I've came across a similar problem to what faunt describes here and in my case the solution was to install curl (duh) and to set the http_request_timeout variable to a higher value using
drush vset http_request_timeout x
For the record, my specific issue was:
using the UI import method I was getting HTTP_REQUEST_TIMEOUT errors on a CSV import and Feeds didn't even start fetching the file. It turns out, it took too long for the other end (D7 Views data export plugin) to generate and send the CSV.
Looking at http_request.inc made me realize that:
- you must have curl installed, otherwise Feeds will ignore http_request_timeout
- the default http_request_timeout value (15 seconds) is inconsistent with drupal_http_request() (30.0 seconds)
This patch adds support for http_request_timeout (with a default of 30 seconds) on both the curl_setopt() and the drupal_http_request() based methods.