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Old 05-03-2014, 03:16 PM   #1
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Uugghhh... No power but shore power

First, I have an 1996 Gulf Stream conquest. 30 ft class c
Generac 940-2 generator installed 2006
Magnetek 6345 converter upgraded with new converter.

I just got this last week. 1st RV
Ok. So when on 120v AC shore power everything works. 12 v and 120.
But if I go off of shore power I have nothing.

I thought it was the old magnetek since I read they have problems over time. Got a new converter and wired it up. Same thing. It works well on 120 but not off battery.

Deep cycle is fully charged. I also replaced the battery solenoid under the hood that was connected to the house and truck battery.

The generator does fire up. But it runs for 15-20 seconds then stops. While running I get no power to anything. It appears to be that the generator runs fine and it's not a mechanical failure. The generator has 31 hours and was full of clean oil.

Any ideas what I can check?
I just traced the generator to the power unit in the back bedroom. That unit has ac wires going in one side and 4 wires out the other. Plus what looks like a 12 wire controller wire from generator. I see no AC voltage on either side with or without generator running.

I know I'm missing something but what?
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:26 PM   #2
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I had the same problem last season with my generator. On mine, there are two breakers on the side of the generator and I reset both. Haven't had a problem since.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:27 PM   #3
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Thanks. Both the breakers on the generator and the 7.5 fuse are in correct position.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:32 PM   #4
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How does your RV switch from shore power to generator? Many have an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) that changes over when it senses power. (If plugging into shore power, a 'clunk' is heard)

Other RVs have a 30 amp plug in generator or electrical cord space and you have to plug the shore cord into the outlet to pass power from the generator to the 120 v AC system in RV.
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Old 05-03-2014, 03:49 PM   #5
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Thanks. No idea how it auto switches. You have a gulf steam of the same era, where is your switch located?

In the outer compartment where the shore cord is located there is a plug. I was told that when on battery or generator to plug in the shore line to this box.
That's all I am aware of.
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Old 05-03-2014, 04:07 PM   #6
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I have an ATS under the bed. My shore cord is attached to the RV, the other end is a 50 amp plug. I think your cord needs to be plugged into that socket to transfer power from the generator to the RV if you don't have an auto transfer switch.

The converter won't work from 12v, it provides 12 v to the coach when connected to 120 v and also charges batteries. When not on shore power, do you have power in the 12 v lights, fans, etc?
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:37 PM   #7
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Is the auto switch a large box straight out of the generator with the 12 wire control switch and two fans?

Mine was behind a vent cover by the back bed and under a drawer.
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Old 05-03-2014, 05:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TPLI View Post
Is the auto switch a large box straight out of the generator with the 12 wire control switch and two fans?

Mine was behind a vent cover by the back bed and under a drawer.
An ATS doesn't have fans because it doesn't create heat like a Converter/charger.
I think you're describing your converter/charger or inverter/charger. C/C will supply 12 v to RV and charge batteries when connected to 120 v, either shore cord or generator. Inverter does the same, but in addition supplies 120 v AC from 12 v DC.

It really sounds like you have no ATS, you must have the shore cord plugged into the 30 amp outlet in the compartment to pass power from the generator to the RV. You could test this by starting the generator and using a multimeter on the outlet. If it shows 120 v, you must plug shore cord into it for generator to supply power. Most people leave the shore cord plugged in until they arrive at a campground and want to plug into shore power.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:11 PM   #9
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Yes plugging into that box is what the previous owner said. But when I do that shouldn't I get 12 volt lights even if generator isn't running?

In other words the 12 volt system should run off of the battery even if generator isn't on, right?
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Yes plugging into that box is what the previous owner said. But when I do that shouldn't I get 12 volt lights even if generator isn't running?

In other words the 12 volt system should run off of the battery even if generator isn't on, right?
Yes. Check connections at battery and grounds. Also look for circuit breakers or fuses on the converter/charger. Does your RV have a master switch to disconnect the batteries when you store RV? That should be on.
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:17 PM   #11
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All the fuses under couch are good. No master switch I know of.
Only 1 deep cycle under the hood right?

I'm not missing a battery somewhere am I?
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:43 PM   #12
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All the fuses under couch are good. No master switch I know of.
Only 1 deep cycle under the hood right?

I'm not missing a battery somewhere am I?
Yes, I would assume that is your chassis battery for starting and energizing the driving functions. A second battery, called the 'house' battery, is used to power all the functions of the living part of the RV. The refrigerator, thermostat, furnace, water heater, water pump, etc. work off the 12 v house battery(ies) Check under entrance steps?
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:12 PM   #13
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I meant to say I have 1 battery under van hood (ford350) for starting and one under hood for deep cycle.

I have not seen any other batteries then these 2
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Old 05-03-2014, 07:26 PM   #14
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If you want to do it yourself I would start with the generator. 31 hours on a unit that old is low. Clean oil is always suspicious. I would see if I could find the manual for the generator on the manufacturer's site. If not any help I could find.

From what little I know I think the generator probably shuts itself down because it does not sense the correct output voltage. It might take a load to to run the generator. As I understand it after the motor starts the generator controls wait 15 to 20 seconds for the motor to come up to speed then enable the generator. If power is up to the correct voltage and frequency it keeps going. If not it shuts down to protect things. The first thing I would do is open up the cover of the 30 A female and check for loose wires. Then I would do a continuity check back to the generator breakers or output terminals. Also check continuity through the breakers. Sometimes they fail open. If continuity checks out and the connections are tight it's time to try a load test. You can make long test leads or use a length of wire and some clip leads to do the continuity checks.

Incandescent lamps don't care that much about voltage or frequency but will glow or flicker if given power. Drawing a few hundred watts will also load it enough to keep the voltage low enough not to trip any over voltage protection. The easiest thing to do is to get a plug strip and a 30 A plug. Put the plug on the plug strip, connect it to the generator output and connect a few hundred watts of incandescent lamp load. One or two of the portable work lights or anything similar. The point is not to use LED or Fluorescent. The connector you plug your shore power cable into is the generator output or move back to the genset and use clips. I'd also connect a voltmeter to the plug strip. Start the generator or have somebody do it while watching the meter and lights. The voltmeter will tell you high or low if it runs for much time. If nothing happens I then I'd look for stuck brushes, bad controller or similar or take it to a generator repair shop. If it lights up and runs for a few minutes I would shut down and start scratching my head. The other end works because when you plug it into the "wall" it works.

The other shut down reason I have heard of is a stuck oil pressure sensor. That has about the same time lag from what I have heard. If you are getting power and it shuts down you can look there. If I saw electrical power that would be where I would look. The problem is that it might shut down the engine before the controller kicks in the generator. If possible I would Tee in a gauge and see what is going on. All depends what is available. All depends what you are comfortable with.
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