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Old 11-29-2011, 03:56 PM   #1
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Question Generator/power issue

About a week and a half ago, we used our 1989 Sunsport for the first time while we were deer hunting. Most everything worked really well, except for when we would run the generator. When I would start the generator, all the 110V stuff would work just fine but the 12V lights would get twice as bright. After a few minutes, the lights would shut off for a few seconds and then come back on at the same brightness as they are when they are running off the batteries. I also noticed that the furnace blower would kick off at the same time and then kick back on. The only things that weren't affected were the things that were running off 110V (microwave, radio, etc). The longer we kept the generator running, the more rapidly the lights would cycle between normal, then bright, then off, then back to normal. Whether or not we were running things like the microwave did not seem to have any effect. The lights would cycle regardless. It seems to me like there may be a faulty electrical component that is allowing too much electricity into the 12V system which causes the component to temporarily shut down and then restart itself.

I'm new to the whole RV thing and haven't been able to find anything helpful about this from any of the books I got from the library. Does anyone have any suggestions of what might be the problem?
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Old 11-29-2011, 04:11 PM   #2
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The first thing to check is the output voltage of the generator. Generators put out v oltage at a certain speed. If the generator is set too fast, it will put out too much voltage. This could cause the converter too put out too much DC. If your converter were bad it would be too high when plugged in.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:26 PM   #3
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I do agree you need to monitor the generator output voltage AND FREQUENCY, Now this takes some expensive meters or.. If you'd like to save big bucks.. A Kill-a-watt. (IT's about a kill-o-buck worth of meters in a change back from a 20 box, in short good deal)

Suspect #2 is your converter.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:34 PM   #4
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Since the 110vac circuits are unaffected I would concentrate on the converter that switches 110vac to 12vdc. Does conecting to shore power have the same affect? If not its gen output, if so its a converter problem. If you have a DVM you can check AC at the plugs then DC at the lights.
If you can identify your converter it might help in troubleshooting.
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Old 11-29-2011, 10:59 PM   #5
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DVM - digital volt meter
You need one.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:16 AM   #6
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Big Sky called it right. Follow his advice and you will find the problem pronto.

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Old 11-30-2011, 08:05 PM   #7
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As others have said, it could be your converter. The lights dimming and getting brighter and dimming again would seem to indicate your converter is cycling off and on. If this only happens when on generator and not when hooked up to shore power, then it could be your generator output or maybe your automatic transfer switch?

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