Clarification Of Advice
Q: I am inquiring in regard to the “Winter Storage” letter that appeared on page 22 in the June 2004 “Technical Inquiries” column.
We are new to motorhoming and have a 33-foot 2002 Beaver Monterey. We have had numerous problems differentiating the advice from several sources in the industry in regard to winter storage. I understand the portion about moisture barriers under the tires. The leveling advice seems somewhat contrary to other opinions.
You mention placing jack stands at the four corners. I spoke to Henderson’s Line-Up in Oregon and they indicated that the stands should be placed under the axles. So is your advice about alleviating stress on the levelers, tires, springs, or what? Your answer indicates leaving most of the weight on the tires. I have been told that leaving weight on the tires for extended periods of time may ruin the tires. Most jack stands that are capable of holding my axle weight (7,770 pounds in front and 16,500 pound in rear) will not fit under the axles. But jacking up the axle to accommodate the jack stand lifts the tires from the ground, which you advise not to do. I hope you can understand my confusion.
Jim & Cheryl Cuccia, F328332
Santa Maria, California
A: Perhaps our instructions were not clear. Do not use the leveling jacks to raise the tires off the ground. This is not a safe way to lift the coach so that you may place jack stands under the axles. There’s always a chance the leveling jacks could collapse unexpectedly while you’re beneath the motorhome positioning the stands. Instead, you should use a hydraulic jack to elevate one wheel at a time as you set up the jack stands.
Safely set the supporting jacks under the axles at a height so that the suspension components won’t be left in an extended position (as they would be if you placed the jacks under the frame). While leaving most of the motorhome’s weight on the tires won’t necessarily accelerate tire wear, the tires could develop flat spots, which could shake your fillings loose (and perhaps several items in your cabinets) before they warm up and smooth out. And you need to place a barrier of some type (plywood, heavy cardboard, etc.) between the tires and the ground. The weight alone during storage will not hurt the tires, especially when it’s recommended that the tires be replaced every five to six years, regardless of mileage.
Dead Gen Set
Q: I have an Onan diesel generator (model HDKAJ) that’s installed in a 1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor. The generator was working perfectly one day and then the next day would not start. No engine turnover, no clicks, and no blinking lights on either switch. I checked the three fuses located near the generator switch, and all are good with current coming through both sides of the fuses. I also checked the positive post on the solenoid, which showed 12 or 13 volts. Are there any fuses that control starting? If so, please inform me of their locations.
Neil Firmin, F155135
A: The starter solenoid apparently is accessible, since you were able to detect positive 12-volt-DC current at the solenoid input. If you do not hear clicking sounds from the solenoid, the current evidently is not reaching the solenoid to activate it “” or the solenoid coil is open and cannot react. To determine whether the solenoid is operating correctly, use a small jumper wire to supply positive 12-volt current (from the positive 12-volt “in” connection on the solenoid terminal) to the coil. If it doesn’t click, you have a bad solenoid and will need to replace it. If it does click and engages the starter, then the solenoid coil is okay. Your problem then can be traced to an inoperative circuit that activates the solenoid.
Without a wiring diagram, and since you have verified that all of the fuses are good, it’s difficult for me to say what’s causing the problem. It doesn’t sound like a shutdown protection sensor is the cause. Shutdown protection features used to detect high temperature, low oil pressure, and low coolant usually will allow the engine to crank but not continue to run. My thought is that your problem is in the control board. To get help diagnosing the start circuit, I would suggest you contact Onan directly or contact the closest Onan service center. This may be an involved repair and require a trip to a technician. Onan’s phone number is (800) 888-ONAN (6626), but I would try a local service center first, if there is one in your area.