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Old 09-11-2015, 05:22 PM   #1
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Default Generator Question

I have a Onan 2800 with remote start switch with the rocker switch that has a orange light in it and a battery strength gauge next to it on the panel.
Question:
Is this gauge reading the house battery strength or does the Generator have a separate internal battery? (my house battery shows charged BTW)
What is the purpose of the orange light on the rocker switch?

Was working fine but now gauge shows low juice and no orange light coming on when pushed, starts right up but generator will not run as soon as I release the rocker switch.
Thanks for any ADVICE.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:28 PM   #2
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The Onan does not have an internal battery, so your display must be showing the battery connected to the Onan's starter (presumably your house battery).

Note that voltage-based "battery strength" meters are very rough SWAGs at best. If you really want to know what is going on, you need a shunt-based battery monitor such as the TriMetric or equivalent.

The orange light is a diagnostic display. It comes on if there are problems. It flashes various patterns to tell you the problem. The codes are in the manual.
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Old 09-13-2015, 11:34 PM   #3
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I have an Onan 2800 generator. If the coach battery is low the generator will not start. As you see from the voltage meter your coach battery is low. You might try this - start the van engine. Let it run for five minutes and leaving it running, push the start switch on the generator. It may start. If it does, turn off the van engine and let the generator run a bit to bring the coach battery up to higher charge - without putting a load on the generator - if you do, it will likely shut down.

IF the generator does not start like this you have to bring your coach battery up to full charge. I don't know what Class B you have - it should charge if plugged into shore power - let it sit plugged in a minimum of 12 hours to charge. After that the Onan should start normally.

The engine trick is good to know - anytime the genny is hard to start do this and you will most likely get it started as it gives the genny a boost of electricity in addition to the coach battery that it needs to start.

Also older Onans - just a few years old - do not have the led codes on the start button LED that the new ones have. The LED only comes on while trying to start and running. If you have the original manual and you see nothing about the codes it is because your Onan is not one of the newer ones. (The manual current to download on the Onan website is for the newest Onan and has the led codes.)
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice Avanti and Robert you hit the nail on the head. I charged the house battery on my old 1994 Dodge Leisure Travel, using shore power and it started right up. It does surge in rpm a lot... not sure what that is about. It ran for about half hour then for about 15 min after I turned on the A/C putting a load on it. Surges and on one low rpm surge it couldn't make it back and quit.
Great trick on starting the Van first when house battery is low. I'll try that next time.
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Old 09-14-2015, 08:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maui View Post
Thanks for the advice Avanti and Robert you hit the nail on the head. I charged the house battery on my old 1994 Dodge Leisure Travel, using shore power and it started right up. It does surge in rpm a lot... not sure what that is about. It ran for about half hour then for about 15 min after I turned on the A/C putting a load on it. Surges and on one low rpm surge it couldn't make it back and quit.
Great trick on starting the Van first when house battery is low. I'll try that next time.

When was the fuel filter changed last? If you have the original manual or download the manual on the Onan website - which is for the newer model and not all applies - there is a troubleshooting section. One thing the manual says when there is surging is to change the fuel filter. Other things is says to check are the spark plug and the air filter.

Also you may have put the load of the A/C on too soon.

If you can get it running even without a load so that it keeps running, put a couple of cans of Seafoam in the van gas tank and let that run through the Onan (amount depends on the size of the van gas tank and how much gas is in it). It may clear the gunk - if any out.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:08 PM   #6
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Robert I just changed the fuel filter a couple weeks ago. I'll try the seafoam. It should clean my van out too!
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