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Old 07-30-2020, 04:10 AM   #1
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Onan generator instal

Anyone instal an Onan generator in your Cardinal? I just ordered a 5500 for my 2018 3825FL which is onan prepped. My concern is where to instal gas tank? Any ideas? Suggestions?
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Old 07-30-2020, 04:40 AM   #2
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While I've not had a fifth-wheel with the generator option, I do wonder now 'where' the fuel comes from - an 'onboard' fuel tank? an 'outboard' fuel tank? the tow vehicle?

Interesting....

also, how do you 'refuel' these tanks, as do you have the option of an external 'fuel fill' on the outside of the RV, just like on a motorhome? Can you refuel at a fuel station?

This might make me rethink having a generator on a fifth-wheel...
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Old 07-30-2020, 06:39 AM   #3
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Just learned FR is now installing Yamaha generators in there units not Onan.
Also you will need a gas tank and fuel lines, I recommend taking a short cut and get a LP conversion kit for the 5500 and tie it into the propane tanks which should be very easy .
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Old 07-30-2020, 07:50 AM   #4
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we have a 3825. different year but i'm sure the floor plan is very similar.

stop everything and get a 5500 LP generator!

we have a 5500 lp generator installed and the fuel connection is so simple. the fuel input port is on the bottom of the generator and it very easy to attach a hose to the generator from the existing lp supply system. our supply hose is attached to a tee by the quick connect fitting and runs foot or so to the port on the generator.

as you said if you have a gas generator you are going to need a gas tank. if you really want to install a gas tank about the only thing you could do is to remove one of the LP cylinders and use that space for a gas tank. but you would need to provide access to the level up hoses and cylinders as they are also within the lp cylinder compartment.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racindirt06 View Post
Anyone instal an Onan generator in your Cardinal? I just ordered a 5500 for my 2018 3825FL which is onan prepped. My concern is where to instal gas tank? Any ideas? Suggestions?
I'm pretty sure that the only RV's with gas generators are Motorhomes, and ToyHaulers with a fueling station builtin. Everything else in a towable RV are LP. I've considered a generator a time or two, but we mostly camp at full hookup, so for me, it would be a waste of the precious litte CCC in the Cardinal. One thing to note, is that LP fuel consumption when at 50% load is not insignificant. 2 30# bottles may not get you through an entire weekend if running 24x7.

I instead went with a Champion portable 3200 watt inverter generator which has enough poke to run 1 A/C plus lights/refrigerator/tv, etc. If I need to use Microwave, then gotta turn the AC off. For the all weekend football tailgates we do, works perfect. I can run it 24x7 for the entire weekend on about 10 gallons of fuel.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:42 AM   #6
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Iíve seen many high end 5vers with built in generators.
But I do agree with getting a portable generator and installing soft starts on your AC .
If I had to do it again I would go this direction, but I do like my fueling station for the motorcycles.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:52 AM   #7
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Iíve seen many high end 5vers with built in generators.
But I do agree with getting a portable generator and installing soft starts on your AC .
If I had to do it again I would go this direction, but I do like my fueling station for the motorcycles.
Yes, I do to. my point was that only MH & TH with fuel stations will have gas generators. All the rest will have builtin LP fuel generators. A lot of EPA reg's for putting a gas fuel cell into an RV.
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Old 07-30-2020, 08:57 AM   #8
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Our friends with built in generators also have portable inverter generators that they use most of the time when boondocking with us. Some don't like the noise and vibration of built ins, or the built ins use too much fuel, especially the propane ones.
Anyway, I find it odd.
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Old 10-25-2020, 11:22 PM   #9
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A 5500 Onan is a huge investment. I had one, and did the install myself. I had room for gas tanks. This was convenient to use, but evaluate why you need a big generator. I ended using a 2k portable inverter gen $500.00 on my new rig. If you are dry camping with the need to have an AC you are in the wrong place.
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:51 AM   #10
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Just wanted to make sure when we Boondocked we had all the conveniences. we basically have 50 amps, to run everything, quite, barely feel in running and that 15ish gallon tank of diesel last forever also could use if needed for my tow rig. we also carry a fuel buddy of diesel for extra fuel. That has come in handy for the tow rig once or twice.
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:26 AM   #11
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get a factory installed. gen mine is a preped model buy a factory / install not worth it. dont even use the fuel station.
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:45 AM   #12
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My Georgetown MH Onan gen draws fuel from the MH tank. I always keep an eye on the fuel guage if using the gen a lot.
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Old 11-23-2020, 01:46 AM   #13
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We took out our Onan 7000 from our last 5th and put it into our 3850 Cardinal. Ours has a generator ready compartment up front. We mounted it in the compartment. We used the same two low profile marine tanks and mounted them on top of platform above the generator housing. We mounted wood spacers between the tanks and along the sides and added ratchet straps to hold the fuel tanks in place so they don’t slide or move. It’s a tight squeeze getting the tanks in and out to refill but it’s doable. The Onan genset remote start panel w/hour meter was installed in the panel cabinet below the awning switch near all of the other controls.
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