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Old 08-20-2018, 06:33 PM   #21
mtlakejim
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Originally Posted by PNW Fireguy View Post
Not to hijack the thread but if you add a Micro Air Easy Start to your AC your generator will start and run your AC.
Yes I have heard of that but wonder if it would affect AC warranty and if there would be any determental effects?? Seems like they would come from the factory with it if no down side?
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Old 08-20-2018, 06:34 PM   #22
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I think everyone is doing one thing right and that is keeping OP in mind when posting

We don’t all have to agree on a given topic. And one thing for sure we don’t all camp the same way! Heck, I don’t even camp the same way every time myself!

One other plus too a gen I saw posted in the past is you can use it to run second AC when at 30amp site to help take the edge off when temps are really bad. So I suppose not always just for dry camping
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:02 PM   #23
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You are certainly entitled to your opinion by all means as we all are. In addition what works for you and your needs may or may not meet my needs. My Onan does NOT burn through propane at an unacceptable rate for my needs. I speak from fact as I have one and I use it. My purchase was not a mistake. Expenses are expenses. We didn't go this route to weekend camp so the ROI for us was evident. From my reading of the OP he/she has already decided on a route and was asking for specific input.

I too own an Onan 5500 LP ,and speak from facts, 11 years having one ,I know full well what they burn, yes it does burn thru at rate that may not be acceptable to some, was pointing that out.

We have a difference of opinion on the intended use of these generators, I use mine for what I bought it for, and the same for my small Honda, just pointing those things out. If the OP knows the cost of what he is getting into then great, but I have sure read enough about these Onan generators, to know it can BE a MISTAKE, and an expensive one at that. Many have had their eyes opened up owning one. I'm finished here , please carry on . My point has been made ,no need to belabor it any further.
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Old 08-20-2018, 07:40 PM   #24
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As mentioned several times above a generator does like propane but the up side is propane is a clean fuel and your generator will start next spring. With gasoline it will probably start next spring. Go to a lawnmower shop next spring and see how many lawnmowers didn’t. I have an Onan 4000 the previous owner let gasoline set in it and ruined the carburetor. There went $500 for the carburetor not counting install. A rebuilt kid wasn’t available, sorry. The plus side for gasoline it’s easy to find, but dirty.
You might consider a Honda in the bed of your truck and a plug-in on the front wall beside the door where your generator would go.
When my Onan breaks next tine I’m going to throw it away and use my Honda.
The man who fixed the Onan told me the 5500 Onan was good for about 800 hours maybe a few more before a belt broke and required major disassembly. He had 3 in his shop to fix at the time.
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:02 PM   #25
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The reason I like these forums is the diverse use's and opinions, some you ignore some you go "never thought of that". 40's, what do you do with the 30's?
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Old 08-20-2018, 08:39 PM   #26
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I have had a Class A with an Onan and if burned thru fuel. On the farm I have multiple generations from a 10K Lincoln welder/generator, three 5k generators and for the Montana I recently purchased two Predator 3500 generators to parallel. I placed them on a rack that goes into the receiver hitch. They do an amazing job, run both A/C's without any issues and sip fuel. They use less fuel than any generator's I have used. Quiet, can't hear them with the a/c's running or in the front bedroom. The rack is constructed in such a way that it provides very strong theft deference. If you need Onan parts, from my experience it takes a trip to the local Cummins dealer as Cummins owns Onan. Everyone has their own preferences, cost was not a determining factor in my decision, but after hours of diligent research I felt that there was no real value in spending anymore on units that will only run a very limited number of hours a year. So far they have far exceeded our expectations on reliability, ease of starting, fuel consumption, level of quietness, and the ability to power our unit.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:15 PM   #27
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Thank you all for you experiences and different options. Definitely going to look into gas burning units as well. And looking into a couple of smaller units also.
I just want something that is fairly simple and quick to fire up if needed.
Don’t plan on doing a ton of dry camping and if we’re going dry camping than it will be when it is cooler and won’t need to run the A/C.
Will be upgrading the battery to multiple batteries. Already discovered the single 12 bolt it has is somewhat of a joke.
Again, thank you for all of the input! I’ll definitly be doing research!
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:16 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by STIHLNTIME View Post
I have had a Class A with an Onan and if burned thru fuel. On the farm I have multiple generations from a 10K Lincoln welder/generator, three 5k generators and for the Montana I recently purchased two Predator 3500 generators to parallel. I placed them on a rack that goes into the receiver hitch. They do an amazing job, run both A/C's without any issues and sip fuel. They use less fuel than any generator's I have used. Quiet, can't hear them with the a/c's running or in the front bedroom. The rack is constructed in such a way that it provides very strong theft deference. If you need Onan parts, from my experience it takes a trip to the local Cummins dealer as Cummins owns Onan. Everyone has their own preferences, cost was not a determining factor in my decision, but after hours of diligent research I felt that there was no real value in spending anymore on units that will only run a very limited number of hours a year. So far they have far exceeded our expectations on reliability, ease of starting, fuel consumption, level of quietness, and the ability to power our unit.

But I will repeat, although I did say I was done, you pretty much confirm what I have always said about these Onan LP generators, they can be a big mistake, and some have come across like money is no object, well for the average person it certainly is, and to come across that way is a bit over the top. Lets just say the average guy could be pretty disappointed thinking this Onan generator is the answer, when in MANY cases it is not.

Happy that some pointed out the down points , instead if making it sound like all roses . I think after 11 years of using one I can speak from experience.
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Old 08-20-2018, 09:52 PM   #29
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You all make good points I have an Onan installed on our 5th whl and my live in horse trailer. I can agree with all your points. I use one fuel and don,t have to worry about some one wanting it. I have seen a heard the said story and then there is the getting the portables out. I just depends on what works for you. I will keep my Onan's they are harder to steel. We usually don't run them more than a few hours a day.
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Old 08-20-2018, 10:04 PM   #30
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All I can tell ya is I’ve had bad experiences with Onan. Granted all were burning gasoline. One major thing is Cummins bought Onan and none of the Cummins dealers like to mess with them most especially those installed in private owned RVs. They just don’t make money like their core commercial businesses.

We have discussed this before but I firmly believe that Onan needs to be at least spun off from Cummins and really needs a couple good competitors

Would be great if small engine type shops were working on them that fits their business profile much better
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:07 PM   #31
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I'll throw my two cents in...
I too own a Onan 5500 LP that was installed by the dealer after we bought our 2010 Mountaineer.
It's one of the reasons our fifth went back to the dealer for warranty repair.

The install was terrible and dummy me didn't check their work before I towed it home!

The tech cut the floor out in the gen compartment with a torch, leftover slag and sharp uneven edges all the way around. He also used said torch to cut holes for the wiring running from the gen set to the battery compartment. Again slag, sharp edges and he just ran the wires through with no rubber grommets to protect the wires. By the time I got it home the positive battery cable was almost cut through. (Thank God it didn't)

He also ran the exhaust right under and touching the propane line, the propane line he ran back to the gen set was soft copper and was hanging down low enough that a stray rock getting kicked up could have hit the line.

Long story short...after it sat for months & getting no satisfaction from the dealer for this guys mess I pulled it home and fixed it myself.

I agree the thing is a gas (LP) hog and if I had to do it over again I would have went with a portable unit or two.
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:34 PM   #32
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James, you probably already tried this but I have a HF 3500 Predator and it runs my single 15K A/C no problem. Were you running your water heater and fridge on AC power when you fired up your A/C?
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:48 AM   #33
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A couple of after pics. Added split plastic conduit around the wires, metal electrical fasteners for the small wires to go through the holes and grommets inside the holes for the battery cables.

DSC_2625.jpg

DSC_2626.jpg

DSC_2637.jpg
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Old 08-21-2018, 04:25 AM   #34
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Old 08-21-2018, 11:51 AM   #35
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Update: When I said my Champion dual fuel 3400 will run my AC, that's what I meant, sure I can run lights and charge a phone but no water heater, microwave, or anything else that has more than a few amps of draw.
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Old 08-21-2018, 12:06 PM   #36
mtlakejim
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James, you probably already tried this but I have a HF 3500 Predator and it runs my single 15K A/C no problem. Were you running your water heater and fridge on AC power when you fired up your A/C?
To be honest haven’t tried it on our new coach. The old coach had gas only hot water and yes I checked for anything else running
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:28 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by STIHLNTIME View Post
I have had a Class A with an Onan and if burned thru fuel. On the farm I have multiple generations from a 10K Lincoln welder/generator, three 5k generators and for the Montana I recently purchased two Predator 3500 generators to parallel. I placed them on a rack that goes into the receiver hitch. They do an amazing job, run both A/C's without any issues and sip fuel. They use less fuel than any generator's I have used. Quiet, can't hear them with the a/c's running or in the front bedroom. The rack is constructed in such a way that it provides very strong theft deference. If you need Onan parts, from my experience it takes a trip to the local Cummins dealer as Cummins owns Onan. Everyone has their own preferences, cost was not a determining factor in my decision, but after hours of diligent research I felt that there was no real value in spending anymore on units that will only run a very limited number of hours a year. So far they have far exceeded our expectations on reliability, ease of starting, fuel consumption, level of quietness, and the ability to power our unit.
Can you post a pic or 2 of the rack?
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Old 08-21-2018, 01:37 PM   #38
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Sometimes just the converter that charges the batteries is enough to not allow the A/C to start. Try turning all other appliances that run on AC power off and then start the air conditioner. After the air conditioner is running you may be able to switch on some other low power appliances.
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