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Old 07-22-2012, 11:23 AM   #1
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Generator causes Headlights to turn on and off

Hello all. Hopefully you can help me with a the issue of when I'm running my generator for about an hour my headlights start to turn on and off intermittently. I'm driving an 1983 Coachmen Leprechaun 25' with a 5k Onan generator. I'm fairly certain it is the generator causing the problem because this has happened twice now and after turning the generator off the headlights stop turning on and off. thanks!!
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:18 PM   #2
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There should be a regulator on the generator. If it is not working properly it could send current to other system circuits
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:02 PM   #3
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thank you sir. i will check on the regulator
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Old 07-23-2012, 07:33 PM   #4
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Poison,

You have left out a lot of information.
This happens whens you are driving at night (or with the headlights on) - Correct?

The flashing is not random but very regular - Correct?
But the headlights are GREAT when they are on - Correct?

If I am right so far, then the problem is the chassis battery charger that some PO added (this unit does have chassis and house batteries ? Right?).

If I am right.....
That added battery charger is a POS and it is overcharging the chassis battery. Many headlight switches include a thermal - self resetting circuit breaker, and the over voltage is causing it to break. After a little bit, it cools off and resets.

Short term get by.. unplug one head light. That will lower the current enough to leave the one light on.
Or,
Get the cab air fixed and leave the genset off.

Good fix. Rip out that junk battery charger. You won't need it if you use the vehicle enough. Get a good modern charger that won't boil the batteries and only put it on when you need it.

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Old 07-23-2012, 07:52 PM   #5
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Yes happens at night when the headlights are on so I'm able to see them. I wouldn't say it's very regurlar, sometimes it's quick off and on and sometimes it takes 5-10 seconds to come back on. headlights are great when they are on. Unit does have chassis and house batteries but I don't know about a charger. Where might this battery charger be ?

I thank you for your help Matt!!
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
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PoisonPatrol
You have multitle threads on the same topic. That makes it a little hard to follow and be able to help you, it is also againt the rules.
I gave some help in the other thread.

Generator shorts out headlights
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:31 PM   #7
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lights go off

hi IMHO i think you have a weak ckt breaker in your headlight switch i had that happen to me i was 200mi from home. i ran a jumper around the ckt breaker to get me home. a new light sw will fix the problem lee
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Old 07-23-2012, 09:23 PM   #8
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sorry texan i wasn't sure where to post it and unaware of the multiple posts limit. any way to combine them?
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Old 07-23-2012, 11:06 PM   #9
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I don't know how to close it maybe a Mod. can move or close one. I will watch for both. Have you checked the charginng voltage with the engine and gen running?
Good luck!
I don't mean to come down on you for the double posting, just letting you know it makes things more difficult.
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:05 AM   #10
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no worries. I haven't had a chance to test anything out yet as the RV in question (that we named Irvin) is at the shop getting new front tires. I'll have it back today and will start testing
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:05 PM   #11
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Here is what I found when testing each batter (chassis and house) with my voltage meter:

Chassis Battery House Battery
DCV engine gen off: 12V 12V
DCV Engine and Genset on: 14V 14V

ACV 28-30V with engine and generator off or on for each battery

Does this point to probably a bad headlight switch?
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoisonPatrol View Post
Here is what I found when testing each batter (chassis and house) with my voltage meter:

Chassis Battery House Battery
DCV engine gen off: 12V 12V
DCV Engine and Genset on: 14V 14V

ACV 28-30V with engine and generator off or on for each battery

Does this point to probably a bad headlight switch?
I don't understand what you are saying with the last line..
If the headlights are fine with the generator off, then the switch/breaker is just fine.

The vehicle systems were designed for a 13.5Vdc nominal and even 14.0 can be a little high.

You need a better meter. There is a lot of difference between 14.0 and 14.6 in this world.

I can't begin to tell you where the PO may have put the extra battery charger. He probably wired it directly to the chassis battery, so look for some extra wires.

Good Luck

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Old 07-24-2012, 03:34 PM   #13
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Thanks for your patience as I muttle my way through this. Ok tried my meter again at a lower setting and got the following results:c
Chassis battery:
With the engine running: 14.11 Vdc
With the egine and genset: 14.07

House battery:
engine running: 12.83
Engine and genset running: 13.5

So this tells me that there is no charger on the battery and leads me back to maybe having a bad headlight switch?
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:57 AM   #14
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went ahead and swapped out the headlight switch with a new one that cost me $15 so i figured why not. haven't tested it out yet though as i don't want to just sit in the drive and run the engine and genset.
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