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Old 07-04-2016, 09:15 AM   #21
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That's a great point regarding Density Altitude...isn't there an adjustment on the genny that can be made for use in higher elevations? For example, Phoenix already has a DA of 3500' at 6AM and should rise another 1000' with daytime heating.

There is an adjustment up to 5k feet. My issues all happened above that and with temps above 95 and closer to 100 and above.


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Old 07-04-2016, 07:11 PM   #22
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So, a brand spanking new RV comes with either a generator or a transfer switch that will not carry the load in hot weather, which is when you need the AC units the most? Sounds off.

Has anyone ever talked with FR about this issue?

That's pretty much my conclusion!! ( my a/c units even have the add-on hard start capacitors, helped 0%. )


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Old 07-05-2016, 03:57 PM   #23
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So, I drove home yesterday. Temps fluctuated from 97-99. I ran a single AC (front). Drove the long circuitous route, took about 4 hours instead of the 2 it should have been. This along with a 1.5 hour shopping stop with the generator running the entire time

Long story short, no issues with dropping power or grinding transfer switches or anything. But, the single AC could only manage to hold temp at 80 degrees. I wonder how this thing is going to do out in the west with 100+ days traveling, maybe even in the high desert areas. Anybody living or have traveled out there with any feedback?

Thanks to all for the great feedback. I guess I never would have thought that 5500 would not be enough to run the RV in all conditions. I guess a fuel injected 7000 is in the works for when it is time to replace this one (when will that happen?).
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:43 PM   #24
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Was in 107 degree temps and when the generator ran, stopped once which I think was vapor lock, the AC kept up. Had thermostats set on 70.


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Old 07-05-2016, 07:16 PM   #25
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My 5500 watt generator can run both ACs tv and surround system without any trouble while going down the highway. 5500 watts should be enough.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:03 AM   #26
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My expectation is that a 5500 watt generator can carry 2 AC units running constantly while driving in 95+ heat without issue. Per Dometic, running draw is about 16 amps per unit, or 32 amps combined. Dometic also recommends a minimum 5,000 watt generator for runnning two units. I understand startup surge amps, but these two units do not turn off at all while it is as hot as it has been. And, I don't have this issue except while driving down the road. Never just sitting in a field on generator.

Something isn't making sense to me.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:24 AM   #27
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My expectation is that a 5500 watt generator can carry 2 AC units running constantly while driving in 95+ heat without issue. Per Dometic, running draw is about 16 amps per unit, or 32 amps combined. Dometic also recommends a minimum 5,000 watt generator for runnning two units. I understand startup surge amps, but these two units do not turn off at all while it is as hot as it has been. And, I don't have this issue except while driving down the road. Never just sitting in a field on generator.

Something isn't making sense to me.
Refresh my memory please. Does the generator quit or does the transfer switch unload? If I recall correctly, you have a Wfco transfer switch. If the switch is unloading, I would start there and replace with a Progressive. The bumps in the road may shake a connection/coil loose. The heat from the engine may be raising the temps in switch location. Put a remote thermometer next to switch and record temps while driving. Does your problem exist with a full tank of gas? Maybe sloshing fuel in tank is having an affect on fuel cutoff. Since your problems only exist while moving, you can probably eliminate amp draw, since that really shouldn't change while moving.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:08 AM   #28
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Refresh on what the problem is:

Only while driving. Only in high temperature situations (95+ heat). Only after having been on the road for 2+ hours. I start each trip with a full tank, so fuel level is not an issue. It appears the transfer switch is disconnecting and then can not reconnect without turning one of the AC units off. My last 120v power loss experience (this past weekend), the transfer switch was extremely hot to the touch and making grinding noises every 5-10 seconds or so as it tried to reconnect. Generator never quits, just loose all 120v power. I can run a single AC unit and this never happens. Add second AC unit and this happens.

Please ask any/all questions you can and I will do my best to answer. But, this is definitely heat related as I have not had the issue when temps were cooler earlier this year.
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:22 AM   #29
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Refresh on what the problem is:

Only while driving. Only in high temperature situations (95+ heat). Only after having been on the road for 2+ hours. I start each trip with a full tank, so fuel level is not an issue. It appears the transfer switch is disconnecting and then can not reconnect without turning one of the AC units off. My last 120v power loss experience (this past weekend), the transfer switch was extremely hot to the touch and making grinding noises every 5-10 seconds or so as it tried to reconnect. Generator never quits, just loose all 120v power. I can run a single AC unit and this never happens. Add second AC unit and this happens.

Please ask any/all questions you can and I will do my best to answer. But, this is definitely heat related as I have not had the issue when temps were cooler earlier this year.
Go to a solid state transfer switch. The magnetic coils are building heat and dropping out. Another possible cheaper fix, attach a small fan near/on the switch to help remove some of the heat. You could wire a 120v "computer" fan to the output of the transfer switch, so it would only run when powered. Drill some small vent holes in the cover.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:54 PM   #30
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IMO the issue is the voltage drop from the generator when a heavy transient load is applied (the compressor coming on) along with other loads already drawing more amps then you may be aware of. Why?

The Onan 5500 outputs 5500 watts @ 120 volts or 45.8 amps. (W/V=Amps) The output current is routed through 2 breakers: 30 amp on L1 and 20 amp on L2.

Typically wired to the L1 side: Main A/C (16amps), battery charger (3amps), fridge in elect mode (8amps), microwave (8-13 amps), 120 outlets (0-15amps), A/C to DC converter (1-8amps).
Wired to the L-2 side: Second A/C (16amps), water heater (elect element 9-13amps), Washer/dryer.

For 2 AC's the recommended generator size is 5000 watts so the Onan 5500 can handle the load, but with about 500 watts available to run other items. IMO you have more load than the 2 A/C units; so you will need to shed some of the leaching load. Another thing to consider, as the temperature rises, the A/C units are working harder drawing more amps especially at compressor start-up (set the fan on low speed not auto). As the amperage draw increases the generators voltage output decreases. During normal operation the generator's controller will vary the voltage in response to the transient loads coming on line to allow the engine speed to recover. It can drop below 80 volts for a second as the engine recovers to the constant speed of 2400 rpms. It seems the output voltage is dropping below the coil limits of the transfer switch when a new load is applied making the transfer switch drop in/out. Most transfer switches monitor the L1 line for voltage drop. Have you swapped the incoming lines (L1,L2) from the generator in the transfer switch to see if that makes a difference. Also, check with the AC manufacture to see if there is a compressor time delay and if it can be changed so one ac is delayed longer than the other. Installing a Supco hard start capacitor can help. Contact the transfer switch manufacture; there could be an issue with the contactors in the switch.

When a generator gets some age there are few items that need to looked at by a professional; the brushes and the slip rings. Brushes worn down and dirt slip rings decrease the output voltage. Brushes are easy to change, but the generator cover will have to be removed to access the slip rings for cleaning.
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