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Old 06-06-2019, 05:45 PM   #1
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Default How long on average did your Cummins Onan vehicle mounted generator last in years?

And, how was it serviced? Once per year?
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:22 PM   #2
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Cobbling it back together was a regular thing, so "how long did it last" is meaningless if it does not take into account the bailing wire and circuit boards required to keep it chugging along.

My issue seemed to be corrosion from using my unit in winter, in salt. Lots of salt. The commutator was open to the breeze and that breeze brought salt. Every terminal was trashed. Phooey!

Dropping that ... literally ... was the best thing I did on my old Winnie. The Generac was light years ahead.

Steve
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Old 06-06-2019, 09:57 PM   #3
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My Onan driving me nuts too. Where did you mount new gen. I have a 1995 Xplorer 230. Not enough room to mount anywhere. Would have to trailer it.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:24 AM   #4
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Default It's being mounted underneath the chassis

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My Onan driving me nuts too. Where did you mount new gen. I have a 1995 Xplorer 230. Not enough room to mount anywhere. Would have to trailer it.
Usual place.... my old generator was there... had to replace it due to lack of use... original owners clearly didn't follow maintenance instructions.
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Old 06-07-2019, 02:26 AM   #5
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Default We'll..at least your generator could be fixed

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Cobbling it back together was a regular thing, so "how long did it last" is meaningless if it does not take into account the bailing wire and circuit boards required to keep it chugging along.

My issue seemed to be corrosion from using my unit in winter, in salt. Lots of salt. The commutator was open to the breeze and that breeze brought salt. Every terminal was trashed. Phooey!

Dropping that ... literally ... was the best thing I did on my old Winnie. The Generac was light years ahead.

Steve
Steve, even with repairs.. and maintenance... how many years have had service on the same unit?
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:03 AM   #6
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Mine is 13 years old on my 2006 Roadtrek 210. I have owned for 8 years. Unit had 30 hours on it when I bought. Has 140 hours now. I run it for 30-70 minutes every month or 2. Occasional runs for 2 hours when used for AC. I have used Lucas fuel treatment for past 5 years. Unit starts on 2nd start attempt after an initial 10 second start attempt. Has always worked fine despite the less frequent maintenance runs that Onan recommends.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:53 PM   #7
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Default 2004 LP 2500 Still Running Strong

The propane-powered 2500 Watt Onan in my 2004 LTV Free Spirit is still running strong with 80 hours of use showing on the clock. I run it for short periods under load every few weeks and use it to run the roof AC when it's extra hot.

When we bought the coach from its previous owner several years ago, the generator would hunt and surge after the AC or the water heater cycled off, but through regular use, that problem solved itself.

The only maintenance it's gotten in the time I've owned it is a couple of oil changes.

Fortunately, my home is in the SF Bay Area and I don't have to contend with road salt.
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Old 06-07-2019, 04:17 PM   #8
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My impression is that there is a big difference in reliability between the gasoline and the propane versions of these units, in favor of the latter. Between the two propane units I have owned in the last 14 years, I have never had an issue, except for the infamous "bug nests in the vent tube" problem on the older one, which had no screen. And, I am very far from anal about following the manufacturer's admonition to "exercise your unit every three days".
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Old 06-07-2019, 05:59 PM   #9
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Default Maybe it's just bad luck?

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My impression is that there is a big difference in reliability between the gasoline and the propane versions of these units, in favor of the latter. Between the two propane units I have owned in the last 14 years, I have never had an issue, except for the infamous "bug nests in the vent tube" problem on the older one, which had no screen. And, I am very far from anal about following the manufacturer's admonition to "exercise your unit every three days".
I've also heard that LPG doesn't gunk up the fuel system like gasoline engines do and also old stale gasoline?

My unit only had 12 or 13 hours on the generator when I purchased my RV two years ago.... original owners plugged in to shore power a lot.....

In September 2018, I had to get a new rotor and voltage regulator... when it stopped working, I should have followed my instincts and replaced the generator back then... just these two items cost $1150...

So.... when the generator failed about a month ago....it was running fine with the A/C and then just shut down....

Brought it back to the Cummins Onan dealership.. they have spent 24 or 25 hours of diagnostics time ruling out bad compression, engine is fine, they systematically went through everything... cannot find what's wrong.... they are still waiting for the special diagnostics tool?? In the meantime, I'm only paying them for the 1 1/2 hours I agreed to for the diagnosis.... but, this time I'm getting a brand new generator.

Hopefully, it will last for the life of time I keep the RV....it comes with a 3 years warranty. And, it's their newest model... maybe it will be quieter... not holding my breath on that.

At least an overhead cam engine is better designed than the old overhead valve. And has more advanced technology and will shut down if the oil level is low.

Just onward and upward... can't go backwards.
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:20 PM   #10
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"will shut down if the oil level is low"

B onan's have had that feature for many years.
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