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Ask Hank F. Your Own Question
Hank F.
Hank F., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 14479
Experience:  Certified on Onan and Generac generators
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I have an Onan Marguis 5500 that is shorting out when I try to start it. It sounds just li

Customer Question

I have an Onan Marguis 5500 that is shorting out when I try to start it. It sounds just like a car battery with dirty or loose cables.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Small Engine
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, anyone out there? It's not 4:18 pm and I have not had a response since I submitted my question at 3:40
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I still have not received an answer from my question dated 5/23/15 at 3:40 pm. Sounds like a scam to me.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.
Welcome to JUST ANSWER small engines, let me try to help you !! What is happening? The starter is giving a rapid clicking when turned to start? A rat a tat sound? Do you have a voltmeter to test the battery ? A rapid clicking when trying to start is always low voltage to the starter solenoid. Battery or cable problem!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The generator is hooked up to my RV, does it have a separate battery other than the auto and/or unit batteries? The unit is also plugged it to a 30 amp plug.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.
The typical unit would have it's own battery, as it is a stand alone unit. It can be hooked to the RV battery but that is not the norm.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did hook a battery charger up to it and it still would not start. I flipped the two breakers on the side of the unit and it still made the rat-a-tat sound and would not turn over. Is there another breaker on the outside I'm missing? I checked the one's inside the RV and they were fine.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.
No, and with the rat a tat sound, the voltage is just not enough to engage the starter. Do you find the battery?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's hard to see, unfortunately our RV is 15 years old and the Generator does not slide out. All I can see is the red positive cable connection. I will have to pull the cover and contact you later.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.
Ok,thanks.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I did not find the battery, the compartment where the positive cable is, is in an enclosed case not under the cover. I got under the RV and could see through the vent opening that the red cable terminated with a bolt to the unit. Know what?
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.
Can you make out where this cable comes from? With it bolted to the unit, it would seem to be the ground or negative cable. Not used as the posiitve cable! Or is the bolt it is attached, to an insulated post?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the red cable is bolted to the wall and end of the cable looks like a battery cable that is bolted to the generator and I can only see that by looking through an opening just barely big enough to put a socket on it. I tried looking up the manual on line, but it does not show me where the battery is. I guess I will just have to bite the bullet and take it to the RV repair shop. I was hoping to avoid the several hundred dollars they are going to charge me to work on it. Thanks anyway.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.
OK, that's the breaks on some of these installs. There isn't a separate compartment with battery battery in it, where the cable comes from? In the floor of the unit?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not that I could find, but that doesn't mean it's not there.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 1 year ago.
Ok, I guess you don't have owners manual on the RV?
Expert:  Hank F. replied 1 year ago.
Hello!
My name is ***** ***** I am going to assist you with this.
The genset should not have its own battery. That would be almost unheard of.
Most RV gensets are connected to the house batteries, but every now and then you will see one that is connected to the chassis battery.
It should be connected to the house batteries for the simple reason that if for some reason your chassis battery goes dead, you can still start the genset, and get power to the coach.
Check the connections at the chassis batteries. Make sure they are good and tight.
If the connections are good, you most likely have a bad battery. You would need to take it/them in to have tested. Do not rely on a voltmeter or battery charger to tell you if the battery is good or not, as even a bad battery can read fully charged with 12V, but not have enough ampacity to do any work.
Just having the coach plugged in is not sufficient, either, as the starter can draw up to 100 amps, and your converter will typically be rated for 35 - 55 amps. The converter is not strong enough to run a starter.
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