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Old 01-22-2019, 08:44 AM   #1
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Generator fuel pickup

While boondocking in a Walmart parking lot I had my first chance to power everything with the generator. Although the fuel gauge was in the white but nearing the red zone "empty" mark for the generator (Powerglide chassis) I thought I would have at least a few hours remaining. However, about 30 minutes in it quit. Fault code 36. I figured it was out of fuel so I drove to a station and filled the tank. It only took 47 gallons. Although the coach was not perfectly level (lower in the rear) I'm surprised that I can only use about half the 100 gal tank for the generator. Does being at a slight angle have that much impact? And, with regard to total fuel, the gauge was just closing in on a quarter tank and yet it had half of the 100 gal capacity. Is this common?
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:58 AM   #2
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Sounds like you might have an issue with your fuel gauge.
.
This is not a recommended procedure but, if it were me, I would fill a 5 gallon can with fuel and drive down the road until the tank runs dry. All the time, you would be observing the fuel gauge.

This will also answer a question that most people only learn the hard way:
How far can I go after the fuel gauge reads empty?
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WileyOne View Post
Sounds like you might have an issue with your fuel gauge.
.
This is not a recommended procedure but, if it were me, I would fill a 5 gallon can with fuel and drive down the road until the tank runs dry. All the time, you would be observing the fuel gauge.

This will also answer a question that most people only learn the hard way:
How far can I go after the fuel gauge reads empty?

I thought of that but my concern is that I don't think it's a good idea to run a diesel out of fuel. There are two fuel filters that may need to be recharged as well.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:22 AM   #4
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The fuel pickup for the generator may be in the front of the fuel tank, so being low in the rear can cause a lower level at the pickup. Also, the pickup tube could be a little short causing it to run out early. I agree that running out of diesel is not a good idea due to the filters and lift pump running dry.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:34 AM   #5
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Fuel for generators are designed in the main tank outlet....to leave at least one quarter of a tank of fuel for your vehicle to start and drive. Other wise if the generator ran in the boon docks....and drained all of the fuel from your vehicle tank. You would be stranded. This is a design, to keep you from walking to the next fueling station....because the generator used all of your fuel. And yes...anytime your vehicle is leaning...the fuel gauges and tank outlet will be effected. More importantly....if a vehicle or generator is at a angle for long periods of time....the oiling system maybe effected as well. Try to keep the vehicle as level as you can when parked and operating engines.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:27 AM   #6
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if you haven't had the fuel pump replaced, that might be your problem. I had several so called experts (onan and cummins) check out my gas generator and finally a redneck rv tech just change fuel pump (gen has 580 hrs on it) and it seems to be working fine. Dave
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:10 AM   #7
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Fuel for generators are designed in the main tank outlet....to leave at least one quarter of a tank of fuel for your vehicle to start and drive. Other wise if the generator ran in the boon docks....and drained all of the fuel from your vehicle tank. You would be stranded. This is a design, to keep you from walking to the next fueling station....because the generator used all of your fuel. And yes...anytime your vehicle is leaning...the fuel gauges and tank outlet will be effected. More importantly....if a vehicle or generator is at a angle for long periods of time....the oiling system maybe effected as well. Try to keep the vehicle as level as you can when parked and operating engines.

Yep, I get that. I was hoping that the generator ran out of fuel closer to the 1/4 tank range, not 1/2.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:33 AM   #8
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If your handy and can get to the pickup in the tank, you may be able to pull it out and check its length. Who knows what they used.

You may be able to get a longer one or add a peice to it.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:36 PM   #9
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I recently had a generator fuel issue. It turned out to be an air leak where the line attaches to the tank. B-nut was split. Must have been secured by a gorilla at Red Bay.

This is not your issue, but the tech who was working on my coach said that he had seen 2 or 3 coaches with a split in the generator pickup tube. I can't imaging how that could happen, but FWIW.
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:57 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by 12amNSX View Post
Yep, I get that. I was hoping that the generator ran out of fuel closer to the 1/4 tank range, not 1/2.
Yep had similar issue with my Wayfarer. Gen would cut out and I'd go "Something must be wrong since I have almost half a tank of diesel left." I wasted a bunch of time trying to diagnose what was wrong, assuming the fuel intake was still fine. Process of elimination finally got me to "the intake is too flippin' high." Seams like the intake varies on units from 1/4 to a hair under half based on other owner experiences.

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Old 01-23-2019, 07:14 PM   #11
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simply observation. Fill up before boondocking.
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