Sunday, September 19, 2010

Service the Onan, and the pink stuff!

No Football yet today!  Footballers Anonymous !  I am powerless  with Football TV time, and I admit it!   I need help from a higher power with my football addiction!  Well you get the idea......

So I went over and brought back the motorhome.  Today was generator service day.  We had only put about 35 hours on the Onan this past year, which is not very many, (We usually use it to run the ACs while driving) but it has been a year since the last oil change so my rule is once a year at least.

The generator is a diesel, since the big engine is a diesel, and that is the fuel in the tank.  Diesel makes an oil change a grungy process.  Its like draining tar out of the engine. Black, sooty, nasty stuff.  So I parked with that side of the coach toward the driveway, and crawled under with the 10 mm socket and ratchet.

It is just a little pipe plug thingy and it comes right out with out any problem.  And then so does the three quarts of goopy oil.  But that is not the rub, here.  Its the filter.  It is up inside of a trap door on the bottom of the green case, and you can reach up there and get your had on it easily.  But just try and turn it to loosen it.  I can never budge it.   Ya, I put it on last year! And it didn't seem tight at the time.

So you end up taking out a gazillion 10mm bolts that hold the neat green case together.  Inside, there is a really normal looking engine.  It is about 750 cc and three cylinders. It has a radiator and a fuel pump and all the normal stuff.  I had to use a strap style wrench on a half inch breaker bar to move the filter.  They really cook themselves on.

It takes more time to take the case off and put it back on than to change the oil and check all the fluids.  That's done for another year!

So since we will not be using the coach until we leave for Arizona sometime in December, I decided that there was no time like the present to pump the pipes full of the pink antifreeze.  This is also a relatively easy process, since Tiffin provides a hose to install right on the water pump.  The other end goes into the gallon jug.  Go inside and turn on the pump and open the faucets until you get antifreeze instead of water.

I have the habit of catching the pink stuff in a basin, once it is not diluted with water.  I let it run a bit to make sure, and then go pour the stuff back into the jug outside. This allows me to run it until I am for certain that the pipe is full.  But remember, I had a pipe expand under the kitchen sink last year too, so perhaps my technique is not good.  I still think they didn't use any pink stuff the year that it sat without being sold.

It is kind of ironic that it was 90 degrees outside while I was doing all this, and I was soaked in sweat.  Usually I am freezing to death, as I have let it go until the very last minute, and its going to freeze tonight.

Maybe it won't freeze before we leave here!!!  Ya right, fat chance!!!

Retired Rod


  1. I had the oil changed on my Onan last November at the RV Park in NC. He did a wonderful job, and I didn't even get dirty.

  2. Winterizing was & is not one of my favorite things to do. This is our 5th RV & & I always seem to run into trouble with something somewhere. Only had to have the Motor Home done once & I got a guy to blow out the lines. I always feel more comfortible having someone else do it who knows what they are doing. I don't like the idea of me doing it then having to deal with broken water pipes, etc.

  3. Good idea on winterizing, freezing temps at the end of October are not unheard of in our area of the Midwest.I will be doing mine after we get back from the Rally next week. just to be safe while I'm in PA. in Oct and Nov. We might go south for a month in Dec, don't know yet.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  4. You have inspired me and I think I will winterize our truck camper today, and maybe even have a look at the oil, and figure out how much of a rigamorole that will be to change.

    The motorhome I am "hoping" we will have out of here before winter sets in, if my docs are onboard we will head south at the end of October and as we live in it fulltime now it will be OK till then, with a little supplemental heat.

  5. I guess that is one good part of full-timing. You don't have to do anything but protect your pipes in really cold weather with some weather stripping and insulation. We had one freeze last year, but no pipe damage. I guess we were very lucky.

  6. The pink stuff is on my "maybe" list, but I won't have to worry about it here until November at the earliest. If it stays mild, we might get away without it before we leave. It's an easy job though, so I don't mind doing it all.


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