A forum for van conversions, van living and travel

The vanlife => Van Conversion => Topic started by: Rustbuss on May 13, 2017, 09:17:34 PM

Title: 12v problem
Post by: Rustbuss on May 13, 2017, 09:17:34 PM
I have just set up my 12v system. I have a 100W solar panel and a split charge system for the other 364 days a year. I have a couple of USB sockets, 2 lights running off a 3 pin switch and a cigarette lighter type socket. All these run off a marine type fuse box and bus bar, fairly standard stuff

Everything works as it should except when I plug my 12v fridge in via the cigarette socket, when I turn it on the lights go off. What have I done here, have I overloaded the circuit somehow and how would I fix it?

I've never really wired anything up like this before so apologies if it's obvious!
Title: Re: 12v problem
Post by: Camper_Dan on May 13, 2017, 11:38:15 PM

Was everything working right before you added the solar?

Unplug the solar panels from the charge controller first, then unplug the charge controller from the battery(s).  The order is important here.

Next disconnect any other charging source.

Now, with the batteries fully charged, test everything.  If everything works, then we have eliminated the accessories as the culprit.  If the problem persists, then we have eliminated the charging sources as the problem.

By your description, the lights worked.  With them disconnected, try the fridge alone. Does it work?  Do the wires get warm or hot?  Is the cigarette lighter outlet grounded properly to your battery bank?

Have you tried the lighter outlet with anything else?  Did it work?  If the lighter outlet is working properly, then it's a fridge problem.  Is it a new fridge?  The newer ones are all cheap chinese junk. Maybe it's dead on arrival. (I've read a lot about people going through several before they get one that actually works...)

If the fridge works properly by itself, then disconnect it and examine the wiring for your lights.  Is your polarity reversed?  Some lights will run on reversed polarity, some won't.  Make sure it's right.

If both the lights and fridge are working properly, try them together again, and let us know the results.

Good Luck!

Title: Re: 12v problem
Post by: Rustbuss on May 16, 2017, 08:59:41 PM
Thank Camper_Dan, I started to look into it and then opened a beer....I'll let everyone know if/how i fix it