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Old 05-23-2019, 06:21 PM   #1
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Default LP 2500 Generator- Cummins Onan

Less than 46 hours and my generator died....at Cummins dealership right now.... they don't have a clue why it won't start and run... WTF.

Just 8 months ago.. I paid them $1,150 for a new rotor and voltage regulator....

Now, I'm looking at a brand new replacement... I don't see any point in throwing good money after bad.....at least the new one will have a 3 years warranty....

They're still looking at the possibility of fixing the old one and spending countless hours , on their nickel, trying to figure out what happened.... they're curious on how this happened..? Maybe it will be something really stupid?
They checked all the usual suspects and found nothing, fuel, electrical, etc..... They are waiting and ordered a special diagnostics tool......

Am I crazy not to just replace it??? What do you think?

Or.... maybe it's just not worth doing??
Pros and cons.... If I don't replace it, I would have to plug in for power everywhere??!?

Dilemma 😡😡😡
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:41 PM   #2
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If I don't replace it, I would have to plug in for power everywhere??!?
That depends on how much electric power you use while parked.

About the only times my genny is run is if I hit the battery up hard overnight for heat and it's gonna be cloudy out or the microwave and occasionally to run the AC for a bit to remove the heat soak from driving. But I do have 150 watts of solar. 75% of my camping is boondocking for days at a time, most all of the rest is driveway camping, with electric.

Only 46 hours on an Onan in how many years? It should be run with at least half of a load 1 to 2 hours/month, according to their manual.
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Old 05-23-2019, 07:01 PM   #3
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Default I know.... read more below....

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That depends on how much electric power you use while parked.

About the only times my genny is run is if I hit the battery up hard overnight for heat and it's gonna be cloudy out or the microwave and occasionally to run the AC for a bit to remove the heat soak from driving. But I do have 150 watts of solar. 75% of my camping is boondocking for days at a time, most all of the rest is driveway camping, with electric.

Only 46 hours on an Onan in how many years? It should be run with at least half of a load 1 to 2 hours/month, according to their manual.
I purchased my RV two years ago...had 11 hours on my generator.. previous owners just plugged in everywhere....

We've used it and after fixing the rotor and voltage regulator, yes, I exercised it as you pointed out....then, when I went to use it ... this failure occurred.

The dilemma of whether or not it would be viewed as a "negative" when I went to sell it later??

Plus, the hassle of not having power for my own use ...

We do have a 160 watt solar panel.... mainly keeps our house batteries charged... Not enough for the A/C or microwave convection oven.....😡
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
I purchased my RV two years ago...had 11 hours on my generator.. previous owners just plugged in everywhere....

We've used it and after fixing the rotor and voltage regulator, yes, I exercised it as you pointed out....then, when I went to use it ... this failure occurred.

The dilemma of whether or not it would be viewed as a "negative" when I went to sell it later??

Plus, the hassle of not having power for my own use ...

We do have a 160 watt solar panel.... mainly keeps our house batteries charged... Not enough for the A/C or microwave convection oven.....😡
Bummer. Good luck.
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:17 PM   #5
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Bummer. Good luck.
Steve, so..... would you replace it with a new one? Tell me that is not a crazy idea.
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Old 05-23-2019, 08:58 PM   #6
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Steve, so..... would you replace it with a new one? Tell me that is not a crazy idea.
I did replace mine, but not with an Onan.


Two big trips in a row the Onan failed.

Strike one:
First time, fuel pump. I re-engineered an after market pump to the outside of the genny.

Strike two:
The regulator failed. This had been a neglected genny, it was on it's third carburetor with only 150 hours on it, from previous owner. I replaced regulator, found the brush ring at the high end for resistance. I didassembled the genny to clean this up. I also replaced a bad ($$$)muffler.

Strike three:
The carburetor was messed up from having to sit without being able to run it for too long. (It had failed a few days into the second three month trip).

Three strikes was enough for me.

95% of the time I have a trailer in tow behind me with a motorcycle in it. I obtained a nice, quiet, and sofar, reliable Champion genny with a key fob for remote start. They run about $800 and are much quieter than that POS Onan ever thought of being. The only hassle, and it's not insignificant, is fueling it. But remember that re-engineered fuel pump for the Onan? I simply wired up a trailer light connector to it for power and picked up enough fuel line to run to the genny that I keep coiled up in the rear storage compartment on the Versatile 200. I also installed a small ball valve toward the end of it and insert a plug to minimize the possibility of a gas leak.

To fill the genny, I extend the fuel hose, plug in the connector, turn on the parking lights then open the ball valve. Yes it's a bit of a hassle but that Onan was a huge hassle, what with the breakdowns. I had almost as much in parts in that Onan as I spent on a new genny with U.S. based support and a wide dealer network. I've had it for about a year and a half or two and it has been trouble free.

Maintenance on this genny is a whole lot easier to access.

I do shut off the fuel and run it dry before I move somewhere else.

I did mount it to one of those receiver hitch carriers for one kinda short trip. It takes about fifteen minutes to move from the trailer to that carrier and strap it down. I can barely hear the genny run with the A/C on and I have the luxury to unhook the trailer and be up to 50' feet from it, but there really is no need. The key fob has an alleged range of "up to" 80'.

As a bonus to all this, the area where the Onan was has been re-purposed as a battery carrier. Room for a lot more battery capacity should I find the need.

The old Onan is currently in Minnesota at a brother's house. He and another brother also own older Roadtreks and still have their(problematic) Onan gennies. The Onan will remain there to be cannibalized as required.


Summing up, yes, there are trade offs but I am glad I went the direction that I did.
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Old 05-23-2019, 09:53 PM   #7
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I would replace it. So convenient. I had many Onans on various RV’s and never had a problem. I maintain and exercise them regularly.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:12 PM   #8
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Default That was a gasoline generator?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
I did replace mine, but not with an Onan.


Two big trips in a row the Onan failed.

Strike one:
First time, fuel pump. I re-engineered an after market pump to the outside of the genny.

Strike two:
The regulator failed. This had been a neglected genny, it was on it's third carburetor with only 150 hours on it, from previous owner. I replaced regulator, found the brush ring at the high end for resistance. I didassembled the genny to clean this up. I also replaced a bad ($$$)muffler.

Strike three:
The carburetor was messed up from having to sit without being able to run it for too long. (It had failed a few days into the second three month trip).

Three strikes was enough for me.

95% of the time I have a trailer in tow behind me with a motorcycle in it. I obtained a nice, quiet, and sofar, reliable Champion genny with a key fob for remote start. They run about $800 and are much quieter than that POS Onan ever thought of being. The only hassle, and it's not insignificant, is fueling it. But remember that re-engineered fuel pump for the Onan? I simply wired up a trailer light connector to it for power and picked up enough fuel line to run to the genny that I keep coiled up in the rear storage compartment on the Versatile 200. I also installed a small ball valve toward the end of it and insert a plug to minimize the possibility of a gas leak.

To fill the genny, I extend the fuel hose, plug in the connector, turn on the parking lights then open the ball valve. Yes it's a bit of a hassle but that Onan was a huge hassle, what with the breakdowns. I had almost as much in parts in that Onan as I spent on a new genny with U.S. based support and a wide dealer network. I've had it for about a year and a half or two and it has been trouble free.

Maintenance on this genny is a whole lot easier to access.

I do shut off the fuel and run it dry before I move somewhere else.

I did mount it to one of those receiver hitch carriers for one kinda short trip. It takes about fifteen minutes to move from the trailer to that carrier and strap it down. I can barely hear the genny run with the A/C on and I have the luxury to unhook the trailer and be up to 50' feet from it, but there really is no need. The key fob has an alleged range of "up to" 80'.

As a bonus to all this, the area where the Onan was has been re-purposed as a battery carrier. Room for a lot more battery capacity should I find the need.

The old Onan is currently in Minnesota at a brother's house. He and another brother also own older Roadtreks and still have their(problematic) Onan gennies. The Onan will remain there to be cannibalized as required.


Summing up, yes, there are trade offs but I am glad I went the direction that I did.
This was a gas generator, correct???
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:14 PM   #9
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Default Propane generator???

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I would replace it. So convenient. I had many Onans on various RV’s and never had a problem. I maintain and exercise them regularly.
OK, thanks. SO...this was a propane generator ???
Sounds like you were very lucky.... that's great.

Exercised them about 2 hours per month?
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:00 AM   #10
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This was a gas generator, correct???
Yup. Obviously with your LP unit you have one less potential problem.

LP kits are available for "after market" gennies but could prove problematic to install.
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:19 AM   #11
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It is basically decision time, like many have gone through here. Do you really need a generator? If you do is another Onan or a portable going to suit the needs best and be least trouble? More batteries, second alternator, etc? Lots of options to choose what is right for how you use the van. For us, having the Onan gone was far and away the best choice, but it won't be that for everyone.
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Old 05-24-2019, 02:58 AM   #12
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OK, thanks. SO...this was a propane generator ???
Sounds like you were very lucky.... that's great.

Exercised them about 2 hours per month?
Some were gas but the last 2 were propane. One on a fifth wheel and the present one is on a Coachmen Galleria Class B
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Old 05-24-2019, 03:09 AM   #13
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Default Yes, but....my 2011 LPG 2500 is on the operating table right now

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Originally Posted by SteveJ View Post
Yup. Obviously with your LP unit you have one less potential problem.

LP kits are available for "after market" gennies but could prove problematic to install.
Brought it to Cummins Onan... they can't get it to work and run ... imagine that. It only has 46 hours... actually, 45 hours and 9/10ths.

The damn thing just cut off last time I used it after 30 minutes running the A/C....tries to turn over....

They are waiting for a diagnosis and are talking with their inside engineers team... these experienced techs at the local office don't know what to do. ..

SO... we're in the talking stage for a brand new replacement Cummins Onan with an updated overhead cam engine....new design... brand new technology.

It's about $3,000 .... I have heard that gas generators need more exercise than propane? Depends on who you talk to?

If it's something really stupid and easy to fix it might make me happy to keep the old one, I just don't know.... it's failed at least twice on me now.....

I'm thinking about getting the new replacement... you never know when you need power... and can't find a plug in site.
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Old 05-24-2019, 12:17 PM   #14
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Propane is the better fuel, but there is also a lot of just plain luck.

Mine is gas and is exercised about 30-40 minutes per 30-35 days. Near 400 hours and has been flawless, flawless.
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Old 05-24-2019, 11:35 PM   #15
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Check the ground to the frame it is one of the most common problems with Onan's on RVs and boats.
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Old 05-25-2019, 01:54 AM   #16
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Default Thanks, but......read below

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Check the ground to the frame it is one of the most common problems with Onan's on RVs and boats.
The generator has been on the work bench since Monday, and they haven't been able to determine the problem... that's at the Cummins Onan dealership.....I imagine that they have tried all the "usual suspects" and came up with nothing.

In the meantime, they talked with their engineering team and ordered a tool to help pinpoint what's wrong.

I probably will just replace the generator.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:06 PM   #17
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Default I feel for you.. that sucks

our ONAN generator failed four times in three years, the electrical contacts corroded off twice on the outside and once on the inside and the solenoid gas valve died. when I went to the local Onan repair place he sold me the parts I needed and then vented for 30 minutes on how Onan makes crap and its getting worse now that they have no competition. he is getting out of the Onan repair business because they won't honour warranty claims. his answer is a Honda

our answer was to move to full lithium as we are building an expedition truck. it is incredibly frustrating to depend on a generator to A: save your batteries from discharge or B keep your pet from heat stroke. in both cases Onan fails.

my parents Honda 2000 starts up every time.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:28 PM   #18
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Default Generator trouble

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Originally Posted by Roadtrek Adventuous RS1 View Post
Less than 46 hours and my generator died....at Cummins dealership right now.... they don't have a clue why it won't start and run... WTF.

Just 8 months ago.. I paid them $1,150 for a new rotor and voltage regulator....

Now, I'm looking at a brand new replacement... I don't see any point in throwing good money after bad.....at least the new one will have a 3 years warranty....

They're still looking at the possibility of fixing the old one and spending countless hours , on their nickel, trying to figure out what happened.... they're curious on how this happened..? Maybe it will be something really stupid?
They checked all the usual suspects and found nothing, fuel, electrical, etc..... They are waiting and ordered a special diagnostics tool......

Am I crazy not to just replace it??? What do you think?

Or.... maybe it's just not worth doing??
Pros and cons.... If I don't replace it, I would have to plug in for power everywhere??!?

Dilemma 😡😡😡
If this unit is still under warranty I would try to get it replaced entirely. They could try to hunt down this trouble forever. Seems like a defect that could be any component. The factory could rework this unit and get to the bottom of it. I threw so many parts to mine and just replaced the whole thing.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:35 PM   #19
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Default Generator

Many people refuse to buy the extended warranty and I usually don't. Lucky for me this time I did. It has paid for itself in 2 years time. New awning, new fridge, stereo issues. So far the Onan is working although noisy. I'd go with something different.
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Old 05-30-2019, 05:39 PM   #20
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Not sure why your Onan dealer would be having so much trouble. Gaseous fuel like propane is far less trouble-prone than liquid fuel, with no floats, jets or other bits that can get gummy or clogged. Gas is controlled by a solenoid and metering valve. If there is gas going into the intake and spark at the spark plug it Has to work unless it’s way off time. Take it to a shop that knows what they’re doing.
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