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Removing the onboard generator, and adding solar


inlandsea
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I just got a '91 Toyota Itasca Spirit RV. It has an onboard generator with about 270 hours on it. I'd like to remove the generator and use the compartment for solar components. Has anyone taken out the generator? DIY, or done at a shop? IF DIY, how difficult? If at a shop, what is the approx. cost? Thanks!

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DIY removal, what make is the generator. Folks here are always looking.

BTW before you remove it what are your solar plans?

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  • 4 months later...

As far as removing generator, it's pretty straightforward.  Before I describe the steps, full disclaimer: do this at your own risk.  I'm not responsible for any damage, injury or death resulted from this.   You can also search youtube for "removing rv generator".  I found a couple videos that helped with this project.

 

Now we get that out of the way, this is what I did.  Disconnect all connections at the coach battery.  Follow all the electrical connections attached to the generator and either cut or disconnect them.  Detach the throttle/choke cable.  Disconnect the fuel line and drain it into a fuel can so you can re-pour it back to your gas tank later.  Once the fuel is drained from the line, plug the line.  I shoved a screw that is slightly larger than the inner diameter of the line and clamped the line with a hose clamp.  Locate the bolts that hold the generator to the coach (mine was mounted on the lower frame with 4 bolts and nuts).  Loosen the bolts but don't remove them yet.  If there is a ground wire attached to one of the bolts, disconnect the wire. Put a large cardboard under the generator.   Place a floor jack under the generator and jack it up to support the bottom while you remove the bolts.  After you get the bolts out, slowly lower the generator.  Slowly remove the jack from under the generator and carefully lay down the generator on the cardboard.  Pull the cardboard out from under the RV.  Now you have the generator out.  Reinstall the one bolt and reconnect the ground wire.

 

As far as abandoning the fuel feed line.  I didn't feel safe just by plugging it.  For my generator the fuel feed line was teed off of a fuel return line at the rubber hose section.  This hose section is located above the fuel tank on the passenger side, 1/4" inner diameter and just a tad short of 2 feet long.   I replaced this with one piece section of new rubber hose (no tee).   Autozone, O'reilly, or your local auto parts store should have fuel rubber hoses in different sizes.  I got mine from O'reilly.  Make sure the new fuel line connections are tight and you don't smell any fuel.

 

There was thick cable connecting my generator to the positive terminal on the coach battery.  For now I just taped both ends with a lot of electric tape and secured the cable to the frame so that it's not dangling around.  Leave the other end disconnected from the battery.

 

My generator had a control panel inside the coach for starting and displaying the run time.  The wires that feed this control panel is under the sofa and clamped to the floor.  Remove the clamp screws.  And then remove the 4 screws on the panel and yank out all those wires out.  That's it.

 

Pour the fuel back to the gas tank.  Run the engine for a few minutes, turn it off and check for leaks at the new rubber fuel hose.  

 

I think adding a solar charging system is a cool idea.  Maybe I'll install it on my rig someday.     

 

 

 

 

 

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