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Old 03-14-2019, 07:38 PM   #21
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Another issue that would show this kind of issue is if the neutral and ground are bonded upstream, which they aren't supposed to be, but we have heard of that error also. That way the neutral and ground share the load on the negative side so they see less current.
But even in this scenario, if appliance malfunction was the cause, both
black hot leads should show similar damage.

From what I understand, the inverter side works fine and the shoreside input is open at the burned terminal which IMO is repairable. With a thousand dollars involved in a replacement, as you suggest, bypassing the trashed terminal is worth a shot.,
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Old 03-14-2019, 07:39 PM   #22
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I think Victron is based in the Netherlands. Samlex America is domestic Canadian but made all over the world, IIRC.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:11 PM   #23
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I have a 2018 Banff, which is also made by Hymer. You said that you plugged in and then turned on the inverter. That won't work with the Banff; you get no power. You have to turn on the inverter before you plug in to get shore power. That is mentioned in my owner's manual, but I missed it on my first trip when my power kept going out because I plugged in first. So, I suspect that if you turn on the inverter before plugging in, that may solve your problem. If so, it's an easy fix that costs nothing. If you forget and plug in first, you can just unplug and then plug in again with the inverter on.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:45 PM   #24
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I missed the photos attached to post 13 also - no point in trying to get it to work until at least the obvious issue is fixed.

20190307_105243.jpg

A high resistance black lead connection that cruising7388 noted would seem to be the cause. The damage seems to have occurred at the internal wiring side first. It may have burned up the transfer switch internally also.

As Booster noted, we've seen photos of a Roadtrek inverter with a terminal block melted like that before.

Yellow romex - is that 12 gauge 20 amp? Shouldn't it be 10 gauge on a 30A coach?
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:05 PM   #25
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I just blew up and brightened the pic a bit, and it looks like the hot side was the connection to the inverter, not the wiring, as it is much more burnt on the non Romex side. That would be a very good place to start and potentially jumper out the damage to see if the inverter is really fried or not.
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:26 PM   #26
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Thank guys for all the input and comments.
The wires are #10 solid ( just standard romex building wire) as you know good for the 30 AMP.
Yes, everything on the 12 VDC works fine, lights, Refrigerator, water pump.
I still plug in the shore power as the inverter receives the 110 Volt input. I turn it on to keep the batteries charged, all four.

On my unit as you know, when shore power is plugged in you have to have the inverter on to get any 110 Volt output or even have the Ecotek system charge the batteries. I never liked that the inverter had to be on when shore power was plugged in to have the outlets working or any of the appliances.


The way RT design has it, when plugged into shore power you have no use of any 110 Volt output, unless the inverter is on. That at times can be an inconvenience.


We where experiencing cold weather in the early mornings and nights, ranging from high 20's to low 30's. So at night I would set the Alde
Electric heater on and the water heater to keep from freezing. That is the only equipment used when this problem occurred. I have done this in the past many times and never had a problem when traveling.

Chris is right RT certainly would not replace with a quality inverter/charger. Looking at the Magnum MSH3012. I am sure they stopped using my Microgreen inverter when they found a cheaper one to install in their units. I am told they went with the KS2 3000 Watt inverter/charger which sells for MSRP $635.

When you compare that to the Magnum at $1900. Again there are other inverter makers out there for some cost savings that compare to the Magnum. One dealer I called said they replace with Magnum. The Aims 3000 Watt pure sine wave inverter/charger goes for $870
Called another dealer and they would use the KS2 installed for $1,700.




Thanks Posters,
Steve
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Old 03-14-2019, 09:30 PM   #27
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I just blew up and brightened the pic a bit, and it looks like the hot side was the connection to the inverter, not the wiring, as it is much more burnt on the non Romex side. That would be a very good place to start and potentially jumper out the damage to see if the inverter is really fried or not.

Might give that a try. Even with my old eyes and not very flexable body. Worth a try. Just in a lousy spot to work on. Might have to pull out some furniture to get at it.

Steve
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:34 PM   #28
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Thank guys for all the input and comments.
The wires are #10 solid ( just standard romex building wire) as you know good for the 30 AMP.
Yes, everything on the 12 VDC works fine, lights, Refrigerator, water pump.
I still plug in the shore power as the inverter receives the 110 Volt input. I turn it on to keep the batteries charged, all four.

On my unit as you know, when shore power is plugged in you have to have the inverter on to get any 110 Volt output or even have the Ecotek system charge the batteries. I never liked that the inverter had to be on when shore power was plugged in to have the outlets working or any of the appliances.


The way RT design has it, when plugged into shore power you have no use of any 110 Volt output, unless the inverter is on. That at times can be an inconvenience.


We where experiencing cold weather in the early mornings and nights, ranging from high 20's to low 30's. So at night I would set the Alde
Electric heater on and the water heater to keep from freezing. That is the only equipment used when this problem occurred. I have done this in the past many times and never had a problem when traveling.

Chris is right RT certainly would not replace with a quality inverter/charger. Looking at the Magnum MSH3012. I am sure they stopped using my Microgreen inverter when they found a cheaper one to install in their units. I am told they went with the KS2 3000 Watt inverter/charger which sells for MSRP $635.

When you compare that to the Magnum at $1900. Again there are other inverter makers out there for some cost savings that compare to the Magnum. One dealer I called said they replace with Magnum. The Aims 3000 Watt pure sine wave inverter/charger goes for $870
Called another dealer and they would use the KS2 installed for $1,700.




Thanks Posters,
Steve
There are some potential issues with replacing the Powerstar inverter. For starters, different cable connection points of the replacement can cause a problem. Also the cable to the inverter remote has to be compatible with the replacement format. Some remote cables are 4 CDX Telco to RJ11 receptacles. Some use 8 CDX Telco to RJ45 Receptacles. Some may even use CAT5/6.

IMO unless sufficient heat from the burned terminal migrated to the innards, I think that the electricals are intact and the connection terminals can be replaced. It's worth checking before trashing it.

That said, there are some not so terrific features with this unit as installed:

1. As you mentioned, the inverter has to be on in order for the battery charger to operate. Consequently, if the inverter fails, you don't have a functioning battery charger. Better designs may physically integrate the inverter and charger but they are electrically independent and the failure of one mode doesn't cripple the other mode.

2. While, the charger is capable of delivering 100 amps, RT programs it for 36 amps maximum to avoid beaker tripping. Better chargers can account for varying coach appliance demands and adjust the charging rate to prevent chronic breaker tripping.

3. The charger has a temp sense port but it's not implemented on multiple battery etreks which depending on their location, may have batteries with different temperatures.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:52 PM   #29
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There are some potential issues with replacing the Powerstar inverter. For starters, different cable connection points of the replacement can cause a problem. Also the cable to the inverter remote has to be compatible with the replacement format. Some remote cables are 4 CDX Telco to RJ11 receptacles. Some use 8 CDX Telco to RJ45 Receptacles. Some may even use CAT5/6.

IMO unless sufficient heat from the burned terminal migrated to the innards, I think that the electricals are intact and the connection terminals can be replaced. It's worth checking before trashing it.

That said, there are some not so terrific features with this unit as installed:

1. As you mentioned, the inverter has to be on in order for the battery charger to operate. Consequently, if the inverter fails, you don't have a functioning battery charger. Better designs may physically integrate the inverter and charger but they are electrically independent and the failure of one mode doesn't cripple the other mode.

2. While, the charger is capable of delivering 100 amps, RT programs it for 36 amps maximum to avoid beaker tripping. Better chargers can account for varying coach appliance demands and adjust the charging rate to prevent chronic breaker tripping.

3. The charger has a temp sense port but it's not implemented on multiple battery etreks which depending on their location, may have batteries with different temperatures.
Cruising,

That's one of the problems for me right now is the remote compatible on the replacement inverter. That is where RT would come in if they where still around. The three dealers I called could not answer that question. As one said we usually get our input on equipment and install guidance through RT tech support.


Will check out the connection terminal.


1. The inverter is still charging the batteries.

2.Would have to find the best charging rate to set the inverter properly.

3. I do not think the Microgreen has a temp sensor. I see some of the inverters that I looked at have that option for battery heat sensing.

Steve
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:58 PM   #30
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Is it common for Roadtrek to use solid copper wires? My previous RV was wired with stranded AC and DC, my current is all marine style.
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Old 03-14-2019, 10:59 PM   #31
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Cruising,

That's one of the problems for me right now is the remote compatible on the replacement inverter. That is where RT would come in if they where still around. The three dealers I called could not answer that question. As one said we usually get our input on equipment and install guidance through RT tech support.


Will check out the connection terminal.


1. The inverter is still charging the batteries.

2.Would have to find the best charging rate to set the inverter properly.

3. I do not think the Microgreen has a temp sensor. I see some of the inverters that I looked at have that option for battery heat sensing.

Steve

What connection do you have between the inverter charger and the remote? Many of the others use a standard cat5 cable and connector so their remote and inverter/charger would hook right up. I did that with our 07 Roadtrek to replace the Tripplite. With either a Magnum (highly recommended) or other major brand, you will want their remote and probably their monitor kit for the remote as it makes for a very nice, super accurate, system for both charging and inverting.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:48 PM   #32
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I have telephone type jack for the remote.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:02 AM   #33
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I have telephone type jack for the remote.
It looks like a Telco RJ11 port which will accept a 4 or 6 conductor flat Telco cable. It looks like the cable in photo is 6 conductor which is often used to defend against physical abuse (stretching, bending etc) even though only four conductors are active.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:04 AM   #34
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I have telephone type jack for the remote.

I just looked at the Magnum ARC 50 remote and it says it is a 6P4C connector which may be what you have now. It would 6 position 4 conductor.


As long as you have 4w wires, you could probably just change connector if needed.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:04 AM   #35
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I am getting ready to replace the inverter on my Agile. It too is one of the 3k off brands that no longer charges and also has a magical path from shore to inverter. As far as I can tell the shore power has no breaker between external power connection and inverter. There is a 30 amp main breaker in the circuit box fed by inverter.

Does anyone know if there is a hidden breaker somewhere or is it really hot to the inverter where it uses the inverter's breaker for protection? Just in case that is all there is to the connection, I picked up a small double pole and small box from blue sea for protection to the new inverter ..oh yes its the 3012!!
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:16 AM   #36
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I am getting ready to replace the inverter on my Agile. It too is one of the 3k off brands that no longer charges and also has a magical path from shore to inverter. As far as I can tell the shore power has no breaker between external power connection and inverter. There is a 30 amp main breaker in the circuit box fed by inverter.

Does anyone know if there is a hidden breaker somewhere or is it really hot to the inverter where it uses the inverter's breaker for protection? Just in case that is all there is to the connection, I picked up a small double pole and small box from blue sea for protection to the new inverter ..oh yes its the 3012!!

I can't speak for your model, but it is quite common not to have a breaker in the shore power to inverter line, as it is protected by the breaker on the shore power outlet.
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Old 03-15-2019, 12:43 PM   #37
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.......................... Looking at the Magnum MSH3012...................................

I had to decide which inverter/charger to buy a year and a half ago. I looked at most brands including Aims, Kisae, Xantrex, Tripp lite, Samlex, Magnum, Outback etc.

I quickly excluded a lot of them because of a lack of custom programming or other missing feature or inadequate specs and narrowed it down to Samlex EVO series (2yr warranty), Magnum (3yr warranty) or Outback (some with 5yr warranty). I chose the least expensive of the three with the output wattage I wanted, a Samlex EVO-3012 and it does what I need in a Class A motorhome.

The Magnum MSH3012 you mentioned would be a really nice upgrade. It is a hybrid inverter meaning that it can combine an AC power source and battery power source to power a load. If you have a small quiet generator or lower amperage AC plug in at home for example you could still power a large load like the RV air conditioner. You'd be able to power the large load much longer than on batteries alone. That feature could be really nice if overnighting at a friend or relatives house and needing to run the air conditioner overnight for example.

The Magnum remote has a surface mount option which would help if flush mounting is not possible in your coach.
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Old 03-15-2019, 01:26 PM   #38
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Marko's top three were essentially the same brands as I got down to when we did our last upgrade a few years ago. I think all are good units.


I eliminated the Outback early only because it was larger and would have required using a different area to put it in.


It then got down to a requirement that I have that most people don't worry about in that I want the charger to control the charging to full based on amps measured at the batteries by a shunt. This is the only way I know of that can accurately tell when the batteries are fully charged without overcharging them. Most chargers use algorithms to control charging and some measure amps but do it internally so loads on in the van will mess up the accuracy of charging. This requirement knocked the the Samlex out for me. We went with a Magnum MS2000, ARC50 remote, and BMK kit.
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Old 03-15-2019, 03:27 PM   #39
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The Magnum + ARC50 remote + BMK kit is an awesome way to get precise charging control. On a B van with lead acid batteries and a compressor fridge I don't know if there's a better way to do it. I doubt there is.

The minimum level of inverter/charger function that I'd want with lithium batteries would be the ability to set the exact voltage you want and also be able to set a voltage transition based on current flow.

With a 400Ah lithium bank I'd probably charge at 13.6V with up to 100A current and transition to 13.5V when the current flow has dropped to 20A or less. That's just my current opinion on this and other folks here will likely have different opinions on charging LFP batteries. I think that will get the LFP bank to 95% and maintain it there while plugged in. I'd probably experiment with transitioning to 13.4V also and observe current flow. If 13.4V gets the bank to at least 90% SOC then that might be good enough.

It would be good to hear other members ideas on charging LFP banks.
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Old 03-15-2019, 04:01 PM   #40
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The Magnum + ARC50 remote + BMK kit is an awesome way to get precise charging control. On a B van with lead acid batteries and a compressor fridge I don't know if there's a better way to do it. I doubt there is.
…………………..
This is the same inverter/charger with ARC50/BMK and with 2 x 115Ah AGMs which I have (1000W). Works great except one failure on the Vero Beach private campground on the recent trip to Florida.

I plugged the power cable to the campsite's tower, the blue indicator on the cable plug went on, turned the AC Main double CB on – green LED went on indicating polarity OK, turned the Inverter/Charger CB on and the red polarity LED came on and 2 green LEDs started to flash – no power on board.

It works fine everywhere else. Don’t understand why but it seems as it was a local issue.
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