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Old 07-25-2017, 01:24 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
State: Missouri
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THOR #5930
2016 Windsport - Generator & Electrical Problems

We have a 2016 Thor Windsport 32N. Purchased brand new in November. Used 6 times for relatively short trips. Currently 3,000 miles on unit.

Past 3 trips we have experienced generator problems. Onan RV 5500.

Problems include generator shutting off and giving fault code 36 and fault code 14. Unexpected shut down and over frequency fault. Trip to the lake resulted in the generator
Shutting down all weekend when trying to run both AC units. Called the dealer upon returning home and told to call Cummins. Called Cummins of Kansas City and was told 5500 is not near large enough to run two 13,500 AC units.

This past weekend generator continued to malfunction and with temperatures near 100 degrees, with only running one AC, the coach was as hot inside as it was out. Literally over 90 degrees inside the unit with one AC on full blast. Even with one AC on, turn on the microwave and we would lose ALL power in the coach! With 4 kids, this is not what we expected from a new RV. By the end of the weekend trip, the generator wouldn't even stay running and would shut down giving the fault 36 code. I am both furious and disappointed that a coach would be sold with two AC units and a generator not big enough to run them. Before I call Thor directly, I wanted to see if anyone else has experienced this and what is the solution.

Thank you.
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:03 PM   #2
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My Hurricane 35C has the Onan 5500 and runs both ACs was not all day though. The other thing to remember is if it 100 outside it's not gonna be 70 inside but should be in the low 80s should be comfortable enough.
Might check to make sure both ACs are not wired to the same leg.
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:17 PM   #3
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The coach was not sold with an undersized generator.

I run 2 ACs frequently. The only time I had a power issue was running the AC/Micro/and coffee maker, all on one leg. Exceeded 30a and the breaker tripped, as it should. I have had the generator shut down while driving in the heat. I dont know what fault code or anything, assume overheating. It has not been a recurring problem.

2 ACs should be about 12a on each leg, well within the capability of the generator.
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Old 07-25-2017, 06:36 PM   #4
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True they can be on the same leg but on different legs you are much less likely to trip when you add other things to the load
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Old 09-15-2018, 04:29 AM   #5
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I know this is over a year but did you solve your problem? I have the same year and model and I have had nothing but electrical problems. My first trip I lost all electrical and had to have a new wire harness. Now itís in the shop with an inverter problem and a blown microwave. So sorry I purchased this motorhome.
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Old 09-15-2018, 11:50 AM   #6
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THOR #4735
some folks come online to complain, then never come back... too bad : /

this was probably more of operator error, or lack of knowledge of how these systems work... it's easy to 'blame' others, especially when someone makes a simple statement that somehow a 5500Onan 'can't' easily power two 13.5 Air Conditioners...bunk.
Also, many times folks have on many MORE items under power than they bring to light here... water heater, battery charger, tvs, satellite receivers, residential fridge, etc... so of course, there are times when we ALL have tripped breakers when we do this.

the code 36 seems to be a 'catch all' for Onan generators... my QD6000 has cut off several times, with no rhyme or reason... I just recrank it and it runs fine for hours and hours from then on...who knows why...

A) crank the gen
B) let it run for a few minutes
C) turn down/off the battery charger, elec water heater, etc
D) turn on each Air Conditioner only once the other has already got up to speed, leaving each 'blowing fan' on 'LOW'
E) don't expect to use the Microwave, a very high draw appliance, WHILE you are using the front air conditioner, or when you are using both air conditioners, even.... almost none of us have the same amount of 100amps of power(50amps both sides) when we are on our generators, usually HALF at best.

F) leave the Texas 'heat', or at least...
G) get in the shade
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Old 09-15-2018, 12:17 PM   #7
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All most sounds as if you had a power surge, Have you installed a surge protecter?
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:02 PM   #8
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When you are on limited electrical power like we are on this RVs with 30 Amp service or 5 KW generator on a 50 Amp rig I don't understand why the manufacturers don't install AC/DC Volt/Amp meters as many of us here on this forum have. They are not very expensive and give you great insight into what you are doing with your electrical power that you have.
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Old 09-15-2018, 01:26 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by djcarter View Post
True they can be on the same leg but on different legs you are much less likely to trip when you add other things to the load
I have a 34f with a 5500 generator and I don't have a problem running both A/Cs. Course I prefer to park in a shaded area so I don't have to run them both. Too much of a change in temp.
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Old 09-15-2018, 10:59 PM   #10
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I have a 34f with a 5500 generator and I don't have a problem running both A/Cs. Course I prefer to park in a shaded area so I don't have to run them both. Too much of a change in temp.
Oh yeah, Last time I had to turn on both A/Cs, I plugged in a cheap $15 fan and put it on the Table. That helped a lot and later I was able to turn one of the A/Cs off.
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:33 PM   #11
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Thor ACE 29.4 2017, though we have not had any issues with running both AC units using the generator, you should always understand your power loads and manage according. The Onan 5500 has a maximum amp output of 45.83 amps. Your shore connection is a 50 amp input which is greater than your generator. AC units draw 15 to 17 amps, two ACís running can draw as much as 35-40 amps (both starting at same time) to 30 amps running continuous. Leaving only a 15.8 amp to use for other appliances. Next major draw is the hot water heater if on electric and not propane. Turning hot water heater to propane can drastically reduce AC loads and allowing use of other appliances without issues. Running refrigerator on propane is another option if you need to reduce electrical loads. Understanding and managing electrical loads and taking advantage of options to be able to use the generator as your needs require is just a part of RV travel. I took advantage of unused real estate on the roof by adding twelve 100 amp flexible solar panels and a 3000 watt inverter. Not something for everyone but does keep from loading up the generator. The inverter can help with loads by inverting from batteries to assist the whole coach. This is done in the inverter setting and works automatically. Just my way of power management. I ran a 75í yacht for years and even with two 12K generators power management was always required. Learn to manage your power and you will find less issues.
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Old 09-16-2018, 01:49 PM   #12
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Welcome to the site ESMI.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by ESMI View Post
Thor ACE 29.4 2017, though we have not had any issues with running both AC units using the generator, you should always understand your power loads and manage according. The Onan 5500 has a maximum amp output of 45.83 amps. Your shore connection is a 50 amp input which is greater than your generator. AC units draw 15 to 17 amps, two ACís running can draw as much as 35-40 amps (both starting at same time) to 30 amps running continuous. Leaving only a 15.8 amp to use for other appliances. Next major draw is the hot water heater if on electric and not propane. Turning hot water heater to propane can drastically reduce AC loads and allowing use of other appliances without issues. Running refrigerator on propane is another option if you need to reduce electrical loads. Understanding and managing electrical loads and taking advantage of options to be able to use the generator as your needs require is just a part of RV travel. I took advantage of unused real estate on the roof by adding twelve 100 amp flexible solar panels and a 3000 watt inverter. Not something for everyone but does keep from loading up the generator. The inverter can help with loads by inverting from batteries to assist the whole coach. This is done in the inverter setting and works automatically. Just my way of power management. I ran a 75í yacht for years and even with two 12K generators power management was always required. Learn to manage your power and you will find less issues.
Units matter!

The Onan 5500 generator may put out 45.83 amps at 120 VAC but your RV 50 Amp service is rated at 240 VAC, so essentially 100 Amps at 120 VAC: The generator puts out less than half what your 50 Amp shore power connections provides you.

And where did you find 100 amp solar panels? What voltage are those 100 amp solar panels?
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:20 PM   #14
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ESMI.


Thanks for your very informative post. I hope to hear more from you in the future.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:27 PM   #15
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Agree, guess needed to be more clear on 50 amp shore, L1 and L2 can each draw 50 amps with shore. Would have to have a 12K generator to equal shore, possible a weight issue. Just wanted to emphasize generator load management. Being able to manage electrical loads should allow for use of two ACís without issues as long as your not running every appliance at the same time. As for my yacht experience, trying to run two 12k gens with 5 staterooms all AC units on, hot water heater, oven, blow dryers, and everything else always blew a breaker. Folks on board didnít know any better but I had to tend to what was on/off in order to keep things going as needed.
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Old 09-16-2018, 02:44 PM   #16
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Solar panels are Allpower 12 volt-100 watt not 100 amp, sorry for mistype, what was I thinking!! Maybe wishing, but happy with results. Flexible without weight issue of standard and I walk on them to maintain roof. Hoping someday a manufacturer comes up with full roof solar cells to replace the rubber roof.Click image for larger version

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Old 09-16-2018, 03:08 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ESMI View Post
Solar panels are Allpower 12 volt-100 watt not 100 amp, sorry for mistype, what was I thinking!! Maybe wishing, but happy with results. Flexible without weight issue of standard and I walk on them to maintain roof. Hoping someday a manufacturer comes up with full roof solar cells to replace the rubber roof.Attachment 12837Attachment 12838
Oieee! That installation looks professional.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:23 PM   #18
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Thanks Carson61, installed myself after watching a lot of videos. Engineering background helps. Mounted with Eternabond tape, so far 1500 miles and no issues. Tape instead of screws to minimize holes in roof. No leaks and easy to clean roof when needed. Hard part was routing wires, panel install was easy.
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Old 09-16-2018, 03:41 PM   #19
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Suspect may have overstated amp rating on post of AC units. Donít have specs on AC to confirm amp draws. Hope you get the jest of power management just the same.
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