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Old 09-12-2016, 09:56 AM   #1
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My generator stops running when going over bumps, rough roads

My 5.5 Onan genset cuts off on its own if I am driving on a rough road (hard to go around these), go over a rough railroad crossing, hit a pot hole, etc. On a previous trip, one of the two 30 amp breakers would trip, but on this last trip, both breakers are still on after the generator stops. I am running 1 A/C, and, per FR advice due to known problems, have the vent on the A/C open, as opposed to closed which would direct the cool air into the overhead ducts. I also experience what sounds like the A/C almost shutting off, but staying on, and then quickly getting back to full capacity as I am driving along. Any help on this issue so I can stay cool while driving? (sorry, I put this post into the general discussion first by accident).
Thanks.
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Old 09-12-2016, 09:59 AM   #2
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Make sure your oil is right up to the full mark. There is a low oil sensor that might be cutting it off.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:11 AM   #3
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Thanks. I check it regularly and it is maybe 1/4" below total full mark, but I'll put more in.
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Old 09-12-2016, 10:25 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salwolfe View Post
My 5.5 Onan genset cuts off on its own if I am driving on a rough road (hard to go around these), go over a rough railroad crossing, hit a pot hole, etc. On a previous trip, one of the two 30 amp breakers would trip, but on this last trip, both breakers are still on after the generator stops. I am running 1 A/C, and, per FR advice due to known problems, have the vent on the A/C open, as opposed to closed which would direct the cool air into the overhead ducts. I also experience what sounds like the A/C almost shutting off, but staying on, and then quickly getting back to full capacity as I am driving along. Any help on this issue so I can stay cool while driving? (sorry, I put this post into the general discussion first by accident).
Thanks.
We have had the same problem with our new MH. Thanks in advance for all the helpful advice. Deb
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:40 PM   #5
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I have a Generac that shuts off going down the road also. It starts right up again but will shut down again for no apparent reason. Oil is full and breakers are not tripped. Runs fine when the unit is parked. Any ideas?
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:47 PM   #6
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Many generators use a spring loaded, coil activated contactor in the transfer switch to transfer the electrical power to the coach once started.

I've seen some of these that 'bumps/rough roads' would jar the contactor enough to disconnect.

Just a possibility.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:00 PM   #7
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It's worth a shot.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:07 PM   #8
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Also, on the onan units they need a valve adjustment after the first 50 hours or so. The valves tighten up during breakin. That will cause a severe loss of compression.
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Old 09-12-2016, 01:33 PM   #9
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Maybe they are getting fuel starved - their fuel pickups are supposed to be at the 1/4 tank level, but maybe they aren't or the fuel was too low?
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:12 PM   #10
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As for mine, the fuel has been at least 1/2 tank if not more. Thought it might be a fuel filter problem but it only quits going down the road.
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Old 09-12-2016, 06:06 PM   #11
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Yes, my fuel tank is over 3/4 full when the generator quits. Still might be fuel starved but not due to running with the tank too low for normal operation.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:28 PM   #12
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We had the same issue. I don't know wat fixed it but when I changed the oil made sure it was completely full and I also realized that I was keeping my water heater on,so now heater is off and I run only one Ac plus residential refrigerator, no more problems.
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Old 09-12-2016, 07:32 PM   #13
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Thanks. I won't be out again for about 3 weeks and will ensure that oil is totally full and not just in the "acceptable" range. I turn water heater off on both propane and electric heat.
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Old 09-13-2016, 08:31 PM   #14
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Just another idea on your "bumpy road" Generator, Mine (Champion4000)
Did this after a ride on a very bumpy road in Colorado. Again, the Oil level Switch......has a wire coming from it. See if yours unplugs from another wire. M/F connection. Unplug this wire, Start the Generator......let it run 20 minutes, then reconnect. No problems Since learning this.
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Old 09-14-2016, 08:27 AM   #15
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Thanks Carmwes.
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Old 10-24-2016, 12:00 AM   #16
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Onan has a check engine light. If the Gen is shut down for a reason other than pushing the button it will flash the status light. No blink would lead me to belive you may have a pinched stop wire. If you open the outside access there is a remote pigtail on the left over the battery cable. If you unplug it you can only start and stop from outside but it will bypass the remote wiring. If it takes the bumps like that it is time to hunt the short.
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:48 AM   #17
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Thanks, Spaach. We just got back from a trip with a 95 degree day, and experienced the generator continuing to run, no particularly rough roads or large bumps, but power was lost into the coach while the generator was running. The genset had been running maybe 45 minutes or so at that point when we noticed the A/Cs were not running. Air conditioners had turned off and there was no power to microwave panel (didn't have it on; just saw that there was no power to the clock). No circuit breakers tripped inside or out.[Our first experience with problems on a previous trip had been the generator stopped running and one of the circuit breakers on the genset had tripped].

I heard a couple of loud noises outside on the driver side as I was standing in the bedroom. I went outside to listen better and experience the generator kind of coughing/sputtering while the generator was running before I went ahead and turned it off.

We had just stopped and filled up with gasoline prior to turning the generator on so the tank was filled close to capacity. I am scheduled to take the rig into a non-FR authorized service company maybe next week where I will have to pay them and get reimbursement from FR, so I'll talk to them about all of these issues/possibilities.

Would be nice to take it to a FR authorized servicer but there isn't one close by that will do warranty work since I bought it somewhere else.
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Old 10-24-2016, 07:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5picker View Post
Many generators use a spring loaded, coil activated contactor in the transfer switch to transfer the electrical power to the coach once started.

I've seen some of these that 'bumps/rough roads' would jar the contactor enough to disconnect.

Just a possibility.
Picker, with my latest experience, I'm thinking more about your idea. I will not be working on this myself but I want to help out the service guy as much as possible (if he is receptive to 'not invented here' ideas).
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Old 10-24-2016, 08:02 AM   #19
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Picker, the transfer switch you are referring to is in the generator, not in the power bay separate from the generator? With my latest experience, I'm thinking more about your idea, too.
If the rig has a transfer switch it is in a separate location. If you plug your shore cord in to an outlet inside its own compartment you most likely do not have a transfer switch.

If this is a KY or hgjab model there are some fuel pump problems on both that will cause a fueling stall. If the Gen shuts down due to this it will cause the trouble light to blink. If it only shuts down while you are driving the gas cap could be bad as well causing the main engine to pull the fuel out of the generator instead of the gas cap venting.

As far as the fuel pump: If you run the Gen till that loping stall, you can immediately hold the stop to prime button and see if the pump is trying to pump. It is on the under side of the generator below the control/breaker box. It vibrates as it pumps and makes a happy fast little thump, thump, thump sound that you can feel if you put your hand around it.
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Old 10-24-2016, 09:30 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by spaach View Post
If the rig has a transfer switch it is in a separate location. If you plug your shore cord in to an outlet inside its own compartment you most likely do not have a transfer switch.

If this is a KY or hgjab model there are some fuel pump problems on both that will cause a fueling stall. If the Gen shuts down due to this it will cause the trouble light to blink. If it only shuts down while you are driving the gas cap could be bad as well causing the main engine to pull the fuel out of the generator instead of the gas cap venting.

As far as the fuel pump: If you run the Gen till that loping stall, you can immediately hold the stop to prime button and see if the pump is trying to pump. It is on the under side of the generator below the control/breaker box. It vibrates as it pumps and makes a happy fast little thump, thump, thump sound that you can feel if you put your hand around it.
Mine is a Cummins Onan 5.5HGJAB so perhaps the known fuel pump problem is the issue. Thanks.
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