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Old 10-12-2014, 08:35 AM   #1
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Running The Generator

I was wondering if you want to run the generator just to keep the oil circulated and the battery charged up during long periods the motor home in storage do you have to have the coach unplugged from shore power?

Thank you in advance for the help.
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Old 10-12-2014, 08:42 AM   #2
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Yes. You need to run the generator with a load monthly at least just for the good of the generator.
Your batteries should be disconnected if there is no power source for them for an extended period of time. There are "things" that will drain them to no charge which will kill the life of your battery.
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Old 10-12-2014, 05:10 PM   #3
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We run the genny about 30 minutes each month with both A/C's on!
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Old 10-12-2014, 06:47 PM   #4
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I don't know your particular coach but with newer coaches I don't believe you need to unplug to run the generator under load. The transfer switch is either on shore power or on generator (the default). Once the generator comes up to speed the transfer switch will disconnect from shore and shift to the generator all by itself. No intervention required.
When the generator is shut down the transfer switch will automatically change back to shore power.
Again, I only have experience with newer coaches so you should probably check your particular system manual if possible.
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:16 PM   #5
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If you don't use it you going to loose it! Run the generator every chance you can! They are made to use not sit!
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selah View Post
I don't know your particular coach but with newer coaches I don't believe you need to unplug to run the generator under load. The transfer switch is either on shore power or on generator (the default). Once the generator comes up to speed the transfer switch will disconnect from shore and shift to the generator all by itself. No intervention required.
When the generator is shut down the transfer switch will automatically change back to shore power.
Again, I only have experience with newer coaches so you should probably check your particular system manual if possible.
It's best to unplug from shore power to lessen the load on the transfer switch.
On our rig I run the gen set an hour or so with the heat pumps on. For ½ hour I run one on heat and the other on cool, then switch that around for the last ½ hour.
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:23 PM   #7
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Old 10-12-2014, 07:34 PM   #8
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No need to unplug from shore power. Make sure the AC units are Off though, prior to any transfer of the ABT.

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Old 10-13-2014, 09:25 AM   #9
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Onan maintenance manual:
"If use is infrequent, the genset should be exercised at least 2 hours per month at 1/2 rated power. Exercising drives off generator moisture, provides fresh fuel, lubricates the engine, and removes oxide from the electrical contacts and slip rings. A single two hour exercise is better than several shorter periods."

Good in theory but may be hard to accomplish if access to the stored MH is inconvenient. Luckily my MH stores alongside the house.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:20 PM   #10
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Two years ago I started the generator with shore power connected…….it immediately tripped the circuit breaker on the shore power circuit and also wrecked my inverter….and a year later the transfer switch stopped working.

I'll never do that again.
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:13 AM   #11
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Two years ago I started the generator with shore power connected…….it immediately tripped the circuit breaker on the shore power circuit and also wrecked my inverter….and a year later the transfer switch stopped working.

I'll never do that again.
If it tripped the shore power supply side breakers then your transfer switch was already damaged long before that happened. The contactor blades were welded together so even though the solenoid disconnected, the shore and generator sides were still tied together. While running the generator your shore cord male end terminals were probably live as well. Welded contactor blades are usually indicative of high amperage switching (running Air Conditioners) from shore to genset or vice versa. There is absolutely no problem letting the transfer switch automatically from shore to genset - it's what they're designed to do - it's just best not to do it while AC's are running - otherwise it can weld the contactor blades together over time.
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Old 10-22-2014, 12:21 PM   #12
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I play it safe and shut down shore power before starting the generator.
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Old 10-27-2014, 08:50 AM   #13
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I believe that I will agree with you and play it safe and disconnect from the shore power, just to be safe. Thank you,
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:53 PM   #14
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Though you may be citing an exception, with the RV in storage you should either unplug upon arrival, then start the generator for the required run of 1/2 hour under 1/2 load or more in both cases, then shut down and plug back in before leaving -or- (this is how I do it here in the CG were I am "Stuck") turn off the main breakers, start generator, then turn them back on (making sure air condititoners, if running, are shut down at least 3 minutes) and follow the same process when I shut down.

Shut off main breakers, kill generator, wait 3 minutes, restore power.
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