Motorhome Magazine Open Roads Forum: Class C Motorhomes: Generator question
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dennislanier

Northeast Georgia

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Posted: 09/09/17 03:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Trying to get my motorhome ready in case I need it here in northeast Georgia. Was going to fire up the genset but have a nearly dead house battery. Without thinking too much about it I started the mh engine and let it run for a few minutes. I then cranked the genset with the mh motor running. It started and ran ok. My question is could I have done any harm to the alternator or electrical system by doing this. Can't think of a problem but would like to know your thoughts.

gbopp

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Posted: 09/09/17 03:57pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've done the same thing several times over the past few years with our 96 Southwind. The house batteries get low, I start the engine and then the generator.
I never had any problems with the alternator or electrical system.

bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 09/09/17 04:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No problem.

ScottG

Bothell Wa.

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Posted: 09/09/17 04:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No, you wont hurt anything.


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dennislanier

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Posted: 09/09/17 04:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the quick responses. I feel better now at least until the storm comes calling. Really feel for the folks in Florida.

ksg5000

Oregon

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Posted: 09/09/17 05:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Starting the engine puts both house/chassis on-line which helps insure that the generator has sufficient current to start.


Kevin

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Southern California

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Posted: 09/09/17 05:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Quite normal to run the generator all day while driving in the heat in order to run the air conditioning.


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tatest

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Posted: 09/09/17 06:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Itasca Spirit user manual from Winnebago actually suggests starting the engine before trying to start the generator or move the slideouts.


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cgmartine

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Posted: 09/09/17 06:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Some motorhomes have an auxiliary switch in the driver's cabin. When your house batteries are dead, you press the switch and it ties the house and engine batteries, and allows you to start the generator without having to start the engine. If yours does not have the auxiliary switch, you can start the engine, but it will slowly charge the house batteries. Not all motorhomes allow the engine to charge the house batteries unless they are equipped with a BIRD device. This device will also allow the generator to charge both house and engine batteries.

Sam Spade

North Central Florida

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Posted: 09/10/17 06:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ScottG wrote:

No, you wont hurt anything.


The odds are really good that this is true.

There is a tiny chance that the house battery is effectively shorted......and THAT might cause a problem. That usually would only happen if it had been sitting neglected for a LONG time.

Since you already did it and nothing smoked, then you are fine.

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