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I have a 1994 Jayco Eagle 290 with an Onan..4K..wouldnt..stay running…

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I have a 1994 Jayco...
I have a 1994 Jayco Eagle 290 with an Onan 4K with 280 hours. Everything had been working fine all season then I started having trouble with the generator. At times it wouldnt stay running until several start attempts. Other times it would surge for a minute or two then eventually run smooth. Othertimes it would start up fine then would die after 10-15 minutes. I ignored the problem since I almost exclusively use shore power when camping. Now as soon as I press the start button to start the generator I lose all power to the coach. I cant even get the control LED panel to light up. Its as though the auxillary battery blew a main breaker or was disconnected. Completely dead coach. After several minutes to an hour the power would somehow restore itself and everything would work fine until I try to start the generator again then all power to coach was again lost. I have repeated this four times now. SO WEIRD!! Any ideas??
Submitted: 13 years ago.Category: RV
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Answered in 4 hours by:
9/22/2009
RV Mechanic: RIP ROBERT, R.V. TECH & MECHANIC replied 13 years ago
RIP ROBERT
RIP ROBERT, R.V. TECH & MECHANIC
Category: RV
Satisfied Customers: 783
Experience: 35 plus years HANDS ON WORK TROUBLE SHOOTING & REPAIRS
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HICustomer

YOU HAVE MORE THAN JUST A GENERATOR PROBLEM, YOUR COACH TO ME IS NOT CHARGING THE AUX BATTERIES, WHICH IS WHY WHEN YOU GO TO START THE GENERATOR IT KNOCKS OUT ALL THE POWER. YOU ARE RUNNING STRAIGHT OFF THE POWER CONVERTER, WITH NO CHARGE TO AUX BATTERIES. NOW THE GENERATOR SOUNDS LIKE IT IS DUE TO BE SERVICED. WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU. YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY. THANK YOU FOR USEING JUST ANSWER.

THANK YOU,

RIP ROBERT
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Customer reply replied 13 years ago
OK as I think back to the last trip, we did disconnect from shore power while the thermostat was still set to "AC/COOL" because we had to leave the campsite. We parked RV with hydraulic levelers down and had everything else off. We returned to the RV about 3 hours later and tried to start the generator to cool the coach while we had lunch and it immediately killed all power. Completely dead coach. We then drove home approximately 2 hours. When we got home I got power back to coach then again tried to start generator and it zapped everything dead again.

So when I received your response today I went out to the RV and everything was still dead. So I plugged into shore power and got power to the coach. I immediately turned thermostat out of "AC/COOL" mode and turned it to OFF. Unfortunately I was only able to leave teh RV plugged in for about a half hour since I have no RV parking at my place. When I unplugged the RV the control panel showed the "LOW" which is lowest indicator light for the batteries. I drove the RV 5 minutes to the storage yard and by the time I got there the coach batteries were completely dead again.

Question #1......did leaving the thermostat in "AC/COOL" with shore power disconnected zap all life out of the coach battery the 3 hours we were away??

Question #2......doesnt the engine charge the coach auxillary battery when its running?? If so, why did theXXXXXhome not fully recharge the coach battery?? The thermostat was still in the "AC/COOL" mode. Did that not allow it to rechargbe?? Again, it was zapped dry when I tried to start the generator after I got home after the two hour drive.

Question #3......when I finally turned the thermostat to "OFF" today and had the coach on shore power for 30 minutes at my house, is it normal for the battery to only show a minimal charge in the control panel and why would the battery have gone completely dead within 5 minutes of disconnecting?? Does a completely dead coach battery just take a really long time to fully recharge??

Am I just spinning my wheels until I am able to FULLY recharge the coach battery via shore power and see what happens?       
RV Mechanic: RIP ROBERT, R.V. TECH & MECHANIC replied 13 years ago
HICustomer

WHAT POWER CONTROL SYSTEM DO YOU HAVE IN YOUR COACH? THE AUX BATTERIES CHARGE WHILE DRIVING THE COACH PROVIDED THAT THE CHARGE FROM THE ALTERNATOR IS GETTING TO THEM. WHEN PLUGGED INTO SHORE POWER THE BATTERIES ONLY GET A TRICKLE CHARGE. YES THREE HOURS COULD DRAIN EVERY BIT OF POWER OUT OF THE BATTERIES. I THINK YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE TO HAVE THE BATTERIES FULLY CHARGED, THEN YOU HAVE TO TEST AND SEE IF THERE IS A CHARGE COMING FROM THE ENGINE WHEN RUNNING, AND YOU HAVE TO TEST AND SEE IF THERE IS ANY CHARGE COMING FROM THE CONVERTOR. YOU HAVE A LOT TO DO AND TEST. YOUR BATTERIES ARE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST. YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY.

THANK YOU,

RIP ROBERT
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Customer reply replied 13 years ago
Thanks for your response and for all your time. I will try to get you the control center info when I can get to teh storage yard to check. I guess my first question is the one I am most curious about. Does the thermostat left in the "AC/COOL" mode when not hooked up to shore power pull any draw on the aux battery power?? If so, how significant?? Enough to drain it completley dry in 3 hours??

What is the best way to completely top off the aux battery?? Do I need to just leave it hooked up to shore power for a good 24 hours?? I dont have a battery quick charger.

Is the "converter" the same thing as (or related to) the "solenoid"?? Confirming that is what charges the aux battery?? Is it possible for that to work intermitently if its going out or does it fail completely and only completely? The toggle switch on the dash that is suppossed to be flipped during storage peiods to cut off all power to the coach.....is that to disable the converter??

Thanks for all your help
RV Mechanic: RIP ROBERT, R.V. TECH & MECHANIC replied 13 years ago
HICustomer

I WOULD HAVE THEM CHARGED AND TESTED BY A SHOP. THE POWER CONVERTOR IS WHAT CONVERTS THE AC POWER THE DC POWER, WHICH ALSO SHOULD HAVE A BATTERY TRICKLE CHARGE UNIT BUILT IN. WAITING TO HEAR FROM YOU.

THANK YOU,

RIP ROBERT
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Customer reply replied 13 years ago
Thanks for the response but I think I have figured it out. I spoke with my wife and she told me that the three hours we were disconnected from shore power we had the refrigerator, pump, water heater, propane detector, CO2 detector and hydraulic levelers on. With only one house battery I think that did it in.

I confirmed that the converter is working because when I plug into shore power I hear it humming and the control panel shows "FULL"

I have removed teh house battery and took it to a mechanic for a full charge. I believe that is my only issue at this point. I will know in 24 hours when I put the battery back in.

Thanks for your help.
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