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Old 08-20-2012, 01:14 AM   #1
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Help Please so new at this

I read that your gen might kick off cause low oil. Where do I check the oil. Is it the same oil your rv runs on. I have a georgetown and the gen is an onan. I am so lost any help will be a blessing. I am trying the rv life and everyday I learn something new. But I really have no clue where the oil dipstick is unless it is under the hood. Thanks all and don't you roll your eyes at me. I am older and really trying lol.

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Old 08-20-2012, 01:40 AM   #2
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From the information you have provided, it is difficult to offer any exact advice. If I was camping next to you, I would be very pleased to go and have a look at your setup and I am sure that I could assist you. Unfortunately, you are more than likely fare away from where I am, so may I suggest the following:

At your next stop, you spot a man with grey hair, who is looking slightly bored, because he is still hours away from cocktail time. You tell him exactly what you just posted in your thread, and I would be extremely surprised I he will not do the same as I would. This is also a good way of making new friends.

Give it a go - you have nothing to loose.

Best of luck.

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Old 08-20-2012, 02:44 AM   #3
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Your RV will have two exhaust pipes... one big, one small.

The small one is for the generator.

Follow that exhast pipe back to it's source and that is the bottom of your generator.

If the generator is accessed from a side door, open the door and look at the generator. The "dipstick" will be on the lower left of the unit and will NOT look like the dipstick on your car. It will look like the one on your lawnmower. Sort of like a twist off plug. Unscrew it to check the oil level.

If your generator is under the front of the motorhome, then open the hood and look down. You should see what looks like a traditional dipstick, sometimes it has a yellow end. If it doesn't pull straight out, then try twisting it to the left before you pull it out and remember to twist it back to the right when you re-install it. The twisting, if necessary, is to unlock and lock the dipstick so dirt and moisture don't get in.

Please don't take offense to my simplistic answer, I'm just trying to help.

If all else fails, take the above posters advice and stroll over to the campsite next door and ask for help. I'm sure he/she would be glad to help, after all, we are all part of the same "RV" family!

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Old 08-20-2012, 03:41 AM   #4
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Just a note....
Be sure that your unit is on a level surface OR is level via leveling jacks BEFORE checking ANY fluids in your Motorhome.

Also, DO NOT remove the oil cap from a generator that is running.....it is dangerous as well as messy. Generator must be OFF.

Ditto on finding helpful campers at a campsite. I would be glad to assist you if I was nearby........

AND, just one more thing, my ONAN has a safety feature that will not allow the generator to run when the gas tank is at 1/4 or less. This prevents you from running your unit "dry" and unable to move. (Assuming you have a gas powered generator).

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:26 AM   #5
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Hi and welcome to the forum. Don't worry at all about asking basic questions. We all like to help.

Originally Posted by winnie32v View Post
AND, just one more thing, my ONAN has a safety feature that will not allow the generator to run when the gas tank is at 1/4 or less. This prevents you from running your unit "dry" and unable to move. (Assuming you have a gas powered generator).

This was my thought when I first read your post. I suppose that generator will stop if they're low enough on oil... but nearly ALL of them will shut down when the fuel tank approaches 1/4 tank so make sure there's plenty of fuel in your tank before starting other troubleshooting.

Best of luck.

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Old 08-20-2012, 05:47 AM   #6
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crochetlady, everyone is right about asking a fellow camper for help. You mentioned you have a Georgetown, which I think is a Class A gas motorhome. Look for someone that has a Class A gas rig and ask. RVers usually jump at the chance to offer help and/or advice.

The generator will usually share fuel from your motorhome tank, but it has a separate oil supply. The dipstick will be on the generator. Our Onan generator sits behind one of the basement storage doors. There is also another cover on the generator that has to be removed. Grab the cover at the top and pull toward you. The oil cap is yellow and is located near the bottom of the unit. As someone said, it looks like an over-sized lawnmower oil cap. The cap has an integral dipstick. As winnie32v mentioned, don't remove the cap while the generator is running.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:33 AM   #7
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Thank you all for your responses. I will try and check the oil tomorrow if I can't I will talk to someone around the park. I have been driving through the dessert and it keeps shutting off. I thought it could be hot but not sure then I read about checking oil. I had a full tank so I don't think that was the problem. What good is a generator if it kicks off in the heat? I don't think that should do it. But I wanted to thank you all. I am going to try and check the oil and ask people about it. Thank you.
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:03 AM   #8
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crochetlady said:
What good is a generator if it kicks off in the heat? I don't think that should do it.

You took the words out of my mouth. My Onan 5500 shuts down in the heat and that aggravates the heck out of me.

The solution is what they did in the 50's and 60's. Cross the desert at night or get a real early morning start before it heats up too much.
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Old 08-21-2012, 12:28 PM   #9
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Nobody has mentioned where you check oil on the generator yet.

First: it is not the same as the engine oil, it is a seperate engine and thus has it's own oil pan.

Now: Step one is to find the Generator Owner's manual and read it. If you can not find the manual go, temporally to step 2

Step 2 is to FIND THE GENERATOR... (I realise this is kind of basic but I'm trying to stick to the basics and assuming (For safety reasons) you have zero knowledge.

Once you find the generator... Locate the make and model on it's ID plate, go to the Internet and google; Make Model Manual

(That is for example Onan Emerald Gold 5.5 manual)

(NOTE: 5.5 is NOT the proper model number)

Download the owner's manual PDF to disc, that way you can find it when you need it, I have a folder in "My Doucumtnts" called "Manuals" and within that folder is one called RV and that's where I stored my Generator manual, fridge manual, jacks manual, and so on.

The manual will tell you how to check the oil.

On many there is a cap or plug labeled OIL. unscrew this and you may have a Dipstick attached, otherwise it is usually the bottom of the filler tube or the slot in the tube. BUT READ THE MANUAL to be sure.
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:06 PM   #10
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Had the same problem w/a 5500 ,turned out the fuel pump was bad ,hard to diagnose, even Cummins couldn't find ,they sure did their best, I replaced the fuel pump and filter never had another problem. My oil level was fine Hope this helps,105 and no air is no fun
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:12 AM   #11
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Thanks all for all the great advice. I swear I learn something new every day. Rving is not as easy as I thought it would be.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:15 AM   #12
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You should have a owners manual on the generator as well as the motorhome chassis. Both specificy the correct oil for the engine. Go by what is in the manual.

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Old 08-22-2012, 07:32 PM   #13
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Welcome to the forum. I think you'll find its a great place to be.

Does your generator start up and run for a fairly long time, say 15 minutes, before it shuts down? If so, I don't think it's a low oil problem. If it was low oil, it should shut down fairly quickly (< 1 minute).

I think your gas generator is air cooled and has a high temperature cut off. If the sensor is bad it will shut down in ~2 minutes. It's possible the air vent to the fan is partially clogged. I'm not sure how to tell you to check it, but as has been said we would be happy to help you figure it out if we were close. Good luck with this problem and any others you might run into, and has been said before, don't hesitate to ask for help, both at an RV park or right here on this site.

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