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Old 07-12-2010, 12:46 PM   #1
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2004 22' Interstate
The Woodlands , Texas
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1
Generator dies when Air conditioner compressor cycles on.

I hope someone can give me some advice about my Generator. I have a 2004 Interstate with the 2.5 micorlite generator. Lately, the generator stumbles and misses and finally dies when the air conditioner's compressor cycles on. It will run the micowave oven, tv, frige, etc with no problem, but doesn't seem to have enough power to power the a/c compressor. The a/c works ok when powered by A/C current. Is it possible that the generator just doesn't have enough power to do the job? The oil was replaced at the dealer at 32 hours and it has 34 hours on it now. I cut the exhaust pipe down and rerouted it to the passenger side to shorten the distance hoping back pressure might be the problem. Didn't help. Just had the propane tank topped off and still has a problem. It acts like it starving for fuel. Could it be the valve from the tank not providing enough fuel pressure to the generator. Or is there an adjustment on the generator itself. Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide. I had the A/C checked out by a service center and they said it's a sealed unit and can't be serviced.

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Old 07-12-2010, 01:25 PM   #2
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 4,020
Any changes in propane plumbing, new OPD valves, stuff like that? Might be tripping the excess flow valve. Also could be basic maintenance items like spark plug, air filter.

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Old 07-12-2010, 01:30 PM   #3
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North central , Florida
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Mine did the same thing, dealer never did find out why. The generator is marginal for that application, micro and most everything else must be off to operate the ac properly. zz
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:33 PM   #4
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1991 34' Excella
Princeton , New Jersey
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You can test the system by turning off all other AC items, refig, converter, TV, ect. Start the generator and then the AC. If the generator holds the AC add to converter and then a few minutes later the refig and so on. I the generator dies as you add load it just is not built for that total load or the generator has a problem.

I am assuming the 2.5 designation on your generator means 2500 watts max load and it should support an AC and other items but may have trouble starting the AC if there is a significant load, the Refig on Electric, before you attempt to start the AC.

You may just have to sequent the load starting with the AC.
2004 Excursion 4x4
1991 34 ft. Excella +220,000 miles, new laminated flooring, new upholstery, new 3200 lbs axles

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Old 07-12-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
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1973 27' Overlander
Loganville , Georgia
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 1,713
I had the same problem. My lawn mower repair guy rebuilt the carbeurator and it now works great. I never even knew there was a problem with the generator. I thought it was the air conditioner pulling to many amps. Finally the generator would not start and that is when I took it in. The repair man fixed the generator and when I hooked it up and tested the air again everything worked great. He also put in a new plug.

Brian & Adrienne
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Old 07-13-2010, 07:27 PM   #6
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1995 30' Excella
Bowie , Maryland
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 2,343
This is a generator problem. The 2500 should be sufficient to start and run a 13,000 BTU A/C. I don't know what size A/C is in the Interstate, but I know the B190s had a 11,500 BTU A/C.

Hell, my new generator (well, four years old now but it's done it since new) stalls when the load is applied. The best thing I've found is to baby it - start it, let it warm up, then apply the load as slowly as possible, by turning on the fan to low, then to high, then letting it settle down a bit before hitting the air conditioning mode. Even then it still stalls sometimes. Letting it cool down a few minutes with no load before shutting it down seems to help a bit, too.

It's pretty frustrating - these are not cheap generators, but they don't seem to run that well. Onan is supposed to be a good name for this sort of thing, too. For a while I did the recommended four hours per month but didn't have much better luck with it; it was still hard to start and stalled frequently.
1995 Airstream Classic 30' Excella 1000
2014 Ram 2500 Crew Cab with Cummins 6.7L Diesel

Sold but not forgotten: 1991 Airstream B190
Sold: 2006 F-250 6.0L Powerstroke Supercab
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Old 07-14-2010, 07:26 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
2005 22' Interstate
Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 177
One standard piece of advice with these units is to clean out the little rubber vent tube that sticks out of the bottom of the genset. It is a breather tube and frequently gets clogged (allegedly with insects building nests). This simple procedure has corrected numerous no-start problems with my unit.

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