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Old 11-20-2020, 02:46 PM   #1
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Model: Axis 25.3
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THOR #20290
Generator maintenance --- WWYD?

Had the MH in for its pre-storage maintenance (engine oil change, generator check, etc). We had been having some "minor" problems with the generator from day 1 - pulsing when trying to charge house batteries (wrote that off to eventual dead batteries), being difficult to start without priming first (thought maybe some bad fuel...) with the service needed light coming on at < 15 hours of use.

Anyhow, our trusty mechanic said the generator carburetor was pretty badly corroded. He said it's a very common problem now that most gas contains at least a small amount of ethanol. We had him replace the carb (ca-ching, ca-ching $$$ but wanted to be ready to go in the early spring)

One solution is to use premium fuel, but that brings other problems and he did not recommend doing so (and RV dealer had also warned us not to on initial inspection). Other solution is to add some gas stabilizer every time we fuel up and store the rig with a full fuel tank. Easy enough (we do store with a full tank, but haven't used additives in the past). He did not have a particular brand to recommend but said Stabil is pretty widely used. (We've used that brand in other small engines, chain saw mix, etc so are familiar with it.) He actually mentioned using the marine additive.

Our mechanic is not specifically an RV mechanic (for that we'd have to go 250+ miles down state). He's a large truck and farm equipment guy, but has a whole lot full of big RVs on his lot as well. Very well respected in the area and we've had years of good service from him on big farm items.

Comments, experiences, suggestions...Any product you have found particularly good and cost effective? TIA
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Old 11-20-2020, 02:57 PM   #2
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Fill gas tank add sta bil MARINE, drive a couple of miles with generator running ,and ac on for load, that gets stabil through engine and generator fuel system, did this with different motor homes over the years and never had a problem. Now we're fulltime so save money not buying sta-bil every winter
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Old 11-20-2020, 03:14 PM   #3
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^^^^^^^^^^That. In our gasser and boat, we add Stability before storage every year. Never a problem.
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Old 11-20-2020, 03:33 PM   #4
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Ethanol fuel is issue with any engine that sits. The single best defence both corrosion and fuel seperation is use. We are in Florida so our gas RV is at house plugged in. We are in 5th year and never let RV and generator sit idle more than 2 weeks st a time. Even in cooler weather will run generator for 30 to 45 minutes to cycle new fuel into float bowl. Onan only has 480 hours on it. We have Champion on race car trailer that is likely over 5000 hours. It will run from time we get track till we leave other than refuel and oil check. I pulled bowl a month ago, bowl haf no rust.

I even run pump premium in racecar without issue brcause it rarely sits. Carb corrision on butyerflird is issue there.
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Old 11-20-2020, 03:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVwife View Post
Our mechanic is not specifically an RV mechanic (for that we'd have to go 250+ miles down state). He's a large truck and farm equipment guy, but has a whole lot full of big RVs on his lot as well. Very well respected in the area and we've had years of good service from him on big farm items.

Comments, experiences, suggestions...Any product you have found particularly good and cost effective? TIA
Sta-Bil is an excellent product, but be aware there are three categories of the product. Blue Marine 360 Sta-Bil what you need for the 80 gallon RV fuel tank. Just one oz per gallon of fuel. Any time a gasoline vehicle sits for a couple weeks or more you need to treat the gasoline. I have used it for 20 years in my classic vehicles, in including my 1968 UltraVan class A RV. Using Gold Eagle Sta-Bil does not eliminate the need to exercise your generator frequently.
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Old 11-20-2020, 04:32 PM   #6
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Throw another vote on the Sta-bil Marine pile from me.
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Old 11-20-2020, 05:41 PM   #7
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Adding a fuel stabilizer to your chassis tank before winter storage and running the generator long enough to pull the stabilized gasoline into the generator is a good idea.

When I get my on order Axis 24.1 this winter, I am going to look into draining the carburetor. That has prevented the problem on my lawnmowers, outboard motors and Honda generator.

The best solution is the new EFI inverter generator that Onan has just come out with. That keeps the fuel system sealed and won't let air and moisture in. Cars haven't really had this problem for the last 10+ years as all newer ones have EFI engines.

David
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Old 11-20-2020, 05:56 PM   #8
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I use a product called star tron which is basically a marine additive to address the ethanol issues.
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Adding a fuel stabilizer to your chassis tank before winter storage and running the generator long enough to pull the stabilized gasoline into the generator is a good idea.

When I get my on order Axis 24.1 this winter, I am going to look into draining the carburetor. That has prevented the problem on my lawnmowers, outboard motors and Honda generator.

The best solution is the new EFI inverter generator that Onan has just come out with. That keeps the fuel system sealed and won't let air and moisture in. Cars haven't really had this problem for the last 10+ years as all newer ones have EFI engines.

David
I've tried draining the carbs on everything from string trimmers to ATVs...
Every once in a while: I'd have a seal dry out and start leaking.
So I started using fuel stabilizers, and that problem ended...
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Old 11-20-2020, 06:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
The best solution is the new EFI inverter generator that Onan has just come out with. That keeps the fuel system sealed and won't let air and moisture in. Cars haven't really had this problem for the last 10+ years as all newer ones have EFI engines. David
Onan has several EFI gasoline generators for sale for the last 5 years. The problem is they are $1,000 more than the carburetor versions.
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Old 11-20-2020, 07:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I've tried draining the carbs on everything from string trimmers to ATVs...
Every once in a while: I'd have a seal dry out and start leaking.
So I started using fuel stabilizers, and that problem ended...
Before draining the carb, remove the air filter and squirt WD40 in the carb as you crank the engine. That should prevent any seals from drying out.

David
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Old 11-20-2020, 07:27 PM   #12
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As long as it's working for you...
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:07 PM   #13
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I use Sta-Bil 360 if I know I will be storing for more than a month and always fill up on the way to my storage lot. I have come to believe that the only “secret” to keeping the generator happy is to run it often. At LEAST monthly for an hour under load and every two weeks is better. I used to have to prime a lot and crank a lot and thought that’s just the nature of the beast. Lately, with my more frequent exercise, it just starts right up about like a car engine. I don’t understand why there might be any drawback to using premium gas save for the extra expense. If I could afford it I’d use pure gas (ethanol free) - which seems to be becoming more readily available (hurray!). I used it in my vintage vehicles and always in my small engines and mopeds. I like it a lot.
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Old 11-23-2020, 12:45 PM   #14
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I have been using Stabil Storage (red) in all my engines stored over the winter for a long time. It is readily available around here and I never looked for anything else because it always seemed to work well. When I saw all the people that used Stabil 360 Marine (I don’t recall ever seeing this product on a store shelf but I never looked for it either) it prompted me to do a little research. The following info comes from what appears to be the manufacturer’s website (goldeagle.com) It looks like the main advantage to the red product is that it is good for 2 years while the others are only good for 1 year, but the major disadvantage is that the red costs almost twice as much per gallon of fuel treated. Since I never store an engine for longer than 6-7 months (Michigan winter) it would seem the Marine product does what I need it to do and is more cost effective for me. I will be looking for it the next time I purchase fuel stabilizer.

Stabil Storage (red) $7.99 for 10 ounces, one ounce treats 2.5 gallons ($0.32/gallon of fuel treated)
• America’s #1 Fuel Stabilizer Treatment
• Keeps fuel fresh for long term storage – up to 24 months
• Eliminates the need to drain fuel prior to storage
• Ensures quick easy starts after storage by preventing gum and varnish build up*
• Effective in all gasoline, including Ethanol and Non-Ethanol
• For all gasoline engines, including 2-Cycle. Use in your vehicles, motorcycles, small engines, generators, boats

Stabil 360 Protection (gold) $8.99 for 10 ounce one ounce treats 5 gallons (($0.18/gallon of fuel treated)
• America’s #1 Ethanol Treatment
• Use STA-BIL 360 Protection at every fill-up
• Keeps fuel fresh for up to 12 months
• STA-BIL 360 Protection cleans the fuel system to increase power and fuel efficiency
• Prevents corrosion caused by moisture and today’s ethanol blended fuels
• For all gasoline engines, including 2-Cycle. Use in your vehicles, outdoor power equipment, motorcycles and other small engine vehicles, etc.
• Ultimate treatment and protection against Ethanol blended fuels, Non-Ethanol Fuels & condensation

Stabil 360 Marine (blue) $15.99 for 10 ounce, one ounce treats 10 gallons ($0.16/gallon of fuel treated)
• America’s most trusted fuel additive brand
• Engineered to combat the effects of harsh marine climates
• Ultimate defense against the harmful effects of ethanol blended fuels
• Industry leading water removal properties
• Cleans the fuel system and ensures your engine is operating at peak performance
• Keeps fuel fresh for up to 12 months
• Ideal for boats, jet ski’s and other watersport engines
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Old 11-23-2020, 03:23 PM   #15
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32 oz for for $8. One bottle for my 80 gal tank

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000B68V6I...ing=UTF8&psc=1


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Old 11-23-2020, 03:28 PM   #16
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32 oz for for $8. One bottle for my 80 gal tank

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000B68V6I...ing=UTF8&psc=1


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I was just listing the product price shown on the mfg's website to get a fair comparison, not shopping for the best deal.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:19 AM   #17
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Thanks all for the advice, and vibeman, for the cost analysis.

The beast went into the barn today, just before the snow and slush arrived.

We did put Stabil 360 Marine in the tank and gave the generator a little workout prior to storage. Hopefully she will be ready to run come spring. DH will make sure the generator gets run regularly during the winter.
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Old 11-25-2020, 01:26 AM   #18
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Wish I'd read this thread a month ago....
Genny (4K Onan) would not start for a routine exercise prior to going in for winterizing last week. "Thought" it might be a critter chewed wire, as I was having starting issues with vehicle parked right beside it.

Lo and behold, just got estimate for $1k to replace carb on the generator.

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Old 11-25-2020, 03:08 AM   #19
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I use stabil in all my vehicles and power equipment. It is a cheap preventative. Wouldn't it be nice if we didn't turn food products into fuel products and thereby wouldn't need fuel stabilizers?
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Old 11-25-2020, 10:52 AM   #20
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Wish I'd read this thread a month ago....
Genny (4K Onan) would not start for a routine exercise prior to going in for winterizing last week. "Thought" it might be a critter chewed wire, as I was having starting issues with vehicle parked right beside it.

Lo and behold, just got estimate for $1k to replace carb on the generator.

I have no idea of your mechanical skills so maybe this won't apply to you, but if the cause of your starting problem is that the carburetor and associated filters, lines, etc are gummed up from disuse then the carburetor probably needs to be disassembled and cleaned thoroughly, not really replaced. I would think you could do it yourself or find someone capable of doing it for you for significantly less than $1000. Sometimes only a partial disassembly and cleaning is all that is needed.
Not that I need the money, but if someone offered me $500 to remove, disassemble, clean, reassemble, and install a carburetor on a small engine I would jump at it.
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