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Old 01-07-2014, 11:15 PM   #1
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Starting engine while on shore power

I Know this seems like something I should know, but I don't. The title pretty much sums it up. Should I start my diesel pusher when it's plugged into the shore power?

Thanks

Mitch
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:41 PM   #2
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I've been doing it for 7 years and have not had a problem. The Automatic Transfer Switch doesn't know if the engine is running or not. I like to start my CAT every 3 weeks and let it idle for 20-30 minutes and before shutting it off I re-level using the air bags.
Maybe different coaches are wired differently, just my experience with my unit.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:59 PM   #3
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Not a problem to do so..
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:00 AM   #4
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Yeah, dont think the engine care's !
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:59 AM   #5
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Hi Mitchone,
The posts answering your question are correct. However, the more important question is why are you starting the engine when connected to shore power?
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:33 AM   #6
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Thanks so much for the info, and humor. Finally got the beast going after the battery boost.

As a side note, how does one know the engine heater is working. I switched a switch on that I assume is for the heater but it definitely didn't act like it was preheated. It was preheated for a few hours.

Thanks

Mitch

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Old 01-08-2014, 09:36 AM   #7
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To answer Gary's question. I truly need to replace my batteries, when it hints at cold my vehicle batteries do not start without using the battery boost. Going to Florida on Saturday, maybe get them changed then.

Thanks.
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Old 01-08-2014, 09:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchone View Post
......Should I start my diesel pusher when it's plugged into the shore power? Thanks Mitch
Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
hone, However, the more important question is why are you starting the engine when connected to shore power?
My question is "Why not?". Even though I have never owner a DP, I've always left the engine running during setup and started it prior to take down. Even though our new Itasca requires it as their LP leveling and slide systems draw far more power than units I've previously owned. If for no other good reason, I used it to top off batteries and or to bring the engine up to operating temp before hitting the freeway.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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I am fastidious about running the generator once a month because of what I read. I generally leave the big engine shut down during the Winter and storage. The boys at Cummings Bridge-way told me that if you were not going to drive the rig that it was not doing the engine any good to let it idle for any length of time. Not buying or selling just reporting. So I will start the diesel a week or so before we leave to make sure all is well, other than that I run the genny about an hour a month when in storage to charge the batteries and when wintering to keep the genny gremlins at bay.

Oh, and I do not unplug anything. Transfer switches take care of all that.
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Old 01-08-2014, 10:34 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mitchone View Post
To answer Gary's question. I truly need to replace my batteries, when it hints at cold my vehicle batteries do not start without using the battery boost. Going to Florida on Saturday, maybe get them changed then.

Thanks.

Your chassis batteries might not be getting charged while on shore power. Many DPs do not.

When you plug into shore power, check the voltage on the chassis batteries and see if it increases to more than 13 volts...if it stays at 12.6, then they are not being charged. You may have to add a battery minder or a Trik-l-start to keep them charged.

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Old 01-08-2014, 01:12 PM   #11
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Hi Mitchone,
Thanks for the additional information. The bottom line is it is not good to start a diesel engine let it idle (even fast idle) and shut it off. If one starts a diesel engine, one need to drive the coach. The interior parts of the engine need the torque driving puts on them the ensure all the moisture is driven out the exhaust of boiled off. Starting a diesel and just letting it idle for X amount of time does not get rid of the moisture. That moisture facilitates wear and tear on the engine components. Contact your engine manufacturer for confirmation.

If you are talking about the switch labeled "block heater" or "engine heater" you will not feel anything. This device is to heat the oil in the engine block or the turbo charger area of the engine (not both). It all depends on which engine you have. The purpose in doing this is the facilitate starting a diesel in cold weather. I know of no definition of cold weather for using this feature. A diesel must compress the fuel to generate heat so the fuel will ignite. Cold weather can hamper this task.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:16 PM   #12
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Hi mustang652,
Post #11 should answer your question about starting a diesel engine without driving the coach. This was my fear and why I asked the question. There are many other reasons why one might start a coach engine. You're post mentions a couple of these reasons.
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Old 01-08-2014, 01:21 PM   #13
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Hi lanerd,
Mitchone's coach has the BIRD (Bi-directional Relay Delay) system installed. This ensures the generator, engine or shore power will charge both the chassis and coach batteries, as needed.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:40 PM   #14
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house batt charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by lanerd View Post
Your chassis batteries might not be getting charged while on shore power. Many DPs do not.

When you plug into shore power, check the voltage on the chassis batteries and see if it increases to more than 13 volts...if it stays at 12.6, then they are not being charged. You may have to add a battery minder or a Trik-l-start to keep them charged.

Ron
Ron:

Most DP's have a converter to power the 12 v lights, it will also charge the house batteries at the same time. I have a small trickle charger to charge the coach battery whenever I'm using shore power.

.
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