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Author Topic: Generator with a mind of its own  (Read 1507 times)

UK-RV

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Generator with a mind of its own
« on: December 02, 2006, 07:25:13 AM »

Hi

We are staying at a full hookup 50amp CG - Grand Lake in Orange Lake, FL

Last night, we went to bed at 10pm and were woken at 11:50pm by the generator turning itself on.

Firstly, how can the generator turn itself on ?

Secondly, I thought it was dangerous to have mains hookup and generator on together and that the Electronic Control Unit was there to control things like this.

Help anyone please ?

Paul

Ray D

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2006, 07:52:42 AM »
I'm still a Newby, and know somewhere between little, and nothing, as to RVs. Someone will be along, shortly, to give you the correct answer.

However, I have been following your escapades, with interest. This post simply grabbed me, and I have to speculate. Can't help myself.

A couple of years ago, on our previous motorhome, I had the Cummings dealer tune up the generator. I noticed that he started it from the bay it was in, without going to the start switch, on the dashboard. Since we had been having a small amount of "prankster" aggravation and some theft of gas, at home, I started locking all bays.

So, I speculate. - - - - I hazard a guess that I could start your generator from the bay where it is installed, if I wanted to have a little bit of nefarious fun, at your expense. (A late Halloween prank.)

Do you keep your generator access bay locked?

On the other hand, I may have a key that fits the access door locks on your unit. Same key as the one that fits my access locks!

Just a thought.

Ray D.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 07:57:24 AM by Ray D »
Boise, Idaho. U.S.A.F. Vet. Damon Challenger, Workhorse/Vortec, 2005 towing a Suzuki XL-7, 2003.

UK-RV

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2006, 08:05:29 AM »

Thanks for the post Ray

The Gen can be started with a buton on its side - but it is locked inside the front moulding to the RV.

There's no way anyone could have opened the huge lift-up door, pressed the starter and then lowered it again without us knowing about it.

I wish it WAS that simple.

Paul

Ned

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2006, 08:22:35 AM »
Do you have autostart on your generator?  If so, it may have had either a temporary glitch or the controller has failed, thinking the batteries needed charging and started the generator.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

UK-RV

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2006, 08:35:24 AM »
Hi Ned

I dont think we have an Autostart feature (where would I find it), as it would have been on and off all the time with our bad batteries - which we are still trying to replace (need to find decent supplier).

However, the batteries are holding their charge and will only tend to go to low (as they obviously would) after the inverter has been on for quite a while - so they cant be that bad.

Having said all that - when the Gen started at midnight, I quickly turned it off (switch by bed) and took a look at the Energy Management thing - and it showed the battery charge as orange (medium).

I guess it's a phone call to Onan.

BTW is it a concern if the Gen starts whilst hooked to shore power - what's the worst that could happen?

Paul
« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 08:37:35 AM by UK-RV »

Tom

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2006, 08:37:12 AM »
....I quickly turned it off (switch by bed) .....

Is it possible that you started the gen with your big toe while you were sleeping?
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Karl

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2006, 08:46:49 AM »
Aside form the vagrant toe theory, If you do have autostart AND temporarily lost shore power AND the autostart 'quiet times' clock thought it was 12 noon and not midnight, AND your batteries were low enough, it could have started it. Lots of 'ands, but possible :)
Karl (Cheesehead) Kolbus   Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "...holy cow ...what a ride!"

Ned

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2006, 08:56:14 AM »
The fact that the batteries were not fully charged indicates either your charger was off or you lost shore power and you have autostart.  In any case, the transfer switch will insure that your coach is fed only from shore power or generator, never at the same time.  The autostart is probably part of your inverter controller.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

UK-RV

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2006, 08:57:55 AM »
Tom

One thing absolutely rules out the "Toe theory" - you weren't paying attention.

"I quickly turned it off" - if the Gen button was anywhere near my toes, "quickly" wouldnt be a word used for the time it took me to bend that far down the bed  ;D

Paul






« Last Edit: December 02, 2006, 09:08:21 AM by UK-RV »

KodiakRV

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2006, 09:58:54 AM »
Tom

One thing absolutely rules out the "Toe theory" - you weren't paying attention.

"I quickly turned it off" - if the Gen button was anywhere near my toes, "quickly" wouldnt be a word used for the time it took me to bend that far down the bed  ;D

Paul

Au contraire...  You could have punched the "off" button with your toe!   :D
Frank
Florida

UK-RV

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2006, 10:16:01 AM »

Au contraire...  You could have punched the "off" button with your toe!  

Damn - that was a bit obvious really wasnt it - sorry Tom  ;D

Paul

Tom

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Re: Generator with a mind of its own
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2006, 10:25:17 AM »
Seriously Paul, I think Ned and Karl have it right. I was my first thought when I first saw the subject line of this topic before reading any messages. But Ned beat me to it.

Yes, kick the switch off with toe was a bit obvious  ;D
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