E: Onan Genset…

Nothing to report yet. 

One of the things I noticed at the dealer’s lot was that the Onan Genset only had 176 hours on it. They ran it for me for an hour and it did fine. The runtime hours are a little low for it’s age. I should get off my duff and change the oil and filter because I know the freakin’ dealer wouldn’t have done that. The unit still only has 185 hours on it even after I ran the genset for 7.1 hours April 1, 2016. Ran the AC the entire time, it gets hot in the Phoenix area!

The engine sounds nice. These Onan’s are built for 10,000 hours before needing a major overhaul but they tend to be underused in a RV. They are supposed to be run under load for a few hours per month, not just per year. This one has been run, on average, 13 hours per YEAR. That’s 1.1 hours per month. And that includes the 7.1 hours I just put on it. Based on Onan’s recommendation of 2 hours per month with 1/2 load, this one has only seen half as much runtime as recommended. I’ll rectify that over the next few months.

Edit – Sept. 2015

So I’m sitting at my computer desk perusing FaceBook inside the RV and notice a sound…hmmm. What is that? So I get up and walk to the front of the RV and discover that the genset is running? Huh? I don’t think I have a autostart circuit for my genset. Looking at the Winnebago spec sheet, NO, I do not. OK, I have a mysterious genset startup.

So I go outside and check out the top of my genset and everything looks normal. I do need to run it this month so I let it run while I try to figure out how it started itself. And I sit down to ruminate on the problem. After 30 minutes or so of ‘thinking’, I head back to the computer. Sitting there, I glance out the window, and there’s the neighbors CAT! Hah! There’s the culprit! Over the previous 2 weeks or so, I’d noticed that cat walking under my RV several times.

Knowing the cause, I tried to think of a simple solution to the random cat, rodent, snake, or raccoon that might climb up to the top of the genset and step on the start switch. Had all sorts of ideas over the next hour. Went outside and checked the start switch and wondered if I could make it harder to press-to-start. But then, realized, HEY, I can just jamb the switch with a toothpick. So, yep, that’s what I’ve done. A toothpick prevents any critters from stepping on the start switch and starting my genset inappropriately.

Turned out this has happened to many RVers and some of the solutions are expensive, some are ridiculous, and most are humorous. None are as simple as a toothpick. So if your genset starts up mysteriously on occasion, just jamb a toothpick under the outside start switch.


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