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Old 07-16-2018, 08:01 PM   #1
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Default Roadtrek 2004 and new/old Onan 2800

First post.

Please be patient. Years ago I had 1 1989 Roadtrek. In early 90's I bought and never installed a Onan 2800 Microlite. Then life happened. Fast forward, I recent bought a 2004 Roadtrek 170. It's generator ready. No one locally (Western Maine near NH) has any interest in installing it.. I've read the pitfalls of an Onan generator and the alternatives BUT it seems to make the most sense to use what I have. A custom welding shop suggested I try and locate a mounting bracket but I've seen that they appear to be discontinued. So the first question is are mounting brackets still available? I see two type one shown in my installation manual, the other an isolation mount. Neither available.

Second, their is a plug in the generator space 8 pin I believe. Where does that lead to? The old Roadtrek had a 30 amp receptacle to receive generator power. The 2004 doesn't seem to have a tie in that I can find.
I'm a good 3 or more hours from a Roadrek dealer so I'm not able to ask for this common questions that I've been unable to find answers to.

Any help from some one that's been down this path will be most appreciated.
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:20 PM   #2
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.

Have you called Roadtrek?
They should have the bracket,
because they are still selling RV with Onan.

It might be difficult to install though, because they might have to open the floor.

Before you jump in with both feet (well, you already got the Onan, so you have got one foot in it), ask yourself... do you really need the generator?
If you go to full service campsites, there is no need for generators.
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Old 07-16-2018, 09:33 PM   #3
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The issue may be that the old generator would not even have been for a Chevy, so the Chevy ones would be needed. Add to that the fact that the current Onan is not even the same size as the Onan used in 2004 in the Chevies, and it gets more complicated.



That said, the brackets are very simple formed sheet metal, that could be easily fabricated, plus some flat wire cross bracing for the front.


Beyond that you would need a fuel line to the tank, wiring, remote panel, transfer switch, and exhaust plus some other stuff likely.


Very doable, but the OP would be money and time ahead if he could find someone who had removed a failed Onan to get all the other parts.


Of course, the Onan he has will likely need some expensive work, as the slip rings will likely be corroded, and it may have carb issues, and of course it may not even be the right side since it was originally going to go in a Dodge.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:27 PM   #4
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BBQ,
Roadtrek was my first call. They do not have a bracket nor did they display any interest in helping or making referrals.
As to how we plan to travel. Full hookup require planning in season. We're looking for maximum flexibility. Also in Maine, many campgrounds close down early in the fall.

booster,
The gas line is there as well as an 8 pin connector. There is a space below the monitor panel that is cut out (behind the fabric).
Good point about the slip rings. I will,of course,
run the generator prior to going any further.

Thanks for your replies.
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Old 07-16-2018, 10:52 PM   #5
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Do I understand this right - you have a nearly 20 year old gasoline generator that was just in storage and now you want to install in your Roadtrek? Does this generator even run? As booster said it likely needs a lot of expensive work. Sounds like a bad deal to me.
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Old 07-16-2018, 11:48 PM   #6
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At a minimum I would check the brush resistance with an Ohm meter to avoid destroying the voltage regulator. $$$
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:26 AM   #7
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Well it looks like I've got some thinking to do as well as a lot of work before proceeding.

This is exactly the type of information I need.

You never know what you don't know.
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Old 07-17-2018, 04:16 AM   #8
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.

Sell the Onan.

Get a Honda... and a hitch mount Stowaway2 box.

Problem solved.
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Old 07-17-2018, 03:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQ View Post
.

Sell the Onan.

Get a Honda... and a hitch mount Stowaway2 box.

Problem solved.
I like the Champion with the remote control key fob.
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Old 07-17-2018, 07:26 PM   #10
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Before selling the Onan I would need to determine it's true condition. I won't want to stick someone with a lemon.

Based on age and infirmity, I'm going to have think about the mechanics of the portable off the hitch. The Roadtrek 170 has limited access to storage so getting the rear door open is critical. The honda with a conversion to propane might work since it could be stored inside and eliminate the theft concern.

Not going to make any rash decisions that's how I wound up with a unused Onan.
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Old 07-17-2018, 08:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTFLCF View Post
Before selling the Onan I would need to determine it's true condition. I won't want to stick someone with a lemon.

Based on age and infirmity, I'm going to have think about the mechanics of the portable off the hitch. The Roadtrek 170 has limited access to storage so getting the rear door open is critical. The honda with a conversion to propane might work since it could be stored inside and eliminate the theft concern.

Not going to make any rash decisions that's how I wound up with a unused Onan.
How big is your propane tank and how long will the Honda run on it?
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Old 07-17-2018, 09:37 PM   #12
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You need a plan: The first task is to determine if the Onan runs and produces power. Since it is not installed in the vehicle this is made easier. Get a service manual from Cummins-Onan. It is downloadable in PDF format on line for free. You should remove the shrouding to the point where you can get to the slip rings and determine their state, polish if necessary. Depending on it the generator has ever been run you want to move onto starting it up. Get a small fuel tank (it does not have to be fancy, a glorified gallon gasoline can and a piece of rubber tubing), fill with a can of SeaFoam and fresh gasoline. If you are exceedingly lucky it will run when you attempt to start it with a car battery. If you make it this far you should load test for a couple of hours using 2,000 watts worth of electric heaters. If you get this far you can investigate having a local metalworking shop fabricate mounting hardware. This may take some research. Hopefully, RoadTrek will be helpful enough to send you a couple of drawings. If not you are pretty much on your own to find a shop willing to take on the work. Since you appear to live in Maine I would go looking for a boatyard. They usually have welding and fabrication experience and are pretty inventive. Good luck.
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:42 PM   #13
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If you proceed with mounting the genny I can take pictures of the brackets/mounts on my 2005 RT 210 Pop generator for you.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BTFLCF View Post
Before selling the Onan I would need to determine it's true condition. I won't want to stick someone with a lemon.

Based on age and infirmity, I'm going to have think about the mechanics of the portable off the hitch. The Roadtrek 170 has limited access to storage so getting the rear door open is critical. The honda with a conversion to propane might work since it could be stored inside and eliminate the theft concern.

Not going to make any rash decisions that's how I wound up with a unused Onan.

You don't need to determine condition. Just sell it "as is" and make a bill of sale that says you make no guarantees on condition of item. You might not get much for it, but someone might want it for parts.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:40 AM   #15
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skiMore: That thought was me thinking out loud. Our anticipated use would be for short duration ie Microwave and coffee use. Not sure that that is practical but the Honda can be used either way so I was attracted by its flexibility. And it overcomes some of my reservations.
JohnnyFry: Your hit it on the head. I need a plan. All suggestions are helpful in challenging me to think of what works best in my situation. I really like your step by step. I'm a big fan of Seafoam and the running under load will yield a good deal of information re what I can expect. if it winds up being installed. The boat yard is really thinking out of the box that I hadn't considered.
Deano: Thanks I might take you up on the offer if the test goes well.
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Old 07-18-2018, 12:52 AM   #16
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Testing the Onan is not a big deal in most cases. When I sold ours, the buyer wisely wanted to see it run and check the actual output. Of course it was not in the van anymore, so I had to set it up to test.


Gas can with a fuel hose into it, 12v battery to start the Onan, small electrical box with a GFCI wired with a piece of Romex to the Onan, space heater and hair dryer to provide load, clamp on ammeter, voltmeter and a pallet to set it on to keep it off the driveway. Took about 20 minutes to set up the test.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:59 AM   #17
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UPDATE.

Third time I've written the following my post didn't work. Not sure what I did wrong.

First a heartfelt thank you to all who took the time to read and respond to my post.
Your response promoted much thought and discussion and clarified my choices. It was really helpful.
I also made some calls to some technicians that confirmed the plan to run the generator.

Well the test went well. After 25 years in storage, with about 20 seconds of cranking and it fired right up. Running with a load and was smooth. Run was short because of momentary glitch. My wife kept an eye on the usually reliable Craftsman Multimeter. Calling out 165 volts. Shear terror came over me, shut it down, checked the leads and tried it again. Same result. Tried a small contractor generator with the same result. (Used that generator the day before thanks to a 2 hour power outage from an all too frequent outage delivered by our power company. Remember we're in Maine.) Checked the household voltage same result. A sigh of relief. Took out the “free” Harbor freight meter and got normal readings.
So my contribution to the knowledge base. Check your test equipment first. Turns out I had a low 9 volt battery in the meter. There was no indication of a low battery on the screen. Oh well.

Now on to installation phase. I found a well respected independent technician who would be willing to help in November. No advertising, all word of mouth, booked currently til the end of August and has 400 plus units to closeup before winter.

Another couple of calls to Roadtrek and a dealer proofed to be fruitless as to what does generator ready mean in my 2004. I know the gas line is there. A plug for the remote start are hanging in the bay for the generator. There is a Lyght Automatic Transfer switch but haven't found the power leads to the generator area.

But I'm feeling like we have a path to follow.
Thanks to all who guided me.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:24 PM   #18
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How much load did you put on the generator while it was running?
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:25 PM   #19
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.

Roadtrek built all their RV pre-wired for the generator.
It makes manufacturing sense; it will cost more to create another SKU and to manage extra pieces of inventory.

Good luck with your install.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:45 PM   #20
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I had 2 small resistance heaters. One with fan and one radiant. Also had a work light plugged.
With the meter adventure I'd didn't run it very long. Will get to that in the next few day.
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