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Old 12-07-2018, 08:50 PM   #1
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Fuel Gauge Erratic

Just got back from beach trip in South Carolina. Traveling at night and noticed my fuel gauge started going from full to empty. It was cycling that way for several miles then it stopped and started reading steady again? Has anybody had this happen and if so is it an omen for a failure?
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Old 12-07-2018, 09:32 PM   #2
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More than likely a ground issue. Clean all the grounds to chassis you can find underneath the driver's cabin.
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Old 12-09-2018, 08:29 AM   #3
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Not sure what you mean by "going from full to empty". Was it the fairly rapid wagging that all the gauge needles do when you turn the ignition on or was it very slow. Could be plug in back of gauge cluster has poor connection. Could be poor connection on terminals at sending unit. I have personally experienced a partial failure of the wound wire coils in the sending unit inside the fuel tank. That caused the gauge needle to wag several times. I suggest you keep an eye on your miles traveled since the last tank fill and be wary of the accuracy of your fuel gauge. Even though it seems to be working it could be it is no longer accurate.
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Old 12-09-2018, 09:32 AM   #4
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My fuel gauge has done it similar since I bought in 2015. It starts doing it after a fill up and I drive it for a while it settles down reads pretty close until a fill up again. I have gotten use to it and I know the number of miles driving and expect about 7.5 miles to the gallon it is usually close.
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Old 12-09-2018, 01:23 PM   #5
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The gauge cycled just like when you first turn the key on. It would go to full then back to empty all in one motion. It was the only gauge doing it. I had not refueled just going home after 12 days at the beach. I will check the grounds and connections. I will also be keeping up with the mileage. One more question about the function of the fuel gauge. I know that the generator has a fuel level cutoff to operate. How does it get that indication?


Thanks for the inputs on this.





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Originally Posted by c_oneil View Post
Not sure what you mean by "going from full to empty". Was it the fairly rapid wagging that all the gauge needles do when you turn the ignition on or was it very slow. Could be plug in back of gauge cluster has poor connection. Could be poor connection on terminals at sending unit. I have personally experienced a partial failure of the wound wire coils in the sending unit inside the fuel tank. That caused the gauge needle to wag several times. I suggest you keep an eye on your miles traveled since the last tank fill and be wary of the accuracy of your fuel gauge. Even though it seems to be working it could be it is no longer accurate.
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Old 12-09-2018, 02:34 PM   #6
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The gauge cycled just like when you first turn the key on. It would go to full then back to empty all in one motion. It was the only gauge doing it. I had not refueled just going home after 12 days at the beach. I will check the grounds and connections. I will also be keeping up with the mileage. One more question about the function of the fuel gauge. I know that the generator has a fuel level cutoff to operate. How does it get that indication?


Thanks for the inputs on this.
In most cases the fuel cutoff is a function of the pickup tube that only extends so far into the tank for the generator.
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Old 12-09-2018, 03:32 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vtxbiker View Post
The gauge cycled just like when you first turn the key on. It would go to full then back to empty all in one motion. It was the only gauge doing it. I had not refueled just going home after 12 days at the beach. I will check the grounds and connections. I will also be keeping up with the mileage. One more question about the function of the fuel gauge. I know that the generator has a fuel level cutoff to operate. How does it get that indication?


Thanks for the inputs on this.


The generator, (and if you have it, the HydroHot) have a separate fuel intake that is placed about 1/4 of the distance from the bottom of the fuel tank, the engine intake is at the bottom. That way, in theory you can not run out of fuel for the engine by running the generator, there is no indication for the genny reaching it’s limit, it just stops running.
I reset my trip odometer each time I fuel up, once I get to about 450 miles I start to look for a fuel stop. I normally fill up with around 60 gallons. I always run on the top half of my tank. If I am traveling for multiple days I normally fuel up at the end of the day, that way when we are fresh in the AM we are all set to go.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:16 AM   #8
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The generator, (and if you have it, the HydroHot) have a separate fuel intake that is placed about 1/4 of the distance from the bottom of the fuel tank, the engine intake is at the bottom. That way, in theory you can not run out of fuel for the engine by running the generator, there is no indication for the genny reaching it’s limit, it just stops running.
I reset my trip odometer each time I fuel up, once I get to about 450 miles I start to look for a fuel stop. I normally fill up with around 60 gallons. I always run on the top half of my tank. If I am traveling for multiple days I normally fuel up at the end of the day, that way when we are fresh in the AM we are all set to go.

Thanks Dave, I do have the HydroHot and glad to hear about the fuel tap shut offs. Glad it does not depend on the fuel gauge.
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:53 AM   #9
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Fuel Gauge off but Consistent

Our fuel gauge is obviously off, but seems consistent. On our last long trip I checked it:

350/350 miles from full to 3/4ths tank
200/550 miles from full to 1/2 tank
150/700 miles from full to 1/4 tank
175/875 miles from full to empty (estimate)


That's about 7.6 mpg, including towing a Jeep Cherokee and generator use. I forgot to check where the generator cuts out, but I remember it being somewhere just under half a tank on the fuel gauge.

I hit the T2 trip odometer every time I fill.
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Old 12-10-2018, 01:00 PM   #10
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3x5,

That is consistent with our observations. On our first trip I was certain we would be able to cover 1000 miles on a tank after traveling more than 500 miles and “apparently” using less than half a tank. The second half disappears much more rapidly. It seems to be fairly common, particularly in older vehicles. My 1999 GMC truck does the same thing. I’d say they’re set up to read Full at 90%, so in our case we’re adding 10+ gallons that keeps the needle pegged for the first 80 miles.

We did go 800 miles, once, between fill ups. The fuel light had come on shortly before, it took 100 gallons to fill, indicating that the light comes on with 15-18 gallons remaining. In theory we could have travelled another 75-100 miles, which makes your 875 number spot on. It would only be under duress that we would ever run the tank that low again.
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Old 12-10-2018, 11:27 PM   #11
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Fuel Gauge Erratic

You really need to get under the coach and find out what size tank you have. We have a ‘05 that has a 100 gallon tank, even though the spec sheet shows 115. WRV had a bad habit of using old stock until they ran out no matter what the specs say. We ran out of fuel when we first bought the coach because they built it with a 100 gallon tank and a 115 gallon gauge! I learned my lesson, replaced the gauge with a 100 gallon unit, drive on the top half of the tank, set the trip odometer every time I fuel up and fuel at the end of the day. If you drive 10 hours, average 50 mph including stops, @ 7.5 mpg, guess what, that’s half a tank. I love when a plan comes together.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:23 PM   #12
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We have a ‘05 with 100 gallon tank, even though the spec sheet shows 115.
Suspect the same with our '07.


(I've pumped 10g into a SmartCar 8.5g tank.)
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:54 AM   #13
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[QUOTE=DrDaveMA;4538010]You really need to get under the coach and find out what size tank you have. We have a ‘05 that has a 100 gallon tank, even though the spec sheet shows 115. QUOTE]

Good point. I used 115 gallons to figure my chart.

My "78 gallon" black tank is really only 55 gallons. (At least my "100 gallon" gray tank was increased to 120 gallons.) It never occurred to me to verify the specs in the brochure that before I bought it.
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Old 12-12-2018, 06:14 PM   #14
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If you look in the back of the generator compartment you can see the fuel tank. There is a label, on the upper right corner of the tank. It shows the capacity.
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