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Old 04-09-2008, 08:46 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: So CA
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We are the happy owners of our first motor home (or RV of any kind). We have a 2008 KountryStar 3624 with Cummins ISC on a Spartan chassis. We have been having problems with fuel level displays. We consistently get 7.7 mpg on the average mileage display and this correlates fairly closely with average miles/gallons calculation.

When fuel is full, distance to empty (DTE) reads 990 miles (has done this multiple times). Started out one day with about 200 miles to next stop and DTE said 450 miles and fuel gage was over . After going about 100 miles (and in the middle of nowhere is Texas) low fuel warning light came on (on dash display) and fuel gage read somewhere between - full (don't remember precisely). DTE had dropped to about 200. At next fuel stop (200 miles from start), DTE read 30 miles! Tank would only take 65 gallons. Didn't know what to believe.

DTE when full always reads too much and once down to about 1/3 full reads way too little DTE (based upon how much fuel it will take to fill).

Spartan and Newmar pointed fingers as to who really installs and sets up the dash display. Spartan finally agreed they install and set it up. Spartan says this is merely a guestimate but said there is no calibration procedure to change the readings.

Questions are:
1. What display should I use to determine fuel status (gage or digital display of DTE)?
2. When should low fuel level light and display warning illuminate?
3. Is there any calibration of DTE that can be done (by anyone)?

I have started using mileage from last fill up to compute DTE.

Love the KSDP and this forum!

Dennis & Jackie
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Old 04-09-2008, 08:46 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: So CA
Posts: 15
We are the happy owners of our first motor home (or RV of any kind). We have a 2008 KountryStar 3624 with Cummins ISC on a Spartan chassis. We have been having problems with fuel level displays. We consistently get 7.7 mpg on the average mileage display and this correlates fairly closely with average miles/gallons calculation.

When fuel is full, distance to empty (DTE) reads 990 miles (has done this multiple times). Started out one day with about 200 miles to next stop and DTE said 450 miles and fuel gage was over . After going about 100 miles (and in the middle of nowhere is Texas) low fuel warning light came on (on dash display) and fuel gage read somewhere between - full (don't remember precisely). DTE had dropped to about 200. At next fuel stop (200 miles from start), DTE read 30 miles! Tank would only take 65 gallons. Didn't know what to believe.

DTE when full always reads too much and once down to about 1/3 full reads way too little DTE (based upon how much fuel it will take to fill).

Spartan and Newmar pointed fingers as to who really installs and sets up the dash display. Spartan finally agreed they install and set it up. Spartan says this is merely a guestimate but said there is no calibration procedure to change the readings.

Questions are:
1. What display should I use to determine fuel status (gage or digital display of DTE)?
2. When should low fuel level light and display warning illuminate?
3. Is there any calibration of DTE that can be done (by anyone)?

I have started using mileage from last fill up to compute DTE.

Love the KSDP and this forum!

Dennis & Jackie
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:16 AM   #3
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Have the same situation. Best thing we have found is to determine your actual capacity(ours is over 105gal. without running out). Knowing that and your average MPG(7-7.5 for us) we know what our true range is(700-750+). We then use our actual distance traveled between fillups to plan fuel stops accordingly(which is what you are doing when determing DTE).

The only other variable is when we use the genny for some significant time. What we have done is calibrate the fuel gauge based on actual fillups so we know true DTE.
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:23 AM   #4
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We drive an Winnebago Ultimate Advantage - 03 - on a Spartan Chassis with the ISC. This engine is a 350hp and we have a 100gal tank. We started with an average 7-8 mpg but now that we have 73,000+ miles, our mileage has increased to 9+- (even have had 10+ with a tailwind across Arizona/New Mexico!

The fuel gauge is not accurate to any great degree,but I've put enough miles on it that I can guestimate fuel needs pretty well. Since it is always better to run on the top half of the tank, I generally fill at around 400-500 miles --which for the way we travel works to be every other day on the road. I have run as much as 800 miles (at which point the low fuel light came on), but don't make a regular habit of it. My 1/2 tank point is actually about 5/8 on the gauge and I have usually put 200 miles on the tank prior to the gauge reading much below full.

The more you use it the more familiar you will become with the reading on the gauge and you should be pretty good at guestimating your fuel needs.

Incidently, I travel at 1500rpm which with the allison 6 speed will give me 60mph and will run in 6th gear. I have to get to 57mph to get it out of 5th. If you look at the torque and power curves on the ISC, you will find that this is probably the best fuel consumption point for you also.

Robb & Sue Steinheider
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:50 AM   #5
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I noticed the same phenomenon with by 2008 Ventana during a 3300 mile trip to and from AZ this winter. My low fuel indicator comes on when approx 68 gallons of fuel has been used, guage reads 1/3 full. After this occurred for the first time I watched the DTE and the instantaneous fuel MPG readouts change due to load on the engine, as they changed so changed the DTE. I noted that your instantaneous fuel MPG effects the AVG MPG readout, especially if you are early in a fuel load. These engine load changes were as subtle as slight grade changes and/or cooling fan cycling. I decided on the way home to not reset the trip indicator after each refueling, that seemed to stablized the DTE reading somewhat, suspect because engine load changes had less effect on AVG MPG readout because of the amount of data that it was making it calcs with. It appears that the DTE reading is extremely sensitive to the actual driving conditions, therefore the longer you go between resets the more accurate your information will be over time. I believe I read that AVG MPG is up-dated every 15 seconds.

I decided that as long as I knew the approximate level in the fuel tank when the low fuel indicators activated that I could look at the AVG MPG readout and determine how many more miles I could drive before MT. I start looking for a fueling location when I am about 150 miles from running out. Sometimes to much info is not a good thing, never had these features on any previous coach, never ran out of fuel, sometimes what you don't know can be a good thing.

I think I read somewhere in the one of the manuals that low fuel was supposed to be at 1/4 fuel level, this was to coincide with loss of Generator fuel suction. Also I know of no calibration procedure for this system.

There has been several other threads about this phenomenon, might do a forum search on fuel guage readouts or something to that effect.

None of the fuel gauges on the 3 other motorhomes that I have owned have been close to accurate with the respect to the actual fuel remaining in the tank, have always had to get a feeling for the difference between indicated and actual fuel level and developed a fueling strategy based on experience. If the specs of the gauge circuitry (gauge and sensor) is say +/- 5%, then on a 100 gallon tank your readout could be 10 gallons off and still be within the specs.

Spike
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:27 PM   #6
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I had a problem like this with a car, so when it happened to my coach I drove it into the Spartan dealer and had him replace the sending unit. That is what reads the fuel level, and the other readings are based on that. When that reading is incorrect, everything is incorrect. When it was replaced, all was solved.
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