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Old 06-10-2024, 01:59 PM   #1
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Solar power mysteriously stops

While prepping my Escape21C this spring, the solar pannels have faithfully provided over 85% battery charge even through overcast, rainy spells.

Today, sunny and clear, however, there is no DC power to the trailer at all. The monitors won't even turn on. Nothing will. It's not plugged in to shore power.

I havent been fiddling with anything electrical for over a week, during which the 85%-plus charge has been constant.

Please offer some suggestion for beginning my troudle-shooting process. I'm hoping that it's something basic that I'm overlooking.
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Old 06-10-2024, 02:21 PM   #2
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Check to see if you accidentally hit your battery cut off switch.
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Old 06-10-2024, 02:25 PM   #3
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Is the batter switch turned to the correct position? It would be helpful to know trailer model year and battery type, i.e. flooded, AGM, lithium. Solar should still charge your batteries, I believe, even if the battery switch is set to disconnect. However, the 12 volt systems wouldn't work, So, not sure. Test the batteries with a voltmeter to see if they have sufficient charged.
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Old 06-10-2024, 03:44 PM   #4
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Sorry to be so ignorant, but I don't even know where the battery disconnect switch is.

The trailer is a 2023 Escape21C.

The four batteries are Hublion lithioum-ion-phosphate.

The solar charger is a 2023-21 CInv AO MPPT 100/30.

The battery monitor ia a BMV-712 Smart.

Using the "VictronConnect" app, I see that the solar charger reports:
Solar voltage = 22.62v
Solar current = 0.0A
Battery voltage = 14.19v
Battery current = 0.0A
Battery state = Absorption
Virtual load output = On
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Old 06-10-2024, 03:54 PM   #5
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The Battery Disconnect switch is "on."
I found it under the driver side dinette bench.
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Old 06-10-2024, 04:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmehrer View Post
Sorry to be so ignorant, but I don't even know where the battery disconnect switch is.

The trailer is a 2023 Escape21C.

The four batteries are Hublion lithioum-ion-phosphate.

The solar charger is a 2023-21 CInv AO MPPT 100/30.

The battery monitor ia a BMV-712 Smart.

Using the "VictronConnect" app, I see that the solar charger reports:
Solar voltage = 22.62v
Solar current = 0.0A
Battery voltage = 14.19v
Battery current = 0.0A
Battery state = Absorption
Virtual load output = On
I suspect your solar charger is also a Victron since you can see it on the connect app.
I don't know where the switch is either but your manual should tell you it's location. Often its under the dinette bench. My E17A is located inside the Driver side dinette bench (back of trailer) behind the power center. If the switch is set to batteries connected, check the fuses in the power center.

So, none of the 12 volt stuff works such as interior lights, water pump, water heater doesn't light etc.
If you don't have your manual, a link to the online manual is below:

https://escapetrailer.com/wp-content...manual-WEB.pdf
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Old 06-10-2024, 04:34 PM   #7
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Thank you, SRS,
You're correct on Victron and "none of the 12 volt stuff works."
I'll check the fuses in the power center.
Lucky me (I guess) ... I just got a multimeter and a circuit tester.
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Old 06-10-2024, 05:00 PM   #8
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While your checking fuses, you might want to look for bad wire crimps, poor grounds and other loose wires. Also, give ETI a call particularly if you trailer is still under warranty. Attached is the basic wiring diagram for my trailer, and maybe it would help since we both have the lithium package.
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Old 06-10-2024, 06:36 PM   #9
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If your system is setup like the photo SRS provided then check the 50A & 30A thermal breakers.


If you have way to connect it to shore power then I'd try that. If the 12V devices, lights, fans, etc. begin working then that'll help to isolate the issue.
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Old 06-11-2024, 08:10 AM   #10
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MC4 disconnect

I no longer have an Escape, but when I was showing the for sale 5.0 I discovered that I had no solar input. I put my step ladder up and found that the MC4 connector under the panel appeared ok but when I tugged on opposite sides of the connector it came apart . At that point I pushed the connector together and the problem was solved. The battery quickly recharged.
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Old 06-11-2024, 09:54 AM   #11
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Looking at the Victron 712 readings I suspect your solar is OK. It shows the panels are connected to the controller, and while mine usually waits until the float stage before dropping to 0 current output, at the end of the absorption stage 0 amps is possible. The batteries at 14V are fully charged.

I'd look for problems between the batteries & the power center. As mentioned, check the fuse between the power center & the batteries (usually a 40 - 50 amp fuse at the batteries), the 50 amp circuit breaker (a small metal "can" with 2 poles with wires going between the batteries & the power center). It is also worth checking the connections at all of these devices, including the disconnect switch. You can use your multi meter set on DC volts (above 15V) across the connections of the device. 0V indicated the device is passing voltage, 12V - 14V indicates that the device is open (probably bad).

A safe way to bypass a device is with a 15-20 amp fuse in a pigtail socket - connect the pigtails to each terminal (you will get a small spark if the device is bad, and the lights will come on). If you are sure you are making the correct connections, shorting the device with a screwdriver works. Just be sure you are not shorting a hot to ground or the sparks will be impressive!
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Old 06-12-2024, 02:18 PM   #12
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Thank you all for helpful tips and wisdom.
I made a sequential list of things to try.

First on the list: Today (Mon12Jun24), I hooked the 2023 Escape21C to 120v home power via a Hughs Power Watchdog. Then checked to see what worked and what didn't to take my bearings for what to do next.

Everything, both DC 12v and AC 120v worked. In a summary list, the important things that worked are:

1) Power converter (load center) lights & fan,
2) Water pump via switch over the range,
3) Water heater switch lit red (then I shut it off),
4) Range hood light & fan,
5) Fridge,
6) Victron BMV-712 battery monitor,
7) SeaLevel II Tanks & battery monitor,
8) Overhead lights and outdoor lights,
9) Cieling fan,
10) Tongue jack, plus
11) All the interior 12v, 120v, and USB outlets.

I then disconnected the home-power source and found that all the 12v facilities still worked. It seems that "the problem" has been solved, but I would be more comfortable knowing what caused that problem.

I would appreciate hearing your ideas about what might have caused the original 12v blackout?

And thank you again, one and all.
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Old 06-12-2024, 02:29 PM   #13
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Congratulations!. I'm not really a great electrician so I'm not sure I can offer much. I don't recall but remember you could see the Victron equipment on the connect app. Could you see they were working visually? the solar controller and shunt are connected directly to the batteries so the controller should have at least a single light showing and the Shunt monitor display, if you have one should show numbers. Mostly just curious.
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Old 06-12-2024, 03:03 PM   #14
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I am not an electrician at all! Zero. Zilch. But I must learn so that I can enjoy carefree fun in this trailer someday.

I didn't use the VictronConnect app this time, either when hooked up to home-power or after disconnecting from it. It just didn't occur to me.

However, my shunt (probably a Victron?) is not "smart" and so is not available to the VictronConnect app.

Interestingly, at least to me, is that when I was using the VictronConnect app before, just exploring my blackout problem, I remember seeing on the app, what seemed to be a chronological graph of performance metrics organized by date. I didn't study the graph because I didn't (still don't) know what the measurements mean. But, the last day with any metrics was 17 May 2024. That may have been when I hooked up to home-power just to become familiar with the process and to practice with the utilities.

I didn't take notes during that earlier 120v practice session, but now I wish I had. I would have written down the dates, at least. From here on, I'll be writing daily logs of the things I do so that in the future I'll be able to backcheck.

I never thought learning how to use an RV would be so much like a scientific investigation! I feel like a primitive astronaut who doesn't want to find himself someday alone in the desert wishing he could make a call to say "Houston, I think we have a problem."
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Old 06-12-2024, 03:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmehrer View Post
I am not an electrician at all! Zero. Zilch. But I must learn so that I can enjoy carefree fun in this trailer someday.

I didn't use the VictronConnect app this time, either when hooked up to home-power or after disconnecting from it. It just didn't occur to me.

However, my shunt (probably a Victron?) is not "smart" and so is not available to the VictronConnect app.

Interestingly, at least to me, is that when I was using the VictronConnect app before, just exploring my blackout problem, I remember seeing on the app, what seemed to be a chronological graph of performance metrics organized by date. I didn't study the graph because I didn't (still don't) know what the measurements mean. But, the last day with any metrics was 17 May 2024. That may have been when I hooked up to home-power just to become familiar with the process and to practice with the utilities.

I didn't take notes during that earlier 120v practice session, but now I wish I had. I would have written down the dates, at least. From here on, I'll be writing daily logs of the things I do so that in the future I'll be able to backcheck.

I never thought learning how to use an RV would be so much like a scientific investigation! I feel like a primitive astronaut who doesn't want to find himself someday alone in the desert wishing he could make a call to say "Houston, I think we have a problem."
do you have the battery monitor display in your trailer? It looks like this:



Can you make a screen shot from your phone next time your in the connect app and post it here? See attached

I believe that even without the display, the shunt is Bluetooth enabled so it should show up. In my experience, Victron devices get connected automatically the first time you use the app. It's been a while since I did it. There may be a password you need to enter and on new devices its "0" but I cant remember how many. Well, I'm probably not being much help
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Screenshot 2024-06-12 at 2.27.52 PM.jpg  
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Old 06-12-2024, 06:00 PM   #16
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I do have that same battery monitor on the wall.

Tomorrow I'll try the VictronConnect app again and show you what I find.

Please tell me how to add images to my blog posts.
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Old 06-13-2024, 08:14 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmehrer View Post
I do have that same battery monitor on the wall.

Tomorrow I'll try the VictronConnect app again and show you what I find.

Please tell me how to add images to my blog posts.
When you're in reply to thread, look at the editing options bar at the top of the window. There is a paperclip you click on and another window comes up. Select brows at the top and select the file you want to download. when it shows the file to upload, there is an upload button in the lower right of the top window, select that and your all set. This is the procedure I use from my windows PC. When I take screen shots from my phone, I email them to myself, save them, then go to that location to select the file I want to upload using the procedure above.
Hope that isn't too convoluted or confusing.
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Old 06-13-2024, 10:30 AM   #18
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Here are images from the VictronConnect app.
The app connects to only the wall monitor and the blue box.
Two other images show readings from the wall monitor and the blue box. [ATTACH]Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20240613_102324.jpg
Views:	14
Size:	131.8 KB
ID:	75015

Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20240613_101910.jpg
Views:	17
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ID:	75016

Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20240613_101750.jpg
Views:	18
Size:	72.1 KB
ID:	75017[/ATTACH].

Please let me know if the images don't come through.
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Old 06-13-2024, 11:08 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmehrer View Post
Here are images from the VictronConnect app.
The app connects to only the wall monitor and the blue box.
Two other images show readings from the wall monitor and the blue box. [ATTACH]Attachment 75015

Attachment 75016

Attachment 75017[/ATTACH].

Please let me know if the images don't come through.
The images came through just fine and it appears you system is working. Obviously I don't know what your loads have been or the time of day, i.e. is the sun shining on your solar panels etc. The display for the 712 is your shunt, it's just represented by the round display. The physical display is connected to the shunt by a telephone cable.
Below are my battery settings and you might want to check yours. You can access those settings by pressing the little wheel / cog in the upper right corner. The next menu will have a battery item so just select that. You'll want to make sure you have the right type of battery selected. I've been using Victron's default and it has worked very well.
When there are firmware updates available for your device, they show up as an exclamation point over that wheel in the upper right. Just had to install new firmware for both my MPPT controllers.
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Screenshot 2024-06-13 at 9.51.41 AM.jpg  
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Old 06-13-2024, 02:23 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmehrer View Post
Here are images from the VictronConnect app.
The app connects to only the wall monitor and the blue box.
Two other images show readings from the wall monitor and the blue box. [ATTACH]Attachment 75015...
odd, those two battery voltages should be within like 0.01V, it suggests something is disconnected.
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