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Generater Auto Start


Jimalberta

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Does anyone here have this feature on your coach and if you have it....do you use it?

 

It is on my coach and I have never set it up.....but was advised by an RV dealer today to use it when coach is in storage or when boondocking to keep the batteries up. He feels it is a great feature to have.

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Not a Class A (really)- but the truck is registered that way.

 

If I have to leave the truck in a non-powered spot, I'll turn off the "house" load (battery disconnect), and leave the APU (generator) powered. It keeps the 400 AH AGM's topped up. I've reset the "turn on" voltage to 12.6 volts which is 25% discharged. It runs a little more than 1 hour every week, which is about right.

 

Engine / trans module draws about .75 amp per hour (.75*168= 126 amp hour per week)

APU alternator = 150 amps*1 hour = 150 amp hour

throw in some losses and the numbers work.

 

Current thinking with the price of panels and such, replacing the trailer solar with newer equipment and use the "old" stuff (solar panels and charge controller) on the truck. 100 watt panel = 5 amps * 5 hours of sun = 25 AH per * 7 days = 175 amp hours per week, so those numbers work also.

 

So the short answer is yes, I leave the auto start on. We get there different ways but $900 worth of AGM batteries is worth protecting from harm.

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The used coach that we owned had a factory installed auto gen start that was a part of the inverter control panel. It triggered the generator upon lowering voltage. DW was concerned with temperatures as we would be living with a cat and I had the following unit installed which also had the ability to turn on the generator to turn on the air conditioning. Other than a one-time trial of the factory installed one, we didn't use either of them in four years as we rarely dry camped.

 

.http://www.amazon.com/Magnum-Energy-ME-AGS-S-Generator-Controller/dp/B009M7A8OU

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Thats another thing Kirk.....was cleaning my cables the other day and had the battery cut off switch in the off position. Connected all the cables again and went to connect the last cable....the negative to ground and got a spark. Measured from that cable to the neg post and got 12.5 volts and .01 amps. Since the battery disconnect was off I should not have had any voltage or amperage reading.....kinda wierd. Now I need to figure out this draw. I didnt take the cutoff switch apart but might need to see if there is a problem there.

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If I had autostart I would certainly use it; even though we have more than enough solar to keep the batteries charged. Especially with expensive batteries. I've known RVers who have had their gennies start up due to a load they forgot about. But if you're not around a stored RV much you could have a fuel supply issue. Once they start they keep running until you stop them or they run out of fuel.

 

I don't have autostart, though... and I doubt I'll ever install it. But if I already had it, well, why not?

 

For the parasitic loads (like the electric clock, the dash radio that stores frequency, furnace thermostat, etc.) a 100-watt solar panel (and a decent charge controller) should be sufficient. Unless you're under a cover, of course.

 

WDR

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Thats another thing Kirk.....was cleaning my cables the other day and had the battery cut off switch in the off position. Connected all the cables again and went to connect the last cable....the negative to ground and got a spark. Measured from that cable to the neg post and got 12.5 volts and .01 amps.

A load that small might be your smoke, propane, or CO detectors as it is very common to connect one or more of those around the disconnect. That is what I'd check first.

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Does anyone here have this feature on your coach and if you have it....do you use it?

I don't know what you have, but I had a Magnum AGS installed in my Class A. It interfaces seamlessly with my Magnum inverter & all the inverter & AGS settings can be accessed via one control panel.

 

The AGS can be set up to start the generator on low voltage and/or high temps (in case power is lost in hot weather).

 

It slices, it dices.

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I suspect that our coach has the same setup as Zulu's (Magnum AGS, Magnum Inverter, Magnum transfer switch - all controlled via a central panel). While I'm looking forward to using the AGS - I can't imagine leaving it enabled when the coach is in storage as was suggested in the OP's post. The last thing I want is my generator firing up when my coach is parked in the storage lot !!!

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I installed the Onan EC30 in my previous motor home. My current one came with it. Whenever boondocking, it's always on. I had it on today in a full hookuup RV park. When the surge protector dropped shore power due to low voltage, the generator started. After having it for a few years, I wouldn't be without one.

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Thanks for all the replys. I tend to agree that I dont know if I want my gen starting in some storage yard. Sounds like a recipe for things to go horribly wrong.

 

Kirk ...yes I agree....I will have to look into my wiring harness or even disconnect the devices you mentioned and see if the draw goes away.

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So let me get this straight, the genny will start automatically, but you have to physically shut it off. Why can't it be designed to shut off automatically?

 

There is no mode that automatically starts the generator that doesn't also stop it. You would need to manually drop it out of auto mode for that to happen.

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The last thing I want is my generator firing up when my coach is parked in the storage lot !!!

 

That's what I thought until a week of cloudy weather prevented my solar panels from charging my batteries. Now I leave the AGS on.

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I have three auto start sequences:

1. Like many of you with the magnum inverters, I have 2- 2K watt inverters and panels to program this feature with low battery voltages.

2. I have the "timed auto start" panel

3. The Duo-therm comfort control can also turn on the generator during heat pump operation for heat or cooling mode

 

Dave Norton

2006 Travel Supreme Select

2011 CVO Road Glide Ultra/Hydralift

New York

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