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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions

 > Exercising a propane generator.

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Davydd

Minnesota

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Posted: 02/27/13 09:29am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

All I know is I have 8 years of Onan propane generator service with low hours and have started it every time even down to 0 degrees F. I contend the 30 day 2 hour recommendation is for gasoline. I'm sure running for 2 hours every month would be good but in the case of propane, it's excessive and contradictory since Onan also says about running beyond their ideally 30 minutes to warm up ...only burns fuel unnecessarily and adds costly maintenance. They are very contradictory in their documentation. I run the propane generator 30 minutes periodically but not necessarily every month and just before heading out on a trip.

Changing the oil is not a problem for me. I park in an area where I extended my driveway with fill and a 2 foot high stone retaining wall to make it level. So I can back my B up to the edge of the wall and have plenty of room to work beneath the B and reach everything.


Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Class B
Visited states in an RV


mlts22

Austin, Texas

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Posted: 02/27/13 09:32am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Davydd wrote:


Changing the oil is not a problem for me. I park in an area where I extended my driveway with fill and a 2 foot high stone retaining wall to make it level. So I can back my B up to the edge of the wall and have plenty of room to work beneath the B and reach everything.


That is good to know. When I was at the RV show last weekend, one place stated that they had to drop the generator on most "B"s except the PW Excel in order to do an oil change.

Fastpaddler

Vancouver Island,BC

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Posted: 02/27/13 03:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Heh, Davydd,
Minnesota used to be one of my favourite destinations.I should stop by(I am heading that way) this summer so you can check my oil level.Just joking.I get RV service to check it when it is de-winterized. Re periodic starting of our propane Onan genset, as I have stated elsewhere on RV.NET, I run it 10 mins or so and I see no explainable/engineering-wise need to run it more than that.Maybe someone can provide proof of the need: I am a Canadian with a Missouri-like doubting-Thomas pre-disposition.

1775

NY

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Posted: 02/27/13 03:37pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mlts22 wrote:


That is good to know. When I was at the RV show last weekend, one place stated that they had to drop the generator on most "B"s except the PW Excel in order to do an oil change.


To change the oil on a Roadtrek all you need to do is get under the van. The generator is not dropped. To get a little more room to crawl under all you need to do is make a ramp with a few lengths of 2x10 boards to roll up on - though most just crawl under with four wheels on the ground. The drain plug is at the bottom. There are hand pumps (found in marine stores) that screw into the top of the oil bottle to bring the oil up out of the bottle and down into the fill hole - some just use a ketchup squeeze bottle. All it takes it one quart of oil.


Roadtrek 190 Popular 2011

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mlts22

Austin, Texas

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Posted: 02/27/13 04:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1775 wrote:


To change the oil on a Roadtrek all you need to do is get under the van. The generator is not dropped. To get a little more room to crawl under all you need to do is make a ramp with a few lengths of 2x10 boards to roll up on - though most just crawl under with four wheels on the ground. The drain plug is at the bottom. There are hand pumps (found in marine stores) that screw into the top of the oil bottle to bring the oil up out of the bottle and down into the fill hole - some just use a ketchup squeeze bottle. All it takes it one quart of oil.


That is good to know. I already use an oil extraction pump on my existing generator since the drain plug is such a PITA to access, so if I can reach the opening, that job is as good as done.

My Roadtrek

Tucson, AZ.

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Posted: 02/27/13 04:44pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fastpaddler wrote:

Heh, Davydd,
Minnesota used to be one of my favourite destinations.I should stop by(I am heading that way) this summer so you can check my oil level.Just joking.I get RV service to check it when it is de-winterized. Re periodic starting of our propane Onan genset, as I have stated elsewhere on RV.NET, I run it 10 mins or so and I see no explainable/engineering-wise need to run it more than that.Maybe someone can provide proof of the need: I am a Canadian with a Missouri-like doubting-Thomas pre-disposition.


The 2 hour exercise period is for generators, propane, or gas, that have sat for a month. The 30 min warm up once a month is for gen-sets that are used frequently during the month.
If you are only running the gen. for ten minutes every month, that will not heat it up enough to evaporate the water, and oil the windings.
There are still people who believe, letting a gas car engine idle for 10 minutes or more to warm it up, doesn't hurt it, but it does.
Well everyone should now have enough information to decide for themselves how to take care of their generator.

Fastpaddler, I think you and Davydd could have a beautiful Bromance. [emoticon]

* This post was edited 02/27/13 04:56pm by My Roadtrek *

Fastpaddler

Vancouver Island,BC

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Posted: 02/27/13 05:11pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi My Roadtrek
I guess Davydd and I are from the same generational period: we try to help but, we also learn, a life-long process. That should be all good. You can join us!!
As a retired engineer I can appreciate your point re moisture buildup--I would suggest that the warming up of that 1 litre of lubricating oil in such a small displacement engine would be paramount.SO, I shall run it for 20 minutes in future. Cheers

mlts22

Austin, Texas

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Posted: 02/27/13 08:25pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I do respect you and Davydd highly. Both of you (and many others) have very good information to share, and sometimes I end up feeling quite sheepish of how little I know about a topic. However, I rather be proven wrong than remain clueless.

Arizona Kid

AZ

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Posted: 02/27/13 10:50pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

65 seems young to me, but I'm young at heart. [emoticon]

Fastpaddler

Vancouver Island,BC

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Posted: 02/28/13 03:46pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mlts22
No problem. We value your very good input too as there are a variety of B Vans and the input may seem trivial but it might be just what you or I or anyone else needs.
I just learned I need more than 10 mins of genset running to keep the little unit happy. So I will pour one large bourbon and wait 20 mins before shutdown--the genset,not the owner!

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