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Old 09-09-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
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Running Generator while on Shore Power

This is not a problem, but a learning question. I was told that we should turn on the generator once a month and let it run for 1/2 hour or so. Do you folks agree? And I am wondering if turning on the generator while connected to shore power will hurt anything, or make no difference at all. Of course it's not a big deal to unplug the elec cord, but I'm just curious.

ALSO - in our old '93 Winnie, there was a built in plug where we could just plug into the 110 in the garage with a big extension cord. Our 2000 Monaco has no such built in attachment that I'm aware of. So if we wanted to plug in at the house, how would we do it?
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Old 09-09-2012, 02:36 AM   #2
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Yes, you want to make sure that your gennie is exercised regularly. When you do so, you want it to be under a significant load so run your AC at the same time to load the gennie.

There's no problem being connected to shore power while running the gennie, BUT... your coach will probably default over to the gennie for power once it starts. It's good practice to make sure that there is only minimal load when that transfer takes place. Don't have your AC or other power hogs operating when either starting or stopping the gennie. If there is a heavy load operating, it slams the contacts of your transfer switch pretty hard and can lead to its early demise.

If I understand your last question correctly, you want to plug your coach into a standard 15 amp household circuit? That's no problem but you need a power cord adapter or two. They look like this Power Grip Adapter - 15A Male to 30A Female - Camco RV 55165 - Electrical Adapters - Camping World

Our coach is 50 amp so I carry a 50 to 30 adapter and a 30 to 15. Using them together gets you from 50 to 15 so you can plug into your garage.

Best of luck.

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Old 09-09-2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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Thanks !! very helpful..
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:36 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by RickO View Post
Yes, you want to make sure that your gennie is exercised regularly. When you do so, you want it to be under a significant load so run your AC at the same time to load the gennie.

There's no problem being connected to shore power while running the gennie, BUT... your coach will probably default over to the gennie for power once it starts. It's good practice to make sure that there is only minimal load when that transfer takes place. Don't have your AC or other power hogs operating when either starting or stopping the gennie. If there is a heavy load operating, it slams the contacts of your transfer switch pretty hard and can lead to its early demise.

If I understand your last question correctly, you want to plug your coach into a standard 15 amp household circuit? That's no problem but you need a power cord adapter or two. They look like this Power Grip Adapter - 15A Male to 30A Female - Camco RV 55165 - Electrical Adapters - Camping World

Our coach is 50 amp so I carry a 50 to 30 adapter and a 30 to 15. Using them together gets you from 50 to 15 so you can plug into your garage.

Best of luck.

Rick
Good advice. My MH defaults to the gen when it comes on also. I start the gen with nothing else on...let it warm up, then turn on A/C, etc.
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Old 09-09-2012, 05:51 PM   #5
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Good advice. My MH defaults to the gen when it comes on also. I start the gen with nothing else on...let it warm up, then turn on A/C, etc.
But do you disconnect from shore power first? If not then you should to lessen the load on the transfer switch.
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Old 09-09-2012, 06:06 PM   #6
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But do you disconnect from shore power first? If not then you should to lessen the load on the transfer switch.
Really? Even with only parasitic loads present?

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Old 09-10-2012, 12:13 PM   #7
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But do you disconnect from shore power first? If not then you should to lessen the load on the transfer switch.
No. I insure there is virtually nothing AC powered that is on when I start the gen. Then, as I said in my post, after the gen has warmed up, I turn on whatever needs AC power...like the air cond.
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Old 09-10-2012, 11:21 PM   #8
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You didn't specify what kind of generator you have. For Onan desiels they recommend two (2) hours a month.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:44 AM   #9
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We have an Onan, but not a diesel. So, would 1/2 hour minimum be enough for non-diesel?
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:54 AM   #10
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What RickO says, but I'm not so sure about "slamming" the contacts harder. It will definitely draw a bigger arc on the contacts if you have a big load, which can cause sticking or early failure of the transfer switch contacts. Most have a delay when switching gen to allow the gen to stabilize, but will still created a big arc if there is a large load present.

Even if you are not on shore power, most still have a delay before bringing the generator on-line. If you have a microwave, you can see this by watching the display. It won't light up for 20-30 seconds or more after starting the genny.
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:00 PM   #11
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It's easier on the various systems to shut everything off, disconnect shore power and then start the generator. Once it's running, you can put some load on it, such as air conditioning, to give the generator some work to do.

I have an Onan 5500, with a carburator - not fuel injection. It has a float-bowl drain screw so you can empty the float bowl after you shut it down.

Unfortunately, I had cardiac surgery (successful) just before Christmas and by the time I was fully operational again, the generator had sat idle, with gas in the carb, for about 4 months and is currently INOP. There's a carburator removal and cleaning job on my off-season "to do" list.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:07 AM   #12
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We have an Onan, but not a diesel. So, would 1/2 hour minimum be enough for non-diesel?
We have the Onan HGJAB (5500 watt gas powered) generator in our motorhome. The Onan manual recommends running it 1 hour per month at 1/2 or more of the load capacity. They even go into the detail of saying to run it at least 1 continuous hour rather than multiple times of shorter duration.

The object is to get the unit up to operating temperature, dry out any moisture that may have accumulated in the exhaust system, and run fresh fuel through the system. They also recommend removing the load and letting it run at least 10 minutes to cool down before shutting it down.

If you don't have an operators manual they are online available from the Cummins/Onan website.
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Old 09-15-2012, 10:27 AM   #13
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Ours is a diesel Onan. I just start it while plugged into shore power, with very little load and the transfer switch switches the coach to the generator. After that is done turn on the A/C or a space heater to put a load on it.

We had the circuit board go bad on our last MH genny due to moisture collecting on it from not enough use. It was a warranty repair so no cost but the Onan tech suggested we do the monthly ritual. We did and never had another problem with it.
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Old 09-16-2012, 12:25 AM   #14
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motosat satelite dish

WE have a motosat Dish running a nomad 2
the dish keeps searching then drops down and then comes back up again
and continues to search and then it goes into storage mode and then back up again looking around...

It even tried to search in stow mode, when it was completely down.. it started to turn around and i had to stop it because it was going to tear off the dish...

what am i doing wrong or is it the dish
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