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We have a new Mercedes jayco sprinter van. We questioned if…

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We have a new...

We have a new Mercedes jayco sprinter van. We questioned if the solar was working correctly and the dealer signed off on it and said it was fine. Our battery is at 67% and is not charging via the solar. It’s a sunny day. The green light on the inverter is flashing green. Both the rooftop and interior solar switches are on. We have Renogy system and the charging status says “idle”Are we doing something wrong?

Mechanic's Assistant: Is the rough idling consistent? Anything sound different?

Solar charging

Mechanic's Assistant: What year is your Sprinter?

2021

Mechanic's Assistant: Is there anything else the RV Mechanic should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.

Shore power also

Submitted: 2 months ago.Category: RV
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
7/17/2022
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago
Robert
Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 24,098
Experience: 23 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.
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Hi! Welcome to JustAnswer. Thank you for contacting us about your RV. I am Robert and will be assisting you today. May I please have your name?
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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Jennie
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago

Hi Jennie.

Please allow me several mins to type a response.

Thanks, Robert

What I would do is get a volt meter and verify the actual voltage at the batteries, sometimes the panel where you read the voltage level may be off a little. IF you are plugged into power the battery voltage should range from 12.5 volts to 14.5 volts if the voltage is below that and you are plugged in there is a problem.

For solar only not plugged in the battery voltage may hover around 12.5 volts or so, if the voltage is going below 12 volts then there is a problem. Solar will help keep the batteries charged up however if you have the inverter ON in "invert" mode and using allot of the AC power it is going to struggle to keep up. I would only have the inverter on "invert" mode when you are not plugged in and want AC power inside the RV. An inverter will take the battery voltage and make the AC voltage.

IF you are under warranty I might have the dealer check the electrical system out under warranty to make sure everything is charging as it should.

Hope this points you in the right direction, if you have more questions or concerns please feel free to contact me, I am around daily and respond when I can.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
We don't have anything on including the inverter and the solar is not changing the battery status. Also when I plug the shore power into the house the gfci on the house outlet is tripping.The status says idle. Turn the inverter on and the status says discharging
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago

What power source are you trying to plug into? Are you plugged in direct to power OR are you using an adapter and extension cords? Are you trying to plug the RV into a standard 110 house outlet?

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Using an adapter and the cord that came with the van. Yes plugging into the garageWe bought an rv electrical adapter. 15p male / 30 amp female
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago

You really should not be plugging into a standard 110 outlet or it can cause issues. Many RV manufacturers will void the warranty on the electrical system if they find out that you are doing that. My advice would be to plug the RV in direct to power and see if everything works per design. IF everything works good then I would have a 30 amp service installed at your home, if you like I can send you some information on doing that It still sounds like the solar is not working and that would be something you would want the dealer to look at if you just purchased the RV. I would not tell them you are trying to plug into a standard 110 outlet with the RV.

Robert

Below is a link for installing a 30 amp service, sometimes if you have an electrician that is not familiar with RV wiring they can wire it where 220 volts is coming into the RV and that will cause lots of damage. So below is the proper way to wire in a 30 amp service.

Robert

https://www.myrv.us/Imgs/PDF/30-amp%20Service.pdf

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Ok thanks. So what about plugging into a 3500 watt generator? We like to camp off-grid and wondering if a generator is a good backup or is it going to cause the same issues as plugging into the house?
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago
As long as there is not an issue with the power converter the generator should work meaning if you plug in direct and everything works then the generator should work for you, if the power converter has a problem then the same thing is going to happen with the generator. The power converter takes AC voltage and makes the DC voltage and charges the battery. You are very limited when you plug into a standard 110 outlet because it reduces the amps in half and can trip the breaker. Again I would have the dealer check this out if you are under warranty.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Thank you!
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago
No problem at all.

Thanks for coming to Just Answer to ask your RV question.

Have a great evening!

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Good morning. We tested the shore power connection to a 3000w generator. The battery did not charge during the time we tested it. The generator seemed to surge every few minutes and the power would almost die then idle normal again. When we turned on the AC unit while running the generator the battery charge stayed consistent. No charge or discharge. Is this a good sign the shore power is working correctly and the solar is the only issue we appear to be having?
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago
Again you need a volt meter to see what the battery charge is, plugged in or with the generator going the voltage at the battery should be between 12.5 volts and 14.5 volt DC. If you are not getting that then the power converter is not charging properly. I would suggest investing in a digital volt meter to do some basic voltage checks. 

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Unfortunately the batteries are buried and not easily accessible under seats and behind panels. Thanks for the information
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago

Understand.. I would want to know the actual voltages plugged in to see if the voltage is in range.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
We have a smart device in the unit which may give me that information. I'll see if it is available somewhere in the menu options
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago

Sounds good.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
I'll send some screenshots when I get back to testing the unit
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago

Sounds good, I am around daily and respond when I can.\

Robert

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RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago

So the chassis battery voltage is good at 12.7 volts, I suspect you should have something that says house battery like the chassis battery. I can not explain the 53.1 volts as normally it is a 12 volt system unless that is the amount the solar. I think on this one I would have the dealer go over everything with you on this. This is not a system I have dealt with yet and don't want to give you false information.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Ok thank you. They did t explain anything on the power converter during walk through and we questioned the solar 3 days after taking possession and they claimed it was fine. One last question regarding the solar charge, should the inverter be on or off? No can't find anything in our user manuals
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago

The inverter should only be ON if you are NOT plugged into power and you want AC power. Normally when you are dry camping you would have the inverter on to have that AC power. The batteries should still charge via the solar when the inverter is not on, or that is at least the way I have seen these set up.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
That's what I thought. Thanks for clarifying. We have a trip planned later this week and I doubt the dealer can get us in this week (they are my next call). Do you think it's safe to run the generator for our needs even though it's not charging or draining our batteries when plugged in.
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago

I would say it would be safe but you may loose the DC voltage if the converter is not charging properly.

Robert

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Customer reply replied 2 months ago
Great thanks for your time. I know I'm not going to get the same customer service at the delay as it's already been poor
RV Mechanic: Robert, RV Mechanic replied 2 months ago
Understand and thanks for the great feedback.

Have a great day.

Robert

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Robert
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Robert, RV Mechanic
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 24,098
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Experience: 23 yrs. RV experience including Cummins North West, Country Coach, Monaco Coach - vendor certified.

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