Generator Issue/ Electrical

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Joedetroit84

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Dec 3, 2016
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I have a 2000 Tiffin Allegro. We were on a month trip and everything worked fine. We live in the NorthWest and i recently winterized my motorhome but not sure if it has anything to do with this. With the cold harsh weather we sometimes rely on our motorhome if the power goes out in our home which it does from time to time. Anyway, I start it up every two weeks and check everything. Today, I started the generator and it started up fine. However, there is no power to anything. The outlets are zero and the appliances are zero. I checked the main breaker box, the main was off which it usually is when I shut down. I turned it on and still nothing. I shut everything down and started over and still nothing. I like to work on things myself but I'm a real novice with electrical. Some things I can do but I would like it if someone could tell me where to look first with this problem.
 
My first guess is the transfer switch. Maybe a control power fuse for that. Anything else is a pretty involved electrical problem.
 
Hi Joedetroit84,

I run the heat in the RV sometimes during the winter. I was doing some maintance items and had an electric heater going and decided to also make some tea in the microwave oven. This caused the power to go out when the generator was going. The generator was still running. I checked the main breaker and that wasn't it. Got into my manual and saw there is a breaker on the generator itself. Had a hard time finding it but located it at a right angle from the starting button. I flipped a small plastic lever on this small round, black breaker on the generator and fired things up again and things worked fine. If it isn't the generator breaker, it could be the transfer switch which will be more costly a problem.
 
If the generator is a modern ONAN and it kept running you have power... Somewhere.. Onans of today's vintage if they don't make the 120vac they don't run.. No reason for them to waste fuel after all.

page 2: On the generator are usually TWO Circuit breakers ... these are on the genny itself and are suspects #1  When you shut down the genny shakes fairly hard and can "Flip" the breakers to OFF even with no load.

Page 3: As others have said the Transfer switch is next in line

Page 4 (Very rare) Rodent damage to wires. but these are BIG HEAVY wires and not likely to happen.
 
First check/reset the circuit breaker(s) on the genset.  Next place to look is the auto-transfer switch, the set of relays that shift the power source between genset and shore power. If the relays don't all flip over to genset, you get no power anywhere.
 
Joedetroit84 said:
I have a 2000 Tiffin Allegro. We were on a month trip and everything worked fine. We live in the NorthWest and i recently winterized my motorhome but not sure if it has anything to do with this. With the cold harsh weather we sometimes rely on our motorhome if the power goes out in our home which it does from time to time. Anyway, I start it up every two weeks and check everything. Today, I started the generator and it started up fine. However, there is no power to anything. The outlets are zero and the appliances are zero. I checked the main breaker box, the main was off which it usually is when I shut down. I turned it on and still nothing. I shut everything down and started over and still nothing. I like to work on things myself but I'm a real novice with electrical. Some things I can do but I would like it if someone could tell me where to look first with this problem.
Joedetroit84
I suggest you look for a tripped circuit breaker on your inverter itself.
On many coaches the incoming 120AC, (both "shore" and/or "generator"), "passes through the inverter output breakers" on it's way to the appliances and the receptacles in the coach.
 
Thanks for the help so far everyone. I hooked the RV up to 120 from the house and turned on the main breaker and everything is working as normal and the outlets tested at 120. Turned off the breaker, un-hooked from the house and checked the circuit breakers on the generator and reset them even though they showed to be "on." I  started the generator and it seems to be running as normal. When I turned on the main breaker I could tell something was still wrong because the light on the microwave was dim. I checked the outlets and they were only 83-84 at best. So, I am getting some power now but obviously not enough.  Do you think the problem is with the generator or somewhere else?
 
FOr the moment I will suspect the transfer switch but. To test.. You need a good voltmeter and the knowledge to use it SAFELY.. and you will need to open the cover on the transfer switch.

Measure voltage in and out. Should be the same.
 
Joedetroit84 said:
Thanks for the help so far everyone. I hooked the RV up to 120 from the house and turned on the main breaker and everything is working as normal and the outlets tested at 120. Turned off the breaker, un-hooked from the house and checked the circuit breakers on the generator and reset them even though they showed to be "on." I  started the generator and it seems to be running as normal. When I turned on the main breaker I could tell something was still wrong because the light on the microwave was dim. I checked the outlets and they were only 83-84 at best. So, I am getting some power now but obviously not enough.  Do you think the problem is with the generator or somewhere else?
I suspect the generator's voltage regulator has gone bad.
see: https://www.flightsystems.com/troubleshooting/
 
When the generator is running, recheck the voltage at the outlets, then check the voltage at the breakers on the generator. If voltage is still low at the outlets, good voltage at the breakers, then the transfer switch would be the main suspect.
 
Thanks for the help everyone. These forums are awesome.  I'm gonna check the things suggested. I have a good volt meter so it should tell me what is going wrong.  If I come up with an answer I will post it here so everyone can see how all the advice worked out.
 

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