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 > Jump starting the generator

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cwenger

Arnold, MD

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Posted: 11/23/19 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I stored my 2013 Holiday Rambler Ambassador in Florida for 6 months while at home in Maryland. Needless to say, with the generator not having run for 6 months, neither the generator nor the engine would crank. After considerable hassle jump starting the chassis batteries, I finally got the engine started.

Next time after 6 months storage, I am wondering if I could jump start the generator instead of the engine. Could I keep both the house and chassis battery disconnect switches off and jump start the generator? Then if, and after, the generator is running, switch the disconnect switches on without screwing up anything?

rockylarson

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Posted: 11/23/19 09:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Could you have started the genny first and then the engine? Would that have been any easier? They both draw from the same chassis battery so jumping would be the same. Don't know why switches are involved in the jumping process.


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Lwiddis

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Posted: 11/23/19 09:57am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Why don’t you maintain your batteries with a small solar system? Are your batteries toast?


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cwenger

Arnold, MD

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Posted: 11/23/19 10:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I’m not sure my generator gets its cranking power from the chassis battery. With the house battery disconnect switch off and the chassis battery disconnect switch on, there is no power to the generator.

The reason for having the disconnect switches off, is that it took about ½ hour to jump charge the chassis batteries before the engine would start.

wolfe10

Texas

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Posted: 11/23/19 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The generator takes a LOT less amps to start than the main engine.

BUT, by allowing your batteries to go dead, you are materially shortening their life.

Consider a couple of solar panels if stored outdoors or shore power if indoors (with smart charger or "work around" if just a "not smart" converter.


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cwenger

Arnold, MD

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Posted: 11/23/19 12:47pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the solar panel suggestion. I hadn't thought of that.

CA Traveler

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Posted: 11/23/19 02:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The batteries have loads that cannot be switched off which kills the batteries over time. Fully charge the batteries then remove the negative battery cables when storing. Mark and take pictures first. In 6 months the batteries should start the engine or gen w/o a issue.

I'd start the gen first and let it run for a hour assuming the charger charges both banks.


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Posted: 11/23/19 02:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Have the batteries load tested as they may be very weak.

AllegroD

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Posted: 11/23/19 03:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

CA Traveler wrote:

The batteries have loads that cannot be switched off which kills the batteries over time. Fully charge the batteries then remove the negative battery cables when storing. Mark and take pictures first. In 6 months the batteries should start the engine or gen w/o a issue.

I'd start the gen first and let it run for a hour assuming the charger charges both banks.


Also, the gen may not direct charge and trickle charge will not charge a depleted battery. With gen running it will still take up to 30 minute, with the boost/crossover switch engaged, to bring the chassis up to a state that it will start your engine.

MrWizard

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Posted: 11/23/19 06:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Disconnect batteries negative cables for storage

Start generator first

Use portable battery charger on weak chassis battery , power it from RV outlet powered by generator


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