Generator issues...again - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 08-28-2015, 05:09 PM   #1
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Angry Generator issues...again

Pirate writing.

OK, so back in July added a second electric fuel pump to assure fuel supply to the Onan 5500 generator. Runs like a charm, can power just about everything in the rig with no problems.

But now...have read some stop about an hour before reaching their destination, start the generator and AC units to cool the unit off before arriving.

Have now tried that twice...but when we get to our destination for the day...the generator wasn't running. HUH???

First time started generator, then the two AC units. All seemed well, so took off. Arrive, generator not running. Well, we forgot to switch the fridge from Auto to LP. Maybe that was it.

Second time started generator, then the two AC units. Switched the fridge to LP. Arrive and generator is not running. Out of fuel? Go to move fuel from Toy tank to Gen tank...nope, the Gen tank is full. HUH???

Wondering if it might be because the Generator is a carbureted model and two much bouncing around causes the problem?

Thoughts? Ideas? Theories???

Thanks,

Pirate
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:29 PM   #2
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Pirate
I now have to rethink my to-do list. As mine will do the same thing I was going to do your upgrade. Guess I can save that $$ for something else.
If frig is on auto once 120v goes away it will switch over to gas automatically.
As you found out frig has nothing to do with the problem..

I sure figured it was the pump problem & wasn't getting fuel. Still is either not getting fuel or it's vapor locking for some reason. If it runs for hours upon end while parked, must have something to do with................. .............. or maybe it could be
Well it does have something to do with moving down the road
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
Wondering if it might be because the Generator is a carbureted model and two much bouncing around causes the problem?

Thoughts? Ideas? Theories???

Thanks,

Pirate
Doubt is is because of the carburetor, motor vehicles have used them for years and other that trying to operate inverted (BTW they do make some that will), they did pretty well regardless of the terrain. Getting any error code readings? Or just the ones that tell you that the generator isn't working. Seems the newer stuff gets more complicated and less reliable. Last Onan I had would run for hours on end, didn't matter if you were moving or not, but that was a early 1980's model, with zero electronic controls.

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Old 08-28-2015, 07:14 PM   #4
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Yup, the fridge switches back to LP when the Generator dies.

Nope, no code on the control panel.

Gotta keep thinking on this one...has to be a reason...

Going to try again tomorrow on the road to Albuquerque...pretty flat road!!!

Pirate
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:19 PM   #5
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Maybe you can rig some sort of outside signal light that will let you know when the generator goes out? They you would know exactly when it occurs and could correlate it to the towing conditions at the time? What does Onan say about the whole thing? Are their generators supposed to operate while moving or did Dutchmen install static use units

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Old 08-28-2015, 07:19 PM   #6
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Possibly out of level conditions may set off safety switch on generator. In unlevel condition safety sensor may sense not enough oil
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
Wondering if it might be because the Generator is a carbureted model and two much bouncing around causes the problem?

Thoughts? Ideas? Theories???

Thanks,

Pirate
Mine has done that twice. Just stopped running. Both times were after an extremely bumpy section of highway. Other than that it has been fine.

I can't comment on the refrigerator because I always unplug my refrigerator when we travel. I have an inverter I leave on and if LP mode isn't set and the generator were to die it starts drawing on my batteries.

I also have a Honda 3000 mounted on a second receiver on my other truck with a slide in camper. It does the same thing. Lots of bumping around and it stops running.

Just my experiences with generators and highway travel.

Arlan
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:44 PM   #8
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Thanks Arlan,

I don't thing the fridge had anything to do with it...more the bumpy road.

Part of tomorrow's drive is really flat...so maybe I'll do some experimenting....and then I'll post what I've learned.

Thanks

Pirate
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
Maybe you can rig some sort of outside signal light that will let you know when the generator goes out? They you would know exactly when it occurs and could correlate it to the towing conditions at the time? What does Onan say about the whole thing? Are their generators supposed to operate while moving or did Dutchmen install static use units

Aaron
A generator 'off' signal source is a good idea but having to watch yet another thing while on the road just adds more agro to the trip.
I would configure a buzzer to sound when the gen set dies. The buzzer could be powered by a little two wire Bell wire and thrown in the truck somewhere. Might scare one when it goes off but better than watching for another thing in the mirror.

I had to make a similar system to warn the fire house if the electricity went off during the night, that way we wouldn't miss a call because the tone alert didn't work.
Of course that was before everyone was issued a personal portable radio but the idea is the same.

Cost to build, 10 bucks, amount charged for design, engineering and installation to taxpayers, 95 bucks. Life is good with electronics
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:51 PM   #10
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Good Luck.

Will be checking in to see what happens.

Arlan
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:59 PM   #11
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A generator 'off' signal source is a good idea but having to watch yet another thing while on the road just adds more agro to the trip.
I would configure a buzzer to sound when the gen set dies. The buzzer could be powered by a little two wire Bell wire and thrown in the truck somewhere. Might scare one when it goes off but better than watching for another thing in the mirror.

I had to make a similar system to warn the fire house if the electricity went off during the night, that way we wouldn't miss a call because the tone alert didn't work.
Of course that was before everyone was issued a personal portable radio but the idea is the same.

Cost to build, 10 bucks, amount charged for design, engineering and installation to taxpayers, 95 bucks. Life is good with electronics
I was just thinking about this a couple of nights ago. I didn't get far in the figuring it out department.

I myself would not mind another thing to monitor while traveling. An alarm sounds good but I have so much stuff talking to me going down the road I might miss a single alert. I was hoping for something like and LED that either came on or off.

I don't know where to start the process of this installation. Can you get me started?

Thanks
Arlan
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:10 PM   #12
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I have my aux pump on order and it was a pre paid item, so I'm eventually getting ready to put the pump on. I had mine a Holmans for other items and wanted to be on record with the genny problem. The found the hose kinked in several spots and replaced it all. I started it when I left there and by the time I got home (About and hour) it had died. I attributed to going up hills. But I'm not sure since it did the same thing while parked and level when we got home last weekend. I was running the a/c to keep cool while we unloaded and after about 30 minutes the genny died and I could keep it running for any more than about 5 minutes after that. Same code 36. I could be possible the controller board itself is bad and doesn't know it.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:29 PM   #13
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I couldn't keep it running for any more than about 5 minutes after that.
When mine was new it did that on it's maiden voyage, a vacation. Then it got worse until it would not start at all. I didn't know anything about codes at the time, still don't. Ended up with a spare Honda 3000 in the bed of my truck. Got it fixed at first and only warrantee work.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:31 PM   #14
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Low oil shutdown could be a culprit, depending on how sensitive the system is and where the sensor is located. We have a couple of Honda powered generators at work that won't stay cranked when it is cold because the sensors are located a bit high and when the oil is thick it takes it a bit to get back to where it covers the sensor. We just unplug the sensor until the oil gets heated up, then plug them back up, well I used to plug them back up, not sure about the clowns using them now.

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Old 08-28-2015, 09:41 PM   #15
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Last time mine did it was between Primm Nv. & Las Vegas. Flat road but was 110+. Had ran for awhile as it was cool inside when we set-up at Sam's Town KOA.
Aaron might be on to something with the low oil safety switch.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:18 PM   #16
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I was just thinking about this a couple of nights ago. I didn't get far in the figuring it out department.

I myself would not mind another thing to monitor while traveling. An alarm sounds good but I have so much stuff talking to me going down the road I might miss a single alert. I was hoping for something like and LED that either came on or off.

I don't know where to start the process of this installation. Can you get me started?

Thanks
Arlan
An LED would do the trick too. Flashing LEDs are readily available.
I'll PM you with the parts but will share here if anyone else might be interested.
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:28 PM   #17
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An LED would do the trick too. Flashing LEDs are readily available.
I'll PM you with the parts but will share here if anyone else might be interested.
Thank You!
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Old 08-28-2015, 10:49 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
Yup, the fridge switches back to LP when the Generator dies.

Nope, no code on the control panel.

Gotta keep thinking on this one...has to be a reason...

Going to try again tomorrow on the road to Albuquerque...pretty flat road!!!

Pirate
Pirate think again. I.e.; Raton pass, Glorieta pass, and Lavajada hill.
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Old 08-28-2015, 11:59 PM   #19
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If oil is sloshing around crankcase during travel cause momentary loss of oil pressure shutting unit down this could possibly happen as well in an unlevel condition
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Old 08-29-2015, 01:04 AM   #20
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If oil is sloshing around crankcase during travel cause momentary loss of oil pressure shutting unit down this could possibly happen as well in an unlevel condition
I was just going to type this. We had another TH with an Onan mounted sideways. It would cut off while on the road. Found out that it would be oil starved and shut down. To take that out of the equation, I changed the oil prior to our last trip. Suppose to have two quarts, only 1.5 came out....I filled it up with a full two quarts, it is really full now, at the top of the hashes, have had no problems....

Cale
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