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Old 05-18-2015, 08:04 PM   #1
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'93 Itasca Sundancer--no 110v power

First of all, warm greetings to the forum from the Yukon! I am new to RV'ing and having fun playing with and learning about my '93 Itasca Sundancer 500.

But I have run into a puzzle and hope there is some wisdom in the community to help me diagnose the problem. Here are the details: While replacing the house batteries, in spite of thinking I was being careful, I shorted the terminals for a brief moment. Sparks flew, the terminal wingnut fused to the stud, but otherwise over quickly and straightforward to start over with more care...

Once the batteries were installed all seemed in good order, all systems go. I then started the on-board Onan genset, which started fine. But no 110 power to the system. So I checked the breakers--all working fine. I then checked the 30 amp breaker in the battery bay. It had not tripped and was working properly.

I notice that there is a solenoid (isolator?) in the battery bay--Winnebego PN 8188-01-000. So my question: Is it possible that my shorting the battery might have fried the solenoid? And, if the solenoid was fried, would this produce the symptoms I am experiencing?

I have not checked voltage going into the batteries to see if they are charging when the Onan (or the RV engine) is running. I can do this, but am curious if there is anything else I should check?

Thank you to the community for making wisdom and experience available!

Onfoot.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:08 PM   #2
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Have you checked the breakers ON the generator? There will be one or two together, on or near the control panel depending on what model you have. The gennie will fire up and run with breakers off, but not deliver any power until they are on.

The isolator switch is designed to automatically switch from shore power to gennie power when you start the generator; it often takes a few minutes before the switchover.

I can think of no scenario where a short in the battery would affect the generator. The gennie will start from the batteries, but it is unlikely it will directly charge them. The normal configuration is for 110 power to go to the converter, which in turn converts the 110v to 12 volt; the converter then charges the house batteries from a built-in charger, usually a pretty terrible one.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:22 PM   #3
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As Honey Badger said, check the breaker (s) located on the gen set.
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Old 05-18-2015, 08:23 PM   #4
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Does your unit have an automatic transfer switch? Some units you have to pysically plug the shore power cord into the generator outlet plug. If you have the transfer switch then I agree with HoneyBadger, check the breakers on the genset itself.
Frank
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:07 PM   #5
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Wow--thanks for the quick replies! Would be lovely if it was simply the Genset breaker. I do appreciate the advice. So far as I can judge, there is one 30A breaker. It did not appear to be tripped. In any event, I started the genset and tried the breaker in both positions (not being sure which was on and which was off). In made no difference. While the gen was running, I also tested the current to the batteries. 12.44v with gen on, 12.44v with gen off. I.e., no charge coming from the generator.

This leads me back to wondering about the solenoid? It is possible that the short was actually against one of the terminals on the solenoid. It was out of view when the short happened. There was no physical evidence of such, but might have been very brief.

Thoughts?

And thanks!
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Old 05-18-2015, 09:58 PM   #6
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Now wondering which is on and which is off position on the genset breaker switch. It is on the RH side of the control panel, facing forward in a tight space. Impossible to view any labeling and the manual does not have a diagram or a description that reveals if on is towards me or away from me. (If I was looking directly at the switch, 'towards me' would be to the left and 'away from me' would be to the right. Not sure now which is on...
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:16 PM   #7
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Does your unit have an automatic transfer switch?
Thanks for your help, Frank. There is an automatic transfer switch--or at least I presume there must be, as I have never had to plug shore power into the receptacle to charge the batteries or to have 110 power in the RV. For what it's worth, genset was providing 110 power just fine prior to my doing the battery replacement.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:30 PM   #8
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I have a 2001 Sundancer which doesn't have an automatic transfer switch. You might want to check again for an outlet, to plug your power cord into, in your utility bay.
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:36 PM   #9
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Newbie Confessions--

Frank nailed the problem. There is NOT an automatic transfer switch. To use the genset for 110v, the shoreline power cable DOES need to be plugged into the genset receptacle. Since I had never had occasion to use shoreline power, I had not experienced making the transfer. But after replying confidently to Frank that I must have an auto transfer switch, a niggle of doubt prompted me to research the manual, where I discovered the need for making the manual connection. (Not for lack of reading the manual up til now--just had not been noticing that paragraph for some reason...)

Mind you, I am still scratching my head as to how the generator would have been providing 110v a week ago and then ceased when I changed the batteries--as I had no occasion at all to visit the compartment with the shoreline connector and genset receptacle. I can only imagine that it must have been only barely plugged in and somehow vibrated loose.

Be that as it may, it is now firmly plugged in and the genset provides 110v and the batteries show a charge coming in. (Very slight, mind you--only 12.79v, but perhaps the charge controller is showing the batteries as nearly fully charged and has largely backed off.)

Anyway, thank you to all for your patience with my newbie learning curve!!!
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Old 05-18-2015, 10:39 PM   #10
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I have a 2001 Sundancer which doesn't have an automatic transfer switch. You might want to check again for an outlet, to plug your power cord into, in your utility bay.
Yep. You're very gracious, Mich F.
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Old 05-19-2015, 02:04 AM   #11
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Onfoot,
Keep plugging away mate!!
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:57 AM   #12
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Onfoot,
Glad that it was a simple fix, there seems to be no rhyme or reason which units have auto transfer switches and which units don't. My 88 Southwind had one. My 07 Alfa 5er does not.
That solenoid might be for the emergency start switch that allows you to start the engine off the house batteries if the chassis battery goes dead.
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Old 05-20-2015, 09:50 PM   #13
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Thanks, guys.

I will indeed keep pluggin'... But that is one awful pun! Seriously, grateful for the advice and help. Great community support, guys. Almost wishing I had more questions to ask--but now just wanting to do some camping.
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