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Old 05-27-2014, 07:46 AM   #1
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1999 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom Electrical Issues

We just bought a 1999 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom 40JD. It came to us needing what we thought was just new house and chassis batteries. We have replace all batteries with 12v units according to Winnebago specs. 3ea deep cycle for the house and 2ea starting for the chassis. We have run into a few issues (at least I think so) with the Xantrex inverters (2ea.) in the coach.
Her are is a list of the non-working items even though there is power to the outlet receptacles they are plugged into:
1. Front TV
2. Microwave
3. Cook top (spark start)
4. Fridge on AC and LP (controls light up but display no AC or no LP)
Another issue of concern is when the generator is running one inverter (labeled air conditioner) shows AC in and starts to charge the batteries. The second inverter (labeled house) does not show AC in and does not show it is charging the batteries and there is no power to any of the outlet receptacles that I believe to be controlled by this inverter.
Also when running the generator there is another monitor that shows that the generator is running and there is 50 amp service. I believe (according to the instruction book) that the 50 amp and gen set lights should not be on together.
I suppose we could have been misled and the listed appliances may just be broken but I am a bit confused on the inverter issues.
Can anyone explain?
1. How these inverters are supposed to work?
2. Are both inverters supposed to be hooked up to the same 3 batteries and not be treated as separate systems?
3. What is the best way to test the inverters charging and AC in sensing function? I hate to buy a new unit if this one is working as it should.
4. Could any of these issues be caused by the Automatic Transfer Switch?
5. Are the inverter control panels supposed to stay on all of the time? Does this drain the batteries down faster than the solar panels can recharge?
Please help!
CG
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Old 05-27-2014, 07:55 AM   #2
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Check the gfi outlets and make sure none are tripped. Don,t know why you have 2 inverters. We only have one in ours and it is generally left off. Also physically shut off each breaker and turn it back on. Sometimes they trip and look like they are on. Also don't know why they have an inverter labeled AC as you cannot run an AC unit in that on an inverter.
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Old 05-27-2014, 08:05 AM   #3
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Sorry I can't help answer your questions. I do want to welcome you to iRV2. We are glad to have you as a member. I would suggest you call the Winnebago Help Line at 800-537-1885. I have found them to be very helpful in answering many of my questions.

Don
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Old 05-28-2014, 08:06 AM   #4
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Thank you for taking the time to reply. Judging by the Winnebago wire diagrams we have a lot of aftermarket stuff in the coach. The entire storage bay wall in front of the battery compartment from the left to right side is full of electrical stuff. Other photos I have googled don't show anything like that in that storage bay.
Thanks again, CG
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Old 05-28-2014, 09:19 AM   #5
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Hey, CG! Your post is a bit confusing, so I'll just ad some terminology clarification.

There are two types of electrical power in your RV, DC, which is 12 volts, and AC, which is 120 volts.

An inverter converts your DC power to AC power.
A converter converts your AC power to DC.

The genset generates AC, so an inverter is not needed.
Shore power is AC, so an inverter is not needed.

Your A/C runs only on AC, and is too big of a load for RV inverters, so cannot be run off your batteries and inverter. A microwave is borderline depending on your inverter.

Your batteries can only be charged with the engine or genset running, or plugged into shore power (or solar panels if you have them.)

Your equipment sounds like it is non-standard, so some pictures might help folks help you.

Good luck and welcome.

Jeff
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:07 AM   #6
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Jeff: Our old RV is wired as you sugest. However with this coach I can power one or both rooftop airconditioners via a pulse air control with AC power supplied by the inverter labeled "air conditioner" without shore or gen set power. The main part of my issue is that when I do start the generator I get no power to the outlet recepticales. Power is getting to the inverter but does not apear to be getting back out when the generator is running. Perhaps the transfer switch inside the inverter is not working anymore. I will post some pictures later this week. Thanks, CG
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:14 PM   #7
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What is the size rating of inverters? One 13,500 btu air conditioner requires about 1,600 watts when starting. If one is running and drawing it's normal running wattage and the second starts, you need, at a minimum, a battery bank much larger than what our Ultimates have room/space to carry, that would require about 8-10 12V batteries, and a 5-6 thousand watt invertor.
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Old 05-30-2014, 11:31 AM   #8
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The inverters (2 ea.)are Zantrex Freedom 458 & 3,000 watts each. The rv came with 6ea. 4D size house batteries and 2 additional starting batteries (size group 27). There is a pulse air control system installed to insure both air conditioners do not cycle on together unless there is 50 amps of service from shore or generator.
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Old 05-31-2014, 10:04 AM   #9
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Your Ultimate Freedom is much different than mine. Mine has room for only 3 12V house batteries, and a basement air conditioner. All I have personally seen have that configuration. Sounds like yours has many modifications, as you suspect. Your first post says your MH has 3 house batteries, your last 6, which is right?

One group 4D battery supplies 200 AH. You have 6, 6 X 200 = 1,200AH. Since you should only use half your battery capacity for longevity sake, that leave 600AH available to power the inverter that powers the air conditioner, which pulls about 1,200AH. If I am looking at this correctly, you can run one air conditioner for 30 minutes on battery power before recharging them.
There are some really smart professional electricians on escapees.com and none of them suggest this would be practical; even though many of them have huge solar arrays on the roof of the RV for recharging the battery bank.
All this causes me to wonder if it actually worked at some point.
Good luck with your repairs, it is beyond my pay grade at this point.
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Old 06-04-2014, 06:07 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone. We ended up removing what seems to be a faulty inverter and wired the air conditioners direct to the shore and/or generator line. I agree the air unit’s probably would not run very long on the inverter, so why spend the money to replace the faulty inverter at this point just to run the air.
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