Finding someone to help me with electrical NoCal area

I am new to this forum (my name is Dan.)

I live in the Silicon Valley area. Anyway, I have a Sprinter that I bought that someone else converted. I am having some trouble with the solar and electrical system and trying to figure things out. There are a few different things going on and I expect someone that has done a conversion can help me figure out things quicker than I can do it on my own.

Wondering how to find someone local that can help. Happy to pay someone, but don’t know who to call.

I will describe the problems here in case anyone has any suggestions:

Issue 1: I have a global LF Pure Sine Wave Inverter/AC charger. It was not setup for shore power. So, I added a plug so I could use it to charge the battery. I don’t think it is working as the battery is not getting fully charged when I leave it plugged in. Maybe I set it up wrong, or maybe there is just some setting I need to put it on so it charges the batter. (I guess there is also a chance that they way the person who did the conversion set it up it is not connected correctly to charge the battery.)

Issue 2: I installed a Victron BM-712. I did this so I could get a better sense of what was happenning with the charge and my battery. (This is related to issue 1.). The Victron is showing 100% charge, but the voltage is low so i am pretty sure it is at 50%.

Issue 3: THis may be the source of all my issues. Not sure if there is a drain or something wrong with the solar panels in terms of the charging of the battery. It just does not seem to be holding charge. All I have running is a fridge, but the battery drains fairly quickly if I just leave it outside. Not sure if the solar is not charging it or if the fridge draws more energy than I thought it did or if there is some other drain. I replaced the batteries thinking this was the problem, but it still does not seem to be holding charge…

Thanks for any help. I know I am a newbie and these questions are not rocket science.


I have no idea on the sine wave inverter.

What kind of fridge do you have? The 12v ones don’t typically pull much power.

For issue #2 if the Victron is like any other battery monitor I have used, then your battery needs to be at a 100%. You then have to tell the victron you are at 100% and also the size of your battery bank as well. i.e. 100amps. This is the only way it will have an accurate reading. The shunt from it should be the only thing connected to the negative of your battery and all other negatives then connected to the shunt. Also the shunt needs to be large enough to support the size of your battery bank. Victrons I believe are fairly high.

Does the solar controller not tell you if it is sending any amperage or voltage to the battery? You should work on one item at a time, either solar or the shore power. Get that right and then add in the next piece in.

It’s also possible everything is fine and your battery is just dead. I would disconnect everything from it, leave it sit for at least 2 hours and meter it. This should give you a much more accurate voltage reading. I can’t remember off the top of my head what constitutes dead for a battery any more, but if it’s down below 12.0 it probably is or is in the process of becoming dead. This would only apply to non lithium batteries.

Thanks Bretly. So, I bought new batteries since I figured that this was the problem with not holding a charge. So the batteries are good.

Your description of needing to get the battery to 100% and then calibrate the Victron is what I was thinking was the problem. I saw something in the user manual and was planning on trying that to see if that did the trick. (Waiting to get the battery to 100% which leads me to the shore power problem. If the shore power was working then it would be easy to get the battery to 100%.)

Now, you brought up one thing that I had as a question. There already was a battery monitor on the van however, it did not tell me the percent used and instead I had to estimate based upon the voltage which I did not like. Someone recommended the Victron. When I installed the Victron, I left the other battery monitory installed since I figured this would give be a signal in addition to the new Victron. Both of the monitors have shunts and I connected both shunts to the negative terminal of the battery. Right now this is helping me since I can still rely on the old one to realize that the batteries aren’t fully charged. But wondering if this could cause a problem.

Thanks for the help.


Greetings & Welcome!

I guess I would start with an inductive ammeter.


Then, when you put it between the solar controller & the battery, you can get a true picture of what’s going on. The same with the positive wire between the inverter/charger & the battery.

A multi-meter should give you an accurate voltage of the battery.

With these figures, we’ll have something to go on.


"Beat Murphy's Law with a KISS! (Keep It Stupidly Simple)" ~ Van_Dweller

Figured out the first problem. The inverter was configured wrong and was in battery preferred mode so it would not charge unless the battery got drained

I fixed this so the shore power is working. IT is charging tonight and I will see if it holds a charge tomorrow.


Nice, and yeah I would go with the Victron once you can confirm the batteries are at full charge as opposed to attempting to connect both of them. Just remember to let the batteries sit for a but after they hit a 100%. There is a natural decay and they should equalize after a period of no input or output.