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Post Info TOPIC: How long can I run my generator before needing to shut it down?


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How long can I run my generator before needing to shut it down?


How long can I safely run my Onan generator or a '08 Winnie Vista before needing to shut it down?  I've run it as long as 48 hours continuously.

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Assuming it doesn’t overheat due to ambient temperature, the real limiting factor is the oil level.  Many generators manufactures (Onan for one) recommend checking the oil “daily.”  However, if you have run it 48 hours and it has not shut down due to low oil levels, then you probably just fine for that length of continuous operation. 

How much oil the generator uses depends on a lot of factors not the least of which is the age of the generator.  But once you have a good track on the oil consumption, or lack thereof, then you should be safe in running it more or less as much as you want consistent with changing the oil and filter per the maintenance manual recommendations and other routine maintenance requirements.

BTW, I wouldn’t depend on this "low oil" protection feature, but most “RV” Onan’s will shut down if the oil level gets too low.  But I wouldn't suggest using this feature to determine when the unit needs more oil.

That’s my experience using “RV” type generators in commercial service as well as the one my 5’er.

Bill



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Bill & Linda
2014 New Horizons Majestic F37RLTSS 96

2012 Chevy 3500HD Duramax-Allison \ 4-Wheel Drive \ Air Ride
Classy Chassis RV Hauler Bed Conversion \ Aux Fuel Tank 



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I'll make sure to keep an eye on the oil level. Recommendations on the type and weight we should use?

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breckrider wrote:

I'll make sure to keep an eye on the oil level. Recommendations on the type and weight we should use?



It should say in your manual – but assuming it is an Onan and you’re operating in more or less “normal” temperatures, I use 15-40 Shell Rotella, which is way over kill. But it is the same as used in my diesel truck and therefore, I only have to carry one type of oil.

You can get the filters at NAPA.  I change the filter when I change the oil.

I do recommend you spend some reading time in the manual just to make sure you’re following the manufacture’s recommendations.  My Dad always told me, “If everything else fails, read the directions.”  That was good advice from a sage of a man.

Safe travels

Bill


 



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Bill & Linda
2014 New Horizons Majestic F37RLTSS 96

2012 Chevy 3500HD Duramax-Allison \ 4-Wheel Drive \ Air Ride
Classy Chassis RV Hauler Bed Conversion \ Aux Fuel Tank 



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Found the manual buried in other papers. Will do some bedtime reading. We're about to spend a week at the beach in Pensacola and while I don't think we'll run it all the time I do want to make sure we have it when we need it. I'm hoping the nights will be pleasant enough that we won't need it but the days will be warm enough that when we're not down by the water we'll probably need to crank it.

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Most campgrounds have quiet hours between 10 PM and 7-8 in the morning.

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Fred Wishnie

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“If all you ever do is all you’ve ever done, then all you’ll ever get is all you ever got.”


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Hey Fred. We won't be in an RV park. Just a big parking lot right next to the beach. And usually, there is only one maybe two other RV's there.

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I know people who run their generators the entire time they are at a Nascar track, which might be a week.

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Bill Joyce,
40' 2004 Dutch Star DP towing a 2012 Chevy Equinox
Journal at http://www.sacnoth.com
Full-timing since July 2003



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Good to know

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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During the hurricanes we ran my MH generator 24/7 to keep things going in my house, and the fridges in houses on each side of me, for several days.
But we did shut it down every morning, when it was cooler, to check the oil and put more gas in the MH gas tank. (When we could find any!)

Also we have boondocked on the beach, in the TX summer sun, and run it the same way.   As long as you take care of it, that is what it is for!
Happy Trails, Penny, TX

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Don't drink and drive, ever.
I loved my dog, he was not motivated by money !!
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Thanks Penny. I feel better now about running it.

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Well, the generator performed like a champ until the starter went out. Had to call a mobile mechanic out to the beach to put in a new one. I'm curious...what would cause one to break suddenly?

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Well, it depends on exactly what broke in the motor. J  But just a guess, nothing more without more information – low battery voltage or a bad 12 volt connection to the generator from the battery.

The starter is 12 volts.  When voltage is “low” (bad connections act as a resistor) it requires more current to make the same “power.”  More current (i.e, higher current) “could” damage the windings in the electric starter motor.

As I said, just a guess without more info.  Sorry about that.

What did the repair guy say?

Safe travels

Bill



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Bill & Linda
2014 New Horizons Majestic F37RLTSS 96

2012 Chevy 3500HD Duramax-Allison \ 4-Wheel Drive \ Air Ride
Classy Chassis RV Hauler Bed Conversion \ Aux Fuel Tank 



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He didn't say anything about why he thought it broke.

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RV-Dreams Community Member

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This will be in your manual but assuming its an Onan and more or less at normal temperatures, use Shell Rotella 15-40, which is far more deaths. But it is the same as that used in my diesel truck and, therefore, the only thing you can do is to use a type of oil.

-- Edited by danielhenry31 on Tuesday 29th of June 2010 01:42:38 AM

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