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Old 12-04-2020, 08:42 PM   #1
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THOR #20289
Replace the Generator with a new Onan Inverter Generator

Onan has come out with a new line of inverter generators for RVs, the QG 2800i and QG 4000i. They have several advantages:

Quieter- A side by side comparison showed that the 2800i is about 8 DB quieter. That is significant and important to me.

Less fuel consumption- Onan's data shows that the 2800i uses half the fuel as the 4000 at mid load, ie enough to power an 80A converter. which will be my primary use for the generator.

EFI injection which means no ethanol problems during our winter storage season.

I plan to use the generator mostly to recharge batteries while dry camping. I rarely will use it to power the AC. Onan says the 2800i will start and run a 13,500 btu A/C but the Axis I have on order comes with a 15,000 btu one. If it won't start the bigger A/C then I can add a hard start capacitor. Even at this heavier load (about 1,800 watts) the 2800i uses 2/3 of the fuel as the 4000i.

Some have said that I may lose resale value with the smaller albeit more sophisticated generator. Maybe I will just keep the 4000 so if someone really wants more power it should be easy to swap it back.

What do you guys think. Am I missing something.

David
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:14 PM   #2
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It uses less fuel because it is only 7/10ths the size.
Half the fuel consumption equates to a savings of a gallon every four hours underload.
Thats 75 cents an hour at $3 a gallon... And it's lab results under the best conditions, not real life.

You'd have to run it 5,000 just to recoup the cost, and another 5,000 to see any significant savings.

And
Take that decibel hooie as laboratory and not real life.
Too many ways to change decibels on your current unit to consider 8dB worth a swap.

If you want to do something that is better:
Order the double alternator kit, have it installed along with two extra batteries and as much inverter as you can afford, then just do away with the generator entirely.

My math might be a little off but I don't see the slightest benefit this side of 10,000 hours.
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:25 PM   #3
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I like the idea of less noise and fuel consumption...
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Old 12-04-2020, 09:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I like the idea of less noise and fuel consumption...
Half of 2800 won't run a microwave if the fridge is running or a 1500w heater.
I think the 2800 would be running at max 3600ish rpm when the 4000 is running at half just loping along.
So the fuel would be closer to the same and the noise might even be less on the 4000 under the same load.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:50 PM   #5
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The microwave, fridge, furnace, and A/C don t use maximum power levels at all times.
Put a really stout inverter and some decent-sized batteries in place.
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Old 12-04-2020, 10:51 PM   #6
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The noise tests were done by TheFitRV and you can see them here: https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/qui...0i-we-test-it/

They had two motorhomes, one with the 2800i and the other with the 4000 generator. They started each and at no load measured the nose using an iPhone app at 20' and 50' from the motorhomes. Then they started the A/Cs (same model on both) and did the same measurements. I suspect the A/C noise affected the results as much as the additional load on the generators.

The Onan QG 2800i was 8-9 dB under the 4000 model. Here is the data:

Standard RV Generator Onan QG 2800i
20 feet (no load) 67 dB 58 dB
20 feet (AC load) 68 dB 59 dB
50 feet (no load) 61 dB 52 dB
50 feet (AC load) 61 dB 53 dB

Insofar as fuel consumption, that comes straight from the Cummins data sheets and I seriously doubt that they are distorting it. I have used their engine data on their diesel marine engines and it was always right.

The cost of fuel isn't my biggest interest, but it is worth something. More important is the ability to dry camp in one spot while running the generator several hours per day to charge up a lithium battery bank and not run below 1/4 full where it will shut off.

And the EFI is also a big plus. Ethanol gasoline doesn't affect modern cars because they have EFI (electronic fuel injection) which totally contains the fuel and doesn't allow any air or moisture inside. So you don't have to add stabilizer or anything else for winter storage.

I believe that the Onan inverter generators will soon take over the RV market from their standard ones.

David
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
Onan has come out with a new line of inverter generators for RVs, the QG 2800i and QG 4000i. They have several advantages:

Quieter- A side by side comparison showed that the 2800i is about 8 DB quieter. That is significant and important to me.

Less fuel consumption- Onan's data shows that the 2800i uses half the fuel as the 4000 at mid load, ie enough to power an 80A converter. which will be my primary use for the generator.

EFI injection which means no ethanol problems during our winter storage season.

I plan to use the generator mostly to recharge batteries while dry camping. I rarely will use it to power the AC. Onan says the 2800i will start and run a 13,500 btu A/C but the Axis I have on order comes with a 15,000 btu one. If it won't start the bigger A/C then I can add a hard start capacitor. Even at this heavier load (about 1,800 watts) the 2800i uses 2/3 of the fuel as the 4000i.

Some have said that I may lose resale value with the smaller albeit more sophisticated generator. Maybe I will just keep the 4000 so if someone really wants more power it should be easy to swap it back.

What do you guys think. Am I missing something.

David
What are you trying to compare? Standard 4K generator to 2.8K inverter generator? 2.8K inverter generator to 4K inverter generator?

If you want to replace your standard 4K generator with a new inverter generator there is ZERO reason to consider the 2.8K, get the 4K. Due to the way inverter generators work, especially with an "ECO" mode, at the same load the 4K will only consume a miniscule more amount of fuel and will probably be as quiet, if not quieter than the 2.8K generator since it is not working as hard. Plus you maintain the full generator capacity for the MH.
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidEM View Post
The noise tests were done by TheFitRV and you can see them here: https://www.thefitrv.com/rv-tips/qui...0i-we-test-it/

They had two motorhomes, one with the 2800i and the other with the 4000 generator. They started each and at no load measured the nose using an iPhone app at 20' and 50' from the motorhomes. Then they started the A/Cs (same model on both) and did the same measurements. I suspect the A/C noise affected the results as much as the additional load on the generators.

The Onan QG 2800i was 8-9 dB under the 4000 model. Here is the data:

Standard RV Generator Onan QG 2800i
20 feet (no load) 67 dB 58 dB
20 feet (AC load) 68 dB 59 dB
50 feet (no load) 61 dB 52 dB
50 feet (AC load) 61 dB 53 dB


Insofar as fuel consumption, that comes straight from the Cummins data sheets and I seriously doubt that they are distorting it. I have used their engine data on their diesel marine engines and it was always right.

The cost of fuel isn't my biggest interest, but it is worth something. More important is the ability to dry camp in one spot while running the generator several hours per day to charge up a lithium battery bank and not run below 1/4 full where it will shut off.

And the EFI is also a big plus. Ethanol gasoline doesn't affect modern cars because they have EFI (electronic fuel injection) which totally contains the fuel and doesn't allow any air or moisture inside. So you don't have to add stabilizer or anything else for winter storage.

I believe that the Onan inverter generators will soon take over the RV market from their standard ones.

David

That's only half the data. Where's the 4K numbers?
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:37 PM   #9
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The 4K decibel number is listed first, and the 2.8K number follows...
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Old 12-04-2020, 11:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
The 4K decibel number is listed first, and the 2.8K number follows...
That's a Standard 4K generator reading. It's a no-brainer that a 2.8K inverter generator will be quieter than the standard 4K generator. How's it compare to the 4K inverter generator he mentioned in the first line of the OP?
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Old 12-05-2020, 12:08 AM   #11
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A lot of bad information and assumptions in this thread.

The Onan 4,000 inverter generator is not out yet to test.

What James tested was not a 4,000 Watt standard Onan. Neither of those vans comes with 4,000 Watt generators. The older Travato had standard 2,800 Watt generator, and new van had an Onan 2,800 Watt inverter generator.

Onan specs show some standard 2,800 Watt generators are as loud or louder than standard 4,000 Watt Onan, so canít go by size (power rating) alone.
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Old 12-05-2020, 12:32 AM   #12
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Sorry, perhaps I missed the fact that the standard generator in the test was a 2,800 one.

Since the 4000i is not available I am thinking about taking out the 4000 when it arrives at the dealer and replacing it with the 2800i which I just confirmed with Norwall that they can ship me one now. The 4000i will come later.

Since the 2800i will do everything I want, I am considering that one now.

Will the 4000i be as quiet and as fuel efficient (at the same 1,500 watt load) as the 2800i? I doubt it.

David
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Old 12-05-2020, 12:58 AM   #13
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Onan has had port fuel injection generators for some time. OEMs do not install them because they cost about $1,100 more than the carb version/
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:04 AM   #14
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That should be available as an option.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:07 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
That should be available as an option.
It IS an option.
The op is exercising that option.
Everything is an option before delivery.

I'm not thinking much of the idea, but I'm thinking much good of the OP recognizing he can have any option he wants merely for the asking.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:41 AM   #16
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I was referring to having it available from Thor; when you order your RV.
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:05 AM   #17
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So far Thor has said no to installing the I generator at the factory so I am considering asking the dealer to do it and I will keep the 4000 in case a future buyer wants it.

David
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Old 12-05-2020, 04:24 AM   #18
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An interesting thing to know about James and Stephanie of The Fit RV, who conducted that sound-level test, is that they removed the Onan generator from their Travato and replaced it with lithium batteries and an under-hood second dedicated high-capacity alternator (probably 280 Amps).

More recently they purchased a Winnebago Ekko compact Class C and opted to delete the Onan 2800 inverter generator and add an additional high-capacity lithium battery (I think 315 Ah or 4 kWh if I recall correctly). That gives the Ekko 630 Amp-hours or 8 kWh of battery capacity, but James mentioned in one video that he plans to add even more.

Apparently the 2800i isnít quiet enough for them, or they donít run their air conditioner for extended periods. As discussed in other threads, with present technology, A/C usage is the main reason for needing a generator. He also mentioned they drive a lot during the day, which charges the batteries.

While I like the idea of having a small 2800 inverter generator to power A/C for long periods, Iíd have a very hard time justifying replacement of a brand new 4000 Watt generator just to save a little gas or make it 8~9 decibels quieter. Granted, thatís a lot quieter, but not enough for me to spend the money. Itíd be different if motorhome came that way from Thor at no extra cost.
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Old 12-05-2020, 12:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Chance View Post
While I like the idea of having a small 2800 inverter generator to power A/C for long periods, I’d have a very hard time justifying replacement of a brand new 4000 Watt generator just to save a little gas or make it 8~9 decibels quieter. Granted, that’s a lot quieter, but not enough for me to spend the money. It’d be different if motorhome came that way from Thor at no extra cost.
I am thinking the same particularly when someone implied that the inverter generator would cost a $1,000+ more plus swap out costs. I will know better next week when Norwall posts the price on their website.

Also I have a Honda EU2000i that I can use for battery charging and it is about as quiet.

David
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:57 PM   #20
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I'm following along just out of general interest on improved technology and reduced sound level, but personally agree with this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance View Post
While I like the idea of having a small 2800 inverter generator to power A/C for long periods, Iíd have a very hard time justifying replacement of a brand new 4000 Watt generator just to save a little gas or make it 8~9 decibels quieter. Granted, thatís a lot quieter, but not enough for me to spend the money. Itíd be different if motorhome came that way from Thor at no extra cost.
I wouldn't be able to justify the expense. Now as a factory option, so that one only had to pay the difference in price between the two generators ... That would be more interesting.
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