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RE: Strange noise from engine..."Whirling" sound

Update: I checked on it again this morning after it had sat all night. Outside temps are ~70 degrees. The engine starts right up, but it initially does still have the "whirling" noise. It's not a squeaky belt, but a whirling noise (you can year it in the video). It sounds like it is coming from the area around the alternator, but it's hard to tell and there are lots of pulleys and the belt/fan in that area also. When I started it up I looked at the alternator voltage via a cigarette lighter charger/adapter that has the voltage display. Before I did anything (before starting the engine), the voltage read 12.6v (healthy). When I started the engine, within 2-3 seconds the display read 14.2v (which all appears normal). When I start the engine, I can hear the whirling noise. It gets louder as I rev the engine. Possible clue: I didn't drive it at all...just let it idle with occasional reving. After about 2 minutes the whirling noise was gone (even if I rev the engine). Then the engine sounds fine. So whatever is causing the noise is somehow getting fixed/corrected/lubricated/etc after just about 2 minutes of the engine running. Running the engine for just 2-3 minutes doesn't seem like long enough for it to physically warm up, so it seems more like a lubrication issue perhaps. If I turn it off and let it sit for a couple minutes and restart the engine it sounds fine. I'm not sure how bearings work (ie. in pulleys). I assume they are greased. Do they wear out and then make a rubbing/whirling noise? I don't smell any smoke or burning of any kind (doesn't seem like the alternator is overheating). I believe the chassis battery is only about 2 years old and is healthy. Thoughts?? Chris
SJ-Chris 05/19/21 02:15pm Tech Issues
Strange noise from engine..."Whirling" sound

This is for a 2015 Thor Majestic 28a Class C RV with a Ford e450 V10 engine. It is a previous rental. I've owned it for about 30,000 miles and it now has 140,000 miles on it. Back in Feb 2021 I had an RV mechanic go through for a yearly maintenance check (tires, brakes, fluids, belts, radiator, etc). It was in great shape and the only recommendation was to replace the Transmission fluid (which I had them do). That was 2000 miles ago and it has been running great. In May of 2020 (10,000 miles ago) it developed a leaking manifold. I brought it to one of my RV shops and they pulled the engine, replaced the manifold, and while they were doing that they also replaced all sorts of stuff since it was easy while they had the engine out. (Side note: It might be questionable that they had to pull the engine, but 5 of the 10 manifold bolts were snapped and they said it was the only way they could get them all out and replaced.) For the last ~10,000 miles since then it has purred like a kitten and driven well. The RV recently came back from a 1000 mile trip with no issues I'm aware of. After the RV sat for several hours (presumably cooled down) I went to drive it 3/4 of a mile away to where I store it. When I started it up, I could immediately hear that something in the engine didn't sound right. It sounded a little bit like a leaking manifold, except it wasn't the deep rumbling sound of a leaking manifold. It was more of a higher pitched whirling sound. Maybe a rubbing sound? As I accelerate, the whirling engine noise gets louder. Here is a youtube video so you can see/hear the sound. In the video, about two thirds of the way through I slow down and then accelerate into a right turn (that’s where you can hear the noise the best). Note: The yellow light on the left side of the dash is the Tow/Haul indicator (not a warning light). I have an OBD reader on the RV and it tells me that ALL SYSTEMs are okay and no error codes. All of the following say “No Problems Detected”: - Power Steering System - Engine Management System - Brake System - Internal Control System - Idle Control System - Generator System - Engine System - Intake System - Electrical System - Turbocharger System - Fuel System - Cooling System - Ignition System - Emission System - Fluids System - CAN System - Transmission System - MIL Control System I do not live in cold temperatures...all of this is happening with outside ambient temperature around 70 degrees F. Here is likely a clue that hopefully will help you (help me) pinpoint what the problem could be… The engine makes this noise ONLY FOR ABOUT THE FIRST 3 BLOCKS of driving when cold. Then the noise seems like it completely disappears and the engine sounds perfect. I’ve let it cool down and then driven it 3 times this week and each time it made this initial high pitched whirling noise for about the first 3 blocks of driving and then it went away. Tonight when this happened again (noise went away after 3 blocks), I pulled over and turned off the engine and let it sit for a couple minutes. When I started it up again it sounded fine and didn’t make the noise for the rest of the short trip to put the RV back in storage. I checked the radiator fluid, power steering fluid, and oil and they all look perfect. I didn’t check the transmission fluid. I don’t think the engine is “Warming Up” in just 2-3 blocks so it might not be “correcting” itself via some heat related thing. But I can’t help but think maybe there is some sort of fluid/oil/etc that settles when the RV sits for a few hours and then when starting from a cold engine/start after just a few blocks things become lubricated once again (due to the engine movement/cycling or fluid pumping) and then the whirling/rubbing noise goes away. Any thoughts what this can be??? Where should I start my investigation? Thanks in advance! Chris
SJ-Chris 05/19/21 02:21am Tech Issues
RE: Where to begin

Below are two checklists I use...One prior to each trip, and the other is my Purchase inspection checklist. It would be a good way for you to asses the situation on your RV. Some of the items may or may not apply. If you go through all of these items you can make a list of what works and what doesn't work on your RV. Then create an estimate on how much it will cost to fix each item. I like the above recommendation about multiplying by 1.5x as a buffer. Then you will have a total amount. Then ask yourself...."Can I just go and buy something newer that doesn't have all these problems and pay the same amount?" Your RV right now might only be worth $2000-$5000. If you put $20,000 into fixing it, it will probably be worth $10,000-$15,000 to someone else. Keep that in mind. I've learned that RV mechanics/repairs are EXPENSIVE, they take a LONG TIME (usually backed up), and most RV mechanics aren't as good as you'd like (....and some are downright criminals). Even though I'm a busy guy, I've learned to embrace the fact that *I* need to do much of the repairs on my RVs myself. These forums are great for advice on how to fix things, and there are youtube videos on just about everything. Instead of paying my RV shop $100/hr, I do it myself. If it takes me twice as long to do it, it's like paying myself $50/hr to do the work myself. I have also gained a deeper understanding as to how everything works on my RVs and a deeper appreciation for things that work. If you are sending your RV out for all repairs all the time, it will cost you a fortune. If your expected renovation cost is too much, you might be better off saving the money, donating/selling the RV, and then using the money to RENT a working RV the next 5-10 times you want to go RVing (...and save yourself all the headaches, hours spent on fixing it, cost to insure it, cost to store it, etc). Hope that helps! Good luck! -Chris Prior to Trip Departure Checklist: o Check the propane level to make sure it is near full o Check that the refrigerator/freezer is working o Check that the stove and microwave oven are functioning o Check that the AC and the furnace are functioning properly o Check that the hot water heater is working o Check that the carbon monoxide detector and LP Gas detector green indicator light is showing them to be functioning (note: House battery switch by entry door must be in the ON position in order for these to function) o Test the smoke detector to make sure it is functioning o Make sure the fire extinguisher is properly charged o Check that the generator is functioning properly o Verify that the engine alternator is properly charging all batteries (engine and house batteries) when engine is running o Verify that the house batteries are charging if the generator is on or the RV is plugged into shore power o Verify that the 120v power is working when the generator is on or the RV is plugged into shore power o Check the oil level, water level in the radiator, water level in the windshield wipers, brake fluid level o Verify that the RV has a full tank of gas o Verify that the tire pressure is correct for all 6 tires and the spare (70-80psi) o Check the tires for cracks, tread, and uneven wear o Verify that the black and gray waste tanks are near empty o Put 1 cup of gel detergent down the kitchen sink and toilet (keeps level sensors clean) o Verify that there is fresh water in the holding tank o Check all running lights, brake lights, turn signals, emergency lights o Check headlight high beams and low beams o Check that the horn is working o Check that the radio is working Here is another checklist I use when inspecting an RV prior to purchase: Exterior: Check the Manifold bolts! (…expensive to fix) Inspect body for damage Check all window seals Check tread and date on tires. Look for cracking on sidewall and inside the tread Test the waste tank sensor levels Look underneath rig for rust, holes, etc Look at rotors and brakes if possible Go on roof and inspect seals, separation, soft spots Look in engine compartment Check battery voltage on chassis Check battery voltage on house battery Start engine and listen Check battery voltages with alternator on (listen for solenoid click) Check battery voltage with generator/shore on Check headlights, running lights Check turn signals, hazards Check all exterior misc lights Check horn Inspect battery bank housing (need more support?) Open/close slide-outs. Look at seals and topper Open awning and look for rips Check drainage valves Test outdoor shower Check tire pressure Is there a spare tire? Tire iron? Inspect all external storage compartments Inspect generator Inspect exterior entertainment system if applicable Interior: Front Check the dash for cool AC on all vent settings Check the dash for heat on all vent settings Check radio Test door locking mechanism Check power windows, wipers, water, and mirrors Check backup camera Open up doghouse (interior engine cover) and take a look/listen Interior: House Test side door locking mechanism Check gauge control panel Turn on/light LP (refrigerator, water heater, furnace) Check that refrigerator operates on propane Check cushions (open them) and under cab cushions for mold Check all interior lights Inspect converter panel Turn on generator Check microwave Test TV and DVD Test roof AC Run roof AC and microwave at the same time with generator on Check all electrical outlets Check that refrigerator operates on generator/shore Test furnace for heat, smell, air volume through each vent Run kitchen sink and check under cabinet for leaks Run bathroom sink and check under cabinet for leaks Check for hot water from all valves Inspect area under cabinets (open up/remove panel) Look in all cabinets at ceiling for leaks Test ceiling fans Inspect all compartments Check all windows and blinds for functionality Check stove burners and oven Check solar if applicable Check inverter if applicable Test gray/black tank sensors (ask to inspect when waste tanks are empty, but full tank of fresh water so I can test) Take test ride on highway Under load does AC/Heat still come out front vents? Does the RV pull to one side when driving? When braking?
SJ-Chris 05/06/21 03:59pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: 24 V Solar Panel(s)

Rich Solar makes a 200 watt 24 volt solar panel. I would remove my rear mounted 170 watt 12 v panel and purchase two of these Rich Solar 200 watt panels, with room to add a third if needed. One would be on the front and one on the rear of the camper. The 200 watt can be mounted in the same mounts as the existing 170 watt. I want to run parallel since we will be traveling where shade is often on either the front or rear of the camper. I have a Victron 100/30 smart controller already for this setup. Smart move or a waste of money? Enjoy, Perry Or search your local craigslist or facebook or nextdoor for something like these... 300w for $120. 600w for just $240. Not sure you need 600w, but just an idea... I was going to just put up a 250w system with a used panel on my RV. When I went to pick up the panel, they were on sale for $35 each (this is from a big used solar company in Arizona). To me, that's pretty much free. So even though I didn't need it, I put up two panels for 500w total. I've boondocked several times now and they work great. I'm adding a 3rd lead acid battery making my bank 300AH. It's more than I need and the solar easily keeps everything charged. It's nice never worrying about having enough power.... Good luck! Chris
SJ-Chris 05/06/21 01:45am Tech Issues
RE: 24 V Solar Panel(s)

Rich Solar makes a 200 watt 24 volt solar panel. I would remove my rear mounted 170 watt 12 v panel and purchase two of these Rich Solar 200 watt panels, with room to add a third if needed. One would be on the front and one on the rear of the camper. The 200 watt can be mounted in the same mounts as the existing 170 watt. I want to run parallel since we will be traveling where shade is often on either the front or rear of the camper. I have a Victron 100/30 smart controller already for this setup. Smart move or a waste of money? Enjoy, Perry What does your battery bank look like? (how many AH?) What about just adding another 170w panel? Would 340w deliver what you need? (If so, it saves you $200+). Or do you really need 400w (or more)? If you only have 200-250AH of batteries then 340w will likely be enough for most of the time (unless you are camping in shady areas or in bad weather). Do you have a backup generator just in case you need it? OR, for likely less money you could buy TWO more 170w panels and then you'd have 3 panels delivering 510w for less price than buying two 200w panels (400w total) and having no use for the existing 170w panel. (I'm assuming the similar 170w panels are a little cheaper than the 200w version). -Chris
SJ-Chris 05/06/21 01:32am Tech Issues
RE: Buying a Former Rental Class C. How many of us out there?

Gray/Black waste tank upgrade??? I have two 2015 Thor Majestic 28a units purchased from Cruise America. I've made many upgrades and find them to be well built/maintained. One thing I wish was different is the waste water storage tank capacities. I believe they are about 25 gallons each (black/gray). With just a few people camping they fill up pretty quick. Has anyone upgraded these to larger capacities? Just curious if that is something easily doable and if anyone had any experience to share on the subject. Thanks! -Chris
SJ-Chris 05/04/21 03:53pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Solar/Inverter Question

Long time RVer, new solar user. Just bought a new fifth wheel that came with solar. Equipment is: One solar panel that I think is around 170 watts, a Zamp Solar Charge 30 amp Controller, a Xantrex X2000 Inverter. I should add we have a pair for 6 volt 235 AH Deep Cycle (Crown) Batteries. Just did 3 nights dry camping, despite being in AZ, it was light overcast for the 3 days. System seems marginal under these conditions for using some lights, water pump for normal stuff, ran the furnace one morning for a few minutes and ran the coffee pot each morning. I did notice the solar panel is dirty from a desert shower on the previous trip. So that didn't help the cause I am sure. I am not getting my mind around how to run the inverter. Mostly confused about what mode use, Auto On, standby, power save ? Keystone mounted the inverter off the floor joist in the basement, so not to accessible for use. I will be getting the remote for it. But I would love to hear from some experienced user about how to best use this system. It is HIGHLY likely that if you just add one more 170w solar panel in parallel on your rooftop (which is fairly simple to add) you will not need to worry about power anymore. 340w on a sunny day should be able to add 90-100AH back into your batteries, and you likely aren't using more than 50-80AH of power daily. Add a battery monitor is SOOOOO helpful as it pertains to all things batteries/charging. (And, if you are a nerd like me you'll find it interesting to see how much power each little thing in your RV uses). I installed a very good monitor for ~$45 ( can google it). A battery monitor really should come standard on an RV since they are so very helpful. Happy Camping! Chris
SJ-Chris 04/25/21 11:12pm Tech Issues
RE: mounting my solar panels

Not to hijack my own thread but was scanning through some RV solar panel mounting projects and notice how much difference there was in the distance between the panels and the roof of the RV. In my case I used Renogy two piece mounting brackets and was limited on the height of the panel. My roof is curved, the ends of the panels are 3" from the roof the center of the panel is 2 1/2" from the roof. I read that to allow fro proper panel cooling 3" minimum but 4" to 6" would be ideal. I was wondering what the consensus would be on panel height? I'm far from an expert, but... I think most Z-brackets only provide about 1 inch of spacing between the panel and the roof. I'm guessing it is fine. If you've got 2" or 2.5" that seems like more than enough. -Chris
SJ-Chris 04/18/21 06:04pm Tech Issues
RE: Buying a Former Rental Class C. How many of us out there?

My first post after much lurking here. This post is a great resource, thank you to everyone that has posted. I have read all 152 pages off and on over the span of the last week or so. I was on the fence about purchasing a former CA rental, but these pages have pushed me over the edge. The plan is to purchase a 28A in June or July. We will be going to the Kissimmee Florida CA location mid June to look at their inventory. I have 3 questions I would like input on from the group. #1 - which location does a better job on the refurbishment of their rental units before the sale, the Mesa Arizona location or the Kissimmee Florida location? #2 - financing a used class C with over 100K....where have you folks gotten your financing from? #3 - how much does CA charge for an awning? TIA for your input. Several Credit Unions finance these type of RVs (over 100k miles). Rates are "reasonable". You can also get it financed through Cruise America (for an easier time), and then refinance it through a credit union for lower rate shortly after.
SJ-Chris 04/18/21 02:22pm Class C Motorhomes
RE: Onan 4000 surging at idle warmed up only

Not sure if this would be the issue, but have you tried playing with the altitude adjustment? (on mine, the knob for this is partially hidden behind a small hose, but it's there) -Chris
SJ-Chris 04/16/21 12:43pm Tech Issues
RE: slightly different solar qx

I'm not apparently making my question clear. To take a different tack, To charge a 300 Amp hr, 12 volt battery bank Would 3, 100 watt ,solar panels such as renogy 100 wired in parellel, provide a substantial upgrade, or downgrade as compared to a single REC 325 The gain or loss due to voltage difference is my question. Or is this a case of 300 watts is 300 watts,,voltage be damned?,, To answer the question I think you keep asking.... The higher voltage (in and of itself) of the 325w panel doesn't magically get you something extra (i.e 2x). I think what you are missing is this simple equation... Panel Voltage x Panel current(amps) = Watts So on the 100w panel, it is ~17.9v x ~5.72amps = ~100w And on the 325w panel, it is ~34v x ~9.56amps - ~325w It is the combination of voltage and amps that gives you watts. The 325w higher voltage panel with the MPPT solar charge controller will be inherently slightly more efficient because it will utilize ALL of the available voltage (via converting from higher input voltage to the exact voltage, and higher amps, needed by the battery at whatever charging stage it is at). The PWM solar charge controller (on the Renogy 12v panels for example) will not (it will simply pass the non-scaled current through to the batteries). Under an ideal scenario (which never really happens as outlined in some of the other posts talking about inefficiencies, etc), you could see... On the 325w MPPT system: 34v / 13.6v = 2.5 x 9.56amps = 24.125 amps. Whereas on the 100w PWM system: 17.9v simply gets chopped to 13.6v and the charge controller delivers 5.72 amps. By comparison, if you could somehow magically put together 3.25 of the 100w panels it would deliver 3.25 x 5.72amps = 18.59 amps (compared to the 24.125amps with MPPT). Again...this is just for illustrative purposes to make a point (MPPT is more efficient). My strong suggestion would be for you to string 2 of the 325w panels together (...and even 1 more if you have the space). A 325w panel will likely only be able to add ~80-90AH per day back into the batteries (on a sunny day). Adding just one more 325w panel gives you 160-180AH generated per sunny day (much better). If you want to save some $$, here is a link discussing used panels: Most panels should last 20-30 years which is a pretty long time, so buying used panels as old as 5-10 years old is not an issue. Good luck! Chris
SJ-Chris 04/08/21 02:32am Tech Issues
RE: inexpensive panels

Wanted to post a follow-up on this "inexpensive panels" thread... I finally got around to installing the 500w system on my RV with two 250w panels. I'm happy to say that the SanTan used solar panels (~10yr old) are working beautifully and cranking out plenty of power. Here's a good link to the install project: I'll be adding a 3rd lead acid battery soon making my battery bank 300AH. Then, as a test I'll drain the batteries at night to 50% (-150AH) and I'll let you know how much the 500w system gets them back up to by the end of the next sunny day. I liked this setup so much, I've decided to ditch the brand new 200w Windy Nation syetem and just install an identical 500w system (two 250w SantTan panels and a 30amp MPPT controller) onto my 2nd RV. If anyone lives in the CA Bay Area and wants a good deal on a brand new 200w Windy Nation system, feel free to send me a private message. Happy Camping! Chris
SJ-Chris 04/06/21 03:54pm Tech Issues
RE: Strange electrical/Breaker issue (solar related??)

Could this be possible?..... Under my dinette bench seat is the converter. The resettable Converter Breaker is in this compartment also. It has never popped before, but did yesterday for the first time. I did install in this same compartment (under the dinette bench seat) my solar charge controller and my 2000w pure sine wave inverter. Someone in these posts, someone mentioned "thermal" and/or heat. Is it possible that the HEAT from the solar charge controller and the HEAT from the 2000w inverter could be making this compartment hot enough to pop the resettable Converter Breaker? My first reaction/thought is "No way". I don't know for a fact, but I'm pretty sure the solar charge controller wasn't really doing much (...the RV batteries were full when it left my house, my friend drove the RV for 4 hours, then plugged in to shore power at a campsite) so it should not have gotten hot at all. It is possible they had the inverter on watching the TV and a DVD (~150w ?). Doesn't seem like that would cause the inverter to heat up much at all. Do you think I should install a small fan in this compartment under the dinette bench seat to blow hot air out (and pull cooler air in from the coach)? I could put it on a temperature controlled switch so it would only come on when that chamber under the bench seat gets to a certain temp. Necessary or overkill?? Just still thinking, not sure yet what caused that resettable Converter Breaker to pop... -Chris
SJ-Chris 04/01/21 01:01am Tech Issues
RE: Strange electrical/Breaker issue (solar related??)

I would guess your breakers are tripping at below their rated current, and it is an issue with low quality thermal breakers. This would also explain two apparently unrelated faults, if they are using the same breakers. I can't see from the photo, but is there a manufacturer and part number on the breaker? Not to be rude, but based on the photo of the installation, this does not appear to have been done by a careful professional. The breaker from the solar charge controller to the batteries is now 50amps (it blew one time when it was 40amps). It is one of these: The one in the photo is the one that came from the manufacturer (Thor) install. I have not touched or added to it, so as far as I know it came exactly like this (with all the wires) directly from the manufacturer. The one in the photo (Converter Main Breaker) has never popped in the ~1.5 years that I've owned the RV. Until yesterday. After feedback here and thinking about it more, I don't see how the solar/inverter install could have caused this since those components are basically hooked up directly to the batteries and not through this breaker. Until I see it happen again (which could very well happen), I'm going to caulk it up to user error or fluke. If it happens again, I'll try to get more details about what was going on just before it popped. Thanks! Chris
SJ-Chris 03/31/21 11:32am Tech Issues
RE: Strange electrical/Breaker issue (solar related??)

BFL13 Reasonable analysis for warmer temps but designs should include lower temps which raise panel power. Interesting that you didn't again bring up lens or cloud effect. I agree that it's likey a panel CB fault which can be eliminated as it serves no purpose. For general estimating purposes I use 66% of panel power for 4+ hours. On a clear hot Phoenix sky in June I pushed my loads and got 53A from the controller with 750W panels. But I designed for for cold temps as well. And it seems likely the OPs 2 problems are unrelated but w/o details who knows? OP Recommend you replace both CBs with better quality ones if not eliminate the panel CB. Then see if you repro the issues. Thanks for the info and suggestions CA Traveler I have not seen any issue with the panel to solar controller circuit breaker (...I'm mostly using it as an on/off switch right next to my controller for ease of use). Using your Phoenix sun at high noon in June numbers, 53amps with 750w of solar would translate roughly to 35amps if it was a 500w solar system. That's just a little above my 30amp controller's capability so if it limits the output (and basically wastes a bit of the solar panel's potential) under a mostly optimal scenario I'm okay with that. If I see "30amps" on my battery monitor flowing into my batteries sometime this summer, I'll smile knowing that I paid only $225 for my 500w system and it's generating lots of power for me :C Realistically though....If I'm in Phoenix in June at noon, there is GONNA be some AC involved where ever I'm at which means plugged in or generator on!! When I was moving my daughter into the dorms at ASU several years ago it was a cool 114 degrees!
SJ-Chris 03/31/21 11:22am Tech Issues
RE: Strange electrical/Breaker issue (solar related??)

500w panels aimed at the sun at high noon with a high sun calculation, adjusted for being flat on the roof in March when the sun is only half way up at high noon compared with June's altitude. 500w loses 10% in the heat, so 450W, loses say 3% wiring loss to controller, say 13w loss, so input to the controller is 437w. Aimed vs flat maybe 13% loss and some for March, WAG is 20%, so 80% of 437 =350w input. Controller is say 95% efficient doing 24-12. so another 5% loss to make output 333W. Say no wiring loss to battery to be generous. output amps (loads first, battery gets what is left over) 333/12.2v = 27.3 amps 333/ 13.2v= 25.2 amps 333/ 14.2 = 23.5 amps OP says he sees about 25 amps. Say it is 21 June at high noon, and panels aimed not flat or he moves South till sun is overhead. 437w input with 5% controller loss (22w) = 415w output so amps output: 415/12.2 = 34 amps 415/ 13.2 = 31.4 amps 415/14.2 = 29.2 amps OP's 30 amp Tracer is just fine for amps size, and yes, it does clip the amps . I don't know why he had the various breakers fail, but it could not have been too many amps from the controller. Great analysis. This is why I'm comfortable with the 30amp controller. Bumping up to the 40amp controller was an extra ~$60-70, and as mentioned I was really fine with the idea of a 200-250w system originally so the 500w system should be a total overkill for me (...I have a 200AH battery bank and will grow it to 300AH, but anything close to 500w of solar will more than handle that). -Chris
SJ-Chris 03/31/21 11:09am Tech Issues
RE: Strange electrical/Breaker issue (solar related??)

There is no reason for a fuse or CB for 1 or 2 parallel panels as a short will not blow the fuse or damage the panels. A switch can be helpful however. 3 or more parallel panels should be individually fused to protect a shorted panel. Each of my panels are individually fused with a 15amp inline MC4 fuse. I also installed a breaker from the panels to the solar charge controller right next to the solar charge controller, PRIMARILY just to act as an on/off switch so that I can "turn off" the panels anytime I need/want to. That is also primarily why I put a fuse between the solar charge controller and the batteries. I wanted to have a way of disconnecting it from the system if I ever needed to (ie. doing any electrical work and want there to be no power source on the line while doing so). -Chris
SJ-Chris 03/31/21 10:57am Tech Issues
RE: Strange electrical/Breaker issue (solar related??)

I don't think the solar controller has anything to do with the main house breaker tripping; neither would the engine alternator, unless somehow the current from it goes through the breaker (which would be most unusual). This is what I'm thinking too. So who knows what are the most common reasons for the Converter Breaker (main) popping? Thanks! Chris
SJ-Chris 03/30/21 11:41pm Tech Issues
RE: Strange electrical/Breaker issue (solar related??)

You might want to double-check that your solar controller won't be (or wasn't) harmed by having the solar panels connected but the battery disconnected; some can fail under those conditions. Thanks for the suggestion Drew. The breaker between the solar charge controller to the batteries only popped one time. When it did, I manually popped the breaker between the solar panels and the charge controller. Then I started by resetting the breaker to the batteries (...batteries always first) and then reset the breaker to the solar panels. All seemed to be working fine at that point. Then later I replaced the 40 amp breaker that is between the solar charge controller and the batteries with a 50 amp breaker (turning them off/on in the right order). So when the RV left my place yesterday with my friend, all was working correctly (and the batteries were all charged). -Chris
SJ-Chris 03/30/21 11:38pm Tech Issues
RE: Strange electrical/Breaker issue (solar related??)

Breakers may not be correctly marked for capacity. I had that very problem with a 30 amp, which would trip at 23.3 amps. For 500 watts of panels I would not use either a breaker or a fuse between the panels and the controller. I would use a DC rated switch. Look up cloud lensing effect. The old school was to over size the charge controller by 25%. If the panels are brand new they may do 125% of their rated output in the first month. Add lensing effect and output may be a lot higher that expected. My choice would be a larger capacity controller. Tristar 60 MPPT would be an excellent choice. Thanks for the input. I hear what you are saying Pianotuna. From my limited watching of the display panel, I didn't ever see it get over 25 amps flowing to the batteries. BUT.... Even if the output of the solar charge controller was putting out 40 or 50 amps, directly to the batteries, do you think there is any chance this could pop the Converter Breaker?? To me it doesn't seem likely, but I'm no expert. -Chris
SJ-Chris 03/30/21 11:07pm Tech Issues
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