Go Back   iRV2 Forums > MOTORHOME FORUMS > MH-General Discussions & Problems
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-29-2015, 04:22 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 19
Thoughts on running the generator??

We have a 2007 Fleetwood Providence DP and may be staying in it at our children's home for a couple of weeks. Don't know yet if they have any electrical for us or how many amps will be available.
Since we will be there in July and August, if we need the generator to run the ac, how long would you advise we run the genset?
Check the oil and coolant how often?
Any thoughts will be appreciated.

kenhouse123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 04-29-2015, 04:49 PM   #2
Senior Member
Skip426's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Powell River, B.C.
Posts: 15,594
Most gen-sets are designed for full time use , with low coolant and low oil level shut downs, If you have service records for the set; I'd say check coolant and oil levels every 3rd morning before start-up.
If it's hot enough to require running overnight, check levels after a minimum one hour , shut-down , cool off period.

Without running the air conditioners, microwave and having the water heater on propane only. Most coaches can survive with only 15 amp service, to maintain the batteries and use a coffee maker or toaster. ( but not both at once).

99DSDP 3884, Freightliner, XC, CAT 3126B, 300 HP /ALLISON 3060
2000 Caravan toad, Remco & Blue Ox.
Skip426 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 06:36 PM   #3
Senior Member
Ray,IN's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: North America somewhere
Posts: 13,912
Your generator motor should be liquid-cooled. Like Skip said, it's designed to run constantly. You might consider shutting it down for a couple hours right after breakfast, to check liquid levels, for the sake of your nerves.
2000 Winnebago Ultimate Freedom USQ40JD, ISC 8.3 Cummins 350, Spartan MM Chassis. USA 1SG, retired;PPA,Good Sam Life member,FMCA."We the people are the rightful masters of both the Congress and the Courts - not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution. "Abraham Lincoln"
Ray,IN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 08:07 PM   #4
Senior Member
jeryan59's Avatar
Fleetwood Owners Club
American Coach Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 667
I wouldn't be overly concerned about running the generator, but if it is close to needing Preventative Maintenance (PM), I would get it completed prior to your trip. I think Onan calls for every 150 hours for the PM. I wouldn't run it non stop unless you are not going to be disturbing neighbors? If you run it overnight while you sleep 8-10 hours, in 10 days you are at maximum 100 hours.

Does your coach have auto start generator?
Johnny Rotten
2009 American Eagle 42'
Trailering HD Road Glide and Saab 9.3 or Cadillac Escalade ESV
jeryan59 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 08:21 PM   #5
Senior Member
bluepill's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Pensacola, FL
Posts: 2,284
The generator is pretty expensive to run for the amount of electricity used. At $4 a gallon for diesel fuel it's about 2-3 times more than metered home electric. (about 50 cents per KW Hour)You also will have to drive the RV to a fueling station a few times a week. Then add the additional maintenance on the genny, the noise, and the smell. It's not such a good deal.

If you have close access to an electric dryer outlet at the house, you can get 30 amps from 1 leg to neutral by using an adaptor plug. This applies only to a 4 blade dryer connection that has a true neutral connection. Of course, you can't use the dryer when the RV is attached.

It may be cheaper and easier to have an electrician install an RV style outlet on the outside of the house.
2008 Itasca Meridian 37H & 2015 Flagstaff T12RBST
2011 & 2012 Len & Pat's "One lap of America"
27K miles & 41 states in 13 months - Woo Woo
Yellowstone Lake 6-1-2012
bluepill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 09:13 PM   #6
Senior Member
Fleetwood Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Plymouth, MI
Posts: 177
If you learn you have only the generator for electricity, you could set the Auto Gen Set for overnight by temperature. We have done that when traveling and resting for the night without hookups available. We also only had the AC set to run that was located in the sleeping area and closed the door around it to prevent air leakage. We set the temp at 78 degrees. In our circumstances, it only came on about 3-4 times for about 20 minutes each time. Your climatological conditions may vary.

Hope you enjoy your visit!
2015 Providence 42M, Cummins 450 ISL 9L), Allison 6-spd transmission, Freightliner chassis. Towing - 2017 Jeep Patriot (manual trans) with Air Force 1 brake system.
Fencebuster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 09:51 PM   #7
Senior Member
jfran304's Avatar
Tiffin Owners Club
Workhorse Chassis Owner
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Warner Robins, GA
Posts: 2,568
When we park at my In-laws farm we use a cheater box with 2 110 volt extension cords. Being careful to find 2 circuits in the house on different breakers we don't have any problems unless somebody plugs something else into one of the circuits and then it only trips the circuit breaker in the house. We bought our cheater box at Camping World.

50 Amp 125/250V RV Female - (2) 30 Amp RV Male Plugs Y-Adapter with Powersmart LED's - Furrion F5431RY-SB - Electrical Adapters - Camping World

Jon & Sue Francis (Retired U.S.A.F.)
Lil Girl-Rescued, Abby Rescued, Peaches Rescued
06 Allegro 35TSA Workhorse Chassis
2013 Chevy Spark Dinghy
jfran304 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2015, 10:10 PM   #8
Senior Member
Mr_D's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Solo Rvers Club
iRV2 No Limits Club
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 31,263
We were at a friends house, they have a space beside the house big enough for our rig. Have an outlet box out there too so we plugged into it. Turns out his shop is also on that circuit so everytime he turned on his saw our lights flickered. Seems the voltage was going low enough that it triggered our low voltage protection and transferred us to the inverter. It was going back and forth so I finally just ran off the batteries till he got done cutting stuff.
2009 45' Magna 630 w/Cummins ISX 650 HP/1950 Lbs Ft
Charter Good Sam Lifetime Member, FMCA, SKP
RV'ing since 1957, NRA Benefactor Life, towing '14 CR-V
Mr_D is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 08:24 AM   #9
Senior Member
AFChap's Avatar
Winnebago Owners Club
Spartan Chassis
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: ...hopefully on the road!
Posts: 4,773
If running the genny while sleeping make sure there is good air circulation outside ...that no fumes get into mh or house. I would use a gen-turi or similar.

As stated above, based on cost for diesel, (and neighbor relations) it could easily be cheaper to install an outlet on the house. As also mentioned, we have done it several times using a homemade adaptor to connect to 4-wire dryer outlet.
Paul (KE5LXU) ...was fulltimin', now parttimin'
'03 Winnebago UA 40e / '05 Honda Odyssey toad
AFChap is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 01:57 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Spartanburg SC
Posts: 156
I have run my generator continuously for three days in central NC in July. Any problems with cooling, etc. will show up in the first half hour: 30 minutes = 30 hours = 30 days.

You can count on the generator using about half a gallon of diesel per hour of service, depending on the load. For several weeks, you will have to refuel several times. It would probably be cheaper to pay for your children to have an electrician run a 50 amp line for you to plug into.
Upstate South Carolina
2000 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
2012 Honda CRV
wallacerm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 08:52 PM   #11
Senior Member
jason1029's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 141
Just keep up with the preventive maintenance items and fluids and you should be fine. On ours we can plug in to 120V and run the AC on low fine as long as there isn't anything else going on.
Jay & Jazz ~ Along The Way With J&J
1994 Tioga - Massachusetts
Follow Us! > Our Blog - YouTube - Twitter - FaceBook
jason1029 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 09:09 PM   #12
Junior Member
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Bracebridge, Ontario
Posts: 19
Blog Entries: 1
I was advised to make sure you run your Gen set under load.
this chap advIsed me that he spent 30 years in the Navy servicing generators
and that generators thrive under load.
rs0lt0ff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2015, 10:51 PM   #13
Senior Member
Just For Fun's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 1,159
Originally Posted by bluepill View Post
If you have close access to an electric dryer outlet at the house, you can get 30 amps from 1 leg to neutral by using an adaptor plug. This applies only to a 4 blade dryer connection that has a true neutral connection. Of course, you can't use the dryer when the RV is attached.

It may be cheaper and easier to have an electrician install an RV style outlet on the outside of the house.
Yep!!!!!!! That's what we did. We gladly paid for any increase in the electric bill. It saves ware and tear on the genny and simply makes more sense.

You might also want to check with local noise abatement concerning running your genny after 10 PM. Our your kids may not invite you back.
2006 Monaco Signature 45' Commander IV ISX 600
2013 Avalanche toad
And a rather large and very hairy Bear for a traveling companion
Just For Fun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2015, 06:17 PM   #14
Senior Member
Tiffin Owners Club
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 296
Call your kids, have them get an electrician out to install a 50A outlet and you can plug in! Maybe $300 depending on the setup at their home.

Larrikin is offline   Reply With Quote


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New Cummins Onan generator wont stay running BlessedGirl Jayco Owner's Forum 14 09-19-2014 07:15 AM
Help Onan 8000 Generator issue adonh Class A Motorhome Discussions 15 07-22-2014 03:49 PM
Generator Problem RJEV MH-General Discussions & Problems 2 07-08-2014 07:00 PM
Generator won't stay running CdnCruiser RV Systems & Appliances 10 07-06-2014 11:39 AM
Generator running but no power to outlet plugs HethaBeth MH-General Discussions & Problems 9 03-31-2014 12:17 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 04:34 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.