Onan 4000 generator just might be what you’re looking for when it comes to camping. As a trailer proprietor, it most likely took you just a couple of outdoor camping journeys in the boonies to realize that your home on wheels wasn’t really developed for lasting outdoor camping without electric connections. Hey, you’ve obtained a battery (or more), right? How much power could a couple of lights and also a fridge take, anyway? As it ends up, quite a bit. And also if your trailer is furnished with all the conveniences of house, like a microwave, tv and also a/c, they’ll be little bit greater than electronic paperweights without a consistent supply of 120-volt Air Conditioning power from a simple alternator.
Whether you power up with a small portable system or possess a toy hauler or fifth-wheel with an integrated design, you depend on an alternator every single time you camp off the beaten track. Yet, paradoxically, a lot of us don’t keep our alternators properly. You would not think about purchasing a tow vehicle, driving it a couple of miles each summertime and after that neglecting it for the remainder of the year, but that’s precisely what a great deal of RVers do. A power cell is made up generally of an engine– one that shares a lot of similarities with other engines including a carburetor (or a venturi in LP-gas alternators), air and oil filters, belts and also various other components. You may have expanded familiar with that nuclear power plant roaring to life whenever you pull the cord or press the Begin button, yet all it takes is a few months of neglect, and also your alternator might go on strike when you need it most.
To obtain some professional suggestions on power cell maintenance, we saw Smith Giant, Inc. in Bellflower, California, a factory-authorized service as well as warranty facility for Cummins, Honda, Kohler as well as Generac alternators. Proprietor David Voloshin and store supervisor Matt Rudametkin are qualified master alternator professionals that have almost half a century of experience between them, and also they’ve seen it all.
Without a doubt the most usual built-in RV alternators being used today are the 4,000-watt Cummins (known as the MicroLite, MicroQuiet and also RV QG), its 3,600-watt LP-gas variant (MicroLite, MicroQuiet and Recreational Vehicle QG 3600 LP) and also the bigger Cummins Marquis Gold 5500 as well as 7000 (likewise referred to as the Motor Home QG 5500 as well as Motor Home QG 7000), as well as their gas equivalents, the Marquis Gold/RV QG 5500 LP and also 6500 LP, so these will be the focus of this write-up. There are a great deal of good selections for mobile alternators also, but from our experience, one of the most popular version amongst RVers is the 2,000-watt Honda EU2000i, so we’ll be covering upkeep tips on this version also.
Currently, while one of the most constant types of upkeep, such as oil/filter and spark-plug adjustments, should not verify as well difficult for many DIYers (as well as can save time and cash), Smith Giant advises versus more advanced maintenance treatments for 2 essential factors. One, you will likely do more injury than great if you don’t know exactly what you are doing, and also 2, you can seriously hurt on your own. When it pertains to major scheduled upkeep, it’s ideal to leave the hefty training to experts like Smith Giant.
With all that claimed, allow’s take a more detailed take a look at what makes our favored alterantors tick.
Cummins MicroLite, MicroQuiet and RV QG/3600 LP
This is what most of us are familiar with when we open the alternator area door: a plastic box that tells us little or absolutely nothing regarding its internal operations. However the preferred 4,000-watt gas alterantors are really extremely easy to solution– begin by turning the two black levers to release the front cover.
2) The Cummins 4,000-watt alternator is a single-cylinder, air-cooled engine made to run on gas. Above the Start/Stop button (A) is the carburetor (B), which is fitted with a blend screw (C) at the bottom to enable minimal changes for altitude. The cover fixed up with is the shutoff cover. Bottom right is the yellow oil filler/dipstick (D). Keep in mind the large brush assembly (E); this acts as a gasket to compartmentalize the engine elements when the cover remains in location, advertising appropriate air movement from the fan (at left, not noticeable) over the critical engine parts. It is therefore that you ought to never ever run the power cell with the cover off, also in really hot weather. Make sure you have the ID tag info (F) accessible when getting components.
3) The Cummins Motor Home QG 3600 is functionally similar to the MicroLite/MicroQuiet/QG alternator, other than that it works on LP-gas. On the upside, LP-gas-powered alternators do not struggle with a gummed up carburetor if allowed to sit for long periods. On the disadvantage, they do not generate as much power as their gasoline-burning equivalents, which is why they are derated somewhat. With the covers off, you can see the venturi (A), which functions similarly to a carburetor, and also the LP regulatory authority (B). 4) Checking the oil is similar to any kind of various other engine; unscrew the cap and note the degree. If the alternator has been effectively maintained as well as the oil has been changed at the recommended intervals, it must be brownish like this, not dark brownish or black.
5) Prior to altering the alternator’s oil, run it for a minimum of 10 minutes to obtain it up to running temperature level, which aids the oil drainpipe conveniently as well as totally. Trailers factory-equipped with an alternator similar to this one (and even alternator preparation) will certainly have an accessibility panel beneath the power cell area. Just remove the two screws, and also the drain plug will be subjected.
6) Remove the plug and allow the oil to drain pipes right into an appropriate container. Cummins/3600 LP alternators hold only 1.7 quarts of oil, so this process goes quite promptly. This alternator doesn’t use an oil filter, so all you need to do currently is replace the drain plug and also access panel, and refill the crankcase with the recommended oil.
7) The air filter real estate is also clearly classified, as well as the aspect is really simple to inspect/replace. Just remove the wing nut on the side of the housing, then remove the wing nut that holds the filter in location. The filter can then be drawn free. This one still looks in good condition; a filter in need of replacement will be a dark shade. When changing the filter, make certain to re-install both wing nuts, not simply the one on the real estate, or the filter will certainly not be seated effectively as well as will certainly unclean inbound air.
8) To the right of the yellow oil filler is a grey (in this instance) or black spark plug cover boot. Pull it down, and also the end of the engine’s single spark plug will certainly be disclosed. The plug can after that be removed with an usual spark-plug wrench and also inspected/replaced.
9, 10, 11) These gas alternator also come outfitted with a tiny gas filter that need to be changed occasionally according to the maintenance routine. Eliminate the fuel tube clamp (arrow) first, then pull the hose pipe off the filter barb. Next, draw the rubber gasket out of its groove to gain access to the filter. The filter setting up is threaded and also can be conveniently gotten rid of with a 9/16-inch-deep outlet.
12) The Onan 4000 generator is a second gas filter (transmitted inline in an easily accessible place) to more guarantee against dust and also grit entering the fuel system.
13) One of the most typical source of difficult starting (or otherwise starting in all) with a Recreational Vehicle alternator is lack of usage. Smith Giant advises that you run your power cell every four weeks for 2 hrs under lots (such as a running air conditioner) to keep it appropriately worked out. The staining at the bottom of this carburetor float bowl means that gas sat there for numerous months, and the deposits obstructed the little orifices in the carburetor. When allowed to degrade to this factor, you’re taking a look at a $300 expense for the carburetor, plus removal/replacement labor. If running the alternator on a regular basis isn’t an alternative, Smith Giant advises mounting a shutoff valve in the gas line prior to the alternator. Turn the shutoff off, after that run the power cell till it is out of gas.
14) Don’t fail to remember that the alternator is greater than simply an engine– it’s a power-generation system. Letting it rest for extended periods can likewise create the brushes to stick as well as the slip ring (revealed) to oxidize, triggering any kind of variety of power-delivery concerns. This damages is not quickly repairable and also will certainly more than likely need the attention of a professional.
15) The Cummins Onan 4,000-watt gas/3,600-watt LP machine uses an above shutoff engine full with valve springtimes and also rocker arms. Shutoff clearance is adjusted in similar fashion, with a set of wrenches as well as a feeler scale. Nonetheless, neither Smith Giant neither Cummins recommends you attempt this on your own. For one thing, shutoffs that are too tight or loosened will certainly trigger engine damages. And also, an unexpected bump of the starter can indicate severe injury.
16) Wherever you take your alternator for service or troubleshooting, Smith Giant advises you ask the shop workers if they have a load financial institution. Comparable to a dynamometer for cars and trucks, a lots financial institution can pack the alternator to different percentages to ensure it’s running correctly and creating the proper regularity, amperage and also voltage for a provided load. Smith Giant conducts this examination with every alternator it services.
Marquis Gold/RV QG 5500 and 7000, 5500 LP and 6500 LP
1) Various other prominent Cummins alternators are the gas-powered 5,500- and also 7,000-watt models (typically found in larger toy haulers) and also the 5500 LP/6500 LP discovered in some fifth-wheels. This is a V-twin engine oriented on its side, with the valve covers encountering up (the right cylindrical tube shows up). Though it is an entirely different layout from the 4,000-watt alternators, several upkeep treatments are similar. Note that the oil fill/dipstick is in the same area as the/3600 LP.
2) The air cleaner uses a paper component that is conveniently accessible from the front of the system. Just unfasten the clips, as well as the cover, comes right off. This filter aspect still looks good.
3) Draining the oil on the 5500 and 7000 is straightforward since it uses a petcock as opposed to a drainpipe plug. Warm the engine for concerning 10 minutes, then put a pan underneath and also open up the petcock; the oil is routed beneath the Motor Home through a rubber tube.
Unlike its smaller brother, the Marquis Gold 5500/7000 does have an oil filter (arrowhead) that looks like a little automotive filter. It is accessed through an opening in the bottom of the power cell compartment. Both the replacement filter and helpful wrench are offered through Cummins suppliers.
5) The Marquis Gold 5500/7000 has its spark plugs oriented on the sides of the cylindrical tubes (arrowhead), which can make them difficult to reach. A swivel socket does the trick here. Getting rid of the left (or Number 1) cylindrical tube spark plug calls for the removal of the air-filter assembly first.
Depending upon the year and also model, the 5500/7000 gas alternators might have two fuel filters: this second one, near the carburetor, as well as a primary one at the gas pump. Be sure to examine your particular alternator to see if it has two; replacing one won’t do it.
1) The popular Honda EU2000i portable alternator is not only trusted yet simple to service. Popping off the front cover reveals the air-filter real estate (A), carburetor (B) and also oil fill/dipstick.
2) Getting rid of the single screw exposes the major filter (C), which is made from a higher density foam, and the low-density foam pre-filter (D). Both are cleanable with a moderate detergent and also can be reused. The supplier advises that these filters be fueled oil to help catch dust,
yet be careful not to exaggerate it.
The Honda EU2000i has one more tiny panel underneath the bring handle, which allows access to its solitary ignition system. Eliminate the boot and also the plug like any kind of another engine. The plug ought to be fairly tidy and gapped to.025 inch.
4) Transforming the Honda’s oil isn’t hard, however, it can be untidy– that’s why Smith Giant supplies this handy trick. Bend an item of common cardboard into a trough and also wedge it below the filler. After that, you can tip the oil out of the crankcase and also into a frying pan without it running into/onto the powercell.
5) Cardboard is also employed throughout the refill. Why not funnel? Because the crankcase holds less than half a quart of oil, and also because a channel makes it hard to see the degree, it’s easy to overfill and mistake. Putting the oil being used this technique enables you to see when the oil is nearing its recommended degree. The EU2000i does not make use of an oil filter.
The power cell tests all the portable units it services, too. Below you can see the EU2000i is putting out 122.2 volts, which is right in the specification.
7) If you won’t have the ability to run the EU2000i for some time, it is easy to drain the fuel from the carburetor by turning this tiny screw below the float bowl counterclockwise. Gas drains pipes down television to the left and also out the bottom of the alternator. Place fuel stabilizer in the storage tank, maintain the unit inside, as well as you ought to benefit the off-season.