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Old 09-27-2015, 04:36 PM   #1
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Shore power plug when running on generator

What do you do with the shore power plug when you run on the generator? Mine is a 1988 Ford E350 Holiday Rambler Alumalite class C. The shore power cord is stored in a box in the bumper. The cord is hard wired to the coach but the plug has voltage on the terminals when the generator is running. Should i have an empty plug to stick it in when running on the generator or just put a cap over it?
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:43 PM   #2
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I would think you should have a power transfer switch which should turn the power off to the shore cord when you are running the generator?????
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Old 09-27-2015, 04:59 PM   #3
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It has a flip switch in the cabinet that says down for shore power and up if running on the generator. If I leave the shore power cord connected and run the generator with the switch up it makes a loud noise so not sure whats happening i have always disconnected the shore power if I run the generator but the plug is hot. I thought by flipping the switch in the cabinet it was disconnecting the shore power
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:40 PM   #4
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That switch SHOULD be switching the hot and neutral wires.

Shore power on 1 set of contacts, generator power goes on a the second set.

The feed line to the motor home goes to the center or common terminals.

That way when you switch it, you unhook 1 set of wires before connecting the other set.

Google manual transfer switch for more information.

A automatic transfer switch works the same way and will do it when you start the generator. When you shut off the generator, it switchs back.
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Old 09-27-2015, 06:54 PM   #5
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Interesting post. On my Class C, I have to plug the shore power plug into an outlet in the power cord storage bin when I want to use generator power. I'm learning something new every day.
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:06 PM   #6
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This is a great topic. I have a 1988 Fleetwood Southwind that I recently put on the road, and it seems to use a different system, but I never checked the voltage on the land line plug tines.

I have a 30 amp land line, and a 50 amp generator. If I start the generator while plugged in, I thought it was an automatic solenoid that fires, and presumed that the 30 amp land line goes dead, but I never checked.

There is one set of switches in a cabinet that are in one position for the land line, and in the other position for the generator, but they only control the air conditioners, because on the 30a landline, I can only run one, and on the 50a generator, I can run both.

But there is no noise, and I have not seen or heard any warning or indicator other than the light on the dash board saying the generator is running.

Is this manual switch that is being discussed here the only way this transistion works? Does anyone else have an automatic system like what I described? Should I test the tines on the land line when running the generator to see if they have voltage?
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:07 PM   #7
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Interesting post. On my Class C, I have to plug the shore power plug into an outlet in the power cord storage bin when I want to use generator power. I'm learning something new every day.
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:55 PM   #8
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Yes there are many MHs with automatic transfer switchs.

My 1999 class C has one. When plugged in it powers the MH. When I start the generator, after 15 seconds or so ( warm up time ) it senses generator power and switchs over to generator, unhooking shore power.

When I shut down the generator, it switchs back to shore power.
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Old 09-27-2015, 08:08 PM   #9
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Yes there are many MHs with automatic transfer switchs.

My 1999 class C has one. When plugged in it powers the MH. When I start the generator, after 15 seconds or so ( warm up time ) it senses generator power and switchs over to generator, unhooking shore power.

When I shut down the generator, it switchs back to shore power.
Thank you, I presumed it was a normal automatic switch. I suspect that the tines on the 30a shore line will not have voltage. Have you ever checked?
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoom45 View Post
What do you do with the shore power plug when you run on the generator? Mine is a 1988 Ford E350 Holiday Rambler Alumalite class C. The shore power cord is stored in a box in the bumper. The cord is hard wired to the coach but the plug has voltage on the terminals when the generator is running. Should i have an empty plug to stick it in when running on the generator or just put a cap over it?
Thanks
Zoom45
As other posters have said, the switch should be a manual transfer switch. It's definitely not working right as there should NEVER be voltage on the plug when the generator is running, it's always been against code and RVIA rules because it could electrocute someone. The loud noise you hear is the generator fighting the utility because they are out of sync with each other, not a good thing. As I said above, you can be electrocuted with this plug with the generator on, I'd get it fixed right away.

If you troubleshoot it make sure shore power and generator are both off before taking things apart. If you get stuck please post pictures so we can see what you're dealing with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSagal View Post
This is a great topic. I have a 1988 Fleetwood Southwind that I recently put on the road, and it seems to use a different system, but I never checked the voltage on the land line plug tines.

I have a 30 amp land line, and a 50 amp generator. If I start the generator while plugged in, I thought it was an automatic solenoid that fires, and presumed that the 30 amp land line goes dead, but I never checked.

There is one set of switches in a cabinet that are in one position for the land line, and in the other position for the generator, but they only control the air conditioners, because on the 30a landline, I can only run one, and on the 50a generator, I can run both.

But there is no noise, and I have not seen or heard any warning or indicator other than the light on the dash board saying the generator is running.

Is this manual switch that is being discussed here the only way this transistion works? Does anyone else have an automatic system like what I described? Should I test the tines on the land line when running the generator to see if they have voltage?
I suspect your switch is switching the power to the second A/C from the 30A shore power line to a second output on your generator. You also have an ATS as twinboat described for the rest of your circuits in your coach.

It should operate as follows:
  1. With shore power connected, your second A/C should run with the switch on land line position and should not run with it switched to the generator position.
  2. With generator on your second A/C should run with the switch in either position, but will blow a breaker eventually when both A/C's are run in the land line position.

Your ATS will definitely prevent line voltage from appearing on your plug terminals, if voltage appears it is broken, as seems to be the case with the OP's manual switch.
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Old 09-29-2015, 09:01 PM   #11
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Pretty close, but not quite the way the label says.

It seems the switches are aware of the automatic transfer switch. They do not have a particular position for land line or generator, but instead have a position that will do a particular thing when on land line, and will do a different thing when on generator.

One interesting note, while taking the picture for this post, I see there is a note saying to disconnect the land line when using the generator. I had not seen that anywhere else. Perhaps I should check other notes inside cabinets.

Also, when on land line, if I try to start an air conditioner that is not consistent with the switch position, it simply does not try to start. Since there are two hot wires on the 50 amp service, and only one on the 30 amp service, I must presume that the two switches are directing the 2nd hot to appropriate air conditioner.



Generally speaking, however, your presumptions are pretty close.

I have been considering making a 50 amp land line for this MH. I know the 30amp was a factor back in 1988 as most campgrounds simply did not have 50amp service back then.

Since I have the 50amp generator inputs, if I add a line to that input, I am sure it will trip the automatic transfer switch, and turn off the 30 amp landline.
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Old 12-09-2015, 12:16 AM   #12
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Interesting post. On my Class C, I have to plug the shore power plug into an outlet in the power cord storage bin when I want to use generator power.
I have this setup as well. The shore power cord is connected to the converter, distributes the AC power to the various outlets and also changes some to 12 DC for the lights and other 12 stuff.

In the compartment for storing the cord is an outlet which goes to the generator. You plug the shore power cord into the outlet and the shore power is replaced by the generator power. So the source is always either shore or generator. No fancy changeovers necessary. Since I don't have a generator, I'm munning the AC power from the pure sine wave converter to the outlet, so the plug is either in the shore power outlet or the inverter power outlet.
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Old 12-09-2015, 07:19 AM   #13
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I'm kind of miffed at how the OP found out the shore power cord had juice while running the genie? Did you get ZAPPED?.
We run the genie and have shore power at the same time. The front AC unit only runs on the genie and the Rear Ac unit runs off of Shore Power or genie.
I'm so confused

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Old 12-09-2015, 12:24 PM   #14
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I assume you have an automatic transfer switch.. Somewhere.

This should completly isolate the shore cord when runninmg on generator.. Bag it for today but get to a service facility that can figure it out because if that cord is "Live" when on generator then you have what is called, and for good reason, a SUICIDE cord.. Very dangerous.

I suspect a "Prior owner" modification.
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