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Old 03-13-2018, 02:24 PM   #1
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Harbor Freight Predator 3500 Generator-backup Generator


I recently picked up one of these generators for my enclosed trailer and also wanted it to use as a generator to keep my house batteries topped off and avoid putting hours on the big diesel generator that's in my coach.

So I brought the new unit home unpacked it and it fired right up and its super quiet. I Decided to try plugging my motor-home in to the generator and try it out before heading out on our next desert trip. So I fired up the generator and plugged in my coach power cord (50 amp) using my 30 amp adapter and it didn't appear to do anything, my microwave, etc.. wasn't working and I had my inverter off.

I used my adapter for my Motor-home cord from 50 amp to 30 amp- nothing. Then went 50,30, to 110 and still nothing. For giggles I plugged in my shop vac to the gen and it worked fine. I plugged my MH back into the house power and everything is fine so its safe to say nothing has tripped. Checked all breakers on the gen and they were fine. Checked all breakers in the MH and they were fine also. I took the new generator and plugged in a neighbors motor-home which is a 30 amp and it worked fine on his rig so I know all outlets on the generator are working

I didnt buy the generator to run both AC's, and microwave at the same time, etc.. just want to keep batteries charged and have as a back up in my trailer. Not looking to buy 2 gens's to run in parallel or discussion on why I bough this over a Honda, Champion, etc, just trying to figure out why it wont power up my RV.

My coach is a 2008 Fleetwood Providence 40X

I did notice in the breaker panel in the bedroom there is an "ESP- Electrical System Protection" display and when my motorhome is plugged into the generator it says "GRND" on the display with a red light. It looks like their is an override feature but not sure if this is causing the issue or possibly something else.

Any ideas whats going on and why it wont power up my coach?

Thanks for your input!
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:29 PM   #2
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I expect you have some kind of surge protection or power management system that wants to see the neutral and ground tied together at the source. That is specified for pedestal power. A lot of generators let the two float so one need to add a plug that has the neutral and ground connected at the generator. Assuming you have more than one socket just use the correct mating plug in another socket.

Here is one thread about a similar problem:

FWIW every common plug in the US is an Edison plug. He started the design family. Wiring the neutral and ground is something else.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:32 PM   #3
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Your ESP is sensing an 'open ground' when you use the 3500. Google 'Edison Plug' and you will have your answer. Its because your gen does not have a bonded neutral like your shore power does. The Edison Plug will fix it. Your friends RV does not have an ESP as fancy as yours.
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:39 PM   #4
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Here is good explanation and info...Generator Ground-Neutral Bonding

Please read so you undersatnd WHY and WHAT you need
Generator Ground-Neutral Bonding | No~Shock~Zone
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Old 03-13-2018, 02:41 PM   #5
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I think you need to "ground" the gennie so it won't "fault" your system.

I read something about it online somewhere, so it should be searchable.

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Old 03-13-2018, 03:12 PM   #6
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You guys Rock!!! Thank you for your input, I thought I was loosing my mind!! I saw a few video's on You Tube and looks like I can stop at Home Depot on my way home from work tonight and make my own plug.

Again thank you for your help!
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