Amperage Drain with Generator running

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Schultz

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Aug 20, 2017
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We have a 2009 Winnebago Journey DP with an Onan 8500 generator that we have owned for 5 years. I have recently noticed that with the generator running but with all applicances and systems off/not running, the Powerline panel meter indicates that there are 7 amps being drawn when the gen first starts, but then the amp draw drops to about 3 amps after a few minutes  and remains at around 3 amps draw. Why is there any amperage draw if all systems are off? Why would their be a drop in amp draw? Is this all normal? Does it have something to do with charging the batteries??? Or do I have a problem with an applicance/system pulling amperage when it should not be using power at all? Or is this situation normal and I just never noticed it on the Powerline panel meter. Electrical issues are not my strong point; therefore, I need advise.
Thank you.
Bob
 

HappyWanderer

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Apr 21, 2014
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There is a parasitic draw from the converter, which varies depending on the charge status of the batteries. The batteries are drawn down while starting the generator, and that initial current draw is the converter replenishing the storage used.

Those numbers sound about right.
 

Larry N.

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May 26, 2010
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Westminster, Colorado
You're likely seeing battery charging (including the float, or trickle, mode), along with "phantom loads," that is, small power drains that keep the coach alive. What you read on various meters will, of course, be related to what is tied onto each meter, But if you have a microwave, it is drawing some amount of AC power in standby mode (or did you unplug it?), and the fridge, water heater, etc. will draw a little bit of 12V DC power (from the batteries, but needs replenishing) for their control boards. There may be other things, too, depending on how your coach is set up/equipped.

So a little bit of current is normal, whether on generator or shore power. Chances are good that you're drawing that when running strictly on the batteries, too, unless you have all the power cutoff switches thrown.

So sounds like normal operation to me.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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All systems are never off.  If nothing else, your inverter/converter/charger is drawing 120vac power, converting to 12v for various background uses.  The drop from 7A to 3A is almost surely the battery charging function leveling off, and the remaining 3A is a collection of small loads, circuit boards at idle waiting for you to press an ON switch, operator panels showing lights, LP Gas detetctor, that sort of thing.
 

John From Detroit

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Davison Michigan
Yup. That  sounds like converter draw.. There are also other things that never completly turn off. TV, Sat Receiver, Radio Anything with an I/R Remote Control.
 

Lou Schneider

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There's nothing to worry about.  The generator doesn't produce 12 volt power, it relies on an external source (house batteries and converter) to supply the 12 volts needed to operate it's ignition system and control board.

That's the draw you're seeing on your power monitor.  Since the converter is operating whenever the generator is producing voltage, that's where the power is coming from, not from the batteries.
 

FunSteak

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NE Illinois
Even USB charge ports, most of which have an always-on LED, draw 20-40 mA constantly.  More if you have something plugged into it, of course.  All the little electronic gadgets? idle current can add up.
 

Schultz

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Aug 20, 2017
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Thanks to everyone for all the feedback. I feel good that you all basically agree. I just likely have not been checking the monitor when first cutting on the generator. I usually check it when we have applicances/systems running to see what amperage is being used. Guess I was being overly careful.
Thanks,
Bob
 
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