Siphon Gas for Generator - Fiberglass RV

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Old 04-26-2016, 08:08 PM   #1
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Name: Huck
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Siphon Gas for Generator

Trying to think how to transport generator and gas can. Got me thinking, is there any reason I couldn't siphon gas from tow and eliminate the gas can? Or maybe just a 1 gallon can that I could wash out and leave empty when on the road.


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Old 04-26-2016, 08:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Huck View Post
Trying to think how to transport generator and gas can. Got me thinking, is there any reason I couldn't siphon gas from tow and eliminate the gas can? Or maybe just a 1 gallon can that I could wash out and leave empty when on the road.

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Old 04-26-2016, 09:47 PM   #3
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If it were me, I would get the fuel directly from the vehicles fuel rail.
you could use one of these kits;
Fuel Pressure Tester
To interface with it. Be exceedingly careful if you do! Fuel systems on vehicles run at high pressure. That said, you could very easily connect one of the fittings to the rail and put the other end of the hose into your 1 gallon container. Simply cycle the key on and off a few times and bingo. No need to start the car. When you first turn the key it should run the fuel pump up to pressure for a few seconds anticipating you to start it.
At some 50 PSI the fuel will dispense fairly fast into the container. It could throw a check engine light perhaps on newer vehicles that monitor the fuel pressure, but if you don't start the engine I doubt it would stick. It would likely clear instantly when you do start it without the tube connected.

My vehicle doesn't care about it. That said it's a 93.

I don't like the idea of putting a tube into the tank to siphon from it. Too easy for it to get caught in the flip cover since tubing is soft. It would also look a bit suspect. Not that this should be much of an issue in most camping locations, but still.
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Old 04-27-2016, 05:57 AM   #4
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Name: Lyle
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I keep reading not to use gasoline with ethanol in it for the generators (or other small engines). I know I've had MANY problems with using it in my snowblower and weed whackers, not so much in my lawn mowers, but the engine techs have all said that ethanol is bad for small engines.

Since most gas stations across the country use at least 10% ethanol blends, siphoning out of your vehicle gas tank may not be the best. Luckily, here in MI there are plenty of marinas which usually do sell non-ethanol gasoline, so getting it is not difficult.

Do most folks worry about this with their generators or is it more of a theoretical issue that the generators handle ok?
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:21 AM   #5
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Name: Carl
Trailer: 2014 16 scamp side dinette/Rav4 V6 Tow pkg.
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I have not used my gen yet to camp. But i was thinking of carrying a small gas container and fill it up just before you get to where you want to be. Then if you do not use it all empty into your tow. That way you are never carrying a full gas can.
I think if you shut off the gas to the gens carb. and use stabil gas treatment you should be ok to use reg. gas. Carl
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:35 AM   #6
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Trailer: 1984 u-haul ct13; 1996 Casita 17 Spirit Deluxe; 1946 Modernistic teardrop
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I have some older vehicles and equipment that was made before ethanol came in to use in gas. I was using an additive called Star Tron that is supposed to offset the effects of the ethanol. Now one local convenience store / gas station is selling 91 octane non ethanol gas so I buy that. From what I was told, ethanol affected the rubber parts in older systems, like fuel lines and carburetor parts. Newer engines use a different material that is OK with ethanol.
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:56 AM   #7
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I'm not sure I would trust the sentiment that newer engines handle the ethanol better. the snow blower that I spoke of is the newest piece of equipment I have, and has given me the most problems by far. So bad that it has soured me on John Deere for any future purchases.

In the first three years of ownership, it was in the shop for carburetor, fuel line problems probably 8 times, even after being sure to add stabilizer to it's fuel and running it dry every time before summer storage. Each time the service techs attributed it to clogged gas jets caused by the ethanol in the gasoline - said it was a major source of problems in many small engines.

That said, perhaps the engines used in the Hondas and Yamahas are better designed to minimize these problems. Here's hoping, I've yet to buy a generator, but it is on my list.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:22 AM   #8
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Name: Darral
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Personally, I dont like the sound OR idea of running anything off in my TOW tank when I'm traveling! I take my Scamp to a model airplane "flyin" event occasionally and use my Champion Gen (and it works VERY well btw!)

But I also fill up its tank and take along a 5 gal jug of gas with me (which I have gas left over after 3-4 days camping). I'll keep it where it can "vent" of course while traveling if it's hot weather. But mostly for me it's been 70's 80's. If I was using the gen in very hot weather, I'd put a cover over the bed of my truck to keep it and the gen in the shade.
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Old 04-27-2016, 08:36 AM   #9
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A few suggestions/observations from my experience/point of view. Many long-haul truckers have multiple fuel tanks with inline fuel-line selection valves (mechanical and electric) to switch from one fuel tank to another. I think a good-sized truck shop could help you install a valve and outlet tube that would allow you to use the gas tank's fuel pump to pump fuel out an outlet tube into a gas can. What that does to your tow vehicle's warranty, your insurance coverage and any travelling companion's comfort level riding with you is for you to decide, but ask a truck shop what options they might suggest. Regarding ethanol in gas, my understanding is that, over time, it makes older formula plastic tubing and other internal plastic parts brittle, they crack, and then fuel leaks out or air leaks in - either way, messing up the performance of the engine. You can buy newer formula plastic gas line tubing at most any auto parts store that fixes the most common problems. I've never known ethanol itself to contribute to "crud" clogging carburetor jets, etc. However, I did have a problem with a small engine repair shop putting cruddy gas in our garden tiller when they had it to replace a leaking gearbox oil seal. The engine ran fine for years before I took it to them. But it suddenly had engine problems immediately after getting it back from them. It had no in-line fuel filter (fuel lines won't accommodate one), so I had to clean out the carburetor's settling bowl 5 or 6 times before I finally got all the crud from their dirty gas out. I had a sneaky suspicion that they might have done it on purpose hoping to get me to bring it back to them for more work they could charge me for. I did not go back to them, and I'm not ever going to. Just saying....
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:09 AM   #10
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How long do you expect to need to run the generator? Mine runs about 8 hours or so and my 2 gallon gas can seldom gets used but it is there. When I fill my tow, I can always refill generator.
guess it depends on how long you intend to be in one place though.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:22 AM   #11
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Before blaming the fuel causing problems on the snow blowers and lawn mowers, blame California. Those darn CARB rated carburators are set way too lean. Here in Edmonton we are at 2100 ft and they run like .... My snowblower, with a brand new motor, was running terrible and no way to adjust the mix. My neighbor is a mechanic with the army and fixes small engines and everything they through at him. He came over , pulled the brand new main jet and used a welding tip cleaner to open the jet a small amount and it now runs great. I have done it to a couple of other motors and same results. Yes, I know that small motors cause a lot of pollution but if they can't run well, what good are they.

For chain saws, weedeaters and such, yes run premium gas with as little alcohol as possible. The walboro carbs have same one way flapper valves that distort when exposed to alcohol. There are some carb kits available that use different material for those gasket/flappers.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:31 AM   #12
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Name: Patrick
Trailer: R-Vision Trail Lite
New York
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I camp...have a gas powered solution:

First I installed an insulated cooler on the tounge of my travel trailer.
I use this to store small gasoline containers...insulated and air tight.
The solution for burning 10% ethanol gasoline is to add "Stabil" (available at Walmart or auto parts stores) designed to deal with the ethanol problem.
My 3100 watt generator (Champion) runs forever on a gallon of gas. I only use it two or three hours a day as most state park campgrounds restrict generator use to 2 hours in AM and 2 hours in PM. This is enough time to cook in my microwave at both breakfast and dinner and recharge my battery on a daily basis. When it is hot I also run my A/C on max-high to cool down my trailer in the afternoon. My 32" Sony HDTV only requires 57 watts of power so I use that off an inverter if I decide to watch television...but...we don't go camping to watch television.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:47 AM   #13
Name: Duane
Trailer: trillium
New Brunswick
Posts: 58
Hi Most newer vehicles won't allow you to siphon fuel from the tank as there are baffles built in to the filler neck, you just can;t push a line in there.
Siphoning fuel is dangerous to your health as well. Better to get a small approved fuel container and transport it externally. never carry fuel in an enclosed area. Fumes will collect and as soon as any spark occurs an explosion may follow. Be safe !
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:05 AM   #14
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Here is how one customer carries gas on our shelf..


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