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Old 02-18-2015, 12:18 PM   #1
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Mine works fine but I am curious about one thing. To replace a gen a dealer is going to want maybe 2800 for the item plus maybe 8-1000 to install. I can go to HOme depot, zZLowes and a hundred other places and buy a portable gas fired one for 4-500. The only difference i see is a fuel pump, some wires and an insultated box.

So why are the Rv ones 10 times more expensive?

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Old 02-18-2015, 12:33 PM   #2
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Because of the differences you can not see.. ONAN is very very well built, they should (in theory and with proper care) outlast that portable times 10.

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Old 02-18-2015, 01:49 PM   #3
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x2! That "construction grade" unit won't last and will make a lot more noise and vibration. Even a good Honda or Yamaha portable will cost 2x-3x what those el cheapo models cost.

That said, maybe a cheap portable is adequate for occasional use in remote palces. Your call.
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:32 PM   #4
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You will never make friends running one of those cheap generator at a campground. Much to noisy. I suppose if you are dry camping alone, with no one around, they would be okay, but I'm sure you have trouble sleeping at night with it running.
Tony & Ruth........... FMCA#F416727
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:37 PM   #5
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One other thing, Generators that are used in RVís are approved for use in an RV and must be installed per the manufactures recommendations. They are tested and designed so that exhaust fumes do not get into the RV and cause high Carbon Monoxide levels. RV Generators also use the RVís fuel or propane, which is carried and stored in the RV and are designed to prevent fuel vapors from building in the compartment they are installed.

The ones you purchase at your local hardware store must be used only on the exterior of the RV far enough away to prevent Carbon Monoxide poisoning. They also use an onboard fuel tank to operate which can cause high levels of fuel vapors in an enclosed compartment. You must also carry and store extra fuel for them which is another problem.
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:08 PM   #6
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You get what you pay for is what the other posters are saying. In addition to the safety factors, which could cost you a whole lot more in the long run. Buying one from a hardware store will not be permanently installed, a bit of a hassle to work with, and definitely a lot louder.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:16 AM   #7
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There is another issue too.. The ONAN and other RV type generators are very clean power.. ARRL (American Radio Relay League) Did a truly independent lab test of several of the portable generators.. Some were not bad but others were downright scary. Spikes approachig 1,000 volts can, over time, do serious damage to your electronics.
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Old 02-25-2015, 03:22 PM   #8
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They are also designed to not burn down the house when run in the enclosed bay. All the heat blows down and out.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:40 PM   #9
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A regular generator mounted in place of a RV generator will overheat very quickly. Even though both are air cooled, the Onan RV specific generator has a cooling fan on the output shaft and a ducted shroud around the engine to provide cooling. A regular free standing generator will not cool properly in an enclosed compartment.
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Old 02-25-2015, 05:54 PM   #10
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Those Big Box generators wont run my AC etc when I am driving down road
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Old 02-26-2015, 06:41 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by edsperfect View Post
The only difference i see is a fuel pump, some wires and an insultated box.


So why are the Rv ones 10 times more expensive?

The same reason you can buy a Hyundai for $14k but a Mercedes will easily set you back $75+++++k.
Ted 'n' Laurie, plus Jackson (aka Deputy Dog, the Parson Russell Terrier 'fur kid') and, Rylie (who crossed the Rainbow Bridge June 14, 2012).
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Old 02-26-2015, 07:59 AM   #12
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You are trying to compare two completely different animals each of which was built for a specific purpose.

2011 40' Monaco Cayman PBQ ISC 360
2013 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited
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