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Old 08-11-2014, 03:26 PM   #1
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Getting frustrated...

OK team... I'm on the verge of breaking something... figured it was time for a push from you pros...

2006 SMB Build E350 RB Diesel
Tripplite Inverter
Starcool A/C

Got the truck last month... jumped it. Everything worked. She sat there for a month (unplugged). I just jumped her again. This time... no power to stereo, no power to microwave, tripplite panel is blinking red on the lower left side when flipped to "invert" side, no rear Starcool A/C (no blower or anything). All this with the engine running... and the engine has been running for several hours. The dash battery reads fine.

There isn't a tripplite page in my users guide.

I can't locate this mysterious 40 Amp "manual reset" circuit breaker under my seat. I'm hoping this is the issue and someone can give me the magic answer as to where this "button" is.

Additional observations... the GFI is "test" bottom is in and "reset" is out. I can't cycle the GFI buttons. Also, my dash A/C isn't blowing cold at all with a new can of freon and a good compression test. I wouldn't thing this last A/C issue would be related to the other stuff but just an observations.

Go team go!!!

Appreciate the input...

Kurt
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: Getting frustrated...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtdog
OK team... I'm on the verge of breaking something... figured it was time for a push from you pros...

2006 SMB Build E350 RB Diesel
Tripplite Inverter
Starcool A/C

Got the truck last month... jumped it. Everything worked. She sat there for a month (unplugged). I just jumped her again. This time... no power to stereo, no power to microwave, tripplite panel is blinking red on the lower left side when flipped to "invert" side, no rear Starcool A/C (no blower or anything). All this with the engine running... and the engine has been running for several hours. The dash battery reads fine.
If it sat for a month without being charged by shore power or engine alternator, your house batteries may be dead.

The blinking red TrippLite LED means that the inverter can't keep up with the load. If your batts are dead, then that makes sense because there is no battery power to work with.

Quote:
There isn't a tripplite page in my users guide.

I can't locate this mysterious 40 Amp "manual reset" circuit breaker under my seat. I'm hoping this is the issue and someone can give me the magic answer as to where this "button" is.
Try plugging the van into shore power if you can.

On mine, there is a small breaker panel on the front of the dinette seat. It looks like this:



To get 110V to go to anything else, the Main breaker must be on. Then I can turn the other breakers on as needed. But of course, you have to have 110V coming from either the inverter or shore power first.

Quote:
Additional observations... the GFI is "test" bottom is in and "reset" is out. I can't cycle the GFI buttons. Also, my dash A/C isn't blowing cold at all with a new can of freon and a good compression test. I wouldn't thing this last A/C issue would be related to the other stuff but just an observations.
I have an unwired Leviton GFI receptacle here at the house. Pushing the Test or Reset buttons does nothing, not even a click.

Some (all?) Starcools have the refrigerant lines plumbed in with the factory engine A/C. If there is a leak in the system, neither the engine nor Starcool will put out cold air. But you said that it passes a compression test, so it might be some other separate issue.
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:26 PM   #3
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Re: Getting frustrated...

OK... I've a few new data points and observations:

I got one of these nifty 12V voltage gauges. Plugged it into one of the back 12V adaptors and observed 6.8V when the engine was off and it was climbing from there at about .5V every 30 minutes with the engine running.

When plugged into the dash it reads a full 12+V. I get that they are reading different batteries.

Also, I have the "extra battery". So, there's one big one under the side doors and another big one under the back seat.

So... is this "extra" battery dead or did I just drain them hard? Do I need to replace one or both of them or plug this big girl in for a day or two?

Give it to me straight boys...

Gracias.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:03 PM   #4
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Re: Getting frustrated...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtdog
So... is this "extra" battery dead or did I just drain them hard? Do I need to replace one or both of them or plug this big girl in for a day or two?
6.8V? They are likely dead. But you can't do much testing without them being charged.. So plug it in for a while (and confirm they are charging) then test. FYI, if they are tied together you have to replace both at the same time.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:40 PM   #5
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Re: Getting frustrated...

Hopefully you didn't kill your batteries but 6.8v is bad. Very, very bad. You should ideally never let them get below 12.0v. Fully charged they should sit at 12.5-12.8v. Try not to let them run down below 12.0v.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:27 PM   #6
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Re: Getting frustrated...

On a Starcool III (which has a separate AC compressor), if the thermostat is in the on position when the van is not plugged into shore power, the inverter will try to run it and the starcool will pull from the inverter/house batteries. It will trip the inverter in most cases. Make sure that the inverter is set to charge only and not inverting (changing DC to AC) while the starcool thermostat is set to cool.

On the road, leave the thermostat in the off position and turn on both Ford and Starcool units. (Provided the thermostat is off, it's OK to invert if you need 110AC when driving using both Ford and Starcool units)

While on shore power keep the inverter off (it will automatically pass thru the AC from the shore power) but you can still and should set it to the charge mode. On shore power turn on the rear Starcool switch and set the thermostat to cool. Set the desired temp. Keep the Ford system off.

Sounds like you may have overloaded the inverter. It also sounds like you pulled the house battery system down if this is what you're doing. It might also be a different issue. I don't know where the reset button is on a tripplite...I have a 2000w prosine.
Anyway sounds like you need to charge up the batteries for a few days.
Hope this helps. Feel free to PM me if need be.

[edit] Your alternator will not provide enough of a charge to get those batteries up if you are on the road. You might get 5 amps from a standard alternator and it will take forever to get a large battery back to 80-90% which is about max for most alternators. You really need to plug into shore power for a few days and set the inverter/charger to the charge mode. But anything is better than nothing. Hate to say it but leave the air conditioners off and drive drive drive if you can't get to shore power. Also if you do find shore power, the power cord needs to be rated for 30 amps as well as the shore power you plug into if you want to run the Starcool. (for charging purposes a smaller power cord can be used, just don't use anything that pulls a lot like a microwave or heater.
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:07 PM   #7
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Re: Getting frustrated...

Lot's of good information already handed out here.

I will add a PDF of the TrippLite manual.

Your batteries are very low, and the TrippLite will probably not charge them if you plug in.

Looks like you are getting some charge off of the alternator?

Like Dave said do not run the Starcool off of the inverter while driving, it will not be able to handle the load. To get the Starcool to run off of 12 volts while running the Fan/Blower switch must be on, also the little switch behind drivers head must also be on. If you have a electric top it is usually right next to that switch. If the rear Starcool is not running OEM front will eventually blow hot air.

Also like Dave said to get your batteries charged up faster turn off the air both front and starcool,


The 40 amp breaker will be very close to the 12 volt RV distribution fuse box. There will be a small reset on the end.



You will not be able to reset the GFI until you have AC to them.

Happy Hunting

-greg
Attached Files
File Type: pdf TrippLite Inverter.pdf (1.15 MB, 4 views)
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Old 08-12-2014, 08:48 AM   #8
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Re: Getting frustrated...

You guys ROCK. Thanks for the push. I'll plug her in for a few days and let you know how it goes.

One more issue / question that may be related...

Yesterday I jumped her. Drove her around. She started up just fine each time. The 12V volt meter in the dash says she's charging fine. BUT... 12 hours later I go to start her up and she won't crank. Had to jump her again this morning.

Isn't the crank battery separated from the others? Shouldn't I be able to go a couple days without her plugged in without having to jump her? How do I tell if I need to replace that battery? And which one is it...? The one under the side door that I jump her from?

Freakin' batteries!!!

Again... thanks for the input... I guess this is probably some kind of right of passage for all new SMB owners.

Cheers,

Kurt
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:03 AM   #9
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Re: Getting frustrated...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kurtdog

Isn't the crank battery separated from the others? Shouldn't I be able to go a couple days without her plugged in without having to jump her? How do I tell if I need to replace that battery? And which one is it...? The one under the side door that I jump her from?
Yes, it should be unless someone has changed something. Yes, you should be able to go a long time without a jump since your starting (van) battery/batteries should be separated from your house battery/batteries. I would take the van to a mechanic, or at the very least an auto parts store that will test all batteries for free (Autozone/Advance/Napa/O'reilley's). If you have a battery under the hood, and I think you do but I don't have a 6.0, you should jump from there.

I would also recommend that you go to an RV place pretty soon, or call the SMB location who did your build and figure out what's what with your battery system. It may be a little overwhelming at first, but once you know about your particular rig it's not that hard to maintain. With some basic equipment and a little experience someone should be able to help you, but most answers here will be guesses because every SMB is a little different. They are all custom builds. Have you tried asking the previous owner to explain some of this?

Hope that helps

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Old 08-12-2014, 09:11 AM   #10
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Re: Getting frustrated...

Where are you located? Maybe an experienced forum member would be willing to meet up and help you troubleshoot.
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