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Onan Generators for large 5th wheel


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  #1  
Old 01-16-2016, 01:07:26 PM
RocklandValley RocklandValley is offline
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Default Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

Hi, Guys this is my first post. I am looking for a generator for my 40' 5th wheel RV. I am looking into Onans. I like that they are 1,800 rpm and hear they are not very loud and not to bad on fuel. I do not know much about them but I have a bunch of Onans on my Case/Ingersoll tractors and on a Hobart welder so I am familiar with a Onan engine. Do they use the same style engine on some models? Ok so here is what I think I am looking for. A 6,000+ KW, with 240 volt. The RV has a 50 amp plug (2x 120 volt separate circuits, no straight 220v usage or appliances) Has large fridge and 2 AC units. I think that would be the biggest draw at one time, 40 to maybe 50 amps running? So what models should I stay away from? What ones might work best for what I am looking to do. Are these great units? What should I test for or look for when I look at one? Any other advice thoughts are welcome lol. Thanks in advance!
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Old 01-16-2016, 01:36:22 PM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

I installed one in my new 28ft fifth wheel. I found a New old stock 4bge with all the propane kit on it. It is only 33 amps though and not big enough for your needs. My strong recommendations are to have it run on propane. You will also need a 50 amp automatic transfer switch. Look on craigslist for the older 1800 rpm units. The 7000 watt Marquis was a decent set.
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Old 01-16-2016, 01:50:24 PM
YellowLister YellowLister is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

I would go for a 6.5 nh. Or if you have alot of room a 7.5 jb is a great machine. The nh is pretty common and can be had on nice running shape for under 500 depending on your area.

How big is the hole you plan to put the gen in?

The marquis is a very nice set but the newer ones all have little problums that can be a pain and get pricey ..
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Old 01-16-2016, 02:10:02 PM
RocklandValley RocklandValley is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

Thanks, I am not sure if I am putting it up front under the neck or going to build a "deck" off the rear and build some kind of enclosed area for it. So if I go the deck route I have all kinds of room plus the plug is in the rear. Are some of the NH 240 I called one one but it was 120 only? Thanks again

Oh the other thing was I would like to be able to turn it on and off from inside. Do they have electric chokes and what not?
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Old 01-16-2016, 02:47:27 PM
len k len k is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

7kw NHM pretty quite and are sold as 120V only but can be modified to 120/240 by moving 3-4 wires.
Covertion ---> Post 9 onwards of http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=113775

And since 6.5 kw NHE are same basic design , they can be modified also IF all FOUR 120V leads come out of the windings, ( some models only bring 3 leads out).

But the NH are more reliable as they don't have the electronic AC voltage reg that NHM /NHE have.

Last edited by len k; 01-16-2016 at 04:09:33 PM.
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Old 01-16-2016, 03:36:45 PM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

It sounds like you don't want to run a transfer switch if you put it on the back of the rig. Mine is in the front compartment and although it was some work to tie it into the RV power center and install the remote inside the RV, I am glad I went the extra mile. It is sure nice to pull over somewhere to have lunch and if it is hot, just push a button and turn on the AC. My first trailer, I had it set up like you are thinking and plugging into the set directly. That was a pain in the butt.
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Old 01-16-2016, 05:37:40 PM
RocklandValley RocklandValley is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

Thanks guys! So tell me more about how yours is wired with this switch and the set up if you do not mind. Do you just throw the switch like a house transfer switch from inside the RV what are the other advantages besides not having to plug it in? Thanks again.
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:16:22 PM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

Here is the short write up when I installed mine.
http://www.smokstak.com/forum/showthread.php?t=146539
The small black box to the left
of the Onan is the transfer switch. It is automatic. It defaults to shore power and when the generator is started, the switch lets the set warm up for about a minute or less and automatically switches to generator power. Basically, You remove the shore power leads from the RV's power distribution center and run them to the transfer switch. The generator runs its power leads also to the transfer switch. Now from the transfer switch, you run your two hots, neutral and ground BACK to the power distribution center in the RV. I then bought an Onan remote control switch and I also bought an Onan generator-to-remote wire loom that just plugged into the remote and into the generator.
Here is the remote switch: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Onan-RV-Gene...ZTtdCx&vxp=mtr
Here is the wire loom and they make them in several different total lengths:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cummins-Onan...dWh29j&vxp=mtr
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:45:05 PM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

I'm set up with a Progressive Industries EMS-LCHW50 surge unit for incoming shore power and then the stock original Surge Guard 41260 transfer switch. If you go with the 41260, be sure that you get the newer double-sided circuit board.

The Generator is an Onan 7HGJAB-900E 7000 watt. Right hand photo shows the new circuit board in place.
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Old 01-16-2016, 11:31:28 PM
Birken Vogt Birken Vogt is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

Since it does not sound like this unit is going to be built in, I would use a Honda EU7000. Since it is a new unit, I can't speak to it directly, but I know of several EU6500s that have given heavy service above and beyond the call of duty.
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:30:47 AM
RocklandValley RocklandValley is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

Think thats going to be more then I want to spend. But why the Honda over the Onan?
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:48:49 AM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

Because the Honda it is ready to go. Variable speed makes it very quiet, when it is running light most of the time. It only runs 3600 RPM when it has to.

You are going to wind up spending as much in time and money to get the Onan to the point where it is reliable to go out in the RV. It needs an enclosure or it is going to be loud. You will need to plumb a muffler. You will have to feed it gas from somewhere. You will have to fix the parts that fail from age and lack of use because these things are old now.

If I had an RV that already had one, I would keep it, but I would not go installing one from scratch. The size of the project would be prohibitive.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:54:06 AM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

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Originally Posted by Birken Vogt View Post
Because the Honda it is ready to go. Variable speed makes it very quiet, when it is running light most of the time. It only runs 3600 RPM when it has to.

You are going to wind up spending as much in time and money to get the Onan to the point where it is reliable to go out in the RV. It needs an enclosure or it is going to be loud. You will need to plumb a muffler. You will have to feed it gas from somewhere. You will have to fix the parts that fail from age and lack of use because these things are old now.

If I had an RV that already had one, I would keep it, but I would not go installing one from scratch. The size of the project would be prohibitive.
The only downfall with putting a nice Honda generator on the back of the RV is keeping it from getting stolen. But, I do agree with Birken about the costs.
I spent $1200 for the new old stock 4BGE and probably another $500-$600 for the remote, wiring, transfer switch and the LARGER propane regulator and hoses to feed the generator and the RV at the same time if needed. I did all the install myself and I figured about 25-30 hours to do a NEAT job, not just a "cobbed in" install. So I got about a NICKEL an HOUR for my labor!
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:05:35 AM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

I agree. If you are building a platform. Go with Honda. Yes they cost a little more. But they are worth it. I have a Honda pump unit on the feed truck I run. 5 years now and no problems to speak of. Cranks and runs on the first pull,second pull if it is cold.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:45:25 AM
Max Thompson Max Thompson is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

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Originally Posted by Motorhead View Post
I spent $1200 for the new old stock 4BGE and probably another $500-$600 for the remote, wiring, transfer switch and the LARGER propane regulator and hoses to feed the generator
You would have the same wiring expense to set up the Honda as you would anything else. If you run "house" fuel to the generator, that cost will be the same.

If the inverter in the Honda fails, you will spend close to the cost of the old Onan to replace it.

I do not see where the cost is much different when you compare apples to apples.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:43:07 PM
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Smile Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

Well I have a -4.0BGF/FA/11500P SN.# E980744275 Taken out of a class C
with remote start with 75hrs. on it !! I will sell you for $775 if that helps you out !!

[QUOTE=bo4huskers;1243817]Well I have a -4.0BGF/FA/11500P
It is a propane burner !!
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:04:24 PM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

I kinda liked this method of installing a portable gen in a 5th wheel. probably work with a Honda. Have to add a bit of ventilation. Cheers Dan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIvz4FdFq6w
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Old 01-17-2016, 05:54:38 PM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

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Originally Posted by BigBlockChev View Post
I kinda liked this method of installing a portable gen in a 5th wheel. probably work with a Honda. Have to add a bit of ventilation. Cheers Dan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIvz4FdFq6w
Not a bad idea ... BUT, ONE, you lose the whole front compartment for storage and the bottom of the compartment is always OPEN to the elements, TWO, you have to go through all the hassle of lowering it and raising it just to use it. THREE, you are running a 3600 RPM screamer out in the open. The last in itself doesn't make for "Good Neighbor Relations".

My 4BGE, takes less than half of my front compartment, is set up to run with the front hatch closed so it makes an already quiet 1800 rpm generator even quieter and all I have to do is push the start button either inside the RV or inside the front compartment.
Don't get me wrong, the guys idea is one that someone might like but I would bet that he spent at least HALF the time figuring out his lift system and installing it as I did putting in an enclosed Onan. Just my $0.02 worth.
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Old 01-17-2016, 07:32:15 PM
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

What are your fuel options? Propane or diesel? Keep in mind a diesel will be a little more expensive on the front end but will probably last longer. Gallon for gallon, you will use a lot less diesel than you will propane. You can carry diesel in a bucket, can't do that with propane.

Consider mounting it in a weather proof housing in the bed of the tow vehicle.

If installing it on the trailer, get a hold of the installation manual for that machine and pay close attention to to clearances and ventilation.

Do the math and see what the maximum load will be and size accordingly. a 7 1/2 or a 10 should be plenty. Way better to get one a little larger than you need, will be spending a little more than what you need ot but if you get one too small, you will have wasted a lot more money.

Onan makes some excellent gensets, some of the diesels will throttle down to a lower speed if the load isn't big. Saves fuel and wear and tear.
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Old 01-17-2016, 08:50:29 PM
RocklandValley RocklandValley is offline
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Default Re: Onan Generators for large 5th wheel

Hi thanks but a 4kw will be way to small. I do not care what the fuel is I am open. I do not want to buy new. I am hoping to find something with a reasonable price and in fair enough shape. I do not want to tie up the bed of the truck and there is not enough room with the 5th wheel in it and tool box.

There is a EB11,000 Honda for $1,500 But it is liquid cooled and looks big. I feel it is over kill and burn more fuel then I will need for the power I need?

This is also a option a few hours away for $450
Model 6 5NH-3cr/16004P
Serial/ K833721447
AC volts 120/240
Ph 1
Kva 6.5
kW 6.5
Rpm 1800
Bat 12
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