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Don and Dar 08-23-2014 01:59 PM

We're brand new but old. lol
Hi, my husband Don are starting a new adventure in our lives at the age of 75!! We bought a 1995 Fleetwood Southwind Storm. We have many questions since this is our first motor home.

One question is, this motor home was winterized last year and has not been used since.
It has an Onan generator (gasoline) but it won't start. If anyone out there knows what we need to do, please tell us.

Does this have an electric fuel pump?

(Mod Edit).

Don and Dar

Scarab0088 08-23-2014 02:06 PM


The generator can be several things after storage. Maybe some will be right along with ideas.

Best luck and safe travels

TonyDi 08-23-2014 02:06 PM

Hi Don & Dar


Glad to have you here with us.
If your generator as sat for a long time especially if it has been unused it may be a simple as a tune up. I would check for fuel flow first there should be a filter that may be blocked.

Good luck with the problem.

I don't use a dolly so I can't help with that but I'm some someone will chime in soon.

Happy Trails!!

DieselTech39 08-23-2014 02:11 PM


Don and Dar, Glad you're aboard. Congrats on the new to you rig. Enjoy your adventures and be safe.

Shellback1 08-23-2014 02:13 PM

The RV needs to have at lest 1/4 tank of fuel for the generator to run.

bdickson 08-23-2014 02:28 PM


wa8yxm 08-23-2014 02:29 PM

First how much fuel is in the tank... Normally the generator pick up for fuel is in the main fuel tank at about the 1/4 tank level.. I recall the first time my generator just up and quit on me..... Yup, quarter tank a quick trip to the filling station and suddenly it worked perfectly again.

Next, if a gasoline engine (Carborated) sites too long with gas in the bowl it can turn to varnish and gum up the works.. This requires a D&C of the carb or a replacement... THOUGH sometimes it is possible to clean it out with a good fuel treatment and/or cleaner.. I run my genny every month. even if I have to haul gas to the motor home (1/2 hour, 1/2 load or better)

Procedure for switching from SHORE to Generator or back to main with an automatic transfer switch (ATS)

Shut off EVERYTHING, then turn off main breaker OR go out and unplug.

Start generator, Restor main breaker, Turn stuff back on once ATS transfers.

Shutting down: Turn off everything, then main breaker then shut off generator, Wait 2 minutes, turn mains back on and then turn stuff back on.

Manual Transfer: Unplug from shore power. Turn off everything, then turn off main breakers.

Plug into Generator outlet, Start genny... wait 1 minute and proced as above (Restore and turn on) Switching back is the same process only wait 2 minutes after you plug back into shore.

Since your generator is gasoline I will assume your motor home is as well.. What brand of dolly... I will recommend against a dolly

Most gassers are very limited in tow capacity.. For example my hitch is rated 500/5000 (500 pounds weight on the hitch and 5,000 total trailer weight) my actuall tow capacity (Max Combined Gross Vehicle Weight less the Gross Vehicle Weight of JUST the motor home) is 4,000 pounds.. My car is (A 2001 Dodge Neon) is 2500 pounds empty.. If I store my portable recording studio in the trunk (I DO) that's over 100 pounds.. And there is other stuff as well.. It all so say 2700 pounds total

That only gives me 1300 for the dolly.

So I tow 4 down.. Added an LP1 lube pump (about 1500 installed) and tow it in neutral all over the place. No problems. (Google Remco Towing)

Most vehicles can be towed 4-down with one or another mod from Remco. Also it is way easier to hook up 4 down.. But you do need to add an aux brake system to the towed car.

JohnRR 08-23-2014 02:54 PM


With today's ethanol gasoline there's a tendency with smaller carburetors cooking the gas when stored for longer periods of time (sludges up the needle & seat/float level valve) which stops the gasoline from getting into the carburetor. I think that's really why they recommend starting and exercising the generator while in storage. The warmer the storage area location you live in the more problematic it seems to be.

They are not too bad to take apart to clean out nor are they very expensive on eBay or Amazon.

MSHappyCampers 08-23-2014 03:30 PM

Hi Don & Dar! Welcome to IRV2 and the wonderful world of RV'ing! :dance:

Congrats on the new rig! Glad to have some more oldies-but-goodies onboard! (I'm 75 too)

I would try to find someone near you that can help you diagnose the problems. It's gonna be hard to figure that out I'm afraid.

Good luck, happy trails, and God bless! :thumb::D

myshaggydog 08-23-2014 03:34 PM

Welcome to the Forum Don and Dar. I am sure someone will be able to answer your questions. We hope you have many great camping adventures. Best of luck.

Happy RV'ing

Don and Dar 08-23-2014 10:54 PM

Thanks sooooooooo much!!!
I was VERY pleasantly surprised to see so many replies!

This is definitely a new adventure for us!

Our car's owner's manual says we can't tow it flat. We have been looking at dollies with surge disc brakes because we may be going through some mountains and want to be sure we're safe.

I've asked those we know personally who have motor-homes, if they have any hints or ideas they are willing to pass on and one lady said, don't forget to close the refrigerator door!!

Since we've never had a motor-home, if you have any gems you want to pass on, we sure will be thankful. That would be great.
Again, thanks!!!

jbprac 08-24-2014 01:22 AM

Don and Dar...........Welcome to the RV mob!! This is a great forum, and you will get a lot of info from very experienced people who have been doing it a long time. We started full timing in 1998, and we still learn every day. When you get the Onan running, be sure to use/ run it at least every month, for a few hours. Worst thing for any RV system is for it not to be used. Have fun!!!

jbprac 08-24-2014 01:26 AM

By the way.........don't think a minute about your age. I am 77 and DW is 72......and RV life is just as much fun as it was 15 years ago. Happy travels!

Medico 08-24-2014 09:40 AM Welcome and glad to meet you!

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