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Old 05-17-2022, 01:39 AM   #1
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Default PowerStar LW3000W-12-C Inverter/Charger Repair

Hello all - long time listener, first time caller!

I have a 2015 RoadTrek Adventurous with a PowerStar LW3000W-12-C inverter/charger, four 6V 210 Ah AGM batteries (wired in series to create two 12V banks), 300W solar, and 2nd underhood alternator. I have noticed recently that while connected to shore power, the inverter/charger will not charge properly. It starts out with charge voltage of 14.4V just fine, then when it drops to float voltage of 13.8V, the internal fan usually kicks on and voltage slowly drops draining the battery over time (many hours). I have noticed that occasionally the fan will stop running, and the charger will bounce back up to 13.8V float. Then the fan will start again, and the voltage begins to slowly drop. I first noticed the problem because I heard the inverter fan not cycling (always on) and therefore draining the battery. The inverter fan operation does not seem to be dependent on ambient temperatures - it was running non-stop when it was very cool outside. In the course of determining the cause, I cleaned all of the 12V positive and negative connections and load tested the batteries (all good). The system charges fine from solar and 2nd alternator. Therefore, I conclude the problem is with the inverter/charger.

THE QUESTION: does anyone know if the charger part of the inverter/charger can be repaired? I am willing to pull it apart and give it a try before pursuing a replacement. Thanks!
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Old 05-22-2022, 04:45 PM   #2
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Following, I have a 2016 with the same configurations.
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Old 05-22-2022, 05:58 PM   #3
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It's very hard to find someone who will try to fix these types of inverters, mainly because it's not cost effective. Here is a thread from the Sprinter Source forum which mentions the LW... part number, one poster mentioned repairing a loose wire.

Here is a manual for a 220V version of the inverter, it shows how to set battery type. Toggling between a couple of types may help if it forgot it's configuration (that can happen as non-volatile memory can fail). If you're going to pull it apart, here's a video of what you should expect (this is a 24V but a 12V should be the same):

As far as replacement, here is a link to a post on this forum regarding that, there seem to be plenty of options.
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2006 Roadtrek 210 Versatile, 400W Solar, 320AH LiFePO4. Suspension mods: Front: Moog 81004 coil springs. Rear: SuperSteer Track Bar, AirLift airbags with integrated bump stop, 2" lift blocks, removed overload leafs. All around: Bilsteins, 265-75R16 K02's
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Old 06-01-2022, 02:23 AM   #4
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a quick follow up - the short answer for finding an easy repair to the inverter is NO. I talked to a professional and his response was, if i can get a replacement for a $1000, then that's the way to go. So I decided to pull the cover off, blow any dust out with compressed air (it was pretty clean for 7 years old), then re-evaluate. I also changed the battery setting from "Gel Euro" to "AGM 2" charger settings. I figured if there was something burned out in the Gel Euro setting, maybe the circuits for a different profile would be OK. As it turns out, the charger behaved better on AGM2 setting, but the voltage is still dropped when the cooling fan kicked on (approx. 0.5 volt below float). When the fan stopped, float voltage returned to normal. As a trial, I purchased a Genius Noco 10 charger and hardwired it into the +/- lugs on the back of the inverter/charger. I turned off the inverter, and used the Noco10 as my battery maintainer. It is doing a fine, consistent job maintaining 13.3 volts in float. I never really liked leaving the expensive inverter/charger on non-stop while in storage (sure seems like you're asking for an expensive component to burn out), so I think I will pursue this work-around for the season, then re-evaluate. If the inverter/charger does an adequate job this season (that is, not drain my battery when on shore power), then I will keep it and use the Noco10 as my primary maintainer when the van is stored at home.
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