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MERGED - Same MH. Ran out diesel & No electricity


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A couple of months ago we were on our way from Orlando to St. Augustine, FL.  The fuel gauge read 1/4 tank when we were about 11 miles from our campground so I knew I had to get fuel.  I got off I-95 just south of the exit for our campground but it happened to be bike week and the truck stop at that exit had at least 500 bikers around the parking lot and pumps.  I didn't want to deal with it so we continued on to our exit.  Unfortunately there were no gas stations with diesel on the side of the interstate we were on so we went to the campground about 2 miles away.  When we were ready to leave I went directly to a station I'd seen on the opposite side of the interstate that had diesel .  As my luck would have it, the engine stalled in the lane to turn into the gas station. 

After spending $730 for a mobile tech to come out and prime the system we headed back home.  At a point a few miles from my exit, the engine skipped a couple of times.  I assumed there was air in the lines.  The tech said there was trash in the tank and showed me a sample of the fuel in a plastic bottle.  With my eyes and wearing sun glasses I really couldn't see much in the clear fuel. 

Our next trip was from Orlando to Auburndale (less than 100 miles).  There was no problem on the way down, but the engine skipped a few times on the way back.  My wife didn't have any confidence in the engine and wanted me to have it inspected.  Long story already, but the Cummins Coach Care near my house didn't want to work on it at first because Monaco used the Roadmaster chassis and not the Spartan.  Apparently they are only certified on Spartan.  I promised the lady I only wanted them to do work on the engine.  She then agreed to make an appointment but I had to have the engine number in order to make the appointment.  Where on the engine do I find the engine number?  I have a rear radiator so the only access I have is through the bedroom floor or to crawl up under the RV.  I don't store it at home so the only access would be crawling on a gravel parking lot at the storage facility.

I needed some other service work to be done so I made an appointment with Lazy Days in Wildwood, FL (formerly the FL Monaco service center).  Their diesel tech drove it and nothing happened for him.  About 1/2 way home (of a 53 mile trip back) the engine skipped a couple of times.  Not bad skipping but skipping all the same. So it seems it only skips after the engine warms up.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm a detail oriented person.

Any suggestions as to what might be the problem? Any suggestions for a Cummins repair facility in the western Orange county/Orlando area? Any idea where the engine number is located on the engine?

Thanks for your patience in reading my life's history.

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First thing I'd do is replace the fuel filters.

https://www.cummins.com/care-search-details?id=INF454&locale=en&searchid=1593500054214&answerid=16777220

ISC and ISL: The dataplate is located on the top side of the gear housing. It includes the following engine data:Engine Serial Number (ESN)Critical Parts List (CPL)ModelHorsepower and RPM ratingIf the engine dataplate is not readable, the ESN can be found on the engine block on top of the lubricating oil cooler housing. Additional engine information is on the electronic control module (ECM) dataplate.

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Also, if you have an assembly component list like we do on a wall inside one of the bedroom cabinets, it will be effortless to get the engine SN from there. Hopefully, the dirt the tech mentioned came from him undoing fittings, anything getting past the filters is scary.

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Thanks. I really had no idea what to look for. Upside shouldn’t be a problem as a photo can be rotated. 
 

im going by the storage facility tomorrow morning so now I know what to look for. 

15 minutes ago, tmw188 said:

It’s probably going to be upside down from your view 

9DFE5D72-5EA1-4FF1-9143-77A615A48EE5.jpeg

 

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3 minutes ago, ktloah said:

I for one never let my tank get below 1/2.... sounds to me like you have dirty filters...like others have said, change them first. 

That makes sense.
 

I had planned to get fuel earlier on the trip but the gauge read 1/2 tank when we left. It’s only about 100 miles from our house to the campground where we stayed.  
 

I wanted to try the TDS card for the first time so I kind of postponed stopping until we got to a Luvs. Even when the engine stopped running the gauge still showed just under 1/4 tank. That’s the lowest I’ve let it get. Now I know not to trust it until I can get it calibrated. 

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T/A service shop can clean your fuel tank. When we bought our coach it had been sitting for two years. Algae was in the fuel, T/A pumped the fuel out of the tank put it though a couple of filters and back in the tank.  Process was about half an hour. We still carry extra fuel filters.

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11 hours ago, tomevansfl said:

That makes sense.
 

I had planned to get fuel earlier on the trip but the gauge read 1/2 tank when we left. It’s only about 100 miles from our house to the campground where we stayed.  
 

I wanted to try the TDS card for the first time so I kind of postponed stopping until we got to a Luvs. Even when the engine stopped running the gauge still showed just under 1/4 tank. That’s the lowest I’ve let it get. Now I know not to trust it until I can get it calibrated. 

I learned real fast I couldn't trust the fuel gauge.  We took a +3 month trip to AK back in 2009 and I was tracking all expenses including fuel so I kept a daily log and would track mile, fuel used, and MPG.  Didn't take long to figure out the gauge wasn't accurate but by tracking miles I was able to plan for fuel stops. 

When I got back I tried to recalibrate the fuel sender but it only marginally helped.

Ultimately I bought a Silverleaf VMSpc and set it up with the tank minder.  I have a 128 gallon tank, it tracks fuel consumption so it tells me how much fuel I have left.  It also provides me with miles driven and MPG.  It is very accurate, usually within 1% (or better). 

Even still I seldom let my tank get down to 1/2 full unless I am confident where I will fill up.  I try to make sure my tank is full when I park it so last trip I pushed it and got down to ~25 gallons in the tank so I could fill up at a Sam's Club within ~30 miles of home.  ($3.18/gal in Nov 2021). 

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Don't trust the fuel gauge on these coaches.  The tank sender is electronic and for some reason tends to not have a long life.  people ( me included ) have spent countless hours thinking that cleaning and adjusting might rescue the sender.  In my case it never did work reliably afterwards.  Fortunately on my coach the tank sending unit is pretty easy to change.  Take it from one who knows the thing may decide to give false readings with no warning.  I ran out thing I had plenty of fuel and I was just a few miles from home.  I bought 2 gas cans ( no diesel cans available )  and made several trips to fill those cans.  I removed the filters & filled both.  I then activated the lift pump over and over many times, thought it wasn't going to start, but it finally caught hold & started.  I hope I learned my lesson, but I knew better, even warned others only to make the stupid mistake myself.  I may try one of these. 

Amazon.com: 240-33ohms 14" Marine Fuel Sending Unit Fuel Tank Sending Unit Gas Water Tank Sender Fuel Gauge Sending Unit Water Level Sensor (350mm) for Boat Truck Car Fuel Level Gauge Sending Unit Sensor : Automotive

AODITECK 240-33 ohms 11"(280mm) Boat Fuel Tank Sending Unit Fuel Sending Unit Marine Truck Car Fuel Water Level Sensor Marine Gas Water Tank Sensor Fuel Gauge Sending Unit Truck Gas Water Tank Sender

Edited by Ray Davis
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On 6/14/2022 at 8:48 PM, tomevansfl said:

I did find these two numbers but not sure if the unit number is the engine number. 

IMG_1903.MOV

2F1943D6-0E72-42CB-A498-1BF50159A090.jpeg

The Unit Number is a number assigned to your coach by Monaco during assembly. The most important part of that UNIT # is the last 6 digits. In your case it is 124671. The 2002 Windsor I have recently sold had a Unit # of 127392 which meant that there were 2721 coaches made in Indiana between your Diplomat and my Windsor.

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On 6/14/2022 at 7:30 PM, tomevansfl said:

A couple of months ago we were on our way from Orlando to St. Augustine, FL.  The fuel gauge read 1/4 tank when we were about 11 miles from our campground so I knew I had to get fuel.  I got off I-95 just south of the exit for our campground but it happened to be bike week and the truck stop at that exit had at least 500 bikers around the parking lot and pumps.  I didn't want to deal with it so we continued on to our exit.  Unfortunately there were no gas stations with diesel on the side of the interstate we were on so we went to the campground about 2 miles away.  When we were ready to leave I went directly to a station I'd seen on the opposite side of the interstate that had diesel .  As my luck would have it, the engine stalled in the lane to turn into the gas station. 

After spending $730 for a mobile tech to come out and prime the system we headed back home.  At a point a few miles from my exit, the engine skipped a couple of times.  I assumed there was air in the lines.  The tech said there was trash in the tank and showed me a sample of the fuel in a plastic bottle.  With my eyes and wearing sun glasses I really couldn't see much in the clear fuel. 

Our next trip was from Orlando to Auburndale (less than 100 miles).  There was no problem on the way down, but the engine skipped a few times on the way back.  My wife didn't have any confidence in the engine and wanted me to have it inspected.  Long story already, but the Cummins Coach Care near my house didn't want to work on it at first because Monaco used the Roadmaster chassis and not the Spartan.  Apparently they are only certified on Spartan.  I promised the lady I only wanted them to do work on the engine.  She then agreed to make an appointment but I had to have the engine number in order to make the appointment.  Where on the engine do I find the engine number?  I have a rear radiator so the only access I have is through the bedroom floor or to crawl up under the RV.  I don't store it at home so the only access would be crawling on a gravel parking lot at the storage facility.

I needed some other service work to be done so I made an appointment with Lazy Days in Wildwood, FL (formerly the FL Monaco service center).  Their diesel tech drove it and nothing happened for him.  About 1/2 way home (of a 53 mile trip back) the engine skipped a couple of times.  Not bad skipping but skipping all the same. So it seems it only skips after the engine warms up.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm a detail oriented person.

Any suggestions as to what might be the problem? Any suggestions for a Cummins repair facility in the western Orange county/Orlando area? Any idea where the engine number is located on the engine?

Thanks for your patience in reading my life's history.

I had the same problem, changed the filters 2 times and drain the fuel tank and it got worse over 6 months, turns out it was a air leak and the lift pump was suckling air , i install a fass fuel pump and bypass the lift pump, runs great now, 

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On 6/14/2022 at 6:28 PM, tomevansfl said:

I wanted to try the TDS card for the first time so I kind of postponed stopping until we got to a Luvs. Even when the engine stopped running the gauge still showed just under 1/4 tank. That’s the lowest I’ve let it get. Now I know not to trust it until I can get it calibrated. 

Tom,

While calibration is important, the fuel pick-ups generally don’t drop all the way to the bottom of the tank to avoid picking up “crud”. The generator pick-up is usually (supposed to be) set at about 1/4 tank and the Aqua-Hot (if equipped) would be roughly the same. The engine pick-up could be higher or lower. That’s why the “usable” amount of fuel is always much less than the absolute tank capacity calculated from dimensions.

It sounds to me that your gauge is probably relatively accurate as designed, and that you have now learned how to interpret the desperation level in seeking a fill up. That said, I’m sure you could re-calibrate the gauge so your current “1/4” reading shows empty.

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I was pretty close to running out of fuel one time when a truck stop in Oregon refused to let me pump because I did not have some stupid tax paperwork, still don't understand that but when I got to Idaho, my gauge was below zero and fuel warning light was on. Got lucky to make it but at least it confirmed the 200 gal tank capacity and low fuel warning. When full, my gauge shows slightly less but I refrain from adjusting it in case it messed with the now confirmed low indicator. I know it should be independent but don't want to find out.

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All I know is when the low fuel light comes on you'd better be a huntin'. 

I had my fuel gauge down to near zero more than once and was counting on 8 mpg (typically 8.5) when the light came on in AL at 1/8? tank.  I should have had 100+ miles left (trip meter method) but must have filled the tank in OK with the coach leaning to the left.  Several lessons learned:  #1 Don't trust the gauge.  #2 Fill up level or with a slight lean to the right  #3 Don't pull onto the right leaning shoulder to read the owners manual after the light comes on, in sight of a Love's.   #4 Diesel is very heavy when carried 1/2 mile.  #5 The coach stops where it wants to, not where you want it to  (clogged filter).  Changed the primary filter in the middle of the road outside of said truck stop. 

I'll still rely on the trip meter, but only if I'd tilted the coach on fillup using the leveling jack.  Oh, and that light . . . . you can trust it.

As for the skipping, I'd be concerned of an early CAPS failure.  I highly recommend installing a fuel pump (FASS or regulated) and a fuel pressure gauge at the secondary filter that can be read in the cockpit.  Or you can play CAPS roulette. 

Fuel Gauge - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007GDXK06/

Fuel Gauge Harness - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B087SDJFRK/

Adapter for Secondary Filter - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NWZBB0S/

FASS TSD8-100G kit for Ram pickups has most of what you need for an install. 

Is the engine throwing any codes?  There is a manual method using lights on the dash to check codes - It's in the owners manual.

- bob

Edited by cbr046
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4 hours ago, birdshill123 said:

The Cummins shop gave you bad info. They work on any Cummins engine regardless of chassis mfr. 

This was at the Cummings Coach Care. The woman I spoke to in service said they were only certified to work on Spartan chassis. I assured her I only wanted the engine serviced and all Cummings engines were the same no matter what the chassis it’s on. She finally conceded but emailed me a form for me to fill out and email back.
 

The form had a place for the V. I. N. number and the engine serial number. She said she couldn’t make an appointment until I returned the form fully filled out. She said that was to either put it in their company wide data base or to match it up it was already in it.
 

That’s why I’m looking for another Cummins service shop. I don’t know why she didn’t want to service my RV but that’s the feeling I got. That’s why I asked it to be checked when I took it to Wildwood. 
 

By the way, I checked the engine through the bedroom floor and couldn’t find any numbers on the engine. 
 

I plan to start tomorrow morning calling REV to see if they can look it up by the V. I. N. number. If they can’t help I may just start calling Cummins shops near me. 

4 hours ago, georgecederholm said:

Tom,

While calibration is important, the fuel pick-ups generally don’t drop all the way to the bottom of the tank to avoid picking up “crud”. The generator pick-up is usually (supposed to be) set at about 1/4 tank and the Aqua-Hot (if equipped) would be roughly the same. The engine pick-up could be higher or lower. That’s why the “usable” amount of fuel is always much less than the absolute tank capacity calculated from dimensions.

It sounds to me that your gauge is probably relatively accurate as designed, and that you have now learned how to interpret the desperation level in seeking a fill up. That said, I’m sure you could re-calibrate the gauge so your current “1/4” reading shows empty.

My gauge never dropped below a point at nearly 1/4 tank mark. The low fuel light never came on. I knew I needed fuel based on where the gauge read when we left the storage lot and the number of miles I had driven. It started at just over 1/2 tank. 
 

If I can find someone to service it I will probably have the sending unit replaced. 

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  • Tom Cherry changed the title to MERGED - Same MH. Ran out diesel & No electricity

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