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Old 06-21-2021, 06:26 PM   #1
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Generator Dies When the Engine is Started?

This last trip was hot and we had the generator and AC running when I started the engine. About half the time it died. As far as I remember, its never died before when I started the coach. What would cause that? I thought maybe the chassis battery is getting weak, it's over 5 years old now and its only one big battery, not two.
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:41 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barmcd View Post
This last trip was hot and we had the generator and AC running when I started the engine. About half the time it died. As far as I remember, its never died before when I started the coach. What would cause that? I thought maybe the chassis battery is getting weak, it's over 5 years old now and its only one big battery, not two.
Chassis battery will not kill the generator. The most likely reason is fuel flow. When was the last time you changed the filter. Checked the pump, or cleaned the carburetor. You don't say what kind of coach or what genset you have, that info would help.
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Old 06-21-2021, 06:49 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by amosnandy View Post
Chassis battery will not kill the generator. The most likely reason is fuel flow. When was the last time you changed the filter. Checked the pump, or cleaned the carburetor. You don't say what kind of coach or what genset you have, that info would help.
The coach is in my sig line and its a 7.5K Quiet diesel so no carb. The fuel filters are less than a year old. I've got the OEM Onan filter and an additional Parker filter in line before the Onan filter.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:02 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by barmcd View Post
The coach is in my sig line and its a 7.5K Quiet diesel so no carb. The fuel filters are less than a year old. I've got the OEM Onan filter and an additional Parker filter in line before the Onan filter.
Is the second Parker fuel filter a new addition? Shot in the dark, but maybe the extra filter is affecting fuel flow?

Generator needs fuel, air and spark (compression) to keep running. Could potentially have had a bad tank of fuel or maybe your fuel has some algae. Somewhat unlikely, but could potentially have clogged your new filters.

When was the air filter changed last?

Are you getting close to a 1/4 tank of fuel? Could be getting close to the cutoff for the generator fuel feed in the tank. If you’re saying the generator died when you started the main engine, this is usually caused by starvation of the generator fuel pickup due to the engine sucking fuel in. Very likely, if close to 1/4 tank.

After it shuts down, are you able to restart it right away? Wondering if there is some sort of over temp safety switch that is killing it. You mentioned the weather was warmer.

Just some thoughts. All the best!
Josh
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:22 PM   #5
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Dennis, I think there's a good chance it is the battery.
Do you know if your gen stars from the chassis battery?
Monaco was known to build coaches both ways.
Anyway, if your gen does start from the chassis batt I think what is
happening is the voltage is dropping too low for the gen which could
be from a weak battery.
Have you tried using the boost switch? Using it may keep from
stalling the gen and help you see if it's the battery.

Ray
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JJTL View Post
Is the second Parker fuel filter a new addition? Shot in the dark, but maybe the extra filter is affecting fuel flow?

Generator needs fuel, air and spark (compression) to keep running. Could potentially have had a bad tank of fuel or maybe your fuel has some algae. Somewhat unlikely, but could potentially have clogged your new filters.

When was the air filter changed last?

Are you getting close to a 1/4 tank of fuel? Could be getting close to the cutoff for the generator fuel feed in the tank. If you’re saying the generator died when you started the main engine, this is usually caused by starvation of the generator fuel pickup due to the engine sucking fuel in. Very likely, if close to 1/4 tank.

After it shuts down, are you able to restart it right away? Wondering if there is some sort of over temp safety switch that is killing it. You mentioned the weather was warmer.

Just some thoughts. All the best!
Josh
The parker has been on the coach for about 14 years, the PO had fuel problems and the Onan filter kept plugging up so he installed the Parker in front of the Onan filter and in a more accessible location. I've fixed the fuel contamination issue, but left the Parker in place since it hasn't affected performance. Filters are about 8 months old. I change them yearly even though the manual says something like 2 or 3 years. I never run the tank below 1/2 tank and its happened with a full tank.
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Old 06-21-2021, 07:39 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RamiDav View Post
Dennis, I think there's a good chance it is the battery.
Do you know if your gen stars from the chassis battery?
Monaco was known to build coaches both ways.
Anyway, if your gen does start from the chassis batt I think what is
happening is the voltage is dropping too low for the gen which could
be from a weak battery.
Have you tried using the boost switch? Using it may keep from
stalling the gen and help you see if it's the battery.

Ray
03 Windsor
Ray, I'm not sure which battery starts the generator, I just assumed it was the chassis batteries since the generator auto-starts when the house batteries get low. I was going to actually try to measure the battery voltage when starting the coach, but if it works correctly with the boost switch that works too.
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Old 06-21-2021, 10:37 PM   #8
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I am having the same issue....

This week I am cleaning fixing up all my battery connections on the chassis battery’s.

Odd part it only happens when it’s hot out. This of course could be the heat effecting the cranking amps of the battery’s.

My other issue, I think related, is when driving if I start my genny I get a voltage drop that can cause other systems to have errors. ie. the transmission controller errors and I have to go to neutral to reset.

If I find out anything I will try to post back,
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:35 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Biljol View Post
I am having the same issue....

This week I am cleaning fixing up all my battery connections on the chassis battery’s.

Odd part it only happens when it’s hot out. This of course could be the heat effecting the cranking amps of the battery’s.

My other issue, I think related, is when driving if I start my genny I get a voltage drop that can cause other systems to have errors. ie. the transmission controller errors and I have to go to neutral to reset.

If I find out anything I will try to post back,
Well, it was definitely hot out. All the days were over 100, a couple at 108/109. Way too hot for June, even in Texas. On another note, the AC kept it nice and cool inside.
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:46 AM   #10
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I remember some yrs ago where some owners mounted a battery upfront at the generator to alleviate some of these issues. I think those were upper-end coaches with larger generators though. In those cases, it wasn't a case of killing the coach engine but too small of cables to the gen causing slow or hard gen starting. Still, that could probably solve your issue

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Old 06-22-2021, 10:26 AM   #11
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I've also had this happen. I think it's the chassis battery getting weak or poor connections. I suspect it stops the generator fuel pump when you are cranking the main engine.
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Old 06-22-2021, 11:43 AM   #12
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We I was not paying quite enough attention this morning, now I’m replacing fence posts along our line of blackberry bushes! I won’t be able to check this out until later.
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Old 06-22-2021, 01:29 PM   #13
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I have had the exact problem in the past. My case was the batteries.
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Old 06-22-2021, 02:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RamiDav View Post
I remember some yrs ago where some owners mounted a battery upfront at the generator to alleviate some of these issues. I think those were upper-end coaches with larger generators though. In those cases, it wasn't a case of killing the coach engine but too small of cables to the gen causing slow or hard gen starting. Still, that could probably solve your issue

Ray
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Either a PO or an option from the factory but my coach another battery in front of the generator on the slide. It looks factory because the Generator is mounted back for the battery mount and box.

Tim
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