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Old 07-01-2013, 07:17 AM   #1
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Location: Enterprise, Alabama
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2012 Journey Inverter Problems

I have recently started having problems with my inverter.

The first several trips we took, I had zero problems with using our inverter to power the household refrigerator in our Journey. The last two trips however, have me scratching my head. We do not have 110 volt power now while on the road.

This past weekend, there was a warning on the dash after I cranked the engine, that I had a low battery. The starter turned over rather easily, and it didn't act like a low battery, yet there was the warning. Could this be the house batteries?

The house batteries are the Gel type, and are extremely difficult to get to. They are situated under the sliding storage tray in the geographical center of the coach.

On our last trip to the dealer, we were informed that the inverter reset had tripped, and that all they had to do was reset (push) the the breaker on the inverter and everything worked well.

Here are my questions:
A.) Does the inverter operate off of the house batteries?

B.) If not, and the batteries were low on power, wouldn't cranking the engine be more difficult?

C.) Does the charging system charge both the house, and chassis batteries?

D.) Does the operation of the generator effect any of this? In South Alabama, we have to run the house A/C while driving down the road. This requires the use of the generator.

E.) What are your recommendations on where to start tracking down this problem. Obviously, I don't want it in a dealership for weeks, plus I have two extensive trips to take in the next 6 weeks, I need my coach.

Thanks in advance for any help,
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:03 AM   #2
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A. Yes

C. While engine is running, both banks get charged, as well as on shore power or generator.

D. When genny is running, it provides 120v to the entire coach just like you were plugged into shore. The inverter/charger will charge the coach batteries if necessary as well as chassis batteries. Of course with engine running, it won't be doing much in that regard. The inverter will "see" the 120v and should pass that power to the outlets it normally powers by itself through inversion from the house batteries.

E. My guess is either the breaker on the inverter has tripped, the inverter has failed or the house batteries are down too low and apparently not being charged. I would start with a voltage check of the house batteries with engine off and no load on them. ie,. have the house battery disconnect engauged. Full charge is 12.7v, 50% discharged is 12.1v, 100% discharged is 10.5v.

Now start generator and connect house batteries. If they are being charged, they should now read in the 13.2v - 14.2v range. If not, they of course are not being charged. I have assumed your inverter handles battery charging and was factory installed and you have not installed an inverter just for the fridge. So we need more info on the inverter. You should also run this test with the engine running to be sure that system is working and charging.

As of now, if the batteries are not being charged with generator and the inverter will not produce 120v power with genny off and engine running, it would seem the inverter is not doing either job. Since I know nothing about your inverter nor your coach, I can't help further with other possible fuses or breakers that would affect it's operation. Hopefully someone will be along soon that is familiar with your coach.
John & Clare Lyon
2007 43.5' Monaco Dynasty Palace III (All Electric)
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:21 AM   #3
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Thanks for your help. Your info about battery voltage will come in very handy as I check those house batteries.
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:22 AM   #4
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I would start with the 120v breakers, mine are located at the foot of our bed. There is one 30 amp breaker on the main panel, and several on the inverter sub panel.

The inverter display should be telling you what it is doing in real time.
Dan & Sharon & Kasey (Our Yorkie Puppy (12 Yrs Old) On the Road (2012 Journey 36M, 2006 Jeep Liberty)
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Old 07-01-2013, 09:32 AM   #5
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I also get a low voltage warning on the dash display, occassionally. Not everytime. I had Freightliner Gaffney take a look at the engine charging system and they said all was good.

My theory is, the inverter also charges the engine batteries when on shore power, but not continuously. It monitors the engine batteries and then charges when they reach a preset level. I think the warning light comes on if it has been awhile since the inverter charged the batteries. IMHO.
Dan & Sharon & Kasey (Our Yorkie Puppy (12 Yrs Old) On the Road (2012 Journey 36M, 2006 Jeep Liberty)
USN-Ret ('65-'93) Fulltimers, Class of 2012
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:16 AM   #6
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On my Winnebago Ultimate and the 2006 Journey I had the inverter did NOT charge the engine battery while plugged in. That is why I installed a trik-l-start on both those rigs. I know winnebago now has a part # for the trik-l-start and is on their newer coaches.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:07 PM   #7
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Winny started installing the Trik L Chargers from 2006 on in the diesels.
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Old 07-01-2013, 02:11 PM   #8
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My inverter/charger is a Magnum, model MS2812. One of the accessories available is ME-SBC (Smart Battery Combiner). In the manual it says it monitors and keeps a second battery charged using a portion of the current that is charging a main battery.

I believe my coach has this installed, although I haven't verified yet. Observing the inverter remote panel and battery (Coach and Chassis) monitoring panel after turning on the headlights indicates to me it is installed.

I will email Magnum and see how I can verify.
Dan & Sharon & Kasey (Our Yorkie Puppy (12 Yrs Old) On the Road (2012 Journey 36M, 2006 Jeep Liberty)
USN-Ret ('65-'93) Fulltimers, Class of 2012
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Old 07-01-2013, 08:14 PM   #9
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Did you find the problem?

A 2012 Journey will have both house & chassis battery chargers. You can check the battery voltage on the one place panel.

A temporary low (chassis) battery dash warning on startup can happen if the engine is cool (< 75 degrees or so), it is from the air intake heater draw.

If your still having issues, Check all your breakers & be sure the inverter is on & not faulted.
Note: the generator will supply 110 to all outlets, but the inverter may not be wired to all - but definately the fridge.
Bill & Dar - 2012 Journey 40U
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Old 07-02-2013, 06:08 AM   #10
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Great News!

I had a long talk with Gary at Magnum Energy. It seems that the display/Control board may be the problem. The version 1.o will sometimes go into "Float Status" or "Rest" and will not come back into "Charge" mode when needed. They have a replacement version 1.1 free of charge.

Magnum Energy is mailing me the new board, and I must return the old one. They are providing a return shipping label and everything. Gary was a big help, and very professional as well. I like these guys at Magnum Energy. I have dealt with them once before with the same professional courtesy, so they get an A+ from me.

I hope this helps anyone out there with this same issue. I will also let you know when I get the new board and how well it works with updates as we go along. Thanks for all the wonderful responses from everyone,
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Old 07-02-2013, 08:35 AM   #11
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low voltage Journey

I have a 2013 36M and also have notced that after starting even after being pluged into shore power that I get the low voltage warning after start up.Check the volt meter on the dash and you will see something less than the 13
or so volts that you normally get with the engine running. when you add a little
RPM it will jump up to the 13 + volts and stay there. Also if you request a large power Draw Jacks or slides the volts will come up quickley. I guess it takes some more RPM to excite the charging system.the cruse controll will keep the RPM up when in Netural at a higher RPM also

In the manual it states that we have a cross over system that allows the shore power to charge the chassis battery when it less than 80% of what the House Batteries are at. Sounds way to complicated for me.

sometimes when I go from shore power to move the coach the inverter will not
pick up the load. I think it is because I may have inadvertently had the inverter shut off. I always check to see that I have a microwave clock after power shifts
which tells me I have ac from some source. As I have read here these things a
Complicated some times. hope that helps some

Rick From FLA
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Old 07-02-2013, 10:41 AM   #12
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Slight correction !

I gave Klell a bit of bum steer on the versions of his remote for the Magnum. If the inverter is v5.4 (latest) and the remote panel for the inverter is v.8 (older) then there could be an issue with the "Full Charge" mode. The fix is to change the remote panel to v1.0 which Klell already had.

The issue with the old version remote (v.8) and new version inverter (v5.4) is the remote may remain in "Full Charge" which is not charging the batteries even though the coach is plugged into shore power. Full Charge happens after being in Float for 4 hours. The charger should cycle between Full Charge and Float so that the batteries are not overcharged during long periods of being plugged into shore power.

If anyone has a charging issue they should contact Magnum and verify the versions of the remote and the inverter. The versions can be found by pushing the MENU button until you come to the TECH menu, then push the On/Off/Change button until the versions are displayed.

I hope this helps,

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Old 07-03-2013, 09:37 AM   #13
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I had a very similar problem. Mine was a very simple loose connection on the house batteries. I think it heated up the more amps that was used and would trip the inverter. After I cleaned and tightened the connections I have not had the problem again
Tim & Paula - Leesburg, GA Papermaker
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