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Old 06-19-2016, 08:56 PM   #1
1 Rivet Member
1972 27' Overlander
Nunica , Michigan
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 8
Is my onan generator worth messing with

Hi there. I have a 1972 overlander with a onan 300 watt generator that runs on lp. I'm looking for suggestions and info on this little puppy. Is it worth trying to get running or should I remove it? I've tried starting it and it turns over but I haven't got it to fire up yet. I think the generator is designed to recharge the battery? I can't find much info so anything anyone knows will help. Thanks
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:31 PM   #2
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1978 25' Tradewind
Metro Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,519
Sounds like fun; I'd keep playing with it. Is there oil in it?
"Between what matters and what seems to matter, how should the world we know judge wisely?" - E.C. Bentley, Trent's Last Case
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Old 06-19-2016, 10:07 PM   #3
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2003 28' Safari S/O
Atlanta Burbs , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
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Right Model, Wrong Wattage?

Are you sure it is a 300 watt generator? Or a 300 series Onan generator which are between 3K & 5K depending on model extension number.

Try this troubleshooting guide. Parts are available... check the net.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf onan-rv-troubleshooting-guide.pdf (2.04 MB, 71 views)
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:10 PM   #4
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Baltimore , Maryland
Join Date: May 2016
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They were 12 volt only generators. I don't think that they sold well. I am assuming that Onsn no longer supports the product because of its age. I think that they used a Briggs & Stratton engine. I would service the engine first, and then see if you can get voltage out of it.
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Old 06-20-2016, 12:27 AM   #5
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 424
I've got one and it ran fine when I got my trailer years ago. It rattled the pans in my cupboards while taking 3 hours to charge the battery. It is better than nothing if boon docking in the winter. I took it out in favor of a portable generator that I can sit on the ground so I don't feel it run. After replacing the obnoxious blue converter with a modern electronic converter I can charge the battery in just over an hour and run the microwave or a variety of other things also. The Onan battery charger was cool in it's day but it only put out 30A at 13V and didn't seem too efficient. You can't beat a modern Honda or Yamaha.
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Old 06-20-2016, 04:25 AM   #6
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2007 Interstate
Normal , Illinois
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Might take it in and get it thoroughly serviced.

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Old 06-20-2016, 11:29 AM   #7
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1977 31' Sovereign
Lynnwood , Washington
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 311
Sounds like it needs a good old fashioned tune up; you know the drill.

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Old 06-20-2016, 01:31 PM   #8
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1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 424
It's possible that your unit doesn't have many hours on it if the previous owners didn't boon dock much. The one I had was powered by what looked to be a 3HP Tecumseh lawnmower engine that just loafed along about 1800RPM or so, and propane fuel would be easy on the engine. The motor mounts on mine got rotted/worn out and the sound deadening material was falling off the cabinet were factors why I took it out. If you've got spark, fuel and compression it should run! They might not be as bad as I think on fuel consumption because I used it in the winter and the furnace and water heater were always sucking propane. I used to wish that I could capture the heat from the generator to warm me!
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:37 PM   #9
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belen , New Mexico
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i love to tinker....GO FOR IT!
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Old 06-20-2016, 01:44 PM   #10
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Mission Viejo , California
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 90
Rip it out and go solar !
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Old 06-21-2016, 05:41 AM   #11
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2000 30' Excella
2014 30' Classic
Princeton , Iowa
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 302
Cummins bought Onan and they are "good" people. It probable has few hours on it and can be fixed, but you need a owners manual or you need to find some one who has knows about these generators. They were in a lot of RV's. I worked on one 5 years ago, they are a little odd, but once I found a manual I got it running very well.
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