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Old 05-18-2018, 07:22 PM   #1
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State: Florida
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THOR #11538
Bad gas in new motorhome

I purchased a new Windsport 29M two weeks ago. All the major components worked as expected during the PDI and since we keep it at our property, continued to check and run things. Well, the generator wouldn't start 2 days after we brought it home. It would crank, but not start. Ruled out all the obvious reasons (low fuel, low oil, something loose, etc), so took it in for service this morning. They said it was a clogged fuel line to the generator. They "flushed" it out and now running ok. Honestly didn't think much more about it until I got home. The MH gas tank was 3/4 full when we bought it and have not added any additional gas. Now I'm worried we have old and/or bad gas sitting in the fuel tank that could damage the MH engine. Haven't had any issues with it starting or running so far. Should I be worried? I will also add that the sticker says it was manufactured March 18' and has 1900 miles on it. Assuming the MH was driven from Indiana to Florida in March and even if that same 3/4 tank has been there for the last 45-60 days, is that long enough for it to gunk up? It's just not adding up.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:06 PM   #2
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Winter gasoline blend from up north will have a relatively high Reid vapor pressure to allow the gasoline to vaporize at below zero temperatures. When winter grade gas is exposed to 80+ F ambient temperatures, it soon begins to decompose into volatile (gasoline vapors) and non-volatile components (stinky reddish-blown sludge). Summer gas blend is very different (especially where the EPA mandate low VOCs) and is somewhat more temperature stable. The generally agreed maximum storage time for gasoline 30-45 days. If it is stored longer than that, a fuel stabilizer is recommended. That is one reason it is recommended the generator be run for at least one hour every 30 days so the fuel line is purged of old gasoline.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:39 PM   #3
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On the bright side...
At least you're home where you can sort this out much easier; good luck!
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:03 PM   #4
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If you're on a metropolitan area chances you're/they filled with an ethanol blend gasoline (made from corn) which doesn't store well & smaller type engines that sit for long periods it actually crystallizes like old honey.
My suggestion is for your generator, lawnmower, small engine toys/ATVs to buy "ethanol free" fuel. If not put in some sort of fuel stabilizer if it will be sitting for any length of time or at least every couple tank fills.
If your worried about your mh, go top it off with fresh fuel & add the stabilizer, then 1st chance to get away burn as much of that tank as possible before refueling.
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Old 05-18-2018, 09:44 PM   #5
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Bad Gas at the Generator in a new Motorhome

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Originally Posted by Travelin' Texans View Post
If you're on a metropolitan area chances you're/they filled with an ethanol blend gasoline (made from corn) which doesn't store well & smaller type engines that sit for long periods it actually crystallizes like old honey.
My suggestion is for your generator, lawnmower, small engine toys/ATVs to buy "ethanol free" fuel. If not put in some sort of fuel stabilizer if it will be sitting for any length of time or at least every couple tank fills.
If your worried about your mh, go top it off with fresh fuel & add the stabilizer, then 1st chance to get away burn as much of that tank as possible before refueling.


If you need to deal with this issue of poor starting, my bet is the ethanol in the gas attracts water and water does not burn very well in a motor. If you drained the fuel line, and the fuel filter to the generator, it will probably run fine, The "bad gas" overwhelms a small carb like in the generator, but gets sucked in, in much larger quantities by a thirsty big block ford or gm engine and while it might stumble, if will not cause it to stop unless you pour large quantities of water in the fuel tank. Ethanol in the fuel is the curse of snowmobilers. Since not only does it attract water, but the water freezes at the most iniopportune moment and the snowmobile engine stops. Many snowmobilers in my area run their rigs on ethanol free airplane gas or avgas 100 LL (blue dye) to get around this issue. This is done even though car gas was $1.00 a litre and avgas was $1.65 a litre.

We just burned a couple of tanks of avgas that had sat since May 2012. We drained the fuel, strained it, and then pumped it off the top of the drained fuel back into the airplane tank. It ran just fine. The bottom half inch evaporated from the bucket before we could use it to start a brush fire. With generator issues check 3 things before panicking
1. is there adequate fuel in the main tank,
2. is there adequate oil in the generator
3. is the fuel filter clogged or full of crud
4. is the battery voltage adequate to turn it over fast enough for the magneto to do its job? If not start the RV, then try restarting the generr'

Happy Camping

Rocky near Edmonton Alberta
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:05 AM   #6
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Key to dealing with modern fuel (10% ethanol) is to keep fuel system active. Take your RV out, run it down to 1/4 of a tank and refill. If you are of a mind, use premium.

I run current ethanol fuel pump mix in my race car with no issue. Yes, it absorbs moisture easily but closed systems on newer style vehicles are pretty tight. My racecar has sat close to 2 months with pump premium and no performance loss.

Keep your fuel systems active on both RV and generator, you will have a lot less issues.

I start RV at least once every 2 weeks and generator every 3. Both times no less than 20 minutes, RV with A/C set cold and generator off shore power with A/C on.

I do frequently put premium in RV as it has a tendency to ping under heavy load. Premium alleviates that.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:08 AM   #7
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PS - do not forget to prime generator before start. On mine, I press off till light goes on and count to 20. Fires up a lot quicker.
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Old 05-19-2018, 01:48 AM   #8
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Wow, thanks for all the great advice. We camp at least one weekend a month (Florida) but will plan on running both MH and generator at least every 3 weeks. I also started reading about fuel grades/ethanol effects on both engines and will adjust my strategy accordingly. Thanks again!!
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Old 05-19-2018, 02:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erion68 View Post
Wow, thanks for all the great advice. We camp at least one weekend a month (Florida) but will plan on running both MH and generator at least every 3 weeks. I also started reading about fuel grades/ethanol effects on both engines and will adjust my strategy accordingly. Thanks again!!
I do not suggest using premium fuel ever. The V10 is not engineered for it, nor is the generator. I use StarTron preservative in our rig if it is going to sit too long. If it is starting and running fine, I wouldn't worry about it. Add some fuel and drive it.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:03 AM   #10
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I've used Seafoam for years. I would treat with Seafoam and drive it and run generator.
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Old 05-19-2018, 04:30 AM   #11
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Seafoam gets good reviews from my racing buddies. I put in 2 cans once a year. It helps keep varnish down and injectors clean.

All of the v-10's require a minimum of 87 if I remember correctly. Mine never pings when running without trailer but I am below 13,000 lbs on a chassis rated for 22,000 lbs. Not much of a load so engine is happy. When I am towing, rig is close to 19,000 lbs. which is much higher load percentage. In summer heat at moderate engine speeds it will tend to ping some. Boosting fuel to mid grade or premium alleviates this. I had same issue towing previously with our 2007 Suburban and our 1999 Tahoe in hot weather and used same correction method.

I have replaced pistons with broken ring lands enough times in race motors over the years that I have zero interest in doing same on motorhome. The additional cost of mid grade or premium is negligible to the cost of engine repair/downtime even though I would be doing myself.
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Old 05-19-2018, 06:50 AM   #12
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Running mid grade or premium fuel shouldn't. have any worse effects on the V10 than adding Seafoam or any other injector cleaner type additive.
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Old 05-19-2018, 11:03 AM   #13
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There is no downside to running mid or premium other than cost. The engine does not care what octane is, unless it falls below minimum required.
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