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Old 07-16-2021, 04:56 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Quantum JM31
State: Tennessee
Posts: 697
THOR #21926
Second generator switch, new seat belt, Kilmat

The Quantum is the third motorhome we have owned and the first two had a switch to start and stop the generator from the driver’s seat in addition to the switch located near the middle of the coach. We almost never used the switch in the middle of the coach and would often start the travel day with the generator off and then start it as we traveled down the road. After a few days using the Quantum we knew we were going to install a second switch near the driver. We already had a SPDT momentary switch in our stock of switches and plenty of black ABS sheet to make our own remote start generator switch. This was a no brainer when you considered most sources were asking $50 for a remote generator switch. After fabricating the switch we scoped out the best location for the switch and a convenient route for the wiring from the generator to the dash. The best location for the switch was to the right of the steering column on the same panel the emergency start switch is located. Removing the kick panel at the bottom of the door frame revealed a cable tray and a spare hole the wire could be routed thru to the generator. We enclosed the three wires necessary in split loom and the spare hole was large enough for the split loom to slide thru. After locating a wiring diagram for the generator we knew which wires at the remote start connector to splice into. We used 16 gauge wire and blue quick splice connectors. At the other end we crimped push connectors to the wires and connected them to the switch. We had previously noted which posts on the switch to use for the three wires so the start and stop labels would be correct.

We had a defective driver’s seat belt and Thor had sent us a new one. It simplified the task of installing the seat belt if the driver’s seat was removed plus the same kick panel at the bottom of the door frame needed to be removed. We decided to combine the two projects of installing a second generator switch and the new seat belt. If we were going to go this far it made sense to go ahead and remove both seats, the dog house, and the floor mat and install Kilmat at the same time. So we did all three projects at the same time. Unfortunately we forgot to take a photo of the Kilmat installation.
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Old 07-17-2021, 01:15 PM   #2
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Forest River Forester 235
State: Indiana
Posts: 4,884
THOR #6826
Funny how folks have different priorities. For us I can see no use whatsoever in having a generator start switch in the dashboard. I certainly have no interest in trying to start it while driving. My generator is cranky enough that it doesnít always start instantly so I want to be able to hear it. Since itís located in the back of the coach I can barely hear it from the front even if we arenít driving. If I need to start it while we are traveling Iíll either start it before we leave or during a stretch stop. But since it IS useful to you I applaud your initiative and resources in making the upgrade. One of my favorite features if this forum is learning!
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Old 07-17-2021, 03:28 PM   #3
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Brand: Still Looking
Model: Sunstar 29VE Winnebago
State: Texas
Posts: 5,625
THOR #13058
Kind of refreshing to read a story where it ended well. I was waiting to learn that some Thor employee had wired something wrong, or left snicker bars wrappings in the dog house or something.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete'sMH View Post
Funny how folks have different priorities. For us I can see no use whatsoever in having a generator start switch in the dashboard. I certainly have no interest in trying to start it while driving. My generator is cranky enough that it doesn’t always start instantly so I want to be able to hear it. Since it’s located in the back of the coach I can barely hear it from the front even if we aren’t driving. If I need to start it while we are traveling I’ll either start it before we leave or during a stretch stop. But since it IS useful to you I applaud your initiative and resources in making the upgrade. One of my favorite features if this forum is learning!
I am with you here, but understand the OP priority but like you say; I have a 3rd way of handling.

We actually have two switches, but both are right next to each other in the middle of the coach. The OEM remote switch that has hour meter and the switch on the EC-30 AGS. When generator is on, the EC-30 has a Red LED that I can see while driving; so I can tell if the genset is on or off. I can't hear our genset even if in the bedroom, but if laying down, I can feel the startup or shut down vibration. In some cases; if it gets to hot while driving, my DW will simply go back and turn it on, but if I am by myself (and sometimes with DW) and I know it is going to be a hot day, I put in Auto mode and if it gets too warm in the coach it will start by itself. It will also shutdown when coach is cooled and it has run the minimum runtime.
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Old 07-17-2021, 05:32 PM   #4
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State: Missouri
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All of my Motor Homes have had the Dash generator switch and the second on the Master BR wall so if needed you could start the AC without getting up
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Old 07-17-2021, 05:51 PM   #5
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Model: Chateau 24F
State: Ohio
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THOR #16721
I think it's a cool convenience to have a genny switch in the driver area! Yeah... we're usually stopped when we need it, but having it eliminates the need to stop and wrestle out of the driver seat if you do want to start it up while rolling! Great idea!

Here's a pic of my Kilmat... pretty similar to yours... I put a layer of Noico foam noise deadener over top of the Kilmat... probably overkill(mat), but while I was in that far, I figured it wouldn't hurt. I am VERY happy with the results!
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Old 08-01-2021, 11:59 PM   #6
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: RS36
State: California
Posts: 53
THOR #24133
Well at least you know your seat was bolted in properly. When I got home and was working on my new rig I was moving around in the passenger seat and realized is was rocking. The factory had forgotten to tighten the passenger seat bolts. Who would think bolting the seat to the chassis needed to be part of the PDI.

Eric
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:20 AM   #7
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Model: Hurricane 31S
State: Texas
Posts: 4,174
THOR #6411
We almost always start the day at 8-ish with the dash A/C on and the A/C on and set but the generator off. It is hot here in South TX for 5 months a year (and below freezing about 14 hours a year). When the coach starts to get warm about 11-ish, I reach over and start the generator. After the EMS and transfer delays kick out the A/C starts. We don't stop for lunch and gas until after 1pm.
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:40 AM   #8
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: A.C.E. 27.2
State: Indiana
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THOR #14698
Nice project Bob. I would like to install another gen start rocker switch on the dash or a wall above the counter. The one on our ACE is mounted too high for my DW to reach should she need to start it when I am out. That has been her pet peeve with this MH since we bought it. That and she can't reach the kitchen slide switch either
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Old 08-02-2021, 12:08 PM   #9
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Quantum JM31
State: Tennessee
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THOR #21926
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beau388 View Post
We almost always start the day at 8-ish with the dash A/C on and the A/C on and set but the generator off. It is hot here in South TX for 5 months a year (and below freezing about 14 hours a year). When the coach starts to get warm about 11-ish, I reach over and start the generator. After the EMS and transfer delays kick out the A/C starts. We don't stop for lunch and gas until after 1pm.
That is how we have motorhomed for years. We always have dogs with us and they don't like to get hot. We always either start the day with the generator running and the air conditioners on or start the generator when the day warms up as we are traveling. That is why we missed the gen start switch on the dash. We will say it is not as big a deal with the Class C coach as compared to the Class A. On the Class A you have a big diesel engine in the back heating the bedroom and you have a huge windshield up front conducting copious amounts of heat into the coach. On the Class C it is like driving in the shade with the cabover and the dash air conditioner will freeze you to death on the E450. We most likely don't need to worry about starting the generator while in motion but old habits are hard to break. Just the other day we were tooling down the road with the air conditioners on with the dash air and noticed the thermostat up front said 65 degrees. Had to turn back the dash air a bit.
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