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Old 08-17-2019, 04:14 PM   #1
wmb
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What to do with the generator in hot weather?

We've been travelling for over a year now and we've only used our Honda EU2000i a couple of times. We keep it in the bed of the truck, and we have a folding aluminum tonneau cover protecting the contents of the truck bed. We've been parked in Texas for several months now, and will probably be here through the spring, so we have many more 100F+ days to look forward to!

This weekend I noticed that the red plastic gas can we keep for fuelling the generator had started to swell and become rounded from the heat. I guess the enclosed bed of the truck becomes like oven when it's in direct sunshine on a hot day. Sure enough, I measured the temp with our weather system's outdoor sensor and it was 120F.

There was only a little bit of gas in the canister, so I topped off the generator with it and will take the can to the local recycling center since it's stuck out-of-shape.

But now I'm concerned about the generator. It's obviously much sturdier than the plastic gas can but I'm thinking that it's probably not good to have it sat in 120F+ temps. There's a vent valve in the gas cap that supposed to remain closed when not in use, but I'm thinking it's safer to leave that open while it's hot out so that the pressure doesn't build. Unfortunately the only shade we have is the AS awnings so we'd have to leave it close by with an open vent, and that makes me slightly nervous too.

For now we're letting it sit in the shade outside the AS, and we periodically cycle the vent to release pressure, but what do other people generally do with a seldom-used generator in hot climates?
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:25 PM   #2
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I typically run mine dry so there is no fuel.
Live in Texas but don’t store in my truck which has a camper shell (or sometimes not) so I never really thought about it. Got plenty of swollen gas cans though they usually return to shape.

I could imagine the temp under your cover gets above 120 at times.

My best advice would be to run it empty, invest in a really good safety can and don’t store cans of fuel under cover...

Ian
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:36 PM   #3
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Since you only use your generator a couple of times a year there is something you might want to consider. Honda recommends that if the generator will be sitting for more than a couple of months without being run that you should drain the fuel from the tank and the carburetor.

The problem is that fuel in the carb may evaporate and leave behind a residue that will clog the metering jets making the generator very hard to start. I went through this with one of my Honda generators and after dozens of pulls was finally able to get the thing going just enough to run cleaner through the fuel system. The only other option is disassembly and repair which can be costly.

Given the superheated environment your generator lives in, fuel evaporation is liable to be an even bigger issue. Siphoning the fuel from the tank and opening the carb bleed screw takes all of 5 minutes and would solve your other concern about fuel venting. When you're ready to actually use the generator fill up with fresh gas, give it 4 or 5 pulls to prime the fuel system(instead of the usual one or 2) and you're good to go. Just a thought.
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Old 08-17-2019, 04:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by mikeinca View Post
Since you only use your generator a couple of times a year there is something you might want to consider. Honda recommends that if the generator will be sitting for more than a couple of months without being run that you should drain the fuel from the tank and the carburetor.

The problem is that fuel in the carb may evaporate and leave behind a residue that will clog the metering jets making the generator very hard to start. I went through this with one of my Honda generators and after dozens of pulls was finally able to get the thing going just enough to run cleaner through the fuel system. The only other option is disassembly and repair which can be costly.

Given the superheated environment your generator lives in, fuel evaporation is liable to be an even bigger issue. Siphoning the fuel from the tank and opening the carb bleed screw takes all of 5 minutes and would solve your other concern about fuel venting. When you're ready to actually use the generator fill up with fresh gas, give it 4 or 5 pulls to prime the fuel system(instead of the usual one or 2) and you're good to go. Just a thought.
I do get it out and run it for a few minutes about once a month just to keep it ticking over, but I think I may drain it (into a better gas can) like you guys are suggesting.
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Old 08-17-2019, 08:32 PM   #5
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Gas issues are why I converted my Honda to propane (hutch mountain kit). No fuel residue in the carb and the fuel is more stable. I can also use the AS tanks in the summer for AC as I don’t use much propane otherwise in summer. But I feel like I need it because of AC. Can’t live in comfort without it in the south. It is an AS after all, not a tent.
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:03 AM   #6
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Gas issues are why I converted my Honda to propane (hutch mountain kit). No fuel residue in the carb and the fuel is more stable. I can also use the AS tanks in the summer for AC as I don’t use much propane otherwise in summer.
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:39 AM   #7
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Bongo

Honda dual fuel 2000i.
On petrol...shut off gas run 'til stop, open bowl drain, keep tank full with E-free, close cap vent, put it in its ActionPacker and relax, 12yrs SFSG.

POI...it runs in it's own tent.

Bob
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:50 AM   #8
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Hi

If you use the generator once a year (or less), pulling it out monthly to fiddle this or that sounds like more trouble than it's worth. Far better to drain fuel fully and store it away. Do you also drain oil? Obviously that's another debate, possibly for another thread. With once a year use, you probably should put new oil in it when you fire it up.

If the generator has a battery, that also needs "attention" of some sort to keep it happy. One might also keep a spare battery around "just in case". Then it also needs attention ....

Bob
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:56 AM   #9
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What to do with the generator in hot weather?

I added a permanent battery charging pigtail to my generator that mates with a battery tender. It stays plugged in when not in use. Since my Tacoma has an Inverter built in, I plug the charger in when Iím on the road as well. Keeps the battery charged on the road.

Donít need the generator unless itís too hot out, then itís ready to go by just hooking up propane hose and power cable. Switch on ignition and crank it up to get the air conditioner going in s few minutes.

Champion 3400 dual fuel with modified propane regulator set for remote connections. Note that the little 12 volt AGM batteries that properly fit this generator (and many others) are a bit difficult to find. Weird size, I guess.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:11 AM   #10
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If it's getting over 120F under your cover, maybe some venting to provide a little air flow would be a good idea. See the vents used on boats. Solar cell runs a small fan to extract hot air. Natural thermal flow can work too.

The awnings reduce temps for the AS. Maybe you should consider a tarp type awning for your TV. Possibly a post mounted on the front and rear hitches with a fly between.

Or you could just leave it at home. We added some battery bank capacity to dodge the need to carry a generator. The generator will be packed and make the trip for planned off grid stays, but those will be few. For normal trips the generator stays home and the added battery capacity will get us through emergency stops or two day off grid stays that can't be avoided. Pat
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:26 AM   #11
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If it's getting over 120F under your cover, maybe some venting to provide a little air flow would be a good idea. See the vents used on boats. Solar cell runs a small fan to extract hot air. Natural thermal flow can work too.

The awnings reduce temps for the AS. Maybe you should consider a tarp type awning for your TV. Possibly a post mounted on the front and rear hitches with a fly between.

Or you could just leave it at home. We added some battery bank capacity to dodge the need to carry a generator. The generator will be packed and make the trip for planned off grid stays, but those will be few. For normal trips the generator stays home and the added battery capacity will get us through emergency stops or two day off grid stays that can't be avoided. Pat
Well, we're full-timing so home _is_ the AS, and the "shed" is the truck bed.
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Old 08-18-2019, 10:52 AM   #12
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I gave up on plastic gas cans which swelled in my hot Florida garage!
For the generator, I bought a "JustRite" 2.5 gallon metal tank. It fits perfectly inside a plastic milk crate, so it's easy to tether in the bed, and avoids dings and scrapes. No smell, no swell.
(I also bought a 5 gallon JustRite, but IMO it's too heavy to fill a generator that's in the truck bed.)
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:11 AM   #13
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Well, we're full-timing so home _is_ the AS, and the "shed" is the truck bed.
OK - Ventilate your shed and enjoy the adventure. Pat
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Old 08-18-2019, 02:01 PM   #14
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If you only use your Honda generator a few times per year (like me), I suggest using an ethanol-free fuel -- I use the TrueFuel brand. This way I don't worry about fuel sitting in the tank for long periods of time or inactivity, and I don't have to worry about running the generator and carb dry.
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