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Old 09-23-2016, 11:45 AM   #1
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Location: Kerrville, Tx
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Weird Minnie Winnie A/C - Water heater - Gen issue

We've had our 2017 Minnie Winnie 25B for about a month now and love it. The build quality appears (so far) to be good.

However, we have found a strange issue that I'm wondering if anyone else has seen.

If I am running generator and the A/C together all is fine.
If I then turn on the water heater (propane only I think), the water heater red light comes on for a few seconds (indicating the pilot light is igniting the gas in the water heater burner I think) which seems normal. However, after a few seconds, when the red light goes out, the generator sound changes and after a few seconds the generator stalls.

When the A/C is off the water heater works fine. It's almost as if, when the A/C is running and the water heater lights, a sudden high load is being put on the generator.

I've talked to the dealer over the phone and they say they haven't heard of this and to bring it in. I just wondered if anyone else has heard of this before they start tearing into it.

Also another minor thing. This is on the E450 chassis. The interior cab dome light doesn't seem to come on at all, either by opening the cab door or with the switch on the dome light. Does Winnebago do something to the Ford wiring that prevents this light working?

Thanks!
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Old 09-23-2016, 12:44 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Vtwin996 View Post
If I am running generator and the A/C together all is fine.
If I then turn on the water heater (propane only I think), the water heater red light comes on for a few seconds (indicating the pilot light is igniting the gas in the water heater burner I think) which seems normal. However, after a few seconds, when the red light goes out, the generator sound changes and after a few seconds the generator stalls.
To prevent that methinks you need to make sure that the electric element in your gas/electric water heater is turned OFF.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:02 PM   #3
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Generator provides AC Power

Water heater on propane only uses DC power so AC demand on generator should be none or minimal ie: coach battery charging

Unless as suggested by Mel you also have water heater electric element on...it uses AC power
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:04 PM   #4
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To prevent that methinks you need to make sure that the electric element in your gas/electric water heater is turned OFF.
Unfortunately, the water heater I have is a Suburban SW6D which is gas only (no electric heating element). It's a DSI ignition (Direct Spark Ignition) so the only power used should be to initially ignite the gas supply. It's hard to believe that this plus the A/c is enough to stall the generator.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:05 PM   #5
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Is it a propane generator ?

If yes, make sure the tank valve is completely open.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:08 PM   #6
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Is it a propane generator ?

If yes, make sure the tank valve is completely open.
Nope, gasoline generator (on-board running off E450 gas tank).
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:16 PM   #7
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Ok, but a sudden load should trip the generator circuit breaker, not stall the generator engine, when overloaded.

You do have a strange issue.
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Old 09-23-2016, 01:37 PM   #8
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Ok, but a sudden load should trip the generator circuit breaker, not stall the generator engine, when overloaded.

You do have a strange issue.
I'm not at The RV now, but I remember that when I was running on shore power and not the generator, that when the red light went out on the water heater switch, the A/C sounded it like it was cutting out. I think the A/C 'recovered' after a few seconds but I may have switched the water heater off.
Next time I'm at the RV with 30 amps available, I'll test it again with shore power and see how it behaves.

It definitely sounds like some kind of overload situation and it's a little disturbing that a circuit breaker isn't tripping!

Thanks...
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Old 09-23-2016, 02:06 PM   #9
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One other thing is that both the AC and water heater use 12 volts for the controls.

Possable the heater igniter, electric draw, cuts out the AC thermostat. Once lit, the AC kicks back in with a locked rotor, causing the high load.

Listen to the AC while switching on the heater.
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Old 09-23-2016, 07:15 PM   #10
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An other thing to try is turn off all breakers other than the AC with the Gen running, then turn on the water heater and see if the Gen keeps running. If it does then start turning on the breakers until the Gen stops. If the Gen stops with all the other breakers off and the AC on then it must be as above a 12 volt control problem.

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Old 09-23-2016, 08:01 PM   #11
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An other thing to try is turn off all breakers other than the AC with the Gen running, then turn on the water heater and see if the Gen keeps running. If it does then start turning on the breakers until the Gen stops. If the Gen stops with all the other breakers off and the AC on then it must be as above a 12 volt control problem.

LEN
Thanks. Good idea. It'll be a few days before I get the RV back at the house but I'll see if I can narrow it down by a process of elimination.
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Old 01-26-2019, 08:49 AM   #12
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There was a second question in the original post......"In cab Ford installed dome light inop... Does MW disconnect that light?.".. My 2018 MW26A has same issue, which I have not yet addressed. Any one else have that issue or a solution?

This week installing 2 more batteries, 2 100W solar panels, rear TV, etc. The light is not that high on my list . So far pretty darn happy with the RV,
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