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Old 03-07-2010, 12:51 PM   #21
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Default Re: 05/06 R/T Onan Gen run problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
That's frustrating.

Here's a Onan generator troubleshooting pdf file that has helped others solve generator problems:

http://www.flightsystems.com/pdf/onanrvtshootgd608.pdf

So you still have the original problem plus a non-starting generator.

Mike - I'm sure you've checked things like making sure your inverter is off etc. re: the dead battery.

Did the gen starter at least make a clicking noise when trying to start it?
Hi, Happy Birthday to me, eh ??? (Frustrating is definitely the word of the week around my house )

"making sure your inverter is off" not sure what you mean? If the isolator is working properly (big question, now?)
I should be able to leave the coach batteries/inverters enabled, and still be able to start the van, I would have thought?
I am checking the courtesy lights in the rear under bed storage, and the outside lockable driver's side storage, as PL at Roadtrek said they draw from the engine batteries. They seem to be off when they're supposed to be, and incidentally, they're LEDs so I don't think even "all night on" would draw down the engine battery, but I'll double check all that today.

"clicking noise" No, completely silent after the oil change. The "technicians" said the genset is getting power.
I have no idea what that means, nor how they determined it.

I sprayed the terminals/face on the isolator with WD-40 (liberally) and a lot of the red gunk came off.
Since that, the dash battery indicator now sits just on the charging side of vertical, engine running,
which I think is normal. It was wavering on slight discharge when the additonal dead car battery situation
re-occurred.
Strangely, I left the coach batteries enabled, overnight Friday night (by accident) but the van started fine
yesterday. So perhaps all the gunk was shorting the terminals on the isolator, I don't know. I may be back to
square one with the non-isolating isolator, but I can live with that for now.

I have to look for a new place to "hang" the back end over something to allow me to get underneath as
the Town decided to reno the Town Hall and they've demoed my old spot.
I'm trying to check the 3 main causes of no cranking (according to the Onan T/S Guide in the owner's manual)
1) Battery connections - they all seemed good, but I sprayed them with WD40 to clean them (covered in red
stuff, too), after loosening the bolts/nuts first. So they look good, clean and tight.
2) Dead battery - I put the multi meter on the + - terminals on the aft coach battery and it shows around 14.08V
with the vehicle engine running, which I believe is good enough? I always push the Remote gen starter, or the
casing start switch with the vehicle engine running, so it should be sending enough cranking power. I think?
3) I pulled the 5 amp fuse yesterday (didn't think to test it for conductivity, doh!!!) but it looked good. The
problem was, I had to replace it by feel alone, as I couldn't get underneath the van far enough to see where I
was pushing it into. I think it's OK, but I'm going to recheck it today, if I can find a new "pseudo-hoist" location.
4) My "reason", I have made sure there is no load on the generator. Nothing left on or enabled like M/W or A/C.

I see there may be a circuit breaker just below the fuse? I didn't know that. I didn't really feel anything there,
but I didn't know it existed, so I had no reason to. I'll feel around for it today. Wonder if it should be up or down
to close the circuit?
I'd also like to check the battery conections/ cables going into the genset casing, but I need
more room underneath to see what kind of shape they're in. Do you know where they enter the genset, front,
side, top?

Anyway, thanks for the pics/diagrams and the thoughts and suggestions.
If I can't figure it out between now and Monday night, I'll be taking it into Hamilton to a "qualified" Onan service
centre. (Here we go again, eh???? )
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:06 PM   #22
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Default Re: 05/06 R/T Onan Gen run problem

re: the inverter - I was thinking if it was left plugged into a dash outlet then it would draw down the engine battery

I hope you get it sorted out. I didn't have generator in my 190P so I never had the pleasure of working on one
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:27 PM   #23
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Default Re: 05/06 R/T Onan Gen run problem

I only plug my inverters into the coach battery fed sockets in the entertainment cabinet.
I believe I may have left one plugged into a dash socket early on, and realized that it was not a good thing.

I can see why a small battery bank and a small solar array to run your stuff for shorter periods might
be less stressful.
No genset in your RT?
Lucky you!!
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Old 03-08-2010, 03:24 PM   #24
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Default Re: 05/06 R/T Onan Gen run problem

Bad to worse for me.
I remember shezonit's comments about the dipstick in her generator falling off
when she checked the oil recently. Caught it in time, no harm, no foul.
While checking several things yesterday, including the breaker and 5A fuse inside
the control panel, I managed to push the fuse holder into the part of the casing that
it's mounted on, while trying to push the fuse back into place. Unbelievable!!!!
Has anyone else ever done that? Just curious if I'm the only "cursed" genset owner.
I was more concerned about dropping it into the bottom of the casing, where I'd never
find it without dropping the genset out of the van.

So, everything seemed ok that I can check. The battery connections on the coach battery
it uses are all clean and solid, the battery is holding about 12.8V at rest and shows 14.08V
while the van engine is running. The fuse was good for connectivity (before I pushed it
into the genset) and the breaker wasn't tripped.
So, its off to the Onan guy tomorrow or Wednesday to get it fixed (cheaply, I hope).
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Old 03-17-2010, 02:37 AM   #25
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Default Re: 05/06 R/T Onan Gen run problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
Bad to worse for me.
I remember shezonit's comments about the dipstick in her generator falling off
when she checked the oil recently. Caught it in time, no harm, no foul.
While checking several things yesterday, including the breaker and 5A fuse inside
the control panel, I managed to push the fuse holder into the part of the casing that
it's mounted on, while trying to push the fuse back into place. Unbelievable!!!!
Has anyone else ever done that? Just curious if I'm the only "cursed" genset owner.
I was more concerned about dropping it into the bottom of the casing, where I'd never
find it without dropping the genset out of the van.

So, everything seemed ok that I can check. The battery connections on the coach battery
it uses are all clean and solid, the battery is holding about 12.8V at rest and shows 14.08V
while the van engine is running. The fuse was good for connectivity (before I pushed it
into the genset) and the breaker wasn't tripped.
So, its off to the Onan guy tomorrow or Wednesday to get it fixed (cheaply, I hope).
After waiting for the guy from Hamilton to get back to me (in his defense, he's the only game
in the greater Hamilton area, so I wasn't holding my breath) I decided to send a few more emails
and found another CumminsOnan specialist in Kitchener/Waterloo, Don's Trailer Service, about
100 kms away.
Anyway, ran the situation by them as best I could in an email, and they said bring it in.
So, today I spent the day traveling to Kitchener, and low and behold they found that a connection
inside and towards the front of the genset had corroded and fallen off the solenoid. It took
4 hours to remove, fix, and replace the genset back into the van. If he'd had a new solenoid I'd
have had him put it in, but he didn't so I'm hoping the fix will hold for a while. Not the cheap fix
I'd hoped for, but it works, and if it stops cranking again, I'll have a good idea why, and what's
required to fix it more permanently. No guess as to how the connection ultimately failed,
but natural causes can't be ruled out. Or a bump on the wires could have exascerbated it, but no
way to tell for sure.
They also fixed the fuse holder and another smallish unrelated item that I noticed when I got there.
I got much better service from them than the last place, and they were very professional, but
also very friendly and they listened to what I was telling them before they even started to look
at it. One of the guys told me (while I was just hanging around waiting) that in his 40 years of
doing this, he followed 2 basic rules. 1) Always know how the thing is supposed to work before
you start investigating and 2) listen to what the customer is telling you. it's probably the best clue
as to what's wrong. I like these guys, and would go back to them for just about anything.
Apparently, they help Roadtrek (which is coincidentally about 200 yards up the road) when they get
a brand new genset that isn't working. Before it's installed as new equipment. Thay are that good.

markopolo: These guys are all ex-Mobilife mechanics, recommended to me by Mobilife, and Mobilife
was recommended by the Roadtrek service techs (PL and SH). I recall how you said you'd drive there
just to check out their add ons? I was too tired to drop in today after the genset repair, but I think if
I ever have to go back to KW I will.
Also, the isolator problem looks more like a "remote starter" function problem with my newly istalled
NuStart system. If I start the van remotely and let it run, it drains the battery to the point where, when
it finishes the warmup cycle and shuts off, I can't start the van with my keys, and then have to boost it.
If I just go out in the morning and jump in and start it with keys, it starts no problem. The alarm
functions all seem to be working as they should, door ajar alarm, bump chirping, doors open/close with
the fobs, everything alarm related seems OK.
I have an appointment at the Best Buy that installed it Friday to see if they can figure out what's happening.
I haven't ruled out the isolator as being involved, but it's looking less like that is the problem.
I think they'll get one good shot, then out it comes. It's warranted, but if it's not working, I don't want it anymore.
This deficiency was not reasonably demonstrated by them at the time of installation.
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Old 05-18-2010, 12:50 AM   #26
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Default Onan Generator dramas

Hey I am glad you saved your dipstick just in time!!! :>)
I, too "lost" a fuse-- had to use one of those little grabber sticks to fish it out-- seems a design problem--?
Once I got south, I ran some Seafoam through van gas tank and ran the gen a lot and it worked fine -- still a bit of surging now and then, and a bit of faltering when roof AC kicked it, but it would run.
I am back in Montana now and have to remind myself to "exercise" it.
It is a wonderful thing to have-- I used it mainly to charge my laptop and cell phone. Used the microwave a couple times, AC a few times.

I bought 2 6V batteries instead of one big one- they are 115 amp hrs each and I never "ran out" all winter. Got them at NAPA-- about $250. installed. Also put some blocks of wood around them in the box so they don't move around like the old one did. I just cringed thinking of those heavy batteries bouncing around in the fiberglass box they're in.
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Old 05-18-2010, 03:58 AM   #27
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Default Re: 05/06 R/T Onan Gen run problem

They're nice to have, but they seem to be the most finicky part of my RV. Mine's a bit noisy, too,
so I have to be selective about using it. I think it's a more economical way to charge just about
anything as it's not a V8 from Detroit for fuel economy.
About once a month, for a half hour after warmup, with the A/C running is what I do.

I believe markopolo has a pair of serially connected 6V to a single 12V in parallel, to
complete his coach batteries. I have a feeling it's more common to use the golf cart
style batteries, as they are supposed to be almost indestructable. Were they "golf cart"
6V batteries you got? The price seems really low for deep cycle batteries.
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