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Old 02-25-2015, 04:29 PM   #1
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Default second thoughts

this is about the engine generator versus the onan. i have posted ad nauseum about this subject an i am sure most of you are tired of it.

However- i am having second thoughts about the Onan. Davydd has convinced me in most cases the cats will survive on fantastic fan.

i cannot fathom wanting to run the Onan. Never really wanted it BUT wife and i want zion so it seemed necessary.

we
will be doing mostly campground of some kind(wife likes them)

does anybody here really like the Onan?. do you go out of your way to not use it.

just looking for opinions. I can still change my order
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:48 PM   #2
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Default Re: second thoughts

Disclaimer is that we don't haul animals with us.

We didn't use our generator at all the last two years. We are setup so we can run the microwave off the van alternator, so no need for the generator because no need for the AC. If it gets so hot outside that we can't be out of the van, we need to go elsewhere, as hiding from the heat in the van isn't camping to us.

That said, I don't know how you would be able to stop and do things for more than a couple of minutes if you were in very hot weather. It the outside temp is too hot for the animal, a fan won't get you there as you will be certainly a bit hotter. Maybe you could rig something with ice bags or something that the cat could get next to on the floor.

Easy decision for us, I wouldn't buy a generator at this point, tougher if you have animals and can't run the AC on batteries.
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Old 02-25-2015, 04:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: second thoughts

i just can't imagine leaving Onan on in a parking lot either
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: second thoughts

I debated the need, in the past we used seldom used ours except when we dry camped, rest stops, mostly for A/C as we travel to warm areas allot. I've been in RV places that lost power a few times when it was very hot.I ended up installing one as I found enough needs and will use it for power outages for my house. I can get rid of my small portable generator I have stored for this purpose.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: second thoughts

Not tired of the discussion at all Gerry. Good topic. We all go through these thought processes. The "engine generator" would let you run the microwave oven or A/C to cool the interior of the coach down. You might not want to idle it for hours but even a half hour in the evening might be enough to get rid of some of the heat soak from the day.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:14 PM   #6
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Default Re: second thoughts

Yes, a good topic. I too am interested in how the Onan works for ac. I live in deep south, heat/humidity, and cannae' stand cold weather. But, I also like to be cool for sleeping in hot weather. Keep'em coming...
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:34 PM   #7
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Default Re: second thoughts

since we live in the North and usually travel based on climate and season


I did it. I called and changed the order. now getting underhood generator. deleted onan and tire carrier-tire back under van.

Is this the correct call-i think so- don't know if the cats will approve

I till think extra alternator is overkill with this battery-however idling with the underhood extra alternator will guarantee full power with this manyamps. sigh who knows
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: second thoughts

Gerry,

Since you asked for opinions, here's mine.

I would change my order if I were you. I'd get the engine generator and delete the Onan.

The Onan maintenance is a PITA. It's in a spot that is difficult at best to reach. It's loud not only outside, but inside as well.

With all the posts on the subject, there really are 2 issues. One is battery charging and the other is 110v power available for the house. You really need to separate the issues.

I'd agree with you that for battery charging, the engine generator is overkill. It will however, charge this small battery very quickly. When it comes down to it, who cares?

Where the engine generator will shine, I think, is that is can quietly provide 110v power for your air conditioner or microwave for however long you may need it. I would think you'd be OK sitting in a parking lot at idle, keeping your coach cool for the pets. As a bonus, on a 110 degree Texas summer day, you can zip down the highway with the roof air blasting away.

And best yet, when you change your engine oil in the van, you've essentially done all your maintenance on the generator. No searching for someone who knows anything about Onans, or carrying oil and filters for it on board.

When I'm ready for my next van, high on my list will be an engine generator/extra alternator. I think it's the way to go.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: second thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by wincrasher
Gerry,

Since you asked for opinions, here's mine.

I would change my order if I were you. I'd get the engine generator and delete the Onan.

The Onan maintenance is a PITA. It's in a spot that is difficult at best to reach. It's loud not only outside, but inside as well.

With all the posts on the subject, there really are 2 issues. One is battery charging and the other is 110v power available for the house. You really need to separate the issues.

I'd agree with you that for battery charging, the engine generator is overkill. It will however, charge this small battery very quickly. When it comes down to it, who cares?

Where the engine generator will shine, I think, is that is can quietly provide 110v power for your air conditioner or microwave for however long you may need it. I would think you'd be OK sitting in a parking lot at idle, keeping your coach cool for the pets. As a bonus, on a 110 degree Texas summer day, you can zip down the highway with the roof air blasting away.

And best yet, when you change your engine oil in the van, you've essentially done all your maintenance on the generator. No searching for someone who knows anything about Onans, or carrying oil and filters for it on board.

When I'm ready for my next van, high on my list will be an engine generator/extra alternator. I think it's the way to go.

I did wincrasher-thanks actually saved me 800 dollars to
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Old 02-25-2015, 08:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: second thoughts

Wow, I would've never thought about no generator, but having an extra generator that runs off engine power! All this stuff is new to me coming from a trailer with nothing but ac power, and the deep cycle power for lights, water pump, just light duty stuff. I always thought the onboard generator was the dog's bark.
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Old 02-25-2015, 09:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuyGene
Wow, I would've never thought about no generator, but having an extra generator that runs off engine power! All this stuff is new to me coming from a trailer with nothing but ac power, and the deep cycle power for lights, water pump, just light duty stuff. I always thought the onboard generator was the dog's bark.
Gene-let's not get carried away. the 'engine generator' is a system involving a second high amp alternator and an invertor.

your onan creates 120 volt power directly. depending on how used each has pro's and cons
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:00 PM   #12
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Default Re: second thoughts

I still don't know if I could walk away from my van with it running and the keys in it for several hours but vehicle engines are much quieter than a generator. Since tgeheromaster has no EGR system to plug up,I would not worry about mechanical issues other than engine overheating and let's face it it's going to be hot when you need it to keep the critters(not necessarily your case but much discussed here) cool while you explore.hard to believe you only saved $800.00 unless they are adding batteries. Is that the case ? I think it a wise choice and look forward to your reports.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by stanw909
I still don't know if I could walk away from my van with it running and the keys in it for several hours but vehicle engines are much quieter than a generator. Since tgeheromaster has no EGR system to plug up,I would not worry about mechanical issues other than engine overheating and let's face it it's going to be hot when you need it to keep the critters(not necessarily your case but much discussed here) cool while you explore.hard to believe you only saved $800.00 unless they are adding batteries. Is that the case ? I think it a wise choice and look forward to your reports.
stan -i saved 800.00 dollars because they tire is no longer on the rear. the engine generator was swapped for the Onan

i also will not leave van running while gone.

we will use fantastic fan or take cats in carriers-hopefully it won't be an issue often.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:35 AM   #14
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I'd like to see how they are adding another alternator, I can't see any room or access to add one on my Promaster. Mine came with a 220 amp and I'm connecting a 120 amp sterling battery to battery charger to charge the battery pack while driving.
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:13 AM   #15
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I'd like to see how they are adding another alternator, I can't see any room or access to add one on my Promaster. Mine came with a 220 amp and I'm connecting a 120 amp sterling battery to battery charger to charge the battery pack while driving.

i aked but in a different way. the inverter and battery are standard. yet the price is the same as the onan. i asked why and they said putting the dual alternators in th promasetr required special engineering-theirqwords not mine

nationsalternator has info on dual alternator on their facebook page and has a blurb about roadtrek zion being first customer
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:46 AM   #16
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Default Re: second thoughts

I'm curious, gerrym... Why is it that you are against leaving the car running to allow the rear AC? Is it just that you fear someone breaking in?

We people of the cold north (Dakotas and farther north) are used to doing it if the wind chill is down far enough. But at that time one doesn't need to worry about the car overheating.

BTW... where is the battery in the Zion?
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Old 02-26-2015, 02:55 AM   #17
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I'm curious, gerrym... Why is it that you are against leaving the car running to allow the rear AC? Is it just that you fear someone breaking in?

We people of the cold north (Dakotas and farther north) are used to doing it if the wind chill is down far enough. But at that time one doesn't need to worry about the car overheating.

BTW... where is the battery in the Zion?
walking away-for how long. minutes? Hours? i suppose for 10 mintes or so but longer?

this is the battery-
http://buy.northstarbattery.com/p/sms-agm-400-battery

it is located flat just before where the spare tire is under the van. if you actually want to see it under the van one of the first videos mike wendland did on it has him talking to Jim Hammill and the van is up on a lift. you can see a brown metal box toward the front=the spare tire has been temporarily removed in that video.


the eastern part of the country there are many laws against leaving unattended idling vehicles. North Dakota and farther north are different kinds of country than the east. i suspect the the west coast and south east have similiar laws
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:11 AM   #18
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Default Re: second thoughts

With the cold winters lately out east, they might need to change the laws. LOL I don't see all that much difference between idling and running the Onan - except that the engine would be quieter. But, I know how laws do not always fit all the situations that they cover.

I'm wondering how easy it would be to disconnect the battery if it was to be parked for a few months. RV Battery disconnect switches seem to always allow too many parasites, so I was thinking in terms of pulling off a connection wire as I do in my car when I leave it parked for the winter or adding a cut-off to the battery itself.
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:01 AM   #19
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Default Re: second thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkin
I'm wondering how easy it would be to disconnect the battery if it was to be parked for a few months. RV Battery disconnect switches seem to always allow too many parasites, so I was thinking in terms of pulling off a connection wire as I do in my car when I leave it parked for the winter or adding a cut-off to the battery itself.
Just install a Bluesea ML-RBS remote switch between the battery and everything else. Guaranteed no vampire loads.

We have on in our van. The only thing that doesn't go through it is the solar controller, so the battery keeps getting maintained when the switch is off.
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Old 02-26-2015, 12:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mumkin
With the cold winters lately out east, they might need to change the laws. LOL I don't see all that much difference between idling and running the Onan - except that the engine would be quieter. But, I know how laws do not always fit all the situations that they cover.

I'm wondering how easy it would be to disconnect the battery if it was to be parked for a few months. RV Battery disconnect switches seem to always allow too many parasites, so I was thinking in terms of pulling off a connection wire as I do in my car when I leave it parked for the winter or adding a cut-off to the battery itself.

i've lived in this area all my life. this is not the coldest stretch we've ever had-it just seems that way.

are you talking about the house battery or chassis battery. normal 12 volt disconnects work fine for house battery-must shut off inverter also if you have one.

chassis battery different animal. if you have solar panel on roof and the proper equipment=bluesea like avanti said or surepower 1315-200 or similiar will work for chassis also. if not the only way for chassis without using trickle charger is to disconnect like you said. seems you would have same issues with your libero-what do you do now?
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