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Old 07-20-2021, 08:09 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
One nice advantage of having a generator in your RV? You can always use it to help power your house in a pinch...
Yep, during the TX "big freeze" in Feb, we and the three cats moved to the Hurricane for 4 days while the entire west side of Bexar County was without power. Even though the Village has three critical care facilities that have supplemental power; those of us in Independent Living had no power. Even the fire sprinkler systems pipes froze in the towers (50 hours below freezing with a low of +9 F). The Hurricane's generator ran for 83 hours straight using just 59.9 gallons. We used 1/2 half tank of propane. Fortunately, the water supply is the Village's and has it own power source (a 30 KVA diesel generator), so we had running water and it is only a couple hundred feet over to the RV dump station and wash-rack. The surprise of the ordeal was the N641 Norcold RV frig worked perfectly during the entire time and we were able to save all of the food in the house's freezer and fridge.

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Old 07-20-2021, 08:33 PM   #22
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Just finished a 2500 open Honda gen for buddy. He said see if you can fix or toss. After 2.5 hours cleaning carb passages and freeing gov linkage it starts first pull and runs great. This unit was clogged with pre ethanol gas. It sat that long.

I have worked on many gen sets. Usually issues arise from lack of use or secondly lack of maintenance.

Ethanol gas is not great in anything that sits, best option is to exercise unit. I start everything at least monthly and every 2 weeks during hurricane season. We use our rv frequent enough that is never an issue though Onan only has 540 hours in 5 years of use. Have a champion 3500 on racecar trailer that likely has over 5000 hours. Even have 5000 generac flathead from 1992 (Hurricane Andrew) that runs fine on ethanol gas. Cycle fuel through them often enough, minimal issues. I use pump premium from a top tier station in my 10 sec drag car with no issues as well. Leftover premium from each race weekend goes into RV and generators.
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Old 07-21-2021, 10:08 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Muggs View Post
Just finished a 2500 open Honda gen for buddy. He said see if you can fix or toss. After 2.5 hours cleaning carb passages and freeing gov linkage it starts first pull and runs great. This unit was clogged with pre ethanol gas. It sat that long.

I have worked on many gen sets. Usually issues arise from lack of use or secondly lack of maintenance.

Ethanol gas is not great in anything that sits, best option is to exercise unit. I start everything at least monthly and every 2 weeks during hurricane season. We use our rv frequent enough that is never an issue though Onan only has 540 hours in 5 years of use. Have a champion 3500 on racecar trailer that likely has over 5000 hours. Even have 5000 generac flathead from 1992 (Hurricane Andrew) that runs fine on ethanol gas. Cycle fuel through them often enough, minimal issues. I use pump premium from a top tier station in my 10 sec drag car with no issues as well. Leftover premium from each race weekend goes into RV and generators.
In my John-Deer, string trimmer, leaf blower, and Honda 2000 generator I use 100% gasoline. Start the generator once a month and every other month plug it into an electric heater to heat up the windings. That helps drive moisture out of the windings.
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:43 AM   #24
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We've had so much rain this year; that the mowers and string trimmers are happily running in 10% ethanol. None of it stays in them long enough to make a difference!
(Gotta fire them up again today...)
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Old 07-21-2021, 01:04 PM   #25
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In my John-Deer, string trimmer, leaf blower, and Honda 2000 generator I use 100% gasoline. Start the generator once a month and every other month plug it into an electric heater to heat up the windings. That helps drive moisture out of the windings.
Many of my track buddies use the pure gas. They have great luck with it. I have found is not always readily available. When we travel to 2 or 3 day events is a lot of generator fuel to carry. Have found it easier to stop just before track entry to get gas for both generator and racecar. After event whats leftover goes into generator/RV. That way we do not travel with full fuel jugs on trailer and in racecar.

More than anything else activity is key to minimizing problems. Idleness starts clock on corrosion from ethanol mix fuels.

We also keep everything full. Minimize air space to slow moisture absorption. Being in Florida has been routine to keep everything full during hurricane season. Used the old generac for 2 weeks after Wilma back in 2005.
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:17 PM   #26
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We've had so much rain this year; that the mowers and string trimmers are happily running in 10% ethanol. None of it stays in them long enough to make a difference!
(Gotta fire them up again today...)
Bob, you have been getting our rain. It seems too rain all around us but our grass is almost dead. Yes, I have noticed that the Northeast is getting crappy weather lately. Who would have thought the subways were going to flood and there would be tornados near New York City.
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:40 PM   #27
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I had three ducks drown in the middle of my back yard today...
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:45 PM   #28
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I had three ducks drown in the middle of my back yard today...
Damn Bob you got me on this one I was actually going to ask you how it happened and did you see the DuckFace?
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:05 PM   #29
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I had three ducks drown in the middle of my back yard today...
Sounds quackers to me. 🤦🏼*♂️
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:37 PM   #30
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One nice advantage of having a generator in your RV? You can always use it to help power your house in a pinch...
I think he left us, he posted in another area. Has anyone replaced their Onan generator with something more reliable.

Looking at either a full solar system or another type of generator.

Thanks. I guess this explains what he was looking for
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Old 07-21-2021, 11:52 PM   #31
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Power been out 2 hours now. Wife making beds up in RV. No power, no problem. Was going to cycle generator today anyway.
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Old 07-22-2021, 11:57 AM   #32
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Looking at changing out my Onan 4000watt generator with another option. Has anyone done this yet?

Thanks.

Yes, various manufacturers have already built motorhomes that do not rely on a traditional Onan generator, so I would start there to get ideas. And it’s not surprising that even they have come up with very different solutions because so much depends on how the motorhome will be used.

Using Muggs’ Onan generator data as an example, it highlights the importance of estimating how often and for how long the generator is run.

The 540 hours in 5 years is only 2 hours a week, or 9 hours a month on “average”, which isn’t much energy at all. And I’d bet many owners are well below that. In my case, I ran my Onan 4,000-Watt generator a small fraction of that, and rarely above 50% load. Unfortunately, daily generator use is hardly average every day for most of us. I mostly used my Onan a few minutes at a time during days when not on shore power, and only a couple of times to power air conditioner for more than 2 or 3 hours when we left dogs in motorhome.

The difficult part when thinking about replacing an Onan RV generator with something else is determining how that “average” of only 2 hours a week is distributed, assuming your generator needs are close to that.

Over 90% of time I could have replaced my Onan with an inverter and batteries totaling 200 Ah (useable capacity at 12V) or higher and been much happier. However, other 10% of time my generator was used to power A/C for a few hours or longer, and that’s where things get more complicated and more expensive.

I would look first at Winnebago and Coachmen Class B and C motorhomes because they are mass produced in larger numbers at “relatively” lower costs. There are many custom-type manufacturers also but often tend to go overboard as if cost is not an issue at all.
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:06 PM   #33
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Power been out 2 hours now. Wife making beds up in RV. No power, no problem. Was going to cycle generator today anyway.
Turn it into a second Honeymoon...
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:07 PM   #34
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Damn Bob you got me on this one I was actually going to ask you how it happened and did you see the DuckFace?
Our Ducky is always prepared. (At least I think it was him...)
One duck floated by with a dive mask on.
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:11 PM   #35
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Turn it into a second Honeymoon...
Always. Power came back around 3:30, so I killed gens and went back to sleep in RV.
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Old 07-22-2021, 12:34 PM   #36
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2 hours average per week seems about right. Rarely are we anywhere without trailer which has champion 3500. Virtually every time we parked the champion runs to supply power. It likely has over 10 times the hours as it runs with quick fillup and oil check twice a day. At replacement cost of $325 was good investment. The Onan is most costly and is used mainly on road for a\c in hot weather. We always travel witth dogs and if they start to pant, we cool them. I did add an inverter to run tv/bluray/ps4 when traveling with grandsom (s) in cooler weather. The original house batteries are due to be changed, will do before winter series racing. That is closest we get to boondocking if we get there early for good spot.
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Old 07-22-2021, 01:31 PM   #37
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We went from rarely using our Onan in Class C to not having a generator at all for next 10 years because we stayed in campgrounds with full hookups. Then about 4 or 5 years ago we started boondocking on football weekends and had to get a portable generator to power air conditioner at night. As soon as weather cools later in the fall I leave generator at home. For us the hassle isn’t worth it unless absolutely necessary to have it.

I have mixed thoughts about having a generator at all. I would prefer sleeping at night powering small air conditioner from batteries when it’s too hot; however, unless motorhome can charge batteries extremely fast, a small generator to power A/C for extended periods would be nice to have as a backup. The generator would have to be a built-in taking fuel from vehicle tank though. I absolutely do not want to rely on portable generators and having to haul fuel for it. An Onan 2800i which can easily power an A/C with capacity to spare would be my choice if I was building a van camper and decided that lithium batteries alone wasn’t cost effective.

It’s presently a tough choice, but as lithium batteries get cheaper and engine-driven alternators get more powerful, the decision is made easier for us. And for what it’s worth, more efficient air conditioners also plays a major role because A/C is the primary reason most newer RVs need an Onan-style generator at all.
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Old 07-22-2021, 02:53 PM   #38
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The trend towards C' and B' is driving the alternatives towards no generator on board

The trend towsrds larger or double alternators just makes a hugher priced more expensive generator

Larger MH's will have larger generators for a long time until good batteries get a lot cheaper

The electric grid and generation capabilities needs significant attention

Currently we moth balled and decommissioned thousands of power plants

Storage is the missing link in our higher priced green power

Technology will eventually come up with something

Currently and for many years diesel fuel is by far the best way to have significant energy on hand to use as needed which means a diesel generator
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Old 07-22-2021, 04:47 PM   #39
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Large alternators can be a cheaper middle ground for some, particularly if OEM alternator option has enough capacity to meet the need.

Last time I checked, camping trailers outsold motorhomes by quite a bit, and few have generators. It is possible to camp without a generator, particularly when staying in campgrounds with hookups, or camping in cool weather. I personally think it comes down to costs, and expect RV manufacturers believe buyers willing to pay much more for motorhomes are also willing to pay for a generator, whether it gets much use or not.

Motorhomes with second or dedicated alternators that can usually produce between 100 and 200 Amps while driving could make an Onan unnecessary for some, particularly if traveling like a trailer and from campground to campground. Some owners may want to power an A/C and residential fridge while driving their motorhome, but that can be handled by a large alternator. OEM options are normally priced under $1,000, so lower cost than an Onan.

I agree most motorhomes will likely continue to have generators until chassis powertrains are revised to hybrid or electric. For now RV manufacturers will remain mainstream with Onan generators and leave creativity to individuals with unusual tastes or needs.

With mass production, it must be difficult and costly to offer a motorhome with a generator “option”, like Winnebago is doing with Ekko. I would bet that if most buyers go one way or the other, Winnebago will eliminate the other option.
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Old 07-22-2021, 07:25 PM   #40
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Large alternators can be a cheaper middle ground for some, particularly if OEM alternator option has enough capacity to meet the need.

Last time I checked, camping trailers outsold motorhomes by quite a bit, and few have generators. It is possible to camp without a generator, particularly when staying in campgrounds with hookups, or camping in cool weather. I personally think it comes down to costs, and expect RV manufacturers believe buyers willing to pay much more for motorhomes are also willing to pay for a generator, whether it gets much use or not.

Motorhomes with second or dedicated alternators that can usually produce between 100 and 200 Amps while driving could make an Onan unnecessary for some, particularly if traveling like a trailer and from campground to campground. Some owners may want to power an A/C and residential fridge while driving their motorhome, but that can be handled by a large alternator. OEM options are normally priced under $1,000, so lower cost than an Onan.

I agree most motorhomes will likely continue to have generators until chassis powertrains are revised to hybrid or electric. For now RV manufacturers will remain mainstream with Onan generators and leave creativity to individuals with unusual tastes or needs.

With mass production, it must be difficult and costly to offer a motorhome with a generator “option”, like Winnebago is doing with Ekko. I would bet that if most buyers go one way or the other, Winnebago will eliminate the other option.
One thing for certain is we are going to see more change and faster change than anytime in the RV history.

The standard alternator for most Diesels is 160 amps so you get a fair amount of juice at a price.

I ran double alternators for years on ranch trucks and you pay the price for belts and alternators plus increased fuel burn.

Lots of changes and intertaining to watch and follow it along

Near our Lake home they are building a new KOA and converting another into a KOA resort plus re-modeling a third so they expect many campers

I do think the trend is towards the lower end weekenders rather than the HD crowd that travels or lives in RV's a significant portion of the year therefore leading to a less optioned and cheaper purchase point
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