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Old 01-02-2011, 03:46 PM   #1
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Engine Running & Shore Power?

Greetings:

We have a new to us Newmar DP, Cummins engine. I am wondering if the shore power can be plugged in when the engine is running? At this point, I have always turned off the coach before plugging in the shore power, and reverse before starting the engine in the morning. Is this correct?

regards,

Dave
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:26 PM   #2
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on my gasser shore power is shore power
and chassis is chassis
one has no relation to the other hard to see how it would be different on your coach
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Old 01-02-2011, 04:42 PM   #3
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It's no different than having your engine running and your generator running at the same time except the automatic transfer switch is in a different position.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:19 PM   #4
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Ok, thanks. So it is safe to start the engine to allow it to warm up while I pull in the slides, disconnect, etc.?
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:42 PM   #5
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Not sure about a Newmar, but on our Monaco the slides will not operate with the engine running. Other than that, it would be OK to allow it to run and build up air pressure while you are getting ready to depart.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:45 PM   #6
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Yes, I do it all the time. On the other hand if your plugged into shore power and you want to run the generator, you should turn off the shore power first because if you have a large AC load you could damage the automatic transfer switch when it switches over.
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Old 01-02-2011, 05:49 PM   #7
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Hi Dave1956,
Yes, you can have the engine on and shore power connected to the coach at the same time.

That being said, consider not doing this. Pull the slides in and get everything ready to go (all utilities disconnected, antenna down, basement doors locked, etc.) before starting the engine. Once the coach is ready to travel, start the engine and do a final walk around (check toad lights). This is a double check you are ready to travel. When you re-enter the coach, get comfortable in the driver's chair and ease on down the road. The coach will have gotten to ride height during your walk around.

Too many times I have seen the engine started before the coach is ready to travel. Sure enough when the engine is running, for some unknown reason, speed of getting ready to travel takes over. This means something gets forgotten. The shore electric cable can be the forgotten item. Pulling away still connected to shore power is not something one needs to experience.
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:56 AM   #8
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thanks everyone..
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:48 AM   #9
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My block heater works on shore power. So If it were bad to run the engine while plugged in I couldn't start the engine .Putting it in gear while still plugged in could be bad.
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Old 01-03-2011, 08:16 AM   #10
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Yes, I do it all the time. On the other hand if your plugged into shore power and you want to run the generator, you should turn off the shore power first because if you have a large AC load you could damage the automatic transfer switch when it switches over.
The transfer switch has a time delay which I presume is for these kind of situations.
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Old 01-03-2011, 09:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GaryKD View Post
Hi Dave1956,

Too many times I have seen the engine started before the coach is ready to travel. Sure enough when the engine is running, for some unknown reason, speed of getting ready to travel takes over. This means something gets forgotten. The shore electric cable can be the forgotten item. Pulling away still connected to shore power is not something one needs to experience.
Gary raises a good point I hadn't thought of before but it's really true that once that big engine is roaring it seems to create a sense of urgency to get moving and we don't need that.

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Old 01-03-2011, 06:05 PM   #12
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Good advice from everyone above.

I've started my coach many times before unplugging.

Also - no need to excessively idle your engine before departing. 2 minutes or so should be perfectly adequate for diesels (unless it's extremely cold - then factor in a little more time).
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:57 PM   #13
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The transfer switch has a time delay which I presume is for these kind of situations.
Hi Monacoach,
The time delay on the transfer switch is to give the generator time to come up to speed before connecting to the load.


The point I was making is that it's a good idea to shed as much of the coaches load as possible before the the generator connects. The reason is if the coach is carrying a high load(both air conditioners/heat pumps running and other appliances) It's possible to generate an arc within the transfer switch that may damage the electrical contacts. Small loads are fine but large loads especially motor loads can be problematic.


I have an Iota 50 amp transfer switch and in the owner's manual it states:
There are components in the Transfer Switch which, in their normal operation, may cause arcing.

Also it recommends that flammable fluids should not be stored in the same compartment as the switch.
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Old 01-03-2011, 07:01 PM   #14
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6 of this 1/2 dozen of the other...

Main issue is there are 2 different sources of energy present on the 12 volt system along with the 120 volt system.

The engine charges via the alternator and the converter also is trying to charge the batteries.

The alternator has a regulator that adjusts the output based on voltage present, the converter is regulated based on the design of the unit.

THere is no energy coming from the coach towards the shore line so no issue there.

Whichever one has the highest set point will win, the other will add some but will be "coasting".

Others stated to get everything ready before starting, a great idea since one can better listen when the engine is off.

If it is real cold and the block heater needs to be used then the cord needs to be connected until the engine is started, but it can be stored more neatly when the engine is not running making you rush...
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