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Old 05-24-2018, 03:57 PM   #1
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Generator dies on the road.

Sorry guys but I only post when I have a problem. The generator is a 5.5Kv onan in my 2000 Fleetwood Southwind Storm. While stationary I fired up the geeny and it ran for a few minutes and died of classic fuel starvation. Hot wiring the fuel pump. The pump made no noise. Bad Pump! purchased identical pump. It made noise but didn't pump fuel and didn't produce any pressure. Back flushed fuel line. still no fuel. Back to the parts house to get a new pump. It makes noise and puts out 3.5 to 4.5 psi. right on spec. The genny has run both ACs for several hours while stationary several times. I get moving on the road and need ACs and it runs for about 20mins and dies. The only experimentation I have done is I have loosened the gas cap and that didn't help. Any Ideas Harold in the Black Hills.

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Old 05-24-2018, 04:00 PM   #2
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Oil needs to be full. Low oil shutdown could be cause.

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Old 05-24-2018, 05:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by twinboat View Post
Oil needs to be full. Low oil shutdown could be cause.
Don't forget you need at least 1/4 gas in tank.
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Old 05-24-2018, 06:23 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by awol50 View Post
Don't forget you need at least 1/4 gas in tank.
Agreed, on days when I expect to be using the Genny, I always make sure to keep the gas tank above 1/2 full.
Another point I've learned over the years is that you should not run the Genny for only a couple of minutes while making toast etc. and that you should let it run at least 20 minutes at a time and preferably under load.
Good luck with sourcing your problem and I look forward to hearing what the cause was.
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Old 05-24-2018, 07:55 PM   #5
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What is your fuel tank level??

The fuel pickup tube for the genny is at about 1/4 to 1/2 tank level. Any less than this and the genny doesn't get gas..

You probably also have 2 fuel filters, a large one mounted on the pump and a smaller one mounted on the carb. Next time you service the genny, remove the one on the carb and throw it away.
1999 Fleetwood Southwind 35S (Ford F53 6.8L V10 275hp 4R100 4 spd trans) - Toad 2003 Saturn Vue.

It won't do MACH 2, but I can get a sandwich and take a pee.
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Old 05-24-2018, 09:53 PM   #6
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It seems the main clue is the difference between the generator running well while stationary, but shutting down while on the road. This might suggest an electrical problem. Mine has three shut down switches, oil pressure, temperature and fuel level. I would check for a bad sensor or poor connection in the wiring.
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Old 05-25-2018, 06:24 AM   #7
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For whatever reason, our original generator didn't have this issue but it got to the point where it wasn't cost effective to repair. We bought a new Onan Microlite 4000 and it had the same problem shutting down while driving with roof A/C running. Stopped at a Cummins Onan dealer in Sacramento where the tech told us that some RV's have the genny too far from the main gas tank for it's fuel pump to function and we needed to install an auxiliary pump. I installed a small pump near the main tank, and the problem went away.
George Schweikle Lexington, KY
1999 Safari TREK 2830, FMCA 190830, Safari International chapter
1995 Safari TREK 2630, 1983 Winnebago Chieftain, 1976 Midas Mini
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Old 05-25-2018, 08:41 AM   #8
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I totally agree it could be an electrical problem, but also could be the stator in the generator. My last rig had same problem. Itís a tear down repair. Good luck
Jerry & Sue
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:14 AM   #9
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Not sure where I read this but I'll toss it out.

The person was having the same problem of stoping while driving. He found that the foil backed insulation on the access door was making contact on the oil pressure switch, killing the engine. Might be worth checking.
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Old 05-25-2018, 09:30 AM   #10
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Has the fuel line to the tank been checked? Mine was allowing air to be drawn into the system. After replacing I had no more problems. The fuel line looked good, but had many small pin holes.

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Old 05-27-2018, 01:19 AM   #11
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Good point on fuel line, and the ONAN manual lists 1) Low OIl; 2) HIGH Oil; 3) Fuel below/ approaching 1/4-tank.
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Old 05-29-2018, 12:00 PM   #12
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Thanks Guys for all the input. All the bases have been covered except the fuel line is steel and is 8 feet long. All the rubber lines have been replaced except the one at the tank and that one is impossible to replace without taking the tank down. I'm not sure a second pump is necessary as fuel flows on it'e own when the line is open. The only thing the pump needs to do is lift the fuel about 18 inches up to the carb. I will be looking for electrical diagrams to find what sensors this model has. Thanks again Harold in the Black Hills
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:27 PM   #13
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Please post the solution when you find the problem!
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Old 05-29-2018, 05:35 PM   #14
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I had a on an 5500. Learned that the oil level needed to be filled to tbe tippy top, not just to full mark. Else the genny would cutoff when moving (was ok when stationary).

Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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