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Old 07-17-2009, 10:57 AM   #1
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Generator vs Shore Power

I've just purchased a '95 Coachmen Santara I have another probably basic question. When I bought it, all electrical appliances worked on 30 amp shore power (and I think on the generator) but now that I'm using the generator exclusively, the coffeemaker, microwave oven and the 110v outlets are getting no power. Is there a switch I need to throw or perphaps a circuit breaker I need to check?

Also, both roof AC units work on 30 amp shore power (but not at the same time) but only the main cabin AC runs on the generator... even when I've thrown the switch to the proper setting

Anybody have any thoughts?

Thanks/Jeff
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:03 AM   #2
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If you have checked your main breakers, you are required to have a GFI on any outlet near a water source, such as bathroom or kitchen sink. Make sure these are not kicked out.
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:20 AM   #3
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Jeff, on my Dad's "well used" motorhome, there was a manual transfer switch under one of the twin beds in the back bedroom. He would have to flip that switch in order to get his rear AC to work. Your unit isn't nearly as old as his but I'm not familiar with Coachmen. They may well have used a similar switch. It could be in a closet or other storage area. Or it could be that switch on the wall that doesn't seem to control anything.

Good luck finding your answer. Someone here will most likely have it for you.
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:18 PM   #4
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Jeff, I have a '91 Elite and I have to physically go to the back where the shore power cord comes out and plug it into an outlet in the compartment that is connected to the generator. Once this is done then there are switches inside that I have to flip so the a/c runs off of the generator. Take a look in the electrical compartment and see if this is the case with you Santara.

Keep us posted!

Ron
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Old 07-17-2009, 12:23 PM   #5
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Check the things noted above, plus the generator has a pair of circuit breakers mounted ON the generaotr. They may be on the back side and not in view. check to be sure these are not tripped.

Ken
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Old 07-17-2009, 11:06 PM   #6
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Thank you guys. My buddy (who is as inept as I am) are going to check out all your suggestions this weekend.

Jeff
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Old 07-18-2009, 03:39 AM   #7
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Jeff, if you have an inverter/charger, it also has a circuit breaker on it that the outlets and microwave current passes through. Be sure this breaker is not tripped.
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:04 AM   #8
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Yes, I learned about Inverters yesterday and I don't know if we have one or not. It seems logical that we do as I think that the only thing that our 7000 watt generator powers now is one of our air conditioners... and that just doesn't make sense. If I have an inverter, where am I likely to find it? It's the box with cooling fins, isn't it? (see, I told you I would be asking some very basic questions)


thanks/Jeff
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Old 07-19-2009, 11:49 AM   #9
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Following up on my earlier inquiry about finding an Inverter (if we have one), I haven't found one yet but we did find a 50 amp Converter/Charger. What is that? What is the difference between an Inverter and a Converter and which should we have? If a converter does not power the 110 ac outlets, what does it do?

Also, we found three relays near the batteries. Might they be a part of the reason that we are not getting any ac power from the generator? How do you test relays?

Thanks/Jeff
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:51 AM   #10
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An inverter can take a 12 vdc source and produce 120 vac power up to it designed limit in watts. An inverter with a three stage charger can also take the incoming 120 vac when plugged into shore power or when the generator is running and recharge the battery bank very efficiently. Also the apparatuses the inverter powers lets incoming voltage pass through to the same.
A converter/charger can only take 120 vac and convert it down to around 14 volt dc for recharging the battery bank. It will not directly control the 120 vac source. The circuit breakers in one side of the converter are for the 120 vac power and the fuses are for the dc power.
The relays you found will probably not have any thing to do with the loss of 120 vac unless they are in a box known as a transfer switch. The transfer switch only allows one source of power into the coach at any one time. It will allow shore power until the generator is started up and then it will connect the generator output into the coach after a warm up time period. This is an area you should also look at to determine if you have two 120 vac lines hot from the generator and both are feeding into the coach.
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Old 07-20-2009, 03:05 PM   #11
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Re the rear A/C not working on the generator

On your generator there should be two circuit breakers, These are on the generator itself and may look like switches (they work like switches too, no "Tripped" position, just on/off)

Most likley one is 30 amp, one is 20 amp, the 20 amp

Check to see if the 20 amp one is tripped

Also.. You may wish to visit this URL

http://www.psrv.net

Good add on for rigs like yours
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:03 PM   #12
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Thanks Wa8.

Yes, I found the two circuit breakers the other day and one of them had been tripped. I reset it but I'll take another look to see if it popped again.

Thanks/Jeff
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