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Old 03-22-2013, 08:24 PM   #1
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Diesel Generator Question

I am shopping for a used diesel pusher motor home. I looked at a 2002 Holiday Rambler yesterday with 28000 miles on it. It is very clean inside and outside, but the 7500 watt Onan diesel generator has 2415 hours on it. Is this something that I should be concerned about, or does such a generator have a lot of remaining life. I know that if it were a gasoline powered unit, I would have reservations, but do not have any experience or knowledge about diesel generators. Please share your knowledge and experience with me. Thanks.

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Old 03-22-2013, 08:39 PM   #2
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Read in one of the motorhome magazines about a Onan with 25,000 hours on it.

It does seem like a lot of hours for a 11 year old coach with so few miles on it.

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Old 03-22-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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I would not worry about that few of hours on the generator. Sounds like a motorhome that has been dry camped a lot. NASCAR fans drive to races and park there mh at the track and run their generators all weekend. I drive mine to the drag races and park it in the pits next to the car and run the generator all weekend. Those Onan diesels will run for many hours
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
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I would be more concerned if it had too few hours than to many. That Gen should run carefree for thousands of hours as long as it is run regularly and the proper maintenance has been preformed.
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Old 03-22-2013, 08:57 PM   #5
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I would trust a generator that has a couple of thousand hours on it versus a couple of hundred hours. If you don't run them or use them, chances are when you really need it, it won't run at all. Then it's off to the Cummins/Onan center for an extensive repair bill.

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Old 03-22-2013, 10:22 PM   #6
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From my understanding those hours are equivalent to about 96000 miles. 40 miles per hour. So that's not that bad on a Diesel engine.
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Old 03-22-2013, 10:32 PM   #7
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Unless my math is fuzzy - the generator has been run an average of 20 hours a month for 10 years. General maintenance requirement is 1 hour run time a month I believe. If properly maintained / serviced I would say it's like new at 2,400 hours and at the same rate of use and proper service will perform for many, many years. Just my guess.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:09 PM   #8
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I would have more concern about the low engine use with only about 2800 miles per year than the hours on the generator.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:46 AM   #9
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I would worry more about low hours and non-use of the generator. 2500 hours is not excessive. Just have the dealer pull a full service on the coach changing all fluids and filters.

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Old 03-23-2013, 08:19 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TXiceman View Post
I would worry more about low hours and non-use of the generator. 2500 hours is not excessive. Just have the dealer pull a full service on the coach changing all fluids and filters.

X-2. The generator will not be the problem. As previously stated, the coach is your concern. Do you homework and get ALL the fluids, filters changed, a good chassis inspection and of course, really check the tires if they are getting to end of their useful service life. Good luck
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Old 03-23-2013, 12:36 PM   #11
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if you talk to an shop that specializes in generators, they'll tell you the #1 source of rebuilds are low hour generators not run enough and/or not maintained. Pro race teams have generators they run 2-3,000 hours a year and if they rebuild a unit after 15,000 hours or so, it's more of a "heck, I suppose we just ought to over the off season" rather than due to failure.

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Old 03-23-2013, 01:39 PM   #12
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My diesel generator is liquid cooled whereas most gas generators are air cooled, so the diesels run much cooler, plus a diesel just lasts much longer when properly maintained. Keep in mind too that for the most part they are like a tractor engine where they start and run at a constant speed unlike a street engine that has a lot of stop and go and idling. That also contributes to them lasting much longer.
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Old 03-23-2013, 04:58 PM   #13
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It is unlikely you will ever wear it out if properly maintained.

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diesel, generator

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