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Mark My Phrases November – Storage Points, Tank Displays and a Troublesome Air Conditioner

Mark My Words - Easy Fixes to Common RV Problems - Mark NemethHello People. Some attention-grabbing questions this month, coping with storage points, tank screens, batteries, and a difficult air conditioner. Have a fantastic Thanksgiving, and keep in mind to ship your RVing inquiries to

Hiya, Mark

I’ve a Pleasureway Lexor TS and am having a long-term downside inflicting generator shutdown when working the A/C with the generator (Onan 2.8K). The present spikes when utilizing the A/C with the generator inflicting the shutdown; nevertheless, the generator performs positive with the opposite home equipment. The generator was serviced by Cummins/Onan they usually changed the condenser however said that the present spiking was an A/C downside. I had diagnostics carried out on the A/C, when related to shore energy it ran at 10.6 amps when compressor was engaged, nevertheless when examined with the generator the present spiked to 25 amps. They concluded it needed to be a generator downside. Again to Cummins/Onan they usually changed the Stator and Voltage regulator, however insist that may not trigger the present spiking. I’ve not tried to see if the issue is resolved as a result of Onan said that the present spiking might trigger the PC board to fail or the stator. May the stator have been the issue all alongside or might this be a wiring/junction field concern? Any ideas? Thanks, Patricia

Hello, Patricia

A number of issues could also be occurring right here: First, I’m aware of that Onan 2800, and it’s simply in regards to the smallest generator that can begin, and reliably cycle, a roof air. The compressor takes a giant surge of present each time it begins, and that present demand goes up in excessive ambient temperature conditions. In some circumstances, it might take nearly every little thing the generator can put out to begin it. As well as, every other masses or calls for on the generator can cut back its means to begin the air conditioner (A/C). Battery charging, the fridge working on AC energy, an electrical water heater aspect working, any of this stuff working can improve the static load on the generator and stop it from beginning the A/C. Excessive altitude additionally reduces the ability output of most mills. In case you are certain all different masses are off, and the generator nonetheless received’t reliably begin the A/C compressor, there’s one other chance. A/C models use beginning capacitors on each the fan motor and the compressor. These capacitors generally tend to fail slowly over time, and a weak beginning cap could make the motor draw extreme present when beginning. You didn’t say how previous your rig was, but when it’s greater than 5 years previous, it might be worthwhile to switch the beginning caps on each the fan and compressor in your A/C unit. These caps are cheap and straightforward to switch. In the event you resolve to strive that, ask the elements place for a “mushy begin” equipment on your A/C. These kits are designed to cut back the surge of beginning present and can be found for many RV A/C models. These kits are primarily a capacitor substitute, so if you may get one for you’re A/C, I’d advocate it. Whereas there’s no assure it is going to repair your downside, it’s the subsequent factor to strive, because you’ve had the generator serviced. Let me know the way it goes.

Hello Mark,

Final November I stuffed my gas tank after a protracted journey and added 16 oz. of Stabil. (75 gal tank) as a part of my winterizing course of. For varied causes, we haven’t used our motorhome in any respect this 12 months. My query is, can I depart this fuel till subsequent spring or do I must take a protracted sufficient experience to make use of a tank of gas and re-winterize it? Additionally, I’m not planning on re-winterizing the plumbing. Any ideas on this concept? I’d recognize your suggestions! Thanks prematurely and HAPPY CAMPING!! Chuck

Hello, Chuck

In response to my analysis, stabilized gas ought to final 12 months, and in the event you double dose it, so long as 2 years, however even with Stabil, the gas loses octane factors throughout storage. Including extra Stabil throughout the storage interval doesn’t lengthen the storage time, so placing extra in received’t assist. Common Stabil needs to be used at 1 ouncesper 2.5 gallons, the Stabil 360 is 1 ouncesper 5 gallons. In the event you used the 360, then you’re correctly dosed for a minimum of a 12 months, however in the event you used the usual Stabil, you’re under-dosed. Do you recall which product you used?


Curiously, their FAQ appears to have a typo: they are saying it protects gas for 24 months, and in the event you double dose, that interval extends to 2 years. They aren’t good at math, apparently. I assume it ought to learn “12 months” and prolonged to 2 years with double dosing.

Primarily based on all that, I’ve to say that, when you might be OK letting it sit, it’s most likely finest to make use of that gas and refill the tank and add recent Stabil. In case you have a option to switch that gas from the motorhome to containers, you need to use it in different autos. Be sure you run the engine lengthy sufficient to flow into the recent stabilized gas all through the system earlier than you shut it down for storage. Bear in mind to run the generator too, when you’ve got one which runs off the car’s gas tank.

So long as you haven’t used the plumbing system, it needs to be positive for one more winter.

Hello Mark

Thanks for sharing your information!  On my 2016 Monaco Knight, the extent indicators on the tank take a look at (each of them) at all times present full for each the black and gray water ranges. The recent water and propane are at all times appropriate.   I’ve been advised that utilizing a black water tank cleaner can (typically) repair this concern.  Do these remedies work?  Additionally, can you utilize the identical therapy (tablets) within the gray water tank too?

Sincerely, Greg

Hello, Greg

These manufacturing facility monitor panels have plagued RVers for many years. The black water ones by no means work, and the opposite tanks are iffy. That’s primarily as a result of the standard tank sensor system has not modified a lot for the reason that 1980s. Most RV tank sensors make the most of small metallic probes which are in precise contact with the tank contents. Over time, the buildup of *yuck*, and even one errant piece of bathroom paper or meals scrap getting hung up on a probe, will trigger false readings.  There are a number of cleansing merchandise on the market, however they’re at finest a short lived answer. You should use them in each the gray and the black tank, however the tank screens will cease working as quickly because the probes get soiled once more.  The actual everlasting repair is a substitute tank monitoring system. There are a number of completely different ones available on the market they usually all work with none electrical probes contained in the tank. Some techniques merely require a sensor or two be positioned on the skin of the tank physique. The system then reads the extent of the contents of the tank by means of the tank wall. For the reason that tank contacts by no means contact the sensors, they are usually very dependable. Different techniques use a strain sensing technique to find out the extent within the tank. Listed below are just a few hyperlinks to some examples of those techniques, not at all a whole listing:

  • I-Collection
  • SeeLevel
  • SensaTank

I’ve bought and put in a number of of the I-Collection (initially bought beneath the identify Accu-Gage) techniques for my RVs over the past 15 years and I’ve personally been more than happy with them. These techniques are very correct and linear, and will be put in by the common do-it-yourselfer.


I do a number of dry tenting / boondocking and skim your article on batteries at I’m involved in switching over to six volt golf cart batteries due to the elevated amp hours over my group 24 deep cycle batteries.

I’ve a battery field that presently holds 2 12v group 24 batteries and have some room to spare.  Would 2 6v golf cart batteries wired in sequence give me the identical output and longer amp hours as the two 12-volters? Thanks, Dave

Hello, Dave

Sure, a pair of golf cart batteries wired in sequence can be utilized to switch your present parallel wired 12V batteries. Golf cart batteries are positively superior to the standard 12V deep cycle batteries in that they’re much extra strong, and deal with the vibration and deep discharges typical to RV use higher than the 12-volters. They do supply a small improve in amp hour capability. As an example: Trojan T-105s are spec’d with an amp hour capability of 225 AH, and a pair of these provides you with a complete of 225 AH of usable capability (in sequence, it’s not additive). Group 27 batteries method that at 170-210 AH, with group 24’s offering round 160-180 AH in pairs. Sure, you’ll see a small enchancment in capability. When measuring your battery field, remember that golf cart batteries are about the identical footprint, however are considerably taller, like 1.5 – 2 inches taller than the group 24s.


What do you recommend for sustaining my Class C RV when it’s parked at a RV Park for greater than every week, whereas we live in it? I’m considering of working the generator, ought to I run the RV engine? Ought to I low cost and take a brief drive? Look ahead to listening to from you.  Butch

Hello, Butch

In the event you’re parked for every week or two, you actually don’t must do something to maintain the coach limbered up. In the event you’ll be sitting for a month or extra, then it’s a good suggestion to run the generator for just a few hours beneath load, and drive the RV lengthy sufficient for every little thing to return as much as working temp. As soon as a month is commonly sufficient for that. Bear in mind to test the water ranges in your own home batteries as soon as a month, add distilled water as wanted to maintain them topped off. Batteries typically use a number of water throughout lengthy durations hooked as much as shore energy, is dependent upon the coach and what sort of converter or charger it has.

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