Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Inverter Saga

The one item we truly enjoy about our rig is the residential refrigerator. The double door fridge and freezer drawer allow us to stock supplies for the long term – much longer than the little two-way fridge we had in our previous rig.

During our Savannah trip in September 2019 after dropping shore power to get ready to leave the inverter, located above the propane tank began beeping and the lights in the coach started flickering. Removing the panel I found the inverter flashing an error code and the voltage (which was more than adequate). The ProWatt 2000 inverter error code indicated it was overheating. Mind you the inverter had been off for 6 days. Since we were headed home I simply turned the inverter off and we’d deal with the mostly empty fridge items later.

The coach went in for service at our local Camping World (yes, I know, most would say not to go there but they sold us the rig and i still had an expensive extended warranty I decided to use.) They found the inverter to have a burned capacitor and replaced it with the same model (warranty covered it.) When they started testing it the GFCI outlet onboard the inverter kept tripping whenever the fridge compressor started. It was only pulling the expected 2amps. The attempted further diagnosis but then simply shrugged their shoulders.

As I usually do, I started an intensive online search about the issue and it all came down to one thing – the GFCI outlet was simply too sensitive for a residential fridge of this size. And more than one post or solution was to replace the GFCI breaker with a standard outlet. The other option was to spend about $500 on an upgraded Xantrex inverter. I opted for the former.

I removed the inverter from it’s tight home above the propane tank and removed the front panel. After disconnecting the GFCI outlet I wired the new one and replaced the front panel. I turned the battery shutoff back on, manually started the inverter and used my outlet tester – it showed “Good.” I then re-connected the remote start wire to the inverter and shutting it off manually. Next I pressed the remote inverter switch inside the coach and in a few seconds saw the front panel of the refrigerator light up and start displaying its status. I checked the inverter and it showed no error codes and flashed the voltage which was a little low but expected as i had yet not had the rig plugged in to charge batteries.

So ends the inverter saga and hopefully no issues. We have a trip planned to Saint Augustine, Florida and will see how it does during that journey.

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