Inverter, battery, or charger problem? - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 03-13-2019, 03:11 PM   #1
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Inverter, battery, or charger problem?

When the inverter is on [battery voltage 12.7] and I apply a heavy 120 load like the microwave, voltage drops rapidly and in less than 30 seconds the inverter shuts down because of "low voltage input". The batteries are interstate [dual 6v setup] and 1 1/2 years old. My rig stays plugged in during storage so voltage has never been low on the batteries. [water level is fine]

I call Samlex about the inverter and tell them the story and they say it is not possible for the inverter to cause this. Period.

I took the batteries to two battery stores and had them load tested, was told they were fine. The onboard charger holds the batteries at about 13.3 volts all the time, it never seems to vary much from that.


SO... do I have a inverter problem, a battery problem, or a charger problem. One more thing, I replaced the batteries 1 1/2 years ago when this was happening and the day the batteries were installed, the inverter worked fine. I tried it 6-9 months later and the inverter shut down.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:27 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
... do I have a inverter problem, a battery problem, or a charger problem.
It doesn't matter how the battery got charged, as long as the battery is charged when the inverter is used, so I would take the charger out of the list.

I would tend to believe the inverter manufacturer, and guess that this is likely a lack of voltage to the inverter, not the inverter getting more demanding.

I would add a wiring problem to the list. The battery is at 12.7 volts, but what voltage is reaching the inverter? If the resistance of the cables and their connections is too high, there will be a significant voltage difference at high current.

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Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
One more thing, I replaced the batteries 1 1/2 years ago when this was happening and the day the batteries were installed, the inverter worked fine. I tried it 6-9 months later and the inverter shut down.
Both battery degradation and loosening electrical connections could explain a change in behaviour.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:30 PM   #3
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Inverter, battery, or charger problem?

I think you have a wiring problem.
I had the same thing, upon checking the gauge of the wire connecting the inverter to the batteries I determined it needed to be heavier. I went from 4 to 2 gauge and all was well.
Hope this helps
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:36 PM   #4
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The wiring is factory on a 2016, 21Escape so I believe the wiring is heavy enough or everyone would have the same problem.
The readout on the inverter control shows that all the voltage in the batteries is getting to the inverter at the start.
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Old 03-13-2019, 03:51 PM   #5
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There are a few causes of an inverter shutting down due to low voltage.

1. The batteries are not fully charged, or are in poor condition.
2. The wire size is inadequate resulting in too much voltage drop between the batteries & inverter.
3. Bad connections that cause excessive voltage drop under heavy loads.
4. The load is too high for the inverter/wiring/connectors.

If you have a volt meter, measure the battery voltage at the battery terminals while the inverter is under load. Compare that to the voltage at the inverter input terminals. Some drop (a few tenths of a volt) at the battery terminals should be expected due to the internal resistance of the batteries. If there is a lot more voltage drop at the inverter terminals, I'd suspect the wiring or connections.

Running a 700 watt microwave for more than a minute or two with a pair of 6V batteries is on the edge of capability, so everything has to be in good condition.
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:15 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by thumper-tx View Post
The wiring is factory on a 2016, 21Escape so I believe the wiring is heavy enough or everyone would have the same problem.

The readout on the inverter control shows that all the voltage in the batteries is getting to the inverter at the start.


I would check to make sure you have 2 gauge, ours came from the factory with 4 gauge and we had the exact problem you have. Now we run the microwave as long as we like also toaster, coffee maker, blender, electric kettle etc. with no problems.
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Old 03-13-2019, 04:59 PM   #7
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Is there a formula of some sort that tells what the voltage would go down to at a given amperage load? I see similiar, if I kick on a heavy load I can get my non ETI inverter to beep for low voltage, it will also kick out of it goes to low like Thumpers.

I see the voltage drop when pretty much any load is on the system, take away the load and the voltage goes back up. I use 2 awg, roughly 6' total run
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Old 03-13-2019, 05:45 PM   #8
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Is there a formula of some sort that tells what the voltage would go down to at a given amperage load? I see similiar, if I kick on a heavy load I can get my non ETI inverter to beep for low voltage, it will also kick out of it goes to low like Thumpers.

I see the voltage drop when pretty much any load is on the system, take away the load and the voltage goes back up. I use 2 awg, roughly 6' total run
https://www.calculator.net/voltage-d...s=10&x=53&y=12

Just remember - the total run is the distance there and back, positive and negative.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:13 PM   #9
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Doesn't explain what I see, I get down in the 11v range when a large load is active. I'll do some testing and get some real numbers tomorrow.
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Old 03-13-2019, 08:32 PM   #10
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Doesn't explain what I see, I get down in the 11v range when a large load is active. I'll do some testing and get some real numbers tomorrow.
The crimps on my inverter leads had to be redone due to high resistance - you may have the same problem.

Strange looking triangular crimps on the cables and half of them tested bad. The only times I have seen these type of crimps is when someone used a hammer type cable lug crimping tool to crimp them.

A 10 ton hydraulic crimper and some Ancor lugs fixed it right up.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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