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Old 09-11-2021, 10:30 PM   #1
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Onan 4000 gas generator

Do these have a separate 12v battery? My generator wouldn't start after my MH was unused for 2 months.

Started MH engine then able to start generator.

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Old 09-11-2021, 10:34 PM   #2
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They use the coach (house) batteries. Your coach batteries must have been discharged.

When you start the engine, after a short while the engine alternator will start charging your coach batteries along with your chassis battery.
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Old 09-11-2021, 10:41 PM   #3
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Thanks, appreciate the help.
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Old 09-13-2021, 10:39 PM   #4
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I have charged the house batteries but generator tries to start but reacts like it not getting enough juice.

Generator starts as it should when plugged into shore power or I start the truck engine.
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:09 PM   #5
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If you have a multimeter, test your coach battery voltage... first with the engine running (should read something like 14.5 volts). Then test it again with the engine off.

If it's below 12.5 volts or so after charging from the engine for maybe 15 minutes, the battery may have dead cells and need replaced.

How old is the battery, and is it a sealed battery? If not, have you checked the electrolyte level?
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Old 09-13-2021, 11:51 PM   #6
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Thanks.

Batteries are new with MH, Jan 2021 dated on the batteries.

I have filled all the cells with distilled water. Not a sealed battery.

When I got the MH back from dealer after 2 months some of the cell were exposed low water.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:03 AM   #7
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Thanks.

Batteries are new with MH, Jan 2021 dated on the batteries.

I have filled all the cells with distilled water. Not a sealed battery.

When I got the MH back from dealer after 2 months some of the cell were exposed low water.
Sounds like they may have been permanently damaged. With SP or the engine running it's like giving the house batteries a "jump start".

Also it takes many hours to charge the house batteries. You cannot rely on the status display if the engine is running or on SP.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:08 AM   #8
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Appreciate your insight, my thoughts also that batteries are damaged, had battery charger on both today, green light indicator on charger shows fully charged.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:45 AM   #9
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Appreciate your insight, my thoughts also that batteries are damaged, had battery charger on both today, green light indicator on charger shows fully charged.
Before you replace the battery, get a cheap plastic battery electrolyte tester (auto parts store; Walmart). If you have topped off the water, replace the caps snugly and tilt the battery back and forth a few times to mix the water with the existing electrolyte. Then charge the battery for several hours... overnight if possible.

After it indicates fully charged, open each cap and check the electrolyte in each cell (lots of YouTube vids on this).

This will tell you if there are any dead cells. If you find one, the battery is history... it most likely will not produce enough current under load to start your generator.
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Old 09-14-2021, 12:56 AM   #10
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Thanks again will do...
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Old 09-26-2021, 12:18 PM   #11
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If you end up having to replace the batteries, check our Autozone. I recently replaced my batteries and regular batteries were about $100, while maintenance free batteries were $200. At Autozone, regular batteries were $92, and maintenance free batteries were $95
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Old 09-26-2021, 12:39 PM   #12
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Thanks for the information
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Old 09-26-2021, 12:58 PM   #13
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It is hard to believe such "new" batteries could be so depleted, but it is possible. :-/
In addition, I would take apart each connection and wire brush them and tighten them down. Seems like the 'charging juice' is not making it into the batteries.
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:10 PM   #14
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Have checked terminals etc. Some of the cells were not covered by water even though checked and refilled within 30 days since purchase in March. Battery water seems to evaporate quickly.
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:18 PM   #15
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Have checked terminals etc. Some of the cells were not covered by water even though checked and refilled within 30 days since purchase in March. Battery water seems to evaporate quickly.


My batteries, house and chassis, all failed within months of purchase. It wasn’t the battery’s fault though. My coach sat unsold for quite a few months on the dealer lot. I got a really good price but neglect has its drawbacks. Naturally the dealer wouldn’t take any responsibility and the battery manufacturer wouldn’t either since the batteries were over a year old and therefore out of their warranty. I had to replace the coach batteries on the road and the chassis when I got home. Fortunately the coach manufacturer (SOB) reimbursed me promptly and without any fuss. I bought the OE brand and model of flooded house batteries because I thought the warranty process might go more smoothly. They’ve been working flawlessly since.
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:20 PM   #16
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Have checked terminals etc. Some of the cells were not covered by water even though checked and refilled within 30 days since purchase in March. Battery water seems to evaporate quickly.
It doesn't evaporate so much as it boils out if being overcharged (that's a technical term ). You might need to check your converter as well. The voltage should drop to 13.1 to 13.6 VDC when the battery is fully charged.
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:23 PM   #17
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It doesn't evaporate so much as it boils out if being overcharged (that's a technical term ). You might need to check your converter as well. The voltage should drop to 13.1 to 13.6 VDC when the battery is fully charged.
Again you beat me to it...
Also if one cell is 'dead' it will cause an overcharging of the remaining good cells.
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Old 09-26-2021, 01:35 PM   #18
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Again you beat me to it...
Also if one cell is 'dead' it will cause an overcharging of the remaining good cells.
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Old 09-26-2021, 02:41 PM   #19
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All the data, water below the plates, overcharging causing rapid water depletion points to a bad battery with a bad cell(s). As a long shot maybe the converter is bad and is causing the over charging, but my money is on a bad battery.

David
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Old 09-27-2021, 03:44 PM   #20
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Thanks
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