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My RV's Generator Is Not Getting Fuel

by David Apperson
(Spotsylvania, VA)

I have 2004 Winnebago Brave with and ONAN 5500 Generator on-board. The fuel pickup from the Chassis does not pump fuel.

I connected an external boat tank to the pump and the generator runs great. Is there a filter in the tank that could be clogged or is the pickup tube bad?

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ANSWER: Hi David thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

First, the good news in all of this is that you verified that your generator is actually working.

I am pretty sure that the fuel feed problem is not going to end up being the fuel pickup in the tank. Listed below are a few of the things you should check that most commonly cause fuel not to get to the generator.

* First verify that your motorhome has more than a 1/4 tank of fuel. If you have a 1/4 tank or less of fuel your generator will no longer be able to get gas from the gas tank. This is a built-in feature on most motorhomes to prevent the generator from using all of the RV's available fuel. This way you will always have enough fuel to get to a filling station. (By the way, this is the most common cause of this problem). Just add fuel to the tank and try
starting the generator again.

* Your model Onan Generator (pictured at the top of this page) may have two fuel filters. One underneath the carburetor which you may or may not have because it has since been replaced by an adapter due to this filter leaking fuel into the generator compartment. The second filter should be on the fuel line leading to the fuel pump.

I cannot tell you for sure if there are any other in-line fuel filters or not you are going to have to inspect the fuel line leading from the tank for additional filters.

* While you are inspecting the fuel line for additional inline fuel filters you should also closely inspect the fuel line for any cracks or leaks. Cracks or leaks in the fuel line will not allow the fuel pump to create enough suction to move the fuel from the fuel tank. Replace the fuel line as needed.

Again the items above are the most common cause of the fuel feed problem you are experiencing.

I hope this helps.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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Comments for My RV's Generator Is Not Getting Fuel

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Lack of fuel to generator
by: Steve

Broke down on the road .Had my mh towed to repair shop.Had bad fuel pump replaced.Engine runs great after 700 miles but generator won t start. I am thinking they may have not hooked up fuel line for generator or it takes a long time to prime pump
Any thoughts?

Generator new sepatate fuel tank
by: Joe Roberts

Wonder why Manufacturers don’t add a separate Gas tank for RV Generators I just put a 15-gallon Aluminum tank on my Safari Simba in a compartment in front of the Generator at half power it will run over 20 hours it's easier to get to with a fuel problem the Tanks on a Motor home will run out when the tank gets down to 3/8s of a tank of gas if you are boondocking this is a good idea, I know some will say keep a watch on your gauge on your Motorhome fuel system if you own a Fifth-wheel and add a generator you will have to put a fuel tank on it think about this

Genset won't start
by: DBond

Thought I'd share my experience. Just bought 97 Chinook, PO said mechanic replaced fuel pump and filter and now had good fuel flow. After many hours of frustration checking carb, spark, wiring, I revisited the fuel system. Found pump was not pulling fuel at all. I can make it run with a hose to a can. Dropping the tank today and inspecting fuel pickup and replacing hose.

Generator runs on can but not tank
by: Jim

I have a 1989 Winnebago Chieftain. My generator runs fine on gas can but not fuel tank. The previous owner had the same issue. I just replaced the generator fuel line but the fuel line doesn't appear to go directly to the fuel tank. It went to a T fitting inside the frame just in front of the tank. It's too hard to see where those lines go. I think it's the supply line to the engine. Also, I don't see a filter for the generator fuel line. I show 1/2 tank of fuel and the gauge seemed to be accurate last summer. Any ideas appreciated.

Generator Not getting fuel
by: Ray

We had our pump replaced for the motor in Montana. Since then the generator does not get fuel.where does the line from the generator connect to the tank.Because it does not connect to the pump?

generator not getting gas
by: gary

insure that there is gas in the tank, does the r v motor start, if it will start and the generator will not start check for cracks in the gas line, make sure the fuel pump is working . remove gas line from gas tank and run the line into another gas tank, if the generator starts your gas lines from gas tank on rv need to be replaced, if it will look at the pump on the generator. in my case i found the gas tube that is within the gas tank had fell off so the generator only got gas when the gas tank was 100 percent filled.
hope that helped

fuel tank level
by: Anonymous

* First verify that your motorhome has more than a 1/4 tank of fuel. If you have a 1/4 tank or less of fuel your generator will no longer be able to get gas from the gas tank

I have a 1990 Fleetwood Southwind with (I Think) 60 gallon gas tank and a conan generator also. If I can see my clear fuel filter at the generator has "NO GAS" in it, will that possibly mean it also does not have enough gas in the tank (1\4 tank full). I bought the motor home used and had it towed to my house. so i dont know how much gas was in it. the gas hand does not work. and before I added gas to the tank, I beat on the bottom of it and it sounded bone dry (hollow echo sound), I have put (4) 5 gallon can fulls of gas in it and it still wont show any gas up at my conan generator, in the clear fuel filter. It also does not pump gas to the TBI injection on the 454 chevy motor.
Please help me.
Edward Sherrod

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