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Old 02-19-2014, 09:42 AM   #1
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Anybody add a second generator starting switch?

My rv has the generator panel mounted near the side entry door. Sometimes I'd like to be able to start the genset (Onan Quiet Diesel 8k) while driving down the road. Trying to figure out how to add a second starting switch. Onan sells the switch panels and the wiring harness, no problem there. But, I'm pretty sure the genset only has a single plug for the switch panel, which is being used by the current switch. I called Onan and he didn't know of any 2 to 1 adapter that would allow me to plug the two harnesses into the single plug on the genset. They do sell the plugs as pigtails so I'm thinking I could buy the needed plugs and make my own 2 to 1 harness adapter. Now the big question. Will it work? Has anybody else done this? I figure the second switch I would buy is Onan part number 300-4942 which doesn't have an hour meter since the present panel has that. It sure seems like it should work but I thought I'd like to hear from others before spending about $100 to try it. I did search around but found no threads about it. If anybody knows of a thread let me know. Thanks!!
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:10 AM   #2
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My Winnebago has extra switches and those beyond the generator control panel are just wired as extensions in parallel.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:04 PM   #3
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Thanks Neil, that's what I was hoping to hear.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:09 PM   #4
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My Tiffin Allegro Bus has one on the genset, one on the dash and one in the bedroom. They are wired in parallel, so it should work fine. Steve
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Old 02-19-2014, 01:44 PM   #5
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Thanks Steve. I also have that switch mounted on the panel on the genset. Seems odd that Onan doesn't seem to offer the 2 to 1 adapter. I don't think it should be a big deal to make one of my own if I can buy the correct plugs with pigtails. I've soldered a few wires over the years. I would rather run the harness from the new dash switch directly to the generator and tie it in to the existing switch/harness there. It would be much more work to run the new harness back to the entry door wall area where the existing switch is and tie in at that point. I'll try to remember to post up some pictures and details if I get it to work that way.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:43 PM   #6
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IF one of the switches uses the common tab type connectors.. They make "Doubler" adapters for these, consists of a female and 2 male connectors all in one pressing.
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Old 02-19-2014, 05:36 PM   #7
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On my Winnebago I had a problem where the generator would not run when connected to the remote start/stop cable. I do have a dash start/stop and a galley start/stop as well as start/stop on the generator. I took the RV to Onan and they determined there was a problem in the wiring somewhere under the RV and suggested I take it to Winnebago. I took it to a local Winnebago dealer and they could not resolve the problem saying it would take two or more days of labor charges just to trace the problem. As long as the remote start/stop was disconnected from the generator we had power inside the RV when starting the generator using the switch on the generator. We had an appointment at Winnebago factory for another problem so had them check out the problem. End result was about the same as the local shop - estimated two or more days of labor. I suggested running a separate or new set of wires and for reasons I don't remember they didn't think that was a good idea. End result was they disconnected the galley start stop switch and I or my wife start the generator using the dash switch when we need power and that works for us. The hour meter that is in the galley still works and I don't understand that.

I do live off grid and have set up remote starts on two different generators. First was an Onan Diesel and I replaced that with a Kohler propane generator. The Onan was a bit more complicated because of the need for glow plugs. I'm saying all this since it seems like it should be a simple thing to add a remote start but maybe RV's are a bit different because of the original wiring. I know you don't have a Winnebago but just thinking out loud or in this case in writing - perhaps a similar issue could occur.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:20 PM   #8
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Thanks Bob. I'd suspect a problem with the wires to the galley switch on your rig. Or what about the switch itself? Can you take the switch from the front and unplug it and try plugging it into the wiring in the galley? That would tell you if the problem is with that switch in the galley. Or take the galley switch and try plugging it into the dash wiring? If both switches seem to work okay but you still have problem with galley location then I'd run a new harness from the generator to the galley switch location. Can you trace the wires from the galley to the generator looking for broken insulation or wire? Can you find where the two harnesses (one from each switch) join? I'm guessing your generator will only have one harness plugged into it so the two harnesses must join up somewhere. I'd bet they just unplugged the switch from the galley panel which is why the hour meter still works. That makes it seem like the switch itself is what was malfunctioning.

I'm not very smart about electric things. I'm thinking there shouldn't be any reason why adding a second switch to my setup should have any adverse effects. I live in MN so my coach is tucked in my storage condo with no chance of driving it for some time. It gives me some time to get this project done.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:13 PM   #9
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Well, I found a junction harness on the Onan parts list, #338-3526. Looks like that might be what I need. I had asked the parts counter guy if he had seen anything to allow the two switch panels to be plugged together and he said he had not. I'll call back and see if they have that part in stock. I'll keep posted with my findings.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:22 PM   #10
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I got one of these http://www.cumminsonan.com/www/pdf/rv/f-1597.pdf
mount it with velcro where ever you want or carry it in your pocket. I've had mine for about 4 years and it still works perfect
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:54 PM   #11
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When I added the Energy Command Autostart it was just simply splicing it into the same wires going to the existing start switch with the hour meter. Granted they are only a foot or so apart however 2 feet or 20 feet it would be done the same.

Used standard quick splices available at most Home Depot/Lowes, Radio Shack, Walmart, etc stores:

http://www.lowes.com/pd_133105-12704...%3D1&facetInfo=

http://www.bulbamerica.com/quick-spl...f-001b2166becc
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:13 AM   #12
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Now that's an idea. I'll check into that when I go to Onan. Thanks!!
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:37 AM   #13
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The Energy Command 30 cost me around $100 and was well worth it too.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob86ZZ4 View Post
Thanks Bob. I'd suspect a problem with the wires to the galley switch on your rig. Or what about the switch itself? Can you take the switch from the front and unplug it and try plugging it into the wiring in the galley? That would tell you if the problem is with that switch in the galley. Or take the galley switch and try plugging it into the dash wiring? If both switches seem to work okay but you still have problem with galley location then I'd run a new harness from the generator to the galley switch location. Can you trace the wires from the galley to the generator looking for broken insulation or wire? Can you find where the two harnesses (one from each switch) join? I'm guessing your generator will only have one harness plugged into it so the two harnesses must join up somewhere. I'd bet they just unplugged the switch from the galley panel which is why the hour meter still works. That makes it seem like the switch itself is what was malfunctioning.

I'm not very smart about electric things. I'm thinking there shouldn't be any reason why adding a second switch to my setup should have any adverse effects. I live in MN so my coach is tucked in my storage condo with no chance of driving it for some time. It gives me some time to get this project done.
It's been about a year and I don't remember all the things I tried or that the techs tried but I did disconnect both inside switches at different times and tried without success to run the generator. When Winnebago suggested the problem could be solved easily by using one switch they asked which one I wanted to use and I chose the dash. I agree there has to be a short in the wiring somewhere in that loom but trying to trace the wiring is next to impossible. The wires go from the generator into a loom that disappears above and inside the frame. I was surprised they did not want to run a new set of wires to both inside locations and I may work on that one of these days. Thanks for the input.
Bob
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