Wednesday, June 25, 2014

$$$ OUCH $$$ (Generator Update)

Well, folks, that's what the Emergency Fund is for.  Right?

I'm at Cummins Rocky Mountain Onan Repair shop in Albuquerque, NM.

See the rig on the left?  He was unhappy because he showed up a day early and they wouldn't take him, so he told me, "We decided we're going to camp here."  Like the other people with appointments that day didn't count?  This is a busy shop. 

Their slide is over my line and they have chairs and their awning out.  They are making a point, while they are taking up part of my parking space - when the tech checked my generator and re-parked The Palms, I couldn't open my door - just enough to barely squeeze in and out.  (I guess I could have pulled out and re-backed in, but the men on either side didn't like it when I move in the day before.  Too close to the slides on one side, and too close to the mirror on the other.  Then after I was parked, they said, "You have plenty of room."  They said it twice.  I felt like saying, "Bite me!"  I was not going to re-park.)  Plus the rig with the slide was leaking antifreeze that was rolling down under The Palms.  I had to be really careful that Katie didn't walk in it and then lick it off so she was on a very short leash around our rig.  He couldn't put a bucket under the leak?  Right now they are in the shop, so hopefully their leak will be fixed and they will be gone today.  If they come back - trust me, they are not parking that close to the line tonight!  LOL 

Wow, this is turning into a RANT, isn't it?  I haven't done that in a while, so I guess I'm due.  Don't you just love rants?

I arrived Monday afternoon and Ken, the technician, had time to look at the generator before they closed.  It needs it's annual service and also a new starter, but when I told him about all the oil I've been adding (at first 1/2 quart every 8 hours of use, then I realized I could add 1/2 quart every 20 hours, and that only fills it half-way.  It's never leaked, it just burns up), he said its the O-ring, or pistons or something...  and that it would be better to replace it than to have it rebuilt.  But they would check it out Tuesday morning to be sure. 

The prognosis after pulling it into the shop yesterday agreed with Ken's opinion:  I need a new generator.  And you know what?  It will be so nice to have one that actually works all the time.  As anyone who has read this blog from the beginning - or even from the middle - knows, I've had issues with this generator since I bought The Palms.




And I didn't post all the problems, it was just too depressing, so you only heard about some of them.

This is a picture I copy/pasted from an Onan ad on-line.  It's the same model, but it sure does look prettier!


I only had 1,274 total hours on the generator which is 8 years old, and I've been told by a few people that this failure is probably caused by all the time it sat unused.  It's a 2006 motor home and I bought it in 2011 with a reading on the generator of only 8 hours.  So obviously it wasn't used during the five years before I owned it.  I kept thinking I was okay, even though it sat for so long, because it still worked.  The thing was, though, it didn't work well, and I've spent a lot of money on it trying to keep it going. 

This is a good lesson for all you RVers who have so much solar that you don't need to run your generators, or those of you who always have electrical hook-ups, so you never run the generator.  YOU MUST RUN THE GENERATOR UNDER LOAD FOR ONE TO TWO HOURS EVERY MONTH.  Under load means start the generator, wait two minutes, then turn on the air conditioner - for an hour or two.  If it's winter, or too cold for the A/C, turn on a space heater for an hour or two. After turning off the A/C or heater, wait another two minutes before turning off the generator.  You're good for another month.  That will keep your generator in good shape.  If you're in a place where the weather is perfect, choose either one and sit outside in the perfect weather for an hour or two.  I've been doing that, but it was too late, I guess.  The damage had already been done.  (Check with your generator expert to confirm the above.)


They have four RV hook-up sites here in their lot, which is really nice when you have to wait for parts. Each site has electricity and water, and they also have a dump site here.

This is the view of the shop after hours from where we're parked.  The garages are double what's shown, they go through to the back of the lot, so there are 19 service bays.  The service area and office area are spotlessly clean - that always gives me confidence:




They don't have my generator in stock, they've been replacing a lot of them lately and haven't reordered this type, so I'll probably be here two or three days.   With full hook-ups.  I haven't had hook-ups in ages.  It's nice to be able to watch TV in bed!

For those of you who are wondering how much this is costing me: I'm not happy with the quote of course, which they told me would be right around $3,500 total, yup, it's an $$$ OUCH $$$, but it's fair and they've promised me Ken - their best guy for this kind of work, so I'm happy about that.  There goes the tire fund - plus!  :(  But we all have expenses with our homes whether they are made of wood and sitting on a foundation, or made of fiberglass and sitting on wheels.  All a part of home ownership.  And at least, I assume, it's a smaller generator in comparison to some of yours.  I imagine a larger motor home would require a larger generator?  So it could have been worse.

NOTE - The generator was  supposed to be here this morning, but the shipper didn't send it out until this morning (bummer), so I'm here until tomorrow.  I asked if they would at least remove the old one today and she said yes, when they had a break today someone would come and get The Palms and do that.  Hopefully that will get me out a little earlier tomorrow.
   
I'll let you know what happens with the installation tomorrow.   (Don't forget our amazon.com link for all your on-line purchases - it doesn't cost you a thing and gives me and Katie a tiny percentage of your purchase price.  And please remember to start your research with the blog post link.  Thanks!  I super-appreciate your support!)

From me and Katie, have a great Wednesday, everybody!  :)

28 comments:

  1. Doesn't it just p*&%% you off when people are so inconsiderate of others. Like they own the world. I won't say what I'd like to do with them cause this is a family blog !!!!!!!!!

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    1. Yes, Ruth, it does p*&%% me off, and then some. :(

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  2. I know it's a pain in your wallet but .... how nice it will be to have a brand new clean generator that is yours all yours. And such a pretty color! Seriously, that's $ well-spent.

    P.S. What Ruth said.

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  3. Repair on my sway bar was peanuts compared to your a big problem..
    I do run my generator every month..... Was told at my dealership when I got the rig. 30 minutes under load was ok.. So that is what I do I sure hope it is enough.
    Good luck with your Installation...

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  4. That neighbor guy needs a kick in the pants.

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  5. Don't you just love a Jackass? Sure hope he and Mrs. Jackass get sorted out soon, or at least you get to leave tomorrow afternoon. What a tool.

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  6. PPS on what Ruth and everybody said. When you consider the beating these rigs take going down the highway and into campgrounds and sometimes even into sand, it makes it easier to understand why things can go wrong. And then add in somebody who never ran the generator. I'm know it hurts in the pocketbook but I'm really glad you're getting a new one.

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    1. Yes, for sure! I probably should have replaced it in the beginning, but I didn't know. No more generator problems following me around like a little grey cloud overhead all the time? What in the world am I going to worry about now? I'm looking forward to stress-free electrical! :)

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  7. Ouch! That purchase hurts, but like you said it'll be nice to have a generator that works again. And GOOD tip on running generators every month. Many people w/ solar forget to do that. We usually run it while we're driving down the road between campsite and load it up with heater or something like that.

    Nina (wheelingit)

    P.S. Agree that the guy on the left is totally out of line. So inconsiderate.

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  8. I think it was every other Sunday Rich would take the paper out to exercise the generators in our motorhomes when they were parked here at home. Still, something went wrong with one of ours in July between Reno and Las Vegas. So, it's the luck of the draw. I know it hurts to part with that much money, but I'll make you feel better. I spent almost 20K on new heating and air about 5 years ago. Then, it was painting the house and the list goes on.

    Too bad you ran into such miserable people. Surely they know that anti-freeze is dangerous for animals. I don't think I would have been quite as nice as you were so I congratulate you and wish you smooth sailing with your new generator. :)

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  9. I usually run my generator while driving down the road so that I can run my roof AC units. That way it keeps the whole coach cool and it gives the generator some exercise.

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  10. I'm sure Katie is glad that you aren't letting her step in the antifreeze!
    Our best to you about the urge to kill the neighbors!

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  11. I know you will be glad to have a working generator!!! You are right in that its all part of the deal whether in a house or RV!!
    Now about that neighbor of yours....what a jerk!!! You have every right to vent a bit!!! Hope he's long gone by now!!!

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  12. I sure hope your pest is gone. What a jerk. AND I hope your new genny is working perfectly.

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  13. I know into every life a litle rain must fall, sorry it was a downpour. And your neighbors sound like supe folks too. Wishing you well.

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  14. I know into every life a litle rain must fall, sorry it was a downpour. And your neighbors sound like supe folks too. Wishing you well.

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  15. Ouch! is right...but it all kind of reminded me of our bodies....use it or lose it!

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  16. As Judy says...the boorish neighbor guy needs a swift kick in the pants. Now that you will have a nice new generator I hope you never have another moment's generator trouble, just smooth sailing all the way.

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  17. We've had RVs park so close that we had their generator exhaust pipe right out our door. We couldn't leave the door open or the windows. We had no choice but to him. It's too bad you couldn't get the shop manager to make them be a little more considerate. Ouch on the generator is right!

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  18. I had a lot of problems with things in my 5th wheel because it hadn't been used for several years, although it was almost new when it was put onto a storage lot in New Jersey. I had no idea how things deteriorate when not used at all.

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  19. As for the inconsiderate camper.... To bad they don't have a bulleye painted on them so that all the worlds bad energy can come their way.... I hate that they operate with such a sence of entitlement an to everyone else.... so sorry you don't count! (Sorry I just jumped on your rant bandwagon!) So sorry about your generator troubles. At least now you won't have to give it much thought. So much better than wondering IF it will work or IF you have enough oil. Now that my axle is fixed and I am back out in the woods I couldn't be happier! Hoping you are well on your way into the happy zone too!

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  20. I went thru some Onan generator problems with my last rig. It was a diesel generator with only 50 hrs on it, but 3 yrs old. Took the multiple svc facilities 3 months to finally figure out the problem, and during the process at one point they thought I might need a new generator. The price for a diesel version? $6000 plus labor! So, $3500 sounds like a great deal! Your's is the model I now have on my current rig, so nice to know what the cost will be when the time comes. Fortunately, Cummins Onan is a pretty good company to work with. Even though that problem diesel genny was just beyond its warranty, once they finally discovered the problem was a wire routing defect caused during manufacturing, Cummins paid all costs in full to have it repaired and pay for all my previous service diagnostic bills as well. So, even though it's expensive, this should be money very well spent in the long run for you!

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  21. The most vexing part of having an inconsiderate (and I am using the kindest term I can think of!) neighbor is that you are powerless to do anything about the situation. I've been thinking about what could be done . . . you could have surreptitiously put an adult diaper down under where the antifreeze was coming out, and put rocks on it to hold it in place! A baby diaper would probably be sufficient, but an adult diaper would be much more . . . ah, humorous! ;->

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

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    1. OMG, that is so funny! Unfortunately (or fortunately) I have no adult diapers on board. LOL

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    2. I've debated the wisdom of keeping at least one around for whatever toilet emergency might happen, but I really have no idea how much one would hold, so haven't acted on this thought yet. Besides, I think it isn't feasible to try to buy just one anyway, and a whole package would take up too much room.

      Ha! Google is my friend once again, answering the question of how much will an adult diaper hold? The answer is 600 cc, which apparently is a bit over 20 ounces, or about two and a half cups. That would seem like enough to use in the middle of the night when you get up and find that your toilet is somehow unusable, and there is no wide-mouth container available.

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  22. Oh yikes!!! But great information about running the generator every month under load. We got an extended warranty that will cover the generator but it's monthly money out of our budget. You just never know. I'll search to see what fun things I can get through your site!!!:-)
    And i'd be ranting non stop about the "neighbors". How inconsiderate!!!xx

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  23. If you're still there tonight (or maybe tomorrow night), would backing it back in at an angle be better? You'd still avoid the mirrors but be able to get in and out of your moho door.

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  24. Hey guys I am thinking to purchase Honda generator eu3000is. I have researched a lot on generator brands and found Honda as the most popular company. The technology of Honda generators is latest and proven worldwide. What do you think friends?

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