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Old 04-29-2015, 01:52 PM   #1
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Genset breaker trips while driving - not running!

Onan Microlite 4000 Generator. 1999 Class A

While driving, particularly on rougher roads (you know, your typical interstate nowadays!), my generator breaker self trips to the off position. The generator is not running. The next time I go to run it, I have to remove the cover and reset the breaker. It runs fine and the breaker has never tripped while stationary.

My take is that the bouncing around on the road simply trips the breaker as it is certainly not any kind of overload condition. Soooo ...

* Do folks think the breaker is simply "sensitive" to vibration and bumps? Like the spring inside is weak.
* Does it seem like it an age issue? I've had household breakers fail and become sensitive but that was mostly from folks using them over and over again as switches.
* Is it worth my while to change the breaker when electrically, it seems fine and is working as designed?
* If I decide on the latter - what am I getting myself into?


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Old 04-29-2015, 02:29 PM   #2
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I am no expert on electrical by any means. I think your idea of a weak breaker switch could be right. My lack of knowledge would also lead me to check for a bare wire from the house system (batteries, inverter) that may be making contact with the frame and tries to backfeed to the generator as the MH torques and bounces on the rough roads.

I'm sure others will chime in.
Good luck with finding your problem.

Larry and Prissy Sharp
2006 Allegro Bay 37DB
2012 Toyota Yaris
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:41 PM   #3
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Steve, virtually all breakers are shock sensitive. I newer one might be less so, but no guaranty there either. If it is a common breaker (you don't have to get from Onan), replacing it might help.

A lifelong waterman and his bride going dry places for as long as the fuel money lasts.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:43 PM   #4
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Try taping the switch in pace with duct tape and see if that stops the movement. Onan's often use a breaker with a "soft" switch rather than the usual stiff "ka-klunk" type and maybe it is just vibrating to the off position. If that fixes it, you can decide to replace the breaker (or not).
Gary Brinck
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Try taping the switch in pace with duct tape and see if that stops the movement. Onan's often use a breaker with a "soft" switch rather than the usual stiff "ka-klunk" type and maybe it is just vibrating to the off position. If that fixes it, you can decide to replace the breaker (or not).
FWIW I would NOT consider that a good permanent fix. I would consider it a good diagnostic tool. I would also keep the old breaker as opposed to tossing it at least until I have some miles on the setup.
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