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Old 06-07-2011, 05:48 PM   #1
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No electrical output from generator

I recently purchased a 2004 Fleetwood Fiesta 32S Class A. The first time I used it dry camping, the Onan 5500 W. generator ran all the accessories without a problem. This was fortunate, since both house batteries wouldn't power a single interior light for more than 5 minutes. After that trip, I replaced both house batteries, going back to the original spec. 6 volt ones that Fleetwood used in '04. On a trip this weekend, we used shore power at the campgrounds we visited. On the way home, we stopped briefly, and I fired up the generator to run the house A/C. The Intellitec Electronic Climate Control wouldn't operate. Checking things out closer today, I confirmed that there is no 120 volt service to any of the appliances when the generator is running. I checked the breaker switches on the generator, the main breaker box, and checked both fuses on the back of the converter (what a job getting at them!). Does anyone have any thoughts on this? Could this be related to the battery change? The generator runs fine, and was professionally serviced less than 50 hours ago. Thanks for any suggestions.

Terry
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:55 AM   #2
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I don't see how the battery change could have affected all 120v power, but it could affect 12v power if you left off a wire. Lack of 12v will cut off the thermostat, so no a/c, and cut off the fridge and water heater too (both need 12v for their controller circuit boards).

How did you determine there was no 120v power? Measure with a voltmeter at the devices and outlets? Or simply because they did not work?
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:43 AM   #3
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I suspect that you may have a problem with your automatic transfer switch. An easy way to test it is to connect the unit to shore power. If you have power to the coach it's your transfer switch. If you don't have surge protection it's possible that a surge damaged you transfer switch. The generator is the dominant source to feed the coach so when shore power is disconnected the transfer switch switches back to the generator position. It seems that this switching back did not happen.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! When I plug into shore power in front of the house, everything works as it should. And I did use a (brand new) surge protector at the RV parks. I used a voltmeter to determine that none of the 120 outlets had power to them. Where is this transfer switch usually located? Is this a DIY project? Thanks again!

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Old 06-08-2011, 11:48 AM   #5
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Terry,
The transfer switch should be located in your outside power compartment attached to the end of the power cable. Most transfer switches are of the Iota brand. To remove the cover you have to press on the ears on the side of the case which hold the cover. There should be three cables going into the switch. One from the power cord, one from the generator and one going to the cable that feed the main power panel to the coach. You could also check the voltage at the main AC circuit breaker. If you find no voltage at the breaker then it has to be the transfer switch or the connecting cable in which case you need to remove the transfer switch cover and verify the voltage in the switch. Also, if you don't see a green light in the transfer switch while connect to shore power, the control board is defective.
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Old 06-08-2011, 03:55 PM   #6
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RJay, when you refer to the outside power compartment, do you mean the compartment that holds the shore power cord? If this is the case, the only thing in my compartment (other than the cord) is two junction boxes. I removed the cover from both of them, and only found wires with the twist on caps. Maybe this is the difference between my "entry level" RV and what you are used to. I also checked in the two electrical boxes under the hood and found nothing that matches your description. I did check all the house circuit breakers with a voltmeter. None of them showed any reading with the generator running, but they all gave a reading with the shore line plugged in. Thanks anyway for your suggestion. I have a call in right now to a mobile RV repair guy who comes highly recommended. This looks like it may be something a little beyond my limited scope of expertise!!

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Old 06-08-2011, 07:25 PM   #7
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Another way to check the transfer switch is to have the coach running on shore power...then start the generator. The default position is the generator, so the coach should switch to generator power.

My transfer switch is under the bed.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:27 PM   #8
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Thanks, Cat 320, I'll try that in the morning. In an attempt to locate the elusive "transfer switch", I did a search on the iRV2 website. I found another post from last summer with the identical problem, which turned out to be house batteries that were wired incorrectly. This brings me back to the question in my original post, as the generator was putting out adequate voltage to run both A/C units and other appliances before my house battery change. When I originally purchased this RV, it had two (dead) 12 volt house batteries hooked up in series. The Fleetwood owners manual showed a battery hookup in series. Everything I read about batteries on this site and others stated that 2 twelve volt batteries should be hooked up in parallel (+ to + and - to -). I called Fleetwood to ask why their owners manual showed a series hookup, and they explained that this rig came with 2 six volt house batteries from the factory. So it appears that a previous owner switched to 12 volt batteries, but neglected to change the hookup to parallel. Apparently, no damage was done, as everything worked fine, except for items relying on battery power. I decided to go back to a 6 volt factory setup, hooked up in series (one battery's positive post hooked up to the other one's negative. I decided to check them with a voltmeter today, but was unclear whether to test them individually for 6 volts each, or test them as a pair (+ test lead on battery #1 + post, and - test lead on battery #2 negative post. I tried both options, and the test leads became very hot within seconds, with no reading showing on the meter. Bottom line is that I am more confused, but will continue to plug away at this, and hopefully don't burn the RV (and the house it is parked beside) down in the process.

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Old 06-09-2011, 12:22 PM   #9
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Problem solved, guys! I had neglected to plug the shore power cord back into the junction box outlet after I had unplugged from the campsite. Hopefully this will be the last of my stupid mistakes as I learn the ins and outs of my RV. At least this didn't cost me any money to fix, just the better part of a day messing around with everything that didn't need messing around with.

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