Author Topic: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!  (Read 7324 times)

Offline 78brave1

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Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« on: March 04, 2009, 11:21 PM »
When I was at a RV dealership in the spring, Their service department was booked with appointments for generators that either wouldn't start, or if they did start they had that all too familiar surging sound. This was a result of letting the generator sit for periods of time without starting and exercising it. Lack of use is one of the biggest problems with generators.
If you have a generator, remember to exercise it on a monthly basis. In gasoline generators the fuel breaks down and gums up causing hard starting and surging problems. This can happen in as short a period of time as one month. This is some good advice from the LGRVC site!

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2009, 01:36 PM »
It is now reccomended to add fuel stabilizer to every fill up (i think this is due to formulation of modern day fuels) especillaly on R/V,s Fuel can deteriorate in just 30 days If you end up camping for a wile you can end up with stale fuel and if you do not exercise or use your generator for any length of time you may need a carburetor rebuild to get it running again I use an electric fuel pump for my gen and when shutting it down i just turn off the pump and let it run out of fuel leaving the carb empty. I also try to add Stabile at the last fill before storing for winter or add it when draining water system for winter If you let it go till fuel turns to varnish you have a smelly monster to repair.  Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline gary19734

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2012, 09:28 AM »
My brother owns and operates Delaware Chassis Works also ECTA land Speed Racing Get alot of  carberated hot rods and street cars in and out with serious carberator problems due to the alcohol content in today's fuels pulling in moister. stabul will drastically reduce this but you must buy the marine one removes the alcohol all the hot rod guys say to use it at every fill up.Unless you are going to use fuel with in a 1 month period. I have noticed a big improvement by doing so with my motor home . What the heck another 8 bucks in the fuel tank alot cheaper than a new carburetor . Most damage to the carb from the moister is none repairable. It would also benefit you to install aftermarket fuel filter a large one that looks like a oil filter as we all know a whole lot of fuel passes thru these motors and alcohol loosens up rust deposites etc.

Offline Froggy1936

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2012, 12:59 PM »
I am able to run the generator carb dry when shutting it off (due to having a electric pump on the gen) I just turn off all the loads then shut off the pump and let it run out of fuel Have been doing it this way for 6 yrs and no gen carb problems Frank
The Journey is the REWARD !

Offline ibdilbert01

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2012, 02:04 PM »

Gary's brother is spot on.

The biggest issue with US gas is the amount of ethanol congress is mandating in the mix.  The end result is faster "Phase Separation" during storage. 


An Ethanol mix will actually pull moisture out of the air and push it right into the mix.   Eventually it will saturate to the point where it settles to the bottom of the tank, leaving a mix of ethanol and water.   Its becoming a rather large issue with boats. 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YeCyFxoWPpo



Constipated People Don't Give a crap!

Offline tiinytina

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2012, 07:45 PM »
My small engine repair guy said  simpler solution is to always store your rig (and your small engines)  full of fuel, that way there is no air layer to mix with... (as Gone sits half full because I was feeling too "done" with 6 dogs in tow and a entry door that would not lock driving home from Trap Pond on Monday morning) last trip out... so yup.. errand run tomorrow Marine Stabil... 

Tina

Hi from Gone to the Dawgs! 1987 Tiffin Allegro in Deale MD. CW Rocks!!!

Offline OldEdBrady

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2012, 05:42 PM »
An old topic, but I saw something somewhere that reminded me of it.  Am I ever glad!  Hadn't run mine for about a year.

So, got it fired up (After remembering HOW to do it).  Connected the trailer line to it, and fired up the a/c.  Temp dropped from 110 to 80 in about 10 minutes.

I can't run the a/c on house current due to low amperage circuits, but the genny keeps it going.  So, ran it about an hour, got the trailer cooed down inside, AND gave the genny a workout.

Timely reminder.

Offline dezertgurl

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2012, 07:39 AM »
Timely indeed! This made me stop and think, when did my Winnie's generator last run? Uhmm, I can't remember so it must be too long! So that's on my errand list for the weekend.

The problems caused by ethanol are no joke, we get a lot of older farm trucks and small gas-powered equipment in our ag repair shop with fuel issues. And don't get me started on biodiesel, it adversely affects newer engines as well as old ones!  But they're here to stay, so all we can do is try to learn what works and what doesn't and pass the word along.
Just sold 1973 Winnie D20 Brave

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 10:43 PM »
I'm trying to put just the ethanol  free gas in my winnebago . .but I know I won't always be able to do this ..I haven't tried my generator out yet ..I do know it will turn over but not sure what all I need to do to it before I try and start it ..I looked at it the other day and i see where the fuel filter is ..I assume I should try and drain some old gas out of it before I try to start it ..I believe the generator uses the gas from the motorhome   itself ..is this correct ? That's why  haven't tried to start it because I got the I don't knows ..lol

Offline HamRad Mobile

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2017, 12:38 PM »
Exercising the generator. 

     And the motor home too. 

     Yes, there is a real problem here from lack of exercise.  A lot like people. 

     When I first bought the Winnebago Elandan, it had sat parked in a storage yard for a long time.  Checking all the fluid levels, getting air into the tires, and other "before you start the engine" checks took a while.  Later finding and repairing the frozen water system leaks took some time also.  One part of the cure to getting the Onan NHE 6.5 KW generator running again turned out to be a new carburettor.  However, I did receive the old one back, and I cleaned and reassembled it.  It also has a new right-angle fuel line fitting on the side, so it is possible to quickly change it as a spare if anything happens to the "now new carburettor."   The other part of the Onan generator cure was a simple repair to the ignition system. 

     Both the Onan generator and the air conditioners do get a short run period on the first of the month during the Winter when the motor home is parked.  And every once in a while, the engine is started and it goes out for about a 1/2 to one hour drive to help keep the seals lubricated and other things happy.  After replacing the engine once, I would like to avoid doing that again, regardless of the cause. 

     The use of the Sta-Bil fuel treatment is something that is done here also, but changing to the Marine version of Sta-Bil is looking like a good idea.  And there is a fuel-water separator in the fuel line not far from the fuel tank, and then the fairly large "spin-on" fuel filter assembly.  I am trying to keep it clean inside. 

     Having a motor home really is a nice experience.  It has been fun being able to use it in the short time I have had it.  It has also been a learning experience, and it has demonstrated just how much we take for granted all the support activities and services we enjoy in our fixed location homes; we flip a switch and the lights come on, we adjust a dial and warm air is there, we turn a tap handle and fresh water flows, we watch the water in the sink circle and flow down the drain.  In the motor home, we are responsible for all the things we normally would do at home, plus now we also have added the need for making sure that there is a supply of electricity, fuel for heating, water, and the disposal of the "used water" in our "sewer" system when that time comes.   

     One little recognized benefit of being a good conscientious Recreational Vehicle owner who is aware of the need for maintenance of all of the systems in the RV, and perhaps has some long-term storage supplies out in the RV, is that if there is a major storm, calamity, disaster, or other event that disrupts the normal support and energy services that we commonly enjoy, the RV is an excellent place to serve as a shelter in such an incident.  With a functioning RV, you are way ahead of the game in disaster preparedness. 

          Enjoy;

          Ralph 
          Latté Land, Washington 

     

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2017, 09:45 PM »
the good news is I figured out how to operate the generator ..and I got a lot of handy dandy tips from this group ..ive been exercising it pretty regurally to keep it working ..since it was sitting up for a long time ..I  do need to do some maintenance like change the oil and the oil filter..ill get the hubby to do that ..where is the best places to get the oil filters from ?

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2017, 09:00 AM »
I don't remember the filter number but a lot of times they will cross over to something at an auto supply. If not than most lawn mower shops will have them since Onans were used on thousands of mowers. And then there is Amazon, I swear by Amazon, don't even have to go out. :D

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2017, 11:06 PM »
Thanks for that handy info rick I appreciate  it ...your always helpful 😃

Offline HamRad Mobile

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2017, 03:52 PM »
Good morning, Winnebago Warrior; 

     This is a case where it seemed prudent to check and see what is out there before saying something. 

     In looking at the number of Onan oil filters available at my local RV parts and accessories store, it seems that there are at least five (5) different Onan oil filters.  If you have the owner's manual for your Onan generator, that is a really good resource for the correct information.  Taking both the Onan model designation and the serial number, along with the "Spec Letter" for your Onan generator (which should be the last Letter in the Serial Number) in to your local Cummins-Onan parts guys will provide them with the information they say they need to get you the correct part.  Well, actually, most of them would not even talk to me about any parts without my having the model designation and the serial number with the "Spec Letter."  My problem is that I did not have the Onan serial number plate on the Onan generator anymore.  There were just some scrapes in the green paint from a screwdriver blade that was used by someone to pry off the serial number plate so that they could take it in to show the Onan people what the model and serial number were.  But then they did not put my Onan serial number plate back on the generator nor anywhere in the motor home.  Fun. 

     Another simple way is to remove the oil filter on the generator now, and see what is that number.  Even the auto parts guys will have a way to cross-reference that oil filter number to an equivalent in their stock. 

     In talking with the Onan parts people, at least I did get the information that there seems to be a general acceptance that the 15W-40 type multi-viscosity oil is acceptable for just about any climate in the lower-48 states.  For me, that was very good news, because that is what the engine rebuilder for the replacement engine that went into the Winnebago Elandan also suggests to use with his engine.  Now I carry only one type of engine oil. 

           Enjoy; 

           Ralph 
           Latté Land, Washington 

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #14 on: November 12, 2017, 07:22 PM »
I have been exercising my generator and its been purring like a kitten and I might add came in very handy for the hurricane Harvey that hit southeast texas ..we fired it up when we lost power and it helped to save the day ..I haven't had to use the little gasoline suction device anymore when the generator sits for a time ..it been firing up constanly ..the onan is a good one ..thanks agin for yalls help

Offline WrigleysBraveWin

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2017, 06:24 AM »
It is now reccomended to add fuel stabilizer to every fill up (i think this is due to formulation of modern day fuels) especillaly on R/V,s Fuel can deteriorate in just 30 days If you end up camping for a wile you can end up with stale fuel and if you do not exercise or use your generator for any length of time you may need a carburetor rebuild to get it running again I use an electric fuel pump for my gen and when shutting it down i just turn off the pump and let it run out of fuel leaving the carb empty. I also try to add Stabile at the last fill before storing for winter or add it when draining water system for winter If you let it go till fuel turns to varnish you have a smelly monster to repair.  Frank


Been running off and on and have added Marine Grade Stabil to every tank ..... The Walmart near me has ethonal free gas so I may grab some next time we need gas.
Today is the youngest you'll ever be!

Offline Winnebago Warrior 94

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Re: Exercise your RV generator. It's important!
« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2017, 10:52 PM »
I put the ethanol free gas on alot of our stuff ..we was,having alot of problems with lawnmower carburetor gettong clogged but since I have been using the ethanol free no trouble ..I use it in my Winnebago too and its been purring like a kitten except for the vaccume leak .
Lol

 

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