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Old 04-24-2015, 10:19 AM   #1
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Generator

Hi all,

This will be my 3rd year with my RV and I have never fired up the generator. I am going to fuel up tomorrow and run it next week. Is there anything I should do before firing it up for the first time since I have never used it?

The dealer told me I should run it for a few hours every few months when I took it in to have some work done. I will have power where I am going, so I don't necessarily need it, but since it sounds like this is an area I have neglected I wanted to see if anyone had recommendations.

Thanks,
Bill
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:18 AM   #2
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Hi all,

This will be my 3rd year with my RV and I have never fired up the generator. I am going to fuel up tomorrow and run it next week. Is there anything I should do before firing it up for the first time since I have never used it?

The dealer told me I should run it for a few hours every few months when I took it in to have some work done. I will have power where I am going, so I don't necessarily need it, but since it sounds like this is an area I have neglected I wanted to see if anyone had recommendations.

Thanks,
Bill
It has not been ran in over 3 years? Has it ever had fuel in the carburetor? If so, you could have some varnish that may require a good carb cleaning and kit with new gaskets. I would remove spark plugs and squirt some oil or WD-40 in the cylinder and slowly turn it over with the pull rope if equipped. This will give the cylinder a good coat of oil. They usually come with a light coat from the manufacturing process but 3 years is a long time unless it was stored in a climate controlled environment. Make sure it is filled with oil and fresh gas. Fire it up and check it out. You should really fire them up at least monthly and run 5 to 10 minutes under load from then on. Treat fuel with Stabil or fuel stabilizer of your choice.
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Old 04-24-2015, 11:38 AM   #3
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X2...plus perform an oil and filter change, new air and fuel filter.

Also check all wiring to generator to make sure no connections have worked loose they may prevent it from starting, feeding load, or could cause a spark..
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:23 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies.

Can I get filters at auto zone or something similar or are they something that need to be ordered?
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Old 04-24-2015, 12:32 PM   #5
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What make of generator is it?
Is this a permanent on board unit, or a portable?
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Old 04-24-2015, 01:16 PM   #6
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I don't have the model number but it is an Onan that is built into the rig. I think all of the crossroads RVs have the same model. I want to say it is the 5500 but not sure.
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Old 04-24-2015, 01:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by bws1105 View Post
Hi all,

This will be my 3rd year with my RV and I have never fired up the generator. I am going to fuel up tomorrow and run it next week. Is there anything I should do before firing it up for the first time since I have never used it?

The dealer told me I should run it for a few hours every few months when I took it in to have some work done. I will have power where I am going, so I don't necessarily need it, but since it sounds like this is an area I have neglected I wanted to see if anyone had recommendations.

Thanks,
Bill
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim D View Post
It has not been ran in over 3 years? Has it ever had fuel in the carburetor? If so, you could have some varnish that may require a good carb cleaning and kit with new gaskets. I would remove spark plugs and squirt some oil or WD-40 in the cylinder and slowly turn it over with the pull rope if equipped. This will give the cylinder a good coat of oil. They usually come with a light coat from the manufacturing process but 3 years is a long time unless it was stored in a climate controlled environment. Make sure it is filled with oil and fresh gas. Fire it up and check it out. You should really fire them up at least monthly and run 5 to 10 minutes under load from then on. Treat fuel with Stabil or fuel stabilizer of your choice.
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X2...plus perform an oil and filter change, new air and fuel filter.

Also check all wiring to generator to make sure no connections have worked loose they may prevent it from starting, feeding load, or could cause a spark..

The above quotes should be cast in bronze! Great advice for any engine that hasn't be ran for for an extended period of time.
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Old 04-29-2015, 06:58 AM   #8
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I believe you can get filters at Camping World, and maybe other RV stores. Some auto parts stores also have them. I bought filters and plugs for a 2003 Onan Generator at an Auto Parts store.
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Old 04-29-2015, 07:04 PM   #9
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You will need to have a load plugged in to the generator to force it to produce electricity. Often the coils get weak after time.

If it won't make electricity while running, plug an electric drill into the Ginny and manually spin the motor or Chuck until it takes off.
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Old 04-30-2015, 07:51 AM   #10
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Bill,

Have you fired your generator up yet? Keep us posted...
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:40 AM   #11
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Just as a recommendation We typically run our generator on the way to our destination for short weekend runs. It allows us to get the trailer cooled off and the fridge seems to get cold faster that way. And it meets the requirement to run it every now and then. Stabil is your friend.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:47 AM   #12
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Good comment on using Stabil. I couldn't imagine not having it in the tank on all equipment. I've had to clean/rebuild a few gummed up carb/float bowl..not fun
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:07 PM   #13
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After getting everything set up I pulled the cover off and took a look around. I found all of the part numbers and headed in to town, but none of the local places had the filters.

I popped of the air filter cover and it looked good and checked the oil and it still looked good too. So I decided to proceed. I hit the prime for a few seconds and cranked it up. It didn't start up right away so I primed it a little more and it fired up and ran. I let it run for a few minutes and turned on the breakers it was fine after the first one then one I put on the second one it died. So I turned them back off and fired it back up. I let it run a while longer and turned the breakers on and it stayed on this time. So I walked around to the shore plug and turned off the breakers there. Everything inside turned off for a few seconds the flipped back on. I ran both air conditioners and the tv and refrigerator for about 2 hours.

When I get home I'll check out the filters and change the oil. It did smoke quite a bit at first, but after about 3 or 4 minutes the exhaust was clear.

Overall a pretty experience. I'll make sure to run it more often once I get everything changed out

Again, thanks everyone for the advice!
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:14 PM   #14
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Yes, that really is a good feeling when everything works the way it is suppose to.
Sounds like you are on the right track with it now.
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Old 05-01-2015, 10:47 PM   #15
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That's good news. I would not worry too much about filter. I would however change the oil after a few hours of break in. I personally use stabil in all my small engines. I learned my lesson many years ago and much carb work to keep a generator and pressure washer going. I always have it in my gas cans thru the winter and make sure to burn the last tank of the year in my mower with stabil and store full. Come spring it fires right up.
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Old 05-04-2015, 06:38 PM   #16
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You definitely should use a fuel preservative and start and exercise the generator on a regular basis.

Moisture build up can cause damage to your generator. When you exercise your generator it heats up the generator windings and eliminates this moisture build up. This monthly exercise regime also lubricates all of the engine seals and components and helps to prevent carbon build up.
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