Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > RV SYSTEMS AND TECHNOLOGIES FORUMS > RV Systems & Appliances
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-27-2021, 06:37 PM   #1
Junior Member
 
Retired Fire Service RVer's
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 22
Running onboard Onan generator from a gas can

Hello oh, so I've had my motorhome for 8 years now and maintain my generator and run it regularly. I seem to have to change the fuel pump every so often because my generator runs out of fuel. So now I got a new one is still running out and I got a gas can I'm trying to run it out of the gas can which is below the generator, is the electric fuel pump strong enough to maintain the suction? Is there any other tidbits of information I need to know about running the generator out of the gas can? I tried it and it only ran for 5 minutes and died. I stuff some Rags around the opening where the gas line goes into the gas can to try to make a good seal. When I disconnected the fuel line that comes from the gas tank to the fuel filter no gas came out until I sucked on it oh, I don't know if that's normal I believe it might be because of safety factors? Any help would be appreciated, thank you
philjp1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-27-2021, 07:02 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: NC
Posts: 136
Other than not being safe, if you stuffed rags in too tightly, you would block the airflow and the fuel pump creates a vacuum. This will stop the fuel flow to the generator. I did run an RV generator on a TT like this 30 years ago but used a boat fuel can for an outboard motor. This allows the air flow back into the tanks to keep the pressure equalized.
__________________
GrantR
Itasca Ellipse
Silverado Duramax Toad
GrantR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2021, 07:12 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Fiesta48's Avatar
 
Fleetwood Owners Club
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,707
Put a bigger better inline fuel filter so the pump lasts longer.
__________________
Full Timers.
2015 Fleetwood Discovery 40E on a Freightliner XCS chassis with a Cummins ISL9 pulling 1 and/or 2 motorcycles, '07 Honda Accord OR a 17' Runabout Boat.
Fiesta48 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2021, 08:02 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 834
1st why do you want to run gen from gas can? 2nd how much fuel is in rv gas tank.. even if gas tank gauge says 1/2 full it might be off... you need at least 1/2 tank or more.. fill up rv tank and try again...

Here is a story.. picked up 2nd owner rv.. gen ran great.. then 2yrs later .. in would run like not getting fuel.. so new pump.. and filter same.. while reconnecting fuel line.. notice small cracks in fuel line.. very, very, fine.. so replaced all of it from gen to hard line..on back of frame.. added filter before pump.. so now has 2 filters.. and new pump.. better but still did act like not getting fuel and 3/4 full.. so started searching forum here.. and used cell phone with camera and flash and record up under frame.. followed the hard line.. held phone up under tank where hard line went.. finally had to use bore scope camera.. and used it.. to follow line where pick up goes into tank.. I found fuel line rotted.. and had fine cracks.. then after many days.. of recording.. and watching recording on big screen computer.. I found a small place in rubber fuel line had a small bite out of it.. it worked fine when tank was full.. but pasted just enough air when tank was lower that full.. and gen would stop....

The hard line at the front drive's side.. transition to rubber. Over tank to tank pick up.. there is another cheap clamp there too... the clamps were all rusty.. and rubber line was rotten and eaten by nasty critters stuff themselves with wires and rubber hoses and lines.. well that was no fun.. when anything goes haywire.. you have to keep nasty critters on the back of your mind...

So gen was sucking a tiny amount of air.. and gen would stop.. sometimes it ran great.. then act up.. you could blow through old line.. it seemed ok.. could not hear any air.. but I am 61yrs and have hearing problems among other health problems.. so that is reason it took me so long.. I am very slow.. now.. so finally caught on.. put all together with a lot of help from members and their families... replaced line and boom.. all is perfect.. so thank you to all.. good luck and let us know what you did and maybe better members then me will help you
__________________
2000 southwind storm, workhorse custom chassis with 7.4l vortec
donr103 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2021, 08:49 AM   #5
Junior Member
 
Retired Fire Service RVer's
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 22
Thanks for all your reply. The food tank is all the way full, I want to run it out of a gas can because if it runs fine like that I know the problem should be in the fuel supply line coming to the generator, such as you described in your problem. If it doesn't run for a long time out of the gas can then I may have two problems :-) but I would try to fix the simplest one first and not the one that you had to deal with. Thank you for your answer. I don't know how to use a boroscope camera I just hope it isn't in the fuel line from the gas tank
philjp1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-29-2021, 09:09 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 834
Mine might be a little different.. but I had rubber fuel line that runs from gen fuel pump up under and in between gen and gen mounting frame.. it had all kinds of hair line cracks.. it was oem.. and the clamps they used where not the special fuel clamps.. then it attached to the fuel filler at carb.. so it was bad enough not to leak.. even under 2 or 4 pound of pressure but this needed replacement, because the additives in New gas.. ate it from inside out.. also you tube.. flight system.. on an. Gen repair.. slick stick.. this is video that shows you how to clean your armature rings.. They need to be shiny.. simple and just take flashlights look at you armature rings. Nothing to take off.. also members here say flight system gen repair is best source for help.. call is free.. and they have all kinds of video on you tube on on an. Gen repair.. I called them on rings.. and they hooked me up with slick stick and man oh man what a difference.. only 15mins.. to clean and no parts to take off.. yes one could make your own.. but saved more time just to order one.. keep us posted
__________________
2000 southwind storm, workhorse custom chassis with 7.4l vortec
donr103 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2021, 12:24 PM   #7
Junior Member
 
Retired Fire Service RVer's
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 22
Okay, so I ordered a less expensive or should I say cheap :-) electric fuel pump off Amazon that had great reviews. I got one about 10 months ago and it worked fine till now. However I believe the one that I just got did not work . I come to that conclusion because I bought a Edelbrock electric fuel pump low pressure and ran it out of a portable gas can with no problems. Reconnected everything with the new Edelbrock fuel pump generator ran for one hour with no problems. Hopefully I don't have any problems with the fuel supply line. My nephew builds race cars and said he could add a new fuel line to the bottom of the existing gas tank to go right to the generator. Any thoughts on that? Thanks
philjp1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2021, 04:37 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 834
Sounds like you are lucky to have someone that can do that.. how would he do that? Please post it for the rest of us.. please.. only thing I can think of.. is sence the fuel gauge only works when ignition is on.. you could run out of gas.. and you will need to really upgrade fuel filler to gen to include a water separator on it to keep all the trash and water from being sucked into gen.. also it is hard on modern eng fuel pumps to run them on less than 1/4 tank.. maybe a little less, because the eng fuel pump uses the gas to cool it.. but I wish gas tanks were like the old days.. with ports and drains in bottom.. but E PA, stopped that.. so glad you got it fixed.. keep us posted
__________________
2000 southwind storm, workhorse custom chassis with 7.4l vortec
donr103 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2021, 05:45 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Fanukalum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: SW FL
Posts: 311
Quote:
Originally Posted by philjp1 View Post
My nephew builds race cars and said he could add a new fuel line to the bottom of the existing gas tank to go right to the generator. Any thoughts on that? Thanks
You run the risk of gen running your fuel tank dry. That's why most connections for generators are made to leave 1/4 of tank
__________________
B Sears
2016 Palazzo 36.1 2019 Dutch Star 4310 Freightliner
2015 jeep 4d wrangler
Fanukalum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2021, 06:24 PM   #10
Senior Member


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,227
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fanukalum View Post
You run the risk of gen running your fuel tank dry. That's why most connections for generators are made to leave 1/4 of tank
If he's going to install a new pickup from the bottom of the tank, there is no reason when doing so he can't put a steel or copper tube sticking up in the tank 1/4 way. Would still have the gen shut off when at 1/4 tank.

That said. I am not a fan of having the gas outlet on the bottom of the tank. I have built tanks for race cars, off road trucks, my son build high dollar hot rods and we NEVER put the fuel pickup on the bottom of the tank. Auto manufactures have not done that for decades, for one reason. Hose comes off, even minor accident, one spark from exhaust and instant torch.

There is no reason to put an outlet in the bottom of the tank. Pulling gas from the tank is the simple part. On my gasser the fuel pump for the engine and the fuel pickup for the generator were one unit. The engine pump was just your typical, bottom of the tank pump, the generator pickup was nothing more than a straight tube, with nothing on it, that came out the to to a 90 degree elbow.

Proper fuel lines from the tank pickup are the problem. I had one I fought with for 2 years to keep running. Final straw was when we got in a flood, just deep enough to fill the compartments AND the generator, so the generator had to come out. Replace the fuel pump starter, a few other parts. 5' of gas line into a 5 gallon can started and ran fair. Figured maybe junk in the carb so took bowl off and it was plugged solid with junk, and not just from the flood. Stale gas, buildup, varnish, tried cleaning, no luck. No rebuild kits for those carbs. Factory Onan only choice. New $320 carb. Run like a million bucks on the bench. Changed oil couple times due to the water from the flood. Ran maybe 5-8 gallons of gas through it on the bench, reinstalled it. Would start and run 5 minutes. WTF. Installed new gas line from fuel pump all the way to the tank. Problem solved. Sold it. Talked to the new owner the other day, still runs like a dream. Those things are bullet proof but usually don't get enough run time and hoses, clamps fail and carbs get plugged up.
__________________
2006 Winnebago Journey
39K
Cat C7
amosnandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-02-2021, 06:36 PM   #11
Senior Member


 
Winnebago Owners Club
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,227
Quote:
Originally Posted by philjp1 View Post
Hello oh, so I've had my motorhome for 8 years now and maintain my generator and run it regularly. I seem to have to change the fuel pump every so often because my generator runs out of fuel. So now I got a new one is still running out and I got a gas can I'm trying to run it out of the gas can which is below the generator, is the electric fuel pump strong enough to maintain the suction? Is there any other tidbits of information I need to know about running the generator out of the gas can? I tried it and it only ran for 5 minutes and died. I stuff some Rags around the opening where the gas line goes into the gas can to try to make a good seal. When I disconnected the fuel line that comes from the gas tank to the fuel filter no gas came out until I sucked on it oh, I don't know if that's normal I believe it might be because of safety factors? Any help would be appreciated, thank you
The factory fuel pump will have no problem. I had one, (read previous post) that I ran on the bench with a 5 gallon can on the ground. 36" lift? no problem.

90% of what people think are fuel pump problems are bad fuel lines. That and carb problems. If you have one that runs good now, clean the carb regularly. I thought the fact that I exercised mine and actually used it, sometimes for 2 days straight was enough. Nope. The design of that carb allows varnish and fuel junk to build up. I have gone diesel now, but in the future, if I go to a gas one once a year I would use my pressurized fuel injector cleaner and run a can if cleaner through it. New carb was $320.
__________________
2006 Winnebago Journey
39K
Cat C7
amosnandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2021, 06:34 AM   #12
Junior Member
 
Retired Fire Service RVer's
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 22
Hello, I put everything back together with a new Edelbrock fuel pump and it ran for an hour from the gas tank on the motorhome. Hopefully the fuel lines supplying the generator are good. You mentioned about running pressurized fuel injector cleaner through once a year could you explain how that's done please. I do exercise my generator regularly but I've never cleaned the carb. Thanks
philjp1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2021, 06:38 AM   #13
Junior Member
 
Retired Fire Service RVer's
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 22
Thanks for all the responses to my last post regarding putting a new gas line for my generator on the bottom of the tank. Great advice given on why not to put it on the bottom of the tank. From the replies it seems to me that it might not be a bad idea to add a new line if in fact one day I find existing fuel line to be problematic. Thanks to all
philjp1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-03-2021, 09:13 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Ohio
Posts: 834
Don't kid yourselves.. the only reason that fuel lines come off the top and not still off the bottom like decades ago.. is federal law.. E,P,A, that is it.. because Eavp, purge... that's all.. to catch the fumes from tank.. they stopped putting bottom drains in tanks because cheaper and people would bypass the top connection and use the drain as fuel port and then most of time bypass evap purge.. so it was the people elected to office that stopped us having a drain or connection at bottom of tanks.. so much cheaper to make all one unit that does fuel pump, gen pickups and evap at top of tank.. i would still like to know how he would do it..
__________________
2000 southwind storm, workhorse custom chassis with 7.4l vortec
donr103 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
gas, generator, onan



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Onan Generator Won’t Run After Running Out Of Gas Chieftain27 iRV2.com General Discussion 20 02-24-2020 06:06 PM
Onboard propane can't keep you warm for long larliebler Class A Motorhome Discussions 73 12-29-2018 08:54 AM
Onboard generator mano Class C Motorhome Discussions 8 08-04-2015 08:32 PM
Can we go yet, Can we go yet, Can we go yet, Can we go yet, Can we go yet mothgrey Class A Motorhome Discussions 9 11-18-2013 04:51 PM
Warning for those with onboard generator taken Toy Haulers Discussion 10 08-05-2013 06:54 AM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:26 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.