Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-19-2016, 07:39 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: California
Posts: 6
Default Why only Onan Generators in pretty much all RVs?

Is Onan the only company that makes these RV specific generators? All the RVs that I see from the past 20 years came with only Onan generators. Don't they have a competitor? Everyone with these generators seems to complain about maintenance/noise etc.

If they do have a monopoly over this market, that's bad for consumer. Not much drive for innovation.
__________________

kvkite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 09:19 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Boxster1971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 919
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kvkite View Post
Is Onan the only company that makes these RV specific generators? All the RVs that I see from the past 20 years came with only Onan generators. Don't they have a competitor? Everyone with these generators seems to complain about maintenance/noise etc.

If they do have a monopoly over this market, that's bad for consumer. Not much drive for innovation.
There is one company, Power Tech that makes a 3KW diesel generator that competes with Onan. It is expensive and I don't think they have penetrated the market very deeply.
PT-3SV2 | Power Technology Southeast Inc

A lot of folks adapt the use on the quite Honda or Yamaha portable generators. Then only use them when needed. They require gasoline or can be adapted for propane. That's what I'd do if I buy another B-van RV.

- - Mike
__________________

__________________
2013 Airstream Interstate Lounge EXT on 2012 Sprinter 3500 170Ext
Formerly: 1973 Dodge B300 DIY pop-top conversion
Boxster1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 09:55 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Davydd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 4,618
Default

I'm guessing it is because Onans fit and they were designed for the purpose. I no longer worry about it because I committed to the second under hood alternator concept and would never consider a gas, diesel or propane generator again.
__________________
Davydd
2015 Advanced RV Ocean One Mercedes Benz Sprinter
Previous Class Bs:
2011 Great West Van Legend Sprinter
2005 Pleasure-way Plateau TS Sprinter
Davydd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 09:58 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: California
Posts: 6
Default

Thanks for your input Davdyy. Just wondering why no other company came up with similar design over a span of 20 odd years. The lack of competition could be one reason for so many issues with them.
kvkite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 10:21 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
eric1514's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: ID AZ
Posts: 623
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by kvkite View Post
Thanks for your input Davdyy. Just wondering why no other company came up with similar design over a span of 20 odd years. The lack of competition could be one reason for so many issues with them.
I think the "issues" with them are not unique to Onan. The same things would happen to any internal combustion engine that is ignored and misused as often as the generator in an RV. If you turned on your car once or twice a year and only ran it for as long as it takes to make a cup of coffee it would also have issues.
__________________
"Il Travato Rosso"
2015 Travato 59g
eric1514 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 10:52 PM   #6
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,406
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric1514 View Post
If you turned on your car once or twice a year and only ran it for as long as it takes to make a cup of coffee it would also have issues.
And, if I risked permanent hearing loss ever time I turned on my car, I probably would only do so once or twice a year.

No doubt many users abuse their gensets, but there is no excuse for the 1960s technology that Onan continues to market.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-19-2016, 11:09 PM   #7
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,003
Default

Take out your quiet Honda inverter generator and dump a bucket of water on it. see if it still works
gerrym51 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2016, 02:33 AM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,245
Default

There is not really a very big market for RV generators to justify another company making the investment to compete with Onan and their service network and dealer network. No competition means not much investment in innovation either. Could Honda or Yamaha design a better generator, sure but not worth the investment. Heck, Onan could improve the design themselves but as part of Cummins the new product development budget likely goes to higher volume/higher profit products.
gregmchugh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2016, 02:53 AM   #9
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 123
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric1514 View Post
I think the "issues" with them are not unique to Onan. The same things would happen to any internal combustion engine that is ignored and misused as often as the generator in an RV. If you turned on your car once or twice a year and only ran it for as long as it takes to make a cup of coffee it would also have issues.
Add to the list of abuse, humidity, road spray, etc. These generator are meant to be run frequently and hard. I read an article a while ago from a generator technician who stated that he seldom sees generators with lots of hours on them. He mostly sees the ones that are hardly used at all. The problems seem to be inversely proportional to the number of hours they are used.
I'd be curious to install any other generator under an RV for 15 years, drive it around in dust, rain, snow and salt, and hardly ever use it, and see how well it works.
WJones is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2016, 07:10 AM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Arizona, Tempe
Posts: 633
Default

Honda designed one and brought it to market. It was water cooled, 4kw, don't remember if it was inverter technology. It was around the 2008 RV meltdown and they couldn't get into the OEM market. One guy wrote up replacing his 4kw Onan with one. I had the parts manual on my computer for awhile then deleted it. I never tried to buy one.

Honda withdrew it from the market. There were a few available on EBay for awhile then disappeared. You would have to ask Honda why. My guess is they couldn't meet the OEM price point and in 2008 there wasn't much of a market anyhow.
hbn7hj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-20-2016, 10:54 AM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
Posts: 123
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hbn7hj View Post
Honda designed one and brought it to market. It was water cooled, 4kw, don't remember if it was inverter technology. It was around the 2008 RV meltdown and they couldn't get into the OEM market. One guy wrote up replacing his 4kw Onan with one. I had the parts manual on my computer for awhile then deleted it. I never tried to buy one.

Honda withdrew it from the market. There were a few available on EBay for awhile then disappeared. You would have to ask Honda why. My guess is they couldn't meet the OEM price point and in 2008 there wasn't much of a market anyhow.
Interesting. Too bad they didn't expand the line. I imagine the model they did have (4kw water cooled) would have been too big for many class B RVs.
__________________

WJones is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
generator, honda, onan, water cooled, yamaha

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 04:02 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×