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Old 10-07-2013, 08:59 PM   #1
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Tiffin Owners Club
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Redneck 1993 Allegro Bay Diesel Pusher with electrical problem

Ok so I bought a 1993 Allegro Bay diesel pusher with a 5.9 cummins. Runs, Drives great but has a problem. Only half of the power is working and the generator is putting out power but its not coming into the panels.

Background:
I bought this motorhome where the generator (onan propane 5500) had been removed and a piece of crap contractor 10kw installed. I have removed it and installed a onan 6500 in it which required a complete rebuild of the generator box but a good welder and some angle iron and its installed. The guy who sold me the motor home said the generator stopped powering the motorhome and doesn't know why. Now I have installed a properly functioning one and its not supplying any power to the coach.

Two Problems:

Problem 1: My generator is supplying the power but its not showing in the panel.

Problem 2: When plugged into shore power only half of the panel has 120volts the other half is dead as in Main A has full power but Main B has no power.

Background for Problem 2:
Everything was working when hooked to shore power BUT our first weekend I brought it to my father in law who lives in a 5th wheel asked me what power do you need. I said 50 amps. He said plug in here and pop goes the weeeezel. Yep it was 220 I assumed he knew it was 110 only. He said my 5th wheel is 220. I said here it says 110 only.

What I have discovered so far:

The Converter (Power Dynamics 9155) is bad.

For my ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch) Im not reading any power but my AC's work and when hooked to shore power I have see power in the main panel but only on Main A not Main B.

The other issue is that the power cable I use to hook into shore power run over and past my ATS and then power cables come back to the ATS.

My current quest:
I would like to know where the Power Cable from shore power goes. I would assume that it should go directly into the ATS but its not it goes passed it into a sheet metal channel and then it comes back to the ATS. I would like to know where this power cable goes so I can troubleshoot that.

I think that the people who installed the contractor non rv generator may have done some modifications to the current wiring and would like to see what they did and undo it and make it all correct.

Does anyone have any info or suggestions on what to troubleshoot next?

Any help would be greatly appreciated and sorry for the long post.


P.S. - At this point I have ordered a new power converter a Power Dynamics 9260 and a new Parralax ATS. I will install both tomorrow to hopefully diagnose the problem further once I know they are both working correctly.
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Old 10-08-2013, 11:38 AM   #2
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ok so I figured out alot more and talked with a service guy with Tiffin. They (the previous owners) bypassed the Automatic Transfer Switch. It looks like the shore power cord goes passed the transfer box but it doesn't its actually spliced directly into the load center. I verified there is power in the splice but zero power in the transfer switch.

This explains why when I run the generator I get no power to the load center. Once my electrician friend comes home today I will unwrap the splice and with the new transfer switch wire it all back in.

Being as though its spliced right at the box makes me feel better because if they had spliced it in say in the middle of the chassis then I would need to find that problem area as well.

I think the issue with only one hot wire into the load center is that maybe that load wire burnt during the connection to 220 if so we can fix that pretty easily. The worst case scenario will be to run new wire from transfer switch to load center which I can just tie new wire to old wire and hope I can pull it in while pullilng the old wire out.

Anyways thats where Im at now.

My overall goal is to make sure this wiring is done right. My Wife and Kids are going to sleep in this motor home and I dont take chances with their safety.


I'll keep this up to date and post some pics of the process to maybe help the next guy.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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Sounds like you are on the way to a solution. You could eliminate the need for ATS by wiring generator output to a 50 amp female plug and simply plug shore cord (still connected to power panel) into the generator outlet. Not as nice as an ATS, but cheaper and simple. You've learned a tough lesson on power, always check with a meter or install an EMS (electrical management system) that checks power before allowing it to connect.
EMS-HW50C
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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The 220V vs 110V deal is each leg is 110Volts to ground, 220v between the 2 hot legs. The RV only uses 110V. to ground. the generator output is 2, 110v to ground,They are probably in phase with each other, so you might read less than 220 v. between them maybe even zero. You should have 2 breakers on your generator, if one of them is tripped you would have 110v on one side of your panel and 0v on the other.
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Old 10-09-2013, 07:18 AM   #5
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BFLINN181,

An EMS is exactly what I was looking for. Now that this has happened once with hooking to 220 which took out an LCD TV in the process along with the microwave but those are replaceable. I want to make sure that if too little or too much power comes into coach that something shuts it down and that EMS while pricey is perfect.

I may end up ordering the EMS today. Just need to see how many nickles I have left to rub together worst case I'll put it on a credit card but I'ld prefer not to. We had a blast in this motorhome on our trip to my Father in Laws. I love the motor home and can't wait for a full on trip. There is one very good positive which is I know the electrical in my coach.

Artwerke,

Thanks for the explanation on the power and how its used in the coach. I dont know squat about electricity. Im pretty good with cabling. I needed to confirm which wires were which and so I used my Fluke toner and probe to make sure which wires were the load and generator wires.

Below are some photos of what I was dealing with on this coach. The wiring pics below were after I removed the roll of electrical tape they used. Today I will wire in the new ATS.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:15 AM   #6
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Besides the protection and peace of mind the EMS will give you, the company, Progressive Industries, is great too. I had a board go out on my EMS. I called and a tech walked me through a diagnosis of what was wrong, then offered a free repair if I shipped the unit to them. I opted to have the part shipped to me and installed it myself. No cost to me, they sent prepaid shipping labels to mail bad part back to them. In subsequent calls they were informative and very helpful. I only wish other companies were as helpful!
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:43 AM   #7
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BFLINN181,

I called them this morning as well. I wanted to know what they meant by lifetime warranty. I've seen instances where the warranty is only good if a certified installer does it. Since I would be installing myself I wanted to know if that voids the warranty and he said no. He said that they will pretty much warranty everything they dont ask alot of questions and they really want their customers to be happy with their product. I for one am sold so I will be buying one the hardwired 50A with remote.

The price is high but really in comparison to a new ATS, a new converter, TVs, Microwave, Air Conditioners, etc.... I think the price is fine.


Thanks,
John
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFlinn181
Sounds like you are on the way to a solution. You could eliminate the need for ATS by wiring generator output to a 50 amp female plug and simply plug shore cord (still connected to power panel) into the generator outlet. Not as nice as an ATS, but cheaper and simple. You've learned a tough lesson on power, always check with a meter or install an EMS (electrical management system) that checks power before allowing it to connect.
EMS-HW50C
That's the way by 1999 Holiday Rambler Vactioner worked. Very easy to use and no ATS to worry about.

Mike
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