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Old 10-31-2011, 03:49 PM   #1
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Lost AC Power

Hi All,

Another adventure with my Alpine Coach. We were out at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park hosting the annual family camping trip (20 attendees). I started the generator and after the delay, I heard the relay clunk but no power transfer. After checking the gen set circuit breaker (it was ok--not tripped), I shut down at re-started with the same result. However, this time I noticed the display panel for the RV Surge Monitor saying "Open Ground".

After some discussion with my brother-in-law (an engineer) we decided to check out the mysterious black box called the Transfer Switch. After removing the side inspection plate (gen set OFF), a flashlight inspection revealed a disconnected ground wire on the output side. The copper conductor had come loose from the connector. We wiggled the wire back to the connector and tightened the screw. Re-starting the generator all worked as it should with no error messages and plenty of AC power.

I'm sure I saved many dollars in not having to replace a fully functional transfer switch whose only problem was a loose ground wire!


2006 Alpine 36 FDDS
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:33 PM   #2
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Good Job sdcyclist!!!
Remind me to park somewhere near you when we all have to run for the hills!
Hope the rest of your annual family event is ALL GOOD!

Jim and Fran in Central Florida
1989 Country Coach Sedona Mark V
Turbocharged Detroit Diesel 8.2L "Fuel Pincher"
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Old 10-31-2011, 04:58 PM   #3
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One of my not exactly jokes that I like to type goes like this:

Many RVers have a few screws loose... Like the one in your transfer switch.

You might want to check out the breaker box some time when you don't have 120vac about... I found a bunch of them there too.
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:25 PM   #4
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You actually got useful ideas from an engineer???????
Baja-tested '08 2-slide 36'
Alpine: The Ultimate DIY'er Project
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Old 10-31-2011, 05:38 PM   #5
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Ya gotta check them xfer switch screws!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2000 Monaco Diplomat 40PBD
2012 Grand Cherokee Limited
2008 FatBoy, three spoiled Great Danes and a cat.
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Old 10-31-2011, 06:34 PM   #6
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When you have a chance--check out the thread on loose wiring. Places to check include both AC and DC curcuits and include the genset itself, the junction box above the genset area [bottom of floor{ceiling} between driver and passenger], xfer box surge protector--if separate, all the breaker/fuse panels, and other places like the junction box under the bed in the 40ft TSs. Doing this check once a year or so wouldnt be too often--our rigs do a lot of bouncing around.

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2003 Alpine 40' MDTS
New Braunfels, Texas
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