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Old 09-13-2010, 11:48 AM   #1
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Fueling a Generator

The Toy-hauler 5th Wheel we have has a generator. We will rarely use the generator as we plan to camp at full service sites. I am concerned about keeping the fuel for the generator "fresh" and usable.

I have two fuel tanks on the 5th wheel. One for the generator and one for the toys.

I am considering running the fuel out of the Generator tank and only keeping fuel in the "toy" tank. If I ever need to run the generator I can always transfer fuel using the supplied pump/nozzle system.

Is this a good or bad idea? I plan on using Sta-bil for the toy fuel tank.


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Old 09-13-2010, 12:53 PM   #2
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Hi Don,
Your plan is good, but may not go far enough. Consider planning on running the generator about once a month for about 1 hour with at least 1/2 load or more.
1. Empty the generator fuel tank.
2. When it is time to run the generator, pour a gallon of fuel in the tank.
3. Let the generator run until it runs out of fuel.

Over time you'll get to know how much fuel to put in the tank so the generator will run for about 1 hour on about 1/2 load or more. One needs to run the generator so all the electrical and mechanical components are exercised.
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Old 09-17-2010, 12:35 AM   #3
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What Gary said X2! Keeping gasoline fresh and usable is not a problem if you use Stabil and fuel system cleaner regularly. Keeping your genset running properly is a problem unless you operate it at a minimum of Gary's recommendation. I have an old construction genset for the farm that seems to be bulletproof for starting and running properly, even at once every other month. My invertor series camping genset runs rough if not "exercised" at least twice a month.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:47 PM   #4
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What Gary said X3
Sta-bil in the tank, with regular exercise for the genny is all you need. Once a month for about an hour under 1/2 load should keep you good.

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Old 09-18-2010, 04:44 AM   #5
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I've seen claims for as little as 14 days (!) and as long as two years, but none of those come from what I would consider authoritative sources. Most of the major oil companies and the Petroleum Institute (industry group) says gas stores in a closed container without problems for a year. I'd add Sta-bil or similar if storing that long, though.

High humidity is a problem with any fuel storage - water condenses into the fuel tank. I'd shorten my storage estimate in places like Florida.

I've read that ethanol blends don't store as well, with the alcohol separating out after a few months and evaporating. Not sure if that is a problem or not, except you lose some volume.
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Old 09-18-2010, 05:51 AM   #6
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Thanks guys.

As a newbie I have a lot to learn.

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Old 09-18-2010, 07:30 AM   #7
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By all means, shut of the fuel to the generator and run until the carb i s dry. As for the tank, I have kept gasoline at home for almost two years, but I add a good fuel stabilizer.

The worst thing you can do to a generator is not to run it on a frequent basis. You need to run the generator at a minimum of 1/2 load every 4 to 6 weeks for a minimum of 30 minutes and preferably an hour. The windings in the generator have an insulation that is hygroscopic (absorbs moisture). Running the generator under load drys the windings. So run the genny. During the summer, turn on the A/C for a load and during the winter, run a couple of 1500 watt space heaters.

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