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Old 09-21-2021, 11:34 PM   #1
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Generator and power weirdness

So I bought this new Firman generator. If I plug my phone in it charges but I can barely use it. The touch screen doesn't like the power. It registers extra clicks and swipes that aren't there. It's almost like it doesn't like the weird power that's coming from the Genny. This is me plugging it into a receptacle in the RV. I haven't tested it directly on the panel of the Genny. I will tomorrow.

Is it because how the RV is wired up? I mean it shouldnt be going from AC(Genny) to DC(in RV) then AC again(from the RV) unless that's how it is in these things.

My rig is pretty old. 1985 GMC G3500 Van - vanguard

Anyone else have weird things happen to newer technology? Should I contact the manufacturer? I feel like they would just blame the rig I'm in and end it at that.

I can do my own wiring should I replace all the receptacles? It's a pretty easy fix.

All in all just wondering if anyone else had this weird quirk.
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Old 09-22-2021, 05:20 AM   #2
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Which Fireman generator did you get? Is it an inverter generator or the cheaper "contractor" style generator?

The contractor style generators often produce "dirty**" power that electronics don't like, yes even DC electronics.

**"Dirty Power" means high THD or Total Harmonic Distortion.

https://generatorbible.com/blog/what-is-thd
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:21 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrollf View Post
Which Fireman generator did you get? Is it an inverter generator or the cheaper "contractor" style generator?

The contractor style generators often produce "dirty**" power that electronics don't like, yes even DC electronics.

**"Dirty Power" means high THD or Total Harmonic Distortion.

https://generatorbible.com/blog/what-is-thd
It's a Firman W3650ie. It has the RV receptacle on it. Reads 124V 60hz on the panel. Would it be caused by the lack of the minimum 5hr break in period? Would that be an issue? I'll be doing that today.

I haven't figured out how to post a picture yet either. I'll do that as well
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:29 AM   #4
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Your electronics won't like anything but a true sine wave generator. I suspect what you purchased is a "modified sine wave" generator, ie; cheaper to manufacture (and buy).
Check your paperwork to determine which type you have; if a modified sine wave unit, it's ok for running your fridge or a light bulb. Electronics, eh, not so much.....
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Old 09-22-2021, 07:46 AM   #5
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It’s an inverter Gen.

Break in period shouldn’t cause your issues.
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:02 AM   #6
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I've read great reviews on it (for RV) and can't seem to find any major issues with the generator that people have reported on. If this is the case. I wonder if I'm allowed to return it.

I have some other hunches about what's going on and will update accordingly even if it is me screwing up.
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:26 AM   #7
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Your AC power from the generator goes directly to the outlets in your RV.

Is your phone physically close to the generator when you are having problems? Maybe you are seeing the generator’s electromagnetic field interfering with the touch screen.
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:51 AM   #8
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Your AC power from the generator goes directly to the outlets in your RV.

Is your phone physically close to the generator when you are having problems? Maybe you are seeing the generatorís electromagnetic field interfering with the touch screen.
I figured out the problem. I'm typing this in the RV on a receptacle as the generator is going. Everything is working fine now.

IT WAS THE GROUND CABLE. As in the extra one that was to the chassis of the vehicle. I DIDNT HOOK IT UP TO THE EXTRA GROUND PORT OF THE GENERATOR.

I am using all the original wiring from the old Onan generator that was in it.

I figured as there's a ground cable in the 30amp plug it was properly grounded but it is not. So if anyone else out there reads this or has issues. Or if this hasn't been covered(which it probably has) then please add it somewhere.
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Old 09-22-2021, 06:10 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by R0ughhab1tz View Post
I figured out the problem. I'm typing this in the RV on a receptacle as the generator is going. Everything is working fine now.

IT WAS THE GROUND CABLE. As in the extra one that was to the chassis of the vehicle. I DIDNT HOOK IT UP TO THE EXTRA GROUND PORT OF THE GENERATOR.

I am using all the original wiring from the old Onan generator that was in it.

I figured as there's a ground cable in the 30amp plug it was properly grounded but it is not. So if anyone else out there reads this or has issues. Or if this hasn't been covered(which it probably has) then please add it somewhere.
The ground cable has no function during normal operation, so I'd guess something is wrong that connecting the cable is masking.
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Old 09-22-2021, 08:17 PM   #10
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The ground cable has no function during normal operation, so I'd guess something is wrong that connecting the cable is masking.
Yeah it still kind of does it but it's not as bad. Not sure what's going on with it. Shows perfect voltage on the panel.

I attached pictures of it. Best bet probably is to contact the manufacturer and hope they don't blame it on my RV
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Old 09-23-2021, 06:35 PM   #11
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Yeah it still kind of does it but it's not as bad. Not sure what's going on with it. Shows perfect voltage on the panel.

I attached pictures of it. Best bet probably is to contact the manufacturer and hope they don't blame it on my RV
Are you running that generator in a storage compartment?
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Old 09-24-2021, 12:17 PM   #12
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Are you running that generator in a storage compartment?
Yes but I keep the door open everytime I run it. You can't see it but I also drilled a 2" hole on the bottom of the other side of it for extra air circulation.

I was going to kind of modify the exhaust and lead it underneath the vehicle like the last generator had it. But seeing as how it's having problems I won't.

I see what you're getting at but I don't think it's heat build up or anything.
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Old 09-24-2021, 07:08 PM   #13
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Yes but I keep the door open everytime I run it. You can't see it but I also drilled a 2" hole on the bottom of the other side of it for extra air circulation.

I was going to kind of modify the exhaust and lead it underneath the vehicle like the last generator had it. But seeing as how it's having problems I won't.

I see what you're getting at but I don't think it's heat build up or anything.
CO and fire risks are pretty high even with the door open.
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Old 09-25-2021, 06:53 AM   #14
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CO and fire risks are pretty high even with the door open.
Agree with this.

Factory installed onboard generators are generally in a compartment with the bottom completly open, exhaust routed down and out of the RV like a car engine (as far away from windows as possible), and all the remaining sides of the compartment are 100% sealed, no hole, no gaps.
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