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Old 08-03-2013, 04:55 PM   #15
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You guys really need to understand that the 2002-2006 is much different than 2007 onward in terms of AS's conversion design.
Well, all of the Interstate owner's manuals are available for download from the Airstream web page, so it's not too terribly difficult to look up the differences. Appreciate you pointing it out; I had forgotten.

The 2004~2005 manuals specifically state that the spare tire has been moved from underneath to inside.

The 2006~2007 manuals say the spare tire has been relocated on rear bath models, but not on mid-bath models.

From 2008 on, the Sprinter hinged spare tire bracket is replaced by the crank-down bracket.
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Old 08-03-2013, 05:38 PM   #16
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Our spare is mounted inside the back door. We do, however have a trailer hitch on the back, which has, in my previous Sprinter experience, made access to the undermount spare more difficult. I imagine it will also make generator access more challenging.
I'm hoping that the rig will fit on the lift in my shop and make generator service a non-issue. Like others have said, worse case scenario, it can go on ramps or I can just dig a ditch with the backhoe and have the wife back the rig over me...
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Old 08-03-2013, 08:19 PM   #17
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If the generator is using a measurable amount of oil in the 25 hr change cycle, then there's a problem somewhere. I check my about half way thru the cycle and if it's OK, then don't check again.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:12 AM   #18
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FYI, if the battery is dead, the generator will shut down. That's probably why it wouldn't stay running.
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Old 08-12-2013, 06:38 AM   #19
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FYI, if the battery is dead, the generator will shut down. That's probably why it wouldn't stay running.
If the house batteries are too depleted, the generator won't even start. But once the generator is running the house batteries will charge. A mounted Onan generator is no different from a freestanding Honda or Yamaha generator in that regard; once it's running, you don't need to keep feeding it battery power to keep it running. But you do need to keep feeding it air, fuel, and oil in sufficient quantities.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:15 AM   #20
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If the house batteries are too depleted, the generator won't even start. But once the generator is running the house batteries will charge. A mounted Onan generator is no different from a freestanding Honda or Yamaha generator in that regard; once it's running, you don't need to keep feeding it battery power to keep it running. But you do need to keep feeding it air, fuel, and oil in sufficient quantities.
In my B190, I did have to keep feeding it 12 volt power, or it would shut down.

Relatively easy test: Fire up the gen, turn off the converter, then disconnect your 12 volt battery. In mine, the generator would shut off. I discovered this when I was doing something unusual (I forget exactly what), and I was a bit surprised when the generator shut down, but after I thought about it, I realized that's how it's probably controlled (i.e., the off switch just cuts 12 volt power to it for a moment).

So, if theirs is wired the same way, since the alt wasn't working, as the batteries depleted, eventually the voltage would get low enough that the gen would think it was being shut down, and shut down. Then it wouldn't start again because the voltage was low.
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Old 08-12-2013, 10:38 AM   #21
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So, if theirs is wired the same way, since the alt wasn't working, as the batteries depleted, eventually the voltage would get low enough that the gen would think it was being shut down, and shut down. Then it wouldn't start again because the voltage was low.
Hadn't considered that. If the generator isn't actually generating power, it can't self-power either, and so will draw power from the batteries to keep the spark plug sparking. Once the batteries get too low, the spark plug quits sparking, and the generator shuts down. By the time the batteries are too low to power the ignition coil, they're too low to power the electric starter motor, too.

But for the same thing to happen to a properly-working generator, that almost has to be keyed to the throttle control. A generator throttles up to increase RPMs as the load on the electrical system increases. Whatever mechanism controls the throttle probably relies upon battery power, so if there's not enough battery power, you can bog down the engine by overloading it; RPMs don't increase as they're supposed to with added load, which causes the generator to shut down.

Still grasping at straws here, but haven't reached the last straw yet.
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Old 08-12-2013, 12:16 PM   #22
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The generator probably WAS generating power. It was generating 120 volts AC. But that doesn't do any good for the 12 volt DC side if the converter is off. Then the alt goes, and suddenly the only source of 12 volt DC power is the battery, which will run down without anything charging it.
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Old 08-13-2013, 10:35 AM   #23
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Home and fixed

The rig made it home the rest of the trip without incident. The reman alternator solved the charging issue and is working like a champ. I think I posted it earlier, but that entire fix came in under 500 bucks, more than fair.
The genset issue did turn out to be slightly low oil. Went ahead and changed it and topped it off, no more issue.
So far, we really like the rig. The 2 couches fits our use better than a dinette set up and the rear kitchen is plenty big enough for us and with the rear door open, it makes for a nice view.
Thanks for all the help, comments and suggestions.
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Old 08-13-2013, 11:59 AM   #24
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reddog,you might look into one of the screen enclosures for your rear door, if you don't have one already.

Available from the Sprinter store, they are wonderful for parks, beaches, etc., where you have a beautiful view but insects keep your doors closed.


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Old 08-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #25
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......A generator throttles up to increase RPMs as the load on the electrical system increases. Whatever mechanism controls the throttle probably relies upon battery power, so if there's not enough battery power, you can bog down the engine by overloading it; RPMs don't increase as they're supposed to with added load, which causes the generator to shut down.
1. A generator "throttles up" to maintain RPMs not to increase them. The purpose of the governor is to maintain 60 Hz output under varying loads. This means that RPMs have to be controlled within a fairly narrow range, roughly 59-61 Hz.
2. The governor on these and most generators is mechanical and does not depend on battery power.
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Old 08-13-2013, 02:14 PM   #26
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1. A generator "throttles up" to maintain RPMs not to increase them.
Thank you. As slow as I type, my fingers still go faster than my brain.
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