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Old 04-02-2011, 09:04 AM   #1
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Which Comes First?

We've not had the generator running since we brought the G'town home and I wanted to crank it up today and let it run some. We have to plug the power cord from the MH into the MH to get power from the gen into the coach.

Should the coach be plugged up first, then start the gen or should the gen be running before the coach is plugged in or does it matter?

Thanks!
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Old 04-02-2011, 10:28 AM   #2
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I don't have that set up in my coach, but I would think that you would plug it in first then start the generator. Just like when you hook up to the power pedestal at a campground, you plug you coach in then turn on the circuit breakers at the power pedestal.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:19 PM   #3
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u can get several right answers on this one. i would go with having the gen up to speed before plugging in. voltage and freq would be stable then. (tv's, a/c, and converters love stable voltage and frequency). if u could kill ur main breaker inside before plugging in, that would stop any arc u may get at the plug when making the connection. in time the arc could damage the plug connectors (it might take 20 or 30 years for it to do it...but it could happen...).
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:41 PM   #4
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Thanks guys! I actually pulled out the instructions and read them. You're right in that the gen should be running and stabilized prior to plugging in. As far as a main breaker for the coach, it's not visible anywhere I looked. I thought it might be next to the door where the bat disconnect & step switches are or perhaps where the electric stuff is in the back storage compartment with the cord. I just made sure everything inside was off before plugging the cord into the coach.

The instructions also recommended letting the gen run for a few minutes after unplugging to let it cool down before shutting it off. It's amazing what you can learn by reading the directions. LOL!
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Old 04-02-2011, 01:42 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenS144 View Post
Thanks guys! I actually pulled out the instructions and read them. You're right in that the gen should be running and stabilized prior to plugging in. As far as a main breaker for the coach, it's not visible anywhere I looked. I thought it might be next to the door where the bat disconnect & step switches are or perhaps where the electric stuff is in the back storage compartment with the cord. I just made sure everything inside was off before plugging the cord into the coach.

The instructions also recommended letting the gen run for a few minutes after unplugging to let it cool down before shutting it off. It's amazing what you can learn by reading the directions. LOL!
Karen...
It's OK for you to read the instructions , BUT it's not OK for your hubby to read them - men don't read instructions, period.

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Old 04-02-2011, 01:46 PM   #6
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Karen...
It's OK for you to read the instructions , BUT it's not OK for your hubby to read them - men don't read instructions, period.

...VTX-AL
No worries! RTFD is not part of his vocab....well the F part is when he "messes" something up.
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Old 04-03-2011, 03:04 PM   #7
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I guess we're lucky in that our generator is hadrwired to a transfer relay, unlike our previous MH. As soon as the generator is up to spped, the relay automatically shuts off the mains and transfers over to the generator.

I always have all AC loads off, except for a trouble light plugged into an AC socket, when I start the genny. That eliminates the risk of damage to the various appliances from transients.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:47 AM   #8
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Generator and Surges

You should have a surge protector in your AC wiring. I added a Precision Industries 50 amp unit myself after reading horror stories about poor campground power and storm created surges. These units sit between the power input (your 50 amp cable) and the MH AC wiring. When they detect a surge they immediately disconnect before damage can happen. I've already run into one campground power issue. The side benefit is that generator spikes or surges are eliminated as well so you don't have to pull the plug till the generator is running stable.

I don't know about you but I have enough to remember already and always try to keep things either automatic or very sequenced. The surge protectors aren't cheap at around $300+ but what will a computer, microwave or fridge circuit board cost? If you are handy with electrical wiring, a built-in protector is good but they also make plug-ins. I installed my own but working with 50 amp wires is tough on an old guy's hands. I also learned to do it on a warm day when the cable isn't fighting back so much. With a plug-in you should have a lock so nobody can steal it at a campground since it has to come between the power source and your 50 amp plug.

Good luck either way. Some folks go forever without a problem having done nothing. But remember Murphy and the Gremlins are on the loose. Like we used to say in the old Citizen's Band radio days, "Keep the shiny side up!"
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:28 AM   #9
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Your Main Breakers should be the center 50 amp breaker inside the electrical panel unless FR went to a different brand. It will be a double pole 50 amp breaker. All of the other breakers will be 15 & 20 amp single pole or tandem breakers.
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Old 04-04-2011, 12:37 PM   #10
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Karen.......

The electrical panel that cfsoistman is referring to is usually located just above floor level in the bedroom....maybe dark brown in colour? It should be located here as it's just above the electrical compartment you've located for your 50 amp power cord, and associated wiring. Inside, there will be the 50 amp breaker, and an assortment of the 15 and 20 amp breakers cfsoistman mentioned for the various power outlets throughout the motorhome.
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