Onan 5500 watt Generator - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 06-14-2018, 12:18 AM   #1
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Onan 5500 watt Generator

I have an Onan 5500 watt generator and I have learned a hard lesson about not reading the generator manual about setting up the RV generator for storage. My 2016 Dutchman V-Series 3605 toy hauler has been hardly used and the generator only had about 8 hours of use on it. After it setup for a few months it would not start at all. I read the manual and it said something to the effect that the carburetor will foul due to gums in the fuel. The generator was running perfectly before I shut it down the last time.

I installed a new carburetor a few days ago myself because in my area I could not find help or they were way too expensive. We all know about the charges due to labor, inflated parts prices and troubleshooting costs. I did it all for about 250.00 dollars. I have yet to start the generator until I learn the best way to prevent this from happening again. I hope the carburetor was the actual problem and not something else. The generator is practically new.

If I only drained the carburetor bowl when the RV goes into storage will that suffice to prevent this from happening again. What is the best additive out there to prevent this ? I kept the old carb and intend to clean it and save for future use. Another project I have is to install a two way valve in the fuel inlet line that will allow me to switch the fuel from the tank or from a source of additive that will be educated into the engine before it shuts down and then drain the carb bowl. Any other suggestions ?
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Old 06-14-2018, 11:20 AM   #2
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I always add Stabil fuel stabilizer to my generator tank every time I add fuel. Secondly, you should exercise your generator monthly 1/2 to an hour under load (A/C). This will address your fouling of your fuel.
Rusty
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Old 06-14-2018, 03:22 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by lcv800 View Post
I always add Stabil fuel stabilizer to my generator tank every time I add fuel. Secondly, you should exercise your generator monthly 1/2 to an hour under load (A/C). This will address your fouling of your fuel.
Rusty
Thanks for the reply. I will do that.
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Old 06-14-2018, 07:23 PM   #4
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I also do similar to what Rusty said with minor differences. I fill up the aux tank and pump to gen tank as needed and always put MARINE fuel stabilizer in when adding fuel. Pump from aux to tank as needed to better mix and fill both as needed. I run my generator a minimum of 1 hour a month every month in the winter and 2 hours every other month in summer time to get a good load.

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Old 06-16-2018, 11:25 PM   #5
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I use SeaFoam as my fuel stabilizer, works great and by looking during the Summer I can usually get it for a good price.

Couple of things to think about in preventing future problems:

Drain the generator fuel tank before putting the RV in storage. I have to admit, the fuel nozzles we get these days make that very difficult. I took mine out and uses a die grinder and burr to remove all that metal...so I have a fuel nozzle like cars came with back in the sixties. With this I can use a "Simple Siphon" to empty the fuel tank.

Or, put in the correct amount of fuel stabilizer for a full tank of fuel and then fill the tank. With a fuel stabilizer it should be fine through a winter.

Start the generator every month and run for half an hour, just to keep everything working fine.

Or, put a clamp on the fuel line back at the fuel tank. Start the generator and run it until it runs out of gas. I then use a bit of starting fluid sprayed in the air cleaner so that the generator starts and runs for a few seconds. Doing this twice is a pretty good sign the carburetor is empty and any fuel left will evaporate. Then remove the clamp from the fuel line.

Just thoughts,

Pirate
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Old 06-17-2018, 12:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
I use SeaFoam as my fuel stabilizer, works great and by looking during the Summer I can usually get it for a good price.

Couple of things to think about in preventing future problems:

Drain the generator fuel tank before putting the RV in storage. I have to admit, the fuel nozzles we get these days make that very difficult. I took mine out and uses a die grinder and burr to remove all that metal...so I have a fuel nozzle like cars came with back in the sixties. With this I can use a "Simple Siphon" to empty the fuel tank.

Or, put in the correct amount of fuel stabilizer for a full tank of fuel and then fill the tank. With a fuel stabilizer it should be fine through a winter.

Start the generator every month and run for half an hour, just to keep everything working fine.

Or, put a clamp on the fuel line back at the fuel tank. Start the generator and run it until it runs out of gas. I then use a bit of starting fluid sprayed in the air cleaner so that the generator starts and runs for a few seconds. Doing this twice is a pretty good sign the carburetor is empty and any fuel left will evaporate. Then remove the clamp from the fuel line.

Just thoughts,

Pirate
Thank you CSClark and Pirate for the recommendations. If I get the generator started I will apply your suggestions. Thanks again.
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Old 06-17-2018, 04:07 PM   #7
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Now one other thing about the Generator not starting. Ours is a 2014 Voltage Epic 3800...so a little longer than yours. Our generator fuel tank is the furthest thing back under the trailer.
That's a long way for the centrifugal fuel pump, mounted at the Generator, to pull fuel.

On the advice from a good friend, and being stuck in hot weather and the generator wouldn't start and run for more than a minute or two....went to Carquest and bought an electric fuel pump (generic model), the needed fittings, and clamps.

The fuel hose from the tank to the generator was incredibly cheap, I could pinch it flat with two fingers. So I also purchased enough good quality fuel hose to replace the existing hose.
I mounted that pump back at the tank. Bolted to a frame flange at that location.

To run the new fuel hose and a 12 gauge red and white wires for power...I cut the existing fuel hose at the new pump location. Used a brass tube coupling and two hose clamps to clamp the old and new hose to the coupling. I tucked the red and white wires under the clamps.

Then disconnected the old hose at the pump and gingerly pull it out, pulling in the new hose and wires.

Tie the new wiring into the existing wiring, and connect the new fuel hose to the original fuel pump.

Wire things up at the new pump, connect fuel hose. And I guarantee you your generator will start easier and run in any weather.

I have a post on this forum with more detail on how I did the project.

Just thoughts,

Pirate
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:34 PM   #8
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Good info thanks for that.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:41 PM   #9
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That's what the forum is for. Share what we've learned and learn even more!!!

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Old 06-20-2018, 09:55 PM   #10
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you may want to drain the fuel line and fuel filter and replace the fuel filter. I use a different product called StarTron that is formulated specifically for ethanol fuel and includes a stabilizer. An $8 bottle treats something like 250 gallons of fuel. pretty cheap. I run this in both fuel tanks on my toy hauler so the generator is getting treated fuel and the toys that get fuel from the other tank also get treated.
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