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Old 05-01-2016, 11:24 AM   #1
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Replacing RV Cummins Onan with portable generator inverter

We're wondering if we can remove our Cummins Onan, and install a Yamaha EF3000iSEB 3000 Watt Inverter Generator into the space. We would want to permanently tie to the existing fuel lines and starter package. Can't find anything that shows how this is done, so wondering if it's a bad idea for some reason. Can anybody help?
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Old 05-01-2016, 01:44 PM   #2
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I had a Yamaha inverter generator (2400 I think) and if I recall correctly if you wanted to run it from an external tank it required a fuel pump. Here's a YouTube for a similar application for a smaller generator. Hope this helps
http://youtu.be/TlPkbYnwDro
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:11 PM   #3
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Quote:
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We're wondering if we can remove our Cummins Onan, and install a Yamaha EF3000iSEB 3000 Watt Inverter Generator into the space. We would want to permanently tie to the existing fuel lines and starter package. Can't find anything that shows how this is done, so wondering if it's a bad idea for some reason. Can anybody help?

Are you trying to replace a water-cooled engine with an air-cooled model? I wouldn't.
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:23 PM   #4
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Are you trying to replace a water-cooled engine with an air-cooled model? I wouldn't.
Because?
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:32 PM   #5
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Because?

Because the air-cooled generator is not designed to operate in a confined space. It will likely have a short life from inadequate ventilation. The Onan RV generators are configured specifically for this type of use, and have a great reputation for durability.
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:36 PM   #6
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So you'd need to add a fuel pump and cooling fans. Starting to sound like it's in the "too hard" pile.

I'm assuming your original generator is broken and you don't want to repair it? Maybe carry the Yamaha on a hitch carrier for boon docking?
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:38 PM   #7
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More data

Our current RV generator is extremely loud, and it sputters a lot. A friend has a portable Yamaha and it's extremely quiet. If we get the portable Yamaha, we would want to have a place to lock it up, and it would be nice to hook it up to a fuel line instead of pulling it out and filling it up every 15 hours. We don;t have any storage on our Minnie Winnie, so we either build a box for it on the back, or we pull out the Cummins and put it in there. Since nobody has posted a Youtube about doing it, we assumed there was probably a good reason NOT to
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:43 PM   #8
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What model of generator do you have now, and how old is it? Can you tell where the excessive noise is coming from? Have you had it examined by a trained technician? Even a small exhaust leak can make a lot of noise, and is most likely an easy fix.
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Old 05-01-2016, 02:51 PM   #9
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So you don't think that for $2k you could get your Onan fixed?
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:06 PM   #10
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The sputtering can most likely be cured by running "sea foam" additive....or replacing the carburettor if it's really gummed up.
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:13 PM   #11
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Replacing RV Cummins Onan with portable generator inverter

More stuff to think about.

The current 2800 and 4000 watt Onan Quiet Gas RV generators are air-cooled. There's a lot more to making the Yamaha work than just hooking up the fuel and remote start, but it might not be impossible.

The 2800W Onan is $2295 at PPL right now, and I would consider a brand new Onan with a warranty to be a much better choice than a portable generator.

PPL also sells the Yamaha 3000W portable, for $2222. I'm sure it's a nice generator, but the Onan seems a better choice for the money.

All of this matters only if your current generator cannot be repaired. I would get an estimate.
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Old 05-01-2016, 03:18 PM   #12
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FWIW you do not see information about how to do it because it is not a very good idea. You have been told several.
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Old 05-01-2016, 04:44 PM   #13
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It's the original 1985 generator. W thought if we had a portable, and this 30 year old RV croaks, we still have a great portable generator. We overpaid for the RV, so are reluctant to put a new generator in it
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Old 05-01-2016, 05:35 PM   #14
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It's the original 1985 generator. W thought if we had a portable, and this 30 year old RV croaks, we still have a great portable generator. We overpaid for the RV, so are reluctant to put a new generator in it

You're singing the song of many used (and new) RV buyers. It is discouraging, in the beginning, to see the true cost of deferred maintenance (AKA neglect) in an older RV, and shoddy design/build in a new one. If you can push past the initial expenditures required to make everything work, you'll likely be able to enjoy using it for quite a long time. People get tired of fixing things much more often than they actually become unrepairable, and frequently sell and move on to something else at just about the time they are getting over the hump. It is exhausting. If I were in your shoes, I would diagnose the old generator's problems and consider fixing them. Once the repair cost gets to about half of the cost of a new one, I start to seriously consider the new one. Everybody's threshold of pain is different. You get to decide where yours is and proceed accordingly. You'll find a lot of help, and a lot of encouragement here on IRV2. It's a lot more fun when you're sipping a cold drink beside the lake than underneath the RV in the driveway. If that's what you want, we're here to help.
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