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Old 07-14-2015, 11:47 AM   #15
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1974 Argosy 20
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I bet that is it. And as others have said, you are not an Idiot. Learning how the rig was wired originally can be a challenge, especially with Argosy's where the factory was learning too, and built many different combinations of things. Then add in PO modifications over the years and it takes time to figure out what is/was/has been done. As I mentioned, on my 310 with the 6 kw version of that generator, I removed the original flakey push button circuit breakers and added external breakers of the home type. I also re wired it so it could produce 240 volt power, so I could use it as my home backup generator. Think about what the current owner has to deal with... my changes, all good, but all undocumented.
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Old 07-14-2015, 12:46 PM   #16
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Idroba brings up a good point about documentation or lack of documentation in most cases. One thing I did when I first got the 310, and had to muddle my way through wiring changes done by POs, was to take the time to trace out all of the major systems. I then developed a decent set of wiring diagrams that proved invaluable when troubleshooting problems or making additions and changes. I made sure I sent those documents along with the 310 for the next owner.

I also keep lots of notes detailing changes which I use as reminders for when I need to troubleshoot something. There is nothing more frustrating than to start looking for a problem without knowing where to even start looking.

As I've been rebuilding my Argosy I've created detailed drawings of how it is and how I want it to be.

Here's a few examples of how I try to document things. Not always pretty but at least the information is there.

310-genset-fuel-pump-relay.PDF
310-water-heater-connection-wiring.PDF
310-ac-wiring-diagrams.PDF

Brad
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Old 07-14-2015, 03:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Here's a few examples of how I try to document things. Not always pretty but at least the information is there.

Attachment 242948
Attachment 242949
Attachment 242950

Brad
Excellent, what I should have done with my 310 but didn't. So, now I take on the role of that DAMN PO... and with justification too.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:43 PM   #18
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Im not real familiar with that model, Ive got the Onan 6.5, but Im wondering why you have a 50amp breaker on that genny. Max amps is 33.3 according to the spec or do the math watts devided by volts = amps. Seems like that should be a 30amp breaker. The hole right below the 50amp breaker looks like a second breaker should go there. So does this genny supply one circuit that feeds the house panel? If that 20amp breaker that you found shuts down everything, air conditioner/house outlets, then something has been messed with by a PO. My guess would be that the 20amp that you found should feed the air conditioner only.
On mine, the original set up was two circuits from the genny. One feeding the rear air conditioner and one feeding the house electrical panel. Both are on 20amp push breakers on the genny. I wonder what the original set up was on your Argosy? Do any of you fellas know how it came from the factory?

Mike
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Old 07-14-2015, 09:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mayco View Post
Do any of you fellas know how it came from the factory?

Mike
Mike,
my 79 Airstream had the identical genset, except for the 50 amp reset button, it should be a 30.
There is no other breaker and no transfer switch, it goes directly to a 30 amp receptacle for the power cord to be plugged into when the Genset is used.
Its a very simple system.
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Old 07-15-2015, 04:40 AM   #20
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Old 07-17-2015, 05:52 AM   #21
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1978 28' Argosy 28
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Well, darn it. Problems persist.
Got the moho back from the brake shop last night and took a look at the genny again. I had thought my house battery was dead and that was the reason the genny was cranking SUPER slow. I swap batteries only to find that genny cranks off the starter battery along with the engine. It still cranked slow with the battery swap. Battery wasn't dead.
After some putzing around I discovered that, with the 20A breaker (located underneath the bed) in the on position, I'd have the slow cranking symptoms. Genny wouldn't fire. If I flipped that breaker off, I had all kinds of power going to the genny and she'd fire right up and run. As soon as I flipped that breaker, genny would die. As if far too much load was on the system and it couldn't handle the draw. Problem is Nothing is plugged into the 110v system. AC is off, power converter is unplugged and nothing it plugged into any outlets.. ???
There should't be a draw anywhere, even if the breaker is on.
I again checked the recptical plug, its connected properly. I also pulled the 20A breaker and examined the wiring. All seems to be connected proper and tight going from genny to the breaker.
Basically I have no idea where to go from here. Any help, as usual, is greatly appreciated.

BG




Notes: Google search suggests this might be a dirty carb situation, fuel starvation or governor issue. Quote from one Onan generator owner below. Pulled off the net.

"I have the same rv and model generator. I experienced the same problem. Here is what I did:

Cleaned Carb
Replaced Air Filter
Replaced electric fuel Pump
Replaced Govenor Linkage rod , plastic keeper and spring....it was worn out due to mice nest that was bundled up against it.
Found small hole on fuel line that passes thru frame.....repaired and put rubber chaff on line .

Spun her up and Presto problem gone.

A bit of overkill but parts were less than 100.00 and the gen needed attention.

Hope this helps.
matt "


I believe these Onan carbs are not serviceable? i can pull it off this weekend and spray it down with carb cleaner. Also easy to pull the fuel line off and run it from a separate gas tank with some seafoam. ?? Both are easy to do.

Ben
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:54 AM   #22
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I would NOT try to run this genset with the RV cord plugged into the genny receptacle until you figure out the problem. You can always check for voltage at the receptacle.
When I had this type of system, I would wait a minute or 2 before plugging in the house cord. More modern systems have a delay relay that takes care of that issue.
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:25 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by bpg_austin View Post
Well, darn it. Problems persist.
Got the moho back from the brake shop last night and took a look at the genny again. I had thought my house battery was dead and that was the reason the genny was cranking SUPER slow. I swap batteries only to find that genny cranks off the starter battery along with the engine. It still cranked slow with the battery swap. Battery wasn't dead.
I think the 310 genset was also powered from the engine starting battery. Probably because the coach batteries are usually deep cycle batteries not always suited for starting type loads.

Quote:
After some putzing around I discovered that, with the 20A breaker (located underneath the bed) in the on position, I'd have the slow cranking symptoms. Genny wouldn't fire. If I flipped that breaker off, I had all kinds of power going to the genny and she'd fire right up and run. As soon as I flipped that breaker, genny would die. As if far too much load was on the system and it couldn't handle the draw.

Problem is Nothing is plugged into the 110v system. AC is off, power converter is unplugged and nothing it plugged into any outlets.. ???
There should't be a draw anywhere, even if the breaker is on.
Is the breaker you're talking about on the drawing you attached? If so is it the in the 120vac distribution panel? There should be two breakers in the distribution panel.

I'm assuming you're doing the test with the generator plugged into the coach which is why flipping the breaker on has an impact. All of the motorhomes I've dealt with had a transfer switch so the generator was able to start up unloaded and then after it got up to speed (and proper voltage output) the transfer switch would switch the load to the genset.

I'm somewhat surprised that a load on the 120vac system could cause the generator to struggle to start but it does sound like that might be the case.

You're going to have to find out which load in 120vac system is "on". You didn't mention what the status of the fridge is, i.e. is it on or plugged in? With shore power disconnected and your generator unplugged take an ohm (resistance) reading from the black wires in the breaker panel to ground. She if you have a short or any sort of resistance reading. With everything unplugged you should have an open circuit between the black wire and ground.

When you plug into shore power what comes on as soon as you push the plug into the shore power outlet?

Quote:
I again checked the receptical plug, its connected properly. I also pulled the 20A breaker and examined the wiring. All seems to be connected proper and tight going from genny to the breaker.
Basically I have no idea where to go from here. Any help, as usual, is greatly appreciated.

BG




Notes: Google search suggests this might be a dirty carb situation, fuel starvation or governor issue. Quote from one Onan generator owner below. Pulled off the net.

"I have the same rv and model generator. I experienced the same problem. Here is what I did:

Cleaned Carb
Replaced Air Filter
Replaced electric fuel Pump
Replaced Govenor Linkage rod , plastic keeper and spring....it was worn out due to mice nest that was bundled up against it.
Found small hole on fuel line that passes thru frame.....repaired and put rubber chaff on line .

Spun her up and Presto problem gone.

A bit of overkill but parts were less than 100.00 and the gen needed attention.

Hope this helps.
matt "


I believe these Onan carbs are not serviceable? i can pull it off this weekend and spray it down with carb cleaner. Also easy to pull the fuel line off and run it from a separate gas tank with some seafoam. ?? Both are easy to do.

Ben
I'm skeptical that it is a generator problem, especially with the carburetor. You said everything was working fine until you turned the generator off with the A/C on high. That tells me the generator was mechanically functioning just fine.

When you have the genset unplugged from the coach, start the generator and take a voltage reading at the socket where you plug the cable in for the coach. In other words verify with the generator running that there is power in the outlet where you would plug the coach in. If you have a stable 120vac at that point then your generator should be ok.

I think I sent you my phone number previously. If you want to talk about the problem feel free to give me a call.

Brad
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:44 AM   #24
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Brad, power cord leaving genny goes inside the coach to the 20A breaker, then directly to the power receptacle. Or, its supposed to according to the owners manual picture I posted previously. Since shore power works 100% of the 110v system, I'm assuming all is well from the distribution panel forward. Must be a problem somewhere in-between the genny and the receptacle. I'm unable to take a voltage reading at the receptacle right now becuase, in order to keep the genny running I need to have the 20A breaker (under the bed) flipped to the 'off' position. No power will be a the receptacle then. I should be able to take a reading directly from the generator though, right? Or, before power enters the 20A breaker?

I might take you up on that phone call tomorrow.

edit: the fridge is off. I have the converter unplugged and the button on the fridge to the 'off' position. Its still plugged in to the 110v outlet now that you mentioned it. I should unplug it while doing further testing. As Peter mentioned above. That's the last thing that's even plugged into a 110v powersource.
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:05 AM   #25
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Brad, power cord leaving genny goes inside the coach to the 20A breaker, then directly to the power receptacle. Or, its supposed to according to the owners manual picture I posted previously. Since shore power works 100% of the 110v system, I'm assuming all is well from the distribution panel forward. Must be a problem somewhere in-between the genny and the receptacle. I'm unable to take a voltage reading at the receptacle right now becuase, in order to keep the genny running I need to have the 20A breaker (under the bed) flipped to the 'off' position. No power will be a the receptacle then. I should be able to take a reading directly from the generator though, right? Or, before power enters the 20A breaker?
Ok, so the 20 amp breaker in question is NOT the power distribution panel with two breakers in it.

You may have mentioned it but to be sure which side of the outlet the problem lies make sure the generator is unplugged from the coach when you start it up. Does the 20 amp breaker cause a problem when the cord is unplugged? If the generator still dies with the breaker on and corded unplugged then the problem is in the 20 amp breaker box or your generator outlet socket. If the generator runs fine with the 20 amp breaker closed then the problem is between the plug in cord and whatever else is inside your coach.

Once you isolate the problem to one side or the other it should be easy from there

Quote:
I might take you up on that phone call tomorrow.

edit: the fridge is off. I have the converter unplugged and the button on the fridge to the 'off' position. Its still plugged in to the 110v outlet now that you mentioned it. I should unplug it while doing further testing. As Peter mentioned above. That's the last thing that's even plugged into a 110v powersource.
If the problem proves to be inside the coach then the only way to really find it is to make sure everything is unplugged, disconnected or otherwise isolated from receiving power.

You would then one at a time plug something in (or turn on) while the generator is running (and plugged into the coach) to see what impact it has on the generator. Something is causing a tremendous load on the generator and that really shouldn't be to difficult to find.

Brad
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:15 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkahler View Post
Does the 20 amp breaker cause a problem when the cord is unplugged? If the generator still dies with the breaker on and corded unplugged then the problem is in the 20 amp breaker box or your generator outlet socket. If the generator runs fine with the 20 amp breaker closed then the problem is between the plug in cord and whatever else is inside your coach.

correct, the 20A breaker in question is 'upstream' from the dist. panel. Its prior to the receptacle.

I'll test the above quote tonight. I believe I did this last night but will need to confirm. IRRC, with the shore power disconnected, 20A breaker 'off' and genny running things were fine. When I tripped the 20A breaker, genny would die. Leads us to believe the problem is in the breaker area. ?
I'll confirm this tonight and post results of this test.

THANKS.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:02 AM   #27
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correct, the 20A breaker in question is 'upstream' from the dist. panel. Its prior to the receptacle.
That's good news. As a side note, I would always make sure that breaker is open before starting your generator. Having it open would provide the same function as an automatic transfer switch does in the later motorhomes where the generator is allowed to get up to speed and producing current before having loads switched over to it.

Quote:
I'll test the above quote tonight. I believe I did this last night but will need to confirm. IRRC, with the shore power disconnected, 20A breaker 'off' and genny running things were fine. When I tripped the 20A breaker, genny would die. Leads us to believe the problem is in the breaker area. ?
I'll confirm this tonight and post results of this test.
If this is the case then you've got a bad breaker, bad cord or bad cord end.

Based on the fact that when plugged into shore power everything seems to work fine I betting your paycheck that the problem is the 20 amp breaker or the cord

Brad
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:07 AM   #28
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Ben, as a side issue I would suggest adding the 20 amp breaker to the picture in your manual as a reminder down the road that there is a breaker there and for any future owner to know how his coach is really wired.

Brad
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