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Old 04-20-2013, 08:28 AM   #1
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Auto start generators?

We have a 2004 Vectra 40AD with the onan 7.5kw quiet generator. Has anyone installed the EC-30W auto start system to this type of setup before? Is it worth the money (I assume a shop has to install it)? We are not full timers yet and we are getting tired of our batteries dying if it sits for lengthy periods of time. I am looking for a way to keep them topped up during the down times( no place to plug it in while inactive) as well, we like to go places where it is quiet and don't want the batteries dying in the middle of the night.

Cheers John and Judy
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:20 AM   #2
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Some inverter remote panels have auto gen start (AGS) capability. I actually have it double - once on the Xantrex RGS7 remote plus a separate Xantrex AGS panel (has more control options). Magnum inverter panels have that option too.

Whether it is worth the money is very much a personal thing. Sounds like you are frustrated, so maybe so.

But I wonder why your batteries die in the middle of the night? Bad battery(s) or maybe insufficient size (capacity) for your needs? I run the generator awhile before we go to bed and it's fine til morning, and my coach is a real power hog. I don't leave the AGS on overnight, cause having it suddenly start up at 3 a.m. would be startling, and if we had neighbors they probably wouldn't like it either.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:27 AM   #3
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Running the generator to keep the batteries charged while in storage is an expensive way to do it. I would look into adding solar panels which is how I do it.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:36 AM   #4
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Not while in storage, in the winter, I disconnect and bring them home and place on smart charge. I am talking about the 30 days or so between trips during the camping season.

J&J
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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"Storage" is any time you are not using your motorhome. 30 days counts as far as I am concerned.
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:40 AM   #6
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John & Judy,

I have also thought about the EC-30W. I was at a Rally at Perry, GA a couple years ago and Cummins Onan was there with their booth. I looked at the EC-30W. They wanted to install it there for me but I was not ready at that time. It is wireless and should not be a problem. I would like to also add an exhaust extension on the Onan to direct the fumes away from my neighbor while dry camping with a group. I am not sure how to go about that with the exhaust coming out the LF like it does on yours and mine. I guess if I did one I would like to do both.

Don
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Old 04-20-2013, 10:51 AM   #7
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Why not just disconnect the battery grounds while it's in storage? Takes all of 2-3 minutes. If they are fully charged when you park it, they'll be fine for months.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:23 PM   #8
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If all you want is a Generator Auto Start. Look at a Magnum AGS-S. I installed one on my Onan QD 5500 in less than a hour. Magnum has other models if you already have their inverter or monitors.
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Old 04-20-2013, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim_HiTek View Post
Why not just disconnect the battery grounds while it's in storage? Takes all of 2-3 minutes. If they are fully charged when you park it, they'll be fine for months.

+2. My MH has the Onan 8KW with optional auto start, but I have only used it once to verify that it did indeed work. Before storing for more than 2 weeks I simply fully charge both battery banks - including an equalizing charge at 14.8 volts - with a stand-alone charger that I carry as a back-up for the factory converter/inverter/charger. I then switch both battery cut-offs to OFF.

Starting the QD genny pulls quite a bit of power for the glow plugs and starter, and can draw down the chassis batteries after a few starts. While the house batteries will recharge well in a few hours, a trik-l-charge will take a lot longer to recharge the chassis bank.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:43 PM   #10
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John & Judy,

I have also thought about the EC-30W. I was at a Rally at Perry, GA a couple years ago and Cummins Onan was there with their booth. I looked at the EC-30W. They wanted to install it there for me but I was not ready at that time. It is wireless and should not be a problem. I would like to also add an exhaust extension on the Onan to direct the fumes away from my neighbor while dry camping with a group. I am not sure how to go about that with the exhaust coming out the LF like it does on yours and mine. I guess if I did one I would like to do both.

Don
Petro,

The EC-30W works just fine as an AGS system. It will sense temperature and is tied to battery voltage to start the generator to keep voltage up, with restrictions.

Regarding the generator exhaust, I highly recommend a GenTuri exhaust system. Don't do a rally without it. It will direct your generator exhaust up and to the top of the coach, so as to not offend your neighbors. I have one and always use it at rallys. It works!

I have been parked next to coaches at rallys, diesel and gas, when they run their generators with the exhaust directed off the side of the coach. In my opinion, it's quite offensive, especially if you keep your windows open.
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