Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-25-2018, 09:52 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Illinois
Posts: 16
Question How to start cold generator

I have a 4000 Onan generator in a 2017 Sunseeker that is hard to start when it is cold. I do not think I'm priming it properly? My toggle switch for starting the generator is also my prime/stop switch when the lower half is pushed. I see some folks talk about a light that comes on. I am pretty sure I do not have a light, I've never seen it at least. I am not even sure the switch does anything? Can someone tell me the correct procedure for starting the cold generator? How long to depress the switch if there is no light? How to tell if it is even doing anything? Thank you in advance.
JohnGaines is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 09:59 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
sgtlm17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,363
Does pressing the start switch inside the coach actually crank the generator?
__________________
2016 Forester GTS 2801QSF
2011 Jeep JK Toad
Habitual RV Modifier
sgtlm17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 10:05 AM   #3
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Illinois
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtlm17 View Post
Does presiding the start switch inside the coach actually crank the generator?
Yes the start switch works fine. I usually have to crank the generator for 30 seconds at a time and it takes several attempts.
JohnGaines is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 10:13 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
sgtlm17's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1,363
Ok before you start the generator when you press the stop prime button the red light should come on within about 10 seconds give or take a second or two. Listen carefully or have someone listen at the generator you should hear the fuel pump. If you hear the fuel pump then the prime button is working. Some of these units are pretty tough to turn over and you need your batteries pretty well charged. Also there is a start prime button on the generator itself. Try using that button to see if it works any better. Fuel pumps on these things are notorious for causing problems. It may work but it's possible it's not working as it should. I will say my unit is tough to turn over and takes a good 15 seconds or so.
__________________
2016 Forester GTS 2801QSF
2011 Jeep JK Toad
Habitual RV Modifier
sgtlm17 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 10:24 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Port Orange Fl / Garden City Michigan
Posts: 691
Usually it takes 20-30 seconds to prime the unit, This is how we have done ours and it usually fries right up. Ours does not have a red light that comes on. Never did and there is no red light on the switch.
__________________
2014 SUNSEEKER 3010DS
TOADS, 2012 FOCUS OR 1998 JEEP WRANGLER,
Kevin & Judy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 10:27 AM   #6
2014 SunSeeker 2300
 
Awilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Southern Iowa
Posts: 263
How to start cold generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGaines View Post
I have a 4000 Onan generator in a 2017 Sunseeker that is hard to start when it is cold. I do not think I'm priming it properly? My toggle switch for starting the generator is also my prime/stop switch when the lower half is pushed. I see some folks talk about a light that comes on. I am pretty sure I do not have a light, I've never seen it at least. I am not even sure the switch does anything? Can someone tell me the correct procedure for starting the cold generator? How long to depress the switch if there is no light? How to tell if it is even doing anything? Thank you in advance.


Mine does not have a light inside either and mine is also hard to start if it is cool outside. I have started mine down as cold as 5 degrees and it took three tries. I held the prime switch down for about five seconds and then hit start. On mine it takes holding the start button longer than what is comfortable and it will start firing. When I feel itís time to give the starter a break I stop and wait for a minute or so and try again with priming etc.

To follow this up, I reread my manual and the prime switch is to be used when the genset has been run out of fuel, then, hold the prime switch for 30 seconds. The starter has over-cranking protection and will stop on its own after 15-20 seconds. My manual says to hold the start button till it starts. If it didnít start first time try again. I learn new stuff all the time. Actually, I relearn what I forgot with some posts. Lol!
__________________
. We are now retired and living the dream! 2014 2300 SunSeeker without slides that we remodeled inside for better living conditions for two people.
Awilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 11:07 AM   #7
Empty Nesters
 
KenandCarol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Santa Maria, CA
Posts: 361
I have a 2017 Sunseeker 2150. I hit the generator to stop/prime and I can definitely hear the fuel pump running. After about 20 seconds a red light comes on above the switch and I toggle to start. It usually fires right up. I have never done it in really cold weather since I live in warm California.
__________________
2017 Sunseeker 2250 24' MH
KenandCarol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 11:19 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
bubbles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,461
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin & Judy View Post
Usually it takes 20-30 seconds to prime the unit, This is how we have done ours and it usually fries right up. Ours does not have a red light that comes on. Never did and there is no red light on the switch.
I think the illuminated prime/start switch is part of the Onan generator installation kit. never seen one with a switch that didn't illuminate for prime and illuminated while running. Oh well. Can the ones that don't illuminate post a picture of the switch?
bubbles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 11:55 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Waynesville
Posts: 14,428
Just something to Think about in regards to "Cold Start" of Generators! These generators Start & Run at 3600 RPM under a Very Quick "Full Load"! Most MFG consider 35 Deg F "COLD"! Some MFG sell "Cold Start Kits" that heat the engine Oil and the Battery,thus the Engine is not starting without proper lube,even with the Oil Viscosity called for "COLD Weather Use"! How many FRF Members change the oil in there Generators for COLD Weather Use? Youroo!!
__________________
youroo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 12:21 PM   #10
2014 SunSeeker 2300
 
Awilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Southern Iowa
Posts: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenandCarol View Post
I have a 2017 Sunseeker 2150. I hit the generator to stop/prime and I can definitely hear the fuel pump running. After about 20 seconds a red light comes on above the switch and I toggle to start. It usually fires right up. I have never done it in really cold weather since I live in warm California.


Lol! Warm California! Rub it in! We left home to get out of -15 degrees and 25 mph wind!
__________________
. We are now retired and living the dream! 2014 2300 SunSeeker without slides that we remodeled inside for better living conditions for two people.
Awilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 12:26 PM   #11
2014 SunSeeker 2300
 
Awilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Southern Iowa
Posts: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbles View Post
I think the illuminated prime/start switch is part of the Onan generator installation kit. never seen one with a switch that didn't illuminate for prime and illuminated while running. Oh well. Can the ones that don't illuminate post a picture of the switch?


Well, I just was going to take a picture of mine that doesnít have the light and Iíll be danged! It does have the light! 🤭 Iím now quite humbled and obviously getting older and more forgetful.

This post is just one reason I love this forum. I read them a a lot and learn many things on here.

Alan
__________________
. We are now retired and living the dream! 2014 2300 SunSeeker without slides that we remodeled inside for better living conditions for two people.
Awilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 01:19 PM   #12
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Illinois
Posts: 16
can you see the light in the picture? Maybe mine has a light as well and I just can't see it? Do you know when the light should be on?
JohnGaines is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 01:25 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
Lloydg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 708
Send a message via AIM to Lloydg Send a message via MSN to Lloydg Send a message via Yahoo to Lloydg
I don't have a generator, but always keep a can a fuel starter to squirt into the carburetor throat of my small engines. Snow blower, chain saw, etc. Engines that won't fire most always come to life this way.
__________________

Heartland Big Country 3150RL
2013 Ford SD F250 4x4 SC; 6.2
Reese 18K Elite w/slider - Rockford, Michigan
Lloydg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 01:42 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
BobHanke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: West Des Moines, IA
Posts: 542
There is a light that comes on when holding the prime/stop switch down for a few seconds. Must repeat the start sequence several times in cold weather. It wouldn’t hurt to run the engine when trying to start a stubborn genny. It is also possible to have a bad wire in the remote group. Have someone listen at the genny when remote starting if you can’t hear it prime or no light inside.
BobHanke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 01:46 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 278
The issue with my hard cold-starting 4K was that the choke rod gets stuck in the "OFF" position. Other's have had the same issue. I can manually move the choke rod to the "ON" position and it will start right up on the first push of the button.
ActionJackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 01:48 PM   #16
Empty Nesters
 
KenandCarol's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Santa Maria, CA
Posts: 361
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awilson View Post
Lol! Warm California! Rub it in! We left home to get out of -15 degrees and 25 mph wind!
LOL! It got a little chilly on Monday (34*F) and I actually had to scrape some ice off my windshield. That's the coldest we've been in January this year. Luckily it warmed up to the low 60's by the afternoon!!!
__________________
2017 Sunseeker 2250 24' MH
KenandCarol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 02:10 PM   #17
2014 SunSeeker 2300
 
Awilson's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: Southern Iowa
Posts: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by KenandCarol View Post
LOL! It got a little chilly on Monday (34*F) and I actually had to scrape some ice off my windshield. That's the coldest we've been in January this year. Luckily it warmed up to the low 60's by the afternoon!!!


We are in Arizona now enjoying the heat and away from this crazy cold we've been forced to deal with! This thread got me to start my genny up as it hadn't been started in a few weeks. I can say it is much easier to start here than at home. I have never had the issue of the choke staying off so I have no suggestions as to a cure.
__________________
. We are now retired and living the dream! 2014 2300 SunSeeker without slides that we remodeled inside for better living conditions for two people.
Awilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 02:12 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
bubbles's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 6,461
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnGaines View Post
can you see the light in the picture? Maybe mine has a light as well and I just can't see it? Do you know when the light should be on?
Typically the switch is held in the prime position (down) till the light comes on then hold the switch in the up position for start and when started the light will come back on while the genny is running. This is the Onan procedure for my Onan 4K genny, It was also the procedure for the 7K gennies I've had.
bubbles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 02:19 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
grumpy0374's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1,452
A known problem with the 4000 is a sticking choke linkage. Occasionally when I start mine, if it won't cold start, I go out and open the compartment, take the front cover off.
Manually kick the linkage open, and using the prime/start button, prime it, and it will start right up.
After running for awhile, shut down, and restart 30-60 minutes later from inside...it starts right up.
Some of the 4000's do this and some don't. Luck of the draw.
Grumpy
__________________
Steve & Cheryl + Zoey, and Ziggy, our furry kids.

2012 Forrest River Lexington 283ts
Toad, 2013 Subaru XV Crosstrek
grumpy0374 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2018, 02:29 PM   #20
Senior Member
 
Tom48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ontario, California
Posts: 1,959
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin & Judy View Post
Usually it takes 20-30 seconds to prime the unit, This is how we have done ours and it usually fries right up. Ours does not have a red light that comes on. Never did and there is no red light on the switch.
I'm at about 1000 ft sea level elevation, yet on cool or cold days I prime twice and the start. Often takes two tries. Seems normal for us. We start and run it under load about once a month. It would probably do better if we used it more often. Be sure not to let your gas get too old. We fill and use the tank full about twice a year. That's probably gas that's a bit too old. Vi should be using an additive like StaBil or Seafoam more often to keep the gas healthier.
Tom48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
generator

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:36 AM.