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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having issues running power off my solar set up. Is there a common list of items to troubleshoot for campervan electrical systems on the forum or out on the web? It is difficult finding answers for a custom built system. Thanks in advanced for the help!

Donald
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm unsure exactly. I have 400 ah lithium ion battery with 340 watt solar and a DC to DC charger hooked up to the van battery obviously hooked up to the alternator. My batteries say full but at night unless the vehicle is running.....it does not power anything. During the day I still need to turn the vehicle on to run the renergy 2000 watt inverter. I then can turn the vehicle off and leave the inverter on and run everything as normal. I can go way more in depth but did not want to waste anyone's time without doing more homework!
 

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2019 Promaster 3500 Silver high top 159"
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To be clear: your inverter doesn't power up unless the vehicle is running? But once powered it continues to work when you turn the vehicle off?

Which products (besides the inverter) do you have?
 

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Multimeter, and find where you have power and where you don't. I put off buying a multimeter for a long time (because my system mostly worked right away so I didn't bother). Finally bought one to tune my music amplifiers. It's really useful for checking where you have voltage and where you don't. And testing the battery. And polarity of cords. And surely other stuff that will come up.
 

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2018 136" HR
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best to provide us with your electric/wiring diagram , seems like you wire something wrong.

To me, it sounds like you hook up something wrong on your dc-dc charger and its disconnecting when you have the engine off and connecting back when you have the engine on. I'm not sure if dc-dc charger do the same thing as my smart isolator where it stay connect until the car battery drop below a specific voltage threshold and it will disconnect itself from the aux battery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My gosh what a joy to have all these people trying to help me already. I was a long time lurker. So I learned so much from you all already. Thanks everyone! I am trying to build the diagram but I have some photos in the meantime. There are a couple of wires missing in the two photos but I just did not update the photos since I was working on it. The DC to DC charger and MPPT controller come to mind lol.

MPPT Charge Controller -- EPEVER 40A MPPT Solar Charge
2 x ExpertPower 12V 200Ah Lithium LiFePO4 Batteries
2 x 170 watt rich solar panel
DC to DC Victron Energy Orion-Tr Smart 12v Charger
Victron smart shunt and battery monitor
Wire gauge for batteries and inverter 1/0(photos may show otherwise for some items)
Wire gauge for everything else 4awg

I think that's the gist of it right now. I'm sure you will have so many questions I need to answer to. Thanks again everyone.

Donald
 

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I think updated photos would be good. One problem I see, unrelated to your issues, is that the fuse for the main batteries is not appropriately wired.

Views differ, but I would put it between the battery and the two switches. Again views differ, but I would eliminate the inverter switch and connect it to the main 12v bus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My gosh thanks so much. I will take more pics tomorrow it's too cold and dark right now. The van is basically done asides from these electrical issues so the electrical closet is harder to see now! :)
 

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If you have a multimeter take a voltage reading at the batteries. Also - when you start the inverter when the van is off and it doesn't do anything, do any of the alert lights come on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
It beeps like crazy, I assumed for low voltage.i just ordered a multimeter. It's weird because I could turn the engine on, and then off. Then start the inverter and it would run fine. I could also start the inverter while vehicle was on leave the inverter on and turn the van off. Something is off though in general. Even my 12v stuff on Saturday night and yesterday were not working at all for a bit. But then today it works fine. I am confused for sure. By no means am I and electrician. I built it off based off Will Prowse and another solar genius. I tried to get a company near me to do it because it scared me lol. No one near me in Michigan would do it because it's not a standard RV system. Now no one will touch it for that same reason. They do not want to be liable and can't guarantee things. I understand but it's frustrating :)
 

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2016 3500 ext-ht
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It beeps like crazy, I assumed for low voltage.i just ordered a multimeter. It's weird because I could turn the engine on, and then off. Then start the inverter and it would run fine. I could also start the inverter while vehicle was on leave the inverter on and turn the van off. Something is off though in general. Even my 12v stuff on Saturday night and yesterday were not working at all for a bit. But then today it works fine. I am confused for sure. By no means am I and electrician. I built it off based off Will Prowse and another solar genius. I tried to get a company near me to do it because it scared me lol. No one near me in Michigan would do it because it's not a standard RV system. Now no one will touch it for that same reason. They do not want to be liable and can't guarantee things. I understand but it's frustrating :)
Probably because they don't have clue. RV dealerships are hacks and parts changers.
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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Your inverter low battery alarm goes on at 10.5V, low battery shut down it at 10V if I have looked at the right manual.

Next time the 12V is not working use your volt meter to measure the voltage at the inverter input connections. Then put the neg test lead on the battery - post and check the voltage at +tve post. Leave the volt meter -tve lead on the neg post and check the voltage at every connection/lug from the +tve post to the inverter +tve.
You have 9 connections between the + post and the inverter +. I think that is too many. After that test you should reverse the procedure, leaving the volt meter pos lead on the + post and probe all the - connections (6) on the way to the inverter -.
You are looking for a voltage drop that is excessive compared to the others. Measure in and out of switches, fuses and other connections.

I would put the pos cable lugs between the inverter and battery on the same stud on the bus bars. I would do the same with the negatives cable lugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just took some updated pics. Sorry it's not as visible now. Gauges were swapped and made more uniform to the shunt a while back. I also used the wire supplied with the inverter for the positive now since it was a longer run. The temperature is like 30 degrees but I have a heater running in the van from my house keeping it about 70 degrees in the van.
 

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