Originally Posted by Stymie71
It is heat related, but also movement related as this only happens when temps are 95+ and when driving down the road. I have camped up to 72 hours running on generator in 95+ temps without once having a problem. But, just get me on the road for 2+ hours in 95+ temps and the problem starts.
My uninformed spidey sense tells me that the heat from the ambient air temp, engine and engine exhaust are all building up to cause a real issue. The problem is, I can't tell if it is a problem with the generator or the transfer switch. I suspect it is the transfer switch as that is where I hear the grinding noise when this starts to occur and the switch is very hot to the touch when this is happening. Meanwhile, while this is happening, the generator is just purring along without issue other than every time the transfer switch drops out and tries to come back on line the generator obviously struggles with the load, which makes the switch drop back out again. When I reduce the load by turning off one of the AC units, power returns and the noises stop. The issue never occurs if I only drive with one AC running.
I hate gremlins like this.
I think we are getting somewhere. It could be that the heat in generator is causing a partial vapor lock and/or at least a reduction in output. This is causing the transfer switch to kick out then try to re-engage with the current load. This constant action is what's making the switch hot, (you essentially have a linear magnetic motor running). When you drop the load, the switch becomes engaged, the load on generator is reduced which allows it to "cool" some. Add the additional load and the process starts all over again.
So, the cause is heat (this we already knew) under way. Why? Could be 1)that the air flow under the RV has created a vacuum or dead air of sorts at or near the generator and it's sucking up it's own exhaust heat. 2) the intake of air is drastically hotter than ambient air because engine and/or road heat.
Solution: Get rid of heat. How? Hmmm Possibly a small air damn between the air intake and the exhaust may provide enough "clean" air to enter, or something in front of the generator that would possibly redirect the engine heat away from it. Regardless, the key is getting cooler air to the generator or getting the heated air away.
Anyone have any other suggestions? I'm game for trying any of these, although not sure I'll get the high 90's days here in OH for the test.