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Old 05-12-2019, 08:35 PM   #1
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Default Newbie here with some rudimentary electrical questions

Brand new to the forum, and brand new to the RV world. I bought, 2 days ago, a 2017 Midwest Auto Sprinter (on a 2016 chassis), and I'm furiously trying to read through the manuals (I have most of them, and am downloading the others).

It is equipped with the standard Onan generator, Dometic roof AC unit (it also has the 12v ProAir AC), a Truma CP unit (which I assume is both a water heater and a van interior heater), as well as a Xantrax inverter and a solar controller for the rooftop panels.

The cab has a Master Power switch that turns on the power to the van's systems.

I'm sure that I will have a lot of questions as we go forward, but I'll try to minimize them by researching first.

Let me start with this one:
The generator (LP fueled) starts and runs fine (though I have to have the master power switch ON for it to run). My understanding is that the Xantrax inverter/charger should "see" that the generator is running and presumably supplying 120v AC power and should so indicate by showing me a green light. It does not. And the Dometic rooftop AC gives me an E7 error code, which (I believe) means that it is not seeing the 120v AC from the generator.

It seems like both the inverter and AC unit do not sense that the generator is running. Is this possible?
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Old 05-12-2019, 10:34 PM   #2
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First, the generator has a circuit breaker mounted behind a small access door, you should check this first. Flip it down and back up. Also check all breakers on your AC panel. Next check to see if you get power if you are plugged into a shore power outlet. The generator should have an automatic transfer switch to begin supplying power to the AC breaker panel when it is started up. Do some more testing and check back.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:18 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gks314 View Post
Brand new to the forum, and brand new to the RV world. I bought, 2 days ago, a 2017 Midwest Auto Sprinter (on a 2016 chassis), and I'm furiously trying to read through the manuals (I have most of them, and am downloading the others).

It is equipped with the standard Onan generator, Dometic roof AC unit (it also has the 12v ProAir AC), a Truma CP unit (which I assume is both a water heater and a van interior heater), as well as a Xantrax inverter and a solar controller for the rooftop panels.

The cab has a Master Power switch that turns on the power to the van's systems.

I'm sure that I will have a lot of questions as we go forward, but I'll try to minimize them by researching first.

Let me start with this one:
The generator (LP fueled) starts and runs fine (though I have to have the master power switch ON for it to run). My understanding is that the Xantrax inverter/charger should "see" that the generator is running and presumably supplying 120v AC power and should so indicate by showing me a green light. It does not. And the Dometic rooftop AC gives me an E7 error code, which (I believe) means that it is not seeing the 120v AC from the generator.

It seems like both the inverter and AC unit do not sense that the generator is running. Is this possible?

Welcome to the forum gks314!


You'll find good advice here, but I also suggest you contact customer service at the Midwest factory.

You have an awesome unit with some great features. You'll really enjoy it once you get these initial issues sorted out. And be patient. I was where you are about 18 months ago. I still learn something new about my rv every week either working on it or from reading advice on this forum.

Good luck.
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Old 05-12-2019, 11:30 PM   #4
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Default Will do

and thanks for your help. It's much appreciated.
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Old 05-13-2019, 12:44 AM   #5
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Welcome to the forum gks314!


You'll find good advice here, but I also suggest you contact customer service at the Midwest factory.

You have an awesome unit with some great features. You'll really enjoy it once you get these initial issues sorted out. And be patient. I was where you are about 18 months ago. I still learn something new about my rv every week either working on it or from reading advice on this forum.

Good luck.
.
Thanks so much. I've been lurking for several months while we searched for the right rig so I know this is a great community.
Thank for the words of encouragement and I'll call Midwest tomorrow
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:22 PM   #6
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"Newbie here with some rudimentary electrical questions"

Me too. With a prehistoric B (05/04 Roadtrek), when plugging into shore power is the 12V stuff (lights, fan.......) running off the converter along with the charger? Could the batteries be removed if permanently connected to shore power?
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:41 PM   #7
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Most probably not Bud because you'd have a Tripp Lite inverter/charger in an '04 or '05. The '04 I owned had one.

If the the rig has a converter/charger then some of those work without batteries. The converter/charger functions like a DC power supply. The PD charger in my van continues to supply DC if plugged into the grid and I disconnect the batteries.
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:50 PM   #8
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Most probably not Bud because you'd have a Tripp Lite inverter/charger in an '04 or '05. The '04 I owned had one.

If the the rig has a converter/charger then some of those work without batteries. The converter/charger functions like a DC power supply. The PD charger in my van continues to supply DC if plugged into the grid and I disconnect the batteries.
I do have the separate converter and charger. It is not known why this 05/04 does not have the inverter/charger. One explanation was Roadtrek ran out of the Tripp Lite, so they just used what they had before more Tripp Lite's were received. This has been discussed, not a specific thread about it. You might recall now.

Thanks markopolo.

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Old 05-14-2019, 09:12 PM   #9
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Yes, I remember that now.
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Old 05-16-2019, 04:20 AM   #10
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First, the generator has a circuit breaker mounted behind a small access door, you should check this first. Flip it down and back up. Also check all breakers on your AC panel. Next check to see if you get power if you are plugged into a shore power outlet. The generator should have an automatic transfer switch to begin supplying power to the AC breaker panel when it is started up. Do some more testing and check back.
It was the generator circuit breaker. I couldn't very easily fit under there, (NOW I remember why we had kids) but my 14yo could fit on my creeper and slide under there easily. He removed the access panel, found the breaker switch, and reset it.
After that, the genny runs the dometic rooftop ac, perfectly.

And now we do get shore power, and the inverter/charger sees it (both from the home circuit and the generator) and passes it along to the batteries.

Thank you so much for your help. I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.
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Old 05-17-2019, 02:41 AM   #11
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Default OK. Next question...

Let's assume that I have a single LifeLine 255 Ah AGM battery in the van portion. (I think I do, and will confirm shortly).
There is also a cab (chassis? Not exactly sure of the correct terminology yet) battery.
There is for sure a Xantrax freedom HFS inverter/charger, and I THINK it's 2000 watts.

One of the settings on the inverter/charger is the ability to, while in inverter mode, read the battery voltage, battery current, and output power in kW.

My question is, can I use these readings to evaluate the "health" of the battery?
And also, since I assume it at least charges both the coach and chassis batteries, which battery is being evaluated when I'm looking at these 3 values?
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Old 05-17-2019, 04:42 PM   #12
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While standing (resting) voltage with no load is an approximate check of battery state, it is not a really reliable indication of the charge level. To do that you really need a battery monitor with an Ampere Hour function. This device is similar in principle to a bank book: it measures deposits (charging) and withdrawals (Usage) giving you a running balance of the state of your account (battery). The Bogart Tri-Metric is probably the best known and most popular, but there are several. This type of meter is especially useful with solar panel systems.
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Old 05-18-2019, 04:33 AM   #13
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Default Thank you!

I'll look into it.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:51 PM   #14
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Yes the inverter is probably set wrong. If you want to message me I can refer you to our Midwest Automotive Design (MAD) group where lots of owner can help you with these type of things... We are all learning together and helping each other out. Your issues sound very familiar to what we have experienced and others..
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:54 PM   #15
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Yes it took us a long time to find people with the same Midwest automotive design’s unit that we had or any Midwest automotive design unit at all. See my other post! 😁. Or year later and we’re still learning new things every day.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:46 AM   #16
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I too am a newbie but sometimes when you have already run into the same problem it helps to get someone out of it. Yes, the all power light has to be on for the generator to start. As far as the AC giving you an E7 error- it means that the breaker on the generator itself has tripped. When everything is cooled down go underneath the vehicle with a flat screwdriver and a flashlight and take the cover off of the generator (believe it or not simple to do) reach inside the generator opening and as you feel around you will find a “sort of” toggle switch that like a normative breaker has to be first switched down before it can be re-set up. Screw the cover back on and voila- you shall be a master of your universe.
As far as the inverter light... on my 2018 version of the Midwest Weekender in the same cabinet that you find the generator switch and the tank lights to the far left you will find the toggle for the inverter to go on. Hope it helps.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gks314 View Post
Brand new to the forum, and brand new to the RV world. I bought, 2 days ago, a 2017 Midwest Auto Sprinter (on a 2016 chassis), and I'm furiously trying to read through the manuals (I have most of them, and am downloading the others).

It is equipped with the standard Onan generator, Dometic roof AC unit (it also has the 12v ProAir AC), a Truma CP unit (which I assume is both a water heater and a van interior heater), as well as a Xantrax inverter and a solar controller for the rooftop panels.

The cab has a Master Power switch that turns on the power to the van's systems.

I'm sure that I will have a lot of questions as we go forward, but I'll try to minimize them by researching first.

Let me start with this one:
The generator (LP fueled) starts and runs fine (though I have to have the master power switch ON for it to run). My understanding is that the Xantrax inverter/charger should "see" that the generator is running and presumably supplying 120v AC power and should so indicate by showing me a green light. It does not. And the Dometic rooftop AC gives me an E7 error code, which (I believe) means that it is not seeing the 120v AC from the generator.

It seems like both the inverter and AC unit do not sense that the generator is running. Is this possible?
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:12 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
Most probably not Bud because you'd have a Tripp Lite inverter/charger in an '04 or '05. The '04 I owned had one.

If the the rig has a converter/charger then some of those work without batteries. The converter/charger functions like a DC power supply. The PD charger in my van continues to supply DC if plugged into the grid and I disconnect the batteries.
Another newbie here. I have a 2003 190 Versatile, purchased 5/3/19 without recording all the basics covered in :45 minute overview. Today's question: Should all AC circuits function when driving down the road? Does the modified Alternator do that, or only power the DC circuits?
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Old 05-28-2019, 12:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Beulah View Post
Another newbie here. I have a 2003 190 Versatile, purchased 5/3/19 without recording all the basics covered in :45 minute overview. Today's question: Should all AC circuits function when driving down the road? Does the modified Alternator do that, or only power the DC circuits?
:Beulah
Beulah, I think there were both Chevrolet and Dodge 190's in 2003. I'll take a guess with this answer.

You probably have a converter, charger, inverter - not an inverter/charger. If so, the A/C stuff is provided with shore power with specific 110v outlets. There is a different 110v outlet from the inverter. There is an ATS (automatic transfer switch) that provides shore power if available or generator power otherwise).

When driving down the road there no shore power, but start the generator and all 110v ac stuff will work. You can use the inverter 110v power also. The rv does not know you're driving down the road or parked, it only knows there is no shore power, so the ATS uses the generator power if it is running driving or parked. And with the battery switch AND inverter turned on, 110v ac at the dedicated outlet usually in the tv cabinet. There could also be another one in the kitchen area, usually not.

I have no idea what you mean by "modified Alternator do that". The alternator imply provides 12 volt dc for you van battery and rv battery.

You may very well have another question(s).

Bud
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Old 05-29-2019, 12:34 AM   #19
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Thanks, Bud. She's a Dodge.
I guess I misunderstood the lingo regarding the alternator and have some terminology wrong with inverter and converter. I've decided to pay for a complete systems check for $375. This time I will run a tape recorder and video the highlights with phone.

Meanwhile, I think I understand
-that when the vehicle's motor is running, it also charges the deep cycle battery then automatically shuts off when the battery is fully charged.
- i'm not able to run the AC, Microwave, or any of the plugs unless plugged into shore or if generator is running.

I'm unclear on what you meant by "You can use the inverter 110v power also." Are you saying there's one particular plug that runs off the battery? Is that the "dedicated outlet?" I should find it in the TV cabinet? That's pretty cool I could charge my phone without starting up the van.

I will say I had it on shore power a couple of times and everything seemed to work fine but I did not test the AC then. When I start the generator, the AC does not power up though this afternoon I noted the AC's safety plug needed to be reset.

Thanks for any insights.
Beulah
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Old 05-29-2019, 12:57 AM   #20
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I mentioned 'probably' an inverter. Maybe that was not standard in 2003? Seems like whoever owned it may have added one though if it never had one. Investigate, look for a 110v outlet, it won't work on ac from shore power or generator. Inverters are not expensive to use with tv's, phones...........

The alternator charging does not shut off, unless someone did that, unlikely.

Hope your ac is ok.

Bud
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