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Old 01-07-2019, 01:05 PM   #1
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Generator question

Howdy.

2009 Winnebago Vista 26p here which is currently in the UK having been converted over to UK power.

We have been playing around with the various systems and have run into an issue with the generator, which wont start when the coach battery switch is off.

My question is, if we are boondocking the generator is surely there to charge the coach batteries when they get low, but if the batteries are flat, then there is no way to start the generator???.

Is this right? as it seems counter indicative.
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:49 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Boldero View Post
Howdy.

2009 Winnebago Vista 26p here which is currently in the UK having been converted over to UK power.

We have been playing around with the various systems and have run into an issue with the generator, which wont start when the coach battery switch is off.

My question is, if we are boondocking the generator is surely there to charge the coach batteries when they get low, but if the batteries are flat, then there is no way to start the generator???.

Is this right? as it seems counter indicative.
You should be able to start the engine and that will provide enough power to start the generator. Have you tried that?
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Old 01-07-2019, 04:52 PM   #3
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To avoid confusion, your owner's manual refers to "house" battery(ies) and "chassis" battery. The term "coach battery" can be misinterpreted. I assume, you are referring to your house battery by the term "coach battery".

If you don't have a copy of the manual, here's a link:

http://winnebagoind.com/resources/ma...09/09Vista.pdf

The primary purpose of the generator is to supply 120V (USA) AC power. Re-charging your house batteries is a secondary function of your generator. If your generator was wired to your chassis battery, which doesn't automatically re-charge via the generator, you could run it down over the course of several days of multiple generator starts.

Therefore your generator is wired to start off the house battery, hence the need for the house battery switch to be "on".

Your Battery Boost switch, should work in both directions assuming the house batteries have enough power left to activate it. It will connect your house and chassis batteries together so you can start your generator. If your engine is running, all the better.

If all else fails, you can always use a jumper cable to interconnect your house and coach batteries. Since they have a common ground, connecting the positive post of one to the positive post of the other should be all you need to do.

Just don't leave them connected too long, you don't want to risk draining your coach battery.
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Old 01-07-2019, 05:06 PM   #4
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You probably know this already, but wiring diagrams for your MH are available online:

Table of Contents
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Old 01-09-2019, 04:49 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help, that makes a lot more sense now, I didnt realise the battery boost switch was two way
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Old 01-09-2019, 09:10 AM   #6
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If you are running the generator without the house batteries on, it will not charge the house batteries. You also run the risk of depleting the chassis batteries and being unable to start the coach if chassis batteries are older or have not been well maintained. You should also realize that the generator will not charge the chassis batteries when operated unless you have a Trik-L-Start device installed that diverts some power to the chassis battery. If you don't, you will only be able to charge the chassis batteries when the engine is running.
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Old 01-09-2019, 10:30 AM   #7
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If you are running the generator without the house batteries on, it will not charge the house batteries. You also run the risk of depleting the chassis batteries and being unable to start the coach if chassis batteries are older or have not been well maintained. You should also realize that the generator will not charge the chassis batteries when operated unless you have a Trik-L-Start device installed that diverts some power to the chassis battery. If you don't, you will only be able to charge the chassis batteries when the engine is running.
Another vote for the Trik-L-Start or it's big brother, the Amp-L-Start.
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Old 01-10-2019, 07:14 AM   #8
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Thanks guys, much appreciated, I will take a look at the Trik-L-Start and Amp-L-Start, I have already upgraded the starter battery to one with a higher cold cranking rating and better amp hours, and we will look at upgrading the house batteries and charging system when we get back to the UK.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boldero View Post
Howdy.

2009 Winnebago Vista 26p here which is currently in the UK having been converted over to UK power.

We have been playing around with the various systems and have run into an issue with the generator, which wont start when the coach battery switch is off.

My question is, if we are boondocking the generator is surely there to charge the coach batteries when they get low, but if the batteries are flat, then there is no way to start the generator???.

Is this right? as it seems counter indicative.
When you're boondocking you need to keep an eye on your batteries and not let them discharge below 50% before running the genny to recharge them. Continuous discharging below 50% will reduce the life of your batteries.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:55 AM   #10
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When you're boondocking you need to keep an eye on your batteries and not let them discharge below 50% before running the genny to recharge them. Continuous discharging below 50% will reduce the life of your batteries.
This is one of the reasons I like solar.
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Old 01-10-2019, 01:26 PM   #11
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This is one of the reasons I like solar.

We don't currently have solar fitted, in the UK I would doubt it would be viable due to it being mostly cloudy and gray when we are there but the six months we spend in southern Spain it may well be, so I will take a good look at it as a solution
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:27 PM   #12
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Did you ship your RV to the UK? If so what did it cost and who did you go thru?
Thanks.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:30 PM   #13
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Generator and boon docking or dry camping

Solar is an option that works at lower capacity even on cloudy days, good specially for non active usage battery maintenance. A reasonable option also available is a wind generator which can be raised to charge the batteries when the sun is not shining.


It may be time to change the House battery to a lipo for more storage and longer life. The deep cycle batteries just don't seem to have a long life span.
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Old 01-14-2019, 04:16 AM   #14
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Diesel-Lover, Do you have a URL for the wind generator you use?
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