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Old 10-05-2021, 12:28 PM   #1
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W-22 observations after our latest trip

Just completed our latest 3k mile trip from AZ to Oregon and back. We bought the W-22 Dolphin 2-1/2 years ago and this is our third trip of 4 weeks or longer since then and we've also done a couple of shorter trips. The coach had 13k miles on it when we bought it and we're up to almost 25k miles now.

This is the first trip since completing ALL the suspension upgrades... sway bars, trac bars, Sumo Springs, steering stabilizer, and alignment, and the first one where I can say I'm completely happy with how the coach drives. We only had one day where driving was uncomfortable, because of high winds. We were near Yuba City, CA that day and the wind was causing my slide topper to unroll slightly. It would hit the stop and then slam back against the side of the coach. That was the only afternoon where I found myself sawing at the wheel. That evening I looked at the national weather service historical data for that location and time of day and they showed wind gusts to 28 mph. All the suspension mods cost me over 3k (even doing most of the work myself) but it was money well spent imho.

The only problems we've had are the Evans dash a/c unit, which seems to leak freon, and the junk Onan generator, which doesn't want to run more than ten minutes at a time on a hot day with the coach a/c on, just like every Onan I've had for the last 20 years. That became a real problem when we hit road construction in Nevada on a 100+ degree day. The dash a/c was blowing warm and the generator wouldn't allow us to run the basement a/c for more than a few minutes.

We did have an intermittent problem with the basement a/c too, but that turned out to be the plug on the 50A power cord, one leg of which was loose inside the cover. Otherwise, the Coleman Mach basement a/c has been great.

As for the drivetrain, happy to report there have been no problems at all.
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Old 10-05-2021, 02:54 PM   #2
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We recently bought a 2005 Safari Trek 28RB2 on a workhorse W20/W22 chassis. This is a completely different animal from our past P-30 chassis, so I'm reading everything I see to learn more about Workhorse.

That said, did you do all suspension modifications at one, or sequentially with a test drive after each one?. I'm asking since ours only has front & rear track bars and Koni FSD shocks. It handles very well so I haven't felt the need for additional modifications.

And do you have an Onan 4000 or 5500 generator?. We had several Microquiet 4000's and were never really satisfied. The Emerald 5500 in our current Trek appears to be much better; it runs at 1800 RPM instead of 3600, very little oil consumption, and much quieter.

My take on the Workhorse chassis, 8.1 engine and Allison transmission:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CamJam1 View Post
Just completed our latest 3k mile trip from AZ to Oregon and back. We bought the W-22 Dolphin 2-1/2 years ago and this is our third trip of 4 weeks or longer since then and we've also done a couple of shorter trips. The coach had 13k miles on it when we bought it and we're up to almost 25k miles now.

This is the first trip since completing ALL the suspension upgrades... sway bars, trac bars, Sumo Springs, steering stabilizer, and alignment, and the first one where I can say I'm completely happy with how the coach drives. We only had one day where driving was uncomfortable, because of high winds. We were near Yuba City, CA that day and the wind was causing my slide topper to unroll slightly. It would hit the stop and then slam back against the side of the coach. That was the only afternoon where I found myself sawing at the wheel. That evening I looked at the national weather service historical data for that location and time of day and they showed wind gusts to 28 mph. All the suspension mods cost me over 3k (even doing most of the work myself) but it was money well spent imho.

The only problems we've had are the Evans dash a/c unit, which seems to leak freon, and the junk Onan generator, which doesn't want to run more than ten minutes at a time on a hot day with the coach a/c on, just like every Onan I've had for the last 20 years. That became a real problem when we hit road construction in Nevada on a 100+ degree day. The dash a/c was blowing warm and the generator wouldn't allow us to run the basement a/c for more than a few minutes.

We did have an intermittent problem with the basement a/c too, but that turned out to be the plug on the 50A power cord, one leg of which was loose inside the cover. Otherwise, the Coleman Mach basement a/c has been great.

As for the drivetrain, happy to report there have been no problems at all.
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Old 10-05-2021, 04:16 PM   #3
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I did front and rear trac bars first followed by a rear sway bar. They made a big difference in getting blown around by passing trucks, but in general it still felt like a lot of steering corrections were required. That caused some nervous moments on narrow two lane roads, in cross winds or during transitions to uneven pavement such as in construction zones. A front sway bar and steering stabilizer made the biggest difference there. Steering stabilizer (mine is a Roadmaster Reflex) does make the steering feel a little heavy at times, but the added stability makes it a worthwhile trade-off I think.

If you are happy with yours now my thought is that there's probably no need to throw more money at it. Mine is on a 208" wheelbase, which might might have made it inherently less stable than some of the longer wheelbase models.

My last Class A was a P30. This is a bit of a different animal, isn't it? Just feels so much bigger!

I believe my generator is an Onan Marquis 7kw. It's quiet enough, especially when it quits after ten minutes.
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Old 10-09-2021, 10:22 PM   #4
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Hi CamJam1. I did have a problem with my Onan 7000 which stopped running in hot weather after about 10 minutes while working fairly hard running the basement AC with both compressors running. I confirmed the generator electric fuel pump was seizing up when it got hot. This can be confirmed be pressing/holding the primer button on the generator, if you don't hear that "pulsing" sound of the fuel pump running, it is likely seized and not turning. Wait 30 minutes for it to cool and press primer again and it may start running again, and the generator will likely run as well till hot again. Replacing the fuel pump should solve this issue.
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Old 10-09-2021, 10:38 PM   #5
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Yes.. my onan runs like a dream.. when is last time you cleaned armature slip rings ? If not fuel pump.. is your voltage regulator.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you.. oh i have a 5500 but i am GETTING ready to add external oil cooler with fan.. i fixed my evans.. dash.. it was a bear.. but doable for 62yr old man.. only 15.00 part and orings..
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Old 10-09-2021, 11:04 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses. I have a new generator fuel pump on order. This will be the 3rd fuel pump I've tried, but this time I'm buying a (hopefully) better U.S. made self-priming pump rather than the cheap Chinese pumps that are so common these days. If that doesn't do it I'll start looking at other causes. I really should put a clear fuel filter in the line so that I can see if it's starving for fuel when it quits.
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Old 10-10-2021, 06:52 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CamJam1 View Post
Thanks for the responses. I have a new generator fuel pump on order. This will be the 3rd fuel pump I've tried, but this time I'm buying a (hopefully) better U.S. made self-priming pump rather than the cheap Chinese pumps that are so common these days. If that doesn't do it I'll start looking at other causes. I really should put a clear fuel filter in the line so that I can see if it's starving for fuel when it quits.

where did you find a usa pump and what brand? will be following to see if this is the cure.
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Old 10-10-2021, 08:08 AM   #8
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It seems like the generator problem has highjacked this thread...OH WELL!

Your symptom seems suspiciously like the problem defined in this THREAD.

If your generator is mounted in front of the rear axle and exposed to exhaust/drive train heat it may apply to you.

It is a long thread but does offer solutions that aren't too difficult to implement.

My current motorhome has the carbureted generator mounted behind the left rear wheel. It never misses a lick no matter the outside temperature.

Carbureted Onan generators have been suffering this symptom for years. You would think Onan would get the hint and drop carbureted generators from their line!
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Old 10-10-2021, 02:48 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by inbogie View Post
where did you find a usa pump and what brand? will be following to see if this is the cure.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

That pump is due here on Tuesday, and I hope to have it installed by the end of next week.

Previously, my generator only quit in hot weather, so I moved the fuel pump closer to the tank to minimize any low pressure in the fuel line that could make it more susceptible to vapor lock. That worked for awhile, but on our latest trip it started acting up again. Now it quits after a few minutes, even in cool weather, which leads me to believe that the pump itself is now the culprit. It could be a slight crack in the fuel line too (I hope not) in which case it would likely be on top of the tank itself as a few months ago I replaced all the fuel line I could reach without dropping the tank.

Thanks for posting a link to that thread YeloDuster. I have read lots of these threads in past but missed that one. My experience with these Onan's is that they are temperamental beasts and there are large numbers of people with the similar problems that were found to have a variety of causes. Reading the thread you'll see those who found their problems were caused by too much oil, not enough oil, intake air temperature, overheating, vapor lock, bad fuel pumps, negative fuel tank pressure, etc etc. Disconnecting the oil pressure sender switch and temporarily removing the gas cap do sound like easy fixes to try though.

I'm of the opinion that Onan needs some competition from someone like Honda before they'll take these issues seriously.
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Old 10-16-2021, 05:20 AM   #10
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of course you do not know where that pump is made.

As you are doing, ANY fuel pump will work as long as it pumps at needed rate and psi, and can be found at local auto stores, of course the fuel line fittings are key to the fitment.

good luck
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Old 10-17-2021, 10:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
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of course you do not know where that pump is made.

As you are doing, ANY fuel pump will work as long as it pumps at needed rate and psi, and can be found at local auto stores, of course the fuel line fittings are key to the fitment.

good luck
It clearly states Made In USA on the box, but it didn't solve my problem. I'm either going to have to drop the tank to replace the last few feet of generator fuel line or rig up a second fuel pick up in the tank. I'm considering the second option, using the unused fuel port that is capped off on the passenger side of the tank.

I'm now convinced this is not temperature related as it was a nice cool day yesterday when I installed the new pump. I could hear it get louder whenever it was starved for fuel, which would happen just a minute or two after starting the generator. Must be a crack in the fuel line or a fitting or a clogged fuel pick-up. All the fuel line has been replaced except for the last couple feet on top of the tank where I can't reach it.
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Old 10-17-2021, 11:35 AM   #12
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W-22 observations after our latest trip

Quote:
Originally Posted by CamJam1 View Post
It clearly states Made In USA on the box, but it didn't solve my problem. I'm either going to have to drop the tank to replace the last few feet of generator fuel line or rig up a second fuel pick up in the tank. I'm considering the second option, using the unused fuel port that is capped off on the passenger side of the tank.

I'm now convinced this is not temperature related as it was a nice cool day yesterday when I installed the new pump. I could hear it get louder whenever it was starved for fuel, which would happen just a minute or two after starting the generator. Must be a crack in the fuel line or a fitting or a clogged fuel pick-up. All the fuel line has been replaced except for the last couple feet on top of the tank where I can't reach it.


The tank comes down easily. A floor jack and a helper is all you need. Ive dropped both of mine over the years and they were both over half full when I had my issues.

There is plenty of extra hose and electrical cord on top of the tank to get it to the ground.

If all your doing is replacing the fuel line for the generator you dont even need to move the stabilizer brace. Just drop the tank down to the brace and you have full access to the fitting the gen fuel line connects to.

Be sure you put the tank back into the exact spot it was. Look at the markings of the straps and everything. There is a cross brace on the frame that is very close to the nipple on the generator fuel line pickup. If the tank is 1/2” too far forward this nipple will hit the cross brace and snap off. I spun the dip tube pick up 90 degrees so the nipple isnt so close to the frame.

The unused fuel filler fitting on the other side has a flapper in it. It might be possible to get a small hose through this flapper but it could be an issue. The flapper is there as part of an anti spill device should the vehicle go one its side.

Just some things to think about.
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Old 10-17-2021, 06:50 PM   #13
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About 14 years ago I routed a 1/4 inch nylon line thru the fuel tank vent line that is located next to the fuel tank filler pipe. I did this instead of dropping the fuel tank to repair/replace the generator fuel pickup line which was damaged by animals. I did have to make a special fitting where the nylon line enters the rubber vent line for the tank. It has worked flawlessly all these years. My motorhome is a 2004 Workhorse chassis.
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Old 10-18-2021, 08:41 PM   #14
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About 14 years ago I routed a 1/4 inch nylon line thru the fuel tank vent line that is located next to the fuel tank filler pipe. I did this instead of dropping the fuel tank to repair/replace the generator fuel pickup line which was damaged by animals. I did have to make a special fitting where the nylon line enters the rubber vent line for the tank. It has worked flawlessly all these years. My motorhome is a 2004 Workhorse chassis.
DieselClacker, I'm very familiar with what you did as I was previously reading your old posts. In fact, yesterday I did more or less the same thing, but I instead ran a hose through the unused vent port on the passenger side of the tank. As it turns out that did not fix my problem, but at least I now know that it's not a fuel pick up or pump problem.

I spent today working on it and discovered that if I hold the choke partially closed that the generator does not shut down. I think that means that the mixture is too lean, which COULD be a restriction in the fuel line or a pump that is weak, but since I've changed 95% of the fuel line and tried three different pumps, I think it's more likely that the carburetor itself is the problem. Could be a vacuum leak too, I suppose, but I'm going to go after the carburetor first as these small engines with carbs are notorious for such problems when they don't get run a lot.

On the way home I stopped by my local RV dealer to see if they could clean and/or rebuild the carburetor for me. They said they're not allowed to do that any longer. Not sure if that's due to regulations or just a corporate decision, but they will only replace the carburetor now, which is $400 not including installation labor. The service manager suggested I just buy a rebuild kit and do it myself. I might do that, but I really hate working on carbs.

Tom, thanks for your tips on dealing with the fuel tank when replacing the generator fuel line. I'll keep that in mind in case i decide to go back to using the factory fuel pick-up.
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