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Old 08-20-2007, 08:14 AM   #1
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Hello boondockers.

We race dirt bikes on a Florida circuit that puts us in remote areas throughout the state. We have always needed generator power for these events and can run 2 solid days with very little non-generator time during the hot months. We have always used two very quiet Honda EU2000's in parallel to power the A/C unit. When the A/C goes off, the EU2000's kick down to an even quieter low idle level.

I just got our first MH and it came with an Onan4K. I always thought they would be quiet when they were built into a motorhome. This one is has 37hrs on it, but it is not really very quiet. The exhaust is not as loud at the unit itself. Does this seem odd to you?

Also, it does not really seem to kick down when the A/C goes off. It maintains about the same level of noise all the time it is running. This is much louder than the two EU2000's.

Can any one comment on whether there is a high speed and low speed based on the load?

Secondly, has anyone run their Onan for 48 hours or more with no break? How do these stay cool with so little air flow under there?

Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 08-20-2007, 08:14 AM   #2
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Hello boondockers.

We race dirt bikes on a Florida circuit that puts us in remote areas throughout the state. We have always needed generator power for these events and can run 2 solid days with very little non-generator time during the hot months. We have always used two very quiet Honda EU2000's in parallel to power the A/C unit. When the A/C goes off, the EU2000's kick down to an even quieter low idle level.

I just got our first MH and it came with an Onan4K. I always thought they would be quiet when they were built into a motorhome. This one is has 37hrs on it, but it is not really very quiet. The exhaust is not as loud at the unit itself. Does this seem odd to you?

Also, it does not really seem to kick down when the A/C goes off. It maintains about the same level of noise all the time it is running. This is much louder than the two EU2000's.

Can any one comment on whether there is a high speed and low speed based on the load?

Secondly, has anyone run their Onan for 48 hours or more with no break? How do these stay cool with so little air flow under there?

Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 08-20-2007, 09:55 AM   #3
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The Honda is an inverter-type generator. This means that the 60 hertz frequency is produced by the inverter and is not a function of engine speed. That's why the Honda's engine can run at variable speeds based on load. In other words, the Honda has a DC generator whose output is converted to 60 hertz AC by the inverter.

The Onan, on the other hand, is a synchronous AC generator which means that the engine must run at synchronous speed (probably either 1800 or 3600 RPM, depending on whether the generator has 2 poles or 1 pole respectively) to produce 60 hertz AC power, regardless of load.

Rusty
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Old 08-20-2007, 10:28 AM   #4
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Thanks Rusty. So it sounds like it is working right with no kickdown during low demand. Are these normally that much louder than 2 EU's running next to each other?

Is it okay to run the Onan for the entire weekend? I change the oil after every weekend of running the Honda's. I would do the same with Onan. That's close to, if not 50 hours of running per event. I am running 30W dino.

It seems odd to have it all closed in under the MH and I guess that is what has me concerned. Do these really get enough air to keep them cool? Do they have an auto shut off if it gets too hot?

Is there any prevention I should take to make sure using it like this does not create a problem?

I am taking my EU's with me for the late night A/C hours. That will give the Onan a break if needed and give the neighbors a little bit of quiet in between cycles.

Should I be this concerned, or are these Onan's really built for the demands I am going to be putting on it?

Thanks again.
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Old 08-20-2007, 03:42 PM   #5
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The Onan 4KW MicroLite is a 3600 RPM set and it is noisy compared to the Hondas. We never ran our Microlite over about 12 hours at any one time. We had a previous coach with a Onan Emarld 6.5KW(1800RPM) and it was much quieter than the MicroLite. Several times we managed to get over 48 hours on the unit over a 3 day weekend.

In any case, you need to shutdown after 24 hours and check the oil level and let it go again.

The worst thing to do to a RV generator is low hours. Rn the out of it, but do keep it serviced according to schedule.

You might get the noise level to drop a bit if you lined the generator compartment with a sound absorbing material. Be careful to not block any air vents.

Ken
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Old 08-20-2007, 05:45 PM   #6
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My old BF Drawer model has run 24/7 for a week once to keep the a/c going and other than needing a oil change nothing else to report. I do agree they are noisy!
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Old 08-23-2007, 06:21 AM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Greg Williams:
Thanks Rusty. So it sounds like it is working right with no kickdown during low demand. Are these normally that much louder than 2 EU's running next to each other?

Is it okay to run the Onan for the entire weekend? I change the oil after every weekend of running the Honda's. I would do the same with Onan. That's close to, if not 50 hours of running per event. I am running 30W dino.

It seems odd to have it all closed in under the MH and I guess that is what has me concerned. Do these really get enough air to keep them cool? Do they have an auto shut off if it gets too hot?

Is there any prevention I should take to make sure using it like this does not create a problem?

I am taking my EU's with me for the late night A/C hours. That will give the Onan a break if needed and give the neighbors a little bit of quiet in between cycles.

Should I be this concerned, or are these Onan's really built for the demands I am going to be putting on it?

Thanks again. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

The Onans are built to be used. They are designed to cool properly within the enclosure as long as all the covers etc are in place. Max I have run mine is 72 hrs however I have only had Marquise Golds which are low rpm units that go 150 hrs between oil changes.

Myself I just installed an EC 30 Autostart from Onan on mine. The EC 30 starts the gennerator when the thermostat calls for AC or the batteries need charging otherwise the generator just sits there quietly. Saves a bit on fuel and it doesn't get much quiter than when it has cycled completely off.
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:24 PM   #8
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I had an Onan 4.0 inclosed in the motorhome. Never had a problem with it over heating even in very hot weather and the A/C running. I ran it often up to 18 hours a day. Your right it is noisy compared to some. Mine ran at a constant speed regardless of load. And, as the other fellows said and a generator technician on the site once also said the more you run them the better they are. The generators he sees are the ones that have not been run. Good luck.
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Old 08-30-2007, 08:56 PM   #9
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Hey guys. Thanks for all the great replies. I ran it for 24 hours over this past weekend so now it has 74 hours on it since 2004. I think I agree that the more it runs, the better it runs. Aside from getting used to the noise it sure was nice to push the button and turn it on when needed.

Because is was my first boondock with this generator I took my two Honda EU2000s as a back up and ran them for about 24 hours as well. They are quieter plus they idle down when not in use, so it was a nice drop in noise level in the evening hours.

I am very interested in the EC30 Autostart concept, so I will look into that thanks to your advice.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 09-05-2007, 06:09 PM   #10
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I prefer to put high-quality synthetic oil in my 4K Microquiet generator. It helps it run cooler, lubricates better, and stays cleaner, even if I don't choose to extend the oil change interval (which you can do with true synthetic oil)

I like Amsoil 10-30 full synthetic Small Engine Oil in all my small engines. Mobil 1 and Royal Purple are also popular. The name brands you buy at auto parts stores are often not true synthetics, despite the label.

If you are concerned about making life easier for your genset, full synthetic is the way to go!
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