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Old 09-20-2020, 08:42 PM   #1
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Generator runs but only gives brief burst of power (somewhat urgent).

I have a weird problem with my Onan RV QG 4000 generator.

The generator starts, it gives a quick burst of power and then it continues to run but no more power.

I can see this by observing the clock on the microwave when I start the generator. It flashes on for about a second and then goes out while the generator continues to run.

I can find numerous articles and videos about no power at all (check the breakers etc) and the generator stopping after a few seconds (oil level) but nothing about this problem.

I have flipped breakers on and off both on the coach panel and the one at the generator (nothing was tripped) also had all breakers off except some for receptacles and there is no voltage.

This RV does not have a transfer switch, just a socket to plug into the generator.

I'm writing this from a Walmart parking lot in Texas on the last night of our trip from New Hampshire to Houston. We ran the generator a few hours while driving today to run the A/C for the three cats Before today, only generator use has been a few minutes at a time to make a cup of coffee in the microwave.

Unless someone has some magic advice it's going to be a cold dinner and a hot night. We weren't intending to run it all night but maybe for a while. The parking lot is almost empty so noise is not a problem. We'll reach our destination tomorrow where we will have house power.

Thanks for any advice.

PS: Could it be overheating? It feels really hot when I take the panel off but, I've never taken it off after it was running before so maybe that's normal. And, I just tried it again after typing this so it would have cooled down a bit and this time it lasted a bit longer, maybe five seconds rather than a quick flash.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:31 PM   #2
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How many hours are on the generator?
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:33 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
How many hours are on the generator?
322

We recently bought the RV (2017 Winnebogo Winnie Minnie) so don't know the maintenance history of the generator.
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:49 PM   #4
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https://cdn.ltvdns.com/leisurevans.c...r-Handbook.pdf

There's the manual.

Are you getting a fault code?
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Old 09-20-2020, 09:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Arch Hoagland View Post
https://cdn.ltvdns.com/leisurevans.c...r-Handbook.pdf

There's the manual.

Are you getting a fault code?
Thanks for the manual link. I'll check for fault codes in the morning. It's a bit dark to be messing around out there now.
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:25 PM   #6
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From the manual link: The generator will continue to run after a circuit breaker trips. Turn off all appliances before resetting the breaker.
You have ensured the A/C is 'off' before starting the Onan?
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Old 09-21-2020, 05:29 AM   #7
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From the manual link: The generator will continue to run after a circuit breaker trips. Turn off all appliances before resetting the breaker.
You have ensured the A/C is 'off' before starting the Onan?
Yes I've started it with everything off. I get that about the generator running after a breaker trips. That doesn't seem to be what's happening here.

We survived the night, no problem. After Walmart closed, the parking lot was totally deserted. It's a bit of an out of the way place and we started to wonder if this was a wise place to be, especially with the windows open a little but whatever ... we decided to stay.

We'll probably push on now and investigate the generator further in more comfortable surroundings when we get to our destination later today.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:54 PM   #8
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Just following up on this.

It turned out to be a faulty breaker at the generator.

Fixed at a reasonable price and good service from Elite RV & Car Care in Humble, TX.
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Old 10-12-2020, 06:55 PM   #9
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Thanks for posting the resolution !!
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Old 10-12-2020, 07:00 PM   #10
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Thanks for the update, glad to hear you found the problem.
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