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Old 09-10-2016, 08:38 PM   #1
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Generator quit suddenly

On my way south to Myrle Beach last night my generator quit on me. We stopped for the night and I started the generator and waited for it to come on line. When I turned the front air on everything was ok until I turned the rear air on and lost all power. Checked all the breakers (two on the gen set and main on circuit panel) and nothing changed. This is a 5000 onan in a 2004 Coachman Santara with 150 hours on gen set. I'm open to any suggestions and hope someone can point me in a general direction. Does the Onan use a belt to link motor to generator (heavy trucks auxiliary generator sets do)
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Old 09-10-2016, 09:02 PM   #2
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Do you have more than 1/4 tank of gas? Most won't run if the tank gets down to 1/4 tank, may just have run out. The time it took to turn everything "on" would be just about the amount of gas a carb. holds.
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Old 09-11-2016, 03:46 AM   #3
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Mocotom,
My Genny decided to quit unexpectedly about 3 years ago. It did it often.
For troubleshooting purposes, I disconnected the low oil switch wire, it cured the problem.
Since the switch is quite expensive, I have not replaced it yet.
I always make sure the oil qty is OK before I start the Genny.
My gas 5500 Onan uses a belt drive system.
Per Onan's website the belt and related equipment is guaranteed for the life of the Genny. The labor is not included.
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Old 09-11-2016, 05:23 AM   #4
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The generator,s engine starts and runs with no issues, just doesn't produce electric to the coach
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:15 AM   #5
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You may have tripped the circuit breaker on the generator.

Remove the generator front cover and circuit breaker should be visible. Mine looks like a black toggle switch.
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Old 09-11-2016, 06:34 AM   #6
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Do you have an automatic transfer switch (ATS) or does your power cord plug into a generator outlet inside the bay? Either could be a reason why no power is making its way into the MH from the generator.
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Old 09-11-2016, 08:09 AM   #7
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Mocotom,
If the CB'S are OK, you may need to clean the slip rings with a tool from flight safety at 800-403-3728.
I cleaned mine during my troubshooting process. It is very easy to do.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:39 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoCoTom View Post
The generator,s engine starts and runs with no issues, just doesn't produce electric to the coach
There sure could be a lot of things...

If CB'S on the generator are on..then go to the transfer switch and see if

there is voltage coming from the generator. If there is voltage there, then go

to the other side of the transfer switch, if it is there, then go to the main

panel in the coach.

If not...you could have a bridge rectifier problem in the generator.

Hope that helps some, hard to trouble shoot not being there.
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:18 AM   #9
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DO YOU HAVE A VOLTMETER!

If not go get one and check voltages.

We suspect transfer switch is not flipping to genny and that can be simple to sucky...

If no voltmeter it can be dangerous to try things and yiu may be looking in wrong place.

Look up harbor freight and see if there is one near yiu as they have suitable units for a few bucks.

A good dofor. ..(do for now)
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:02 PM   #10
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. I have power to the coach when hooked with external cord. I suspected to auto power transfer switch but tech at camping world said if the transfer switch failed the coach wouldn't have power when connected with external cord. I'm going to check it with voltmeter to be sure
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Old 09-11-2016, 04:10 PM   #11
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Typical CW tech. A transfer switch has 2 sides to it. One passes shore power when plugged in to the pedestal. The other side transfers power thru the generator when shore power isn't present. So your shore power can work fine while the generator power won't pass thru. I think that the transfer switch is your problem.
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Old 09-11-2016, 09:07 PM   #12
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As was mentioned earlier, check your breakers on the genset itself. Mine did this to me once, and it didnt blow the breakers in the coach, it blew the breakers on the genset itself. They will be in the lower right corner of the unit. One black, one white, usually. I dont recall which way is enabled, but simple way to test... start generator, wait for it to stabilize. Switch breakers. If engine surges, you can tell your breakers were tripped. Go check for power!
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Melmoses View Post
Typical CW tech. A transfer switch has 2 sides to it. One passes shore power when plugged in to the pedestal. The other side transfers power thru the generator when shore power isn't present. So your shore power can work fine while the generator power won't pass thru. I think that the transfer switch is your problem.
It is indeed a transfer switch failure. I checked gen voltage and all was good next I checked ohms on contactor switching coil and found it to be open (as in DEAD,TOAST,ADIOS) It is an Esco 50amp switch and from what I read is a good product, however that posting on iRV2 was from 2011. Replace with same switch or has something better been developed in the last couple years. Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:54 PM   #14
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Don't know if this would be in your area of ability, but if you want to try, take the switch out and have a real close look at the wire ends of the coil where they are soldered to the terminals. I've repaired them with a little solder job. The vibration sometimes will break the end of the wire right at the solder joint resulting in an open coil.
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