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Randall
Randall, RVIA Certification
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 10393
Experience:  RVDA/RVIA Master Certified Technician with many years experience.
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I have a 2000 motorhome with the original 8k quiet diesel

Customer Question

I have a 2000 motorhome with the original 8k quiet diesel generator. Model # 8HDKAK11454F. It is connected, I believe to a Todd Power Switch, model TS30. It also has a 5000 w inverter that I have never used more then a few minutes. When I start the generator, I believe the Power Switch has a delay of about 20 seconds. Lately when I start the generator, about one out of four times, the power actually comes on. The other times it doesn't. I usually check the clock on the microwave to tell if power is on. The other day I started it, no power. I shut it down and restarted and same thing. After the 4th start, the power came on and I ran the ac for about an hour to test it. So sometimes I get power, and sometimes not. How do I diagnose which is the problem, generator or switch? I put an multimeter on output wires of generator, but am unsure which ones should have power or not. I have no manual. There are 4 wires, I tested on the generator. I think 2 blk and 2 white.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: RV
Expert:  Robert replied 4 months ago.

Hi my name is Robert.....

I would go to the transfer switch and see if you are getting power in and out of the switch, if you have a 50 amp service you should have two hot legs coming into the transfer switch and each should have voltage in AND out of the switch, if you have power going into the switch and nothing coming out then it has failed and would need to be replaced. IF you have NO AC power at the TS then it is an issue with the generator. IF you have more questions or concerns please feel free to contact me.... Robert

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Ok, I don't know for sure which wires to check especially if wired to 220. Does anything in a motorhome use 220? I could send you a picture of inside of lid with wiring diagram if you give me a email address or something. or maybe you can look on net for TS30
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I would prefer not to talk on phone because I don't have the extra money. I can tell you what the terminals say on the lid if I can't email it to you. Does anything in motorhome use 220? I just replaced the air conditioners last year and I think they are 110???
Expert:  Robert replied 4 months ago.

What is the Year, Make and Model of the RV? ALL you need to do is check for voltage on the hot and neutral and see if you have power at the TS you will have incoming shore power, incoming generator power. IF you have AC voltage on the black and white (black should be hot white should be neutral) check the output side and see if you have voltage, if you ONLY have AC voltage on one side that it is bad. The relay can stick and once they do that they should be replaced. From what I can tell the TS 30 is a 30 amp transfer switch, click HERE and have a look. No worries on the phone service.... Robert

220 would be one HOT leg and sometimes owners plug into that and it is VERY damaging to the RV. IN a RV you have TWO 110 legs to equal 220 NOT 220 direct for a 50 amp service, your cord would have 4 prongs, a 30 amp service is ONE 110 volt hot leg cord would have 3 prongs. I am a little confused if you have a 50 or 30 amp service if you have that TS30......

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I am pretty sure I have 50 amp service. At least that is the outlet I plug into at campground. 2000 Overland Laredo. Also I have that 5000 w inverter. Would it be tied into this switch also? I did notice a white wire from the inverter that may attach to an outside lug. Perhaps if so, it should be grounded to frame or something.
Expert:  Robert replied 4 months ago.

OK

Honestly I am not sure on the inverter I am going to put your question back up for other experts, I do not know when another expert will respond, they come and go daily. No need to respond back to this as your question will be back up on the active list. My goal is for you to be satisfied and I am unsure if you have a 30 amp transfer switch with a 50 amp service.... Not something I have seen.... Robert

Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

What is the make and model of your inverter? Was that TS-30 transfer switch OEM installed or did someone change it out later? This should have a 50 amp ATS here if you have a 50 amp cord with this genset. Get back to me with this and we can do some testing to sort this out.

Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

I can add phone service for $9 if you want......

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
The inverter is a Statpower Prowatt 2500. I thought it was 5000 watts, but it looks like I was wrong. I don't use it because if you don't turn it off, it kills your batteries. It was added by the dealer. As far as the Todd TS30 I think it was added by the dealer also. The day we bought it, they were demostrating the generator, while plugged in, and I don't know if the inverter was on, but when they started the onan 8k, something got cooked.
I just checked with a volt meter the connections on the TS30. First I checked it with the power cord hooked up, and I had 120 in and 120 out to panel. I checked the top 2 terminals on the TS30. They are from the cord. I had the generator running. The 2 terminals in the middle of the TS30 are from the generator, they were 0. The inverter is off. Then I unplugged the power cord to rv, and I checked the terminals again. The generator was running, but the power in the middle of the TS30 was 0. What was odd was that the motorhome had power from the generator. I checked the terminals to "the panel" and there was 120v. I checked the terminals that the shore power hooks to, with it unplugged, and had 120v also. As I said though, the middle 2 generator terminals were 0.
Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

You don't want to have the genset running at the same time as the shore power is plugged in. Not good! You can damage the ATS. On measuring the AC voltage, you want to check between the red or black which are positive feeds and the white which is neutral. So based on that what is the voltage?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Sorry to sound dumb, but what is the ATS? Also, where do you want me to check the the red blk and white. Do you want it unplugged and the generator running. Check at TS 30 or at generator output up in the front of motorhome?If at the TS 30, the top 2 terminals are shorepower, the middle two are generator and bottom 2 feeds the electric panel.
Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

Not a problem. No dumb questions here. The ATS is the automatic transfer switch. Check the incoming AC power there and the power out. First with the one source and then the other. Let me know what you find and the AC voltage.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I just checked with a volt meter the connections on the TS30. First I checked it with the power cord hooked up, and I had 120 in and 120 out to panel. I checked the top 2 terminals on the TS30. The top 2 terminals are from the cord. I have 120v. I unplugged the cord and started the generator. The 2 terminals in the middle of the TS30 are from the generator, they were 0. The inverter is off. So the generator is running, but the voltage in the middle of the TS30 was 0. What was odd was that the motorhome had power from the generator. I checked the terminals to "the panel" and there was 120v. I checked the terminals that the shore power hooks to, with it unplugged, and had 120v also. As I said though, the middle 2 generator terminals are 0 volts.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How can I have power in the motorhome, when according to the schematic, the 2 terminals in the middle of the TS30 that say, " From Generator neutral" and "From generator Hot" show no power, but the cord terminals and the panel terminal show 120v, with the cord unplugged?
Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

That genset puts out two 120 VAC feeds. One must be working for sure. Did you check the breakers on the set? Are you sure that someone hasn't mis-wired that ATS? Did it ever work properly?

Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

And it sounds like someone added that 30 amp ATS and that the OEM ATS is still there. Did you look for one at the end of the shore cord?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
If your calling the TS30 the ATS, then yes it worked ever since new. I checked the cord area and do not see another ATS. The generator only has one 35 amp dual pole breaker. I had the little cover off the Onan a few weeks ago and there were 4 wires, 2 white and 2 black I believe. If you want I can recheck, but I think I had power on both blacks but the one white didn't show anything. I wasn't sure what the other white was.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How can it be explained that I have power at the shorepower terminals when not plugged in?
Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

The white wires are negative or neutral leads and carry no power. You test for AC power between the white and black. And you can't.......unless someone wired this up wrong.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have a red,black and 2 whites. Yes I know you don't look for power on whites , I rechecked it after work and all 4 wires were right. Sometimes though I think the one side is not working. Is there something in the generator that could stick sometimes due to lack of use?? This gen has been used very little. I will check again tomorrow and let you know. Probably mid morning I can do it
Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

The breaker on the genset may not be functioning properly. You could try checking the input on the genset side and see.......especially, if that is not the same on both legs. And you always want to test under load if you can. Switches and breakers that are failing do so more often under load.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
When you start the gen there would be very little load. Correct? That is when it doesn't work. Once the light on the microwave is flashing, meaning power is on, the I can run the air conditioners for an hour. Thus a load would be on it. I don't know how much has to come apart to get to the terminals on the breaker.
Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

Almost no load at all IF nothing is on. Best to have a manual on the genset to do that. Let me see if I can find one online for you. There should be two feeds and with a TS30 transfer switch you can only switch one leg. There has to be another one (ATS) there someplace.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have looked all over the MH. I cannot see anything else that looks like a transfer switch. I can take pictures of all the devices I have and send to you. I have a Thomas Betts thing beside the main breaker box, that has breakers in it, but I dont think that is one. I have a 75 amp box beside the TS30, but I think it is what that converts 110 to 12 for lights inside and maybe even charges the coach batts. I just checked the generator again and I had 120 from red to either white and 120 from blk to either white...
Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

If you don't then you could have AC power from two separate sources at the same time. That would be a bad situation. This had to have a 50 amp ATS from the factory. The lines from the generator and the shore cord end up there. What is the year, make and model of this RV?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
It is a 2000 Overland Laredo I bought new in 2000
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I don't understand what the link is about. It looks like a parts manual to me
Expert:  Randall replied 4 months ago.

It should have been an exploded view parts manual for the genset. If you can't find the OEM transfer swtich you might want to call in a good mobile tech for some assistance.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I agree. With you not being here to see the MH, and not willing to look at pictures of what I got, I think I need a local expert. I will not be wanting your services anymore. That manual does not show a switch, so I still don't understand why you would send a parts manual. Thank you for your time.