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Brand new -- need generator help :P


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Hi folks--
wasn't sure where to start and a search for "generator" is a lot to read through, lol.

we just bought a 1999 Itasca Sunrise. The guy demonstrated that the generator started right up less than a month ago, but we've been unable to get it to start since, and the previous owner is pretty far away and pretty much useless trying to explain stuff. Is there a thread somewhere already that will patiently walk us through troubleshooting as if we were two years old?

We have read the manual, tried holding the button to start it, and have tried the button on the range hood too.

Yes, it has at least a quarter tank of gas in it. :)







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There are so many possibilities...... but these are the first kinds of things I would think about and check on:


The fuel probably didn't go bad in 2 months, so I don't expect that is the problem. However if you somehow managed to flood the engine, then continued cranking just makes it worse. You can just about start a cement block with starting fluid (ether), but it is VERY flamable and be extremely cautious about using it on an engine inside a trailer. Maybe like calling 911 before you actually would try that, so they are already there.


When you press the start button, does the engine turn over or is there just a click or just dead silence? Is the problem that it won't even crank, or that it cranks but won't catch and run?


Are you connected to shore power while your are trying to start it? If so, was it connected to shore power when it was demonstrated for you? Perhaps there is some safety interlock that will prevent it from starting and trying to feed power back out the power lines? I would expect such a safety to not even crank the engine, but it could also allow cranking but not starting.


Do you have everything electrical turned off in the trailer? Some generators are very hard to start with a big load, A/C, lights, microwave, vacuum, toaster oven.


At least here are a few things to consider.


F-250 SCREW 4X4 Gas, 5th NuWa Premier 35FKTG, Full Time, Engineer Ret.

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I can't relate to yourI Itacsa buI I will tell how my RV was set up on a 2006 Ford Chassis. I will assume your RV uses the same gasoline that the RV engine uses, as that was my case. My manual said I needed over 1/4 tank of gas to run the Generator but it was closer to just under a half tank. The principal reason is you don't to use all your gas in the generator resulting you being stranded miles from a station. I also found any time I run fuel tank below that level the generator required it took a little longer to crank and start..


Clay & Marcie Too old to play in the snow

Diesel pusher and previously 2 FW and small Class C

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First of all, welcome to the Escapee forums! We are happy to have you join us, and we will do our very best to help and support you.


As mentioned before, it would help to know more about what you have. Does the starter motor run and crank the engine? If it does so, does the engine attempt to run at all? Is yours powered by gasoline or LPG? When having difficulty in starting, always move to the local control switch on the set to crank it if possible because you will be better able to tell exactly what it is doing. The next questions, do you have an operator's manual? If you do not, download one from Cummins-Onan and look through the instructions next.


Never attempt to start the genset while connected to shore power unless all loads are shut down and the batteries are well charged if your RV has an automatic transfer device because they are wired to select the generator automatically when it comes online and you don't want it to transfer under more than minimal load. There is no issue of starting it under load as the genset does not assume the load until it has come up to speed as detected by the Onan control circuitry. Even so, make sure that no large loads like the air conditioners are in the on position when you start it.


If the starter does not turn over, check to see if you have a battery isolator for the coach batteries that may be open as that is the source of power for the genset starter. I have never seen an RV that had anything to prevent the starting of the set with shore power connected, but it is a good practice not to do so. You can also help make more power available to the starter by starting the chassis engine first to thus provide charging power to the coach batteries from the chassis.


Before you attempt to start the set, first check the summer/winter damper is in the summer position, as shown in the manual on page 2-2.


At temperatures of4OoF (4OC) and below, disconnect all loads before attempting to start generator set.
1. Push the start-stop switch to the START position at the generator set control or at remote control (if
equipped). Release the switch when the generator set starts.
2. Allow unit to warm up before connecting a load. During warm-up, observe unit operation. Confirm that unit
performance is satisfactory.
3. Apply loads. Refer to Specifications section for generator set output and performance ratings.
Refer toTable 3-1 for the approximate wattage usage of common appliances.

Good travelin !...............Kirk

Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure



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I was out walking and saw an Itasca Sunrise. The owners were sitting out so I asked if they had a Generator? Yes was the reply and I then ask about the gas tank level required to run the generator. Their respone was about 1/3 if level but more helped.

Clay beside the Mississippi River

Clay & Marcie Too old to play in the snow

Diesel pusher and previously 2 FW and small Class C

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