RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-26-2017, 10:57 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 41
Generator will not start

we just got our 2016 Berkshire XL 40BH 380 HP out of winter storage. I have run the engine during the trip home and plugged the shore power into the 50 amp breaker at the house. I hear the inverter running and I can see the house batteries are being charged. The chassis batteries are full and will start the engine. When I try to start the generator I hear a chattering sound comming from the generator. So my question is this. Is it bad batteries? a bad connection at the generator? or a faulty generator starter? The coach is just a year old should I take it to Freightliner and have them clear it and make repairs? Any suggestions? Thanks Guys.
Fkaske is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2017, 11:56 PM   #2
Member
 
pilotalso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Davenport FL
Posts: 57
Have you tried starting the generator while the engine is running?

The reason I ask is that if the house batteries are weak/not fully charged, they might not provide enough current to crank the starter on the generator.

With the engine running, the alternator/house batteries/chassis battery combination should get you going. Then you know you have weak and/or undercharged batteries.

If current at the starter (which it sounds like it does have) and it still doesn't start, then think starter/solenoid.

Hope this helps

Al
__________________
2012 Georgetown XL 350 TS
pilotalso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2017, 01:16 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Tom48's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ontario, California
Posts: 1,613
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fkaske View Post
we just got our 2016 Berkshire XL 40BH 380 HP out of winter storage. I have run the engine during the trip home and plugged the shore power into the 50 amp breaker at the house. I hear the inverter running and I can see the house batteries are being charged. The chassis batteries are full and will start the engine. When I try to start the generator I hear a chattering sound comming from the generator. So my question is this. Is it bad batteries? a bad connection at the generator? or a faulty generator starter? The coach is just a year old should I take it to Freightliner and have them clear it and make repairs? Any suggestions? Thanks Guys.

Is that Generator a Freightliner issue or a ONAN dealer issue???
__________________
Tom48
In Sunny So Cal /w
Now in 2005 Holiday Rambler Ambassador DP and The Hot Air Balloon RESTLESS
NO MORE Tricked out
2017 Sandstorm 250 T.H.
Tom48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2017, 09:56 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: payson, az
Posts: 2,915
several points.


you say you hear the inverter running when connected to shore power. I assume you mean converter. have you checked the battery disconnect switch. it could be that it is disconnected so that the batteries are not actually being charged even though converter is running. that could also explain why the generator is just clicking. if the batteries were disconnected they only the converter would be supplying power to start it and that may not be enough. as mentioned try using the chassis batteries. another option would be to use a set of jumper cables attached to the generator to try to start it. my guess is it will run just fine once started.


another real fast test would be to disconnect from shore power and try to start generator. if you still get the clicking sound you are getting some power from the batteries. if you get silence then the batteries are not connected.
__________________
2015 cardinal model 3825fl
2015 dodge ram 3500 dually
CHICKDOE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2017, 11:58 AM   #5
Member
 
JimFitz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Where I Park
Posts: 88
If it is an Onan generator, be sure you hold the prime button for about 30 seconds , and then it may start.
JimFitz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2017, 12:24 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Englewood FL
Posts: 2,577
Generally the generator starting power does not go through the disconnect switch or power panel. It can take 80 amps peak so it often has its own connection to the batteries and its own fuse.

Try the boost start switch when starting the generator, or as someone else already suggested, start the engine which will automatically hit the boost switch and also bring on the engine alternator.
__________________

2015 335DS
ScottBrownstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2017, 12:26 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 2,024
Chattering... Sounds like a starter motor or bendix issue to me. They do go bad afterall.
SidecarFlip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2017, 12:47 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Englewood FL
Posts: 2,577
Quote:
Originally Posted by SidecarFlip View Post
Chattering... Sounds like a starter motor or bendix issue to me. They do go bad afterall.
They do, but not after a year. Sounds like a weak battery. One thing you do have to watch out for is if you try to start an Onan on a weak battery, the bendix can stick in the flywheel and then nothing will happen. Had this happen to me and they had to jostle the flywheel to free the bendix and then all was well after that.

If all you hear is a click...it could be just that. The starter motor does not have enough torque to spin up when the bendix is already engaged. Chattering...????
__________________

2015 335DS
ScottBrownstein is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2017, 01:51 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Fernandina Beach, FL
Posts: 21
fuel level

Assuming it is an onan deisel:

How much fuel do you have? Fuel pickup is higher on the generator than for the coach by design. Usually the genny will run out of fuel when the gauge shows you still have about 1/4 tank remaining.

Onan does make a clicking sound for about 30 seconds while priming the fuel to the motor before the starter actually kicks in.
__________________
Dennis Burke

2003 Coachman Cross Country Elite 376DS
2002 Jeep Wrangler
2014 Ford Edge
burkede is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2017, 08:32 AM   #10
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 37
If it is a gasoline generator, make sure you have more that 1/4 tank of fuel ithe rv.
That is about where the generator fuel line picks up.
Robertpaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2017, 08:07 PM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 41
Thumbs up Reply to generator problems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fkaske View Post
we just got our 2016 Berkshire XL 40BH 380 HP out of winter storage. I have run the engine during the trip home and plugged the shore power into the 50 amp breaker at the house. I hear the inverter running and I can see the house batteries are being charged. The chassis batteries are full and will start the engine. When I try to start the generator I hear a chattering sound comming from the generator. So my question is this. Is it bad batteries? a bad connection at the generator? or a faulty generator starter? The coach is just a year old should I take it to Freightliner and have them clear it and make repairs? Any suggestions? Thanks Guys.
So here is what I found out about my generator, Or I should say the boys at Cummins Npower found. My batteries are all good. The connections are all good. The cable connections at the generator starter is good. The chattering noise I heard was the generator fuel pump. My unit had been in storage for 5 months. During that time I was unable to get to the unit to start the generator.
So what happened is the fuel in the line drained back into the fuel tank. The pump was pumping but I did not let it run for a long enough period of time, because I thought it was an electrical problem and didnt want to burn anything up. So all they did was hold the preheat button down until the light in the switch was on steady the pushed the start button and away it went.

Boys I feel like a fool for having a problem that was so easily rectified. In the future I will make sure to go to my coach and exercise the generator.
Also FIY you need to run the generator at least 25 hrs every year to keep the warranty active.
Fkaske is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2017, 12:53 PM   #12
Dragonship Captain
 
Oscarvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 1,319
Good that you got it taken care of, saves me a lot of typing.

Yes, I occasionally have to hold the starter/prime button for as much as 30 seconds to get it going.
__________________
Read about our 2017 38A: https://dragonship.blog/
Oscarvan 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 04:30 AM.