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Utah Paul

Onan Generator Start due to no power

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My 2001 Roadtrek Onan generator does not seem to get any electrical power.

The engine start button inside the van and on the generator frame does not result in any action.

Is this a power supply problem that can be easily resolved?

Thanks! 

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The generator starter normally gets power from the coach battery. If you hear a click when pushing the start switch on the generator but no starter cranking, that probably means low voltage to the starter from the coach battery. You may want to try starting the chassis engine and allow it to run a few minutes and then try starting the generator again as that will add power from the chassis alternator to the available battery power. If your coach battery is pretty old it may not have the power capability to crank the starter any longer. How old is the coach battery? Have you measured the available voltage from the coach battery with an accurate meter? It probably needs at least 11V in order to crank. 

 

Edited by Kirk W

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Agree with Kirk. Start your motor, maybe even drive a few miles and let the house batteries charge. Then try again. Or if you can hook up somewhere, that may also be another option. 

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Low voltage among other things may be the problem. In the typical set up (not all) EITHER plugging to shore power will power your Converter/Charger to charge the house battery OR depending on how wired starting the vehicles engine may provide some charge to the house battery. TRY BOTH.

If you have a good volt meter read the house battery voltage. A full charged 12 volt battery at rest and stabilized should read around 12.6 volts. If its too low that may be the problem....

In the event the house battery is good and full charged (assuming it feeds the genset) but still no cranking we have to look at the switch and solenoid issues.

Other causes may be a poor or corroded ground or battery or solenoid cable connection. Check connections and grounds.

Is there an onboard start/stop switch in addition to the remote ?? If so does it act the same there ???   From your post it sounds like NEITHER works but had to ask.

John T

 

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6 hours ago, oldjohnt said:

Is there an onboard start/stop switch in addition to the remote ?? If so does it act the same there ???   From your post it sounds like NEITHER works but had to ask.

 

23 hours ago, Utah Paul said:

The engine start button inside the van and on the generator frame does not result in any action.

 

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9 hours ago, Kirk W said:

The engine start button inside the van and on the generator frame does not result in any action.

That's what I took from the posting IE NEITHER switch (on genset or inside remote)  makes her crank, so I'm still back to possibly low voltage and if plugging to shore power with a working and connected Converter/Charger doesn't help, then I would suspect possible starter solenoid or switch or power to the switch issues. In 49 years of RV ownership it's been more then once I have had to replace a faulty starter solenoid on a genset.

I have seen bad solenoids that fail to crank the genset act in two ways:  1) It clicks/engages BUT the contacts are bad (or even a bad starter) so there's no cranking  2) It fails to even click which can be a bad solenoid (activation coil bad/open) or perhaps the switch is bad (or has no 12 VDC input power) and isn't sending 12 volts to activate the solenoid ???????? These issues aren't hard to troubleshoot with a volt meter or even a 12 volt test lamp. If you put a meter or lamp on the starter solenoids small activation terminal see if it lights when the starter switch is depressed ??? IT SHOULD !!!!!!!!!!! If not the solenoid cant close to power the starter.. The solenoid also needs the other ground connection in place to work, there's yet another possible cause  ???   

NOTE most RV gensets use the house battery to crank the genset while a few have their own onboard battery. My discussion above concerns house battery for genset power.  

 While its the most headache and expense I've also seen bad control boards cause issues grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

John T 

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