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Old 01-13-2016, 10:27 AM   #1
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Options for major Genset repair?

Our Onan Marquis 7000 with only 127 hours has suffered a major failure. Seems the voltage regulator malfunctioned and burned up the rotor. Parts alone are $1300 with about $600 in labor to have it repaired.

As we rarely use the generator, is there another option for occasional need of aux power? Seems I have read of folks using a portable generator which no doubt would cost significantly less than the repair...Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks....
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:45 AM   #2
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I know several people that get by with a portable Honda 2000 watt with no complaints.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:57 AM   #3
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Who told you about all the damage? I just replaced my circuit board (after changing the filters, oil, and spark plugs) the neighbor next door, who has a Mountain Aire 5th wheel, told me his onan did the same thing and he had the circuit board replaced. I tried that, didn't work. Then called Flight Systems, they diagnosed a voltage regulator, I bought from them (245 bucks), replaced, and the generator is now purring like a kitten.

You might call them and double check what you've been told. Can't hurt. BTW, I'm not a mechanic, nor an electronic whiz, just an old hippy trying to get by. LOL

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Old 01-13-2016, 11:27 AM   #4
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Perhaps a getting a second bid from another shop might be in order?
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Old 01-13-2016, 01:48 PM   #5
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Perhaps a getting a second bid from another shop might be in order?
I agree, I have a friend who was told his unit was shot and they wanted to sell him a used generator. Another friend who is good with mechanics diagnosed something quite simple and fixed it up good as new. I never trust anyone who simply tells you the worst case scenario right away.
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Old 01-13-2016, 09:49 PM   #6
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Took my motorhome to Quality RV in El Cajon, Ca for diagnostics. They have great reviews and I was satisfied with the procedure.

Curious as to how a portable genset would hookup and operate. Is it capable of charging the house batteries while providing power for 110 outlets, microwave etc. Thanks...
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:19 PM   #7
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Rotor is a single coil of wire wrapped on the laminated core.

One could contact the manufacturer or check a service manual for resistance of the coil.

A bad board could either have too little output voltage to coil which would not hurt it or maybe too much voltage which either opens up the coil like a fuse or maybe caused insulation breakdown causing a low resistance.

Unplug control and maybe remove the wires to the brushes if they do not unplug and check resistance of the coil itself and from coil to ground.

Get the service manual and follow the troubleshooting to see where you get.
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:28 PM   #8
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I would not trust a RV shop to work on an Onan generator. Before doing anything take it to a Cummins/Onan shop and get a second opinion!
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:37 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Wbonsell View Post
Took my motorhome to Quality RV in El Cajon, Ca for diagnostics. They have great reviews and I was satisfied with the procedure.

Curious as to how a portable genset would hookup and operate. Is it capable of charging the house batteries while providing power for 110 outlets, microwave etc. Thanks...
The basic idea is to set it up so the shore power cord plugs in. If one needs to buy the generator the end cost could cover a lot of generator repairs. Obviously a 3000 W portable will not fully replace a 4-10,000 Watt built in but it will let most folks average power over time to get similar results in a lot less convenient manner. I can see it as an option I would prefer not to need to consider. ;-)
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Old 01-13-2016, 10:57 PM   #10
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You need to consider your use of the genny to make a good decision. In my MH, I run the genny in the hot weather for the A/C while the MH is on the road, as well as when parked at a mall or restaurant to keep my dog cool. A portable genny just would not be appropriate for those uses.

On the other hand, for my Pop-Up camper, I use a Honda portable genny mounted on the trailer tongue. While traveling, the SUV has good A/C.
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:10 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Wbonsell View Post
Our Onan Marquis 7000 with only 127 hours has suffered a major failure. Seems the voltage regulator malfunctioned and burned up the rotor. Parts alone are $1300 with about $600 in labor to have it repaired.

As we rarely use the generator, is there another option for occasional need of aux power? Seems I have read of folks using a portable generator which no doubt would cost significantly less than the repair...Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks....
Wbonsell,
Well, the first thing is, your coach is/was outfitted with a "7000" watt unit for a reason. It's what was determined that was going to be needed for multiple needs, at one time. I.e. toaster, hair dryer, TV, VCR, battery(ies) charging and, any combination there of.

Just saying a "2000" watt will work just fine is kind of understating things here. Sure, a 2000 watt portable unit will charge batteries and, most likely run a TV/VCR unit at the same time but, it will be doing it at close to or, approaching max amp output. It depends on how your Converter is setup and, how many or, what type of batteries you have. When they're down, they can require quite a bit of charging amperage to bring them back up, to even a mild state. Then things simmer down some.

But, while tossing around $1,900 at just a generator is not an amount that any of us would take lightly, it may need to be done, based on the accuracy of the original investigation. In many cases like this, unless yours has already been dissected, whom ever you choose to do this dissection, will quite possibly find more parts are needed, once they're inside. And, it may even be possible that the damage was not as bad as originally thought so, the end cost could be less.

I'd definitely get a second opinion.
Scott
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:47 PM   #12
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You may also want to consider the resale without an operating onboard generator.

I know you say you trust the diagnosis but there is that saying,

Trust but confirm.
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Old 01-14-2016, 07:14 PM   #13
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I defenatly get a second opinion , I was driving thrue Florida in my 1996 dolphin motorhome and was duped by Gator Ford it started having a engine miss and they told me it needed a valve job ,so I coughed up the 2000 to have them do it and told them I want the old wires and cap n rotor , tested a wire with a ohm meter and one was bad when all it was was a burnt spark plug wire ,gator ford are dishonest expensive lesson
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Old 01-20-2016, 01:16 AM   #14
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You won't like having a portable generator, besides you aren't going to be able to run the AC's off of it. That is one small enough to put into a compartment unless you use 2 2kw generators together and then you will still only 30amp power. Anything larger than that will be too big to tote in and out of a storage compartment.
Find the nearest Onan/Cummins repair shop and have them look at it. Get it fixed right.
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