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Old 11-03-2021, 02:10 PM   #1
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Kirkland 6 volt batteries

Hi all - does else have issues with the Kirkland 6 volt golf batteries ability to start the Onan 8k generator? I have 4 batteries and need to jump them to get the necessary starting power. The batteries seem to be otherwise fine for my normal needs. Thanks.
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Old 11-03-2021, 02:22 PM   #2
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Hi all - does else have issues with the Kirkland 6 volt golf batteries ability to start the Onan 8k generator? I have 4 batteries and need to jump them to get the necessary starting power. The batteries seem to be otherwise fine for my normal needs. Thanks.

First, verify that they are wired in SERIES/Parallel.


So one pair is wired in series. So is the other one.


Then the negatives that go to house ground are wired together (in parallel), as are the positives.


If in reasonable condition and charged, each series pair should read 12.5+ and there should not be any need for a jump.
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Old 11-03-2021, 02:51 PM   #3
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If in reasonable condition and charged, each series pair should read 12.5+ and there should not be any need for a jump.
Actually... If in reasonable condition and charged each series pair and the entire battery bank combined should read 12.7volts. Because a fully charged 12 volt lead acid battery is 12.7 to 12.8 volts.

If you see 13 to 14 volts that's not your battery voltage, that's you battery charger's voltage.
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Old 11-03-2021, 02:57 PM   #4
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Actually... If in reasonable condition and charged each series pair and the entire battery bank combined should read 12.7volts. Because a fully charged 12 volt lead acid battery is 12.7 to 12.8 volts.

If you see 13 to 14 volts that's not your battery voltage, that's you battery charger's voltage.

All good numbers.


But, with 4 6 VDC batteries (nominally around 440 amp-hrs @ 12 VDC) you should be able to start it EASILY.


If not, monitor voltage at the batteries and then at the generator. Possibly the batteries are fine but a connection (either positive or ground) is NOT.


Does the generator turn over at normal speed? Said another way, exactly how far into the "generator start" process does it get?


And, there ARE some coaches that use the CHASSIS batteries to start the generator. Pretty easy to verify with a digital voltmeter at each battery bank when you try to start the generator. If voltage drops, THAT is the bank that starts them.
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Old 11-03-2021, 03:01 PM   #5
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What make, model year is your RV. A great many motorhomes start the generator with the chassis batteries and not the house batteries.

Maybe your chassis batteries are weak? And when you boost them you are boosting them with the Costco house batteries???
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Old 11-03-2021, 03:10 PM   #6
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I see you have a 2008 Holiday Rambler Endeavor.
Your generator SHOULD start from the chassis/engine start batteries. The reasoning is you can run your house batteries down but still start the generator to recharge.
Check your chassis battery voltage and also clean the terminals.
It's a very long run from the batteries to the generator so it doesn't take much to not start the generator.
Another easy fix is to depress the Aux Start switch next to the driver.
Hope this helps.
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Old 11-03-2021, 03:21 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by wolfe10 View Post
First, verify that they are wired in SERIES/Parallel.


So one pair is wired in series. So is the other one.


Then the negatives that go to house ground are wired together (in parallel), as are the positives.


If in reasonable condition and charged, each series pair should read 12.5+ and there should not be any need for a jump.


Yep - wires in Series/parallel. Current reading was 12.3/4 then dropped to 11.9 as I was depressing the generator start button.
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Old 11-03-2021, 03:27 PM   #8
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All good numbers.


But, with 4 6 VDC batteries (nominally around 440 amp-hrs @ 12 VDC) you should be able to start it EASILY.


If not, monitor voltage at the batteries and then at the generator. Possibly the batteries are fine but a connection (either positive or ground) is NOT.


Does the generator turn over at normal speed? Said another way, exactly how far into the "generator start" process does it get?


And, there ARE some coaches that use the CHASSIS batteries to start the generator. Pretty easy to verify with a digital voltmeter at each battery bank when you try to start the generator. If voltage drops, THAT is the bank that starts them.


Thanks for the response. Generator turns over slowly unless jumped. Given the drain on the display when starting Iím assuming they are wired to the house batteries. It doesnít seem to lose any voltage at the generator so am thinking there may not me enough cranking amps or the generator has an issue.

Also - as a correction they are Interstate batteries purchased at Costco.

Appreciate all the help
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Old 11-03-2021, 03:28 PM   #9
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I see you have a 2008 Holiday Rambler Endeavor.
Your generator SHOULD start from the chassis/engine start batteries. The reasoning is you can run your house batteries down but still start the generator to recharge.
Check your chassis battery voltage and also clean the terminals.
It's a very long run from the batteries to the generator so it doesn't take much to not start the generator.
Another easy fix is to depress the Aux Start switch next to the driver.
Hope this helps.


Thanks. The Aux Start switch is on my need to repair list
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Old 11-03-2021, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vito.a View Post
I see you have a 2008 Holiday Rambler Endeavor.
Your generator SHOULD start from the chassis/engine start batteries. The reasoning is you can run your house batteries down but still start the generator to recharge.
Check your chassis battery voltage and also clean the terminals.
It's a very long run from the batteries to the generator so it doesn't take much to not start the generator.
Another easy fix is to depress the Aux Start switch next to the driver.
Hope this helps.
Not necessarily!

My 08' came wired from the factory with the gen getting it's starter power from the house bank.

I re-wired it to use the chassis bank.
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Old 11-03-2021, 04:31 PM   #11
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Not necessarily!



My 08' came wired from the factory with the gen getting it's starter power from the house bank.



I re-wired it to use the chassis bank.


I may do this. I assume itís an easy switch.
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Old 11-03-2021, 05:13 PM   #12
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If you do re-wire, you will want to fix that boost start issue.

More times then not, the solenoid is the problem. That's the same solenoid that charges the chassis battery while on shore power.
If you let the generator run on the chassis battery, without sending some charge to it, the generator will run it down.

Now you have a low chassis battery and no boosts solenoid to start it.

Fix the boost start circuit and find out why your alleged good house batteries won't start the generator.
There must be something wrong, unless it's been doing this since new.
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Old 11-03-2021, 07:11 PM   #13
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If you do re-wire, you will want to fix that boost start issue.

More times then not, the solenoid is the problem. That's the same solenoid that charges the chassis battery while on shore power.
If you let the generator run on the chassis battery, without sending some charge to it, the generator will run it down.

Now you have a low chassis battery and no boosts solenoid to start it.

Fix the boost start circuit and find out why your alleged good house batteries won't start the generator.
There must be something wrong, unless it's been doing this since new.


Good advice. Thanks.
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Old 11-03-2021, 07:16 PM   #14
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I may do this. I assume it’s an easy switch.
It was for me. A short 4 gauge wire and an ANL fuse holder, all done in the rear run box.
Like twinboat just posted, you will want your battery bank charging system working properly before you do this!
The reason I changed mine is I have automatic generator start (AGS). If I'm overnighting with AGS turned on, I can let my house batteries drop to 40-50% before my fully charged chassis batteries start the gen.
But my charging system charges both banks with gen, shore, and alternator.
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