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Old 07-04-2018, 09:09 AM   #1
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Generator overheats

Our generator overheats while in our camper.. Our service guy said it works fine when he runs it out of the camper. Has anyone had this problem?
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:24 AM   #2
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We have had friends who had this problem here in the hot Southwest. They would leave the access door open and also placed a small fan in the compartment.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:26 AM   #3
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Are you driving or camping when it does this?
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:32 AM   #4
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Onan? I used many of these in TV Live Eye trucks. They all overheated even in Canadian Winters. I would recommend adding vents and large 11 inch turbo muffin fan mounted in the door.. This will pull the heat out of the enclosure.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:18 AM   #5
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Back in our ATV racing days, we would run the Onan from mid-Saturday until time to go home late Sunday. Often times, it was well in the upper 90s, wicked humidity, and two ACs running non-stop. The generator ran fine the whole weekend.

Why I say this? The door stayed closed the whole time. We were told it was designed that way and if left open, cooling could actually be hindered. Just my .02.

But running a fan underneath sounds like a good idea. We used to do that sometimes when ground clearance was really low underneath the Onan. Fumes would get into the camper so the fan blew them away.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:22 AM   #6
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Thank you for your .02. Ours is fully enclosed with insulation all around. Just wondered if anyone else has this problem, our XLR is a 2015.
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Old 07-04-2018, 11:29 AM   #7
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Thank you for your .02. Ours is fully enclosed with insulation all around. Just wondered if anyone else has this problem, our XLR is a 2015.
The insulation was added for sound damping but the unintended consequence is fewer ways for heat to dissipate from the compartment.

If it were mine I'd install a fan that would exhaust air from the compartment and then add grilles at the opposite end that allow fresh and hopefully cooler air to enter. If the Generator is designed to exhaust air outside the compartment you may just need to add some venting to allow more air to enter and place them so any air coming in "sweeps" the compartment rather just a quick in/out.

Think of it like putting a box fan in your houses window blowing out and then opening windows on the cool side to bring in air.
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Old 07-05-2018, 09:51 AM   #8
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So when I bought my XLR, I also got the Onan 5.5 generator. The one that originally came with it would start, run and then shut down. Only code would be service engine. So I would not sign the deal until it was operational. Dealer ended up swapping the generator with another one. All was good. One thing I did notice was when they had the new generator running, they had the bay door open. When it was time to hook the 5er to the truck the owner went to close the door and noticed that their was a hard plastic sheet covering the vent holes on the door. He removed the sheet of plastic and thousands of vent holes were now able to pull air. Makes me wonder if that was the issue all along? I haven't had any issue since the swap and the vents were uncovered.
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:13 AM   #9
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My 18 29XLR had this issue. It was caused by a poor install. If I leave the exterior access door open it runs fine. I do run it only with the exterior door open. If it was closed, it would fault in roughly 20 minutes. It needs the ventilation to not go in to a fault code in roughly twenty minutes. To fix it properly. On the underside, the exhaust area of the unit was left open by forest river during assembly. That open area with the intake directly next to it creates a vortex and the intake side begins to pull that hot air in to the intake, causing the shut down and code. The intake side is the one with the oil filter and fuel filter exposed. Install a panel over that exposed exhaust area on the underside of your unit. Also, make sure the unused exhaust ports on the bottom of the unit inside the compartment are sealed. Ours was missing a few of those seals as well. I just fabbed up a piece of sheet metal and used hvac aluminum duct tape. Those things solved our issue. If it hadnt I was going to fab up an intake scoop that would fit over the intake side but would have the actual intake opening 6 below the actual deck of the floor or the unit. Basically pulling the air from below the rv and not the cavity between the rails of the actual rv. I would not run our unit without the door open ever again. Its 100 plus here and it needs the air circulation. Best of luck.
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:09 AM   #10
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My 18 29XLR had this issue. It was caused by a poor install. If I leave the exterior access door open it runs fine. I do run it only with the exterior door open. If it was closed, it would fault in roughly 20 minutes. It needs the ventilation to not go in to a fault code in roughly twenty minutes. To fix it properly. On the underside, the exhaust area of the unit was left open by forest river during assembly. That open area with the intake directly next to it creates a vortex and the intake side begins to pull that hot air in to the intake, causing the shut down and code. The intake side is the one with the oil filter and fuel filter exposed. Install a panel over that exposed exhaust area on the underside of your unit. Also, make sure the unused exhaust ports on the bottom of the unit inside the compartment are sealed. Ours was missing a few of those seals as well. I just fabbed up a piece of sheet metal and used hvac aluminum duct tape. Those things solved our issue. If it hadnt I was going to fab up an intake scoop that would fit over the intake side but would have the actual intake opening 6 below the actual deck of the floor or the unit. Basically pulling the air from below the rv and not the cavity between the rails of the actual rv. I would not run our unit without the door open ever again. Its 100 plus here and it needs the air circulation. Best of luck.
I haven't had any issues since they replaced my generator and removed the vent shield. 40 Miles out from a campsite, I fire mine up and get the AC's cooling, generator hasn't failed once.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:52 AM   #11
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I haven't had any issues since they replaced my generator and removed the vent shield. 40 Miles out from a campsite, I fire mine up and get the AC's cooling, generator hasn't failed once.
Thats good it solved your problem. What kind of outside temps do you usually see? Its fairly common here due to the heat. The elevation doesnt help either. I think its really tied to who does the install at the factory. I actually think plugging the extra ports they left open and the door open would have solved it. I capped the bottom to make sure. I will say I fully expected to address somw issues with our new rv. The build quality and attention to detail is lacking for sure in this industry as far as manufacturing goes.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:58 AM   #12
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Thats good it solved your problem. What kind of outside temps do you usually see? Its fairly common here due to the heat. The elevation doesnt help either. I think its really tied to who does the install at the factory. I actually think plugging the extra ports they left open and the door open would have solved it. I capped the bottom to make sure. I will say I fully expected to address somw issues with our new rv. The build quality and attention to detail is lacking for sure in this industry as far as manufacturing goes.
I live in South Western Oklahoma. The few times I have traveled with the Generator running, it was over 100 Degrees outside. I often go over to my storage area and piddle, I start the Gen for power and run it for 2 hrs at a time with outdoor temps between 90-100. I would tend to believe your issues may be Altitude related. I also read stories about Cummins Generators vapor locking.
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