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Old 09-16-2021, 07:32 AM   #1
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How Often to Exercise Generator

Due to all the events that happened over the last two years I have been unable to only take one trip. Not sure if it will ever be the same again. My question is, since the generator gets very little use, how often should I exercise my generator and for how long to keep the stator and other parts of the generator from degrading from lack of use. Thanks for any input.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMcG View Post
Due to all the events that happened over the last two years I have been unable to only take one trip. Not sure if it will ever be the same again. My question is, since the generator gets very little use, how often should I exercise my generator and for how long to keep the stator and other parts of the generator from degrading from lack of use. Thanks for any input.
JMcG
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I would run if under full load for at least a hour or two monthly. The Onans are meant to be used.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:39 AM   #3
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The answer depends on the environment you are in. If you are in dry desert conditions, you do not need to worry about the exercise as much as if you are in Florida/ Texas conditions.


The reason for exercise is to get the moisture out of the components as well as to lube the system. The stator (generator portion of the unit) is very susceptible to moisture and seizing from it.


My practice is that every 30 days the generator runs using the following profile:
5 minutes - no load
50 minutes - 80% load
5 minutes - no load


To generate a load, I run all of the air units set to a temp that causes them to run. I also choose to alternate the heat pumps at this time, since the heat pump failures can be due to the valve not getting exercise. The valves can become stuck in one position. For the heat pumps, I run them at 30 minutes full cold and 20 minutes full heat cycle.


Sometimes that cycle has to swap depending on the air temp outside, but you get the idea.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:39 AM   #4
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This is one of those questions where you're going to get a wide range of answers, including 'never'. For the definitive answer download the manual for your generator and see what the manufacturer suggests.

Personally I'm a once a month guy. I also believe in exercising the RV once a month. So roughly every month, if I've not had the RV out for camping, I'll take the RV for a drive of at least 25 miles (though normally it's more like 60) and at the same time I run the generator and have it power the AC and/or water heater in the RV.
I live in Florida so pretty much every time I take the RV anywhere I run the generator so that I can have the roof air conditioners on.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMcG View Post
Due to all the events that happened over the last two years I have been unable to only take one trip. Not sure if it will ever be the same again. My question is, since the generator gets very little use, how often should I exercise my generator and for how long to keep the stator and other parts of the generator from degrading from lack of use. Thanks for any input.
JMcG
2016 VTDP 3725
You could always look at selling.
Used RVs in great shape are commanding prices like never before.
Your situation has made RV travel almost non-existent according to yourself.
Just a consideration.
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Old 09-16-2021, 07:57 AM   #6
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I run mine about every 2-3 months when not in use. No load for 3-5 minutes. Then turn air conditioners and electric water heater on to put a load on it for 30 minutes minimum, then 5 minutes at no load. Been doing this for 18 years with never a generator problem. This is for a diesel genset. Gas generators, you have more worry about fuel deterioration.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:04 AM   #7
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You could always look at selling.
Used RVs in great shape are commanding prices like never before.
Your situation has made RV travel almost non-existent according to yourself.
Just a consideration.
Although RV's are a depreciating asset, I am not considering selling for at least 10 years unless things change drastically.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:17 AM   #8
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Thanks all for your quick replies. I had been exercising it but not on a defined schedule, only when I remembered to do it. I am sure every ones suggestions works well for their individual situation. Since redbaron73 lives in the same state as myself I will probably follow his schedule. I live in the part of Texas where 95-100 degrees with 80 to 90 percent humidity is not uncommon during the summer months.
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Old 09-16-2021, 08:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMcG View Post
Thanks all for your quick replies. I had been exercising it but not on a defined schedule, only when I remembered to do it. I am sure every ones suggestions works well for their individual situation. Since redbaron73 lives in the same state as myself I will probably follow his schedule. I live in the part of Texas where 95-100 degrees with 80 to 90 percent humidity is not uncommon during the summer months.
JMcG
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and where the heat pump will never get used unless you force it to be used
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Old 09-17-2021, 03:14 PM   #10
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Although RV's are a depreciating asset, I am not considering selling for at least 10 years unless things change drastically.
JMcG
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I just sold a 2018 Allegro Bus for $36K more than I paid for it to buy my 2022 DS. Right now they are not a depreciating asset. I do not think we will ever see a used market like this again
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:34 PM   #11
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I just sold a 2018 Allegro Bus for $36K more than I paid for it to buy my 2022 DS. Right now they are not a depreciating asset. I do not think we will ever see a used market like this again
You are right on the market, but no reason to sell when you are very happy with the one you got. Also unless you are just going to pocket the money and not purchase something else the profit will not be realized, because the market is just as hot on the new ones.
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Old 09-17-2021, 08:39 PM   #12
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I would run if under full load for at least a hour or two monthly. The Onans are meant to be used.
Yep, this is pretty much what is in the owners manual for my 7500 Quiet Diesel.
Seems reasonable.
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Old 09-21-2021, 02:48 PM   #13
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This is straight from my QD8K (8HDKAK-1046T) manual:

Exercising the Generator Set
Exercise the generator set at least 2 hours each month if use is infrequent. Run the generator set at
approximately 1/2 rated power. A single 2-hour exercise period is better than several shorter periods.
Exercising a generator set drives off moisture, relubricates the engine, replaces stale fuel in fuel lines, and
removes oxides from electrical contacts and generator slip rings. The result is better starting, longer
engine life, and greater reliability.

Manual also states to let it warm before a load for 2 minutes and cool down with no load for 2 minutes before shutting down. I always go 3-4 minutes, though.
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Old 09-21-2021, 03:24 PM   #14
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Exercise

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMcG View Post
Due to all the events that happened over the last two years I have been unable to only take one trip. Not sure if it will ever be the same again. My question is, since the generator gets very little use, how often should I exercise my generator and for how long to keep the stator and other parts of the generator from degrading from lack of use. Thanks for any input.
JMcG
2016 VTDP 3725
In my OPINION:
Monthly
5 minutes lightly loaded (less then 10%)
50 minutes heavy load (near 100%)
5 minutes lightly loaded (less than 10%)
If you have heat pumps, switch between max cool to max heat.
Propane furnace, run for 5 minutes.
Refrigerator for proper operation.
Water heater, check all modes if it has more than one.
Cooktop & oven/microwave.
Main engine, run til temperature up to normal.
Change all RV fluids and filters annually even if not used.

Opinion, remember mechanical and electrical things are like spouses they despise neglect.
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