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Old 06-10-2024, 07:37 AM   #1
Rivet Master
 
2022 27' Globetrotter
DALLAS , TX
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Finally: Solved the Ford 2kw propower and Victron Multiplus incompatibility

Things you need to know if you want to charge your Airstream and you have a Victron Multiplus II 2x120 3kw inverter installed:

1. The 2kw Ford Pro Power generator is an inverter based generator (similar to the Honda EU2200i generator architecture)

2. Inverter based generators utilize a floating neutral design and do not internally connect the neutral wire to the ground terminal

3. For inverter based floating neutral generators, it is required that you plug a neutral to ground bonding plug into the generator before you try and charge your trailer.

4. Why is a neutral to ground bonding plug required by electrical codes? GFCI protection devices (GFCI receptacles, breakers with integrated GFCI capability, etc) require that neutral and ground be connected together in order to operate correctly.

5. The multiplus II 2x120 3kw inverter adheres to the required electrical standards and energizes a built-in neutral to ground bonding relay that bonds the neutral and ground on it's own output whenever it detects power is present on the shore power input and the incoming shore power neutral is floating and is not bonded to ground.

6. GFCI equipment measures the current leaving the hot wire and the current returning on the neutral wire and if there is any discrepancy, it triggers a fault condition and disables power to the outlet and any 120v ac outlets connected in series with the GFCI protected receptacle.

7. The 2kw Pro Power's GFCI function is extremely sensitive

8. The pro power generator has parasitic capacitance between neutral and ground.

9. When you plug in a neutral to ground bonding plug into the pro power receptacle in the bed of the truck, the bonding plug discharges the electrical charge that has accumulated on the floating neutral's parasitic capacitance.

10. Discharging the parasitic capacitor on the pro power floating neutral causes an electrical current between neutral and ground that is detected by the pro power generators GFCI function as a fault condition, causing the pro power generator to disable power to it's receptacles (Note: it shouldn't do this, but it does).

11. The built-in neutral to ground bonding relay in the multiplus also triggers the same erroneous GFCI fault condition on the Ford 2kw pro power generator whenever it engages, for the same reason that plugging in a neutral to ground bonding plug into the ford receptacles triggers a GFCI fault on the ford pro power generator.

Conclusion: Yes, you can enable the Ford 2kw pro power generator to power a trailer equipped with a Victron multiplus by disabling the built-in neutral to ground bonding relay. I have tested this myself with my 2024 Ford F350 and my 2022 Globetrotter 27 FB Twin with a Multiplus II 2x120 installed.

However (and I will use capitalization for emphasis here), YOU SHOULD NOT PERMANENTLY DISABLE THE VICTRON MULTIPLUS NEUTRAL TO GROUND BONDING RELAY!!!

Disabling the Multiplus neutral to ground bonding relay also disables GFCI protection on the Airstreams GFCI protected circuits (usually these are the kitchen, bathroom, and external 120v receptacles on the trailer). THIS IS UNSAFE!!

You can confirm this is true the same way I did. By disabling the relay, then plugging in a GFCI tester into one of the trailers GFCI protected outlets, then triggering the GFCI tester. I confirmed that the tester will no longer trigger the GFCI outlet when the trailer is not connected to shore power, the inverter is enabled, and the neutral to ground bonding relay is disabled. Enabling the relay restored the GFCI function when I tested this.

Note: If your trailer is plugged into an RV park pedestal (or any other non-generator based 120v ac power sources) when you disable the the bonding relay to run this experiment, the GFCI function in the trailer will still trip when you test the GFCI function because the neutral to ground bond is provided by the shore power system instead of the multiplus as long as your shore power system follows the standard electrical code. This might provide a false sense of security.

Ergo, if you disable the multiplus neutral to ground bonding relay while powering your trailer using the 2kw pro power generator, you SHOULD NOT plug anything into your trailers GFCI protected outlets in the kitchen, bathroom or the exterior 120v ac receptacle on the outside of your trailer as these plugs will lack protection against accidental hot to ground shorts as long as you have the neutral to ground bonding relay disabled.

You MUST enable the neutral to ground bonding relay after you are finished powering your trailer or charging your batteries with the trucks pro power generator. Otherwise, you will not have GFCI protection in the future whenever you are using your inverter to power the trailers 120v outlets. This is unsafe and you risk accidental electrocution.

Thus, you should only temporarily disable the multiplus neutral to ground bonding relay when powering the trailer from your 2kw pro power generator.

There are two ways to temporarily disable the neutral to ground bonding relay:

1. Use a victron USB to ve.bus Mk3 adapter or the veconfig over VRM (victron remote management) service to disable the neutral to ground bonding relay and restore the relay function once you are done powering the trailer with the 2kw pro power generator.

2. Install a switch in the trailer, connect the switch to one of the Aux inputs on the inverter and programming an assistant function on the inverter to disable the neutral to ground bonding relay whenever the switch is activated.

With either method above, you can disable the bonding relay, charge your trailer batteries or power the trailer with the pro power generator (while avoiding the use of the trailers GFCI protected receptacles) and then enable the automatic bonding relay function again when you are finished.
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Old 06-10-2024, 08:01 AM   #2
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Foobar you are amazing! Great work. Thank you.

Now if you could just figure out the pesky Powerdog/Multiplus issue
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Old 06-10-2024, 08:37 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by FredWilma View Post
Foobar you are amazing! Great work. Thank you.

Now if you could just figure out the pesky Powerdog/Multiplus issue
Can you provide more information on the problem, symptoms, etc?

I have heard rumors regarding issues between the Hughes Watchdog EMS and the Victron multiplus, but I have never experienced any problems myself using either a built-in Hughes watchdog or the version that gets connected to the pedistal outside the trailer.
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Old 06-10-2024, 08:51 AM   #4
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Additional information.

Energy Monitoring Systems like the Hughes Watchdog or Progressive EMS devices utilize sensing circuits to test the integrity of the incoming shore power.

These active sensing techniques are also falsely interpreted by the Ford 2kw pro-power generator as a fault condition. The pro power generator then triggers a GFCI fault and disables power to the generator receptacles.

So if you have any EMS devices on your shore power cord (or built into the trailer), you will need to remove the EMS, disconnect it, or electrically isolate it from the pro power generator in order to use the pro power generator to supply power to your trailer.
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Old 06-10-2024, 08:55 AM   #5
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If you are plugged into the truck, would the GFCI on the truck provide the needed protection when powering the GFCI protected circuits in the trailer? Good detective work, by the way!
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Old 06-10-2024, 09:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
Things you need to know if you want to charge your Airstream and you have a Victron Multiplus II 2x120 3kw inverter installed:

1. The 2kw Ford Pro Power generator is an inverter based generator (similar to the Honda EU2200i generator architecture)


1. Use a victron USB to ve.bus Mk3 adapter or the veconfig over VRM (victron remote management) service to disable the neutral to ground bonding relay and restore the relay function once you are done powering the trailer with the 2kw pro power generator.

2. Install a switch in the trailer, connect the switch to one of the Aux inputs on the inverter and programming an assistant function on the inverter to disable the neutral to ground bonding relay whenever the switch is activated.

With either method above, you can disable the bonding relay, charge your trailer batteries or power the trailer with the pro power generator (while avoiding the use of the trailers GFCI protected receptacles) and then enable the automatic bonding relay function again when you are finished.
Have you tried using an isolation transformer between the generator and the RV power system. This would probably permanently solve the problem.



https://www.iqsdirectory.com/article...nsformers.html

https://www.orteanext.com/transforme...-to-choose-it/
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Old 06-10-2024, 09:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Genboy View Post
If you are plugged into the truck, would the GFCI on the truck provide the needed protection when powering the GFCI protected circuits in the trailer? Good detective work, by the way!
That's a good question Genboy. My short answer is that I don't know for sure, but it's possible. I will try and remember to test that capability and report back.
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Old 06-10-2024, 10:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by hairyclive View Post
Have you tried using an isolation transformer between the generator and the RV power system. This would probably permanently solve the problem.



https://www.iqsdirectory.com/article...nsformers.html

https://www.orteanext.com/transforme...-to-choose-it/
You bring up a great point. Isolation transformers were the first potential solution that came to mind when trying to solve the problem.

But, I did some research and determined that any isolation transformer would need around a 3kw power rating to handle any peak transients presented by a 2kw load and this would result in multiple additional new potential concerns:

1. 3kw rated isolation transformers are not common

2. 3kw isolation transformers are heavy (60-70lbs)

3. The surge current required to initially charge up the magnetic field in the primary winding exposed to the Ford pro-power generator is high enough that is is highly likely to trigger the maximum power output protection function of the ford pro power. You can see this function in action by powering your trailer with the pro power and then turning on a hair dryer and the microwave oven. The combination of the two loads will trip the protection function on the pro power and the generator will disable its power output

4. Last but not least, 3kw isolation transformers are expensive. They start at around $700 and most of them run into the $1500-$2500 range if you manage to locate a commercial grade unit.

So, I kept looking for the root cause in the hope that understanding the root cause would inspire a simpler, less expensive solution.
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Old 06-10-2024, 03:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foobar View Post
Things you need to know if you want to charge your Airstream and you have a Victron Multiplus II 2x120 3kw inverter installed:

1. The 2kw Ford Pro Power generator is an inverter based generator (similar to the Honda EU2200i generator architecture)

2. Inverter based generators utilize a floating neutral design and do not internally connect the neutral wire to the ground terminal

3. For inverter based floating neutral generators, it is required that you plug a neutral to ground bonding plug into the generator before you try and charge your trailer.

4. Why is a neutral to ground bonding plug required by electrical codes? GFCI protection devices (GFCI receptacles, breakers with integrated GFCI capability, etc) require that neutral and ground be connected together in order to operate correctly.

5. The multiplus II 2x120 3kw inverter adheres to the required electrical standards and energizes a built-in neutral to ground bonding relay that bonds the neutral and ground on it's own output whenever it detects power is present on the shore power input and the incoming shore power neutral is floating and is not bonded to ground.

6. GFCI equipment measures the current leaving the hot wire and the current returning on the neutral wire and if there is any discrepancy, it triggers a fault condition and disables power to the outlet and any 120v ac outlets connected in series with the GFCI protected receptacle.

7. The 2kw Pro Power's GFCI function is extremely sensitive

8. The pro power generator has parasitic capacitance between neutral and ground.

9. When you plug in a neutral to ground bonding plug into the pro power receptacle in the bed of the truck, the bonding plug discharges the electrical charge that has accumulated on the floating neutral's parasitic capacitance.

10. Discharging the parasitic capacitor on the pro power floating neutral causes an electrical current between neutral and ground that is detected by the pro power generators GFCI function as a fault condition, causing the pro power generator to disable power to it's receptacles (Note: it shouldn't do this, but it does).

11. The built-in neutral to ground bonding relay in the multiplus also triggers the same erroneous GFCI fault condition on the Ford 2kw pro power generator whenever it engages, for the same reason that plugging in a neutral to ground bonding plug into the ford receptacles triggers a GFCI fault on the ford pro power generator.

Conclusion: Yes, you can enable the Ford 2kw pro power generator to power a trailer equipped with a Victron multiplus by disabling the built-in neutral to ground bonding relay. I have tested this myself with my 2024 Ford F350 and my 2022 Globetrotter 27 FB Twin with a Multiplus II 2x120 installed.

However (and I will use capitalization for emphasis here), YOU SHOULD NOT PERMANENTLY DISABLE THE VICTRON MULTIPLUS NEUTRAL TO GROUND BONDING RELAY!!!

Disabling the Multiplus neutral to ground bonding relay also disables GFCI protection on the Airstreams GFCI protected circuits (usually these are the kitchen, bathroom, and external 120v receptacles on the trailer). THIS IS UNSAFE!!

You can confirm this is true the same way I did. By disabling the relay, then plugging in a GFCI tester into one of the trailers GFCI protected outlets, then triggering the GFCI tester. I confirmed that the tester will no longer trigger the GFCI outlet when the trailer is not connected to shore power, the inverter is enabled, and the neutral to ground bonding relay is disabled. Enabling the relay restored the GFCI function when I tested this.

Note: If your trailer is plugged into an RV park pedestal (or any other non-generator based 120v ac power sources) when you disable the the bonding relay to run this experiment, the GFCI function in the trailer will still trip when you test the GFCI function because the neutral to ground bond is provided by the shore power system instead of the multiplus as long as your shore power system follows the standard electrical code. This might provide a false sense of security.

Ergo, if you disable the multiplus neutral to ground bonding relay while powering your trailer using the 2kw pro power generator, you SHOULD NOT plug anything into your trailers GFCI protected outlets in the kitchen, bathroom or the exterior 120v ac receptacle on the outside of your trailer as these plugs will lack protection against accidental hot to ground shorts as long as you have the neutral to ground bonding relay disabled.

You MUST enable the neutral to ground bonding relay after you are finished powering your trailer or charging your batteries with the trucks pro power generator. Otherwise, you will not have GFCI protection in the future whenever you are using your inverter to power the trailers 120v outlets. This is unsafe and you risk accidental electrocution.

Thus, you should only temporarily disable the multiplus neutral to ground bonding relay when powering the trailer from your 2kw pro power generator.

There are two ways to temporarily disable the neutral to ground bonding relay:

1. Use a victron USB to ve.bus Mk3 adapter or the veconfig over VRM (victron remote management) service to disable the neutral to ground bonding relay and restore the relay function once you are done powering the trailer with the 2kw pro power generator.

2. Install a switch in the trailer, connect the switch to one of the Aux inputs on the inverter and programming an assistant function on the inverter to disable the neutral to ground bonding relay whenever the switch is activated.

With either method above, you can disable the bonding relay, charge your trailer batteries or power the trailer with the pro power generator (while avoiding the use of the trailers GFCI protected receptacles) and then enable the automatic bonding relay function again when you are finished.
So, I am not an electrical engineer, but I do have a 2023 Ford F150 Limited with the Pro Power capability an have been plugging my 2018 Tommy Bahama AS (standard AS setup from the factory, no mods) into the truck and all seems fine. Is the issue you are talking about a problem with my setup?? I have been plugging my 30amp cable directly into the truck and all seems fine. What am I missing? Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-10-2024, 03:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Boba911 View Post
So, I am not an electrical engineer, but I do have a 2023 Ford F150 Limited with the Pro Power capability an have been plugging my 2018 Tommy Bahama AS (standard AS setup from the factory, no mods) into the truck and all seems fine. Is the issue you are talking about a problem with my setup?? I have been plugging my 30amp cable directly into the truck and all seems fine. What am I missing? Thanks in advance.
Good Question Boba911.

I assume you don't have a ford F150 power boost hybrid with the 2.4kw or 7.2kw power boost configuration, but instead have a regular F150 with the 2k pro power option. These are three very, very different things so I will assume you have the 2kw pro power option for my answer.

A regular Airstream with the factory installed battery charger and inverter will not have the problem that I discussed in the initial posting of this discussion thread.

This problem is specific to the many Airstreams for which the owners installed a Victron Multiplus II 2x120 3kw inverter as an upgrade (usually as part of adding a lithium battery bank and solar panels too).

If you don't have a victron multiplus inverter inside your trailer, you will not have this problem. You might experience different problems, but not this one.
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Old 06-10-2024, 07:15 PM   #11
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Foobar
If I may go off of main topic for just a moment, can you confirm for me that the pro power in your F-350 will not work with the truck and drive / traveling down the road? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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Old 06-10-2024, 07:23 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by 69SoulShine View Post
can you confirm for me that the pro power in your F-350 will not work with the truck and drive / traveling down the road?
The Pro Power does work while driving. We charge battery power stations, power outdoor fridge/coolers, etc. while driving down the road.
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Old 06-10-2024, 07:29 PM   #13
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The Pro Power does work while driving. We charge battery power stations, power outdoor fridge/coolers, etc. while driving down the road.
Ford marketing stuff talks about charging portable battery powered equipment in the bed of the truck via the pro power generator while driving.

I haven't tried it myself but folks like hikingcamera have done this successfully and I have read many online statements that also report successfully running the pro power generator while driving.
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Old 06-10-2024, 08:20 PM   #14
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Thanks to both of you guys for your quick response! I致e been reading conflicting information about this.
Here痴 one response that supposedly comes from the 2024 super duty owners manual.
Some have said it works on hybrid 150s but not on 250s and 350s.
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Old 06-10-2024, 08:50 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by 69SoulShine View Post
Thanks to both of you guys for your quick response! I’ve been reading conflicting information about this.
Here’s one response that supposedly comes from the 2024 super duty owners manual.
Some have said it works on hybrid 150s but not on 250s and 350s.
To further clarify, I have a 2021 F-150 EcoBoost (non-hybrid) with 2kW Pro Power.

There are definitely a slew of warnings every time something is plugged in about the engine not shutting off while ProPower is running, being careful to unplug anything before taking off (so you don't pull away with a miter saw bouncing along behind you), etc. But I have never had issues going into Drive.

I have had issues with charging things, like one of the Power Stations that I had to return because it caused a ground fault, the first (factory standard) converter in our first Airstream (but not the Progressive Industries replacement) and the Multiplus in our new Airstream (as explained above), and the generator pass through in our house (just the pass through, without anything even plugged into it).
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Old 06-11-2024, 06:16 AM   #16
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Thanks HikingCamera
I知 just pondering my charging options while trying to patiently wait on our new 2024 F350. We also have the Victron Multiplus II 2x120 3kw in our AS so it look like things will be a little more complicated than I had hoped as far as charging from the pro power. But I think it will be a good option to have.
And Foobar thanks for bringing this issue and remedy to my attention!
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Old 06-11-2024, 07:59 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by 69SoulShine View Post
Thanks HikingCamera
I知 just pondering my charging options while trying to patiently wait on our new 2024 F350. We also have the Victron Multiplus II 2x120 3kw in our AS so it look like things will be a little more complicated than I had hoped as far as charging from the pro power. But I think it will be a good option to have.
And Foobar thanks for bringing this issue and remedy to my attention!

You are welcome.

I was initially disappointed when my F350 pro power generator was unable to charge my trailers lithium battery bank via the multiplus due to the gfci faults. Subsequent internet research of many rv brands forums and victron forums indicated that I wasn't the only one who was experiencing this problem. I spent a year off and on as time permitted testing the pro power generator (oscilloscope plots, multi-meter, various types of gfci testers, neutral ground bonding plugs, various EMS/surge protectors, etc). I kept reading any victron multiplus manuals and info I could find. I ran across the grounding relay information a couple of times, but it wasn't clear yet what exactly that function was doing and when it was activated. I saw an article in a marine forum regarding a sailboat with a multiplus installed that kept tripping their shore power gfci until they disabled the ground relay. Then another airforum member Nishad mentioned something similar regarding the pro power and I had an epiphany :-). I was concerned about the side effect of not having a neutral to ground bond on the functionality of the trailers gfci circuits, so I decided to add that to my set of experiments and tests.

Anyway, I hope this information helps others. I am now trying to learn enough about victron assistants in order to implement a hardware switch to allow me to easily toggle the ground relay bonding function on and off as needed.

Side note, an added complication for my debug efforts is that the soft start modules in my Airstream hvac units also trigger false gfci events on the Ford pro power generator. These were randomly occurring around the same time as the multiplus was activating its grounding relay. So when I disabled the grounding relay, I still sometimes received pro power gfci faults anyway. Confused the heck out of me until I decided to disable all of the 120v breakers to eliminate any other potential gfci triggers. That decision allowed me to make progress and figure stuff out.

Given there are probably lawyers lurking around, I feel a disclaimer is in order at this point. Here it goes: nothing foobar has written here is guaranteed to be accurate or to work in your situation. Recommend having a licensed electrician review your system and how you plan to modify or operate it. Use this information at your own risk.
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Old 06-11-2024, 09:32 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by 69SoulShine View Post
I知 just pondering my charging options while trying to patiently wait on our new 2024 F350.
FWIW, with our first converter, we used the portable power station as a middle man to charge the trailer, as we could charge the trailer from it fine, and then use the truck to charge the power station when on the road. Actually as solutions go, it's kinda elegant, as you can charge up the battery while driving around without the trailer, and silent transfer that charge back to the trailer when you return to camp. There are some downsides to it (including that water does still get into our truck bed even with the Retrax, and you'd need to leave the tonneau cover open until I find a way to route and mount an extension cord, and you are running DC into an inverter to output AC which is then converted back to DC into the battery, inverted again to AC to the outlet, and finally converted back again to DC in the trailer).

But the power station we have only charges at 600watts, so running the A/C was challenging (though we could run the A/C if we disabled the converter, which now isn't really an option). So we tried a faster charging one of the same brand, and it set of the Pro Power ground fault. I've been tempted to do the buy and return process for power stations until I found one that works, but then we got our Trade Wind, and buying a power station on top of all the batteries and solar we have in there seems overkill, now I just want a way to power our A/C (or at least mostly power it) from the truck when we are without shore power in hot conditions. (Something we generally avoid, but has happened occasionally.)
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Old 06-11-2024, 12:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by foobar View Post
Side note, an added complication for my debug efforts is that the soft start modules in my Airstream hvac units also trigger false gfci events on the Ford pro power generator. These were randomly occurring around the same time as the multiplus was activating its grounding relay. So when I disabled the grounding relay, I still sometimes received pro power gfci faults anyway. Confused the heck out of me until I decided to disable all of the 120v breakers to eliminate any other potential gfci triggers. That decision allowed me to make progress and figure stuff out.
That is strange. I've never had an issue with running the A/C in our previous trailer without a Multiplus. I can't test it without disabling the Ground Relay (Victron cable is waiting at home when we get back from our current trip), since it seems there is no way to bring shore power in without going through the Victron. Oddly, the "inverter" breaker doesn't seem to do anything, lol. It's apparently ornamental.
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Old 06-11-2024, 04:01 PM   #20
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This is a great thread -- I'm planning to buy a F-250 as my prime mover and was wondering if the pro power could be used to charge the batteries. I'm planning to buy a Trade Wind and I believe it is configured with the Multiplus and 3kw inverter.
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