Generator Ghost

Friday July 20th 2018

I spent the day working on a couple of issues that came up yesterday with two of the major systems in my RV home. My generator and satellite TV system are acting up.

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Most of the evil weather was off to the east today. A cold front with severe weather is forecast for tomorrow from the northwest.

Yesterday morning as I was packing up for travel the generator came on for no apparent reason. The RV was connected to shore power, so there was no need for the generator to start. Normally I start the generator from a switch on the dashboard. I have an Automatic Generator Start (AGS) system that will start the generator when the battery voltage gets low or the interior temperature is too high, but it should never run when connected to shore power. After the ghost turned the generator on I turned it off from the dashboard switch and continued to pack up. It came on again before I got on the road and again while I was on the road.

After I got setup in Charlotte I checked a few things and made sure the AGS was turned off. The generator didn’t come on during the afternoon or evening. I assumed I’d fixed the problem, although I didn’t do anything that should have fixed it. Everything was fine until around midnight. The generator came on to wake me up. I made my way to the front of the RV and turned the generator off before it woke the neighbors. Given that my last “fix” lasted for more than eight hours, I went back to bed. The generator ghost struck again just before 3AM. This time I didn’t get back to sleep the rest of the night. The generator came on again around 7AM.

While I was up during the night I had time to search for solutions on the Internet. It turns out to be a fairly common problem. People describe the same random starting behavior. Some people even described burning through three quarters of a tank of gas while the RV was in storage. The generator can’t use the last quarter of the tank. The problem seems to be associated with water getting into the wiring harness connectors or a circuit board connector. After a couple of attempts this morning, I found the main connector for the starting circuit on my generator. It did have water in the plug and socket. I dried things out and re-wrapped it with tape. The generator didn’t start on its own for seven hours after I reconnected the plug and socket. I want to get a good nights sleep tonight, so I disconnected the suspect plug and socket for the night. I’ll continue testing tomorrow.

The satellite issue is another common problem according to the internet. The satellite dish control box is reporting “No LNB Voltage”. The dish can’t lock on to a satellite and the DirecTV box can’t get a signal. The solution to this problem seems to be replacing a three foot section of cable from the LNB receiver head to the base of the antenna. I bought the cable today, but I need to get up on the roof to do the work. Today was too windy and the sun was out bright. I’ll wait for a cloudy windless day to work on the roof. In the mean time I have to survive on over the air television. This campground doesn’t have cable.

In the middle of all this fun, I went to Lowes and Walmart for supplies. The Walmart trip also served as a grocery run. I’m now provisioned for the weekend. Let’s see what other fun repairs I can undertake.

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Today’s flowers.

 

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