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Old 08-24-2020, 09:12 PM   #1
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Power issue

The issue resurfaced today. Plugged in to 50 amp at new campground. All well at the pedestal. Front AC and invertor outlets not working. Rear AC working. Checked circuit breakers-all okay. Checked GFCI-okay. Started generator-front AC and invertor outlets started working. Shut off generator and everything continued to work. Baffled. This is the second time in the last 4 campgrounds this has happened. 2014 Sightseer 35G.
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Old 08-24-2020, 09:19 PM   #2
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Automatic Transfer Switch not working properly, getting stuck in generator mode until generator is run and shut down? Try opening it up (disconnected from shore power, generator off) and tightening all connections. Tap on all relays.
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:16 AM   #3
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Automatic Transfer Switch not working properly, getting stuck in generator mode until generator is run and shut down? Try opening it up (disconnected from shore power, generator off) and tightening all connections. Tap on all relays.
^This sounds right to me.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:27 AM   #4
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I mentioned this in another thread, to no response, so I'll ask again. It seems like an ATS is just something that can break which serves little or no purpose on a RV where a permanently power cord is located in an interior compartment. Or stated differently, RV that don't have an exterior power inlet. Why not just provide an outlet for the generator in that compartment?

When you unplug from shore power you have to put the permanently attached cord and plug somewhere, why not just plug it into a generator outlet? What work is being saved by the "automatic" switch on such an RV?

The only thing I can come up with is situations where you're connected to 15 or 30 amp and need 50 off the generator for a time. Then it would save a bit of work.
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Old 08-25-2020, 10:50 AM   #5
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I mentioned this in another thread, to no response, so I'll ask again. It seems like an ATS is just something that can break which serves little or no purpose on a RV where a permanently power cord is located in an interior compartment.
An RV has a refrigerator than can break and you don't really need one because you could put all of your food in a cooler..... Just kidding, but most things on an RV could be described the way you have described the ATS.

I know some RVs come equipped without an ATS and a cord arrangement like you mentioned. I, personally, wouldn't want that and if I had one I'd likely replace that with an ATS.

It's a great convenience and honestly, they don't break all that often to be a general concern. Just like a great many other things on a motorhome.
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:30 AM   #6
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It's a great convenience and honestly, they don't break all that often to be a general concern. Just like a great many other things on a motorhome.
But what's the "great convenience" other than the scenario I mentioned?

I view this sort of like auto-locking hubs on a 4x4 pickup truck. Manual hubs are more reliable, but auto-locking more convenient. There though I can see the convenience of not having to get out to lock the hubs. I'm just not seeing the convenience of an ATS, other than the scenario where you're plugged into lesser shore power than what your generator produces.

I think I'd be likely to take an ATS out and put in a generator outlet. But then my 89 Ranger I bought could have come with auto-locking or manual hubs, and I picked manual.
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:45 AM   #7
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Maybe I should state this as the inverse. I can see in incredible inconvenience to an ATS when it breaks while you're on the road and you then have to find some place willing to schedule you in to fix it, and until it's fixed you can't use shore power and/or your generator. All to avoid having to plug in a plug to a generator outlet when you disconnect from power. It just doesn't seem like a good trade-off.
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Old 08-25-2020, 11:47 AM   #8
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I'm just not seeing the convenience of an ATS, other than the scenario where you're plugged into lesser shore power than what your generator produces.
1. I'm driving down the road and start the generator from my driver's seat so the A/C can run and cool off the inside of the coach.

2. I'm running the generator and the A/C when I park my MH at a campsite. As I set up I simply plug in the shore power and turn off the genset. The A/Cs do not stop, the internet router does not stop, the microwave does not stop.

3. I'm camped at a campground with shore power and the A/C running. We go for a hike leaving the dog behind. The campground loses power for some reason even temporarily, so our genset automatically starts and keeps the inside of the RV from heating up to protect our pet.

Our Inverter/Charger even has an ATS for these very same kind of conveniences.

No need to go outside and change the plug, or to remember which plug you are plugged into. No getting out of bed in the night to go change the plug so you can run the genny.

There are dozens of reasons. And every one makes sense to those of use that own a MH with a builtin generator and a ATS.
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Old 08-25-2020, 03:46 PM   #9
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1. I'm driving down the road and start the generator from my driver's seat so the A/C can run and cool off the inside of the coach.
Nope, not a difference. As long as you plug it into the generator outlet when you disconnect from shore power you can do that. That should be SOP for anyone with a generator outlet.

Quote:
2. I'm running the generator and the A/C when I park my MH at a campsite. As I set up I simply plug in the shore power and turn off the genset. The A/Cs do not stop, the internet router does not stop, the microwave does not stop.
Okay, I'll give you that one as a very minor benefit. That assumes you don't have some sort of an inverter to run the none A/C items. See your comment below about your setup.

Quote:
3. I'm camped at a campground with shore power and the A/C running. We go for a hike leaving the dog behind. The campground loses power for some reason even temporarily, so our genset automatically starts and keeps the inside of the RV from heating up to protect our pet.

Our Inverter/Charger even has an ATS for these very same kind of conveniences.
Okay, this is a major benefit, assuming you do have a system to turn on the generator with a power outage.

Quote:
No need to go outside and change the plug, or to remember which plug you are plugged into. No getting out of bed in the night to go change the plug so you can run the genny.
This would only apply in the situation I mentioned where you're not connected to 50 amp shore power.

Quote:
There are dozens of reasons. And every one makes sense to those of use that own a MH with a builtin generator and a ATS.
I think I'd still go for the reliability of the generator outlet plug, or alternatively some sort of a manual transfer switch if location of wiring was an issue. unless I had an auto-starting generator. That exception would be only if I had a pet that I was concerned about temperatures. I'm all about not having issues while on the road that ruin a vacation. Not having any A/C or any 120 volt power due to a malfunctioning ATS would be a huge downer.
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Old 08-25-2020, 05:55 PM   #10
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This sounds much the same as:
"I" live and travel in a 25' travel trailer, towed with a 1/2 ton pickup truck where I can store a lot of stuff in the bed of the truck. I am very comfortable with this setup.

"I" don't see why anyone would need to have a 33' 5th wheel and a 3/4 ton or 1 ton truck to tow it with. Besides with a 5th wheel you loose most of the storage in the bed of the pickup. Then you have those big expensive 35' or 40' motorhomes. Why would anyone need one of those.

Just because "I" like or prefer to do things that I am happy with, doesn't mean that is what everyone else "should" be doing.

Arguing back and forth can be just a friendly discussion ending in both agreeing to disagree, or can escalate into anger.
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Old 08-25-2020, 07:47 PM   #11
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Arguing back and forth can be just a friendly discussion ending in both agreeing to disagree, or can escalate into anger.
I think you're totally missing the point, and it's hardly an argument.

I've noticed three threads in the past two weeks where there were disabling problems with ATS systems. I only saw one advantage to a ATS and asked for more, because the obvious solution to be disabled is to get rid of the ATS.

Creativepart gave several advantages. I rejected one, accepted some partially, and liked another quite a bit. But I'd only opt for the ATS if I had that specific situation (pet with automatic starting generator). Otherwise I'd rip the thing out for piece of mind.
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Old 08-25-2020, 07:54 PM   #12
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I think you're totally missing the point, and it's hardly an argument..
I see it differently.

But let's just go ahead say you are correct. I don't need an ATS. You're right.

Now, perhaps we can stop going back and forth about what you think I or any other motorhome owner needs or should have.
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Old 08-25-2020, 08:11 PM   #13
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I see it differently.

But let's just go ahead say you are correct. I don't need an ATS. You're right..
Please quote something I said above that would indicate I even thought that. The closest would be post 7 where I tried to state the issue in the inverse--rather than asking for the advantages I pointed out the extreme disadvantage of an ATS not working.

This isn't about what any owner needs to have, it's why they should have it or avoid it. Not everyone will make the same decision. I avoid things that can break and ruin a trip, but that's just me.
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Old 08-25-2020, 09:16 PM   #14
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Hopefully HowieB will get back to us with the outcome of his troubleshooting and we can get back to helping solve his problem.
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:44 AM   #15
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Goodspike: Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let go of a discussion when it becomes apparent there is no need to declare one or the other the "winner".
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Old 08-26-2020, 09:48 AM   #16
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Goodspike: Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let go of a discussion when it becomes apparent there is no need to declare one or the other the "winner".
There's no "winner" other than I now know some additional reasons someone would want an ATS. That was my purpose. Re-read the thread and that should be apparent.

I was basically trying to figure out if ATS systems were sort of like those capless gas tank systems that have become popular on many newer vehicles. Something that provides almost zero benefit but when something goes wrong leads to expensive repairs. On a normal car when something goes wrong you spend $10 for a new gas cap. On a newer car you spend hundreds of dollars getting the capless system replaced. All for what? To avoid having to remove and replace a gas cap? Not a choice I would make.

Comparing the two, I could see that sales people would say: "You don't need to remove the gas cap" or "You don't need to switch over to generator" just to make a sale. Or that RV manufacturers would add in an ATS with other desired options just to increase profits, sort of like how auto manufacturers require $3,000 of other upgrades just to get leather seats. That's the reason for my skepticism, together with only seeing the one minor benefit on my own (the ability to switch to generator automatically if only connected to 15 amp power). I now know there are more legitimate and valid reasons to get an ATS. Only one would cause me to want one, but I realize not everyone makes the same decisions. If they did there would only be one model of RV, and it would be either a trailer or a motorhome since everyone would be making the same decision. That isn't how things work.
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Old 08-26-2020, 10:17 AM   #17
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Hopefully HowieB will get back to us with the outcome of his troubleshooting and we can get back to helping solve his problem.
I think you already did that in the second post. The only issue is how they were able to fix it and what they discovered.
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Old 08-26-2020, 01:22 PM   #18
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Alternate thought: Have you checked the GFI on your inverter?
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Old 08-30-2020, 05:18 PM   #19
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The issue resurfaced today. Plugged in to 50 amp at new campground. All well at the pedestal. Front AC and invertor outlets not working. Rear AC working. Checked circuit breakers-all okay. Checked GFCI-okay. Started generator-front AC and invertor outlets started working. Shut off generator and everything continued to work. Baffled. This is the second time in the last 4 campgrounds this has happened. 2014 Sightseer 35G.
Have you looked at your power management system panel. It sounds like your panel may be set/stuck at 30 amps. If so, the power management system will shed items to keep the amperage draw to 30 or below. This has happened to me before.

Check to make sure your power management panel shows 50 amp service, if not, push the middle button till it does. That could be your issue.
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Old 08-30-2020, 08:50 PM   #20
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Yes my Electrical Management System circuit board recently malfunctioned and shed load because it thought we were connected to 30 Amp instead of 50 Amp shore power. On generator all worked ok. Testing requires it to be malfunctioning while on shore power. Caution these are live circuits so I recommend a technician do the testing for you.
After replacing the circuit board everything operates as normal.
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