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Old 11-02-2015, 08:53 AM   #1
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Generator question

We're ready to sign on a new Redwood fifth wheel, and we're trying to determine whether to get the onboard Onan generator. It's really expensive, but it would be nice to have one hooked up to the RV. Currently we have a Honda generator, but we have to get it out of the truck every time we want to use it.

I did a search here on iRV2 for 'Onan generator', and all the first choices that came up were problem-related posts. So my question is, do you think the Onan generator is worth the price, and more importantly is it a generator you can recommend?

For those of you with onboard generators, what do you think of your Onan? Or what other brand would you recommend?

Thanks so much!
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Old 11-02-2015, 08:56 AM   #2
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:02 AM   #3
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I have a MH with a 3.6KW LP Onan. It came with the unit and is very convenient to use. (press a button at anytime to start her up. I find it "fairly" quiet when inside the coach. It is fairly quite when I am about 100feet away from the MH. We have already put 30 hrs on it since we got the MH in July. My Dad had a Honda he kept in the back of his truck when hauling his 5er. It was VERY quiet and took care of basic needs of the RV.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:07 AM   #4
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If you want an onboard generator, Onan is by far the most popular. Having said that, one Honda 3K, or the popular setup with two connected 2K Hondas, will be quieter than a gas Onan (Some of the Onan Quiet Diesel generators are pretty quiet, but I don't think you are considering one of those).

The original Onan 4K in our 1999 Trek had problems that were too expensive to repair, so I bought a new one. For motorhome use, and when driving, this was the best option.

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Originally Posted by fiddleddd View Post
We're ready to sign on a new Redwood fifth wheel, and we're trying to determine whether to get the onboard Onan generator. It's really expensive, but it would be nice to have one hooked up to the RV. Currently we have a Honda generator, but we have to get it out of the truck every time we want to use it.

I did a search here on iRV2 for 'Onan generator', and all the first choices that came up were problem-related posts. So my question is, do you think the Onan generator is worth the price, and more importantly is it a generator you can recommend?

For those of you with onboard generators, what do you think of your Onan? Or what other brand would you recommend?

Thanks so much!
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:09 AM   #5
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I've had 3 Class A RVs with Onan generators and never had any trouble with any of them. The 5er is a little different since you aren't inside it while traveling, but in a Class A in Texas in the summertime you want the house A/C running. We don't boondock too much, but we've used the generator when in a campground with only 30A service and needed both house A/Cs running.
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:31 AM   #6
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Perhaps we need to ask more questions about the Onan generator they offer as an option to our fifth wheel. I just assumed that it would be hooked up such that you could operate it by turning it on from inside the RV......as with a motor home. I'll check on that. If not, and we would have to go outside to turn it on, then we may as well keep what we have. We do have 2 of the companion Honda generators, but they would be bulky to carry. The onboard one would be easier, I would think.

1bigmess.....you're so right there!

MarsMan....yes, the Honda's we own are pretty quiet. I'm sure having the Onan inside a compartment would allow it to not sound too loud when you're in the RV. Of course, we need to take in to consideration those around us. :-)

George.....I didn't even think to ask if it was gas or diesel. I'll have to do some more checking. Thanks!

jrusselltx.....we'll definitely spend some time down south (we're from Indiana), and not necessarily in the winter. So yes, we'll no doubt use the air conditioner. I'm surprised you could use your generator to run 2 air conditioners. I suppose that was without using any other appliances?
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Old 11-02-2015, 09:56 AM   #7
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Fiddle,

The real question you have to ask is, "Do we do enough dry camping to make the care and feeding of a built in generator a good return on the investment?"

As an owner of several generators, one of which is built into the coach, I can tell you that taking care of a built in is less convenient, but there is a very low probability of it "Walking Off". There is the convenience of just pushing the button if we need power, but the inconvenience that I have to pay additional attention to the fuel inventory to have it available.

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Old 11-02-2015, 11:54 AM   #8
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I am sure that the generator would have a Start/Stop/Hours panel in the 5th wheel. Another inconvenience in a 5th wheel is the fuel tank. I think the best solution is to leave the Honda in the pickup bed and run a cord back to the 5th wheel.
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