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Old 12-04-2019, 04:52 PM   #1
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Generator Issue

We were on a trip up north and turned our generator on for the first time since we bought our Sunseeker last December. It sputtered and then quit. Tried it again and it would not come on. It has a total of 7 hours on it all from the factory or dealer I am assuming since we bought our RV brand new. Took it to an RV mechanic and he said it needs a new carburetor. Called Forest River and was told they don't warranty it even though the RV is still under the year warranty and Onan amazingly doesn't cover it either. Realize we have never turned it on. Advise? I am very upset about this since it cost $600. I was also told the Onan does not warranty their own generators either.
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Old 12-04-2019, 04:59 PM   #2
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We were on a trip up north and turned our generator on for the first time since we bought our Sunseeker last December. It sputtered and then quit. Tried it again and it would not come on. It has a total of 7 hours on it all from the factory or dealer I am assuming since we bought our RV brand new. Took it to an RV mechanic and he said it needs a new carburetor. Called Forest River and was told they don't warranty it even though the RV is still under the year warranty and Onan amazingly doesn't cover it either. Realize we have never turned it on. Advise? I am very upset about this since it cost $600.
Doesn't need a new carb. Just rebuilt. It is a maintenance issue from not being run on a regular basis. I think it is in you manual.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:13 PM   #3
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[QUOTE=shopinful;2232633]We were on a trip up north and turned our generator on for the first time since we bought our Sunseeker last December. It sputtered and then quit. Tried it again and it would not come on. It has a total of 7 hours on it all from the factory or dealer I am assuming since we bought our RV brand new. Took it to an RV mechanic and he said it needs a new carburetor. Called Forest River and was told they don't warranty it even though the RV is still under the year warranty and Onan amazingly doesn't cover it either. Realize we have never turned it on. Advise? I am very upset about this since it cost $600. I was also told the Onan does not warranty their own generators either.

Is your generator a gas or propane unit? If it is a propane unit the problem would not be due to maintenance. It would/should be a warranty issue.
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Old 12-04-2019, 05:27 PM   #4
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Generator Issue

Not a warranty issue. Carb is gummed up. A friend had same issue since he didnít exercise the generator monthly like I instructed. Rv dealer would not rebuild/ clean it out and he had authorized the replacement before telling me about it. Ended up installing a fuel cut off valve downstream and he now turns off the fuel and lets the motor run itself out.

There are a few videos on YouTube about applying 12v power to the carb solenoid and maybe unsticking it- havenít tried it myself.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:22 PM   #5
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Yep. I had Onan folks out when I was at the Balloon Fiesta because my generator was surging. The tech was an old Onan service center lifer. He tested the carb with 1 lb. liquid propane bottle and determined the issue was too much fuel.

He said he can warranty replace a carb for too much fuel (he had the kid do it and it runs great!), but not enough means it's gummed up and not a warranty issue.

Most shops won't rebuild the carb due to environmental regulations. You have to do it yourself or buy a new one.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:37 PM   #6
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If your Sunseeker is a 2018 and it’s been a year since you bought it but the generator was never ran since, the carb may just be gunked up from sitting so long with fuel in it. I wouldn’t think a new carb is needed, as the mechanic said, but it may need to be cleaned.

Newer model generators have a prime setting on the start switch to get fuel up to the carb before cranking the engine. If that switch is present, push it for 15 seconds or so before attempting generator start.

Onan generators are notorious for having fuel pumps go bad. Fuel pump can be verified by removing fuel line at carb, energizing the pump, and checking for adequate flow through the hose to the carb.

Also be aware that you need to be above about 1/4 tank of fuel in the truck or the generator will not run.

Lastly, if you ever get it fixed, I suggest installing a fuel shut-off valve at the generator. That way when you are done with an outing, you can shut off fuel and run the generator engine until the carb runs dry and the engine dies, so it won’t gunk up during storage.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:40 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by shopinful View Post
We were on a trip up north and turned our generator on for the first time since we bought our Sunseeker last December. It sputtered and then quit. Tried it again and it would not come on. It has a total of 7 hours on it all from the factory or dealer I am assuming since we bought our RV brand new. Took it to an RV mechanic and he said it needs a new carburetor. Called Forest River and was told they don't warranty it even though the RV is still under the year warranty and Onan amazingly doesn't cover it either. Realize we have never turned it on. Advise? I am very upset about this since it cost $600. I was also told the Onan does not warranty their own generators either.

ALL generators including should be run at least monthly for an hour. Portables should have Stabil in the gas and if possible shut fuel off and allow generator to quit by running the carb. bowl out of gas. No gas in the bowl = no gunk or stuck needle valve.

That should also include fuel injected models. Left over gas in the fuel injector can gum up.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:00 PM   #8
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Absolutely the most common complaint on power equipment/motorcycles that don't get regular use.

If the carb. is easy to access, AND the float bowl has a drain, try draining the old fuel out. Then refill with fresh premium fuel (it usually has more cleaning additives) and let it sit overnight with the new fuel in it. Try to start it. Do this a few times and see if you can finally get it to run. If so, just run it every few days with fresh gas until it starts and runs smoothly. Then either install a gas cut-off valve as already mentioned, or drain the carb. for storage.
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Old 12-05-2019, 12:49 PM   #9
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If your Sunseeker is a 2018 and itís been a year since you bought it but the generator was never ran since, the carb may just be gunked up from sitting so long with fuel in it. I wouldnít think a new carb is needed, as the mechanic said, but it may need to be cleaned.

Newer model generators have a prime setting on the start switch to get fuel up to the carb before cranking the engine. If that switch is present, push it for 15 seconds or so before attempting generator start.

Onan generators are notorious for having fuel pumps go bad. Fuel pump can be verified by removing fuel line at carb, energizing the pump, and checking for adequate flow through the hose to the carb.

Also be aware that you need to be above about 1/4 tank of fuel in the truck or the generator will not run.

Lastly, if you ever get it fixed, I suggest installing a fuel shut-off valve at the generator. That way when you are done with an outing, you can shut off fuel and run the generator engine until the carb runs dry and the engine dies, so it wonít gunk up during storage.
The things we learn when something goes bad. Since we never had reason to use the generator we didn't realize nor were we told that we needed to run it on a regular basis no matter what. The mechanic told us he would put a shut off valve on the new one for us so that we could run dry after use. I don't know why the manufacturer doesn't do this??? Would make sense. My next call is to the dealer. I don't think it will do any good but will make me feel better.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:05 PM   #10
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The things we learn when something goes bad. Since we never had reason to use the generator we didn't realize nor were we told that we needed to run it on a regular basis no matter what. The mechanic told us he would put a shut off valve on the new one for us so that we could run dry after use. I don't know why the manufacturer doesn't do this??? Would make sense. My next call is to the dealer. I don't think it will do any good but will make me feel better.
As long as the fuel shut off valve is used and the carburetor is run out of fuel after the last use, I see no need to start it and run it periodically. It will be fine, as long as the carb is empty, until the next time you actually need to use the generator. Opinions vary on this, but I believe starting engines occasionally just for the sake of running them during storage or periods of non use probably does no good. Some traces of fuel will remain in the carb even after the engine is starved and dies. That little remaining fuel will dry up and leave some residue. If you do the start up and starve process, say monthly, youíre just replenishing that fuel and causing more build up.
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Old 12-05-2019, 01:57 PM   #11
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Before you go have the carb replaced, drain the the gas if you can then the float bowl. Add a few gallons of new gas and some sea foam (big box store or lawn equip store)and try it. It may or may not work, but is worth a try.
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Old 12-05-2019, 02:30 PM   #12
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Before you go have the carb replaced, drain the the gas if you can then the float bowl. Add a few gallons of new gas and some sea foam (big box store or lawn equip store)and try it. It may or may not work, but is worth a try.
In the case of the OP’s generator, the gas is coming from the 55 gallon tank on the Ford chassis. If they just drove the motorhome any great distance and purchased gas a few times , the gas should be fresh.

To get some Seafoam through the generator in any effective concentration would require rigging a temporary fuel source to the generator. I have done this, but it requires more effort on a motorhome generator vs a standalone generator.
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:01 PM   #13
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Thanks for the advice
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:04 PM   #14
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I get it now. But since we never used we didn’t think that a non used part would need turned on just like other appliances. I would guess if it was something this important it would have been a red flag for the dealership to let us know being brand new RV owners. My call tomorrow will be to the dealership but I am not expecting much
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Old 12-05-2019, 06:13 PM   #15
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Yes it appears that is the case. Since we never used it we expected it would be brand new and would not have an issue inside of bad gas. The new carburetor will have a stop plug on it per the mechanic.
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