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Old 08-26-2013, 07:52 PM   #1
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New house batteries and the Generator still won't start

Replaced new house batteries and the generator still will not start. It clicks when you push the start button but that's all. It acts like it's not getting sufficient power from the house batteries. (They are new and register 12volts and then some. The generator will not even start with the chassis motor running. This is the same way it acted when the house batteries were so low.

I also notice that the inverter (which converts battery to house current) will not turn on as well. When I try to turn it on the indicator lights just flash.

Had the new house batteries checked and they were installed properly and are running systems; elec. steps, slides, etc.

Is there a switch, relay or some component between the chassis batteries and the generator that would prevent the battery power from getting to the generator? Dose the power come directly from the house batteries to the generator or is there some component between them that would prevent the full 12 volts of power from getting to the generator to enable it to start. I had the fuse checked on the generator and it's fine.

I am so puzzled that it's seemingly not getting power when other coach components are getting power from the house batteries. I did not check the voltage on the generator. I don't really have a way to do that.

Any help would be appreciated. I have an appointment at the RV repair on Wednesday to have it checked while they replace the remote mirror switch.
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:26 PM   #2
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I also noticed that the gen start and gen primer buttons on the dash no longer light up when I push them. They typically light up when they are pushed and remain on when the gen starts. It's definetly an electrical problem I'm just stumped as to what, where, etc. I'm thinking three must be a relay switch somewhere in between the house batteries and the gen set that is faulty. I am wondering if the elec. wire to the gen starter from the battery is loose? I didn't check this either. I will just have to wait for the RV repairman to check all these possibilities out. Can't check it now since it's in the shop having a new AC compressor installed.

Thanks for any responses.
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Old 08-26-2013, 09:14 PM   #3
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I'm sure you will get a lot of responses from others who will have the wiring charts as well. This much I do know.

You have an 04 chassis so it's likely that your starter circuits may need some TLC. The wiring involved with batteries and the high current required to operate starter circuits are ripe for corrosion. Any time you have two different types of metal, copper wire and cable ends made out of lead etc, then add any type of moisture with some acid in it and you have a battery and corrosion.

Starter motors of any sort require a lot of current. A cars starter can require as much as 150 amps to crank over the engine. Your headlights may require 10-amps. Your radio may require 2-amps. Remember it takes less than 1-amp to stop your heart. This current is not electrically dangerous to your body because the pressure or voltage is so low but it can melt steel.

All cranking circuits will have a starter solenoid, which is a remotely operated relay or switch. The amount of current needed to crank a starter motor is a great deal more than most switches can handle. To deal with that issue the solenoid or heavy current handling switch is operated by a magnetic switch which the operator actuates when they hit the crank or start switch. You hit the crank button, energize a magnet which closes the contacts and current travels through the switch and cranks the starter motor.

The clicking you hear is the solenoid or relay closing. Why won't it crank?? Since it is going to pass high current any corrosion in the circuit will reduce the voltage (pressure) and not enough current can get through. Dirty, loose or corroded connections will do it. Dirty contacts in the solenoid.

I would make sure all cables, and that includes the ground connections as well are tight and corrosion free. Disconnect all and check for swollen wires. Sometimes cable end where it connects with the copper wire will corrode inside the cable insulation. It might be that the internal contact of the solenoid are pitted so much that the current can't get through. The solenoid can be tested by doing a voltage drop test. Most won't test it they will just replace it.

TeJay
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:00 AM   #4
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Definitely check all cables and their connectors. I had a loose crimp connection on the negative cable where it was bolted to the vehicle frame. Small current devices worked fine but as soon as I tried a high current device such as the generator, jacks, or slideouts nothing happened.
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Old 08-27-2013, 09:38 AM   #5
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Everything you said points me to a bad ground cable at the generator. Check the cable ground on the generator frame but the problem most likely lies at the other end attached to the frame.
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Old 08-27-2013, 11:14 AM   #6
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It may very well end up being a bad ground but when these symptoms occur indicating a high resistance connection the problem can be anywhere in the entire system. That includes positive and negative connections. When I am servicing a situation like this I leave no stone unturned for fear that the one connection I though was or could not be the one turns out that it is. Be safe clean and check all connections.

The flowing current has to return to ground and then on to the negative side of the battery. That current will ALWAYS choose the path of least resistance. It won't pass by a good ground and head down a few feet to another ground. So all connections are equally important.

TeJay
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:18 PM   #7
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Took it back to the RV repair shop to have the ordered remote mirrors switch installed and had them check the all the generator cables - Bingo - corrosion and loose cables was the ticket. I had suggested this when I dropped it off after thinking a lot about the problem and reading the replys to my post. Thanks for all your suggestions. The coach is in tip top shape for our trip now from Boise, ID to Dumpries, VA - However, ruptured a main artery in my nose- went to the ER - had it packed - ruptured again - went to specialist - packed again waiting to see him on Tuesday. If it isn't healed he will do an out patient surgery (and correct my crooked nose and repair the hole between my sternum) hopefully after a few days of recovery we will be on our way. We were scheduled to leave this coming Wednesday. Things can always be worse. I'm trusting in my creator who knows best for me.
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Old 08-31-2013, 01:29 PM   #8
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Amen,,, tks for sharing your faith..,,there is always hope!!! Glenb
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Old 08-31-2013, 07:41 PM   #9
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Well said!!! We can never forget WHO is really in charge. No it's not the DW but as long as she thinks she is it's OK.

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