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Inverter generator? [message #329080] Mon, 12 February 2018 10:25 Go to next message
Deb is currently offline  Deb   Canada
Messages: 86
Registered: October 2016
Location: Logan Lake, BC
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It's been a while since I've been on board here. But have kept my eye on you all! Spring is coming here (someday!) to the mountains of BC, and I am hoping to be able to get the old girl out on the road finally. Never made it last year due to surgery and wildfires!!

Aside from finding out whether my winterizing was effective (plumbing-wise), and whether any critters found the coach more comfortable than my crawl-space (which is heated and the warmest place in town I think!) my biggest problem (I hope) is going to be the barbarian!! Never did get it to run last summer, and when it did turn over she clanked and banged like the wee man himself was inside with a ball-peen hammer. And I really don't want to spend the first 6 weeks of the summer trying to get her to work, only to have something else on her fail. She is 40 years old, and not well maintained I think by the PO of the PO I got her from. He had it working, then it quit and he was unable to get it running again.

I am much more inclined to replace the old unit with either a new on-board generator (Honda or newer Onan), or perhaps one (or 2) smaller portable, inverter gennies. I am seriously considering a portable unit - more likely 2 smaller ones in parallel - there's only me and a 100+ pound portable generator is hardly portable under those circumstances. Would be easier for me to service rather than it being bolted in-place.

I will be travelling with 2 small dogs so I will need to run the a/c to a certain extent, but the coach was very well insulated during it's rebuild, it's white so reflects a lot of sun and I don't plan on a lot of boon-docking. I have never been a big a/c person, either in the car or the house, so we are all 3 of us used to being a little on the warmer side. I have 2 6V golf cart batteries in the house bay, and was thinking that, with the Onan out, I might have room for one or 2 more.

The upshot is - I don't mind spending the $$. I am retiring this summer and want to start travelling around. I need something that I know (as much as one CAN know these things) will run and I won't have to tinker with to keep it that way. Maintenance is one thing, continuous fiddling and finger-crossing is another.

Opinions? Suggestions? Has anyone gone the portable route?

Thanks. Tìoraidh!

Deb


Deb McWade Logan Lake, BC, CAN "Li'l Sister" '77 Kingsley, 403, EBL EFI; TZE167V101404 It's Bigger on the Inside!
Re: [GMCnet] Inverter generator? [message #329081 is a reply to message #329080] Mon, 12 February 2018 10:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gary Worobec is currently offline  Gary Worobec   United States
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Registered: May 2005
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Senior Member
Deb, do you know anyone at Mile High Resort in Logan Lake?



> On Feb 12, 2018, at 8:25 AM, Deb McWade wrote:
>
> It's been a while since I've been on board here. But have kept my eye on you all! Spring is coming here (someday!) to the mountains of BC, and I am
> hoping to be able to get the old girl out on the road finally. Never made it last year due to surgery and wildfires!!
>
> Aside from finding out whether my winterizing was effective (plumbing-wise), and whether any critters found the coach more comfortable than my
> crawl-space (which is heated and the warmest place in town I think!) my biggest problem (I hope) is going to be the barbarian!! Never did get it to
> run last summer, and when it did turn over she clanked and banged like the wee man himself was inside with a ball-peen hammer. And I really don't
> want to spend the first 6 weeks of the summer trying to get her to work, only to have something else on her fail. She is 40 years old, and not well
> maintained I think by the PO of the PO I got her from. He had it working, then it quit and he was unable to get it running again.
>
> I am much more inclined to replace the old unit with either a new on-board generator (Honda or newer Onan), or perhaps one (or 2) smaller portable,
> inverter gennies. I am seriously considering a portable unit - more likely 2 smaller ones in parallel - there's only me and a 100+ pound portable
> generator is hardly portable under those circumstances. Would be easier for me to service rather than it being bolted in-place.
>
> I will be travelling with 2 small dogs so I will need to run the a/c to a certain extent, but the coach was very well insulated during it's rebuild,
> it's white so reflects a lot of sun and I don't plan on a lot of boon-docking. I have never been a big a/c person, either in the car or the house, so
> we are all 3 of us used to being a little on the warmer side. I have 2 6V golf cart batteries in the house bay, and was thinking that, with the Onan
> out, I might have room for one or 2 more.
>
> The upshot is - I don't mind spending the $$. I am retiring this summer and want to start travelling around. I need something that I know (as much
> as one CAN know these things) will run and I won't have to tinker with to keep it that way. Maintenance is one thing, continuous fiddling and
> finger-crossing is another.
>
> Opinions? Suggestions? Has anyone gone the portable route?
>
> Thanks. Tìoraidh!
>
> Deb
> --
> Deb McWade
> Logan Lake, BC, CAN
> "Li'l Sister"
> '77 Kingsley, 403, EBL EFI;
> TZE167V101404
> It's Bigger on the Inside!
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> GMCnet mailing list
> Unsubscribe or Change List Options:
> http://list.gmcnet.org/mailman/listinfo/gmclist_list.gmcnet.org

Gary Worobec
gtw5-AT-earthlink-DOT-net
1973 23 GMC Glacier
1935 Dodge pickup






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Re: Inverter generator? [message #329082 is a reply to message #329080] Mon, 12 February 2018 10:50 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lqqkatjon is currently offline  lqqkatjon   United States
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I think it is important to be able to run the generator if needed while driving down the road for air conditioning and possible counter measure for failed alternator.

Look at power consumption compared to what you may or may-not need in a generator. My new roof air is very effecient and needs a much smaller generator then the original one to run it. With that I see no need to parallel two portable generators.


Jon Roche 75 palm beach St. Cloud, MN http://lqqkatjon.blogspot.com/
Re: [GMCnet] Inverter generator? [message #329083 is a reply to message #329081] Mon, 12 February 2018 10:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deb is currently offline  Deb   Canada
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Registered: October 2016
Location: Logan Lake, BC
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Hi Gary. I don't know anyone specifically from there - I drive by the road going up everyday one my way to and from work. Never gone up there myself tho'. But honestly - in my 13 years here it's been mostly out the door at 7:30 and back around 6:30 and not much else! I know my neighbours and folks I see on a regular basis when walking the dogs. But who knows who you bump into at the post office or grocery store?

Deb McWade Logan Lake, BC, CAN "Li'l Sister" '77 Kingsley, 403, EBL EFI; TZE167V101404 It's Bigger on the Inside!
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329084 is a reply to message #329082] Mon, 12 February 2018 10:58 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deb is currently offline  Deb   Canada
Messages: 86
Registered: October 2016
Location: Logan Lake, BC
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lqqkatjon wrote on Mon, 12 February 2018 08:50
I think it is important to be able to run the generator if needed while driving down the road for air conditioning and possible counter measure for failed alternator.

Look at power consumption compared to what you may or may-not need in a generator. My new roof air is very effecient and needs a much smaller generator then the original one to run it. With that I see no need to parallel two portable generators.


Not having run my current a/c (which appear to be the originals, one front one rear), I don't know the power consumption on it. I have considered upgrading to the newer Dometic perhaps. But your point about running the a/c while driving is a good one, and probably the main reason that makes me still really consider the on-board generator. My only reasoning for paralleling 2 portables was to be able to get 2 smaller gennies (eg 2x2000 at about 50 lbs each) that I could actually "port" by myself rather than one larger one that would be too much for my old back to manage to haul in and out at the end of the day.


Deb McWade Logan Lake, BC, CAN "Li'l Sister" '77 Kingsley, 403, EBL EFI; TZE167V101404 It's Bigger on the Inside!
Re: [GMCnet] Inverter generator? [message #329085 is a reply to message #329082] Mon, 12 February 2018 11:01 Go to previous messageGo to next message
James Hupy is currently offline  James Hupy   United States
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Frequency control and stable voltage are the two things that should concern
you when it comes to Gen sets. Onan 6.5 or 6000 is king in this department,
mostly due to heavy cast iron construction, and a huge amount of overkill
built into them.
A Gen set that is only operating at part load, instead of smaller
units running at their red line electrically as well as mechanically, is
assured of a long service life. Can't fool durability when it is built in.
Sometimes, price isn't the only factor to consider.
Jim Hupy
Salem, Or
78 GMC ROYALE 403

On Feb 12, 2018 8:50 AM, "Jon Roche" wrote:

> I think it is important to be able to run the generator if needed while
> driving down the road for air conditioning and possible counter measure for
> failed alternator.
>
> Look at power consumption compared to what you may or may-not need in a
> generator. My new roof air is very effecient and needs a much smaller
> generator then the original one to run it. With that I see no need to
> parallel two portable generators.
> --
> Jon Roche
> 75 palm beach
> St. Cloud, MN
> http://lqqkatjon.blogspot.com/
>
> _______________________________________________
> GMCnet mailing list
> Unsubscribe or Change List Options:
> http://list.gmcnet.org/mailman/listinfo/gmclist_list.gmcnet.org
>
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Re: Inverter generator? [message #329086 is a reply to message #329084] Mon, 12 February 2018 11:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lqqkatjon is currently offline  lqqkatjon   United States
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New atwood A/C is about $750??

It will run well on a single Yamaha 2400. They are a little heavier(75 pounds) then a honda 2000.

Honda just bumped the 2000 watt to 2200 for 2018. I am seriosly thinking i will be buying that. I know it will run my A/C, just wondering about re-fueling intervals.





Jon Roche 75 palm beach St. Cloud, MN http://lqqkatjon.blogspot.com/
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329093 is a reply to message #329080] Mon, 12 February 2018 18:08 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JohnL455 is currently offline  JohnL455   United States
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Having to carry fuel for the portable units as well as pack them where they can't spill is an issue. When traveling and I pull into a rest area for lunch, I just bump the switch on the Onan and we have whether hot or cold out, AC or heat, microwave, espresso machine, refer can stay on 12V or 120 or gas. If it's pouring out you are still good to go with the touch of a button. And if muddy at a drycamp your gen won't be out in the mud or flood or get "borrowed"

John Lebetski
Woodstock, IL
77 Eleganza II
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329094 is a reply to message #329080] Tue, 13 February 2018 05:47 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RF_Burns is currently offline  RF_Burns   Canada
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The Onan is a pretty simple and reliable machine.

Upgrade to electronic ignition using Bovee's kit or DIY. Gives faster starts and much smoother running engine:
http://www.gmcmhphotos.com/photos/g3608-onan-ignition-upgrade-to-pertronix.html

Add the fuel pump priming button on the inside control panel gives you instant starts rather than cranking and cranking while the fuel pump gets primed and fills the carb.
http://gmcmotorhome.info/onan.htm

Fingers crossed, but my 2000+ hour Onan runs like a top. I haven't had any carb issues, but there is a carb kit around the shop somewhere.


Bruce Hislop
ON Canada
77PB, 455 Dick P. rebuilt, DynamicEFI EBL EFI & ESC.
Hubler 1 ton front end
http://www.gmcmhphotos.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=29001
My Staff says I never listen to them, or something like that
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329096 is a reply to message #329080] Tue, 13 February 2018 08:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Johnny Bridges is currently offline  Johnny Bridges   United States
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Frequency control and stable voltage (or lack thereof) were the undoing of the Generac RV set. Rating was "55 to 65 Hertz 110 - 120 volts". They held voltage well, but the A/C sure sounded funny as the load on the genset - and the output frequency - changed. When the controller failed, Bad Thnigs happened.

--johnny


76 26' Eleganza(?) with beaucoup mods and add - ons. Braselton, Ga. "I forgive them all, save those who hurt the dogs. They must answer to me in hell" - ol Andy, paraphrased
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329097 is a reply to message #329080] Tue, 13 February 2018 08:18 Go to previous messageGo to next message
RF_Burns is currently offline  RF_Burns   Canada
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One of the downfalls of an Inverter generator is its slow response to a sudden load, like a motor starting in the A/C. The generator engine needs to speed-up to supply the load, in the mean time it browns-out with low voltage, or just shuts down its output to protect itself.

Newer models may have overcome this and some newer RV A/C units have soft-start to lessen the sudden load.

Or I maybe all wrong.


Bruce Hislop
ON Canada
77PB, 455 Dick P. rebuilt, DynamicEFI EBL EFI & ESC.
Hubler 1 ton front end
http://www.gmcmhphotos.com/photos/showphoto.php?photo=29001
My Staff says I never listen to them, or something like that
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329098 is a reply to message #329080] Tue, 13 February 2018 08:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JohnL455 is currently offline  JohnL455   United States
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You have not told us what problems you are having with your Onan. If it rotates it can be repaired. I don' think the troupers will like the idea of setting up an external generator at a rest area even just to keep the pups cool.

John Lebetski
Woodstock, IL
77 Eleganza II
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329099 is a reply to message #329080] Tue, 13 February 2018 08:49 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lqqkatjon is currently offline  lqqkatjon   United States
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To answer your original question:

People have replaced the onan with many things. The easiest and a common way is with a honda ev6010 or ev4010. They are a twin cylinder water cooled generator, that fits easily in the space and can easily be wired in as a replacement. The downfall is availabilty,
As they too are no longer produced and need to be found used or referbished. Parts can be spendy on the Honda ev generators if you ever do have any problems, but that really is the same problem most generators have.


There is an onan model that fits, you can talk to Jim K on that. They are Spendy.

There is a couple older model onans that have been installed as well by owners.

Other replacements take some modification and some real thought needs to go into installing them due to the co risk. Just because it fits does not mean it is safe. The height of the current generator compartment is the biggest issue for other generators to fit.

I have not seen a portable generator of enough wattage that will fit into the onan compartment.




Jon Roche 75 palm beach St. Cloud, MN http://lqqkatjon.blogspot.com/
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329103 is a reply to message #329098] Tue, 13 February 2018 11:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deb is currently offline  Deb   Canada
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Registered: October 2016
Location: Logan Lake, BC
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JohnL455 wrote on Tue, 13 February 2018 06:39
You have not told us what problems you are having with your Onan. If it rotates it can be repaired. I don' think the troupers will like the idea of setting up an external generator at a rest area even just to keep the pups cool.


Hi John. Have checked the board and it checks out (jumped the appropriate pins) per Jim K. It cranks but doesn't catch. Used to spark, and catch but wouldn't run more than 2 seconds. thought it might be the fuel pump - stream looked weak. Changed it out with another but still wouldn't run. Swapped the first pump back in. Checked the carb - pulled and cleaned and replaced. Still no joy. At some point we lost spark too. I am thinking maybe in the process of continuously cranking on her to get it going, may have burned out the points or condenser finally quit. Hadn't gotten to the point of checking either before the semester started and I had no time. But when it did catch and then stall/shut down it banged like crazy - sounding like something inside wasn't exactly where it should be. Or is that a normal sound from a 40 year old engine that just won't quite start up?

We have a Cummins dealer/service shop here in town. As I said before, I have no where to work on this old girl and I am more than happy to hang on to the Onan if I can get her running reliably. I do not mind spending dollars on it. In fact, would rather spend money and know I have a reliable generator than work piecemeal on it.
The PO, who has been working with these coaches a fair length of time and pretty much had a good grasp on the Onan maintenance & repair, couldn't get it running once it quit. Hence my somewhat reluctance to spend a tonne of time trying to get her running. If someone that has a pretty good idea of what they are doing can't get it to go, I don't know what chance I have.

Once the snow clears, I will give the Cummins shop a try on diagnosing the problem. Depending on what kind of shape it's in, will get it repaired or replaced. Spend it now or spend it later! Rather spend more now and have a good functional gennie than have it crash on me with something else wrong when I actually need it, like July in S. Ontario!


Deb McWade Logan Lake, BC, CAN "Li'l Sister" '77 Kingsley, 403, EBL EFI; TZE167V101404 It's Bigger on the Inside!
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329104 is a reply to message #329099] Tue, 13 February 2018 11:27 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Deb is currently offline  Deb   Canada
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Location: Logan Lake, BC
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lqqkatjon wrote on Tue, 13 February 2018 06:49
To answer your original question:

People have replaced the onan with many things. The easiest and a common way is with a honda ev6010 or ev4010. They are a twin cylinder water cooled generator, that fits easily in the space and can easily be wired in as a replacement. The downfall is availabilty,
As they too are no longer produced and need to be found used or referbished. Parts can be spendy on the Honda ev generators if you ever do have any problems, but that really is the same problem most generators have.


There is an onan model that fits, you can talk to Jim K on that. They are Spendy.

There is a couple older model onans that have been installed as well by owners.

Other replacements take some modification and some real thought needs to go into installing them due to the co risk. Just because it fits does not mean it is safe. The height of the current generator compartment is the biggest issue for other generators to fit.

I have not seen a portable generator of enough wattage that will fit into the onan compartment.



Hi Jon. Thanks for the info on the inverters. I didn't know whether or not they might be a viable option, so figured the only way to find out was to ask! Wink
I had thought about the Hondas, but as you said also discontinued so could be looking at similar issues - I am more than happy to look into a new or properly rebuilt Onan to fill the compartment Smile Onan is a great piece of equipment, I just need to get mine running. I will spend the money - know it's not cheap. But neither was the coach! What's another few of $1,000? Shocked I'll look into what Jim K has on listing. See if that is a possibility. I am in Canada, and definitely would not be shipping anything that size. And have no chance to head down to get one.


Deb McWade Logan Lake, BC, CAN "Li'l Sister" '77 Kingsley, 403, EBL EFI; TZE167V101404 It's Bigger on the Inside!
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329106 is a reply to message #329080] Tue, 13 February 2018 11:36 Go to previous messageGo to next message
JohnL455 is currently offline  JohnL455   United States
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Could be as simple as points, condenser, coil or wires or plugs. All peanuts. Cranking would not damage ignition as you are infering. Most advise away from Cummins route as techs that would know these are retired. Find an old riding lawn mower shop that services Onans in garden tractors. Same engine for most purposes. The "noise" could be a loose starter agravated by excessive cranking and it's now hitting flywheel. Don't throw out the kid with the bath water. Then you retain the powerdrawer design and fingertip starting from on board the coach.

John Lebetski
Woodstock, IL
77 Eleganza II
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329108 is a reply to message #329080] Tue, 13 February 2018 12:29 Go to previous messageGo to next message
pjburt is currently offline  pjburt   United States
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Senior Member
i haven't seen this mentioned in other posts. However, having talked to JimK, I'm sure he mentioned this. Have you checked your oil level? There is an automatic shut off if the oil is low. Could be why it starts, knocks, and shuts off.

The no spark I can't help you with.


Patti & Jerry Burt
73 Gmc 26' Canyon Lands - 77 Palm Beach Members: FMCA - GMCMI - GMCWS - Pacific Cruisers - 49ers
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329109 is a reply to message #329103] Tue, 13 February 2018 13:02 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Matt Colie is currently offline  Matt Colie   United States
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Deb wrote on Tue, 13 February 2018 12:21
,snip>
Once the snow clears, I will give the Cummins shop a try on diagnosing the problem. Depending on what kind of shape it's in, will get it repaired or replaced. Spend it now or spend it later! Rather spend more now and have a good functional gennie than have it crash on me with something else wrong when I actually need it, like July in S. Ontario!

Deb,

If you are truly headed for South Ontario, you should make plans. That will put you in striking range of any number of people that can help. That is, if you local small engine wrench can't get it.

Things to check when you can:
Is the fuel line good all the way to the tank. If it has not been replaced, it should have been. (Big Time Pita.)
The bang may well have been the starter bracket. This is a known issue and JimK and others have replacements.
The LOP (Low Oil Pressure) switch. If you not low on lube oil, these can still malfunction. Pull wire 12 off the board and it is disconnected.
As said, a small engine guy is your best shot.

Matt


Matt & Mary Colie - '73 Glacier 23 - Members GMCMI, GMCGL, GMCES
Electronically Controlled Quiet Engine Cooling Fan
OE Rear Drum Brakes with Applied Control Arms
SE Michigan - Twixt A2 and Detroit
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329111 is a reply to message #329080] Tue, 13 February 2018 16:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
lqqkatjon is currently offline  lqqkatjon   United States
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Senior Member
Onan's can be fixed. It is just a matter of digging in and working the issues 1x1.

But please be very careful with an onan dealer. I personally would never take a 1978 ford f-250 to a ford dealer, for many of the same reasons I would never take my onan in my gmc to a cummins dealer.

The onan is a simple engine that just needs an old school mechanic type person to dig in and follow the readily available troubleshooting guides available on the gmc sites.

Gary bovee's ignition kit. And it is pretty easy to get an onan running well.


Jon Roche 75 palm beach St. Cloud, MN http://lqqkatjon.blogspot.com/
Re: Inverter generator? [message #329118 is a reply to message #329109] Tue, 13 February 2018 21:45 Go to previous messageGo to previous message
Deb is currently offline  Deb   Canada
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Registered: October 2016
Location: Logan Lake, BC
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Matt Colie wrote on Tue, 13 February 2018 11:02
Deb wrote on Tue, 13 February 2018 12:21
,snip>
Once the snow clears, I will give the Cummins shop a try on diagnosing the problem. Depending on what kind of shape it's in, will get it repaired or replaced. Spend it now or spend it later! Rather spend more now and have a good functional gennie than have it crash on me with something else wrong when I actually need it, like July in S. Ontario!

Deb,

If you are truly headed for South Ontario, you should make plans. That will put you in striking range of any number of people that can help. That is, if you local small engine wrench can't get it.

Things to check when you can:
Is the fuel line good all the way to the tank. If it has not been replaced, it should have been. (Big Time Pita.)
The bang may well have been the starter bracket. This is a known issue and JimK and others have replacements.
The LOP (Low Oil Pressure) switch. If you not low on lube oil, these can still malfunction. Pull wire 12 off the board and it is disconnected.
As said, a small engine guy is your best shot.

Matt

Thanks Matt - oil level is (was last fall!) good, but didn't know about the switch - i will check that as well. Once I can crawl around under her again I will also check the fuel line. And thank you for the heads-up on the bracket.

Tried a couple of our local small engine shops - neither will touch an Onan since we have the Cummins shop and they say they can't get parts if they need them!?!? Seriously? I can't do much right now anyway - still a foot of snow on the ground up here. But good to have lots of options and direction for when I CAN get at it.

I am headed for S Ontario - want to get out to visit my family there. Would love to get the generator working before I head out though. But if I have to try to organize something along the way, i can do that too.


Deb McWade Logan Lake, BC, CAN "Li'l Sister" '77 Kingsley, 403, EBL EFI; TZE167V101404 It's Bigger on the Inside!
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