95 Roadtrek 210 :: using generator impacting main starter?

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by jimoro, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. jimoro

    jimoro New Member

    I'm new here and hoping to get a little help with an issue I'm trying to figure out...

    I recently purchased a 1995 Roadtrek 210 Popular (Chevy G30 chassis) which came with an Onan Microlite 2800 generator, with a remote starter inside. The generator provides AC power for the air conditioner, microwave, and a few 110 outlets, and also recharges the "house" battery. (Battery powered devices don't drain the vehicle battery.)

    I drove it across country, Florida to California, with no problem. But after using the generator for the first time, after getting to California, the vehicle's starter did not function. No click, no crank, nothing but console indicators lighting up.

    The battery was clearly strong (headlamps were bright) so I tried tapping around on the starter casing a few times in case the solenoid was sticking, and sure enough it started right up. And I've had no trouble starting it since then... but I haven't used the generator since then, either.

    Could be a coincidence but rather than experimenting and maybe doing some damage I thought I'd ask: a) if anyone has had a similar experience and how it was resolved, and b) even if you've had no direct experience, does it even make logical sense that use of the generator could somehow impact the engine's starter solenoid, and c) is there possibly a manual switch I'm unaware of that I should be using to isolate the vehicle's electrical system from the generator before using it. (I found no such reference in the documentation.)

    One last possible hint. The interior lighting got significantly brighter when the generator kicked it. I didn't think anything of it at the time as it seems like a reasonable thing to happen with some likely voltage variance running off the generator rather than the battery, but there it is in the interest of completely describing the scenario.


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