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Old 09-25-2016, 06:18 AM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Four Winds Siesta 24SA
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THOR #762
ATS problem on generator

My Auto Transfer Switch suddenly stopped working. When I crank up the generator, it does not throw power to the coach. I here a clicking in the ATS box but no power to the coach. My old coach had breakers on the genny. Is there a breaker or breakers for the generator somewhere?
My coach is an 08 Four Winds Siesta 24 SA on the Sprinter, with an LP generator.
Hope someone can help;
Harry
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:35 AM   #2
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THOR #3952
the generator should have a breaker on it. Mine is located beside the outside starting switch.
If the ATS is clicking over then it's probably getting power from the genny. Are you getting power plug into shore power?
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:00 PM   #3
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THOR #762
Yes, the shore power is working. I am visiting friends in their driveway and they only have 20 amp., but it works and is enough to run the converter, refrigerator and fans. I have been running the engine to cool the coach.
I just went outside, found the breaker and switched it the other way and nothing. I switched it back and still nothing. When we get back home today where I can plug into 30 amp. and get the AC running, I will check to see if there is power coming out of the genny and see if it is the ATS that has gone bad. Any other suggestions would be very welcome.
Harry
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:16 PM   #4
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THOR #5196
Try unplugging from ac and then starting your gen to see if you get power. Sounds crazy but I would try it as part of trouble shooting. Your gen breakers should be labeled off/on, cycle them and make sure they are in the on position.
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Old 09-25-2016, 04:37 PM   #5
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THOR #762
I have tried starting it with shore cord unplugged and plugged in . I have tried the breaker in both positions, and restarted in both. If the breaker ever had an on/off mark on it, I cannot see it. It may be that the breaker is bad. I will be able to do more testing when I get home.
I am still open for suggestions;
Harry
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:19 PM   #6
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THOR #5196
Sounds like you have tried all the easy stuff and now are going to get serious. Wish you luck, chasing electrical gremlins is a pia!!!
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Old 09-25-2016, 05:50 PM   #7
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THOR #3952
Switch fridge and water heater to propane.
Then you should be able to run AC on 20 amp.
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hittntherooad View Post
Switch fridge and water heater to propane.
Then you should be able to run AC on 20 amp.
Agree. I've done it many times at home, although I should mention my 20-Amp in garage is dedicated -- nothing else on that house breaker.




Harry, you may want to first ask friends to confirm they don't have other significant loads on that house circuit, and if not, I'd try running the AC.
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:37 AM   #9
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THOR #762
I am home now. I plugged into my 30 amp. and AC and everything else is working. I then cranked up the genny and as before it is not taking over. I have to work tomorrow, so Tuesday I will start by making sure the genny is producing power, then check to see if the power is transferring out of the ATS. It has to be stopping somewhere along the circuit. I am suspecting the breaker on the genny as it is pretty messy in that area, like water may be splashing on it from the road.
Thanks;
I will let y'all know what I find, when I find it, and I WILL find it;
Harry
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Old 09-26-2016, 12:12 PM   #10
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IIRC, there have been a couple of failed ATS reported, so I would look into that. You should be able to check the gen. output with a meter at the ATS.
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Old 09-26-2016, 11:28 PM   #11
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Never had it happen to me, but my stepfather had to make a rubber flap to keep water from the rear tires from getting on the gen set, you may have to do the same thing. It was a long time ago, but I think he used a piece of scrap Formica and a few screws to make his flap with. Sounds like you might have to do something similar. Be curious to know what the problem was.
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Old 09-28-2016, 05:30 PM   #12
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THOR #762
Yesterday, I got to work on the problem. I crawled around under the coach trying to trace the wires and gave that up. I went inside and opened the slide, took out the drawers and removed the cover from the ATS again. I figured out which were the wires going to the coach, which were the shore cord and which were the genny. As I already knew the power was going through from the shore cord to the coach. I unplugged the shore power and started the genny. Thankfully there was power coming from the genny so that eliminated a problem with it that could have been expensive. I shut off the genny and plugged the shore power back in. I have a volt gauge that shows normal / reverse and open ground. All was normal with the gauge showing 117. I then cranked up the genny and nothing changed for about 1 minute, then the ATS made a noise and the meter jumped up to 121 meaning the ATS had switched. Now the system is working as designed again.
I have no idea what happened. I wonder if the system being on low weak voltage at my friends house caused a problem with the system when the air tried to kick on when I shut down the genny after arrival and popped his breaker. I shut off the air and reset his breaker. The next morning the coach got uncomfortably hot, so I started the genny and it did not switch. That was how it stayed, even after many tries until yesterday when it decided to work again while I was testing the circuits. I hope it continues to work.
By the way, I started the engine and turned the dash air on full and it cooled the whole interior of the coach so that we could comfortably get ready for a wedding we were going to. We ran the engine on and off for a few hours over the weekend when we needed to cool the coach. Apparently the Mercedes diesel only sips fuel at an idle as it only brought our mileage for this tank down to 13.74 MPG from our 3 year average of 14.64. Moral is if your genny or AC quit working, the engine and dash air will keep you comfortable when dry camping.
Thanks for all your help and moral support;
Harry
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:44 PM   #13
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Could be that you have a sluggish or sticking ATS. When I crank the gen up for power, it usually takes about 15-20 secs. before the ATS kicks over.
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Old 09-28-2016, 06:54 PM   #14
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THOR #1150
Note that the generator will wait for a bit after it starts before outputting the 120V. There is a settling time built in before it turns on its output.
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Old 09-28-2016, 07:44 PM   #15
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THOR #3952
You can try cleaning the contacts on the ATS with some sandpaper.
Make sure all power is off!
I know water pumps get a little corrosion on the water pressure switches which are basically the same.
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