Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-02-2011, 11:53 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 22
Champion generator shutting down while driving

I bought a 3500w Champion Generator from Northern Tool for the back of our party bus (converted Skoolie). It's on a rack that slides into a hitch, and there is very little movement of the rack. As we are in St. Louis (heat index was 118 here today), we need the generator to run while driving to keep the 13,500 AC running. The whole setup is only a couple of months old, and the generator now has 30 hours on it. The problem we are having is that it is intermittently shutting down while driving. I changed the oil last week, so I know that it has the proper amount of oil in it. The unit was $575 shipped, so I would consider this a contractor model. Any advice on why it's shutting down and how to solve the problem? I'm assuming that the oil is bouncing around causing it to shut down, but I have no idea. BTW, it has a little red LED and what looks like a circuit breaker button on the side by the fuel petcock. I noticed tonight that when I remote started the unit that the light blinked a few times. Any idea what that is? I plan on calling Champion in the morning. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
Bobholthaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2011, 12:51 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
opus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,615
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All-American R/E
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Champion generator shutting down while driving

Nothing to offer but I heard Champion had good support. Let us know, especially cause I have the same set.
opus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2011, 12:52 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Stuff's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada
Posts: 1,485
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Goshen
Chassis: Ford
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: 25
Send a message via AIM to Stuff Send a message via MSN to Stuff
Re: Champion generator shutting down while driving

probably low oil sensor. might need to mount it on something that doesnt let it vibrate or shake too much.
__________________
1990 E-350 Goshen Coach - 7.3L Diesel ---> http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=36&t=5756

My Youtube channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/thestuffz
Stuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2011, 08:54 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 22
Re: Champion generator shutting down while driving

I forgot to mention that it is in an enclosure I built, but the sides of the enclosure and the bottom are all open. Champion's FAQ mention vapor lock in the gas tank due to heat/pressure build-up and a faulty breather valve on the gas tank lid. I will call them this morning and then update the post. I'll cut and paste the FAQ here as well. Thanks guys for the thoughts. Champion's site also shows how to bypass the low oil cutoff, but I don't think I really want to do that (they show that as a temporary fix to only be used in extreme circumstances to get the unit started). Thank you all for the comments.
Bobholthaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2011, 12:03 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 22
Re: Champion generator shutting down while driving

I just talked to Champion and they told me that the old gas tank entry in their FAQ was 5 years old and they've resolved that issue. He said that it's likely the low oil sensor shutting it off. He told me to unplug the wire that leads to that sensor (there is a green inline connector that can be unplugged, right by the oil dipstick) and see if that solves it. He said that for our application, with the unit being able to bounce with the bus, we might not be able to leave that sensor plugged in. Which means we'll just have to check the oil periodically (itís a safety sensor that shuts the unit off if there is a low-oil situation). He said that the unit should not burn much oil, but that if we unplug that sensor, we should check it every couple of uses to ensure the oil remains full. He also told me to take the spark arrestor off of the muffler, because they have a tendency to get clogged and cause backpressure. They are mainly to prevent forest fires if the unit backfires while in use in dry, grassy/forested areas (a situation that our tailgate bus will never see). I've attached some pictures of the enclosure I made. Rack is all aluminum. I made the enclosure using angled aluminum I bought at Home Depot. The sheathing is alumilight material I use for my real estate signs (aluminum skin over a hard plastic core). I wanted a rack that would not rust!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20110802 - Misc IPhone Photos 016.jpg (123.1 KB, 1683 views)
File Type: jpg 20110802 - Misc IPhone Photos 017.jpg (127.7 KB, 1683 views)
File Type: jpg 20110802 - Misc IPhone Photos 020.jpg (64.0 KB, 1683 views)
Bobholthaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2011, 12:48 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
bapos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cleburne TX
Posts: 606
Re: Champion generator shutting down while driving

I would suspect with it being on a hitch in the back that its bouncing heavy and the sensor is doing what it needs to be doing. I would also not suggest unpluggin the low oil sensor.

I think your mount is fine but I would put some kind of a rubber insulator in 4 spots where you mount it. It need to have some spring in it so it wont slosh as much? Only reason why this comes to mind is I am working on a onan that is having starting issues. When I crank it it does rock on the mounts a fair amount. Not sure if the contractor models have those if they do I dont think they will be enough to stop your issue. They are ment to stay in one place with only the motor bouncing not the whole unit.


Good luck.
__________________
Here is my school bus conversion thread http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=10282

Pics of my conversion @ photobucket http://s18.photobucket.com/albums/b1.../School%20Bus/
bapos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2011, 12:52 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 22
Re: Champion generator shutting down while driving

There are some rubber feet that are between the motor itself and the frame of the unit, which takes out some of the vibration. But I agree, having a spring set up where the unit kind of "floats" would be strongly preferred. If this oil sensor deal doesn't work, I may try that. I wonder how the onan's and the built-in's get around this kind of problem? I guess if the gennie is mounted between the axles there is much less bounce in play. Thanks for the thoughts. I'll let you all know how it goes.
Bobholthaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-05-2011, 07:23 PM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
gbstewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,171
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800 International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Champion generator shutting down while driving

if its the low oil sensor, I would try just adding a bit more oil, if you want to keep the senor hooked up. I had to do that for my generator, it works fine now.

gbstewart
__________________
my bus build viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931
gbstewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2011, 09:17 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 22
Re: Champion generator shutting down while driving

The way the oil reservoir works is that the unit is full when the oil runs out of the edge of the filler hole. So, unless I tilt the unit while filling it (which isn't possible now that it's bolted to the rack), I can't overfill it. But thank you for your solution. The bus will be in use tonight, so I will let you guys know how it works. Hopefully by having the correct amount of oil in there now, we should be set.
Bobholthaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-06-2011, 09:21 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 22
Re: Champion generator shutting down while driving

Btw, I forgot to update this. After all of these posts (thank you), it turns out we were low on oil. When I changed the oil a couple of weeks ago, and then built the rack cover, I couldn't check the oil. So I cut an access panel for checking oil this week, and it turns out it was low. So I properly filled it, left the sensor in place, and we'll try it out tonight. Thanks.
Bobholthaus is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1997 E350 3.7L turbo international ford/champion conversion Friendofplants Short-Bus Conversion Projects 9 02-05-2015 07:02 PM
For Sale: Champion shuttle bus seats uloixia Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 0 04-01-2014 06:06 PM
1996 E350 Champion conversion Nanook Short-Bus Conversion Projects 6 02-24-2013 08:28 AM
champion bus?? looking for help purchasing a bus! huff0026 Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 1 05-15-2012 12:52 PM
1990 E350 Champion Challenger conversion mkchamness Skoolie Conversion Projects 0 06-17-2008 03:37 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.