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 > Solar Charging Issue

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Posted: 10/09/21 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks to Roger from Fixin' Dixon Mobile RV in Las Vegas, my boondocking adventure was able to continue... I'd been out for 3 weeks with no problems, after which my batteries refused to recharge via solar or generator. Hooked up a portable generator (2000W), and though that DID recharge batteries to 1005, it was hard on the Honda generator, and it refused to work after that...

Called several sources, all were unavailable for at least a week, then was referred to a mobile tech that took overflow work from Fixin' Dixon, and he came out 2 hours later - to the middle of nowhere on Lake Mead - performed diagnostics, and found an on/off switch enabling recharging was flipped to "OFF" somehow, and was not recharging batteries. Further, diagnostics found defective Battery Disconnect module (Battery Isolation Manager module in electrical cord bay) showed 14.1V on the Chassis side, and 13.1V on the Coach side... they should be equal... and so, have appt. to replace this. Meanwhile, after flipping on the switch on the generator, batteries were finally able to recharge from that alone (120W portable solar panel helped, but not enough).

My sincerest thanks to Roger of Fixin' Dixon in Las Vegas, a knowledgeable, helpful expert whose methodical testing and diagnostics alone were worth the price.

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Posted: 10/09/21 07:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad you were able to keep on camping. I'm not sure what happened but possibly:

The RV gen tripped a CB for some reason and then the Honda recharged the batteries to 1005 (typo and that's 100% right?) after which the relative small Honda stopped working - maybe overloaded with additional AC house loads?

Not sure why the 2 battery banks are at different voltages but it's very normal depending upon charging and battery states. The voltages indicate that both banks are fully charged.


2009 Holiday Rambler 42' Scepter with ISL 400 Cummins
750 Watts Solar Morningstar MPPT 60 Controller
2014 Grand Cherokee Overland

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obiwancanoli

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Posted: 10/11/21 03:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The problem appears to be that my solar array wasn't recharging the batteries. By this point, the generator switch (on the top of the genny itself) was flipped back to "on" (no idea how it was turned off), but the tech noted that the solar wasn't recharging the batteries. He advised that the Battery Disconnect module needed replacement, as each side of the BD module was of different voltage (14.1 vs. 13.1), indicating that the solar wasn't recharging the batteries... Have to assume this is a correct diagnosis, but would like other input to get a better idea of the process... thanks

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Posted: 10/11/21 06:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I certainly wondered if the "switch" is in fact a CB. It would not take much load to trip the CB on a 2K gen.

13.1V and 14.1V both indicate some level of charge depending upon other factors. For me there is not enough info to determine a problem. But take his advice and have it checked.

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Posted: 10/11/21 07:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Example: Solar is generating 5A and the house is drawing 15A and hence 10A is being drawn from the house battery. The isolator disconnects the 2 banks so that the chassis battery remains charged. And you don't have to call a tow truck.

120W of solar has limited charging capability, about 8A with ideal conditions.

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