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Dometic A/C plus Xantrex charger on home 20A circuit


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The last two times I have had Hullabaloo parked in the driveway at home and connected to shore power, the breaker on my home's dedicated 20A circuit has tripped after the Dometic air conditioner runs for 5-10 minutes.  It also tripped off yesterday when the air conditioner was not running.  I re-started the 20A shore power feed this morning and noted that the Progressive surge protector display in the attic was bumping up around 20A.  Nothing was running on A/C current in the Oliver except the Xantrex inverter/charger in charge mode.  I have the 390AH Lithium package with the 3000W Xantrex, and my Dometic has the soft start.  My batteries have been down to 60-80% the last few days, so the charger has been running in bulk charge mode.  My theory is that the charger is drawing most of the capacity of my home's 20A circuit, and the A/C on top of that is too much.   Is this a plausible theory?  On previous occasions, I probably had full batteries and the charger was more in float mode.  A few other possible factors:  It has been very hot here, in the upper 90s and the breaker is about 20 years old, so there may be some reduced amperage capability on that circuit.   Looking for any advice.  Thanks!

2016 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost 4x4 Max Tow | 2022 Oliver Elite II - Hull#1034 'Hullabaloo' 

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There have been a few threads about this, you can turn down the charge rate in your charger settings so that it doesn't draw so much power. I am sure somebody will provide a link, or you can just go look at your setup menu.

Here are a couple of pages from the manual. I personally would initially reduce the charge rate by 50% when at home with your 20A circuit, and you can go further than that if your AC is still making an overload condition when it kicks on. Record the original setting so you can go back to it. Though it may not have been set correctly by Oliver. If not, file a Service ticket to alert them.

Keep in mind a 10 amp charge current will work just as well as a 100 amp current, it just takes 10 times longer. 😬 At home there is NO need at all to charge your lithiums at a full rate, but that is fine if you are connected to a 30 amp circuit while traveling.

One other possibility is a faulty breaker in your house, if you continue to have issues, go look there, and replace it if needed. the newer AFCI (arc fault circuit interrupters) are cr@p and they will trip if you look at them sideways. My washer is in one, it works fine for months, then it will trip the AFCI three times in a row, before returning to normal. Loose electrical connections in an outlet can also cause that, rewire any “back stabbed” outlets so the wires go onto the screw terminals You can also replace a AFCI with a traditional circuit breaker, but that is against code most places.. I wouldn’t do anything in this last paragraph unless turning down the charge rate is unsuccessful! If you don’t have one already, buy a 20 AMP watt meter like this one to see what is actually coming OUT of your outlet. … P3 International P4460 Kill A Watt Ez Energy Monitor … FYI most of these units only read to 15 amps!

John Davies

Spokane WA

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SOLD 07/23 "Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: 

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 32” LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel, Maggiolina Grand Tour 360 Carbon RTT.

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Thanks, John!  That seems to do the trick.  I found there is an easy to use setting for max current on the Xantrex app on the phone.  I haven't quite figured the mapping to the actual shore power current.  The app can set it from 0-150A.   By trial and error I ended up at 60A on the app, which resulted in about 9A from shore power.  That's good enough for me.

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2016 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost 4x4 Max Tow | 2022 Oliver Elite II - Hull#1034 'Hullabaloo' 

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Setting #28 on the Xantrex should be the power limit - from 5 to 60 amps. That's the total power level the Xantrex will pull from shore power for both the trailer's 120v appliances and charging, with the appliances getting preference. Set it at 20 if there's nothing else on your 20A household circuit, less if there's other things on that circuit of your house. 

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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:

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Sounds like your issue is solved.

Charging batteries at 14 volts at a 60A rate means you are putting 840 watts into your batteries (volts x amps = watts).  If you are seeing 9A current at your 20 amp wall outlet, and assuming the utility company is delivering 120 volt power,that means that the inverter/charger is pulling 1,080 watts from the grid (9A x 120 volts = 1080 watts).  This means that your energy losses between the house outlet and the batteries is 240 watts lost, or about 22%.  This seems unusually high and cannot be easily explained by losses through the inverter/charger alone.  There are two very possible causes for this:  low voltage (below 120 volts) at the 20 amp outlet and/or an undersized extension cord.

You can't do anything about voltage at the outlet, although if it is too low into your house, you should complain to your power company.  Even when nominal voltage in hours of low area power consumption is 120 volts, this voltage can drop noticeably in the afternoon when everyone in the neighborhood is running their air conditioner.  You can also get significant voltage drop between the breaker and the outlet if the circuit distance between the breaker and outlet is more than 50 feet which of course the power company can't do anything about.

A 20 amp breaker doesn't know how many watts it is passing; it only sees amperage.  If voltage at the outlet is 120 volts, then the breaker will trip if it is passing more than 2400 watts (120 volts x 20 amps = 2400 watts).  If the outlet is only seeing 110 volts, then the breaker will trip if it is passing more than 2200 watts (110 volts x 20 amps = 2200 watts).

The size of the extension cord is very important.  Using an extension cord no smaller than 12 AWG should allow a 50 foot extension cord with no more than 3% voltage drop.  Never use a smaller 14 AWG extension cord as it will result in greater than 3% voltage drop even if it is only a 25 foot extension cord.  If you must go longer than 50 feet, spend the money on a 10 AWG extension cord or heavier.  Voltage drop increases exponentially as the length of an extension cord increases.  (see table below)

Low voltage into the trailer shouldn't be a problem with charging the batteries through the inverter other than maybe having to reduce the rate of charge.  On the other hand, low voltage is not good for the air conditioner and can cause premature failure of the compressor.

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Steve and Lornie

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

Oregon

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@Chukarhunter, the additional wattage may be other 120v appliances running in the Ollie. The max current charger limit setting they're adjusting only applies to the charger function of the Xantrex. It's still passing through any other 120v loads they have in the trailer. It's much more elegant to change setting #28 and let the Xantrex adjust charging current automatically, but that requires going into the manual settings through the wall mounted control panel instead of the app.

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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:

ALAZCACOCTDEFLGAIDILINIAKYLAMEMDMAMIMNMSMOMTNENVNHNMNYNCNDOHOKORPASCSDTNTXUTVTVAWAWVWIWYmed.jpg.b96241bad6752dec89d25af6ffbc8d99.jpg

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Lots of good info!  Happy to report that the AC has been running all afternoon in upper 90's heat with no further issues on the power side.  Next time I will try setting 28.  On my XC PRO 3000 it runs 5-50A.  Attached is a screenshot of the Xantrex app with only the Dometic AC and the float charge running.  Looks like plenty of margin to put setting 28 at 5A, but probably not as high as 10A.   I don't plan on running anything else on AC power.  By the way, my home circuit has no other loads.  I'm running the Oliver-supplied 25 ft shore power cable directly from the outlet using a 20-30 pigtail.  Voltage has been between 115-120.  So I think I'm good on the shore side, but thanks for the good words on wiring safety.  

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2016 F-150 3.5L EcoBoost 4x4 Max Tow | 2022 Oliver Elite II - Hull#1034 'Hullabaloo' 

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