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Jerry55lee

Generator oil changes

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I’m relatively new to the world of class A DP’s. We’ve discovered the “joy” or at least the ease of boondocking in Walmart parking lots...usually lots of space, no need to unhitch the toad. However, this means we run out generator about 10 hours per day due to AC requirements. Cummins says the oil should be changed every 150 hours for our 8 kw gen-set. So, every 10 days of boondocking deserves an oil change. Finding a Cummins or Freightliner shop every10 days ain’t easy and changing the oil myself looks to be more mess than I’m ready to deal with on the road as a full timer. Have you found easy, convenient oil change places that can handle this and who stock the filter?

Jerry 

 

 

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Jerry, Welcome to the FMCA Forum !

       I have a 7,500 Onan and change the oil and filter every 250 Hrs. You also need to change the Air filter and fuel filters on a regular schedule. First I would get a Cummins Member 10 % discount Card and have them do the job. Your Generator is a rather expensive piece of equipment and many RV service centers do not have the parts and need to order them and you will not get a discount. 

     You'r fuel usage must be a considerable expense. Thinking some cost annalist is in order - it might be less costly to stay at some campgrounds.

     You might look at reducing the use of the AC to only the hottest part of the  day, Or Park at higher elevations until it gets to a cooler time of year.

Rich.

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Rich,

   I’ve done the cost analysis and at 1/2 gal of diesel/hr, it’s about a wash....but it’s very easy.

   The Oil change aspect of running the genny complicates the equation. Where you get your genset oil changed?

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Jerry --

Welcome to the forum!  The members are very helpful especially if you put information about your motorhome in your signature block.  With regards to changing oil / filter is relatively simple but the work is done "lying flat on the ground".   I use my Onan 7500 watt generator 24/7 on hot, sometimes dusty LSU football weekends so I am religious about changing the oil and filter every 150 hours as the Onan maintenance schedule prescribes (i.e. change the oil after every three football weekends).   I agree with you that changing the generator oil & filter while "on the road" is not desirable unless you want to pack a drain pain, cardboard boxes to catch drips, etc.  It takes me about an hour to change the oil and filter in my generator.  The oil (15W-40) is readily available however I usually order the Onan oil filter from Amazon as finding that filter in a store is unlikely (I don't have a good cross-reference from my Onan oil filter 122-0833 to a Fram or WIXX equivalent). 

Depending on where you are in the U.S., consider contacting commercial truck oil change/service businesses to learn if they will change oil/filters in your engine and also generator.  For example, in Texas and Oklahoma a company by the name of BLine Lube will service both the motorhome engine and chassis ($225 for oil, filters, lube the chassis, check fluid levels, check front wheel hubs, etc.) and service the generator ($99 to change oil and filter) --> http://www.blinelube.com/index.html    I've used their location once in Brookshire, TX near my home and was pleased with their service.

Hope this info helps.  Best wishes for safe travels wherever you are !!

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On 11/17/2018 at 7:59 AM, Jerry55lee said:

we run out generator about 10 hours per day due to AC requirements. Cummins says the oil should be changed every 150 hours for our 8 kw gen-set. So, every 10 days of boondocking deserves an oil change.

My math sayes running 10 hours a day gives you 15 days to get to recommended oil change interval (150 hours) not 10 days. 

I run Shell T-6 and can go all year because I don't boondock that much. I would definitely be changing my own oil. You can find oil and filters at Walmart or buy filters off Amazon. I don't think changing 3 quarts of oil and the filter is that big of deal. Most large parts stores accept used oil and filters. 

Bill

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Since your campground of choice is Wall Mart, you might as well buy what you need there...I would say, they frown on you, if you change your oil there!  Cummins, Freightliner,  MAC Mustang, DD center will do it for you...don't bring your WM stuff with you!

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if you ask the 150 hours is for some one that uses the gen 1 or 2 hours at a time not 10 hours steady 

same as a car driven short distance to one long distance highway 

ask you could change less 

or have oil tested to see if you can leave longer 

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Got it.  Not I.  In Winter, one time...rest of year, every 2 to 3 months or 300+/- hours!  

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What would be fun to do is run a good synthetic like Rotella T-6. At the 150 hour mark and see how the oil is doing. I have found that on my main engine after 15,000 miles I had more than 50% of the TBN (oil life) left and all contaminants were well below 50% of recommended limits.

This is not a recommendation to exceed manufactuers recommendations.:P

Bill

 

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Been there, done that.  Way back in 1976 to 1983.  Changed filter and a quart every 5,000 miles, for over 60,000 miles, no damage!  No synthetic oil used. :P

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Bill --

Having been a gasoline engine guy most of my life I generally followed the "rule of thumb" changing engine oil every 5,000 miles (as my father a WWII trained mechanics and Sinclair Service Station owner taught me).   As such, testing gasoline engine oils "just wasn't done".  Now being a diesel engine and diesel generator owner and an avid FMCA forum reader, your thought of "testing" the used oil from a generator is intriguing.   For the last year I've been using Redline synthetic 15W-40 oil in my generator to assure proper protection for hot LSU football weekends and changing that oil every 150 hours as the Onan owner's manual says change oil every 150 miles whether using conventional or synthetic oil.

I have ~100 hours of use on the current synthetic oil in my generator meaning I'll change the oil sometime late this spring / early summer (not much generator use with tailgating season done for the year).   I'll have the used oil tested if one of the forum members in the Houston area can let me know who performs the testing.

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I think you will find most FL service centers, and there are a bunch all over the U.S., will do a diesel generator service for around $200.00.  The one I use up in central Illinois has a cheaper labor rate for service as compared to their regular mechanic repair labor rate.  They did mine this summer while in that area for $195.00.

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In the Dallas, San Antonio and Houston areas a company by the name of RV Mobile Lube performs "on-site" oil and filter changes for engines, generators and transmissions wherever the motorhome is parked -- home, storage facility, RV park.  Their cost to change oil, oil filter, air filter and fuel filter on a diesel generator is $200 --> http://www.rvmobilelube.com/services_prices.php       If in ever in Texas, RV Mobile Lube provides excellent service.

I would think other areas across the U.S. would have companies that provide similar "mobile" oil / filter change services.

 

 

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3 hours ago, fagnaml said:

Bill --

Having been a gasoline engine guy most of my life I generally followed the "rule of thumb" changing engine oil every 5,000 miles (as my father a WWII trained mechanics and Sinclair Service Station owner taught me).   As such, testing gasoline engine oils "just wasn't done".  Now being a diesel engine and diesel generator owner and an avid FMCA forum reader, your thought of "testing" the used oil from a generator is intriguing.   For the last year I've been using Redline synthetic 15W-40 oil in my generator to assure proper protection for hot LSU football weekends and changing that oil every 150 hours as the Onan owner's manual says change oil every 150 miles whether using conventional or synthetic oil.

I have ~100 hours of use on the current synthetic oil in my generator meaning I'll change the oil sometime late this spring / early summer (not much generator use with tailgating season done for the year).   I'll have the used oil tested if one of the forum members in the Houston area can let me know who performs the testing.

You can get a sampling kit heare. 

https://www.blackstone-labs.com/?session-id=yzghzn55suy5202equsrepjb&timeout=20&bslauth&urlbase=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.blackstone-labs.net%2FBstone%2F(S(yzghzn55suy5202equsrepjb))%2F

I recommend geting a vacuum pump at the same time.

https://www.blackstone-labs.com/products/vacuum-pump/

The reason is if you don't pull the sample correctly you will get bad/false readings. (I use to work in and run a oil lab when I was in AF) The best practise is to pull your sample and send it in BEFORE draining the oil. You want the results back first. This way if you have a unusual reading you can re check it. If you have dumped the oil you can only guess if the problem is real. I can give you some tips on geting good samples.

If you have any questions just ask.

Bill

 

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Mike.

The last time I had my coach serviced, was in Rayne, LA., by Robert of Mobil Lube...He does the coaches for Crusin Cajuns at our annual Crawfish Festival, in April.  His partner, Richard, lives in San Antonio and comes to Burnet to do Linda's DP.  Great Service!  

 

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