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Old 09-07-2016, 01:26 PM   #1
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Starting the Generator

Please don't laugh! We just got our 2003 Class A GEORGETOWN 2 weeks ago. Brought it home, parked it, wanted to go out and clean it yesterday and can't remember how to start the generator. Can someone help me??
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Old 09-07-2016, 01:52 PM   #2
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I would imagine listing what Class A you have and what generator is in it might help.
Being new to motor homes, unless it is a class C and a new onan generator, I can't help. But, someone will if you tell them what you have.
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:06 PM   #3
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Push the start/stop rocker switch to off (bottom side) and wait 5 seconds. Then push it to start (upper side) and wait for the generator to spin up and the light in the switch to stay on. Wait 15 seconds and then you should have power.

That is if you have an Onan/cummins and an automatic transfer switch.
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:42 PM   #4
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I know this sounds stupid but there are so many buttons, I don't know which one is which. Should I take a picture?
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:48 PM   #5
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Probably, should say Gen or have a lightening bolt.
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Old 09-07-2016, 03:28 PM   #6
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Just for clarity, pushing the Stop side of the switch will prime the cold generator (gas). Once it's warm, you can try just pushing the side for Start. If it's diesel, you'll hear some clicking for several seconds as it primes, then it will start up.


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Old 09-07-2016, 08:17 PM   #7
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On my 4k, I press and hold the STOP button to prime it. (This causes the fuel pump to run)

Depending on temperature I may hold it as long as 15 seconds.

The press and hold the START button, it should crank and then start. Don't let it crsnk for more then 10 - 15 seconds.

NOTE - I replaced my air filter, fuel filter, installed a new fuel pump, and spark plug, asnd mine cranks right up.
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:02 AM   #8
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Is the generator connected to the battery in anyway? Can you tell how new I am to this? 😕 Thanks everyone for helping not criticizing me.
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:21 PM   #9
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Yes, Your generator needs 12 volts to start and run. However, it seems different coach manufactures wire the genny differently. Some will wire it so the genny starter (and 12 volts) comes from the chassis 12 volt battery, some wire it so this comes from the coach battery.

A little trick to remember:

Most MHs have some type of "EMERGENCY START" button. Its intent is if you accidentally run down your chassis battery, this switch ties your coach battery to your chassis battery for as long as you hold the switch/button.

AND - this can work the other way around, If your coach battery is dead and your generator gets its power from the coach battery, just hold the EMERGENCY STAR button down while you attempt to start the genny.
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:46 PM   #10
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Ok, I have start the MH, cold primed and pushed the button with the lightning bolt, it just clicks. I held the emergency battery button down and pushed the start button on the generator, again it only clicks. Which batteries do I check to see if they need to be replaced? The coach starts just fine. Thanks everyone.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:38 PM   #11
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Sounds like the house batteries are low, start the MH. Let it run for a bit to charge the house batteries. Rocker the switch down to prime. Red light off. Push rocker to start. Give it a try.


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Old 09-09-2016, 09:48 PM   #12
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Is your coach/generator diesel? If so, the clicking is normal. A diesel unit will click while it primes. Just keep holding the switch and it will start when it's primed and the engine us ready to start.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:06 PM   #13
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The MH is gas
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:08 PM   #14
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Thanks, will try that tomorrow
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Old 09-10-2016, 07:21 AM   #15
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Not sure what you mean by "clicks." It could mean the starter solenoid. One thing to keep in the back of your mind is that occasionally an Onan/Cummins generator when being started with a low battery will have its Bendix gear on the starter engage the flywheel and with insufficient voltage not be able to start. Normally when the voltage returns it will start fine. However, I have had the Bendix gear stick in the flywheel and the starter has insufficient torque to start from there. All it does is try with no success. When this happened to me it required jogging the flywheel manually to enable the Bendix to retract and then started fine after that. Only happened once, but it did happen.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:22 AM   #16
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Typically, pressing the gen start switch down (not up to start) till the switch light illuminates (indicating primed) and then pressing the switch up to start is the procedure as mentioned earlier. The coach batteries supply start power. I believe the battery disconnect must not be disconnected. If the coach batteries are low you could hold the emergency start switch to emergency start position which will tie chassis batteries to coach battery circuits. To keep from running chassis battery down engine should be running. These are typical scenarios which have been my motorhome experiences with several units and currently my Forest River Georgetown.
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:00 AM   #17
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This is an On an Gold. By clicking, it sounds like a dead battery. There is a button at the base of the steps inside the MH that says something like use and power hold. I turn the power hold button on, hold the generator button down to prime until it turns green. Nothing. I have tried holding the emergency battery button down along with the generator button, it just clicks like it is dead. I started the MH and let it run for an hr and tried all of the above with no success. I don't know where or what the flywheel is. How many batteries are there on this motorhome? 3 or 4? One to the engine, 2 in the bay by the door, is there a separate one for the generator? Thanks everyone! I want to use it this fall so I am determined to figure it out. We just got it 3 weeks ago
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Old 09-10-2016, 10:01 AM   #18
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What do you mean by the battery disconnect must not be disconnected?
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Old 09-10-2016, 06:51 PM   #19
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On my 3170 Sunseeker class C motorhome. My 0nan 4000 generator is started from the house batteries, of which I have 2. My house batteries are charged by either plugging into electric service or my motorhome's alternator. The motorhome has its own starting battery. The only time my genny would not roll over was my house batteries were down due to overnighting in a parking lot. I idled the motorhome for a bit to charge the house batteries a bit and started the genny. The genny than charged the house batteries.
There is a switch somewhere in your motorhome that will disconnect the house batteries so they will not drain during storage. Is this switch switched on? It will be a round red knob probably close to the batteries, if not in the same compartment.
Check your batteries with a volt meter, if it reads 11.2 volts or less, batteries may be dead. If you are using 6 volt, one dead battery in the bank will bring the entire bank down. I would start troubleshooting with the house batteries and work my way from there.

You should be able to start the genny at the genny, you could have a bad starting switch in the coach.

Let us know what you find.



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Old 09-10-2016, 07:13 PM   #20
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There is a store switch at the base of the steps that the previous owner said to make sure it is turned off every time we leave the motorhome. Class A (Storing it). I have done that. I may try starting the MH tomorrow, leaving the store button off and let the MH run for awhile to see if it will charge the house batteries. Thanks!
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