RV Fuel Choices and an In-Depth Examination of Ethanol

rv ethanol 1 Most of us “gearheads” grew up with Regular Leaded and Premium gasoline. A product called tetraethyl lead (THL) was added to reduce engine knocks and in 1972 Unleaded gasoline was introduced. The following year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demanded the immediate phase-out of THL and by early 1980s Regular Leaded Gasoline was gone.

Unleaded gasoline blended with ethanol started to become popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a replacement for other additives such as benzene octane boosters. In early 2000 Ethanol increased in popularity due to skyrocketing oil prices and a desire to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Ethanol is nothing new; Henry Ford built the first Model Ts in 1908 to run on ethanol/alcohol and Standard Oil began blending it as early as 1920 to boost octane and reduce engine knock. Prohibition put a stop to the Ethanol production, for a while. In 1940, the US Army built the first Ethanol plant in Omaha, Nebraska, to supply blended fuel for the military.

Ethanol for RVs: Just the Facts

You will find debates and arguments galore regarding the pros and cons of ethanol in just about any industry, especially in the RV industry. The pro side touts renewable fuel source, environmentally friendly, and less dependence upon foreign oil and more. The opposed side claims less mpg, harmful to engine components, the high cost of production and more as well. This article is not going to weigh in on either side, rather…


  • Over 95% of all gasoline sold has some type of Ethanol blend
  • 12 States and the District of Columbia do not require labeling on the pump
  • Many fueling stations do not carry Regular Unleaded at all
  • Therefore, we need to be educated about our options and what our engine manufacturers recommend as well. The Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) was enacted in 2005 and expanded under the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) in 2007. This Act is the governing body that sets specific amounts of Ethanol to be produced and blended.

    rv ethanol 2


    Original Ethanol blends started with as low as 2.8% and slowly increased to 10%. E10 means there is 90% Regular Unleaded gasoline and 10% Ethanol. This is blended at the local refinery so the percentages may vary throughout the country according to the Renewable Fuel Council.


    The EPA approved an increase in the percentage of Ethanol to 15% and approved usage in 2011 and newer vehicles. E15 is the most tested gasoline blend on the market.


    The EPA act of 1992 designated an increase to 85% Ethanol and 15% Regular Unleaded gasoline as an Alternative Fuel and provided incentives for auto manufacturers. These vehicles are known as Flex-Fuel models and can run off Regular Unleaded, E10, E15, and E85. Originally E85 was dispensed through a separate pumping area with a yellow handle. More stations today are running all blends through the same pump and sometimes even the same hose; therefore you must pay close attention to the button you select. New E85 specific pumps are now using a blue handle so it can get confusing. Plus there are different blends of E85 which are required to be labeled such as not less than 51% or not less than 71%.

    Which Fuel to Use in Your RV

    So, how do we know what fuel is best for our vehicle or better yet, recommended by the manufacturer? Check your owner’s manual – the chassis version – and not the RV manufacturer. According to the 2013-2016 Ford F53 Class A Chassis manual and the Ford Cutaway manual, both using the Triton V10 6.8L gasoline engine, they recommend the following:

    Choosing the Right Fuel

    Use only UNLEADED gasoline or UNLEADED gasoline blended with a maximum of 15% ethanol in your gasoline vehicle. If your vehicle is a Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV), it will have a yellow bezel placed over the fuel fill inlet.

    Octane Recommendations

    Regular unleaded gasoline with a pump (R+M)/2 octane rating of 87 is recommended. Some stations offer fuels posted as Regular with an octane rating below 87, particularly high altitude areas. Fuels with octane levels below 87 are not recommended.

    Do not be concerned if your engine sometimes knocks lightly. However, if it knocks heavily under most driving conditions while you are using fuel with the recommended octane rating, see your authorized dealer to prevent any engine damage.

    This recommendation is fairly consistent with older manufacturer’s for such as Chevrolet/GMC on a Workhorse chassis using the Vortec 8.1L and several truck manufacturer’s towing a trailer.

    Cummins/Onan recommends no more than 10% Ethanol for their generators.

    Next, how do we know the exact blend to use? Since Ethanol is blended at the local refinery, the only true way to tell the percentage is to test it at the pump. Easy to use kits are available at www.fuel-testers.com. The kit contains a measurement/tester tube and sanitary dispenser bottles to obtain a fuel sample and add the test solution.

    How to Find Regular Unleaded Gasoline

    There are some places that still sell Regular Unleaded/no Ethanol gasoline but they are getting harder to find. Here are some websites that are continually updating locations with customer feedback:

  • www.pure-gas.org
  • www.gasbuddy.com
  • www.fuel-testers.com

  • rv ethanol 4

    What About My Older Rig?

    The biggest complaint about Ethanol in the early stages was clogging fuel filters, deteriorating rubber fuel lines, and running too hot for the engine. Although there are no documented case studies on RVs specifically, there is abundant data on the effects of E10 on components such as rubber fuel lines, gaskets in carburetors, and fuel filters. Most of the data collected from service centers throughout the country indicates models manufactured from 1981 and newer have no issues with rubber components or gas tank rust clogging fuel filters. Since this is not documented, you might want to replace the fuel lines to your engine and generator with modern day technology designed for the E10 fuel.

    In Review

    Ethanol, in whatever blend, is here to stay and we as RVers need to be educated. I personally purchase Regular Unleaded gasoline for my lawn mower and snow blower because of the horrible things I heard about the damage that would happen from my local repair guy. However I’ve been using E10 in my 2002 Chevy Silverado since I purchased it new and at 149,000 miles and counting, it’s still getting 20 mpg highway and I’m not telling city.

    Bottom line, most manufacturers are okay with Ethanol in the correct blends for the model year. And if you accidentally fill the tank with E85 in a Non-Flex Fuel Vehicle, don’t worry. One tank will not do any damage; just drive the unit until it hits three-quarter tank and fill with Regular Unleaded 87 Octane if you can find it, or E10 and keep diluting it every three-quarter or half tank. It will burn leaner which will require your engine computer to adjust and probably turn on the Check Engine light. I have seen this happen several times and some drain the tank, but most just do this procedure. And every one that went to the dealership to have the Check Engine code verified just did a reset and they were good. Your Check Engine light will go off after a certain number of starts, or you can disconnect the negative battery cable for a certain amount of time and it will reset. Check your owner’s manual. You can take it in if you are concerned, but I hate paying $125 per hour for someone to disconnect my battery cable!

    What’s been your experience with fuel choices in your RV? Let us know in the comments.

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    62 Responses to “RV Fuel Choices and an In-Depth Examination of Ethanol”
      • Customer Service Techs

        Hi John. At this time we do not have closed captioning. I will forward your feedback on to the proper department. Thank you for your comments.

    1. Tom McFadden

      Traveling from Long Island, for two + months. Fueled (diesel) many times. One fill had Bio-Fuel and a %, which I do not remember. Noticed average fuel dropped to 6 1/2 mile per. Normally get 7 1/2 to just over 8 as average. Ethanol same as Bio-fuel??

      • jean.wozniak

        Hi Tom. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site. Biodiesel is a fuel typically derived from Soybeans in the US and blended with typical diesel fuel in percentages such as 5% Biodiesel/95% Diesel (B5) or 20% Biodiesel/80% Diesel (B20). Most diesel engine manufacturers do support the B5 version including Cummins. And the 1 mpg fuel drop is typical.

    2. Tim

      This is great info for gas engines what about diesels. I stopped at a Flying J and had no options if I were going to fill up. I didn’t.

      • Jeffrey

        There is only one blend of Diesel fuel allowed and it must be Low Sulfer. Even if you have a newer Diesel engine you must only use Low Sulfer and the new additive, DEF, you must use goes in its own separate tank.

    3. Papa Joe

      I have a 2004 Chevy Express 2500 series with Vortec engine with a Trail Lite Home on top.The engine check light goes on after I have had each of the sensors changed (at $125.00 each time) and even had a gear head friend temporarily take off the negative battery terminal. I use regular gas (84-87 octane) usually from Pilot/Flying J or from Costco or then any major gasoline company when on the road. And, the check engine light still goes on. Could it be the carburetor running lean? or is it the type of gas I am using? My Onan 4000 generator doesn’t seem to care and runs just fine when I use it. Your thoughts?

      • jean.wozniak

        Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your check engine light. Not sure what “sensors” you had changed as there are numerous that can cause your condition. The type of fuel is not causing the check engine light to come on, although it could have affected the initial failed part/sensor. You need to take the vehicle in to a qualified service center to get the code from the CPU causing the light to come on. It could be the Oxygen sensors in the exhaust, catalytic converter plugged, or even using E-85 in a non-flex fuel vehicle. Getting it into a qualified service center will eliminate a ton of headaches and money “swapping out parts”. Switching the type of gas at this point will not help.

    4. Dennis

      Is blended fuel the reason to top off the tank before storage? The moisture that collects in the fuel tank comes out of the fuel,right? After storing the RV for a few months, the moisture will mix back into the fuel? OK straighten me out. Thank you

      • RV Repair Club Team

        Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site. The reason for topping off the tank is to prevent condensation from forming on the sidewall of the tank itself from any type of fuel, not just ethanol blends. When the fuel cools down at night and then heats up the next morning, condensation can form in the open space with temperature fluctuations as low as 7 degrees. That moisture in the fuel will cause poor performance, premature injector failure, and clog up fuel filters.

        • Dennis

          Thanks for responding to my moisture question. A follow up question. Since the gas tank is a closed system, the moisture comes from the fuel itself, correct?

          • nate.walter

            Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site. That is correct, the moisture technically comes from the fuel itself.

          • Customer Service

            Hi Dennis. This is research provided by the Automotive/Filtration
            Separation Society: One of the most commonly thought of sources of water contamination is through condensation of atmospheric
            moisture to form liquid water.
            From this research it seems as though it comes from moisture in the air, however other research shows that fuel distributors are allowed by law to add 3% water to their fuel so that would also mean that moisture in the air could come from the fuel? My guess it’s probably a
            combination of both?

    5. Carl

      Hi I am new here so I don’t know if this The appropriate place to ask this question.
      I have a 1989 holiday rambler with ford 460 and there is a fuel filter between the engine and the gas tank it does not have a filter inside of it and just to I am wanting to know what kind of filter goes in this holder and where to buy it.

      • Customer Service

        Hi Carl. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your ‘89 Ford F53 chassis. The first thing you need to find is the chassis serial number. This will tell you the year and if it’s a federal emission model or California. Even though your rig is an ‘89, it could have an ‘88 chassis on it. You should then be able to contact a Ford Dealer to cross reference the part number. For anything Ford related I always go to Forest City Ford as they have been working with Winnebago Ind for many years and are familiar with the F53 chassis. I called there today and Luke assured me they can cross reference the part with the chassis serial number. The number is 641-585-5555

    6. Jim

      RV Make: Safari Simba by Monaco, RV Model: Simba, RV Year: 2004

      Towing a GMC Terrain what can I expect in gas mileage. I have the Titan V10. What is the best speed to help in the mileage. Thxs

      • Customer Service

        Hi, Jim. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site. Mileage is affected by many factors such as weight, speed, and driving patterns. 60 mph is widely considered the ultimate traveling speed for motorhomes to get the best fuel economy and it will drop about 1 mpg for every 3-4 mph you go above that! Not knowing what type of vehicle, the length, and specifically the weight, it’s hard to give a good mpg rating. Shorter coaches on the Class C chassis can get into the 10-12 range if they are driving slower and not fully loaded, while larger Class A units towing I’ve seen get as low as 6 mpg! If your vehicle is in the 33-35’ range and 20-22,000 lb GVWR you could be seeing 7-8 mpg towing, however that is not a guarantee!!!

    7. Carol B

      RV Make: Gulfstream, RV Model: B Touring Cruiser Chevy eng, RV Year: 2004

      Using 87 with 10% ethanol. No problems

    8. Darel

      RV Make: Thor, RV Model: Wanderer 182DT lite, RV Year: 2003

      How to pack wheel bearings?

      • Customer Service

        Hi, Darel. Thanks for visiting the RV Repair Club site and the opportunity to assist with your question on how to repack wheel bearings submitted on the Ethanol link. Repacking wheel bearings is fairly generic on smaller trailers and can be done without the expensive press machines if you take the time to inspect the bearings and know what to look for as far as excess wear and load problems. Not given the make, model, year, and floorplan of your RV, I don’t know the axle type or other specs. However the basics are taking the tire off, hub, axle cap, removing the clamp ring, axle nut, and bearings with washers. Then cleaning everything with brake cleaner or other type solution, packing with axle grease, and reinstalling. Then you need to torque the lugs to the appropriate spec and retorque in 50 miles. In the old days I did this all myself, today, I take it to a local service center that charges me $100 to do everything.

    9. Stephen

      RV Make: Thor, RV Model: Vegas, RV Year: 2016, Brand: Thor, Model Number: Vegas

      How in the world do I get to the engine battery. It is so far back and obstructed with hoses in front. I’m not sure if it is a maintenance free battery, so how can I check for water level?….Thanks

      • Customer Service

        Hi, Stephen. We would be happy to assist you; we just need some more information. What is the make/model/year of your RV?

    10. Fernando

      RV Make: Thor, RV Model: Challenger 37KT, RV Year: 2013

      I have had a couple of V-10 power trucks (a 2 valve model and a 3 valve model) over the past ten years and, towed a 30 foot Holiday Rambler Fifth Wheel to many locations and elevations. My current Challenger has the 3 valve V-10 and I have traveled many miles without and fuel related issues. I have always kept to well know brands (Arco, Chevron, Union 76, Shell, Costco, etc.) and use a fuel injector cleaner about every 4 or 5 gas tank fills (or 2-3 months of sitting). I follow the same practice on our daily vehicles and a high performance car and touring motorcycle.
      Those V-10 engines run great on today’s regular unleaded fuel. Never a knock. Never a clogged filter or fuel injector. Never have used a fuel stablizer. Even with a 26,000 pound load going up a 7% or 8% grade. No knocking. I hope this info helps.

    11. Len White

      RV Make: four winds, RV Model: windsport, RV Year: 1997

      my onboard Onan 5000 gen runs on the fuel from the engine ( 460 ford )

    12. Nick

      RV Make: Winnebago , RV Model: Voyage 38J, RV Year: 2008

      Hi all, my unit has a 8.1L GM vortec and considering switching the original ECM with a reprogrammed from Ultra RV Products, which states that it is specific for Workhorse 8.1L engines, and claiming a gain in HP…60 to 70 more and in fuel economy. How true is this statement? Anyone had the ECM replaced?
      Also, and this has nothing to do with the engine. The instrument Cluster on my unit is an ACTIA and it is ……garbage, to say the least! Very user un-friendly and dangerous to operate while driving. I like to replace it with a more classic electric or mechanical gauges, or add few ready visible parameter gauges for oil pressure, transmission temp, water temp and volts. Is anything out there compatible with the present set=up?
      Thank you. Cheers. Nick

      • Customer Service

        Hi, Nick. Every RV owner is looking for that “silver bullet” that will give them better performance and increased fuel economy, the “Big 2”. After all, aren’t the engine manufacturers in cahoots with the gas companies? Over the past 33 years that I have been in the RV industry I’ve seen way to many companies come and go that have promised the “Big 2” benefits and most have failed. One of the few that have worked is the Banks Power System which changes the design of the intake and the exhaust and has proven track records for more horsepower and better fuel economy. I am not familiar with Ultra RV Products, but did some research and called to talk with a technician but could only talk to a sales rep that had no track record for RVs. According to their website they do rep some good products such as Roadmaster, Safe T Plus, and Blue Ox, but I find it odd they are only selling a remanufactured ECM with no testimonials? So that tells me they are buying scrap parts and reprogramming the new codes to increase 60-70 horsepower. Since you did not give the make, model and year of your RV, I can only assume you have a workhorse chassis with the Vortec but do not know the transmission. I do not believe you will notice any difference in a 60+ increase in horsepower on a larger gas unit? It’s more about the transmission and gearing ratio? I also find it ironic that you are considering purchasing an ECM remanufactured unit from a company that also sells the ACTIA cluster you think is junk! There are other gauges and clusters you can replace, but some of the newer digital models are linked to the input from the ECM and temperature inputs that are not compatible.

    13. jerry

      RV Make: FLEETWOOD, RV Model: BOUNDER, RV Year: 1994


      • Customer Service

        Hi Jerry. Thank you for visiting the RV Repair Club and the opportunity to assist with your On Board Diagnostic question. In 1994 there was a Chevrolet P30 chassis with a 7.4L engine or the F53 Ford with a 7.5L engine. I assume you are referring to the P30 chassis? If so, my gearhead source at Winnebago said the Chevy engines prior to ‘96 used the OBD1.

    14. Glenn E

      RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Pace Arrow Vision, RV Year: 1995, Brand: Ford engine, Model Number: 460 CID

      Radiator had leaked and overheated too many times with 150,000 hard miles. Now has a head gasket leak. Would replace engine complete be better than head gasket with radiator replaced? We love our Pace Arrow! Glenn

      • Customer Service

        Hi, Glenn. Wow…150K must be a record? Do you ever stop other than fuel fills? Just kidding. With that type of mileage, it’s a crap shoot to just replace the radiator and head gaskets? What you don’t know is how much water/antifreeze got into the cylinders and caused corrosion as well as the oil and crank shaft. You could do a compression test to see how the cylinders register, but after all this you still don’t know for sure? My parents had a 1993 Winnebago with a Chevy that blew a cylinder and we put in a new engine at 80,000. 6 months later we had to replace the transmission as it was not able to handle the power of the new engine. Not saying this is always the case, but I have seen it several times. I might be inclined to just replace the head gaskets if the price is right and see how it turns out? No matter what option you take, if this is a gas engine, you are traveling on barrowed time! Good luck!

    15. Nealan Moreland

      RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: Minnie Winnie, RV Year: 2002

      At 88,000miles on odometer Ford Dealer said I needed a new engine due to low compression of two cylinders on the V-10. Told them my brother has same V-10 engine in his pick up and has 200,00 miles on it with no problems. I had taken it in as fuel pump wen out and they said it was the engine. After engine replaced they called and requested OK to install fuel pump. Could ethanol have caused the rings to rust or cylinder walls to rust when the RV sat idle for several months at a time? (Assuming there was low compression) I performed all services per the owner’s manual.

    16. Davidkraft

      RV Make: Fleetwood , RV Model: Blounder 35r, RV Year: 2004, Brand: Fleetwood , Model Number: Blunder 35r

      I have a 2004 Fleetwood Bounder with a Vortec 8.1 motor workhorse chassis whenever I am going up a long grade and motor hits 4000 RPM my low oil pressure light and alarm go off could this be due to some sensor have stopped and checked the oil has plenty of oil

    17. Paul

      RV Make: Heartland, RV Model: North Trail, RV Year: 2016

      Ethanol i do not believe it hear to stay there are more stations that do not have it . It is not cleaner and you get about 30 to 50% less mpg. If it is so good why is it getting subsidized ….

    18. Roger Meyer

      RV Make: Fleetwood Pace Arrow, RV Model: Vision, RV Year: 1996

      We just bought this RV, it was in storage for over a year. Upon opening the LP gas valve, I could hear the lines being pressurized but we never got any gas to the stove, fridge or water heater. I closed the valve and relieved the pressure in the line, reconnected and tried opening the valve again. No ‘whoosh’, no gas to appliances. Regulator screen was clean. What else should I look for?

      • Customer Service

        Hi Roger,

        To provide more specific troubleshooting for your LP gas issue we need the make, model, and year of your RV. One culprit with LP systems is the excess flow valve. There is a spring loaded needle valve in-line of the connection that sense excess flow and will shut down. This is common with the DOT cylinders used in trailers and 5th wheels when initially opening the valve all the way the fuel starts flowing to fast. The needle valve senses a leak in a line somewhere and shuts down and it takes about 10-15 minutes for the pressure to backflow and the spring to go back to operating pressure. Let the unit sit for about an hour, then open the valve very slowly, just an 1/8 turn at a time. If that doesn’t work, it’s probably in the regulator and it should be replaced by a qualified technician.

        Dave RVRC Video Membership

        We’d love to have you be a part of our community. We are convinced you will enjoy the benefits of becoming a member and having access to the best instructional how to videos and professional tips. We would like to offer you a special offer for your first year membership. http://go.rvrepairclub.com/C8262

    19. Don

      RV Make: Jayco TT, RV Model: WhiteHawk 33 RSKS, RV Year: 2016, Brand: Toyota, Model Number: Tundra SR5

      Using 87 with 10% ethanol, I see 7-8 mpg and higher reving on hills/mountains. But when I use non-ethanal 87, I frequently see 8-9 mpg and MUCH less downshifting. And if I use 90 octane non-ethanol, I see 10+ mpg and the less downshifting. I drive a Tundra 5.7L 4WD (7,600#) towing a Jayco WhiteHawk 33 RSKS weighing in at 9,100 +/-.

    20. PAT STALEY

      RV Make: COACHMAN, RV Model: LEPRECHAUN, RV Year: 1987


    21. Chuck

      RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Vibe, RV Year: 2017

      My tow vehicle is a 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab SLT. It is a Flex Fuel rated vehicle. I have run a couple of tanks of E-85 through it with no noticeable effects except slightly lower gas mileage.

      What would be the effect of using the E-85 fuel while towing my RV? I am sure the gas mileage would suffer drastically, but I have not been able to find anything out about the overall effects of the E-85 fuel on the 5.3L V-8 engine. Any info you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    22. raider

      RV Make: gmc, RV Model: vandura, RV Year: 1995

      when using non ethanol my mileage was16-17 mph. Now I use 10% ethanol it has decreased to 13-14 mph. I believe that there is no energy with ethanol when mixed with gasoline

    23. Fiverman

      RV Make: Big Horn, RV Model: 3270 RS, RV Year: 2017

      Fuel is diesel! Your headings should be choosing the correct “gasoline “.

    24. Ed Meyer

      RV Make: Newmar, RV Model: Class A, RV Year: 2013

      Good questions and answers to others.

    25. Paul Becher

      RV Make: HR, RV Model: Endeavor, RV Year: 1999, Brand: Gale Banks

      Any information good or bad on installing the Banks alcohol injection system on the 275 HP Cummins diesel

    26. Helen

      RV Make: Itasca, RV Model: Class C, RV Year: 2001, Brand: Winnebago

      It is an oldie, but runs well and gives me little trouble. I’m thinking is will be an antique model soon. But it looks good and I love it.

    27. Mike W

      RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: Access, RV Year: 2007

      Really love these articles. As a newbie RV’er I’m benefit greatly from the wisdom. Not sure If my issue is fuel related but my Ford V10 really seems sluggish and regularly downshifts when encountering any grade of incline. Typically driving around 65-70 and not towing a dingy. Any advice appreciated.

    28. Kent Earnhardt

      RV Make: chev, RV Model: P-30, RV Year: 1983, Model Number: Fleetwood

      RV was not started enough — and now will not start. Got new battery and starter turns over rapidly — but motor will not start. Added boost element to possible stale fuel, and also more regular fuel. I suppose motor is not getting fuel — carburetor is recessed too far to see. Any suggestions?

      • Customer Service

        Hello Kent,

        To provide more specific troubleshooting information on your non-start issue we need the make, model, and year of your RV as well as the Chassis manufacturer. Most motorhomes built after 1989 do not have a carburetor rather fuel injection monitored by a CPU which means there is little an owner can do to “boost” a start like starting fluid or opening the choke flap to see if fuel is getting to the carb! The basics are still fuel and spark which are difficult to verify on modern engines. You can still pull a plug and verify spark on most models. I would suggest changing the fuel filter to start and then verifying the starter is actually engaged to the flywheel of the transmission? If it’s turning over rapidly, it could be the starter bendix is not kicking the actual starter gears to the flywheel gears so the starter is spinning but not turning over the engine?

        David RVRC Video Membership

    29. Charles

      RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: Sun cruiser 39 R, RV Year: 2004, Brand: Oman Generator, Model Number: 7HGAB-900C

      I am still having problems starting my generator even after replacing the carborator over a year ago. Ethanol 10 percent gas is causing the float in the carborator to stick open and floods the engine stopping it from running. How can I stop this from happening?

      • Customer Service

        Hello Charles,

        Generator varnish is a big problem, not so much from the ethanol, but from the cheap refining and lack of additives in the fuel. When I owned an Standard Gas Station there were 17 different additives in our gas and nobody using our fuel had issues with water in the fuel, condensation, or freezing temps like those of cheaper brands. Today’s fuel has less than 1/2 the additives and more varnish issues with smaller engines like the generator. Most of the time it’s not running the generator under load long enough to burn out the varnish. Onan suggests running the genset at least 30 minutes every month under a 25+ amp load! That means running both roof airs or one roof air and a couple of space heaters which seems counter productive? Several owners have been using Sea Foam and not had problems with the genset? You can get it at most home improvement store, auto parts stores, and even WalMart. I’ve used it in all my cars, trucks, and lawn mowers for 25 years and have never had an issue with bad gas in the spring or winter firing up the snowblower.
        Might be something to try before tearing apart the carb?

        David RVRC Video Membership

    30. Gary Andrews

      RV Make: Jayco, RV Model: Precept, RV Year: 2017

      New to site Love it! My question concerns the discussion on fuel type in a Ford Triton V10. I have been using regular unleaded 87 octane with ethanol blend. So far I have had no issues with performance. What I would like to know is can I run ethanol free unleaded 91 octane fuel in it? There are several stations near me that carry it. The reason I’d like to use it is because I will be storing the MH for the winter ( about 5 months). Also the generator runs off the same fuel tank and am concerned the ethanol would cause damage to it. I have always used ethanol free fuel in my boat(as recommended by manufacturer and dealer) and keep the tank full during storage. Thanks for any input.

    31. Ray

      RV Make: Travel Supreme, RV Model: Select 45 DS, RV Year: 2006

      Can anyone tell me where the fuse (or breaker) is for the generator SLIDE?

      • Customer Service

        Hello Ray,

        To provide more specific troubleshooting information on the location of your generator slide fuseable link, we need the make, model, and year of your rig. Typically the generator slide mechanisms are manual slides in the front of diesel pusher units, however there are several variations in designs that we are not aware of. There are several companies that could have a slide system such as LCI, Kwikee, and others. We should be able to track down the location and help with your issue with a little more info.

        David RVRC Video Membership

    32. AUDREY


      • Customer Service

        Hello Audrey,

        Since you stated “gas” I assume you mean gasoline and I would getting rid of the fuel in the tank before trying to start and run the vehicle. When gas sits that long it will not only break down, but will also create condensation in the tank and have moisture/water and probably a rusty tank. I would recommend having a fuel specialist pull a large sample of the fuel from the tank to evaluate the fuel as well as the moisture and rust content to see if can be used and if the tank needs to be cleaned as well?

        RV Repair Club Video Membership

    33. Barbara

      RV Make: Thor, RV Model: Majestic, RV Year: 2008

      I drive an RV built on Ford E-350 chassis. I’ve always used 89 octane (mid-grade) gas in the past year a half that I’ve owned this RV that I bought used. Recently been told that 87 octane (regular) should be good enough so I can save money at the pump. I’ve been looking online what Ford recommends and couldn’t find anything yet. Can I get some insight?

    34. Alfred

      RV Make: Winnebago , RV Model: Brave, RV Year: 71

      However can I find what my engen is

    35. Mark Harris

      RV Make: Coachman, RV Model: Leprechaun FS240, RV Year: 2016

      Dave, all new Maverik has stations offer 87 octane non-ethanol “clean” unleaded has. Better mileage and engines run better without the corn junk.

    36. John Koslap

      RV Make: Winnebago, RV Model: Era 170C, RV Year: 2016

      Read the article on ethanol fuel. Do you have any articles on Bio- Diesel fuel?

    37. larry smith

      RV Make: Keystone, RV Model: 5th wheel 27ft, RV Year: 2014, Brand: Ram 2014, Model Number: 1500 5.7 hemi

      My owners manual state that I can run Regular during normal driving, Although, when towing I should use Mid grade for better performance. It also says that premium will not improve performance over mid-grade. It is possible that other manufacturers talk about this in their user manual as well.

    38. Gerard Caron

      RV Make: Forest River, RV Model: Sunseeker, RV Year: 2016

      Our RV has a Chevrolet 4600 gasoline engine and cut away chassis, 2015. We now have 23,000 miles and have had two breakdowns, in which we had a strong battery but were not getting any fuel to the engine. One Chevy dealer switched out the relay. After the second break down the truck mechanic researched and found our vehicle, year and model fell within a group that had a higher than expected level of damage to the fuel pump. He suggested the ethanol may be the culprit because he had seen it in another similar truck that was left idle for periods of time. Luckily, the extended warranty we purchased when we bought it new in 2015 covered most of the work

    39. Connie Dewberry

      RV Make: Dodge, RV Model: Togia, RV Year: 1977

      Trying to find out how many fuel pumps a location no gas getting to carb engine is a 460

      • Customer Service

        Dear Harold,

        We’d love to assist! Would you be able to provide us with the year, make, and model of your camper trailer? Any details you can provide would be most helpful!


        RV Repair Club Video Membership

    40. Danny Jones

      RV Make: Fleetwood, RV Model: Jamboree, RV Year: 1990

      Thanks Dave. I just bought a 1990 Fleetwood powered by a Ford 460 engine with a Onan generator set. All my questions were answered. Thanks for the information