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Old 01-22-2012, 12:55 PM   #1
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Dead Batteries/Bum Generator

Could use some ideas on the following issue:

Left battery switches, house and coach, on and next visit all batteries dead!!
Using charger, got generator, not engine started. Didn't think to try.
Ran generator 5+ hours, batteries charged and all seemed fine. Did not crank engine at that time.
Left 20 amp cord attached to run inverter/charger and switches on.
Returned week later to check. Batteries showed full charge, only 1-2 amp draw so assumed all well.
Started generator and all well, transfer switch worked, all normal or so I thought.
Started engine and all well for approximately 30 seconds and generator shut down, code 27 which tells you absolutely nothing.
With engine running started generator three more time with same result, shut down at 30 seconds. Shut down engine, cranked generator and ran like a top, never shutting down.

So off I go to Cummins/Onan and after 2 hour diagnosis, received the following news.
When diagnosis tree leading nowhere, tech checked battery compartment, noticed an "incredible array of electronic devices". His guess was to disconnect the coach batteries from house batteries and then reconnect. He said the dead battery issue may have caused "something to trip" and his efforts just reset the system. While I have yet to pick up the coach to verify the problem solved, does anyone have any clue what possibly happened?
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Old 01-22-2012, 04:02 PM   #2
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This may be a well known problem with the Xantrex inverter. Check previous posts for "Code 27".
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Old 01-23-2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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Clean and tighten all grounds and electrical leads.
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #4
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YUP--well-known problem....turn off xantrex charger function while Cummins is running--no more problem. No solution for this issue....Onan genset doesnt like both the xantrex charge source and the Cummins alternator running at same time....
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Old 01-24-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Tom - Code 27 is a common problem with the Xantrex inverter in an Alpine Coach, do a search on this forum. Some folks swear there is a software update, cannot find it myself and so have not tried. Second Rumor, Cummins reported to have update for genset, when I called, they tried not to laugh, as they then asked, what software update. If my inverter every goes out, I am going to replace it with a Magnum 2800 watt one and update the silverleaf system, as the quality of the Magnum is very good. Xantrex now has a direct replacement for the RS2000, but, it must be installed horizontal (as I have heard it), so if yours is that way it’s cool, if yours is vertical, then it must be changed or you need a different brand, hence the Magnum. This is what I have heard, you should check with a qualified distributor of each brand for the correct information.

The work around is to start the generator, wait until it engages battery charger, then turn charger off. Then you can start the engine and use the genset for running A/C systems while going down the road. The Xantrex fights the genset and the alternator on the main engine and automatically shuts down the genset if both sources of DC power are running.

Charging the batteries with the genset is more efficient than using the main engine/alternator. FWIW-spent 7 days in desert with DRR rally folks, had cold nights and no services, so ran Hydro Hot heating on the diesel burner and genset for those 7 days for heat and charging batteries, then left rally, drove to Yuma around 95 miles. Filled up tank and put in 23 gallons for all that week and the driving, so both those systems are very efficient to keep batteries up and for heat. The manuals says around .5 GPH under half load on the genset, and I think .4GPH for the HH if it's running continuous per hour, since it does not, it's use is nothing or nearly so.
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Old 01-29-2012, 10:37 AM   #6
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Thank you for a very detailed explanation and I have a few other questions. One, how do you turn off of charger and of course back on again. Secondly, my batteries are close to 4 years old now and do not seem to hold a charge for very long. I will have them checked but if necessary what is best choice for replacement. Coach and engine batteries. And thanks again for taking the time to write your response for my questions.

Tom Wilkinson
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:16 PM   #7
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The charger on/off should be through the Xantrex inverter control panel someplace in the house part of the unit. You will need to read the book to understand how to navigate through all the choices.

I would contact Lifeline Batteries, near LA and work out a deal with them you can reach them at this link: Lifeline Batteries - Marine & RV Deep Cycle Batteries - Let Jason Know you are a fellow alpine owner it may help with pricing, but no guarentees.
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:34 PM   #8
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Any brand name AGM battery would be a good choice. Look at Battery Warehouse and other websites.
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