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Old 08-06-2008, 04:55 PM   #15
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Hello all, not much progress has been made in solving the problem of "Error Code 27." It appeared late Monday that the computer in the Onan was the culprit. A new unit arrived Tuesday morning and seemed to solve the problem for a little while. This morning Error 27 disappeared and again all looked good. Then, when the Onan was restarted, unloaded, after the 30 second or so spool-up period at high rpm, it went through the usual shift low rpm it proceeded to quit again. This continued through several more starts with a new code, "36" rearing its ugly head. This code is for an uncommanded shut down. Usually this is the result of a fuel problem, low quantity or restricted filter. Neither was the case, as fuel flow was measured and this possibility eliminated. We actually have two Onan maintenance facilities in the San Diego area so I visited the other one and asked a few questions just to see what kinds of problems they were encountering. Seems like Code 27 is really not all that common for this shop and usually requires a new computer; nothing new here. On Code 36, they find that nine out of ten times the uncommanded shut down is due to a fuel related problem; with a new fuel filter usually solving the problem. Again, nothing new here that Cummins hadn't already trouble-shot.

With no progress being made I went home and waited to see if anything positive would transpire later in the day. Around 1:00 p.m. Cummins called and said Code 34 had disappeared and the generator had been running with a small load for a couple hours. Apparently when they took the load off the Onan went to low rpm and promptly quit with Code 27 returning. This is getting a bit old. Anyhow, the boys removed the main leads from the generator that go directly to the SurgeGuard transfer relays and checked the resistance. There is supposed to be none, but they were getting around 30 ohms. They figure there might be a short or bad connection somewhere. However, on Monday all connections were verified at the inverter, SurgeGuard and main generator feed; so unless there is another J-box behind the one located directly behind the Onan, that would be about the only possibility for a connection problem. I suppose there could be something in the SurgeGuard creating the resistance, but I don't know how they are going to check this without doing an r & r with another box. Incidentally the present transfer relay box was replaced last October. It's past 5:00 and I didn't get a call back so I guess no news is bad news.

I'm encouraged, Jim, that you might have a WRV drawing on their fix. If we could get together via e-mail and a FAX, your drawing might be very helpful to the folks at Cummins.

I'll drive on over again in the morning and check on the progress or the lack thereof. Hopefully I'll have better news tomorrow.

Dick Bunting
2006, 36' FDTS
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Old 08-07-2008, 05:42 AM   #16
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Dick,
I also had a code 27 problem with my Onan that was never solved after trial replacement of the Onan computer/inverter and then the stator. My Onan and others would not run when the engine was also running. I think the WRV fix of adding 2 relays was a fix for this problem. My solution is to disable the charger when I want to run the Onan while driving. This is a "work around" the problem but it works. You have not stated and I assume this is not your problem.

The WRV comment was that AC harmonics from the alternator were feeding back through the Xantrex charger to the AC mains and the Onan was detecting this as distorted output and thus the code 27 shutdown.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:18 AM   #17
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Wil,
I appreciate your input on this code 27 problem. I'll have to admit that I have not checked whether the Onan will run while the engine is operating. When I'm at Cummins this morning I'll look into that also. Am I correct that your code 27 also involved the problem of shutting down on start during a no load electrical power situation, and also the change over from high idle to low idle rpm?

I think that Jim, who has responded to this thread, will be able to furnish the WRV drawing of the two solenoid set-up, which should help a lot. Maybe when I see the drawing it will make sense as to what they were trying to accomplish in bypassing the problem or tricking the system.

At this point, with almost a week of trouble shooting, I'm beginning to think that this is one of those, "dog chasing its tail" situations. Apparently WRV built a bit of a problem into its electrical system, the AC harmonics and feedback scenario, which presents an unsolvable problem that one must work around by using different methods to trick the Onan into running. This is not the best way to handle a problem, but endless trouble shooting is not a viable option either.

Much thanks,
Dick
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:05 PM   #18
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Dick,
Our coach initially had problems with the Onan shutting down after picking up the load. This seemed to resolve itself after about 6 months use but I don't know the hours of use. Than I discovered the issue of it shutting down if the engine was running. I spent 3 days at Cummins in Amarillo, TX while they followed factory direction trying to replace parts. I finally gave up. Then Mike at WRV told me about the apparent feedback problem and the method to prevent the shutdown by disabling the charger from the Xantrex control panel. You have to do this immediately after the Onan starts or it will default to "enable" or set it up with the engine off. At the time I asked Mike to make a note in our coach file that the problem was not resolved. So much for that now. There have been some posts about a Xantrex software upgrade. I don't know if this applies. Good luck and hang in there.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:32 PM   #19
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Wil,
Thanks again for the additional ideas on the elusive Code 27 problem. During my visit with the folks at Cummins this morning we really didn't make much headway. In fact, even with the new Onan computer package installed we seem to be back where we were last Friday. That being, the Onan will not run without a load and always goes to a shutdown with Code 27 annunciated. It will, however, start and run, when started with a load. Similar results were observed with the engine running. Again, as long as there was a load selected prior to the Onan start the generator would hum along quite nicely with the engine running. What we did do was take all the suggestions from you and others on the Forum and attempt different scenarios to see if the generator would keep running. The only one I somehow managed to miss was submitted by "takepride" on Monday; I'll try that tomorrow. He had resolved his Code 27 problem by programming the Xantrex with the "load sense" turned off. I can't say for certain just how I've set this feature. Wouldn't it be terrific if the one very simple programming change would cure the problem? Anyhow, now Cummins thinks the problem is the inverter because the generator will run loaded or unloaded as long as the inverter is turned off by tripping its circuit breakers. I still can't buy this idea, completely, because the Onan will run with the inverter on, as long as it is carrying a load. Incidentally, I did try a start with the inverter charger off, both prior to, and after starting the generator, it didn't make any difference. Regarding the inverter software, I had checked with Xantrex on Monday about the new version and the tech said it wouldn't help this problem. Of course this is the same guy who told me in no uncertain terms that the problem wasn't with the inverter, but was a generator problem. The Cummins tech also got the same story today from Xantrex. Nobody wants to believe that their "most perfect" product could ever cause a problem.

I'm going to pull the plug on this problem tomorrow as I don't believe anybody will ever resolve the Code 27 issue in a timely manner. What I am going to do, is take everyone's advice and "work around" the problem; as long as I can get the Onan to provide power by whatever steps are necessary. Who knows, maybe someday, someone, somewhere will find the cure. In the meantime, we've already delayed our trip a week; so on Sunday we're going to hit the road for a couple months. Heck, with six big solar panels on the roof and an operational (hopefully) inverter, who needs the pesky ol' Onan? Obviously, I'll be monitoring this site in the future for any new developments regarding Code 27's. My thanks to all for the outstanding response to a very difficult problem.

Dick
2006, 36'
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:50 PM   #20
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All, here is my two cents worth. It should be mentioned, it's a 2007 APEX, so it has the silverleaf system, and everything can be controlled from the display at the drivers position or from the front TV set. I usually use the little display at the driver's position. I do not leave the coach plugged in when in storage.

When I start my coach, after it has been sitting for a few days or week, the coach starts fine. Then I try to start the Generator, after it tries to pick up the load for about two seconds, it then shuts down. I then have to shut down the coach, leave the switch in the off position for 15 seconds or so, and then try the generator again, it starts, and usually runs fine after that. Starting the main engine, or not has no effect. I try to use it the recommended two hours a month, sometimes go over, sometimes under. I think it's just a warm up thing. Turning off the entire electrical load seems to make no difference. Sometimes it runs fine; sometimes it takes a couple of tries. I do not monitor the fault codes, as this would entail opening up the genset bay.

When I put the coach away I disable the inverter and charger, make sure all electrical components are off, and turn off the chassis and coach master switches. The solar panel is still charging the batteries as far as I can tell. Never had a dead chassis battery yet.

It acts like my old ford truck, it just needs a couple of tries before it wants to run and do its job.

I have done the recommended electrical repairs for the transfer switch and generator wiring junction box. I have (and continue to do so) check wires for tightness each and every time I run across them in whatever compartment I find them in. I have not pulled off switch covers, nor removed lights to check those connections. I do not have issues with any GFI receptacle, and we leave things plugged into them when we are using the coach (parked). I did check all the 110V connections in both electrical panels under the bathroom sink, and now they are all tight.

My personal opinion is, these issues are caused mostly by "very bad" electrical installation and worse quality control issues at WRV, and I believe I have eliminated many of them by doing the "tighten" sequence on my coach. I also check the 12V system as I have time, and have also found loose connections there. Especially ground connections, as I find them, I make sure they are tight.

There is one fuse panel in the PS tank bay, which I still need to check thoroughly which might fix or eliminate two other smaller issues I am having. I know for a fact, at least on my coach, wire size had no effect on what size crimp terminal that were used, everyone I have found has been 10-12, most of the 12 volt wiring is #14 wire. Only occasionally was #10 wires used. It would be mostly for grounds anyway, and like I mentioned, I check every one.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:11 AM   #21
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I have set the drawing of the WRV fix for "Generator shut down no load" to the Alpine tech library

Jim
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:15 AM   #22
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A number of you have mentioned " starting the generator monthly" as recommended in the manual. I did this on my '99. However, on our 2005 the generator starts automatically about every 3 or 4 weeks and and runs about 15 minutes with the display showing " exercise cycle" or some such words. I keep it pluged into shore power to keep the fridge going and the batteries on charge so it will be under some load.

Has anyone also experienced this auto start up?
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Old 08-09-2008, 05:03 PM   #23
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Well folks, the Alpine came home after visiting Cummins Cal Pacific for a week. You may well ask, "And did they solve the problem?" The short answer is, yes and no. Yes, the generator is continuing to run after start about 98% percent of the time. Heck, that's plenty good enough for me. Did Cummins really do anything? Unfortunately no, and they are just as frustrated as I. The new controller/brain or whatever Cummins wants to call it really didn't do anything, so they pulled it and put the old unit back in. It is their firm belief that the inverter is creating the problem by producing an errant pulse or some other signal that the Onan reads as a fault and shuts itself down. Their trial and error tactic was to disable both of the inverter ac circuit breakers. There are both an input breaker and an output breaker. By doing this they always got the generator to keep running. Okay, I'll buy this, but what I had success with was changing the Xantrex "Power Sensing" setting. Back on August 4, "takepride" offered the suggestion that he had total success by turning the load sensing off. Armed with this information I headed over to Cummins to do the same thing to my programming. Oops, not so fast, it was already programmed off. Well, why not turn it on? Guess what, in the last 36 hours or so I've probably started the generator twenty or thirty times and only twice did it shut itself down after start, with no load being called for. You may remember that it always picks up a load if a fan or the convection oven appliance light is on. The good thing now is, when I turn off the air conditioning units or close the oven door, miracle upon miracle, the generator keeps running. This is definitely pure magic at its finest.

Here is an interesting bit of information regarding WRV's use of an Onan and Xantrex RS 2000 combination. Cummins Cal Pacific, El Cajon, CA, has never seen a Code 27 shutdown when WRV used any other inverter, specifically the "Freedom" type. Also, they have never had a problem with other coach manufacturers with a Code 27; because as far as they recall, none uses the Onan/Xantrex RS 2000 combination. Now isn't that interesting?

Tomorrow Susan and I leave for a couple months and if we have none or few problems on the trip; or we can "work around" Onan starting problems we'll probably live with the situation. Otherwise, come October or November I'll be shopping for either a Xantrex Freedom or an Onan inverter. The Onan might be the better choice because then for future warranty work it would be hard for Cummins/Onan to deny which unit was responsible. That'll get them...

Dick
2006, 36' FDTS
San Diego, CA
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Old 08-09-2008, 06:26 PM   #24
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Don't know if this will help, but you can check out the Cable Layout, including the connections to generator, that is now posted on the Alpine Tech Library under Chassis & Brakes
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:01 AM   #25
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Earlier this year there were posts where the generators would shut down at slightly less than 1/2 tank of fuel, this was a result of the Generator fuel pickup being switched with the fuel return line Just for thought.

Jim
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:37 AM   #26
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Will,

The monthly "exercise cycle" settings can be changed to your liking through the Xantrex control panel. It is on all of the RS units.


Mike,

Thanks for the heads up on the Cable Layout. I now will not need to spend any time searching for where to find the inverter ground, so that I can move it to the batteries as called for in the inverter spects.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:49 AM   #27
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Ref my earlier comments on this thread--my experiences with the code 27 and the load sensing feature on the RS2000 have been mixed. Havent found a single Xantrex service center yet that has heard of a software upgrade, or for that matter, is even willing to engage me on the code 27 error. Turning the charger off on the RS2000 while running the MH engine may be the best/only work-around.
The load sense feature works very well on the RS2000--but only if you shut-off all the parasitic draws in the coach--ie turn off all the electronics, microwave, clocks etc, and let the RS2000 sense the resid refrig load only. Just shut off all the breakers on the inverter box (the black breaker panel), save for the breaker to the fridge.
Assuming your load sense threshold is set at 40 watts (the default}, yr inverter will run continuously. If your load drops below 40 watts, the the RS2000 cycles on/off endlessly [caused by the parasitics] until the load again gets above 40 watts. Only use I have found for the load sense feature is if you are dry camping and really watching/managing yr bat amp usage. In which case, using the load sense feature will save you about 160 DC watts/hr [the RS2000 consumes about 160-170 DC watts just in run/idle mode, Vs about 5 DC watts in load sense mode.] Some days I wish I had my old Freedom inverter back.....
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