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Author Topic: Generator Fuel  (Read 320 times)

IowaNomads

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  • 34' 1995 Fleetwood Bounder
Generator Fuel
« on: September 16, 2017, 08:05:07 AM »
Hi all, we are new motorhome owners. The gentleman we bought it from told us not to use ethenol fuel because it could damage the generator. I was wondering if this is true or if he was misinformed. I live in Iowa where regular unleaded is as much as 40 cents per gallon higher.
Taking the road less traveled usually means a few bumps along the way, but a lot more freedom and happiness.

kdbgoat

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Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2017, 08:12:41 AM »
What year make and model is your motorhome? Ethanol gas isn't ideal for anything in my opinion, but most engines can handle it. Post the make, model and spec of your generator, and we'll hook you up with a manual if one is available. (most are). It's important to follow the manufacturers instructions on exercising the generator, usually under at least half load for a specified time each month. If you are letting the coach sit for an extended period of time, it's also recommended to use a gasoline stabilizer such as Sta-Bil or something along that line to help keep your gasoline in good shape.
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

lynnmor

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Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2017, 08:17:46 AM »
Ethanol free gasoline would be better for any and all gasoline engines.  That said, you should have little problem if you run the generator often or drain the fuel system completely when not in use.  The ethanol will quickly absorb moisture from the air causing problems.  Do not store the stuff for long periods and close the containers and gas cap quickly.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2017, 09:29:10 AM »
Standard (less than 10%) ethanol gasoline is no worse for your generator engine than for your RV and car engines, and engines made since ethanol blend fuel became standard are designed to handle it adequately.

If you have a genset in a motorhome, isn't it running off the coach main fuel tank?  If so, you don't have the option of separate fuel for the genset, and running the coach engine on non-ethanol fuel would be senseless paranoia [in my opinion].  Nor do you need any aftermarket additives to make it OK.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

rvpuller

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Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2017, 09:34:46 AM »
I run E10 in everything we own without any problems that includes my 1989 Generac bulit in generator in our trailer. The biggest problem with E10 is when you use it on a motor that hasn't had it run in it before, it will take a few tanks to clean the system of all the buildup from regular gas. After a few tanks I recommend changing the fuel filter.

I've taken carbs apart that I've run E10 in for long periods of time and they are spotless with no pitting, water or any buidup of any kind unlike ones that have run straight gas.

I don't recommend running E85!

Denny

35 FKTG HH Premier  215/75/17.5 tires. 13" Kodiak Disks
2013 F350 DRW 6.2 V8 4.30 gears
Home Base SC Nebraska

IowaNomads

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  • Posts: 34
  • 34' 1995 Fleetwood Bounder
Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2017, 10:15:45 AM »
What year make and model is your motorhome? Ethanol gas isn't ideal for anything in my opinion, but most engines can handle it. Post the make, model and spec of your generator, and we'll hook you up with a manual if one is available. (most are). It's important to follow the manufacturers instructions on exercising the generator, usually under at least half load for a specified time each month. If you are letting the coach sit for an extended period of time, it's also recommended to use a gasoline stabilizer such as Sta-Bil or something along that line to help keep your gasoline in good shape.

It's a 95 Fleetwood Bounder the generator is an onan 4,000 watt. I'm not sure of the model number. We will be living in it full time so I'm guessing the generator will be used at least once a week.
Taking the road less traveled usually means a few bumps along the way, but a lot more freedom and happiness.

catblaster

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Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2017, 10:20:44 AM »

I've taken carbs apart that I've run E10 in for long periods of time and they are spotless with no pitting, water or any buidup of any kind unlike ones that have run straight gas.

Denny

and I have had two carb float bowls eaten up, and three fuel pumps made defective by E10...problem is humidity condenses and separates the ethanol from the gasoline.  (Phasing out) If you live in an area where humidity is lower and the fuel is tightly sealed there is a lot less problems. Hard to do here in florida and living on a waterway.
Will and Jane
95 Winnebago Luxor

kdbgoat

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Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2017, 10:25:13 AM »
You shouldn't have any problems with the E-10. There should be a sticker on the generator with the model and spec on it. Once you find that, a manual should be easy to find online. I would recommend that if for some reason the genny ends up sitting a while, do a "maintenance run" to keep the carb clean, and the generator section dry. On mine, a 2016 4000 watt, the manual recommends running 2 hours a month at half load or better. That's two hours straight, not a few minutes here and there. I think on some of the older Onan's, the manual said run for 1/2 hour, but don't know if that's true.
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

IowaNomads

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  • Posts: 34
  • 34' 1995 Fleetwood Bounder
Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2017, 01:31:45 PM »
I haven't picked it up yet but we will be tomorrow. I'll have a look at the model number.
Taking the road less traveled usually means a few bumps along the way, but a lot more freedom and happiness.

rvpuller

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Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2017, 08:36:10 AM »
and I have had two carb float bowls eaten up, and three fuel pumps made defective by E10...problem is humidity condenses and separates the ethanol from the gasoline.  (Phasing out) If you live in an area where humidity is lower and the fuel is tightly sealed there is a lot less problems. Hard to do here in florida and living on a waterway.

I've left my car and other motors for two years with full tanks of E10 with no stabilizer without any problems. I've also been in Florida on a waterway with E10 in my generator tank without problems. I can also tell you from experience that the fuel in Florida and other east coast states isn't thast great along with California.

Denny
35 FKTG HH Premier  215/75/17.5 tires. 13" Kodiak Disks
2013 F350 DRW 6.2 V8 4.30 gears
Home Base SC Nebraska

John From Detroit

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Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2017, 09:06:26 AM »
There was a test done by an outboard motor manufacturer that showed that I thin 15% or perhaps higher DOES indeed damage engines.

But E-10.. Well I am not convinced either way.. I run E-10 in my 12 year old Onan every month and in the motor home it's mounted in and no problems

There is a difference between teh ONAN or Genrac or other mounted in a motor home (Generators generally OVER 4000 to 5000 watts mine i9s 5500) and small portables. For one thing the motor runs slower (1800 rpm in my case v/s 3600 for a traditional "Contractor" model and variable for an "Inverter" type.).

The smaller engines are more suspectable to damage from E-10.

But even there. Much of the damage is to older engines that were set up to use e-zero. and even gas with lead.  Use of E-10 will damage them.   Or even lead free.

But my Onan is still running same as it did new.. all I've done is change oil and filters.
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Generator Fuel
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2017, 11:55:43 AM »
We can debate the possible effects of E10 all day long, but running the coach on ethanol-free is not a practical alternative for reasons of cost.  Run the genset regularly to keep the fuel system passages clean and the electrical components dried out and you should have few if any problems with the genset.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

 

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