EPDM Coatings
RV LED Bulbs offer Sponsored by Spotless Water Systems Sponsored by RV Upgrades width= Composet Products EVDO

Author Topic: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!  (Read 6042 times)

Daniel G

  • ---
  • Posts: 61
Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« on: May 23, 2009, 01:26:19 PM »
Hey, guys! I'm out in the boonies with my new to me 2003 Fleetwood Discovery!  The 7.5 KW Onan won't even attempt to turn over.  Was working fine last night.  I hear what seems to be the fuel pump kicking in but nothing else.  Have checked and cleaned battery cable connections.  Info board says both coach and house batteries are at 12 volts plus.  Coach engine fires right off. This happened suddenly.  What am I missing?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. 

Daniel G

seilerbird

  • Guest
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2009, 01:28:07 PM »
If you have got less than 1/4 tank of gas the generator won't start as a safety feature.


Daniel G

  • ---
  • Posts: 61
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2009, 01:57:05 PM »
Fuel gauge shows between 3/4 and full.

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 7188
  • I bastardi pensano hanno vinto
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2009, 02:03:31 PM »
Even if low on fuel the generator should still crank. 

Make sure your house and/or chassis  battery disconnect switch has not been turned on.

Will the generator try to start if the engine is running?

Measure voltage at generator starter connection.
“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
lou  ---  '97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

bross

  • ---
  • Posts: 262
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2009, 02:04:51 PM »
Check oil level in the generator, could have a low level shut off.
Bill & Doris

Daniel G

  • ---
  • Posts: 61
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2009, 02:48:18 PM »
It doesn't matter whether the coach engine is running or not!  It won't crank or turn over.  It's diesel powered if that makes any difference.  I checked the oil yesterday when we headed out and it was full but I wil check again.  Could it be the cable connections at the back of the genset which are located up under the frame.  This unit is located in the nose of the coach since it is a diesel pusher.   I will check the oil level again.  Also, there are no fault codes showing on the genset panel.

Thanks.

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 7188
  • I bastardi pensano hanno vinto
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2009, 03:58:57 PM »
.......  Could it be the cable connections at the back of the genset which are located up under the frame.  This unit is located in the nose of the coach since it is a diesel pusher. .Thanks.

yes, that's why I suggested checking voltage at the generator starter.
“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
lou  ---  '97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Alaskansnowbirds

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 2420
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2009, 04:37:19 PM »
You said you could hear what sounded like a fuel pump. Two questions....how cold is it where you are at and how long are you holding the start switch? If its cold, when you first push the start switch it turns on the pre-heaters. On our 7.5 if its cold when you first push the switch it doesn't appear that nothing is happening. If I keep holding the switch in long enough it will start.
Don & Peg
Alaska/Arizona
Currently located here.
Weather at Camp Verde, AZ.

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 42210
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2009, 05:32:20 PM »
I'm thinking the same as Don - just hold down the start switch and wait. It may take 20-30 seconds if it is cool outside.

If it won't crank, its am electrical or switch problem, not the genset itself.  To eliminate the remote switch as the problem, try the switch that is right on the genset itself - most of them have one.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Ron

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 18115
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2009, 12:07:17 AM »
Even when using the switch on the Genset hold it down for 30 to 40 seconds to give the heaters to warm up.   Please let us know if holding the switch down longer solves the problem.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE

Daniel G

  • ---
  • Posts: 61
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2009, 08:28:51 AM »
Sorry I haven't responded sooner.  I don't have computer access at the camp site.  The temperature is 80 degrees so cold weather is not an issue.  I held the switch down on the genset for 30 seconds and nothing changes.  Took the battery cables loose on the back of the generator.  No corrosion and proper voltage.  Read through the owner's manual to no avail.  I appreciate any and all suggestions.  Sounds like we are heading for the service center, huh?

Just Lou

  • ---
  • Posts: 7188
  • I bastardi pensano hanno vinto
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2009, 09:48:08 AM »
Daniel, since you state that you can reach the cable connections at the generator, is there any way you can 'bridge" (short)  across the gen start solenoid to see if the gen will crank?   It may not be something that you would want to attempt to repair your self, but it could give you some additional information in hand when dealing with the repair facility.

I'm not familiar with the starter and starter circuits on the Onan.
“You don't write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” F. Scott Fitzgerald
lou  ---  '97 Bounder 34V (F53 w/tag), '99 Honda Accord EX

Daniel G

  • ---
  • Posts: 61
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2009, 09:41:21 AM »
I'm back in town with the unit.  Since I last reported.  The unit will now start but will only run for 5 to 10 minutes.  The service code comes up # 24.  Coolant Temperature Sender Fault.  Controller did not sense temperature change during the first five minutes of operation.  I have a call to the ONAN service center.  Anyone ever had this issue?

Thanks for all your replys.

Gary RV Roamer

  • Forum Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 42210
  • We're on the road again...
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2009, 10:36:13 AM »
Never had it happen to me but it makes sense. Either the sensor has failed or the wire broke or came off.  I guess Onan doesn't want to take a chance that the genset might overheat without warning if the sensor isn't working.
Gary
--------------
Gary Brinck
2004 American Tradition
2007 GMC Acadia
Homebase: Ocala National Forest, FL

Terry A. Brewer

  • ---
  • Posts: 1270
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2009, 05:31:34 PM »
>>I'm back in town with the unit.  Since I last reported.  The unit will now start but will only run for 5 to 10 minutes. <<

Two things that can cause that are failed engine temp sensor & broken fan belt....If you have over 1000 hrs on your genset I'm betting on the fan belt...less than that the temp sensor or broken wire to temp sensor.

Either one unless you have a genset on a pull out you will have to drop the genset to remove the engine shroud.

Daniel G

  • ---
  • Posts: 61
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2009, 06:38:37 PM »
Just wanted to follow up and give the end results.  I dropped the genset out of the coach which was surprisingly easy.  Took about an hour.  Then took the generator to the ONAN dealer in Oklahoma City.  The temperature sensor was bad.  They replaced it for a total cost of less than $200.00 dollars.  Not so bad.  They said this is not a common malfunction but it does happen.  Just my luck. 

Thanks for all of your input.

Ron

  • Former Staff
  • ---
  • *
  • Posts: 18115
Re: Help! Dry camping and generator won't start!
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2009, 07:29:57 PM »
Thank you for the update.  Good to hear you got it fixed.
Ron & Sam-home is where we park it. Currently located   HERE