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Old 09-02-2015, 11:46 AM   #1
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Question Hours on Onan 4K excessive ?

This unit I just purchased, 1995 Itasca Passage 23RC has a Onan generator with 1740 hours on it. First RV I've owned to have a generator. Are these excessive hours for a 1995 model ? If so, would it be close to having some serious maintanance done ? No history on it , so don't know what if anything has been done before.

Mtn. Home, Idaho
1995 Itasca Passage 23RC
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Old 09-02-2015, 12:21 PM   #2
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The hours themselves are not at all excessive - 90 hours a year. Far more important is the regular maintenance and exercising of the generator. I would prefer more hours to fewer on a used unit - more likely that it has been cared for.

Upstate South Carolina
2000 Holiday Rambler Endeavor
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Old 09-02-2015, 01:19 PM   #3
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How does it sound?
How does it work?
Was it maintained?

We put about 80 hrs per year on ours, and I maintain it and exercise it in the winter.

2013 FleetWood Expedition 38B
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Old 09-02-2015, 06:51 PM   #4
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It would not be unusual to put 10 hours per month on a generator. I think you are fine with a 20 year old unit.
2015, HR Ambassador 38DBT / 2006 Jeep TJ Towd
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Old 09-02-2015, 07:13 PM   #5
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No way is that many hours a problem. Buddy of mine put more than that on his in 5 years. The "rule" is to run a generator at least 2 hours per month under load - meaning run your ac or some other load on it. The key is maintenance not lots of hours. I would change everything like oil and filters and look at them. How do they look? Tells a lot about care. There is no big maintence item as long as you follow Onan's service schedule. They will run forever if taken care of.
Mel (Melanie) and Harry
2009 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH
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Old 09-02-2015, 08:52 PM   #6
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When we bought our Georgetown, at 8 years old, the genny had 48 hours on it. 6 hours a year? The original owners must have only done the minimum "exercise" runs. We used it more than they did, but after another 3 years and about 90 additional hours, it went Tango Uniform. When trying to start, it would backfire and spit out clouds of white smoke. Having worked for a UK maker of auxiliary power units, I sure wasn't impressed by ONAN. The adjectives "cheap" and "nasty" came to mind fairly quickly.

I struggled to figure it out for a few months, but we finally decided to sell the RV. The consignment dealer said he had to replace the controller board for the generator.
Frank Damp -Anacortes, WA,(DW- Eileen)
ex-pat Brits (1968) and ex-RVers.
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:11 AM   #7
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Ive got 900 hours on my 2014 onan. Our last unit was a generac 2005 and when I sold the MH two years ago it had 8000 hours on it. I replaced the starter twice, a choke actuator and changed oil, filter and fuel filter, thats it. Oh yea, a valve cover gasket. By the end it had what I called an auto oil change system. The generac would pump out the oil in 24 hours. When it shut down from the low oil sensor I just added more. Replaced it with a new generac before I sold it.
2014 Fleetwood Bounder 35k
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:20 PM   #8
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Boats and rvs, they like to be used.
2012 Coachmen Encounter 37FW
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Old 09-03-2015, 06:45 PM   #9
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Our 99 had 400 when we got it in 2007. It now has over 1200. Obviously we use it more. When we got it we had all kinds of trouble from non use. They like to run and they run at 1800 rpm. Very slow compared to the 3600 rpm screamers from hd and lowes. As others have said, these things like to run. I would be more leery of an onan of that age with low hours than high hours. But in my opinion those are not high numbers and not low numbers. If properly maintained you are fine. I have heard of people going over 3000 hours with nothing but regular maint, valves being adjusted and decarbing the heads with no issues.
If it hasn't been done i would have the valves adjusted then the cyls decarbed and fresh 5/40 syn oil change done if it was mine. Onan says 15w 40 but we find the 5w 40 Rotella works for us.

1999 Holiday Rambler Vacationer
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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Old 09-04-2015, 07:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for all your input. I feel much better now with what your posts said. It starts easy, and runs smooth. Since I don't have any maintenance history on it, I'll put to use some of your suggestions, especially to run it often.

Mtn. Home, Idaho
1995 Itasca Passage 23RC
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