I would like to start off with a quick plug to our RVing friends Ruth and Kevin. Their blog is at:
Last week when Steve went to start up the generator for a little exercise (plus he wanted to run our vacuum cleaner to do the lower compartment carpeting) it started up with big roar and a backfire BANG! What was up with that? The dogs almost went through the roof!
We shut it down immediately and went out to investigate. Yikes! It blew the back off the rusty muffler----- time for a replacement! Plus, Steve looked at the throttle linkage again which needed more lubricant. It had hung up once in Janauary and he lubed it then, but it was still a little sticky. That is probably what caused the backfire.
Steve called around to various places to see about getting a new muffler, and explored the internet to see if he could find one cheaper. Amazingly, the cheapest place he found, was right from the Onan / Cummins place in DePere, WI (just south of Green Bay)
$77.76 with tax
part number 542-0472 RV exhaust kit Emerald LP Generator
It was a muffler, a hanger bracket, a manifold connector, and 2 clamps and bolts and a gasket
He had to drill out the broken off bolts.... Once he got it off, he used a tap and re-tapped the threads of the two holes. These photos are from looking up from underneath the rig. When he attached the new manifold adapter and gasket, he felt the two bolts just screwed into the new threads might not be enough. There is a lot of vibration on a generator--- (flashback to last summer when oil was pouring out of ours... seems the filter had vibrated loose and oil was leaking out all over)
In this case, Steve decided to use longer bolts, lock washers and locking nuts on the top end of the bolts where his fingers could barely get up on the top side of the flange. But now it is more secure and won't rattle loose (we hope)
This is looking up from the ground to where he attached the manifold adaptor
Next comes the muffler itself. It came with a hanging bracket and muffler clamps. Don't you just LOVE new metal pretty shiny parts????
We set it up into place, clamped on the hanging bracket to where the old one was attached and then added the muffler clamp around the manifold adapter. It was a really snug fit and we are sure it's nice and tight. Last step yet to go, he has to attach a tail pipe. (a section of conduit piping will work just fine) but he has to go buy it today as he was not sure of the length and diameter needed until I brought home the muffler.
Once it was all in place, we started up the generator, with no backfires and no stuck linkage. Wheeeeee!!!! It was very quiet again.
Our generator is a propane generator and very quiet during operation. Located at the back of our motorhome, when running, as you walk to the front of the rig, you can barely hear it running.
A mention here on generator use when camping. We normally camp in the rustic National Forest Campgrounds without any electric hookups. It's fine for us, because we are solared up and have four big batteries to store our power.
We hate being parked next to someone with a noisy generator, especially those new cheap little yellow ones everyone seems to buy-- they are VERY noisy! The Honda red ones are nice and quiet.
We rarely use ours while actually camping in a campsite.. But we do try to exercise it under load monthly, to keep it in running shape. A few years ago, we had to have the rotor rebuilt because we were not using it often enough. I think we have used ours more while driving down the road, with it running the rooftop air conditioner when we travel on very hot days. It helps assist the dash air when sunlight is pouring in the big front windows and it's 95 and sweltering hot outside.
If we do fire it up when camping, we first notify the people around us before doing so. We offer that if they have anything that needs charging up, come on over and plug it in! We have charged up people's boat batteries, video cameras, cell phones and one time even a tenting gal was ECSTATIC to be able to come over and plug in her curling iron!!!! She plugged it into our exterior 110v outlet, sat in a lawn chair with her little mirror and comb and brush and spiffied up her coiffure. It's a big generator that produces 6000+ watts of power at full load so we can easily share the power.
We try to prevent running it in the early morning or late evening hours. Nothing can ruin an early morning "coffee sipping, bird watching, sun rising experience" than hearing someone fire up their generator! ACK! So, please, think of others around you when you run your generator.
Okay.. back to our generator work---- once the oil was warmed up, it was time for an oil and filter change. We do it every spring, even though we have only put on about 61 hours since last spring when it was done. Yes, we only have 391 hours on our generator.
First, we set a bucket underneath by the drain. We write it on the filter with a permanent marker at what hours of usage we are at each time we change it.
Steve unscrewed the petcock to let the old oil drain out into the bucket... It starts running out, but also carefully opening the top fill cap lets it run out even faster. We are careful to not let anything get into the opening, so we replace the cap quickly as soon as the stream into the bucket slows down.
Looks pretty good...
and once it's all out, time to unscrew the filter.
It's the same "secret special tool" that is used to remove injectors
after sitting 4 days on a corner in Winslow, Arizona----
for more information--- see the blog at:
Added the new oil --- here are the specs and part numbers:
3 QUARTS 30 WT filter number WIX 51762 or 122--0800 ONAN
Oil change all done, and new muffler almost all done. Tonight we will put on the tailpipe and clean the air filter.... that will finish up that job.
Oh my, while writing this, Fed Ex came to the door! Wheee heeeeee !!!!
King Controls makes a wonderful new replacement antenna head called a Jack Antenna
http://www.kingcontrols.com/jack It goes in place of the old batwing type antenna.
here is a blog post from the day we first put it on, two years ago.
Like I said, ours is almost 2 years old, but it just took a crap a few weeks ago. It's a powered antenna with a control board inside that seems to not work anymore. We could see rust inside on the electronics from moisture. We contacted King Controls and they sent us a new one, free!!!! They have since improved the seal around the edges to tighten it up and not allow moisture intrusion.
This will be one more project to finish up tonight on the motorhome...
because camping season is almost here!
P.S. the house goes on the market next week--- keep your fingers crossed!