and at almost any time.

Bill

  • Like 3

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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The intermittent, bright-to-dim lighting issue sounds like grounding issues I have had with the 12V DC light system on my raft trailer.  You advised that 

2 hours ago, Katjo said:

We checked all the grounds and all are tight.

I presume this means that the yellow ground wires are securely connected to the grounding bus.  But, did you verify that the main ground wire from the grounding bus bar to the trailer chassis is securely connected?  That was the solution once to an intermittent light issue on my raft trailer.

  • Like 3

Hull #?

Central Idaho

2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Steph and Dud B said:

If the problems only manifest when you're plugged into shore power, the converter/inverter is a likely suspect.

This makes sense but it sounds like you may have a problems with 120 volt system and unrelated problems with the 12 volt system.  When you are connected to shore power, you say the inverter/charger is charging your batteries at 14.2 volts. This is consistent with flooded or AGM batteries in absorbtion mode which means they are almost full.  If you have lithiums, then it means they are basically full and will probably drop the voltage to float setting (around 13.6 volts) soon.  If the solar charge controller is also saying the batteries are full, then it would seem that the charger section of the inverter/charger is working correctly.  That means that the charger section of the inverter is getting 120 volt power, but the inverter is not passing 120 volt power to the 120 volt outlets and appliances.

Have you checked the GFCI on the inverter itself to see if it has tripped?  It is accessible through the round hatch below and to the left of the Galley.  I believe power to all 120 volt outlets and appliances is always passed through the GFCI in the inverter at all times, whether connected to shore power or running a generator.  If the GFCI on the inverter is tripped and won't reset, then you have a bad GFCI on the inverter itself.

Do you have the accessory 30 amp convenience connection at the front  of the trailer?  It would be on the curb side below the propane tanks.  If a tripped GFCI on the inverter is not the problem, you might try moving the shore power cord to the auxiliary 30 amp connection to see if that restores power to your 120 volt outlets and appliances.  As I understand it, there is a transfer switch that prevents power from flowing into the trailer from both outside receptacles at the same time (i.e., shore power and a generator).  If you do have the auxilliary 30 amp connection and moving the shore power cord to the auxiliary connection (or vice-versa) solves the 120 volt issues, then you may have problem related to the transfer switch.

You have received good advice on troubleshooting the 12 volt system but I find one thing you said interesting and a possible clue.  You said that the lights sometimes dim and other times don't work at all.  Do all the lights dim together or just occasionally one or two.  All the lights in 2021 Oliver are led lights.  Unlike incandescent lights that will dim when voltage drops, led lights either work or they don't.  If voltage drops, they stay at close to full light until voltage drops so low that they just go out.  If it is just one or two lights that occasionally dim, then the electronics in those individual bulbs are failing and you can just replace the bulb which contains the electronics.  If all the lights are dimming together, then you may have a bigger problem then just low voltage on the 12 volt side.

  • Like 3

Steve and Lornie

LE II Standard  Hull #657  2004 4Runner 4.7 L V8

Oregon

COIDKSMOORTNUTWYmed.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ground-stud-lores.jpg

Above is an image of the main chassis ground bracket, with threaded bolt, on the Oliver.  This is from an Oliver Technical Service Bulletin issued in 2018 after some Olivers left the factory with improperly installed inverter ground lugs. 

Review of this thread, and inspection of the components mentioned in it, may help you verify if your 12V DC system is properly grounded to the trailer chassis.

  • Like 2

Hull #?

Central Idaho

2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Rivernerd said:

Review of this thread, and inspection of the components mentioned in it, may help you verify if your 12V DC system is properly grounded to the trailer chassis.

That is helpful, but that Technical Service Bulletin was for a missing inverter chassis ground cable, the "third wire", which did not in any way affect the inverter's normal operation, or any of the other circuits,, it was a serious shock hazard in case the inverter shorted out internally to its housing. But that big ground post on the trailer frame is ultimately where the main ground wires should attach.

BTW this is a prime example of why we should have wiring diagrams for our trailers! It is CRAZY to expect an RV tech or an owner to blunder around with no accurate references. If Katjo does bring in a residential electrician, the very first thing he is going to say is, where are the diagrams? When he sees there are none, he is going to melt down.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

  • Like 2

"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, Safari snorkel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, Chukarhunter said:

This makes sense but it sounds like you may have a problems with 120 volt system and unrelated problems with the 12 volt system.  When you are connected to shore power, you say the inverter/charger is charging your batteries at 14.2 volts. This is consistent with flooded or AGM batteries in absorbtion mode which means they are almost full.  If you have lithiums, then it means they are basically full and will probably drop the voltage to float setting (around 13.6 volts) soon.  If the solar charge controller is also saying the batteries are full, then it would seem that the charger section of the inverter/charger is working correctly.  That means that the charger section of the inverter is getting 120 volt power, but the inverter is not passing 120 volt power to the 120 volt outlets and appliances.

Have you checked the GFCI on the inverter itself to see if it has tripped?  It is accessible through the round hatch below and to the left of the Galley.  I believe power to all 120 volt outlets and appliances is always passed through the GFCI in the inverter at all times, whether connected to shore power or running a generator.  If the GFCI on the inverter is tripped and won't reset, then you have a bad GFCI on the inverter itself.

Do you have the accessory 30 amp convenience connection at the front  of the trailer?  It would be on the curb side below the propane tanks.  If a tripped GFCI on the inverter is not the problem, you might try moving the shore power cord to the auxiliary 30 amp connection to see if that restores power to your 120 volt outlets and appliances.  As I understand it, there is a transfer switch that prevents power from flowing into the trailer from both outside receptacles at the same time (i.e., shore power and a generator).  If you do have the auxilliary 30 amp connection and moving the shore power cord to the auxiliary connection (or vice-versa) solves the 120 volt issues, then you may have problem related to the transfer switch.

You have received good advice on troubleshooting the 12 volt system but I find one thing you said interesting and a possible clue.  You said that the lights sometimes dim and other times don't work at all.  Do all the lights dim together or just occasionally one or two.  All the lights in 2021 Oliver are led lights.  Unlike incandescent lights that will dim when voltage drops, led lights either work or they don't.  If voltage drops, they stay at close to full light until voltage drops so low that they just go out.  If it is just one or two lights that occasionally dim, then the electronics in those individual bulbs are failing and you can just replace the bulb which contains the electronics.  If all the lights are dimming together, then you may have a bigger problem then just low voltage on the 12 volt side.

We have 120 volt output with correct polarity and correct phase on every one of our AC wall outlets inside and out including out GFI breaker wall plug. My husband doesn’t see where there is a GFI breaker on our inverter. If our GFI was tripped on the inverter wouldn’t that stop all inside and outside receptacles from working properly? As for the lights, it’s usually just one dim however at times all will dim and/or won’t turn on including reading lights. My husband is going to try moving the shore power plug right now. 
Also not familiar as to where that round hatch is? 
We are so very grateful for your help. 

  • Like 3

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, topgun2 said:

I too am sorry for the issues that Katjo is having.

However, at this point it is a bit rash to point blame at the seller - electrical issues can and do occur without warning and at almost any time.

Bill

I’m not pointing blame at the seller and understand anything can happen while it was stored or even towing it the 5 miles to our home. I’m just stating the seller said all systems work and now they don’t. 

  • Like 1

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has a factory reset been done on the inverter?  I think there was fairly recent post about how to do that.  Memories can get scrambled...

Charlie

  • Like 2

ALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA

Arizona | 2020 Oliver Elite II Twin bed Hull #617 | 2021 Ram 1500 e-Hemi 4x4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Katjo said:

We have 120 volt output with correct polarity and correct phase on every one of our AC wall outlets inside and out including out GFI breaker wall plug. My husband doesn’t see where there is a GFI breaker on our inverter. If our GFI was tripped on the inverter wouldn’t that stop all inside and outside receptacles from working properly? As for the lights, it’s usually just one dim however at times all will dim and/or won’t turn on including reading lights. My husband is going to try moving the shore power plug right now. 
Also not familiar as to where that round hatch is? 
We are so very grateful for your help. 

1 hour ago, FrankC said:

A bit more testing and info would be helpful in diagnosing the issues, to see if it’s an AC electrical issue or DC electrical issue.  A simple test as a starting point.  If you plug into shore power and plug a lamp into one of the electrical outlets in the trailer, does the lamp light up?   That will at least tell you whether the shore power connection is good.  Does the EMS display show voltage and frequency or any error codes? Should look like these photos.  
 

37196F05-0798-450E-8F77-3F3C2D5A2BA9.jpeg

63D810FA-FC76-4AC8-A5B5-D77C78F6843D.jpeg

A6B5ABF6-B211-4A96-9D1A-0B988B92910E.jpeg

Our display shows 60-H and E-0

2021 Dodge Ram 1500 

2021 Oliver Elite ll 

Hull #732 

Michigan 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...