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Old 06-26-2010, 05:41 PM   #1
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Question Honda EU3000 vs. Onan LP

OK, help a camper of moderate experience please. For the past 4 years I have been towing a Jag 28JBSS TT, and after being in a campground that lost power for an entire summer weekend, I now carry a Honda EU3000 for backup. On the Jag, I was able to run the 12,000BTU a/c and tv if I put the refer and water heater on LP.

Now I have a 2011 Silverback 35QB on order, that will have a 15,000 btu a/c, and am weighing my options. The larger tanks on the new unit allow me to drycamp more, if I have the power to do so. Therefore, I was considering having an Onan LP installed, but am unsure if the noise and storage loss is worth it. From what I read here, the EU3000 may not be enough for my new 5ver. Don't want to buy a 2nd EU3000, think that's overkill. So, the questions....

Honda external vs. Onan onboard....Which is better (considering storage loss, noise, LP usage, etc...)?
Will the EU3000 do the job?
Can a 3000 be put in parallel with a 2000, or do they have to be like models?
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:04 AM   #2
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The only problem with an LP generator is that they are a fuel hog. LP gas does not have the BTUs that gasoline and diesel has. Therefore, the same size generator for gasoline has a lower wattage output for LP and it loves the stuff. As far as noise, they are quiet if the coach builder installs properly. If you decide on the built in Onan make sure they exhaust it away from any and all slideouts for reasons of CO.
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Old 06-27-2010, 10:14 AM   #3
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Your Honda will run one a/c, including the 15k btu in the new rig. I'd stick with that.

The Onan is probably larger (more watts), but do you need it? You need to think about what you want to run simultaneously and how often, then buy enough wattage to handle it.

Like the others, I am not a fan of LP generators. You need to carry a LOT of propane to run them for any significant time. If it runs off the standard twin 30 lb tanks in the RV, you will be refiling LP bottles day or two. If it has extra tank of its own, that's more storage lost and still needs regular refills.

If you need more watts, buy a second EU 2000 or EU3000 and a parallel kit.
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Old 06-27-2010, 02:33 PM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback. I think I'll stick to the Honda, for now anyway, and see how it goes.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:50 AM   #5
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My friend ordered his new 5ver with the LP Onan and sold it 6 months later because it used to much propane. He purchased a Honda 3000 and loves it.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:31 PM   #6
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Well. The storage loss may be an issue.

But as for the Noise... Onan, Emrald, Gold, on propane.. That thing is so "Noisy" that you may not know when to take your finger off the start button cause you can't hear it.

(Seriously, one of the quietest generators made)

The major difference is fuel efficency.

It is real hard to beat the honda EU-x000i line when it comes to fuel effiency.. They truly SIP fuel

Where as the Onan will suck quite a bit more from your propane tanks.

The generator in my coach is an Onan Emerald Gold 5500 Gasoline (Louder than Propane usually)

In an open field, far from traffic noise, 130 feet away I can hear it if I listen for it.. But after years of police dispatching I have trained myself to pick out sounds others can not hear (The voice of the trooper under the noise normally)

Another person standing next to me could not hear it at all.

The Air Conditioner is louder.

If you choose to mount an Onan. Do invest in a Gen-Turi from Camco.. Can be a real life saver.
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Old 07-05-2010, 02:48 PM   #7
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If you decide to go the Onan route, purchase a Gas model, in my 5W there was room alongside the Gen to put a portable 6 gal boat fuel tank. I can re-fuel the tank when fueling the TV or the quick disconnect fuel line allows me to take the boat tank to a station when required. My owners manual shows a fuel consumption of about gal/hr @ 50% load.
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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my toy hauler has a cheeeep pep boys ($350.00) 5500 watt gen 6 years old runs for ten hrs on a small tank of gas used to be noisier than all get out, until i ran the exhaust thru a flowmaster muffler and up the side with an exhaust extension ... all easily removed when leaving for home or other parts of the country. I bought this unit used and trashed by the previous owner, space for a gen but missing, thus the pep boys gen, has worked great and quiet for me, couldn't afford the 2-3 thousand dollar honda or Onan Gen sets
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Old 07-05-2010, 06:57 PM   #9
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I do not believe you should parallel 2 unlike wattage generators.
The 3000 should power the 15,000btu AC depending on the conditions - the higher the altitude + the hotter it is the less power a generator will make.
I found the circuit for the converter + shut that off when needing max generator power.
Try it with the 3000 you have - the trailer can always be retro-fitted with the Onan.
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:28 PM   #10
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I have had an Onan LP (6500W) in a Kountryaire since 97. Will use about one and half gallon LP under full load per hour or half that amount at about half load. LP as stated is very quiet. A 40 pound bottle holds aprx 9.4 gallon propane. The Honda is a fine unit. Friend owns one and we found that it would blow the C/B when trying to start a 15 K A/C (serveral other owners had same problem also). It would run the fan but start was too much. Solution was to add a A/C Hard start kit which solved the problem for about $25. (Kit is available from A/C supply houses and is basically a large start capacitor which plugs into the start capactor on the A/C unit. No modifying needed. Instructions included)
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Old 07-05-2010, 07:54 PM   #11
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I do not believe you should parallel 2 unlike wattage generators.
That might be your belief, but you should do a bit of research, you can parallel some of the Honda EU series of different wattage.
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:59 PM   #12
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That might be your belief, but you should do a bit of research, you can parallel some of the Honda EU series of different wattage.
Not sure which ones you can connect with other wattage, but taken directly from the both the Honda EU2000i Companion and the EU3000is manuals it says "Never connect different generator models and types."
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:31 PM   #13
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i never had a propane generetor but what i hear is that they are not to good on gas consumption, and the honda eu3000 is a great unit because i own one and i have run a 15000 btu air condition on a toy hauler and i coul run the tv and the refrigerator, the honda 3000 is got to be the greatest generator (for its size) If i was you i would keep the honda even if you have to buy another one to parallel the two and you will have more power then you will ever need and they're great on gas, good luck on your decision, Joe.
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:43 PM   #14
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I'll be buying a portable generator soon myself and have a friend that has an installed propane generator in his 5er. He said one nice thing about it was he could stop about an hour before they got to their destination and fire up the genny and crank the A/C up and the rig would be nice and cool when they got to their camp site. I guess you could do that with any installed generator, gas or propane.

I was thinking about the Boily 3600SI/E for my generator needs. RV's choice for Portable Power - Boliy USA, Home of the Boliy Generator
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