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Old 09-27-2019, 04:31 PM   #1
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In the spring I purchased a 2011 Pleasure way Lexor, The rig was/is in pristine condition 15,000 mile well looked after, except one thing the Onan Cummins 2.8 micro-lite generator was not working, the seller told me they did not like the noise, so the less they used it the less they exercised it till it didn't start, (it only has 7.5 hrs on it), Our thinking was that it shouldn't be a big deal to get it up and running, Well that has not been the case, after a couple of mechanics checking it out, we finally took it to a Onan service center who after 2 weeks are telling me the generator needs $1,200 of parts and labour to get it running.
we have to decide in the next couple of days if we want to move forward with this repair, or forget the whole thing, and go ahead and purchase a portable Honda generator/invertor that we can take with us on trips when we think we will need the A/C, so please if you have any input, experience, suggestions, regarding this situation we would really appreciate them, thank you.
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Old 09-27-2019, 04:40 PM   #2
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Well, if it were my rig, I'd bite the bullet and get the generator fixed or replace it with a new one.

One problem with an external generator is where to put it when it's not in use. Another is how to secure it from theft or damage when it is being used.

I am a long-time happy user of various Honda inverter-style generators, but I'd rather not travel with them, for the reasons given.

So, if the rig is otherwise in such great condition, and you plan to keep it for a long time, my advice is to fix the Onan.
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Old 09-27-2019, 05:03 PM   #3
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I went the eliminate the Onan route. I picked up a Champion inverter genny.

https://www.championpowerequipment.c...tart-inverter/

I mount it either on my cargo trailer tongue or a rear luggage carrier if not pulling the trailer.

It's not quite as quiet as a Honda but a lot quieter than the Onan. Also, it has a key fob remote start and stop. Awesomely convenient to use from inside the van. I retained my externally mounted Onan fuel pump with a long hose with a ball valve to refill the genny.

Three year warranty with U.S. based customer service.

With the exception of a suck carbbie float, twice, it has been awesome for about two years now.
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Old 09-27-2019, 10:09 PM   #4
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I vote for repairing the Onan. I need a generator if not driving daily and it is so convenient to reach up and push the button. Of course, it has to work.

To keep an Onan running you need to, at the minimum, be able to remove and replace it yourself. That is usually a $200-$300 charge.

I, also, own a Honda generator and if I could put one where the Onan is, I would. No one has come up with that upgrade.

I’m waiting for someone to put a Yamaha 3k watt generator in the Onan box. Honda won’t fit, a Yamaha might.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:06 AM   #5
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If you like owning one of those things, then I would consider looking for one of the many used units that are often on the market, being sold by folks who decide to dump theirs. Slightly dicey, since it is hard to test a removed unit. But they go cheap. I still have mine, but have come close to pulling it a couple of times. Check eBay.
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Old 09-28-2019, 12:14 AM   #6
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If you like owning one of those things, then I would consider looking for one of the many used units that are often on the market, being sold by folks who decide to dump theirs. Slightly dicey, since it is hard to test a removed unit. But they go cheap. I still have mine, but have come close to pulling it a couple of times. Check eBay.

Yep, we sold our very low hour but very carefully maintained Onan for $800 on Craigslist. Buyer was smart and wanted to see it run and put out full power over time, so I had to set it up on a pallet to do that. It put out over rated output continuously, so he was very happy to get it.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:02 PM   #7
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If you purchase an Onan gasoline generator, try to have them install a fuel cut off switch. That way when you store it you can run the generator and cut off the fuel supply to let it and use up all the fuel to the generator. That will prevent you from having a varnishing problem.

If you get a propane generator that burns cleaner and you could just close propane tank to stop the generator.

Just my two cents.
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Old 10-03-2019, 06:57 PM   #8
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The main use of our Onan should be for AC when boondocking. However, we run the dash AC, instead of the generator and coach AC overnight almost exclusively to avoid the noise. Yes we have three carbon monoxide detectors either way and no, Our experience after over 200,000 miles of running the Chevy gas engine overnight A LOT is that the wear on the gas Chevy engine at idle is basically non-existent other than possibly for accessories, belts and pulleys.

None the less, we installed a new carburetor on our current Onan (newer Roadtrek) because when we want it for AC, microwave, or as a temporary engine electical source to run the vehicle engine if we lose an alternator in the middle of no-where and want to keep traveling without delays, the Onan can save the day.

I also use the Onan to run a compressor, power tools and do other things most folks dont care about so i have multiple secondary uses for the Onan.

BJ 2013 RT 190 POP Grand Canyon area.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by hdevera View Post
If you purchase an Onan gasoline generator, try to have them install a fuel cut off switch. That way when you store it you can run the generator and cut off the fuel supply to let it and use up all the fuel to the generator. That will prevent you from having a varnishing problem.

If you get a propane generator that burns cleaner and you could just close propane tank to stop the generator.

Just my two cents.
There is a float bowl drain screw on the carburetor.
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Old 10-03-2019, 07:52 PM   #10
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There is a float bowl drain screw on the carburetor.
True. Speaking from analogous experience with motorcycles, though, the problem is that you never know which run is going to be your last one for the season. With a fuel valve, it is easy to just use it at the end of every trip. The drain screw is just too much of a project, and so is easily neglected.
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Old 10-03-2019, 08:51 PM   #11
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I was going to install a fuel cut-off on the fuel line but someone, somewhere mentioned it might not be a good idea to let the fuel pump run out of gas. I might do it anyway. I wouldn't starve the pump every time I use the generator, only once or twice a season.
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Old 10-03-2019, 09:14 PM   #12
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Since you would be putting a valve inline to the pump, you can also make it a three way valve so you can have a hose to the outside to put in a can of preserved no alcohol fuel (with Seafoam). Run it just a bit needed out of the can and shut of the genny and move the valve back to tank setting and done. The Seafoam fuel will not only keep it from getting sludged up, it will also clean most stuff out while it is sitting. When we had a genny I had that system on it and it worked very well and made restarting easier as it was not dry. Personally, I would prefer preserved gas in the carbs when they sit to prevent the small amount of fuel left after running it out from evaporating and leaving residue or the seals drying out. I only drained ours and ran it out of gas before I removed it and stored it until sold about a year later.
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Old 10-04-2019, 09:43 PM   #13
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Just start and run under a load once a month. Problem solved.
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Old 10-04-2019, 10:19 PM   #14
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As we all know they still fail, but it helps.
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Old 10-06-2019, 12:03 AM   #15
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Research (this forum) alone should convince you that a new Honda or Yamaha generator is the way to go. I bought the cummins pipe and a bunch of butyl insulation intending to quiet the Onan down. Mechanic told me he would do it if I insisted but that noise reduction would be minimal and would cost as much or more than a Honda generator. You'll never quiet down the Onan enough to use it with any other camper around. I returned the resonator and insulation and plan to buy a Honda generator. I've checked one out already and it is quiet, trouble free and I can even move it away from my van or other campers. It also may come in handy in electrical shortages at home. I have a hitch box and easily store it in there under padlock when not in use. I don't worry about it being stolen in campgrounds.
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Old 10-06-2019, 01:06 AM   #16
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I don't worry about it being stolen in campgrounds.
You will.

The Lazy Daze RV moderator bought one, chained it to his front step, started it up and went inside to work on his computer. After a while things got quiet and it was gone. He owned it a total of six hours.

An ignorant fellow near Silverton, CO, put his Honda 2kw 30 ft. From his RV. Later on he turned it off and went out to play with his Jeep. When he came back it was still sitting there. I tried to explain things to him. He moved it 15 ft. from his coach. Just the luck of the draw.
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