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Old 05-16-2013, 10:49 PM   #1
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Location: Payson, Az
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Puzzled power problems with a American Eagle 40' DPe 40' DP

My first DP, so I don't know that much about it. On my gas Winnebago I had no problems with it's generator. So I was hoping for some info on this problem.

On a 2001 Fleetwood American Eagle 40' MS I can't start the generator. It's a 7.5KW Onan front center mount on a slide. Along with not starting, the red power switch light isn't light. Neither the remote switch nor the geny switch will even crank it over. All the connections check. Even with the engine running I get no results from trying to start the Onan. Along with the generator problem none of the coach lights or pumps will go on. The battery disconnect is in the "on" position, four 6 volt battery bank, and the readings vary from 5.4 to 5.8 on each battery. The bedroom slide will extend and retract, but the salon doesn't extend (no power?). It seems like all power to the coach, except the bedroom slide, have no power. I checked the breaker box and they were all in the off postion. Even after flipping them on, still no power to the coach. I was wondering if I should connect the 50 amp shoreline to see if that would get me any power, but I don't want to cause any damage if something isn't right? I never ran into this type of problem on my other RV and was hoping someone out here might have a suggestion I could try. Thanks.

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Old 05-17-2013, 12:11 AM   #2
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Most of what you mentioning not working is 12v. Fuses maybe? Most coaches have a main switch to shut off 12v to the coach and chassis. Are they engaged? On the generator, I would check with a volt meter that you have 12v to the genny.

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Old 05-17-2013, 02:47 AM   #3
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Your Salesman switch may be off. It's a switch usually located by the door. It shuts off all 12v power.
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Old 05-17-2013, 02:48 AM   #4
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The battery bank is about dead and there is not enough power to turn on the battery disconnect switch. Suggest you start the drive engine and let it idle while you plug the coach into the 50 shore power source. In 5 to 10 minutes there should be enough power in the battery bank to get the battery disconnect closed and 12 vdc power into the coach. Turn off drive engine.
Assure the disconnect is closed be letting the battery bank charge (check voltage with voltmeter) for an hour and then disconnect shore power and check for interior lights to come on. If so, plug the coach back in and continue to charge for 24 hours. Once charged, check the condition of the battery bank's individual batteries.
The generator is diesel and does not start turning over immediately.
Once the bank is fully charged, hold the start switch down and continue to hold the start side of the switch down as the glow plugs heat up the top of the cylinders in the engine. The engine should start to turn over in about 30 seconds this time of year. If it does not start after turning over about 10 seconds let go of the start switch. Be sure you have more than 1/4 tank of fuel and push the stop side of the switch down for about 30 seconds as this will cause the fuel pump in the generator to run, priming it. Now try to start it again holding down the start switch. Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
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Well...followed your instructions, much appreciated, and still no power.
When I had the shoreline plugged in I was getting 117 volts reading from the wall outlets, but no power to any of the lights, water pump or ceiling fans. I thinking that maybe the battery bank is beyond charging and may have to be replaced. As for the generator...still nothing. Held down the switch for about 30 seconds, then even tried the stop, like you suggested, but alas...nothing. I was hoping for an easy fix, but this may be more than easy..
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:45 PM   #6
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If you are plugged in, you should get 12V even if you have no batteries, unless your converter is shot. I'd check that.

Or, as another mentioned, check the salesman switch
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:51 PM   #7
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I'll throw this in as a just in case, F/L chassis , I have 2 , 135 amp inline fuses, on the frame by the battery bank, one chassis , one house batteries, these fuses protect the wiring for it's 35' run to the dash, at the dash the wiring feeds into the dash fuse panels for both chassis and coach 12v systems . If your convertor charger is working; charging the batteries and you have no 12v in the coach , it would be worth looking to see if you have a similar fuse.
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:07 PM   #8
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Check your solenoids. One of ours looked like this--

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Old 05-17-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
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' The battery disconnect is in the "on" position'

In some RVs that would mean that the batteries are disconnected. Have you tried turning it off?
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Old 05-17-2013, 01:28 PM   #10
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What type of inverter/converter do you have?
Is there a remote for it?
To charge the batteries (and yours are REALLY low - add the two voltages and if it isn't over 11.5 volts total, your batteries are discharged, and you only have 11.2) on my rig, you have to:
1: plug into shore power
2: turn on the circuit breaker to the inverter
3: turn on the charge circuitry through the inverter control panel in the hallway
4: Wait about 10 hours

Note that your generator is probably started off the house batteries, not the chassis batteries, so it won't start until you get some charge on the house batteries.

Note also that you should check the acid level in your batteries before starting this.
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Old 05-17-2013, 05:27 PM   #11
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collier282.....Someone posted just the other day that they had a similar problem. They checked that battery disconnect switch in the battery bay and then was no power coming out of the other side. They took the switch apart and it fell apart.

You need to start with some basics. Find where the large negative and large positive cables attach at your batteries. One should be on one battery and the other should be on another on the battery farthest away from the first. Check there for 12 volts.

Leaving a meter on the large ground lead, check both sides of that Manual disconnect switch. If you power, there, the next stop is probably a large solenoid within the battery bay. Check the in and out of that too.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:31 PM   #12
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Your coach has some very large cartridge fuses on the main battery connections - mine has 2x 150A fuses and another 100A fuse that feed the major power circuits. My guess is that one of them is blown.

What did your batteries read after running the engine awhile, or using shore pwoer for several hours? The 5.x volt readings you gave mean essentially dead batteries, so if they don't come up there is a lot of stuff that isn't going to work, or work only marginally.

The generator on my 2004 American Tradition starts from the chassis battery rather than house batteries, but yours may not be the same. The RVIA standards have flip-flopped on that a couple times over the years.

Gary Brinck
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