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Old 08-31-2012, 10:44 AM   #1
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Onan 4000 vs 5500 - pros and cons

Asking all you guys with experience who have been using these genny's.....

I see that some TH's are equipped with the 4000 and some with the 5500. I know the 5500 is 50 amp and is capable of running two A/C units, but then again I've seen many TH's with 5500's and only one A/C. Is that only "if" you want to ever add a second A/C?

I also understand that the 4000 is 30 amp but then I've read somewhere that it "can" be on a 50 amp setup, but just wont run two A/C units.

Because I'm trying to understand all the in's and out's of TH's, I was wondering if there is any pro's and con's to the 4000 over the 5500 or vice versa? That being maybe, noise, fuel mileage, run duration, ability, etc.

Thanks guys.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:04 AM   #2
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I always preferred the 5500 over the 4000. The 5500 will give you a lot more power margin. Also the 5500 is a 1800 RPM engine and should last a lot longer than a 3600 RPM engine. I have never liked running anything close to it's max output, whether a motor, transmission or generator.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
I always preferred the 5500 over the 4000. The 5500 will give you a lot more power margin. Also the 5500 is a 1800 RPM engine and should last a lot longer than a 3600 RPM engine. I have never liked running anything close to it's max output, whether a motor, transmission or generator.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:37 AM   #4
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Size and weight;
4000 is 173 lbs, 30 x 19.7 x 14.4
5000 is 279 lbs, 33.6 x 22.2 x 16.7
Which one will fit the compartment you have in mind?
Big difference in weight as well.

The lower RPM of the 5500 should result in a quieter generator. The 4000 has a Sound rating of 68 dB(A) (10 ft half load), the 5500. However the 5500 is 67dB(A) at same distance.... not a lot of reduction... 3dB(A) less would be half as loud.

Fuel usage: 4000 is 0.5 g/h at half load, 0.7 g/h at full load
5500 is 0.6 and 0.9 respectively.

Power; the 4000 has 33.3 amps, the 5500 is 45.8 amps. With the 5500 you could run both AC and a microwave at the same time, the 4000 would give you any 2 large appliances at a time.

Both generators are single phase and all power is from a single set of windings.

Also consider that power decreases 1% for every 10 F above 77 F, and 3.5% for every 1000 ft over 500 ft.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:44 AM   #5
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4000w / 120vac = 33.33 amps... not 40amps. The 5500w simply has more power. If you have a 50amp coach, you will appreciate the 5500w (45.8 amps) much more.
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Old 08-31-2012, 12:18 PM   #6
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4000w / 120vac = 33.33 amps... not 40amps. The 5500w simply has more power. If you have a 50amp coach, you will appreciate the 5500w (45.8 amps) much more.
Thanks for the correction.... I read the 100 volt line of the Onan spec sheet, it really is 33.3 amps thanks.

I'll see if I can still edit the previous post.
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Old 08-31-2012, 03:37 PM   #7
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Awesome answers guys.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:55 AM   #8
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Not finding any 1800 RPM 5500's. All Onan 5500 Marquis I've found state on the label that they run at 3600 RPM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:07 PM   #9
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Not finding any 1800 RPM 5500's. All Onan 5500 Marquis I've found state on the label that they run at 3600 RPM.
The pre gold marquis ran at 1800 rpm. (BGM series) The onan marquis gold run at 2400 rpm. I don't think they ever made a marquis that ran at 3600 rpm. Are you thinking of the microlite?
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Old 09-16-2012, 07:49 PM   #10
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2400 RPM and 3600 RPM are the only two versions of the Onan 5500 Marquis Gold I've found. I have the 3600 RPM one.
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Old 09-17-2012, 02:09 PM   #11
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2400 RPM and 3600 RPM are the only two versions of the Onan 5500 Marquis Gold I've found. I have the 3600 RPM one.
Well I guess they made three speeds in the marquis 5500. My bgm runs at 1800. The new marquis golds run at 2400. And I guess the early Golds ran at 3600.
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Old 02-20-2013, 05:34 PM   #12
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I thought it worthy enough to point out that I was wrong and misunderstood about the RPM's. Apparently the RPM's listed on the identification plate are talking about the generator RPM's and not the engine RPM's. The engine RPM's for the 5500 I have are 2400 as you guys noted.
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Old 04-17-2013, 12:57 PM   #13
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4000 is lighter, splash lube engine that runs @ 3600 rpms, 30 amp CB. The 5500 has 45.8 amps output, the engine runs @ 2400 with a belt driving the alternator at 3600 rpms, full pressure lube, oil filter. Most people think the 5500 is smoother and quiter. It is heavier, larger and costs more.
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Old 04-17-2013, 09:53 PM   #14
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Thanks for the thread update guys. I did find out that the 5500 does run at 2400 RPM, but the generator turns at 3600 RPM. Also, I'm now understand that the 50 amp coaches are really 220 volts with two 50 amp hot leads, which means that its really a 100 amp service. That said, I dont believe its called a 100 amp service because nothing runs off both 50 amp circuits together but individually. So does this mean that the 5500 gen is putting out the same capacity?
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