Van Life Problems – Troubleshooting RV Electrical Problems

Van Life Problems - Troubleshooting RV Electrical Problems

you know when your morning starts with one of these and you don't have power in your van that there might be something wrong we're sharing a cup of coffee I was able to make on a propane oh sorry no let the coffee pots going this morning I've got an outdoor butane stove where I could go outdoors and fix coffee but I'm not going outdoors because mosquitoes are bombarding every window I have and we go in and out as quickly as we can to keep as many as we can now so it's fun times here in River City so I'm gonna switch seats with Robert so he can continue working back here and tell you what's going on or at least what we know at this point yeah the mosquitos here are a little out of control reminds me of this movie I saw a while ago under one of the characters makes this cracker I'm gonna swamp and one of the characters makes us want crack I bought the mosquitos that there used to be a lot of bastard there but a mosquitos ate them all that's kind of like what it's like here I'm starting to think we got a bad battery here or something we ended up depleted yesterday we have not had near enough solar because we're in Oregon and that's I love solar it's fantastic but if you're going to be places where you don't have any sunshine either because of heavy tree cover everywhere or cloud cover every day basically at least part of the day Solar is gonna be a problem especially if you reckon I rely on it so run electric appliances like a stove and a coffeepot and laptops and things and so we ended up the river to conked out and yesterday I want him to conked out yesterday because the batteries were depleted we end until we end up doing some errands we went and actually went in Crater Lake we need to do a drive would want to go there anyway so we did a drive because the solenoid we have a continuous duty solenoid to charge the house batteries while engines running so we want to get those charged up looked like everything was okay this morning Deborah's got no power again so Airfone won't charge and the inverter won't come on so I came over checked with the meter and I've got about 5 volts off the batteries where it comes into the inverter these are heavy battery cables and they're directly connected to the batteries so that's a problem we started the engine to test that because again a cadet charges the batteries and we immediately jumped up to 13 8 or 14 volts so that tells me that the problems not in the cables it apart apparently either battery problem or a connection between the batteries it has to be where the issue lies and I just rechecked it now we turn the engine off just a moment ago before we started recording this and it's still reading above 13 volts which is it makes me think it's got a battery problem the battery is going going dead while you check it one more time now and handy to have some basic tools with you like this you know because sometimes things come up and you're out in the middle of forest yeah we readin over 14 volts there and let's evening avert will come on now I can't see anything so a lot of lights in here if you buy specialty lights make sure you know how to get the what new replacement bulbs from Amazon or wherever you get them okay so I just gave Robert my phone that we were able to charge all the he's holding it up and blinding me while the engine was running and I turned the flashlight on for him so we're gonna check the inverter now this is such fun are we having fun yet we're having fun right we're having fun yeah I still only measuring just over four volts there so I got to get to the well hopefully get to the batteries and and and also try disconnecting after I check the batteries I'll try disconnecting this and testing the leads make sure the inverter itself isn't short been pulling things down or something all right so I pulled the batteries all the way back like get to them mmm we did this on a slide on purpose because sometimes you see people build batteries into it under the bed they're not accessible or they're under cabinet or whatever and you just can't get to them and the bottom line is you're gonna have to get to them eventually you're gonna have to replace them eventually and in the short term you may need to check connections you may get a connection vibrate loose you could have some corrosion develop you may have to add a little loose right there you may have to add or you know some batteries if they maintain you have to add add water to them so we did this on purpose it's on a slider it's got a little slide tabs on the bottom it's heavy they're they're 60 or 80 pounds apiece or something and then three of them but we actually can drag it out and I made sure to get cables long enough and wiring along it allow that so now it's handy cuz I can you to actually check things I'm going to need if if it's not the inverter if it's one of the batteries boy mosquitoes I'm going to need to actually test each battery individually and see like isolate which one is a problem so it's really important to get your electronics a Shawn 12.6 across that six there we go okay I have to lose the rest of the way 0.26 across and go on across the bank twelve point six five twelve point six that's still depleted that's down like seventy five percent or something that's still not all the way charge that is not what I'm measuring from the inverter and it's not what I'm measuring up there on the impact is not what the solar thing join so we're getting totally different measurements all over the place here guys all right so I don't recommend this exact system unless you're strong enough to be able to muscle it around but it worked for us what I do recommend being able to access your batteries and your reply ring and your electronics without having to tear your whole rig apart cuz that happens sometimes you get a build that's everything's hidden you're gonna you're gonna have to work on it sooner or later you'll have to tear your entire rig apart to get to it and if you're out in the forest or something that's not having a lot of fun so I'm gonna move on detach the inverter now I'm running but testing between 12 6 5 and 12 7 on the batteries which is you know probably pretty fully charged considering the limited solar and everything it's not low enough to be causing a problem for sure so short of taking them all apart and testing them individually I'm gonna take a look at the inverter now and disconnect that wiring and see if there's a problem with the inverter itself maybe you all right so here's the 50-amp and I'll fuse I don't really know why they call it al I'm sure it stands for something obviously and it is definitely blown I see a blown right in the middle there and these just go they have the little fuse block thing and use these when you use a really big cables like battery cables so yeah that's blown out so we're gonna have to find a new one of these and then we'll be back in business I don't know where we're going to find it but that's better than an inverter or batteries right it is it wasn't really weird stuff it was a 4 volts on the inverter that was really confusing the heck out of me that's where I was confused that's why you travel through stuff and test things one thing at a time we thought eclis so yeah so grateful for you Robert thank you all right so no inverter till we get a new fuse and I'm running it off a fuse on purpose because and this is why because if either if that wire that's big battery wire running up the inverter if it's source or if it gets overloaded you know it'll melt down and start a fire if you don't have a way to break the current and that's what this did it got overloaded it popped like it's supposed to and we just don't have a spare but I could jump it right now and run I could run that over the battery and have the inverter working but again if anything went wrong it would literally melt on a wire and start fire and bring the van down so we're not gonna do that Robert I'm so glad the batteries worked and everything I was we built that system put the Train I assembled everything and then put the top on the bed I never actually pulled it up it's not really glad I was able to do it it's heavy it was kind of stuck in place with a paint or whatever just dense and apply wood I don't know but once I got it moving it wasn't too bad it's heavy it's you know but I was able to get to the batteries and check everything I was able to get in here this is the only little tight this corner we have that's where the ANL fuses and the cables go up from underneath to the front and everything I was able to get to everything and I'll tell you I get asked about our reason stuff occasionally and and people ask you know what about this or what's going wrong I don't have a clue because I didn't build the system I don't know where things are your manual probably doesn't show you even if you have it and you won't be able to get to half the stuff so whether it's this man or my van I want to be able to get the stuff I want to know how it works and you know minor inconvenience we don't have the spare fuse will get one on Amazon or something in will have spares then and I could have that fixed real quick if I just had the fuse so there's something to be said for having an accessible system even if you're not gonna fix it yourself if you got to get your buddy to fix it or something at least if they can get that things is going to go faster and easier and they may not hate you and want to murder you so I'm calling a nearby campground because I'm gonna need to be on shore power until we get this fixed and I'm on hold they have lovely music alright so I'm gonna go make another cup of coffee and this is one now whether you think coffee is life essential like I do or not Debra for example right now cannot make coffee or on her stove and the stove probably is a bigger deal for some people but the point is it's real good idea to have redundancy and backup systems and and and and Robert I'm part of the redundancy here well I got a stove over there and I actually have a backup stove too and Debra had a backup still so I can still make coffee I can still cook if my propane goes down or that stove caught I still have a butane stove I can use so I get its backups and we're gonna use that backup system now and that's just a really good idea out here to have backups on anything that's important backup some backups plans for camping like oh well we're not getting enough solar here and we can't even charge the batteries with our engine right now and I don't know enough solar and now we have no electricity so backup plans we found a cool little inexpensive campground commercial camp around not too far from here yeah I just want to go there have electricity until we get a new fuse get it's all fixed I just got off the phone with me and there and I'll let you guys know about that campground and everything but that's that too answered and and it sounds like it will work and Robert is actually going to head out for a night or two and go to the gambler 500 with his son and so this delayed him getting on the road but I'm so grateful he was still here and able to do what he did yeah real specifically I'm going up there that's up in Jamal's I'm also going first to Crescent that's where the hooptie cross is that's a mile and pull something off road race track that they got timers set up and everything and my son's volunteering there today so I want to go up to see um my daughter-in-laws there so I wanted to see them yeah then apparently tonight in turmoil down Main Street is a parade of gambler cars so I want to check that out that should be fine and I don't get to go because with my brain injury I can't handle all of that noise and everything and so I'm sad about that but it's all good it's part of it it just is understanding and accepting my limitations but I wish I could go with him and it sounds like so much fun anyway that's another video you guys are good to see that we hope you learned something on this one in my hand is starting to shake so we have to hang up now we're gonna see how good the stabilization is on the camera I gotta go make some more coffee for the day I'm still I really literally this is how our day began we appreciate you being here with us as always please like and subscribe talk to you later see you down the road bye so on I kind of forgot to plug the solar back in lettuces functions is a kill switch the other ones back here I can't really show you but it plugged together and then tuck in behind the board there and everything kind of gets out of the way and it's important for a couple reasons though you need working on the system you want to unplug power coming in and in this case I wanted to it wasn't so much a safety thing I wanted to make sure I was reading the battery's voltage actual voltage without power coming in from the solar because otherwise I'd have been reading what was coming in with the solar and I wanted to get an accurate measurement of just how the batteries – it's like unplug this and promptly forgot about it I put things back together so Deborah I was getting ready to make coffee on my redundant system and Deborah came over said hey so I'm gonna focus back up now I'm gonna make coffee you


  1. Can you wear ear plugs at least you can see the excitement…and be with family…♥♥♥BLESSINGS♥♥♥

  2. Coffee is the elixir of life for me. Can’t talk, can’t function until at least one cup! Great job, Robert!

  3. I would appreciate having someone handy and strong enough to help me with things I cannot do anymore. The surgeries I’ve had make my day to day things I need to get done just doesn’t happen unless I hire someone to work for me which I can’t afford it since I had to quit working. And my husband isn’t able to do anything either! But I am sure glad you both could go to a campground with power and hopefully no mosquitoes!

  4. Awww, sorry you 'Two' were waylaid by another challenge. But, hey, it gave you an opportunity to share a helpful video with us novices out here…so there's a silver lining to this! Thanks so much for filming the whole process. Much appreciated! I'm glad you found a cheap solution this time. Thumbs up, and best wishes for 'no more issues' in the coming weeks!

  5. You can't measure individual battery voltage when they are still connected to each other. Also 12.6 volts is all you are going to see from a normally charged battery, so not sure what you mean by 75% depleted.

  6. Isn't life something! I just love watching you two together. I remember your story on how ya'll met. Fate for sure! Happy 4th of July! 🇺🇸🎆👣

  7. The fuse is not the problem, but only a symptom and safety for some other problem causing it to fail.. Solve the problem…
    Do you have an automatic disconnect from the solar panels if something fails in the control system..??

  8. Robert, take a look at DYI solar with Will Prowse. I've followed this young man for sometime. Absolute wealth of information. Watching his latest, seriously thinking of switching to lithium. Check it out! 😊 –Mark

  9. Yea for Mr. Fix-it! Great detective work. I know you were speaking English but I didn’t understand what you were saying. I speak quilting English and you were talking electronic English. I would truly be up a creek without a paddle if I had the same thing happen to me. Glad you were there. A knight to the rescue of his dear lady.😊

  10. Mosquitoes are the curse of my existence. If there’s one within a mile radius, it will find me! ✨ Troubleshooting any system is easier when you understand it, have the right tools, and can access it without a hassle. Thanks for the practical tips and examples!

  11. This was informative. Your van’s systems function just like sticks and bricks and things do go awry. I’m glad you had a fuse/breaker system for protection of components and people!! I like the wide spectrum of content all your channels provide and look forward to the streamlining of your entire lineup. I’m hoping you enjoy your summer and any moments shared with your loved ones!! Time and connection is precious and healing.
    Remember it’s gonna be alright! 😉 ✌🏼 & 🤟🏻

  12. Woot Woot! A blown fuse is an easy fix to what it could’ve been. Thank God this happened while Robert was with you! Isn’t it wonderful to have a handy guy?? ❤️❤️

  13. Glad you got it figured out ! I'm like you..I built my system so I know where everything is and it's all easily accessible. I've seen too many people who had someone else build their van and they have no idea how to fix even the simplest problem. Even if they don't know everything..they should know where fuses are and how to replace them. Great video guys !

  14. Great job Robert…
    Debra was so lucky to have you there!
    Good luck getting the fuse soon and have funn with your son & family…
    Debra try to de-stress while Robert is gone…KOKO girl you can do it! 💞
    Viv* in VA

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