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Old 09-16-2021, 02:33 PM   #1
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Onan’s New Inverter Based Generators - Mike Mas



Hey Guys - I thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss Onan’s newer style “Inverter Based Generators” which use a processor controlled variable speed protocol to vary the generators rpm to match immediate load demands. In any case, inverter based Onan generators are quieter, more fuel efficient and will last 2-3 times longer than a standard Onan thanks to the fact they spend most of their time operating 50% slower than past Onan generators.

Fortunately my new Renegade Verona - Was equipped with one of these newer 8 kw “Inverter Based” gen-set. As soon as you start the generator, you'll note it's a departure from the older Onan generators which were required to operate at high rpm's even when there was no loads placed on the generator.


Presently all the newer 6 kw & 8 kw Onan diesel generators - Are "Inverter Based Generators". Onan just released their first gas / propane inverter versions called 2500i - 2800i for B & B+ Vans. Last time I checked, the 10 /12 kw Onan’s were still using the older constant speed protocol. The primary difference of the older Onan generators is they were required to run at a set speed around 1800 rpm. This was mandatory for the generator to maintain a true 60 cycle wave form. Any deviation in speed, would cause the sine wave frequency to change.

The term Inverter Based Generator - Can be a bit confusing to some RV owners. While this technology is new to Onan's RV units, inverter generators have been around for decades. In fact, my 15 year old Honda 1000 portable generator has this inverter technology. When you start a inverter generator it will run at a high idle speed for a few minutes to reach operating temperature. Once this is accomplished, the generator then slows back down to idle speed just as your main engine would waiting for a load.

These newer inverter generators - Operate differently as they now dump the alternators output into a built in inverter module which maintains the generators output at a constant 60 Hz, regardless of rpm. As soon as a load is applied, the inverters processor samples the required amperage, then quickly increases engine speed to a level to maintain that load. As soon as the load is reduced the engine slows back to idle again. It’s this process of allowing the engine run slower which conserves up to 40-50% fuel compared to the older generators which were required to run at nearly 50% throttle constantly.

On a few Occasions - When I wanted to top off my Renegade’s lithium batteries set, I'll use the generator to power my Xantrex 3012 inverter to charge the batteries at 150 amps, or at 300 amps using my second onboard Xantrex Pro 3000 inverter charger.

The beauty of this new generator is runs just a bit over idle speed to accommodate this charge cycle. In fact, you hardly know the generator is working. This same process with my older Onan generators was awful, since the generator would have to run at high speeds even though it had a very minimum load. This low speed charge cycle only consumes around .10 gal hr. verses half a gallon an hour on the older generator units. You'll also note that when running the roof AC unit, as the compressor cycles off, the generator lowers to idle again conserving fuel and reducing noise.

In my discussions with a number of RV owners - I was surprised to find out that many owners did not realize their RV’s were equipped with this new technology generator. If you’re not sure you have an inverter generator- Just start the generator with no loads applied. If the generator stays at idle with no load, then you have the new inverter set. If it runs at a constant fast speed with no load, you have the older ten-set.

While on the topic of Inverters - Most Renegade’s from 2020 now use an inverted based compressor motor for the refrigerator as well. This system requires half the power of past units. The refrigerator in my Renegade only draws 3 amps, where the same 18 cu ft refrigerator in my Newmar drew 6.5 amps to operate. The inverter controlled compressors have the ability to run at seven different speeds for efficiency drawing as little as only 1 amp to maintain temperature.



Since my coach runs entirely - On it's own 16,080 watt hour Lithium battery which runs the A/C, my generator is seldom used. My coach is a little over a year old now, and I’ve only run the generator 3.1 hours for testing and exercise. Regretfully some type B and B+ & C manufactures are now removing the generator when they install a lithium package, this is not a good practice. I would not own an RV without a generator.

In conclusion - I could not be more pleased with its quiet running and economical fuel operation. Congrats to the folk's at Onan for this major improvement in RV generators.

Stay Safe Guys - Mike

If you would more information on a Renegade Verona, please click the link below to my in-depth review.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f297/ren...as-513895.html
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Old 09-17-2021, 03:35 AM   #2
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Idleup, hate to say it, I'm one of those owners that didn't even know that the Onan 8K in my Renegade 36VSB was an inverter based unit. Always learning something from your post. Thanks again.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:48 AM   #3
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Thanks, Mike for taking the time to knowledge share!
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Old 09-17-2021, 07:37 AM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys and Congrats on owning one this of these amazing Onan inverter Gen-sets, they provide a whole new era in quiet and more efficient generators.

I did want to mention in the article they also offer a a unique advantage for RV lithium battery charging, since you can charge your lithium batteries with the gen at idle, preventing the use the engine with all its DPF extended idling problems.

Stay Safe - Mike
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Old 09-17-2021, 02:52 PM   #5
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Thanks Mike for continuing to post info and helpful tips. I am waiting for my Verona 36 to be delivered in November. Your in depth review of yours was very helpful in our final decision. I'm encouraged to see this forum is active since I'm coming over from the Dynamax forum which is excellent. Looking forward to your future insights.
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Old 09-17-2021, 06:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by CNYJIM View Post
Thanks Mike for continuing to post info and helpful tips. I am waiting for my Verona 36 to be delivered in November. Your in depth review of yours was very helpful in our final decision. I'm encouraged to see this forum is active since I'm coming over from the Dynamax forum which is excellent. Looking forward to your future insights.
Jim, Thanks for the reply - I've owned and had great service with Dynamax RV's. in fact I bought one of the first 26 ft coaches they built, I think in 2010 ?? and loved the coach but regretfully it had one of those horrifying blow up beds. It was my first real super C. They still build a nice coach but the chassis have a very short wheel base causing a big over hang.

Anyhow - the Renegade Verona is a real departure from many Super C's, the class 8 chassis and 9L offers a whole new experience, you'll love yours!

Here's a shot of my first Super C and a Dynamax with my Freightliner pickup. I included an image of the New dynamax showing way too long overhang, it will never track down the highway like a Verona.

Regards - Mike
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Old 09-19-2021, 04:58 PM   #7
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those horrifying blow up beds. It was my first real super C. They still build a nice coach but the chassis have a very short wheel base causing a big over hang.

I included an image of the New dynamax showing way too long overhang, it will never track down the highway like a Verona.

Regards - Mike
I totally agree. Not only poor tracking but that rear swing is an accident just waiting to happen. And try backing into a tight space with that overhang or launching a boat.

IMHO, Dynamax quality has declined ever since Forest River took over. Their current management seeks to cut costs at the expense of quality and diversity. They do however like their many gadgets. Their thin workforce seems to lack the level of conscientiousness required to build a true high-end product. That said, they target a different niche market than what Renegade covers. You get what you pay for.
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Old 09-19-2021, 06:35 PM   #8
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I totally agree again.. The older Dynamax had a great reputation and was a great built product for sure. Forest River bought them out and the GM is only concerned with cutting corners and trying to build the company to a production line company leaving behind the quality they used to have.

Either way you have made a great choice and buying from a company that does not care how many they build but how good they build them..
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Old 09-20-2021, 07:51 AM   #9
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I totally agree again.. The older Dynamax had a great reputation and was a great built product for sure. Forest River bought them out and the GM is only concerned with cutting corners and trying to build the company to a production line company leaving behind the quality they used to have.

Either way you have made a great choice and buying from a company that does not care how many they build but how good they build them..
Let me first say - great user name "The Renegade" Wow!

Man I loved my little 26' Dynaquest (Dyna Max) it drove like a big pickup, tracked perfectly down the road had great viability, super power, she had every thing I needed except a dedicated bed. Moral of the story is you're only fooling yourself thinking you can live without a dedicated bedroom in a coach. Worst part was climbing over each other to move aft to the head at night.

It's all my own fault - I walked into a dealer in Hickory NC and she was sitting in the showroom floor. I couldn't eat sleep or anything after I left, went back a few days and took her home and sold my old coach!

Stay Safe Guys - Mike
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Old 09-20-2021, 10:07 AM   #10
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After selling my Country Coach Intrigue I was searching to downsize into a short Super C. I studied the Dynaquest 264STs, the 300STs and the 320s back then. I just could not find any for sale. The 320s came in different versions and were the better choice at around 33+ feet bumper to bumper. That hokey inflate-a-bed was popular in that era but was just something I was not enamored with and I would have replaced it with a trifold or recliners. I ended up filling my void by ordering a new Sprinter-based Dynamax Isata 3RW. That was the biggest mistake I ever made. Way too much weight for that chassis and the quality sucked. Sold it after a year+. I was the guy that pushed & prodded the GM of Dynamax to resurrect a short M2 back in 2017. He finally, after several years, got off the dime and started up what they now label the Europa. Here we are approaching 2022 and only one prototype has been built so far with a floorplan with no fulltime bed. They are apparently living on another planet. Luckily for us, Renegade has built a few short M2s and I hope they continue with the Verona 34VQB. That is better design and higher quality than this yet to market Europa thing that is just about the same length with single washer/drier combo stuffed into a closet. Love my Renegade 2300XM. Sorry, I digress from the original topic. Mike, you have a beautiful coach and all of your improvements are simply outstanding!
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Old 09-20-2021, 01:15 PM   #11
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Nothing better than an inverter-based Cummins QD8000. Our 2003 Country Coach had one and we used the heck out of it. Never had any problems and we put on over 1500 hours on it, oil/filter changes every year. Had solar too with several Danfoss freezers & fridges. Great for long term boondocking with all the modern conveniences running. These have been installed in RVs for nearly 20 years now. One improvement they made that I know of is they changed the type of fuel filter, making it easier to replace.
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Old 09-21-2021, 07:26 AM   #12
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Thanks for all the replies - I recently sold my 2019 Newmar New Aire which had an 8 kw to purchase my newer 2020 Renegade Verona with an 8 kw Onan as well. Upon delivery, I immediately noticed a contrast difference in the generators quieter operation and lower idle speed which compelled me to contact Onan to investigate the difference.

Yesterday I finally managed to have a short conversation with my busy friend Bill Stubbs, Bill is possibly one of the most knowledgeable guys on the planet with Cummins, Allison transmissions as well as Onan.generators. Bill is the one who uncovered the poor performance in RV’s which was caused by a protocol called “Fuel Sense” which was bogging down Cummins engines in RV’s in an effort to save fuel. Fuel Sense caused the Allison to over-ship in an attempt to save fuel.

Bill mentioned that while all Onan diesel generators use an inverter module, the later model Onan’s now use a different inverter based processor protocol, which allows the Onan to idle slower, as well as control lower operating speeds to make the somewhat noisy Kubota’s engines a bit quieter and more fuel efficient. He mentioned these new diesel protocol’s were inline with the new 2500i and 2800i inverted based smaller gas generators recently released.


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Old 09-21-2021, 09:01 AM   #13
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Mike, do you know when the later model diesel gens with the upgraded inverters began? Anything like model number range to go by? Other telling info to determine what we already have?
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Old 09-21-2021, 05:06 PM   #14
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Mike, do you know when the later model diesel gens with the upgraded inverters began? Anything like model number range to go by? Other telling info to determine what we already have?
I sure don't I can't seem to get an answer either. There are two different 8K's on the market, one marked inverter and the other without. My 2019 Newmar had the old unit and so did my friends 2019 Dutch Star, so I'm thinking anything from late 2019 on could be revised. Right now the Onan generator industry is up side down, there are few generators to be found anywhere. In fact was up in Elkhart last week and many of the RV manufactures I visited were holding their line up because of no generators available. Last week I tried to buy a 8k for a friends RV from Absolute Generators and they told me their next shipment was in Dec and sold out and not until July would a few units be available.

Our country is going down the tubes in many ways!


Regards - Mike
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