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Author Topic: Run the generator while driving?  (Read 724 times)

rachpyne

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Run the generator while driving?
« on: August 12, 2017, 07:20:48 PM »
We have a MH, can we run generator while we are driving?

NY_Dutch

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 07:29:20 PM »
Absolutely! We do it whenever we need it for additional A/C cooling, etc.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

rachpyne

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 07:46:31 PM »
That's good to know!! We will be passing through Needles soon! :-[
Thank you!!

NY_Dutch

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 08:06:50 PM »
Yep, it won't hurt a thing other than making a small dent in your fuel mileage.  ;D
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
ReadyBrute Elite tow bar/Blue Ox base plate

malexander

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 08:18:07 PM »
When we go to Oshkosh, I start my genny just before unplugging the motor home in my driveway. I don't shut it off till I'm parked, and plugged in at the campground at OSH. It's 975 miles, 17 hours driving time spread out over 2 days.
Marshall Alexander
2007 Fleetwood Bounder 38N DP, 2008 GL 1800 Goldwing, 2007 VTX 1300, Cessna 150 & 172, Rans S19 Venterra

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 08:48:58 PM »
Absolutely! We do it whenever we need it for additional A/C cooling, etc.
^^^ :)) Also if it's hot we'll turn on the generator and A/C about 30 minutes before we stop for the night.
Gene

2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2011 Honda Fit

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 09:12:53 PM »
We have a MH, can we run generator while we are driving?
Absolutely, Yesterday I was at the tire dealer getting new tires on the front. As soon as I was out of the bay I started the generator and turned on the roof AC.
The only thing to be aware of is it will shut down when you are down to 1/4 tank of fuel. This is done to prevent you from using al the fuel when camped some ware and gives you a reserve to get to the gas station. ;)
One other tip if it is hot run your dash air on "recirculate" it will cool better. :))
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

John From Detroit

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2017, 07:38:32 AM »
I do, at least once a month.  You have to run the Generator at least 1/2 hour under at least 1/2 load every month.. So I do it on my last trip of the month every month (or the first of next month) Since I move every week or two depending on the time of year.

Generator is 12 years old.. Only thing I've ever done to it is Start/Stop. Oil and filter and of course feed it gasoline...   When Matthew came calling. I was 3 miles from the YOU MUST LEAVE line... I can tell you that Onan was a joy to sit atop.. I had hot and cold running water.. Air Contitioning, Shower.. Food,  Everything....  EXCEPT INTERNET.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

JoelP

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 08:30:26 AM »
Not only can you, run it while driving, but some RVs like mine have an extra switch to start it and stop it up front that you can reach while driving.  While it is essential to start it for 20-30 minutes each month to keep the brushes in condition it is also a good idea to not start it for a few minutes and turn it off before running it a while.  I have read that this puts wear and tear on the generator more than running it until it is well warmed up.
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
2016 CMax Energi Hybrid dinghy

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 08:33:58 AM »
We full time so if we're not plugged in, the generator and air conditioner are running (if it's cool enough that we don't need the ac then we're heading South).

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 09:24:20 AM »
Not only can you, run it while driving, but some RVs like mine have an extra switch to start it and stop it up front that you can reach while driving.
Mine too. I think we have the same coach 37F, except Winnebago slapped Itasca on yours as it went out the door.  :)
Gene

2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2011 Honda Fit

kdbgoat

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2017, 09:44:14 AM »
Not only can you, run it while driving, but some RVs like mine have an extra switch to start it and stop it up front that you can reach while driving.  While it is essential to start it for 20-30 minutes each month to keep the brushes in condition it is also a good idea to not start it for a few minutes and turn it off before running it a while.  I have read that this puts wear and tear on the generator more than running it until it is well warmed up.

The manual for mine (Onan 4kw KY model) recommends running 2 hours under at least half load every month. Also it is a good idea to turn off your main breaker to allow the generator to warm up a couple of minutes before loading, and then allow it to cool down a couple of minutes with no load before you shut it down.
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
But I am not sure you realize what you heard is not what I meant


2016 Leprechaun 319DS

JoelP

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2017, 02:36:07 PM »
The manual for mine (Onan 4kw KY model) recommends running 2 hours under at least half load every month. Also it is a good idea to turn off your main breaker to allow the generator to warm up a couple of minutes before loading, and then allow it to cool down a couple of minutes with no load before you shut it down.

I once had to replace the brushes because I was lax in running it each month. It was explained to me that an oxide formed on the carbon that needed to be scrubbed.  While I can imaging that 30 minutes would service this purpose I have to wonder why Onan would recommend as much as 2 hours.  Any thoughts on that?  IN 30 minutes I have to think that every part of the generator will be at the same temperature as it would be in an hour or longer.
Joel from San Jose

2010 Itasca Suncruiser 37F
8.1L Chevy Workhorse with Banks PowerPack
2016 CMax Energi Hybrid dinghy

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2017, 03:10:44 PM »
I once had to replace the brushes because I was lax in running it each month. It was explained to me that an oxide formed on the carbon that needed to be scrubbed.  While I can imaging that 30 minutes would service this purpose I have to wonder why Onan would recommend as much as 2 hours.  Any thoughts on that?  IN 30 minutes I have to think that every part of the generator will be at the same temperature as it would be in an hour or longer.
This spring when I was at the FMCA rally in Chandler AZ. I was talking to the Cummins/Onan reps about  that. There reply was that they had increased the "exercise" time under at least 1/2 load to 2 hours monthly because of the gas that has ethanol (on gas units) and to be shure to get moisture out of the windings on the generator. They also commented that as many as 70% of the units that came in for repair the problem could be attributed to not exercising the unit properly.
Bill



a
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

jc2

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2017, 03:36:00 PM »
This spring when I was at the FMCA rally in Chandler AZ. I was talking to the Cummins/Onan reps about  that. There reply was that they had increased the "exercise" time under at least 1/2 load to 2 hours monthly because of the gas that has ethanol (on gas units) and to be shure to get moisture out of the windings on the generator. They also commented that as many as 70% of the units that came in for repair the problem could be attributed to not exercising the unit properly.
Bill



a
To further add to the info posted by WILDEBILL308 concerning ethanol, our previous mh was gas and had the Onan gas genie so we can relate to the potential ethanol issue.   About halfway through each camping season, I would add (3) 16oz cans of "Sea Foam" fuel additive/conditioner to the 75 gal tank. I then added same amount to the tank a second time and before shutting down for the winter,drove 20-30 miles with the genie running so it would mix with the gas.  Never has a problem and it started right up in the spring.  Also use this stuff in all of our lawn/garden motors and boats when I had them.
We also use "Sea Foam" in our current diesel pusher the same way with very good results.

In regards to the original posters question; yes we run our genie 9/10 times when the coach is moving and do the annual maintenance along with the big engine.  Use it or lose it. :D
2004 Newmar Dutch Star-4015-ISL 370-2008 Saturn Vue Towed-FMCA 402879-SKP 120847

Howard R

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2017, 10:19:54 PM »
Yes ... Sea Foam and Use it or lose it 

:))

Howard
« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 10:21:43 PM by Howard R »
2001 Fleetwood Southwind 35R
V10   F53
2003 Jeep Liberty Toad
Minnesota

TonyDtorch

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #16 on: August 14, 2017, 10:34:48 AM »
That's good to know!! We will be passing through Needles soon! :-[
Thank you!!

I think driving an RV through Needles without generator air conditioning... is illegal. 

you could get pulled over and die ..  :)
« Last Edit: August 14, 2017, 10:46:37 AM by TonyDtorch »

BinaryBob

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #17 on: August 14, 2017, 10:48:47 AM »
Ahhh.. I think I get it now.
You're talking about Needles in CA?
Hopefully not the Needles in SD...
2004 Itasca Suncruiser 37B

"Every hobby perpetuates its arcane mysteries. How else would we impress the newbies with our superior knowledge?"
--Gary RV Roamer--

allan munroe

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2017, 07:58:55 AM »
Hello, I'm new to RVing, I recently purchased a Tiffin Allegro Bus (used) and the Onan 7500 W diesel generator wasn't working because the inverter was fried. While it was being serviced I asked the service manager at the Onan dealer a lot of question and one was running the generator while on the highway. His answer was quick and simple, no unless the conditions are perfect, totally dry and totally dust free and than he said if it was his, he wouldn't. Although that statement was pretty blunt, I not sure it would apply to gas or even other makes of generator.

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2017, 08:10:49 AM »
I run my 8kW generator any time the engine is running no problems in 30,000 miles. I think he's blowing smoke.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
2006 Jeep Wrangler

TonyDtorch

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2017, 08:23:46 AM »
He is full of crap.  Everyone runs the generator going down the highway. You would have no air conditioner if you didn't   
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 12:18:37 PM by TonyDtorch »

WILDEBILL308

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2017, 08:38:06 AM »
Hello, I'm new to RVing, I recently purchased a Tiffin Allegro Bus (used) and the Onan 7500 W diesel generator wasn't working because the inverter was fried. While it was being serviced I asked the service manager at the Onan dealer a lot of question and one was running the generator while on the highway. His answer was quick and simple, no unless the conditions are perfect, totally dry and totally dust free and than he said if it was his, he wouldn't. Although that statement was pretty blunt, I not sure it would apply to gas or even other makes of generator.

Welcome to the forum. Not all techs are as informed as they should be. I was trying to figure out why he might think that way. The generator is a self contained system with it's own air cleaner etc. I run my Onan 7500 W diesel generator whenever I need it. I have never had a problem. Just do your annual maintenance and keep it exercised.
Bill
2003 Bounder 38N
300 HP 5.9 Cummins
Allison 3000MH Trans.
Towing 2014 Honda CRV
Home base Fort Worth, Texas
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.
-Mark Twain-

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Run the generator while driving?
« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2017, 11:18:59 AM »
Sadly that more of the malarkey that RVers are often subjected to from uninformed or ill-informed managers, advisors and even techs.

Obviously any Onan genset can be protected by never using it, or only using it in ideal conditions, but what's the point of having it otherwise?  And why would he think that highway travel is any worse operating condition than a dusty or muddy or grassy campsite?

The Onan7500 or 8000 on your Bus has its own air filter and radiator and a separate fuel filter. It needs annual maintenance like the similar systems for the main engine, but it's designed for outdoor use in less than showroom conditions.It has sensors to detect inadequate cooling or lubrication or improper power generation, and even has internal diagnostics to tell if the sensors aren't working as designed. You aren't going to harm it.

Feel free to use your Onan - it likes to run and will suffer less from extensive use than from being "preserved". There is a fair chance that failed inverter was caused by internal moisture build up, which is a result of lack of use.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 11:23:48 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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