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Old 04-12-2024, 08:07 PM   #1
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2020 30' Classic
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
Join Date: Mar 2024
Posts: 3
Angry Solar vs Converter charger conflict?

We are new owners of a 2020 Classic 30 which has 270 w of solar, a Victron 150-35 solar controller, and a Progressive Dynamics PD9180AL converter/charger. (80 amps and Lithium capable. Batteries are VPR Lithium, 100 A/hr = 200 A/hr total.

Tried three days of off grid camping with Alde and fridge on propane. At end of Day 1 , batteries were down into the 12.6 range so fired up our 3000W generator. (I have used this generator on previous non AS trailers and it charged up two lithiums quite quickly). However, I noted the generator didnít seem to load up much and stopped it after 2 hrs to check voltage. Not much change. By morning, we were back to l2.4 ??? Generator again for two hours, with same results.

Upon coming home, but before plugging in, the solar was charging 6- 7 amps, but as soon as I plugged in, the solar went to zero. I suspect the solar charger saw the charging voltage from the converter and shut down thinking the batteries were full.

I now suspect, and please tell me if Iím wrong, that the converter charger when using the generator saw the solar voltage and didnít go into bulk mode and therefore had slow charging. Is this possible? I didnít occur on my previous trailers..

I have just purchased a BVM-712 which may help identify the problem, or am I missing something here?? Any help is appreciated.

I am quickly learning that the wiring on the Classic is more complicated than the space shuttle Iím sure.

I have many other electrical issues, but donít what to complicate this post, will post those separately.
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Old 04-13-2024, 05:57 AM   #2
Rivet Master
 
2022 33' Classic
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 528
I assumed a 2020 Classic would have a shunt installed from the factory. Do you have Firefly or CZone?

I suggest you post the other electrical problems, so others can assess your problem.

These are not as complicated as the space shuttle. Pretty simple, actually. You can also request the full set of electrical drawings from Airstream in .pdf, which is better than the manual.
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Old 04-13-2024, 08:59 AM   #3
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2022 20' Caravel
2019 Interstate Lounge Ext
Noblesville , Indiana
Join Date: Jun 2016
Posts: 223
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave6330 View Post
We are new owners of a 2020 Classic 30 which has 270 w of solar, a Victron 150-35 solar controller, and a Progressive Dynamics PD9180AL converter/charger. (80 amps and Lithium capable. Batteries are VPR Lithium, 100 A/hr = 200 A/hr total.

Tried three days of off grid camping with Alde and fridge on propane. At end of Day 1 , batteries were down into the 12.6 range so fired up our 3000W generator. (I have used this generator on previous non AS trailers and it charged up two lithiums quite quickly). However, I noted the generator didn’t seem to load up much and stopped it after 2 hrs to check voltage. Not much change. By morning, we were back to l2.4 ??? Generator again for two hours, with same results.

Upon coming home, but before plugging in, the solar was charging 6- 7 amps, but as soon as I plugged in, the solar went to zero. I suspect the solar charger saw the charging voltage from the converter and shut down thinking the batteries were full.

I now suspect, and please tell me if I’m wrong, that the converter charger when using the generator saw the solar voltage and didn’t go into bulk mode and therefore had slow charging. Is this possible? I didn’t occur on my previous trailers..

I have just purchased a BVM-712 which may help identify the problem, or am I missing something here?? Any help is appreciated.

I am quickly learning that the wiring on the Classic is more complicated than the space shuttle I’m sure.

I have many other electrical issues, but don’t what to complicate this post, will post those separately.
Your diagnosis is possible. I'd consider disabling your current converter and adding a stand alone victron charger and removing the factory blue solar charger and replacing it with a victron smart charger. Then, configure the two units to create a VE smart network with your new victron shunt. I could never figure out why airstream went with the blue solar vs. the smart solar. Google VE smart networking to see all the advantages.
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Old 04-13-2024, 11:37 AM   #4
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2020 30' Classic
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
Join Date: Mar 2024
Posts: 3
Solar vs Converter charger conflict

Thanks for your responses.

I had VE networking on one of my previous trailers and it worked great. I think that may be the answer to my situation if I can fit the Victron smart converter charger into the tiny space where the Progressive Dynamics charger is now. Switching to a smart Solar MPPT will be easy as it is accessible. Q - Should I go up a size to allow capacity for future panels?

While our Classic has the CZone system, the Smart Control app is not available in Canada so I can only see voltage on the display. If there is a shunt somewhere, I canít find it.

I will be installing a Victron BVM-712 shunt but need to determine where best to install it. Near batteries is preferred Iím told, but the battery box is not sealed from elements (yet). Is there an inside location which would work? I still have to identify the correct negative lead as there are two coming off the battery bank. Both appear to go into a junction box under the front sofa which is inaccessible. I did find a suitable mounting location near the breaker panel which is accessible but is this too far from the batteries? Also need to identify the correct neg lead.

Long term plan (still researching) may be to install a sealed battery box above the existing one sized to hold 4x100 A/hr lithiums and use the old battery box for buss bars, shunts, etc. Any recommendations from anyone who has done this?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 04-13-2024, 01:40 PM   #5
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2022 33' Classic
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 528
My Victron 500A shunt was in the front storage locker (front queen bed). My guess is yours is under the couch or one of the end tables in the front. It comes off the negative battery lead, and then the loads come off the other end of the shunt.

Does your CZone display provide a SOC%?

Have you tried to download the Victron app and see what shows up via bluetooth in your trailer? You may have a Cerbo GX too. The solar charger does not have bluetooth. Airstream saved money with the BlueSolar vice SmartSolar.
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Old 04-13-2024, 02:13 PM   #6
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2020 30' Classic
Qualicum Beach , British Columbia
Join Date: Mar 2024
Posts: 3
Hi, thanks. My CZone display does not show SOC, just voltage. I have the Victron app and did a search but nothing showed up.
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Old 04-13-2024, 04:21 PM   #7
Rivet Master
 
2022 33' Classic
Chesapeake , Virginia
Join Date: Nov 2021
Posts: 528
I found a 2020 manual and did not see a shunt installed in the electrical drawing.

I would check the converter AC breaker while on shore power, see if the unit gets warm while working. The manual tells how to check the output.

I hope someone with a similar Classic chimes in.

Good luck.
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Old 04-14-2024, 08:07 AM   #8
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HOLLAND , NY
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 15
Victron IP65 shunt very weather resistant
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Old 04-17-2024, 09:41 AM   #9
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2021 30RB Classic
West Sacramento , California
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave6330 View Post
We are new owners of a 2020 Classic 30 which has 270 w of solar, a Victron 150-35 solar controller, and a Progressive Dynamics PD9180AL converter/charger. (80 amps and Lithium capable. Batteries are VPR Lithium, 100 A/hr = 200 A/hr total.

Tried three days of off grid camping with Alde and fridge on propane. At end of Day 1 , batteries were down into the 12.6 range so fired up our 3000W generator. (I have used this generator on previous non AS trailers and it charged up two lithiums quite quickly). However, I noted the generator didnít seem to load up much and stopped it after 2 hrs to check voltage. Not much change. By morning, we were back to l2.4 ??? Generator again for two hours, with same results.

Upon coming home, but before plugging in, the solar was charging 6- 7 amps, but as soon as I plugged in, the solar went to zero. I suspect the solar charger saw the charging voltage from the converter and shut down thinking the batteries were full.

I now suspect, and please tell me if Iím wrong, that the converter charger when using the generator saw the solar voltage and didnít go into bulk mode and therefore had slow charging. Is this possible? I didnít occur on my previous trailers..

I have just purchased a BVM-712 which may help identify the problem, or am I missing something here?? Any help is appreciated.

I am quickly learning that the wiring on the Classic is more complicated than the space shuttle Iím sure.

I have many other electrical issues, but donít what to complicate this post, will post those separately.
Battery chargers in general switch back and forth several times a second charging then monitoring voltage. Sounds like the solar controller is working fine. I have the same one. Imho, get the Bluetooth dongle, see the plethora of info on the phone app. You dont need additional Victron stuff beyond that. Maybe check the rotary switch on the controller is at 7?

I have a 2021 30í Classic btw.

Imho, something seems amiss with the PD charger. If you had not given the part number, I would have guessed you have a lead acid charger/charging profile. The charger going into float at 12.5V would tick most of the boxes.

Lastly there is no bulk stage in the lithium charging profile. You can talk to Battleborn for more info.

Good luck
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Old 04-17-2024, 06:19 PM   #10
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2013 20' Flying Cloud
minneapolis , Minnesota
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order of checking

ok... break down filling up lithium batteries and load on batteries.

First, check to see if you have an inverter turned on all the time. They are current hogs and will depleat your batteries even when no down stream load.

Second, (I have a 2020 Globetrotter).. I will bet you a steak dinner that you can not fill your Lithium batteries because your solar controller is not lithium capable .. You can thank Airstream for that. I had to go out and purchase the latest solar controller from the same company. Otherwise you only get charging to 13.1 v and cant go higher with solar. That has nothing to do with the Progressive converter yet.

Then for the Progressive converter, need to check that it is set to lithium charging (around 14V max.. holds at 13.6 ish).

start by upgrading your 2020 not lithium compatible solar controller and thank AIrstream for that stupid choice in equipment. Keep your inverter turned off if you dont need 120V.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave6330 View Post
We are new owners of a 2020 Classic 30 which has 270 w of solar, a Victron 150-35 solar controller, and a Progressive Dynamics PD9180AL converter/charger. (80 amps and Lithium capable. Batteries are VPR Lithium, 100 A/hr = 200 A/hr total.

Tried three days of off grid camping with Alde and fridge on propane. At end of Day 1 , batteries were down into the 12.6 range so fired up our 3000W generator. (I have used this generator on previous non AS trailers and it charged up two lithiums quite quickly). However, I noted the generator didnít seem to load up much and stopped it after 2 hrs to check voltage. Not much change. By morning, we were back to l2.4 ??? Generator again for two hours, with same results.

Upon coming home, but before plugging in, the solar was charging 6- 7 amps, but as soon as I plugged in, the solar went to zero. I suspect the solar charger saw the charging voltage from the converter and shut down thinking the batteries were full.

I now suspect, and please tell me if Iím wrong, that the converter charger when using the generator saw the solar voltage and didnít go into bulk mode and therefore had slow charging. Is this possible? I didnít occur on my previous trailers..

I have just purchased a BVM-712 which may help identify the problem, or am I missing something here?? Any help is appreciated.

I am quickly learning that the wiring on the Classic is more complicated than the space shuttle Iím sure.

I have many other electrical issues, but donít what to complicate this post, will post those separately.
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Old 04-18-2024, 07:07 AM   #11
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HOLLAND , NY
Join Date: Apr 2024
Posts: 15
I gave up trying to charge batteries going through converter using shore power cord. Ran wires directly off batteries to a Anderson connecter them use a Victron charger to generator just as you would for a dc to dc charger. Use same plug for a suitcase solar panel.
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