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Generator Inverter Usage


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 Our Oliver is the first trailer we’ve owned with an EMS, and I’m a bit nervous about using a small generator (Yamaha 1000) for charging if we don’t have enough sunlight for solar and/or truck charging.  I don’t yet have a grounded neutral plug, but will build or buy one before any travels.  I did check to see if the generator would work, and of course it didn’t because of the floating ground.  For info, we have four 6 VDC AGM batteries, and 480 watts of Solar (trailer and Zamp portable).

We prefer to boondock, but are not big power users.  Mostly lights, Maxfan,  and furnace, but we do tow with the 3way refrigerator on DC.

Any words of wisdom?  Have I missed anything?

 

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SeaDawg uses a 1000 watt generator to charge their batteries. a neutral ground plug is REQUIRED.

I use a 2000 watt generator (with the neutral ground plug) and I can run my AC. My AC has the reduced voltage starter installed. When using my generator, I need to shut off the circuit breaker to the inverter because it takes to much power when trying to run the AC.

My hull # is 10 earlier than your hull #.

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2024 RAM 1500, 4 x 4; Gas. 5.7L V8 Hemi MDS VVT Torque; 3.21 rear axle ratio

Maine 

 

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If you have the Xantrex inverter I believe you have to change the AC input setting, that would be # 28 setting in the Xantrex FXC Control app. Your 1000W generator at 110V is only approx. 9A, the Xantrex (my 3000W anyway) is factory set to 25A because the breaker size for the inverter is 25A and the main power supply is 30A which is greater than the breaker size. So when you connect to a generator or house receptacle that supplies lower amps, you need to adjust setting #28 down to match the current incoming power supply. 

Or like @dewdev said, shut off the circuit breaker to your inverter.

 

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2023 Elite II, Hull# 1386, Lithium Platinum Package (640AH, 400W Solar, 3000W Xantrex Inverter)
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FYI:  We bring our Honda EU2000i w/grounding plug if we expect several days of cloudy weather on a given trip.  However, with our 340watts/roof-mounted panels, 200w Renogy portable modules, and 300amp-hrs of BBs in the bank, the Honda hasn't seen the light of day since we've had our OTT (purchased used in MAR23).

@Wandering Sagebrush - Definitely don't think you're missing anything at all.  We now tow in with the fridge in the DC mode since we've installed the Victron DC/DC charger - prior to that we ran it in the LPG mode.  It's nice now being able to tow with the LPG valves closed.  The DC/DC charger is dumping 27 -29amps into the BBs plus whatever the roof modules are generating while towing, so whenever we decide to stop for the day, we've got high SOC (usually 100%).

You'll find, like us, that when boon docking in colder WX, your furnace will consume the majority of your stored Amp-hrs.  If your AGMs are type 27s.  Just noticed you've got 640amp-hrs of storage!  You're GENSET will likely stay in the TV during the majority of your trips no matter the weather conditions.

300amp-hrs seems like the sweet spot for our style of camping off grid.

Cheers,

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Don't be nervous. The Yamaha will be fine. Just get the grounding plug and adjust setting #28 like @rich.dev said. I do it through the wall control panel rather than the app. I've found some odd behavior when using the app to change that setting.

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

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2 hours ago, Steph and Dud B said:

Don't be nervous. The Yamaha will be fine. Just get the grounding plug and adjust setting #28 like @rich.dev said. I do it through the wall control panel rather than the app. I've found some odd behavior when using the app to change that setting.

Setting 28?

 

Edit:  disregard, I remembered what it is.   Setting is currently (pun intended) at 8.5.

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4 minutes ago, Wandering Sagebrush said:

Setting 28?

Here are the settings
edbsn713d0a1b263bbb56cd06b838e3a48b55f5379490fae8a10b714ef83438821a6787bf315bcc6e9f764fe6304f8d262c85?inline=true

...and check out this video on how to navigate all the settings, specifically time stamp 15:27 where he explains setting 28

 

 

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2023 Elite II, Hull# 1386, Lithium Platinum Package (640AH, 400W Solar, 3000W Xantrex Inverter)
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1 hour ago, Wandering Sagebrush said:

Thank you.  The previous owner replaced the Xantrex(failed device) with a Victron, so I’m goin to need to do a bit of research.  The current limit is now set at 8.5.

Nice, when my Xantrex craps out I'll get the Victron Multiplus. I'm not familiar with the Victron Multiplus setings, and I could be wrong but 8.5A seems a bit low. I know we have owners with the Victron inverter on this forum so hopefully they will chime in.   

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2023 Elite II, Hull# 1386, Lithium Platinum Package (640AH, 400W Solar, 3000W Xantrex Inverter)
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I spoke to the previous owner, who running a Honda 2200, set the current at about 18.  For my little 1000, I’m going to run around 12.

When it gets hot out, I’ll bring a bigger generator, either a 2000 or 2800, then set things higher.

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26 minutes ago, rich.dev said:

I could be wrong but 8.5A seems a bit low.

Actually, with your 1000W Generator at 120V is approx. 8.3A and at 110V it's 9A, so maybe the 8.5A is ok, but again hopefully someone with a Victron will chime in.

2023 Elite II, Hull# 1386, Lithium Platinum Package (640AH, 400W Solar, 3000W Xantrex Inverter)
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@rich.dev 

I do not believe that for our 2018 Elite II (with my Hull 354) and Xantrex PROwatt SW2000 inverter and Wandering Sagebrush's (Hull 364) with the original Xantrex PROwatt SW2000 inverter (which he does not have  now) has anyway to change the amp output. There is no Wifi type connection to that 2018 inverter to make that modification. This inverter was before Lithium batteries.

If I am wrong, someone please correct me. 

 

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2024 RAM 1500, 4 x 4; Gas. 5.7L V8 Hemi MDS VVT Torque; 3.21 rear axle ratio

Maine 

 

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With no offense intended, I believe there is some questionable advice in this thread.  In particular, it is counterintuitive to me that reducing the input amperage to the inverter is the best way to limit the level of charging current that the inverter is delivering into the batteries, especially when the inverter has a setting (#24) designed specifically for that function. 

Wandering Sage Brush is apprehensive about using the smaller Honda 1000 to charge his house batteries while boondocking.  There is nothing to be nervous about as many of us do it all the time.  The only issue you need to be aware of is ensuring that the combination of trailer loads (120 volt loads  and 12 volt charging load) is less than the maximum output of the generator.  If you try to run higher loads (i.e., greater watts) than the generator can produce, the generator will overload and shut down.  

The table above showing inverter settings are for a 3,000 watt inverter.  Setting 28 is factory defaulted to 25 amps because 25 amps * 120 volts = 3,000 watts.  If  you lower the amperage limit in Setting 28 down to lets say 15 amps, you are turning your 3,000 watt inverter into an 1800 watt inverter because 15 amps * 120 volts = 1800 watts.  There is no need to do that.

If you want to charge your batteries with a 1000 watt generator, then you need to limit the draw on the generator to less than 1,000 watts.  If you want all the available 1,000 watts to go into your batteries, then there are two steps you need to take when you decide to charge.  First is to turn off your inverter and any 120 volt loads if you want to all the generator output to go into your batteries.  You don't want any 120 volt trailer loads drawing on the generator at the same time you are charging the batteries.  Second, you need to reduce the amperage limit in Setting #24: Charger Current.  

The charger typically charges at about 14 volts when the batteries are getting close to full.  Since volts x amps = watts, 1000 watts into the batteries is going to require 71 amps of Charge Current (14 volts * 71 amps = 1,000 watts)  .  Adjusting for losses and generator derating at altitude and in higher temperatures, you should probably limit the watts from the generator at no more than 900 watts which equates to 64 amps (900 watts / 14 volts = 64 amps).  So whatever inverter/charger you have, set the max charging current at 60 amps and your Honda EU1000 will probably charge just fine without overloading.  If you are running the Honda 1000 and you are also getting 20 amps from your solar panels at the same time, then you will be putting 80 amps into the batteries (60 amps from the generator and 20 amps from the solar).  This is equal to 1,120 watts (80 amps x 14 volts = 1,120 watts)

You can leave the Charge Current setting at 60 amps all the time if you want unless you want your batteries to charge faster when you are on shore power.  If so, just increase the max charging amps in setting # 24 before you go back on shore power.

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Steve and Lornie

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

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20 hours ago, dewdev said:

I do not believe that for our 2018 Elite II (with my Hull 354) and Xantrex PROwatt SW2000 inverter and Wandering Sagebrush's (Hull 364) with the original Xantrex PROwatt SW2000 inverter (which he does not have  now) has anyway to change the amp output. There is no Wifi type connection to that 2018 inverter to make that modification. This inverter was before Lithium batteries.

If I am wrong, someone please correct me. 

I have the Xantrex PROwatt 2000 inverter in my 2020 LE II.  It has Charge Current setting just like the 3000 watt version.  The max charge current in the 2000 watt inverter is 80 amps (as opposed to 150 amps in the 3,000 watt inverter.)  To set the charge current limit to less than the factory default of 80 amps, you just need to go into the inverter panel on the wall of the Oliver, enter into configuration mode, scroll to setting # 24 Charge Current, and change the setting. It only takes a minute or two.   It is certainly not as easy as using a bluetooth app and I often have to refer to the manual again because the exact sequence of button pushing is easy to forget.   But it works just the same as in the 2000 watt inverter.

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Steve and Lornie

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

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2 hours ago, Chukarhunter said:

I have the Xantrex PROwatt 2000 inverter in my 2020 LE II.  It has Charge Current setting just like the 3000 watt version.  The max charge current in the 2000 watt inverter is 80 amps (as opposed to 150 amps in the 3,000 watt inverter.)  To set the charge current limit to less than the factory default of 80 amps, you just need to go into the inverter panel on the wall of the Oliver, enter into configuration mode, scroll to setting # 24 Charge Current, and change the setting. It only takes a minute or two.   It is certainly not as easy as using a bluetooth app and I often have to refer to the manual again because the exact sequence of button pushing is easy to forget.   But it works just the same as in the 2000 watt inverter.

 

Chukarhunter:

Excellant explaination that hopefully everyone on this thread reads. Obviously you must have an electrical background and/or good working electrical knowledge.  

As far as the PROwatt SW2000 inverter wall panel in my 2018 Elite II, I have no inverter wall panel as you have described. The only PROwatt SW2000 inverter panel on the wall in my Ollie is the picture I have posted below.

Could you post a picture of your PROwatt SW2000 wall panel in your 2020 Olilie, which may help others with that vintage inverter and how you described changing settings.

PROwatt SW (inverter).jpg

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2024 RAM 1500, 4 x 4; Gas. 5.7L V8 Hemi MDS VVT Torque; 3.21 rear axle ratio

Maine 

 

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55 minutes ago, dewdev said:

As far as the PROwatt SW2000 inverter wall panel in my 2018 Elite II, I have no inverter wall panel as you have described.

Sorry that I may have added to the confusion.  Apparently, the 2000 watt inverter installed in the 2018 Oliver was an inverter only without a battery charger built in.  The 2000 watt inverter installed in my 2020 LE II is an inverter/charger.  That is why I have a more sophisticated wall panel with led readout.  In your 2018 Oliver, the batteries are charged by the Progressive Dynamics Converter/Charger under the dinette that also serves as the 12volt and 120 volt service panel (breakers and fuses).  The PD Converter/Charger in your trailer has a fixed maximum charging rate of either 45 amps or 60 amps depending upon what model Oliver installed.  The PD Converter/charger is perfectly adequate if you have lead/acid batteries or AGMs and charging at the maximum charging rate of 60 amps should not overtax a 1000 watt generator.  If you ever upgraded to lithium ion batteries though, you would need to replace the PD converter/charger with a charger that offers a lithium ion charging profile built in.  Progressive Dynamics makes one that is a drop in replacement for the one you have.  Alternatively, you can install an updated combined converter/charger to charge your batteries and then bypass the charger in the PD Converter.  That is what the factory did in my 2020 LE II.

I do have a background in grid scale power and high voltage transmission, but the information above I learned the hard way when I switched out my lead acid batteries for LFP04 lithiums right after I picked up my 2020 LE II.  Oliver started offering the lithium option in mid-model year about a month after I took delivery of mine so I had to figure it out myself.  Information on this forum helped me out considerably. 

image.png.bb5b70c2f95da480c8d5b246feeee6f9.png

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Steve and Lornie

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@Chukarhunter, thank you for sharing your results. 

A reminder, for owners of various vintages, that systems and   electronics change, over time.

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14 hours ago, Chukarhunter said:

I do have a background in grid scale power and high voltage transmission, but the information above I learned the hard way when I switched out my lead acid batteries for LFP04 lithiums right after I picked up my 2020 LE II.  Oliver started offering the lithium option in mid-model year about a month after I took delivery of mine so I had to figure it out myself.  Information on this forum helped me out considerably. 

I too have a 2020 LEll (579) with the 2000W inverter/charger and remote display panel, and have changed to LFPs. Can you share the Xantrex settings you found best applicable for your setup, or at least settings that will differ from the chart rich.dev provided above specific to the Xantrex 3000W model? Thanks

2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt

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15 hours ago, Chukarhunter said:

Sorry that I may have added to the confusion.  Apparently, the 2000 watt inverter installed in the 2018 Oliver was an inverter only without a battery charger built in.  The 2000 watt inverter installed in my 2020 LE II is an inverter/charger.  That is why I have a more sophisticated wall panel with led readout.  In your 2018 Oliver, the batteries are charged by the Progressive Dynamics Converter/Charger under the dinette that also serves as the 12volt and 120 volt service panel (breakers and fuses).  The PD Converter/Charger in your trailer has a fixed maximum charging rate of either 45 amps or 60 amps depending upon what model Oliver installed.  The PD Converter/charger is perfectly adequate if you have lead/acid batteries or AGMs and charging at the maximum charging rate of 60 amps should not overtax a 1000 watt generator.  If you ever upgraded to lithium ion batteries though, you would need to replace the PD converter/charger with a charger that offers a lithium ion charging profile built in.  Progressive Dynamics makes one that is a drop in replacement for the one you have.  Alternatively, you can install an updated combined converter/charger to charge your batteries and then bypass the charger in the PD Converter.  That is what the factory did in my 2020 LE II.

I do have a background in grid scale power and high voltage transmission, but the information above I learned the hard way when I switched out my lead acid batteries for LFP04 lithiums right after I picked up my 2020 LE II.  Oliver started offering the lithium option in mid-model year about a month after I took delivery of mine so I had to figure it out myself.  Information on this forum helped me out considerably. 

image.png.bb5b70c2f95da480c8d5b246feeee6f9.png

What is the model of the PD Charger/Converter with the lithium ion charging profile with the remote display panel like you have (the drop in model you refer to)? I am guessing that you would need to buy both seperately. (I looked on the PD web site and there are a lot of different models available)

2018 Oliver Elite II, Twin Bed, Hull #354 

2024 RAM 1500, 4 x 4; Gas. 5.7L V8 Hemi MDS VVT Torque; 3.21 rear axle ratio

Maine 

 

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4 hours ago, dewdev said:

What is the model of the PD Charger/Converter with the lithium ion charging profile with the remote display panel like you have

The remote display I have is part of Xantrex inverter/charger model that I have, not the PD Charger/Converter.  When I elected the 2000 watt inverter/charger option, the factory kept the PD Converter/charger in place to serve as the breaker/fuse panel, but disabled the converter/charger function and instead wired the 2000 watt inverter/charger into the PD circuit/fuse panel.  

You would not need to change any settings to use a 1,000 watt generator to charge your AGM batteries since your converter/charger is has its own built in charging limit of 45 or 60 amps depending on the model.  A 1,000 watt generator should be capable of charging the batteries at 60 amps since this will effectively limit the draw on the generator to about 840 watts (14 volts x 60 amps = 840 watts.)

I you upgrade to lithium batteries, then you have two choices.  You can replace your existing PD converter/charger with a more up to date version of the same model that has a lithium ion charging profile option built in.  This is the lowest cost option, but you will be limited to a maximum charging current of 60 amps split among all your batteries .

A superior solution but more expensive solution would be to keep your current PD converter/charger but upgrade your inverter to a 3,000 watt inverter/charger.  The 3,000 watt inverter charger that Oliver installs can charge your batteries at a rate as high as 150 amps,  thereby charging your batteries 2 1/2 times as fast as a 60 amp charger when you are connected to shore power.  To charge with a generator at the 150 amp rate, you would likely need a generator that outputs a minimum of 2200 MW continuous, more if you want to simultaneously use any 120 volt appliances at the same time. 

I hope this is helpful.

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Steve and Lornie

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

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6 hours ago, Ronbrink said:

I too have a 2020 LEll (579) with the 2000W inverter/charger and remote display panel, and have changed to LFPs. Can you share the Xantrex settings you found best applicable for your setup, or at least settings that will differ from the chart rich.dev provided above specific to the Xantrex 3000W model?

The only settings I had to change in my 2000W inverter/charger was to change the charge setting from flooded batteries to a LFPO4 charging profile.  Our early versions of the 2,000 watt model did not have a LFPO4 setting to switch to so I selected the "custom" battery option.  I then set the custom absorption voltage to 14.6 volts (as recommended by the battery manufacturer) and I was done.

The main reason you need to adjust the absorption voltage to a 14.4-14.6 volt level (consult your battery manufacturer for their preferred setting) is that the LFPO4 batteries require a higher voltage than flooded batteries to reach full charge, compared to the flooded or AGM batteries.  To be confident how to do this with your model of converter/charger, you really need to consult the "Optional Equipment" manual that came with your Oliver.  I just looked on the Oliver University and the factory manual they have posted is apparently a mid-2020 updated manual that appears to reflect a firmware upgrade to the units we have, since the manual on the Oliver site displays a LFPO4 setting in the menu, which my 2020 version does not show in the menu and definitely did not have. 

I would post a picture of my settings table from my manual, but it is across town in storage.  PM me if you want me to retrieve my manual and post a copy of the settings menu here.  I would be happy to do so.

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

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2 hours ago, Chukarhunter said:

Our early versions of the 2,000 watt model did not have a LFPO4 setting to switch to so I selected the "custom" battery option. 

My Xantrex 2000W inverter/charger remote display, Setting #20, Battery Type, did have an LFP selection.

3 hours ago, Chukarhunter said:

The main reason you need to adjust the absorption voltage to a 14.4-14.6 volt level

This is where I’m confused, is there a corresponding Setting # on the Xantrex remote to adjust the absorption voltage? I only see adjustments to voltage values in Settings #02 and #04. Could be that mine is not to BT model where ‘custom’ battery options can be made.

3 hours ago, Chukarhunter said:

To be confident how to do this with your model of converter/charger, you really need to consult the "Optional Equipment" manual that came with your Oliver.

I’m going to have to look into this, I may be contacting you. Thanks

2020 OLEll, Twin, 579

2012 Silverado 1500 4x4

No installed solar, Renogy 40A DC-DC charger, 460Ah LFP battery bank/Victron SmartShunt

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On 2/23/2024 at 2:25 PM, Wandering Sagebrush said:

Thank you.  The previous owner replaced the Xantrex(failed device) with a Victron, so I’m going to need to do a bit of research.  The current limit is now set at 8.5.

Could you provide a picture of the new inverter and charger or inverter/charger?  One possible problem if you have an older charger is sometimes the inrush current is too high with that charger.  This will momentarily cause your voltage to drop and trip off the EMS.  With a cheap 2k watt generator like a powerhouse (or possibly a lower wattage nice gen) eco mode cannot be used. 

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On 2/25/2024 at 11:48 AM, Chukarhunter said:

I you upgrade to lithium batteries, then you have two choices.  You can replace your existing PD converter/charger with a more up to date version of the same model that has a lithium ion charging profile option built in.  This is the lowest cost option, but you will be limited to a maximum charging current of 60 amps split among all your batteries .

Last summer, we did almost exactly what @Chukarhunter describes above for our "Casablanca", a 2017 Hull #226.  One of the attractive options our OTT had was that the PO had recently installed 3 Battle Borns and the Victron SmartShunt - the unit came from Oliver with the Xantrax PRO2000 inverter + solar.  

However, after examining the install, we learned (actually with @Geronimo John's knowledgable input) that the PD 4045 Converter/Charger main circuit board did not have the Lithium micro-switch option - either the PO didn't realized this or just omitted it during his upgrade.  So this is why we never saw charging voltages above 13.6DC on our monitor.

Rather than buying a newer Converter/Charger or upgrading to the Victron MultiPlex 3000 inverter/charger - we simply bought a replacement 45amp PD main circuit board with the Lithium option, $125 Amazon.  Swapping them out was straightforward.  The PD 4045 now charges the BBs with the proper Lithium charge profile.  The set-up operates perfectly for our style of camping/boon docking.  

As mentioned in a previous threat, when our Xantrax 2000 goes Tango Uniform, we'll replace it with the larger Victron inverter/charger and take the PD converter/charger out of the charging circuit.  Until then, we're totally confident with the existing set-up.

OBTW:  Our original PD main circuit board is up for grabs if anyone needs a spare - it would be fine with any non-Lithium set up.  Just cover shipping costs and it yours!

Just my $0.02...

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Art, Diane, Magnus & Oscar (double-Aaarrf!)

  • 2022 TUNDRA
  • 2017 LE II; Hull #226 "Casablanca"
  • HAM call-sign:  W0ABX
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