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Old 02-25-2014, 05:48 PM   #1
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Generator/Battery Issue

I have a 2007 Octane ZX and am having some electrical/charging issues. During my last camping wknd (dry) my generator (Onan 4000) started stumbling and would barely run. I noticed it was not charging the battery, this has never been a problem before. If the camper is plugged in to shore pwr then I have about 13.2v at the battery, which should mean the converter is working properly and charging the battery? If I am using the generator the volts on the batt start at 12.8 and continually drop as it runs (it does seem to swap over to generator pwr as the lights do get brighter). I have been told the generator running poorly could be caused by a bad battery, as it runs the fuel pump, but my volts are at 12.8 when I begin running it. Any ideas? Thanks!
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:55 AM   #2
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Have you dropped the battery "out of the loop" when testing voltages?

The way I understand it, whether you're using your generator or shore power....the charging volts come through the converter.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:43 AM   #3
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Have you checked the drive belt on the generator? My camping buddy next door just had to have her's replaced for the same reason.
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:23 PM   #4
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I will try that, that's what I understand also; that the charging volts come through the converter. Makes no sense to me!
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Old 02-26-2014, 05:26 PM   #5
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Have you checked the drive belt on the generator? My camping buddy next door just had to have her's replaced for the same reason.
I will for sure check that , how did she know it was bad, just worn ? Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2014, 09:40 AM   #6
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It has happened before for her... so now rather than take it into the shop she had our resident grease monkey do it for a little less
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Old 02-27-2014, 10:29 AM   #7
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Pardon my ignorance on this, but is the house battery(s) starting the genny or is it from an isolated battery? If the starting battery is isolated I would also throw in to check your terminal connections on both the genny and starting battery.

You mentioned running rough which could be a fuel issue too. Do you use stabilizer? If not I would highly recommend you do as today's fuel breaks down and gums up very fast with the additive of ethanol. I use the Yamaha brand stabilizer in my portable unit religiously.
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:40 PM   #8
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Pardon my ignorance on this, but is the house battery(s) starting the genny or is it from an isolated battery? If the starting battery is isolated I would also throw in to check your terminal connections on both the genny and starting battery.

You mentioned running rough which could be a fuel issue too. Do you use stabilizer? If not I would highly recommend you do as today's fuel breaks down and gums up very fast with the additive of ethanol. I use the Yamaha brand stabilizer in my portable unit religiously.
I am using the RV batt for start, I will be checking all above tomorrow (raining). I am hoping it is just a fuel issue, yes I use stabilizer but I have no idea if the previous owner did, I've learned my lesson well with this ethanol gas. I am also going to clean the carb and change fuel filter, hopefully one of these will fix my problem. Thanks!
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Old 02-27-2014, 06:32 PM   #9
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I would also check the output voltage of the generator

Shore power somewhere between 110 - 120 vac.

What's the output on the generator? ( disconnect from shore power, measure AC voltage at the input terminals on your converter/ power distribution center with digital volt meter. Please exercise caution )
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:33 AM   #10
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I am using the RV batt for start, I will be checking all above tomorrow (raining). I am hoping it is just a fuel issue, yes I use stabilizer but I have no idea if the previous owner did, I've learned my lesson well with this ethanol gas. I am also going to clean the carb and change fuel filter, hopefully one of these will fix my problem. Thanks!
The Honda service people warned me about using stabilizer in an older unit that had never had stabilizer in the fuel. They claimed that it would flush the gunk out of the fuel tank and plug the filter and carb. Sound familiar?
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