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Old 12-16-2009, 11:09 AM   #1
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Should I run the generator

I have winterized our 08 Allegro, Ford by changing the motor oil and the generator oil, topping off the gas and adding StaBil to the gas. Ran the motor and generator for 10-15 mins. Should I continue to exercise the generator by running it for 2 hours a month or is it better to keep the gas tank full and lessen the chance for condensation in the tank? Same question for the motor. Should I start it and let it run for few mins? The coach is connected to shore power and I have a maintenance charger on the engine battery.

Thanks,
RJ
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:08 PM   #2
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I've done pretty much the same as you - running the MH engine and generator once a month or more is probably a good idea. That's what I do with ours - just be sure to get both engines up to full operating temperature to eliminate excess condensation in both engines. In fact, it's a good idea to actually drive the MH a short distance periodically to fully circulate drivetrain lube to various gears, seals and gaskets...
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:16 PM   #3
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Lightbulb Engines running ??????

MH engine: drive the MH at least once a month ot so, weather permitting.
if you don't drive the MH, DO NOT start the engine and let it idle

GEN: I run the GEN every week for about 15 - 30 minutes.
Heat the MH up and see how it feels to dream about the NEXT trip??

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Old 12-16-2009, 12:28 PM   #4
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Hi RJEV,
You have done what is necessary. Let the coach engine and gen set sleep until spring. When we lived up North, once the coach was winterized, I left it alone until spring. I never had a problem with the engine or gen set.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:44 PM   #5
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I recommend (like TW) DON'T start & idle the motors. If you run either, put them to use. That's the surest way of keeping everything in good shape. If you can't do that, follow Gary's advice. Idling is worse than not starting, in both cases. For the gen, you need to add a load and run it till the windings are up to heat; if you can't do that, let them set.
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Old 12-16-2009, 04:49 PM   #6
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Our last MO was a gasser with an Onan genset. While under warranty it would not start so we took it to an Onan dealer/service. Turned out the control board had condensation and even though it was supposedly "sealed" failed. It was replaced no charge and worked 4 more years until we traded it in and may still. The Onan tech guy suggested that with the low hours we put on it to run it at least once a month and use something like the microwave (put a bowl of water or something in it) to draw some power and get the generator warm to dry it out. We found a space heater or hair dryer worked good.

The difference I can see between running the RV and the generator is that the generator can be operated under load just like when you really are using it opposed to just idling the motor. More about that here http://www.irv2.com/forums/f86/durin...yup-60989.html
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:15 PM   #7
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I'm another one in GaryKD's camp. Have done the same for the past 4 seasons & it has always started easily come spring. Leaving it alone is perfectly fine & much preferred to starting with the possibility of introducing moisture into the system. And unless you run the genny under load, starting it doesn't do any good either.

Let her sleep through the winter & wake her up come spring.

Lori-
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Old 12-16-2009, 05:35 PM   #8
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I built up a GM 350 SB engine some years back - a total rebuild, all new top quality parts. After completion of the rebuild, that engine sat empty of fluids out in my garage, unused, thru the following Sacramento area winter. The next Spring, I installed that engine into the '67 Datsun pickup bought for that transplant project - and when I opened the crankcase drain to check prior to filling with lube, to my amazement, a full cupful of accumulated condensation drained out!

From the thread pointer further above:

Quote:
As far as running the m/H in storage, unless you just want to drive it for fun, I would leave it un-started until your are ready to camp again. You can check this yourself. Run the motor, shut off, then watch the water run out of your muffler and tail pipe. Since you are not up to full heat for a sufficient length of time. This water contains contaminates that are harmful to metal parts.
SURE, *if* all you do is run the engine at a low idle RPM, and not long enough for it to come up to full operating temp, the above might happen - but in my case, I block off the radiator to allow faster and fuller operating temp, and also set accelerator for a fast idle at about 1500 RPM - and there's NO dripping condensation from anywhere in the exhaust system! But for sure, it's BEST, if circumstances permit, to actually drive the vehicle a few miles to benefit the rest of the drivetrain as well!

In my book, just letting an engine SIT totally unused for a Winter is no longer an option!

YMMV!
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:05 PM   #9
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DO NOT run the engine unless you can take it out and drive the coach for at leat 30 minutes. Letting it run at idle or high idel does not get it warm enough to drive the moisture from the oil and get the exhaust up to temperature. Moisture and engine combustion makes acids and not good for the engine.

As for the generator, yes, run it for an absolute minimum of 30 minutes under 1/2 load every 4 to 6 weeks. An hour would be better. To load the generator, take a couple of 1500 watt electric heaters and warm the coach while you relax for a bit. If you have heat pumps, and it is above about 40dF, run them. The generator winding insulation absorbs moisture and operating under load gets them warm and drives the moisture from the insulation.

Ken
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
DO NOT run the engine unless you can take it out and drive the coach for at leat 30 minutes. Letting it run at idle or high idel does not get it warm enough to drive the moisture from the oil and get the exhaust up to temperature. Moisture and engine combustion makes acids and not good for the engine.

UMMmm - not to beat a dead horse - and we certainly agree that actual driving is better for the total drivetrain than just operating the engine alone - BUT, that said, are you and others claiming that the steady 180 indicated degrees of coolant temperature seen at extended high idle for 30 minutes or so, is somehow DIFFERENT than the same steady 180 degrees seen on a 30 minute or so drive?

Please explain that mysterious quirk in physics....

IF anything, as far as crankcase lube is concerned - it would SEEM that lack of cooling air movement while the vehicle is sitting still, would likely be HIGHER than while in motion and exposed to cooling air flow...
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Old 12-17-2009, 05:56 PM   #11
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Most generator mfg'ers say 1 hr exercise under at least 1/2 load per month. It is important to exercise/burn moisture out of the generator portion of the unit as well as the engine. When storing my rig, I would go to the storage area, start the genny, then start the MH and retract the jacks, then start the heat pumps and go for a 30+ minute drive. When I got back I would shut down the heat pumpt, level the MH, turn off the engine, then shut down the genny. That brought genny use to very near or over 1 hr while also exercising tires, bearings, drive train, etc. Of course, I always chose dry, snow-free days for the "love ride"...
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:07 PM   #12
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:29 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Stewart View Post
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YUP - sure beats just sitting inside, on the couch admiring the cabinetwork...
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:16 PM   #14
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I've been told by my 'GM' mechanic to run the engine at least 30-40 min once every couple of months. I park mine in my garage and I really don't have the option of pulling it out and driving during winter. I just open both garage doors and let it run, genny also.
YMMV

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