Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > Class A Motorhome Discussions
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 05-01-2014, 08:09 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
topdownman's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,462
Epic Generator Fail

Last night, I went over to the motorhome storage building to get the rig and make ready for the weekend. As I was in the barn unplugging the unit, I hear a slight humming sound like a generator running. Thinking it was one of the other rigs in the building, I looked around a bit and finally realized it was coming from MY rig.

I quickly went inside and checked my fuel gauge. I had been sitting around the full mark and I was down to 3/4. My hour meter seems to indicate it's been running for a LONG time, but the fuel use doesn't seem to indicate that.

My rig does NOT have autostart. The generator compartment is not accessable the way I have it parked, so this thing HAD to have started on it's own.

I don't usually disconnect my chassis batteries, but will this prevent the generator from starting on it's own again?
__________________

__________________
Mark Anderson - FMCA 351514 - Louisville, KY
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH - Freightliner / Cummins
2006 Jeep Commander
Cricket SW3 Personal Transporter
topdownman is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 05-01-2014, 08:18 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Bigd9's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: The Bluegrass State
Posts: 3,858
Interesting Mark. There are reports of generators starting on their own when rain or air conditioner condensate drips on the control board, but since yours is in a building I guess you can rule that out.

If you have a switch inside the coach that turns off chassis batteries I would try it. Turn it to off and see if the generator starts.

Did the building smell of exhaust fumes?

BTW we are at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. First time here and I was shocked that they are NOT big rig friendly. Ours is only 35 foot and we had a very difficult time finding a spot. Then a black bear chased my wife and dog back to the coach last night. Ever try and camp here?
__________________

__________________
Good Luck, Be Safe and Above All, Don't Forget To Have Fun
Pete
2006 Fleetwood Discovery 35H, being pushed by a 2014 Honda CRV
Bigd9 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 08:24 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
topdownman's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,462
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigd9 View Post
Interesting Mark. There are reports of generators starting on their own when rain or air conditioner condensate drips on the control board, but since yours is in a building I guess you can rule that out.

If you have a switch inside the coach that turns off chassis batteries I would try it. Turn it to off and see if the generator starts.

Did the building smell of exhaust fumes?

BTW we are at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. First time here and I was shocked that they are NOT big rig friendly. Ours is only 35 foot and we had a very difficult time finding a spot. Then a black bear chased my wife and dog back to the coach last night. Ever try and camp here?
The motorhome is undercover, but the rear of the building is open. I could smell fumes slightly. I have a switch on the back near the engine that turns off the chassis batteries (I'm assuming the generator uses those also) so I will start turning that off.

I have never been to Cumberland Falls but it's on my list. I'll make a note of what you told me. I'm 40 foot so that would make it even more difficult. I'd make sure and do a review on rvparkreviews.com. I use that site extensively.
__________________
Mark Anderson - FMCA 351514 - Louisville, KY
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH - Freightliner / Cummins
2006 Jeep Commander
Cricket SW3 Personal Transporter
topdownman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 11:16 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
gemini5362's Avatar
 
Tiffin Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 2,078
A lot of coaches the generator starts off of the coach batteries. try turning off the chassis battery switch and see if your generator still starts.
__________________
gemini5362 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 11:31 AM   #5
Registered User
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 1,857
Look here

I had the same thing happen. It wasn't until the mechanic showed me the paw prints on the top of the generator that we figured it out. There were paw prints all over the top and a smeared on on the switch.

Feral cats jump up there to get warm and the switch makes a perfect place to put their paw when they want to get down. Generator starts, they get down very quickly.

I know someone who owns an RV repair business & he says it's happened to them more than a few times.

I put a rubber wedge under the switch and it hasn't happened again in over a year.
__________________
Muddypaws is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 11:43 AM   #6
Registered User
 
mel s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 8,777
Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
My rig does NOT have autostart. The generator compartment is not accessable the way I have it parked, so this thing HAD to have started on it's own.
I don't usually disconnect my chassis batteries, but will this prevent the generator from starting on it's own again?
topdownman
Are you sure your generator starts with the chassis batteries?
On my coach, (not a Sportscoach), the Onan starts with 12V from the house battery bank.

Just sayn'

Mel
'96 Safari
__________________
mel s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 11:46 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
dennis45's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 6,444
Just when you think you've heard it all.
__________________
Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
dennis45 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 12:13 PM   #8
1977-2006
 
USMCRET's Avatar


 
Newmar Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 1,408
Quote:
Originally Posted by Muddypaws View Post
I had the same thing happen. It wasn't until the mechanic showed me the paw prints on the top of the generator that we figured it out. There were paw prints all over the top and a smeared on on the switch.

Feral cats jump up there to get warm and the switch makes a perfect place to put their paw when they want to get down. Generator starts, they get down very quickly.

I know someone who owns an RV repair business & he says it's happened to them more than a few times.

I put a rubber wedge under the switch and it hasn't happened again in over a year.
As strange as that sounds, it makes the most sense of anything else.
__________________
2005 Newmar KSDP 3910
ISC on a Spartan
USMCRET is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 12:17 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
BFlinn181's Avatar
 
Gulf Streamers Club
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 16,211
Question is, will your batteries be maintained by shore power if you shut off batteries? If you have a start button on exterior of the generator, you might fashion a cover for it or use the rubber wedge Muddypaws suggested to foil 4 legged pests.
__________________

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
BFlinn181 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 12:25 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
topdownman's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,462
This is all very interesting. I never thought about a feral cat climbing around down there, but that could be very likely as the shed is in a rural location. Also, I'm not sure if it's the coach batteries or house batteries that start the generator, I'll need to check that.

I hope I don't have to cut the house batteries, because when I do that, it shuts down my fridge, and I like to keep that running. It also keeps my batteries charged.
__________________
Mark Anderson - FMCA 351514 - Louisville, KY
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH - Freightliner / Cummins
2006 Jeep Commander
Cricket SW3 Personal Transporter
topdownman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2014, 10:33 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
dennis45's Avatar


 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: BC
Posts: 6,444
Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
This is all very interesting. I never thought about a feral cat climbing around down there, but that could be very likely as the shed is in a rural location. Also, I'm not sure if it's the coach batteries or house batteries that start the generator, I'll need to check that.

I hope I don't have to cut the house batteries, because when I do that, it shuts down my fridge, and I like to keep that running. It also keeps my batteries charged.

Typically the generator is started off the Chassis Batteries and when plugged in to shore power, both the Chassis and House batteries are charged. Should be simple to put something over the rocker switch on the generator to prevent an Accidental Cat Start. There will be a disconnect for each system but if you are plugged in, you would be better to leave both sets turned on.
P/S, if you have it plugged in while in storage, don't forget to check the water in the batteries every few weeks and top off with Distilled water if required.


Sent from my iPad using iRV2 - RV Forum
__________________
Dennis & Carol
2003, 4006, 41' DutchStar, Spartan, ISC 8.3L W/BanksPower - 2013 Honda CRV, BlueOx Baseplate, Aventa Bar & Patriot Brake. And the 04 Bird, Sunshine Car.
dennis45 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2014, 07:37 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
topdownman's Avatar


 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 1,462
I did verify that the generator fires off the chassis batteries. So I will start disconnecting those.

I do check my batteries often and have a watering system.
__________________
Mark Anderson - FMCA 351514 - Louisville, KY
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH - Freightliner / Cummins
2006 Jeep Commander
Cricket SW3 Personal Transporter
topdownman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2014, 11:31 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
BFlinn181's Avatar
 
Gulf Streamers Club
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 16,211
Quote:
Originally Posted by topdownman View Post
I did verify that the generator fires off the chassis batteries. So I will start disconnecting those.

I do check my batteries often and have a watering system.
Instead of disconnecting batteries, wouldn't be better to tape a tupperware container or some such shield over the control switch in the generator compartment? Every time you want to use the coach, you'll have to reconnect batteries. Don't let a cat or raccoon beat you!
__________________

Bob & Donna
'98 Gulf Stream Sun Voyager DP being pushed by a '00 Beetle TDI
BFlinn181 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2014, 01:55 PM   #14
Registered User
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
Posts: 1,857
Fuel pump

I'm thinking a simple switch on the generator fuel pump might be the best way to prevent unwanted starts. Wouldn't matter it's an electrical gremlin in the start switch monoplex or critters it won't run for long.
__________________

__________________
Muddypaws is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
generator



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
This word needs to be retired now powerboatr Just Conversation 93 01-13-2014 11:23 AM
44U Maiden Voyage Curtisgeiger Entegra Owner's Forum 18 11-14-2013 09:32 PM
Epic RV's on Destination America Channel Scottybdivin Just Conversation 5 07-18-2013 03:17 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:30 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.