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Old 05-26-2008, 11:23 AM   #1
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Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,226
Hello All,

After reading the Post about "Poor Engineering by WRV cost $300" I did some checking on my electrical/genset install, etc.

Here is what I did. NOTE: You must disconnect shore power, disable the inverter, and switch off the coach from 12 Volt power! BE CAREFUL IN DOING THIS WORK-ELECTRICAL SHOCK HAZARD!!!!

First I went into battery compartment and made sure all water levels were up there, by taking the auto-fill caps out and visually checking the levels. NOTE: Many were below or at the top of the plates; the water fill system is a stop-gap (as discussed previously) only. At least quarterly, and more often if the coach is used frequently, or fill time, you must visually check the levels. That took the better part of an hour, and requires removal of some battery connections to get the cell caps out. Once I was done with that little chore, I checked all (battery compartment) electrical connections for tightness. I also went into the area where the big air filter is, and checked those connections, and put corrosion protection grease on those as well.

Next went over to where the transfer switch is located. A nutral buss is attached to the bracket holding the transfer switch, some of those connections were loose as well. I checked the mounting bolts to ensure it was tight and could not rattle, true to form; the main support bracket nut-bolt was only hand tight, which allowed the bracket to fall into the fresh water tank, and had started wearing a hole in the tank. I tightened all the support bracket bolts, and then took some vinyl furniture pads 1/2" in diameter, and stuck them onto the tank right behind where the bolts rubbed, additionally I put some little rubber caps over the bolt sticking out (put gorilla glue on the caps so they won't fall off) to protect the tank more. I took the cover off the transfer switch and note, the screws on the left side are cadmium plated, the right side are zinc plated, it might be a warranty check issue so put them back the way you took them out. Some connections in this box were not tight, not loose but not tight like they should have been, at least "45 in lbs torque". I tightened up those and checked every connection in that compartment I could get to, some on the power cord reel were loose as well.

I then went inside and pulled the cover off the 110V distribution panel and checked those screws, again, some were not as tight as they should have been, also the other electrical connections that are there, some are Phillips screws, some are torx heads, be aware. Again, some of those were loose.

Then I went up forward, opened the Generator compartment (power had to be restored to coach to open-then disabled power after open) and checked stuff up there in regards to the cable which falls below the genset and get's pulled. Mine is installed inside a weatherproof cable, and the junction box is on the roof of the compartment. I don't know if the cable falls down when the generator is returned to the travel position, but I am going to buy a strong spring, attach it to a bolt in the compartment, and to the cable with lots of heavy tape (gorilla tape should do the trick) and this will allow the cable to move right or left, but not drop down, and yet flex enough so it does not tear out of the box. However, my genset will not transfer over and accept the load on the coach, and stops running every time I try. I have a call into the dealer on that one, since it's still under some kind of warranty, from onan, or the transfer switch people I hope. I also sprayed Teflon lubricant on the screw drive and rollers of this compartment to ensure it does not bind up from being not oiled.

Most often when I work on the coach, I check screws, nuts and bolts for tightness, found two cabinet screws striped out, so fixed them at the same time.

Wish I had bought a country coach, they don't seem to have near the problems this one has at present. Nor near the amount of postings to their forum.
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:23 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 2,226
Hello All,

After reading the Post about "Poor Engineering by WRV cost $300" I did some checking on my electrical/genset install, etc.

Here is what I did. NOTE: You must disconnect shore power, disable the inverter, and switch off the coach from 12 Volt power! BE CAREFUL IN DOING THIS WORK-ELECTRICAL SHOCK HAZARD!!!!

First I went into battery compartment and made sure all water levels were up there, by taking the auto-fill caps out and visually checking the levels. NOTE: Many were below or at the top of the plates; the water fill system is a stop-gap (as discussed previously) only. At least quarterly, and more often if the coach is used frequently, or fill time, you must visually check the levels. That took the better part of an hour, and requires removal of some battery connections to get the cell caps out. Once I was done with that little chore, I checked all (battery compartment) electrical connections for tightness. I also went into the area where the big air filter is, and checked those connections, and put corrosion protection grease on those as well.

Next went over to where the transfer switch is located. A nutral buss is attached to the bracket holding the transfer switch, some of those connections were loose as well. I checked the mounting bolts to ensure it was tight and could not rattle, true to form; the main support bracket nut-bolt was only hand tight, which allowed the bracket to fall into the fresh water tank, and had started wearing a hole in the tank. I tightened all the support bracket bolts, and then took some vinyl furniture pads 1/2" in diameter, and stuck them onto the tank right behind where the bolts rubbed, additionally I put some little rubber caps over the bolt sticking out (put gorilla glue on the caps so they won't fall off) to protect the tank more. I took the cover off the transfer switch and note, the screws on the left side are cadmium plated, the right side are zinc plated, it might be a warranty check issue so put them back the way you took them out. Some connections in this box were not tight, not loose but not tight like they should have been, at least "45 in lbs torque". I tightened up those and checked every connection in that compartment I could get to, some on the power cord reel were loose as well.

I then went inside and pulled the cover off the 110V distribution panel and checked those screws, again, some were not as tight as they should have been, also the other electrical connections that are there, some are Phillips screws, some are torx heads, be aware. Again, some of those were loose.

Then I went up forward, opened the Generator compartment (power had to be restored to coach to open-then disabled power after open) and checked stuff up there in regards to the cable which falls below the genset and get's pulled. Mine is installed inside a weatherproof cable, and the junction box is on the roof of the compartment. I don't know if the cable falls down when the generator is returned to the travel position, but I am going to buy a strong spring, attach it to a bolt in the compartment, and to the cable with lots of heavy tape (gorilla tape should do the trick) and this will allow the cable to move right or left, but not drop down, and yet flex enough so it does not tear out of the box. However, my genset will not transfer over and accept the load on the coach, and stops running every time I try. I have a call into the dealer on that one, since it's still under some kind of warranty, from onan, or the transfer switch people I hope. I also sprayed Teflon lubricant on the screw drive and rollers of this compartment to ensure it does not bind up from being not oiled.

Most often when I work on the coach, I check screws, nuts and bolts for tightness, found two cabinet screws striped out, so fixed them at the same time.

Wish I had bought a country coach, they don't seem to have near the problems this one has at present. Nor near the amount of postings to their forum.
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:36 AM   #3
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OLD Rver, I'm camped next to a Counbtry Coach, he's ready to cliff his, he wants to trade. I would'nt get so frazeled it's just part of driving a barn on wheels with a cazillion systems. We should enjoy what we have, there's always a two man tent, its less maintanence.
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:53 PM   #4
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Bill, by the time you get to the tent you may only require a one man!
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:46 PM   #5
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Yeah, but it seems everytime I read this group, I am finding something else I need to check, and then fix. This thing was supposed to be new, well been displayed for a while, but if this is example of workmanship, I have a few tips for quality control. I even found the little green strips they used for gripes, in my battery compartment no less. Nice little green postit pad about 1.5" long, and 1/4" high. There were quite a few left so I can tag those items needing attention.
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Old 05-27-2008, 08:02 PM   #6
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Ted III:
Bill, by the time you get to the tent you may only require a one man! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
But I'll still need room for the dogs.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:06 AM   #7
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Just a short note about an other problem with loose electrical connections. I am in the middle of extensive updates to our coach. One of the things I am doing, is to add a relay to disable the auto generator start while shore power is present. While in the transfer/surge-guard box I tightened all of the connections, all were too loose. While moving one of the hot leads from the shore plug on the contactor to get at a plug in connection, the wire just pulled out. Upon pulling all of the connections, I found that the insulation on the wires was not stripped far enough back. The wires from the shore power plug were not inserted far enough for a good solid connection and the wires from the generator were clamped thru the insulation. I will post photos when I get this project finished.

Dale
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:52 PM   #8
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Dale & Dixie,

Last December, when I replaced a failed transfer switch myself, I found exactly the same problems that you mention with loose connections and insufficiently stripped wire, all of which I corrected as I installed the replacement transfer switch.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:24 PM   #9
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I have not checked the generator connections in the front of the coach, but found several in the transfer switch area loose. As stated above I tightned them all, even went inside and checked the 110V breaker panel, 12V Fuse panel, and the other stuff. I am have already checked the battery compartment, and the compartment to the rear of that (fuel filter, Air Cleaner, etc area). I was in the tank bay (passenger side working on Silverleaf) and need to check any connections in there, as well as the opisite side. Checked bolts for tightness in the generator area, but not electical stuff, just so much to do.
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Old 06-05-2008, 03:56 PM   #10
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I suggest you do check those connections in the generator box. Mine were loose because they used too small a wire nut for the 2 different wire sizes. The wire nuts just fell off and the wires were not stripped back far enough to twist the wires together. Copper lugs would be better wrapped in rubber tape and then plastic tape. Thigten wires on 1st day, don't tape them, 2nd day go back and thigten again, then wrap in tapes.
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Old 06-05-2008, 08:39 PM   #11
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Thank you for the tip, it will be Saturday before I can get over there and do that, the copper lugs sound like a better idea than wire nuts, or ever a bigger box, and a buss bar or something.
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