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Old 07-18-2019, 07:47 PM   #1
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Generator turns off on shore power

Hi, I'm looking to confirm something we were told by a salesperson. This is for a 2019 Entegra Reatta 39BH.

We noticed that when on shore power, the generator would come on, warm up, and right when it went to transfer load, would shut off. All power would go out for a half-second and then we'd go back onto shore power. We were able to reproduce this several times.

When we asked, we were told that this is because the generator is too small (??) and so when on shore power it will cut itself off. It will only come on when there's no 50A shore power available. This is supposedly per both Spartan and Cummins.

We didn't get a chance to test that, but it seems... strange. The coach has AGS. The touchscreen has a whole page of settings allowing you to control when the generator will come on, how long it will run, and so on. But what we really want is for the generator to take over if shore power goes out (which has happened to us many times). From what we were told this is one of the things it's supposed to do, but apparently not?

This is an 8kW generator. That should be plenty to run a coach this size. And I don't understand why shore/no-shore matters at all.

Has anyone heard of something like this?

EDIT: This might actually overlap with the nearby thread about a generator that won't turn OFF. From reading some of the responses in that thread, this might actually be working as designed, though not at all for the reason our salesperson said. I'm still leaving my post here so I can hopefully get an unambiguous answer from someone.
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:30 PM   #2
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Sadly, I know nothing about your specific coach so I feel that I cant comment competently or confidently. However, what you are being told does not make much sense. You dont mention how many air conditioners who have on the coach but I am assuming two. My 15,000 BTU AC units draw ~ 15 amps at 120 VAC each which is 1800 watts or roughly 25% of your generator's capability for each AC unit, or roughly half of what the generator can produce running both of them. So, it makes no sense that your coach is taking too much power and shutting down your generator. My guess is that you have run into what is way too common in this business and that is a dealer salesman or tech who has no real clue how anything works and is just telling you whatever occurs to them as logical.

You can make sure that the ACs are off, the hot water heater (if it is electric on your coach) is turned off, and the cooktop (if you have one is turned off) (in other words all the heavy power loads) and then do the same thing and see what happens with virtually no load.

What I dont know is if your coach is wired so that when the power comes back on, it immediately turns off, or as some, turns off when a certain amount of time elapses, or just continues to run until someone manually turns it off.

My generator will run regardless of whether I am on commercial power at the time, or have no commercial power. In fact, my system is programmed so the generator has priority and if the genny is running, it will take over power from the commercial lines and keep it until I turn it off and then it switches back to commercial power. However, your coach may differ.

Hopefully you will get someone that is intimately familiar with your specific coach and its systems, but I am with you.... what you have been told makes no sense to me either.

Gary
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Old 07-18-2019, 08:43 PM   #3
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Depends on what you have turned on - electric water heater element, absorption reefer on A.C., both air conditioners, inverter/charger etc.. I'ts possible (though unlikely) to fully load the generator when it switched over.


You need to dig into the AGS settings as there are several things that can auto-start: loss of shore power & voltage drop on house batteries (inverter running). In both situations the generator should be able handle the load switching or there is an EMS system that gracefully manages power loading. Everything depends on how the ATS (transfer switch) handles change over and what the default source of power is when both sources are present.


I gather this is the coach you took a pass on? The dealer response to this issue troubles me. Did they call Entegra? I'm not buying the song and dance they're selling.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:26 AM   #4
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It sounds like you need a new salesman. I have a Cornerstone and 8 kw would run that coach with no problem.
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Old 07-19-2019, 06:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brobox View Post
It sounds like you need a new salesman. I have a Cornerstone and 8 kw would run that coach with no problem.

^
What he said ...


.
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:08 AM   #6
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As others have already said, your generator is not too small.

Is your control system from Firefly; I couldn’t find any details on the Entegra site? There may be no connection to your issue but there was a post in another thread that revealed that older Vegatouch (17 and 18) versions had a possible problem with the generator short-cycling when the AGS called for a generator start when shore power was lost. The fix is a software update. I confirmed this with Firefly and they are sending an update to me this week.

If your system is from Firefly give them a call. 574-825-4600
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Old 07-19-2019, 07:57 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Solo_RV_Guy View Post
I gather this is the coach you took a pass on? The dealer response to this issue troubles me. Did they call Entegra? I'm not buying the song and dance they're selling.
It is the same one, and they said they called Spartan and Cummins.

This morning I called Entegra myself (they were closed by the time I got back last night). The guy I talked to said that their explanation made no sense, and that the generator should always take precedence over shore power. He said there's probably something wrong with the transfer switch, or the generator is putting out low voltage.

And while he admitted that he knew nothing about the Reatta specifically, he was confident enough that he told me to tell the dealer "the factory said that this is not the way it's supposed to work, and they can call us if they need assistance troubleshooting."

As an aside, every interaction I've had with Entegra support is great, and I don't even own one. I am impressed by the RV industry's post-sales support in general (also had good experiences with Thor, on a rental that had a short which left us stranded).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Victory Blue View Post
Is your control system from Firefly; I couldn’t find any details on the Entegra site? There may be no connection to your issue but there was a post in another thread that revealed that older Vegatouch (17 and 18) versions had a possible problem with the generator short-cycling when the AGS called for a generator start when shore power was lost. The fix is a software update. I confirmed this with Firefly and they are sending an update to me this week.
Yes, it is a Firefly. They don't call it Vegatouch, but it looked identical to me and I think you use the same app to control it. It may be a lower-end version of the system they use in other Entegras.
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Old 07-19-2019, 08:11 AM   #8
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Sound more like a dealer problem. Not knowing how systems work on the coaches they sell. Love it when a dealer wants the customer to come in and show them how the systems work.
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:19 AM   #9
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It sounds like you need a new salesman. I have a Cornerstone and 8 kw would run that coach with no problem.
I agree, do you know when a salesman’s lying, when his mouth is moving!
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Old 07-19-2019, 09:49 AM   #10
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The Aspire has three A/C's, induction, the big fridge and a 10K generator that we have never come close to fully loading, much less over loading, even when running completely on generator power in 100+ degrees...and cooking dinner. Regatta is new. Tell your salesman to get an education and then answer your question. Yesh! Why would anyone tell a potential buyer that a coach was underpowered on their generator? Was he trying to move you to a more expensive coach? Maybe he doesn't need an education...just a new career.
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Old 07-20-2019, 09:16 AM   #11
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After talking to the dealer and Entegra again, and after also calling Cummins, I now have a definitive answer.

The system is, in fact, working as designed. What happens is that if you are on shore power, and both A/Cs are already running at full speed, when the generator comes on, full load is immediately transferred to the generator. This causes a voltage drop on the generator, which causes it to shut off to protect itself.

But it's not as bad as it seems. If you don't have shore power for whatever reason and you either start the generator manually or AGS does it, it WILL be smart enough not to start both A/Cs immediately and at the same time. It will get up to speed, start one A/C, wait a second or two, and then start the second A/C. This will keep the genny from being overloaded by startup surge and all will be well.

Higher-end Entegras might be equipped with a load-shedding mechanism. Per Cummins, it's also possible that the 10k-and-up generators are a little more forgiving of brief output voltage drops. (I think this is where the "Because your generator is too small" answer came from.)

As a practical matter, there is really only one time when this would ever happen during normal operation, and that's when you are getting ready to leave a campsite. You're still hooked to shore power, but it's a hot day so you want to keep the house A/Cs on when traveling. So you figure you'll start up the generator. Nope, not on a Reatta. On this one, you have to first unplug shore power (which will stop the A/Cs), and then start the generator (or let AGS do it, if configured to do so), at which point the A/Cs will come back on automatically. Or you can do it all by hand: stop A/Cs, unplug shore power, start generator, start first A/C, start second A/C.

So it is, at worst, a mild annoyance. Definitely something I can live with. In our travel trailer, in fact, we're used to manually turning the A/C off before disconnecting shore power. If we don't, the single A/C can trip the main 30A breaker when we plug back in at our next site -- which is basically what's happening here, too!

The Entegra CSR I spoke to, though, said that he spoke to their engineering team and none of them like the way it works. They are apparently looking into ways to fix it in future Reattas, either by putting in a bigger generator or by changing the electrical system. (No way they're putting a 10k genny in the Reatta, IMO. Even leaving aside the added cost, a 10k genny on a 2-A/C coach is ridiculous.)

I wanted to post an update to make sure that if anyone else has the same problem and finds this thread, they can also find the answer.

EDIT: make bad writing less bad
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