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house batteries and generator

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G and E

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  • OwnPC: Yes
  • NewUsed: Used
  • PurchDate: November 4, 2017
  • Model: 2551
  • ModelYear: 2005
  • Slide: Yes
  • IntColor: teal
  • ExtColor: white
  • Location: Chico, CA
house batteries and generator
« on: November 17, 2018, 03:51:39 pm »
We have two different issues with which we would appreciate advice and help:

After storing our PC2551 for the month of August, when we took it out to stay in during our evacuation last week, we were unable to start the generator, and the house batteries were dead.

My husband checked all the connections to the generator and added oil, but it still wouldn't start. The house batteries were stored with the switch in the 'store' position, but the light remains red when the button is changed to the 'use' position and none of the electricity works inside or out. Of course all of the electrical works when we are connected to shore power.

Can anyone suggest what else we can do? We have an appointment to take the machine in for a check mid-December, but we would like to get this fixed to be usable for some of the folks who are homeless right now due to the Camp Fire in Northern CA.

Thanks for your help,
Gail A
Chico, CA


Ron Dittmer

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    • My 2007 2350 Phoenix Cruiser
  • OwnPC: Yes
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Re: house batteries and generator
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2018, 12:37:54 am »
Hi Gail,

First try recharging your house batteries.  An external charger would be most efficient and will monitor the charge along the way to determine if you are making any progress.  You own a 2005 model so you have a single house battery and don't have the latest and greatest on-board battery charging and monitoring.  I advise to buy a smart charger with settings for 4 amps, 10 amps, and 20 amps.  For our 2007 PC with 2 house batteries, I bought THIS external battery charger sold at Walmart back in 2007 for around $60 and I like it very much.  It goes up to 40 amps but you have just one battery so a max of 20 amps would be sufficient.

If your generator turns over but won't start, make sure your main fuel tank is at least half full because at 1/4 to 1/3 full, the fuel is cut off to the generator.

Next would be how you are priming the generator before starting it.  Press and hold the generator start button in the opposing position than you would normally to start it.  Holding it in that way, runs the fuel pump getting fuel to the carburetor without the generator running.  I would give it 10 to 15 seconds like that the first time.  If it does not start after some cranking over, repeat with a 5 second prime time and try starting.  Repeat as needed.

Chico CA is 197' altitude, just about at sea level.  Make sure the altitude setting on your generator's carburetor is to zero.

Regarding why your house won't shut down after hitting the kill switch, it seems your battery isolator needs to be replaced.  It will resemble THIS devise, possibly having more than 3 terminals.


PS: Irene and I just got back from a 2 week trip in Egypt and Israel......suffering from jet lag, so I might be a bit "off" in my replies the next few days.

Our Israel trip that finished a day ago, a couple on the tour with us lost everything, their house, 4 other rental homes, their vehicles, everything they owned, all in Paradise.  The fellow said it was good they were on the trip because he would have likely died trying to save his house.

My heart breaks for those who are suffering from that fire.  It is comforting to know there is a member here making a difference.  Thank you Gail for doing that.  I hope you get back up and operational within an hour of reading this.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2018, 01:11:03 am by Ron Dittmer »
Ron (& Irene) Dittmer