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A Gremlin In My Generator


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#1 Mable

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 11:16 AM

Okay, here it is. Please bear with the long narrative but I'm very confused. I have a 2002 Pace Arrow purchased used 3 years ago and have put about 15,000 miles on it.  In July we went to Cedar Point, Ohio for a week and stayed at a KOA where I was had electric hookup. While getting ready to leave, my generator wouldn't start.  I checked everything but was not getting any gas to the generator. I checked the in line filter but nothing was coming out of the tank.  The fuel pump was working fine and yes, I had 3/4 tank of gas in the RV.  Gave up and headed home with 3 adults, 2 grandchildren and 4 dogs with only the dash a/c working.  Quite warm.

 

Upon returning to Chicago, I immediately brought it to Camping World of Island Lake (where I had purchased it and where it had been originally sold). Prior to getting there, I topped off the gas tank and one last time I tried starting the generator...it started. Left it there for service and was told that the gas line leading into the tank was dry rotted and couldn't suck gas.  I was told that the fuel line entered the tank from the top and connected to a metal fill tube that went into the tank about 3/4 down which kept it from running empty with the generator.  OK, but why did it start when I had topped it off. They had no explanation. They had to drop the gas tank in order to replace the line. 

 

So, now I pick up the RV and head to Wisconsin for a few days...I start the generator in order to run the coach a/c while driving. As soon as I start the engine, the a/c begins to shed and won't work,  The fan and heater work on the unit but it won't handle the a/c.  I return it for service and after a few days pick it up and was told that the circuit breakers on the generator had been wired incorrectly and now it was fixed.  I had only been operating on 30 amps and now both breakers 30 and 20 were properly hooked up.  From the beginning, 3 years ago, I was told I could only run 1 of the 2 roof units while on the generator.  Now I can run both at the same time and they are running fine. I thought my r/v was a 30 amp...the shore plug is a 30 amp...now apparently I am running 50 amp on the generator. Now if that isn't enough, on the way home, I stop to top off the tank and after getting to about 3/4 full I'm at the pump and I start spilling gas from somewhere under the rv, probably the vent.......Oh the joy. It is going in Monday locally for oil change, etc, and they will check the gas tank.  I like and trust Camping World and will continue to go there but nobody could explain these problems to me.

 

I have a Onan Marquis gold 5500 generator and the RV is on a workhorse chassis.

 

Please, can someone explain to me what happened...Thank You


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#2 DickandLois

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:04 PM

Hi Mable,

 

Welcome to FMCA !

 

Like they say its the little things the will be the most challenging.

 

Regarding the starting problem, the fuel line the shop said is dry rotted and when that happens small cracks allow air to get into the line. The fuel pump pulls / or lifts the fuel up out of the tank and air is lighter the gas, so when the tank level is down just a little air leaking into the line reduces the lift of the pump. No fuel flow.

 

Replacing the line should fix that issue, but I have the feeling they forgot to tighten a clamp or maybe just replaced just a portion of the fuel line. The other possibility for the fuel leaking when the tank was filled, they missed connecting the vent line at the tank. It is a very tight spot to work when replacing any of the lines connected to the gas tank, just because they are all made at the top.

 

Now, your coach is wired with a 30 amp service for shore power and the generator will put out around 50 amps. So the coach builders wire the 110 volt system so you have 50 amps or more when on generator power and 30 amps shore power.

That ends up allowing you to run 2 air conditioners from the generator and only one from shore power. It basically comes down to a cost thing! 50 amp shore power circuits require heavier wires and that increases the cost of the coach, so they go for saving some money to keep the price in the range they think will sell more of them. Better profit line.

 

Rich.


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#3 Mable

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:18 PM

Rich...thank you for your quick reply...OK, so now I understand the gas problem, but I'm still confused about the generator. #1 why would the generator support the a/c until I started the engine and then begin to shed...with only one unit operating and #2, I have always been able to operate both units on shore power along with a washer and dryer with no problems.

 

Thanks, Bob


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#4 DickandLois

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:58 PM

Bob, interesting ! I'm wondering if the previous owner changed things around. the owners of some of the coaches get creative.

There no reason that I know of that would prevent both AC units from running even with the coach engine running. Many owners run the generator and AC units while driving to keep cool in the warmer weather.

When the engine is running there is a transfer switch that switches the charging of the batteries from the charger / inverter to the alternator circuit on many coaches, but that should not cause one ac unit to shut down.

Just wounder if the same ac unit shuts down every time you start the engine, that would be a clue to might lead somewhere !

 

Rich.


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#5 Mable

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 01:59 PM

Rich, thanks again for your quick reply.  actually, after Camping World rewired the breakers properly, they both run fine with the engine running.  That problem (the a/c) shutting down when I started the engine only started after they fixed the gas line.  She is fine now.  I just had a hard time trying to figure out why and you were the only person with the answer.  Thank You.

 

Bob


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