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Old 10-28-2014, 07:32 AM   #1
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Generator design stupidity

OK, maybe misleading. But the generator on our Camelot always has been hard to start, just seems like the battery is low - even when hooked to shore power and coach power is 14.1VDC. Hadn't bothered me until I got home and the park power was out, and the AGS had not been able to start the genny. I tried manually and it kicked over once or twice, no go. Even when I used battery boost it wouldn't start.

I opened the genny slide, but really, there is no place to attach cables to jump start it. All wires are in conduit, and no real power cables visible. What I'm thinking is that the 12VDC wire they use to start the genny is too small. Too big a voltage drop all the way from the back to the front.

Has anyone figured a way to jump start a genny, or else add a local battery just for the genny? Any other ideas or suggestions?

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Old 10-28-2014, 07:38 AM   #2
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Clean the connections with a wire brush on a drill. You should have two connections on the rear bottom.

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Old 10-28-2014, 08:01 AM   #3
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On my generator the connections are on the bottom of the back panel. The only way I can get to them is to crawl underneath. I would check both of these connections for corrosion. I've never had a problem cranking mine so you must have something seriously wrong.
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Old 10-28-2014, 05:27 PM   #4
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On my last MH the gen did strange starting things, I found the two battery cables loose, never tightened at the factory. Once tightened never had another issue with starting it.
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:16 PM   #5
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On my generator the +12 volt is front and left, easily seen and connected to.. The - goes to the chasis. In fact ALWAYS to the chassis, NEVER to a battery.
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Old 10-28-2014, 06:46 PM   #6
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To jump start the gen in your Camelot you would have to crawl under it because the battery cables hook up on the bottom in the rear of the genset. Pu t the jacks down and crawl under you will see the battery cables and fuel lines come in from the rear of the gen. I would put a voltmeter on them and have someone start the gen or try to and see what the voltage is there. Also clean and check the connections while there. Then go back to the battery compartment and locate the breaker for the gen set and again have some one try and start it while you monitor voltage. If there is more than .5 v difference between front and rear voltage you have a bad cable. If the voltage is the same you have another problem. It only takes about 10v to crank the gen so if voltage is staying up you have a bad starter relay or starter circuit if voltage is dropping below 10v do the same test at the batteries to see if the batteries are actually good.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:06 PM   #7
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You are just getting started on the stupidity of generator design, and you can add to that the clever designers at Monaco that installed them.

Start by cutting off the power at the starter batteries, the get the coach up high and crawl under and see if the outside connections on the generator are good. They should be reasonably clean and tight. While you are there check to make sure they are not rubbing, cut etc.

If that is good, and you get to crawl out, turn on the batteries, and crawl back with a meter and test the voltage. At this point it is really handy to have a meter that can give you the amps. They are very expensive but they have a loop that you can open and put around a cable and test the draw. If you don't have one a decent repair shop will and this is an easy test.

If the draw is good, you may have a bad starter. If the draw is low, you get to take the covers off and look inside, or trace the 12v power back to the place where the cables connect to the batteries and look for bad connections.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:12 PM   #8
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As everyone has said, check you battery and generator cable connections. Sounds to me like you don't have a good ground to the generator.
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