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Old 10-27-2015, 03:42 PM   #1
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Generator Issue

I recently purchased a 2007 Coachmen Cross Country 389DS with a 7500W Onan diesel generator. On our first trip, the generator ran perfectly for approximately 30 hours over a 4 day period. On the drive home, it stopped cranking. When trying to start the generator, I can hear a very light clicking sound but the engine never turns over. I also noticed that the digital hour meter on the control panel inside the motorhome is no longer displaying at all. All four motorhome batteries read 13 volts, but I am unable to determine which battery starts the generator.

I reached out to ONAN/Cummins who had me test all of the connections and try to jump start the generator using my truck. I've checked every fuse and breaker on the MH (except the fuses associated with the converter) and nothing was tripped or blown. I also checked the 3 inline fuses and breaker on the generator itself. All fluids appear sufficient and the common fuel tank is above 1/2.

In an attempt to provide as much detail as possible, last night I noticed that the "Battery Disconnect" switch at the MH entry door does not disconnect anything and the LED indicator stays illuminated. That led me to test the main battery disconnect at the engine (Pergo switch) which did not shut of the simple 12V items that I tested either. However, it would not allow me to crank the drive engine with the main being in the OFF position.

I am brand new to RVing and I am out of ideas, so here I am looking for other suggestions. Thank you for any and all help that you may be able to offer.
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:34 PM   #2
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Did you also check the fuses that are located under a cover on the front of the generator near the start switch?

Did you try an recover and fault codes??? Usually if there is a problem a blink code will show up on the start switch.

http://cumminsonan.com.br/pdf/981-0153.pdf

Here is a link to the manual, go to the trouble shooting page 22 and it explains the blink code. You have to press the stop button 3 times within 5 seconds and it will start a blink sequence. This should tell you what might be causing your problem.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:06 PM   #3
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Yes, I did check the 3 inline fuses housed behind the plate on the generator itself. I have not checked the codes however. Seems odd that the Onan service tech that I spoke to would not have mentioned checking the error codes. I'll go check the codes on it tomorrow. Thank you for the quick response.
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Old 10-28-2015, 11:28 AM   #4
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The click sound indicates that you have battery power to the generator and you have already measured 12.6 dcv at the generator at the direction of the tech.

It also might indicate that your starter is locked up. Try tapping with a tool on the starter case.

I am assuming that you have tried both the remote starter switch and the one on the genset itself and that jumping the generator from your truck did not work.

When jumping from the truck, did you connect to the genset or your batteries with the positive cable?
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:27 PM   #5
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I plan to read the fault codes this evening after work. I'll try tapping the starter while I'm there. I am by no means electrically inclined, but I continue to get stuck on the fact that the digital hour meter inside the MH is not getting power. Due to this loss pass through power, I'm inclined to think my problem is electrical within the generator.

The motorhome has three generator starter switches and I have tried starting it with each of them.

I connected the cables directly to the posts on the back of the generator when attempting to jump it with my truck.
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Old 10-28-2015, 02:57 PM   #6
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My hour meter (Hobbs meter) only displays when the generator is actually running. So don't get hung-up on the meter.
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Old 10-29-2015, 07:36 AM   #7
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Well...I feel like a complete goof ball now! Took it to get the oil changed yesterday and talked to the mechanic about the generator issues. He held down the starter switch on the generator and after about 30 seconds of preheating it fired right up. Either I just wasn't giving it time to preheat, or the starter switches inside the MH don't allow for preheating...further testing is certainly in order.

The generator had started immediately after depressing the button all weekend and it threw me off when it didn't turn over. Mechanic implied that it was because it was in the 90s all weekend and Sunday when my issues began it was raining and in the high 60s so the plugs needed preheating.

Thank you all for the help and what an excellent feeling not to shell out a bunch more money!
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Old 10-29-2015, 08:49 AM   #8
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Sure glad you didn't have a problem after all! Just be sure to run it once a month!
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Old 10-29-2015, 11:50 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CC 389DS View Post

I am brand new to RVing and I am out of ideas, so here I am looking for other suggestions. Thank you for any and all help that you may be able to offer.

Glad you have it operating now.

Over the past 14 years, I have learned that the owners manuals for all your equipment can be a great resource. So, for those I did not receive in our used purchase I found most online for download.

In my case, my generator manual gives the preheat procedure and states 15 seconds for the process.

A lot of reading early, can save a lot of frustration at inopportune times.
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