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Author Topic: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?  (Read 871 times)

JoeandJane

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Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« on: September 07, 2017, 06:03:35 PM »
If I remember right, the generator will not run down past 1/4 gas tank, correct?
'04 Minnie Winnie 31C, and yes my questions are about this unit unless otherwise noted.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 06:05:32 PM »
Yes, that's correct, although "approximately a quarter tank" is more accurate, some cut out at a bit more, some a bit less...
Dutch
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JoeandJane

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 06:13:10 PM »
Yes, that's correct, although "approximately a quarter tank" is more accurate, some cut out at a bit more, some a bit less...
Sigh of relief.   I started it up to check it before the weekend and it ran for about three minutes and started running real rough and died. It would not restart but then I really realize that the gas gauge was at 1/4 so I probably just ran out the carburetor and then quit.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2017, 06:18:54 PM »
Sigh of relief.   I started it up to check it before the weekend and it ran for about three minutes and started running real rough and died. It would not restart but then I really realize that the gas gauge was at 1/4 so I probably just ran out the carburetor and then quit.

Yep, that's exactly what happens. It may take a few restart tries to get fuel back up in the bowl and flowing to the engine, but it'll get there. Don't run the starter for more than about 10 seconds at a time.
Dutch
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muskoka guy

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2017, 07:07:10 PM »
Get in the habit of looking for gas around half tank. This way if an emergency arises and you need the generator, you will have enough fuel to last at least a while. I never let mine get even near 1\4 for this reason.

John Canfield

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2017, 07:42:48 PM »
Our Onan QuietDiesel will self prime if you hold the start switch in the off position for about two minutes.
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2017, 07:56:47 PM »
Our Onan QuietDiesel will self prime if you hold the start switch in the off position for about two minutes.

I don't think any of the gas generators have that feature, John, but I could be wrong. I have known a couple of people that added a push button fuel pump override to older units though.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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kdbgoat

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2017, 08:43:45 PM »
Mine has a separate prime switch.
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


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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 09:23:25 PM »
Mine has a separate prime switch.

Is it an Onan gas model?
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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kdbgoat

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #9 on: September 08, 2017, 05:46:12 AM »
Yep, 4000 watt, 4KY model, P spec
I know you believe you understand what you think I said,
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wackymac

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #10 on: September 08, 2017, 06:17:57 AM »
On my Onan 4KY on the interior switches you push and hold the top (stop) part of the switch to prime the unit.
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RVRAC

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #11 on: September 08, 2017, 11:46:27 AM »
Mine has a separate switch too.
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Ernie n Tara

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2017, 03:55:59 PM »
Pet Peeve! >:( I have 90 gallon fuel tank and almost always run with the generator running. That wastes 1/4 of the fuel tank or 22.5 gallons/200 miles of range. Dumb plan in a modern RV. I have to start looking for fuel about 200 miles sooner for no good reason (the generator uses about 10 gallons per day and I don't boondock often). What's worse, I suspect they do this in software but don't provide to modify it.

Ernie
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LarsMac

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2017, 04:20:35 PM »
Our Onan QuietDiesel will self prime if you hold the start switch in the off position for about two minutes.

My Onan Gas generator will do the same thing.
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LarsMac

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2017, 04:21:35 PM »
Pet Peeve! >:( I have 90 gallon fuel tank and almost always run with the generator running. That wastes 1/4 of the fuel tank or 22.5 gallons/200 miles of range. Dumb plan in a modern RV. I have to start looking for fuel about 200 miles sooner for no good reason (the generator uses about 10 gallons per day and I don't boondock often). What's worse, I suspect they do this in software but don't provide to modify it.

Ernie

Why do you always run the generator?
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garyb1st

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2017, 04:41:25 PM »
We run ours whenever it's warm.  Any travel during the summer months in the Southwest is warm.  The dash air doesn't cool a 36 foot motorhome.   
Gary B1st

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nvrver

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2017, 04:44:23 PM »
On my Onan 4KY on the interior switches you push and hold the top (stop) part of the switch to prime the unit.

same
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2017, 09:17:46 PM »
Yep, 4000 watt, 4KY model, P spec

That's great then! I wasn't aware that some of the gas models had that feature. Neither my current 5500 or previous 7000 had it.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2017, 09:28:57 PM »
Pet Peeve! >:( I have 90 gallon fuel tank and almost always run with the generator running. That wastes 1/4 of the fuel tank or 22.5 gallons/200 miles of range. Dumb plan in a modern RV. I have to start looking for fuel about 200 miles sooner for no good reason (the generator uses about 10 gallons per day and I don't boondock often). What's worse, I suspect they do this in software but don't provide to modify it.

Ernie

The 1/4 tank cut off has nothing to do with any software. The separate pickup tube that the generator uses is purposely cut to that length. The tube can be extended by grafting another piece onto it, or even a short piece of hose, but the labor to have it done would be costly.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
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taoshum

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2017, 10:21:57 PM »
Pet Peeve! >:( I have 90 gallon fuel tank and almost always run with the generator running. That wastes 1/4 of the fuel tank or 22.5 gallons/200 miles of range. Dumb plan in a modern RV. I have to start looking for fuel about 200 miles sooner for no good reason (the generator uses about 10 gallons per day and I don't boondock often). What's worse, I suspect they do this in software but don't provide to modify it.

Ernie


Maybe you could tee into the main fuel line and run both off the main line?  That way you'd be able to run both right up to the last ounce of fuel.  No software required.
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kdbgoat

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2017, 06:14:32 AM »
Maybe I should clarify my statement. Inside the coach there are separate switches for prime and start/stop. There is only one switch on the generator itself. To prime at the generator, I push and hold the switch in the "stop" direction.
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


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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2017, 06:54:59 AM »

Maybe you could tee into the main fuel line and run both off the main line?  That way you'd be able to run both right up to the last ounce of fuel.  No software required.

As long as there's no in tank fuel pump, that could work. The in tank fuel injector pumps in modern gassers put out way to much pressure for the generator's low pressure carburetor fuel system.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
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muskoka guy

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #22 on: September 10, 2017, 09:11:19 AM »
Even though I have a diesel pusher, my rv has a gasoline genny with its own separate tank and gauge. This makes it so you dont draw out of the main tank, but means filling two tanks with different fuels. It also means if you dont use your generator regularly, you might want to only use non ethanol gas and put stabilizer in it. If the gas sits a long time, you might find it less than desired when you need the generator. Ethanol gas tends to gum up after a month or two. At least coming from the main tank, the fuel is used regularly.

taoshum

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #23 on: September 10, 2017, 08:14:47 PM »
As long as there's no in tank fuel pump, that could work. The in tank fuel injector pumps in modern gassers put out way to much pressure for the generator's low pressure carburetor fuel system.


Good point!  The suggestion was for MH's with a diesel engine and genny.  I don't know if there's an in-tank pump on those but if so, I guess the same point would apply...?
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #24 on: September 10, 2017, 08:24:09 PM »

Good point!  The suggestion was for MH's with a diesel engine and genny.  I don't know if there's an in-tank pump on those but if so, I guess the same point would apply...?

If the diesel generator uses a similar injector pressure to the main engine, then an in-tank fuel pump would likely supply a similar pressure an not cause a problem. Gas generators typically use a carburetor though, that uses a 4-6 PSI fuel supply rather than the 40-60 PSI the engine injection system uses.
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
F53 Chassis, Triton V10, TST TPMS
2011 Toyota RAV4 4WD/Remco pump
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maddog348

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #25 on: September 11, 2017, 01:38:13 PM »
LOL  did no one else read this as "Tongue in Cheek"    Maybe you could tee into the main fuel line and run both off the main line?  That way you'd be able to run both right up to the last ounce of fuel.  No software required.   ;D ;D ;D
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #26 on: September 11, 2017, 09:44:25 PM »
Why would it be "Tongue in Cheek" when it could be a viable solution under the right conditions? Back in the day, even tee'ing a generator feed off the fuel return line on injector engines was a fairly common practice.
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

maddog348

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #27 on: September 12, 2017, 01:15:09 PM »
Sorry Dutch.  Just struck me 'off'.  Sure don't want my genny eating up all my gas when I was not looking onna cold dark night.   JM2  YMMV.
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KandT

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #28 on: September 12, 2017, 04:14:56 PM »
Pet Peeve! >:( I have 90 gallon fuel tank and almost always run with the generator running. That wastes 1/4 of the fuel tank or 22.5 gallons/200 miles of range. Dumb plan in a modern RV. I have to start looking for fuel about 200 miles sooner for no good reason (the generator uses about 10 gallons per day and I don't boondock often). What's worse, I suspect they do this in software but don't provide to modify it.

Ernie

First world problems can really wear a guy out!  Tell that to an orphan in Somalia and they'll be like "How do you have the courage to go on?"
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 04:17:34 PM by KandT »
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NY_Dutch

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Re: Generator quits at 1/4 tank?
« Reply #29 on: September 12, 2017, 04:36:34 PM »
Sorry Dutch.  Just struck me 'off'.  Sure don't want my genny eating up all my gas when I was not looking onna cold dark night.   JM2  YMMV.

Well, I didn't say it was a "good" solution... ;)
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

 

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