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Old 12-08-2022, 06:20 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: Tuscany 42GX
State: Missouri
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THOR #9178
Onan 8K Generator, 10K

Picked up my Onan 10k after a new rotor/stator. this is on a generator that had been exercised every month since new and still failed. A speed sensor on the $1200 starter also had failed. Sure, didn't know about speed sensors on starter.

The rotor and stator were the only pair in the US at the time and more are expected mid-January. Had to have them shipped from back East to Wichita Cummins.

Little over 4k for the total repairs and sitting at 189 hours. Bit aggravating since I had always been sure to exercise it under load. We hardly ever use it traveling but it did lock up on a hot day when it was running and powering the AC's, so it actually failed under load after about 4 hours run time.

While in the shop getting the Onan put back into the front of the Tuscany the fellow parked in the bay next to me came in to pick up his RV. He had the 8k Onan inverter generator completely fail and had to be replaced. Couldn't help noticing his total bill was a tad over 12k for the complete replacement.

We have used the AquaHot 100's of hours both for hot water and cool season camping. Luckily it has been bulletproof after the initial coil failure when it was new. Cool days like we have had the past trips it runs while traveling to keep the coach warmed up as well.

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Old 12-08-2022, 08:48 PM   #2
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THOR #2121
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Originally Posted by lwmcguir View Post

....cut....

Little over 4k for the total repairs and sitting at 189 hours. Bit aggravating since I had always been sure to exercise it under load. We hardly ever use it traveling but it did lock up on a hot day when it was running and powering the AC's, so it actually failed under load after about 4 hours run time.

.....cut.....
Thatís tough pill considering it comes out to over $20 an hour, and some of that 189 hours was during exercising. Gas generators are not exempt from failures either, though they may cost a bit less to repair.

Repair costs on most things have gotten so expensive due to high labor rates that it has reinforced my appreciation of KISS principle. If I was designing and building my own camper van, I think I would eliminate generator altogether due to the way we camp and travel. Generators have essentially become unnecessary for us over 95% of time, plus we can use cheap portable when needed (which is hopefully never).
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Old 12-08-2022, 10:46 PM   #3
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How old is the coach?
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Old 12-08-2022, 11:53 PM   #4
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Looks like 2016.
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Old 12-09-2022, 12:56 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
How old is the coach?
Boughnew in 2016
Most hours are from the monthly loaded exercise

Lot of 4k generators in the Cummins shop as well
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Old 12-09-2022, 03:39 PM   #6
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Boughnew in 2016
Most hours are from the monthly loaded exercise

Lot of 4k generators in the Cummins shop as well
At an Onan seminar they stated a five year old generator with less than 500 hours should be considered garbage because it was not run enough. I posted a thread about this very topic a couple years ago.

My rig is 3 years old and my Onan 8k diesel has just short of 600 hours and runs like a champ.

According to the Onan techs lack of use is the killer of the generators
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Old 12-09-2022, 05:11 PM   #7
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.....cut.....

According to the Onan techs lack of use is the killer of the generators
Yeah, even my portable inverter generator died during Covid from lack of use. It was 100% avoidable.

Lack of regular use may become an even greater problem as more motorhomes incorporate larger battery banks and larger inverters; often now as standard equipment. When I had an Onan, it mostly got used only to power microwave during the day, and a few times the air conditioner when leaving dogs in motorhome for short periods. We only stayed at campgrounds with full hookups, so had we owned a modern electrical system, my Onan generator would have gotten even less use. A generator exercise schedule is probably more important than ever.
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Old 12-09-2022, 08:02 PM   #8
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THOR #9178
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Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
At an Onan seminar they stated a five year old generator with less than 500 hours should be considered garbage because it was not run enough. I posted a thread about this very topic a couple years ago.

My rig is 3 years old and my Onan 8k diesel has just short of 600 hours and runs like a champ.

According to the Onan techs lack of use is the killer of the generators
I just fired up the two in the shop, small one is 7500k, and twice per year they run and generate just fine. One is 20 years old and the other about 10. Both are gas however but that shouldn't really make any difference.

Given the difference in the apparent construction, the Onan will get run more often for sure. Has to be something in the rotor/stator design that requires the longer run times.

Neighbor here has a 2012, 12k with about 300 hours, treated similarly to mine. Mentioned my issues and he says he will take the chance so we will see. He has made it 10 plus years anyway.

Apparently, the Onan's are the most temperamental piece of equipment on board. And require the added run/load time.
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Old 12-15-2022, 12:45 AM   #9
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So how often and for how long should it be exercised? Living on the west coast, we almost never use the air conditioner. We almost never need to use the generator. For stationary backup generators in industrial use, they would auto start every week and run for about an hour.
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