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Old 04-18-2018, 09:58 AM   #1
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generator problem

Generator won't turn over. When I push the start switch it just clicks. Acts like a dead battery. I'm new to the RV scene and know very little about it. Batteries went dead while driving. Had the alternator replaced and that appears to have fixed that problem. However, now the generator will not turn over. Does the generator run off of the chassis battery or House battery?
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Old 04-18-2018, 10:02 AM   #2
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whats your Year Make and Model of coach, and your size/type Generator??

sometimes, the diesel version of the Onan generator take 'priming' time before cranking, that's the 'clicks' you are hearing... if you had no battery power you'd have none. The generator sometimes takes 15 to 30 seconds to crank over and start.
the priming is bring the fuel up the line from the vehicle's fuel tank...
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:32 AM   #3
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Hi ! Welcome to IRV2! We're sure glad you joined the gang!

Mister T gave you good advice!

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless!
Joe & Annette
Sometimes I sits and thinks, sometimes I just sits.....
2002 Monaco Windsor 40PBT, 2013 Honda CRV AWD
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:45 AM   #4
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generator problem

2012 Tiffin 32BR. Has Onan diesel generator.
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Old 04-18-2018, 11:48 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by strandedimo View Post
Does the generator run off of the chassis battery or House battery?
Some manufacturers used the chassis batteries to start the gen, others used the house bank.
Ben & Sharon
2008 43' Holiday Rambler Scepter PDQ
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Old 04-18-2018, 12:37 PM   #6
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I presume the generator is mounted in the front of the coach. Go there, and get access to the generator directly. There will be a start/stop button there. Listen for the "clicka-clicka" of the fuel pump when you hit (and hold) the start button. As was mentioned earlier, that may run for some time before the generator starts to crank.

The other thing that may be going on is that the heater in the cylinder may be warming up before the generator is allowed to start. This will happen in "cold" weather (cold being below 60 degrees or so, maybe even warmer than that). Again, just hold the start button for a while and it should start.

It is possible that the battery, whichever it is that starts the Generator, is dead. If you do not hear the pump running (priming) when you try to start the generator, go back inside the coach and activate the switch that links the coach and house batteries, usually mounted within reach of the driver. This will use the "other" battery bank, whichever that is, to power the generator start. If the engine will crank and run, this should provide power to the generator, also.

Try these steps and let us know how you fare, there are other steps to take, but this will isolate the problem a bit.

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Old 04-18-2018, 01:26 PM   #7
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x2 on using the dash "boost" button. Maybe your batteries are down. Some diesel gennys take about 20 seconds before they even engage the starter. If the temperature outside is cool, it may engage the glow plugs or heating element. I know on my friends, you push the button, and hold it down. The light pulses green for about twenty seconds, then you hear the starter engage. The light turns solid green when it starts.
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Old 04-18-2018, 04:06 PM   #8
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Have a similar situation except mine is a bad switch inside the rig... I can hold it down and it "clicks" for up to to minutes but it never turns the starter over. I can raise the hood, push the start switch on the gennie and it fires right up...
Bill van Nieuwenhuize
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:14 PM   #9
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Wonder if your primary fuel tank is below a 1/4 to a third full as I believe the gen will not start if level is too low.
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Old 04-19-2018, 01:30 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MikeOBOR View Post
Wonder if your primary fuel tank is below a 1/4 to a third full as I believe the gen will not start if level is too low.

I think the starter will still crank the engine but it just wonít start.
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