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Old 09-08-2018, 12:52 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37 GT
State: North Carolina
Posts: 51
THOR #7843
Trouble with Magnum inverter

Hello, I have kind of an odd question so I thought I would throw it out there to get some ideas.

Here is my setup: 2015 Thor Challenger 37GT
4-100 watt solar panels with inline fuse on each panel and 40 amp breakers both before and after the controller.
Renogy MPPT Charge controller
6- Trojan T-105ís (Series and parallel for 12Volt total of 675 amp hours)
Magnum 3000 watt pure sine Hybrid inverter (powers the fridge, tvís and bedroom plugs
Factory Converter is still installed
4-0 battery cable to inverter with a 400 amp catastrophic fuse to the inverter.

I did have a Aims 3000 Watt pure sine inverter that started making a noise and causing the refrigerator lights to flicker. It was replaced with the magnum inverter.

The catastrophic fuse has blown twice and when I installed another it held but the inverter light is flickering indicating a constant state of resetting. It is now not showing any errors at all but will just turn off at random times and restart without any error messages. I contacted Magnum and see to get a different answer each time. Now the shop where the work was done at does have another one on order and will swap it out.

My concern is could there be something after the inverter that is causing this? After the 2nd fuse blew I started at the breaker box and checked all the wiring going to the inverter and made sure it was in fact wired correctly. Then I disconnected all breakers in the sub panel fuse box and turned them on one at a time.
Although it is now not showing any alarms it will just randomly shut down and restart. There is a clock and my coffee pot that has the time that resets anytime the power goes out. So far it has always come back on but I canít figure out what to test next.

I donít want to put the new one in until I know for sure that it is not something external to the unit. I replaced the original inverter (a zantrek 1800 modified inverter that came with the unit) for the Aims 3000 watt pure sign just to increase the capacity to keep my microwave, coffee maker and bedroom plugs hot all the time. (I have since taken the microwave out of the equation). When this started having issues, I changed to the magnum Hybrid inverter.

Does anyone have any ideas on what and how to test the whole system before this new one gets put in?

Thanks in advance

Don
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Old 09-09-2018, 02:47 PM   #2
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THOR #9081
Hey Don... From my perspective your describing the signs of an over current problem,where start-up current exceeds the over current trip level of the inverter. Output voltage should quickly decrease in order to limit the output current. Where a trip level is continuously exceeded, the inverter should shut down and restart. Multiples within a short time frame should force a complete shut down of the unit. Your 400 amp fuse on the 4-0 conductor blowing is another sign of this. It doesn't sound like you have a large draw though. Could your problems be with the wiring on the DC side? Some things to check . Is your wire run under 10 feet from the inverter to battery? Are all battery interconnections of the same 4-0 gauge. Are all connections of battery cable to battery/inverter terminals direct and of good contact?

Good luck.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:22 PM   #3
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THOR #4735
yes, agreed...though I have limited knowledge of how the 'hybrid' portion of the Magnum inverter processes both the power sources - 12v from solar and 12v from batteries - but I am inclined to think the same - an 'over power' issue, which to me might indicate an issue with the Magnum's combining of the batteries and solar incoming power - maybe too MUCH solar power.

I also suppose you are saying that this is happening when NOT plugged into shore power, as the inverter would simply be 'passing thru' 120v power in that case, and the solar would then only be allowed to charge the batteries(?)... or does the Hybrid feature the ability to allow incoming solar to 'offset' 120v external power?
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:25 PM   #4
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THOR #4735
and, my two 100w panel setup has NO fuses/breakers between each panel, or the controller - it's all directly to the 20amp PWM Controller, and directly from there to the battery bank... never any issue with my Magnum ME2012 inverter, of course... it just gives me a little more 'time' between generator runs when off grid.
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Old 09-09-2018, 03:37 PM   #5
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THOR #4735
also, if the thermistor/temp sensor on the charger block goes, or one or more of the fets(circuit board items) goes, you’ll see a similar condition - the system goes awry, constantly thinking there is a problem, and cuts off to protect itself, yet cuts back on, and so forth, constantly.
It could be a bad inverter. Ours did this, after almost 4 years and 80,000 miles - it was also very dirty inside, as you might imagine.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:26 PM   #6
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THOR #5043
Doesn't seem to fit the blown fuse problem, but maybe a poor ground connection with the Magnum. I can see that causing it to reset intermittently. I'd put a voltmeter on the + and - terminals of the Magnum and see if the volts vary. Might be hard to see without a scope? If that fuse blows, isn't that a pretty big expense? I have the 2000 watt Magnum and six GC-2 batteries and they draw my battery bank to 11.6 volts very quickly when the induction stove top draws about 80 amps. You Trojans are most likely better but I suspect the voltage draw down is a problem as well.
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Old 09-09-2018, 04:33 PM   #7
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THOR #4735
My thoughts, as well, as for the possible 'grounding' issue, as the ground/neutrals sometimes create similar issues...
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Old 09-09-2018, 05:00 PM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37 GT
State: North Carolina
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THOR #7843
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterrrr View Post
Hey Don... From my perspective your describing the signs of an over current problem,where start-up current exceeds the over current trip level of the inverter. Output voltage should quickly decrease in order to limit the output current. Where a trip level is continuously exceeded, the inverter should shut down and restart. Multiples within a short time frame should force a complete shut down of the unit. Your 400 amp fuse on the 4-0 conductor blowing is another sign of this. It doesn't sound like you have a large draw though. Could your problems be with the wiring on the DC side? Some things to check . Is your wire run under 10 feet from the inverter to battery? Are all battery interconnections of the same 4-0 gauge. Are all connections of battery cable to battery/inverter terminals direct and of good contact?

Good luck.

I didn't think of that. The CA runs are short, the longest is about 3 feet, However I did use 2 gauge wire to connect the batteries together. It never occurred to me that it might cause problems. I will redo them and use
4-0 gauge wire this time.

Something else I meant to correct is all the multiple connections on one lug, such as at the disconnect switch.
I did order in 4 lug terminals and will install them when I redo the wiring.

Thanks and I will let you know how it comes out.
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Old 09-17-2018, 11:21 AM   #9
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Challenger 37 GT
State: North Carolina
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THOR #7843
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurnerFam View Post
yes, agreed...though I have limited knowledge of how the 'hybrid' portion of the Magnum inverter processes both the power sources - 12v from solar and 12v from batteries - but I am inclined to think the same - an 'over power' issue, which to me might indicate an issue with the Magnum's combining of the batteries and solar incoming power - maybe too MUCH solar power.

I also suppose you are saying that this is happening when NOT plugged into shore power, as the inverter would simply be 'passing thru' 120v power in that case, and the solar would then only be allowed to charge the batteries(?)... or does the Hybrid feature the ability to allow incoming solar to 'offset' 120v external power?
Thanks for the advice, I changed all the battery cables to 4/0 and replaced the inverter. So far so good, no trouble so far, but I am leaving on a trip out west tomorrow morning (a nice little 7 month trip! ) so we shall see! I have been on battery power now for two days with no problems


The hybrid inverter allows you to control how many amps it will draw off shore power. In this case you set the amp draw to the wire size and breaker size. It is not really helpful in this situation because the whole coach is not run through the inverter. The Air and hot water heater are still only on shore or gen. I believe the Victron inverters allow you to control solar and shore as well, i.e. draw only 15 amps from shore and 10 from solar and take the rest from the batteries. However the way the Challenger is wired I couldn't do that.

Thanks again for all the advice!
Don
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Old 09-17-2018, 12:32 PM   #10
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THOR #4735
good point about the ability to only 'control' the power that passes thru the Inverter itself...

If any Hybrid could control the 'whole' of the spectrum of power, then Yes, every item would have to be run thru the Inverter - which is not typical for any RV.

Having said that, I suppose that you could allow it to control the full Inverter circuits, as this is still inclusive of the fridge, microwave, tvs, etc... basically anything 'plugged in' to an outlet, if your coach has all the outlets thru the Inverter, as ours does. The only 'electric' usage might then be air conditioning, and water heating(if on electric).

note: at certain times, we use BOTH the Propane and Electric for water heating, at the same time. If the tank needs quick replenishing and heating, the propane kicks in for a much quicker rise in temperature, while the electric side only kicks in when the water slowly drops in temperature, rarely needing the propane again unless someone takes a very long, hot shower, etc. They actually work very well together.
When off-grid we also just leave the Elec side switch ON - when the generator kicks on from the AGS, the electric side of the water heater gets power, if needed.

I like the idea of a Hybrid inverter for RVs, but I think that it's best usage is when parked long-term, with shore power, but having to pay the electric separately. Now the sun can help offset the electrical needs, and overall cost, with incoming solar.
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'14 Palazzo 33.3 bunkhouse 34' diesel
KingTailgater2 Dish HD, 100w/5a SOLAR, BlueOx
100,000+mi since '14 - US, Alaska, Canada.... was WC Georgia, then W NorthCarolina, now Lacey's Spring, AL : )
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