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Old 10-27-2011, 08:08 PM   #1
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Technical Electrical Question ???

This might be too long and complicated but here goes. I have a 2005 Alpine Coach 36FDDS with those Xantrex inverter. I have a small Honda 2000 Watt generator that we always used when we go winter camping just to run at night to keep the batteries charged. When I Had a 2002 Alpine Coach the Honda Gen worked just fine for a couple of lights in the battery charger however those Xantrex inverter does not even recognize the Honda as a legitimate power source. I called Xantrex and they said because the Honda's ground and neutral wires are not strapped that it will not be recognized as a low-power source. I called Honda and asked if there was anything I could do to strap the ground and neutral wires and they said that if I did I would blow out the Honda inverter board. They said they made generators for the whole world and could not help it that the US was goofy. So -- Xantrex says there is nothing I can do and Honda says there is nothing I can do. Does anyone know how I can power the motor home with the Honda generator through Xantrex inverter? Remember it's just for a few lights and the battery charger.
It runs eight hours on 1 gallon of regular gas - a lot cheaper than the Onan 7.5.

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Old 10-27-2011, 09:18 PM   #2
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Are you sure its not your surge protector that is looking for a neutral ground? You can isolate the inverter by shutting -off the breaker--this will give you 120v power to the part of the coach not powered by the inverter by-pass curcuit. As for charging the bats, you could connect a second charger [10 amp auto] to keep the bats topped off. Unless you are getting a specific Xantrex fault code, I tend to think yr surge protector is blocking the Honda--note: dont think yr 02 came with a surge protector so unless you installed an aftermarket??????

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2003 40' MDTS
Garden Ridge, Texas
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:46 AM   #3
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Just connect the Honda directly to the batteries and run the inverter for your 115v.
2001 34' Alpine Coach
2008 Jeep Rubicon or 2012 Ford F150 4x4 Lariat towds
or a couple of different trailers
Retired in Apple Valley, California
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Old 10-28-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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My Prosine (Xantrex) will complain if the ground floats (What you have) or if hot and neutral are reversed. but it still works.

I also suspect it is a power guard (What we call surge protectors, Even though that is but one of their functions) that is cutting you off... If you can bypass it do so.

If not, and if you have an alternative 3-stage converter (As I do) power just it with the Honda.. If you need one a Progressive Dynamics 9260 is a good match for your generator. You can hook it up with "Jumper cables" directly to the battery.. and what's more you can use it as a stand=alone to re-charge "other" batteries too.
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Old 10-30-2011, 07:49 PM   #5
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Or, you could run the diesel generator since it very quiet, and will do a much better job than the Honda will, it's wired into the coach, and everything.

FWIW - I am sitting in Lifeline Battery's driveway, mine is running, and I cannot hear it, so they do run quiet.

SAFETY - Recently people have been using their genets and sleeping, and not waking up from CO poisoning. So don't run genset at night when sleeping, usually quiet hours are 10-11PM to 7-8AM, good advice.

Three kids died in one instance, and a family of 5 in another, running generators and trying to sleep, Don’t do it.
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 10-30-2011, 08:02 PM   #6
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we use a Honda 2000 to charge the batteries on our 2008 Fleetwood Southwind.. works fine, supplies 120 to coach and runs the battery charger.... no problem... our inverter is a Xantrex 2400 watt. i'd say your problem is how it's wired into the coach.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:15 PM   #7
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All - First, RV's are wired differently than a house electrical system. There is a reason for that, and too complicated to explain here, suffice to say, mostly it's to prevent fires and shocking you to death.

Second, Alpines are a different bread of cat than any other brand, and because of that, the generator option asked about above won't work properly, in fact, I would say any portable generator won't work in our coaches.

But the manufacturer did include a nice thing in the Quiet Diesel 75600-8000 watt generator which is built in. I would suggest using that, for a couple of reasons.
You don't have to haul around extra weight by bringing along another one. Additionally, if you don't use it, the contacts in the alternator section will corrode, and the repairs are very expensive. All RV generators should be used at least two hours a month at half load. For alpines, this would be the battery charger, and at least one a/c, with a coffee pot thrown in for good measure. Plus from a pure energy point of view, diesel provides more emerge per gallon than gasoline or propane, so it’s actually cheaper using it

Exercise the coach - In fact, every system in an RV should be used at least 2 hours a month, cycle the slides/jacks, start all the heaters, a/c's, furnace, water pump (5 minutes or so here), and let them run. If you have heat pump & a/c units built in one unit, first heat the house to 80, then switch over to the a/c's and bring it down to 60, good exercise for those units and keeps the reversing valve working.

You can do the above, or you can call me to fix something, and I don't mind being paid to fix something because you don't exercise it.
Monty & Janet - 2007 Alpine APEX 40 MDTS
S/N - 75715 - Retired - Master Certified RV Tech
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:45 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tjshively View Post
It runs eight hours on 1 gallon of regular gas - a lot cheaper than the Onan 7.5.
While the fuel usage per hour may be less on the portable Honda that doesn't necessarily mean it is cheaper to operate for your purpose (charging batteries) than the onan. For example, you might have to run the Honda a lot longer to fully charge low batteries-- a task the Onan might accomplish in a fraction of the time. So you really would need to conduct a test to determine if running the lower output Honda really is more economical. Plus, with the Onan you could likely power things that the Honda can't (e.g A/C) while charging batteries. Just an observation.

Jaime & Dave (and our 3 cocker spaniels)
2005 Alpine Coach 36FDTS w/ 2009 Honda CR-V, Doran TPMS, Roadmaster Towbar, US Gear Braking
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