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From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Generator for 17' Bigfoot
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 04:18:30 -0400

On Mon, 16 Jun 2003 22:30:52 GMT, Greg Grosz <> wrote:

>I'd like to get a generator to power my 17' Bigfoot, primarily for the A/C.
>It's an 11,000 BTU unit, the manual says I need a 2.5 KW minimum generator.
>That would rule out the Honda 2000 unless I get two and run in parallel. The
>Honda 3000 weighs 134# dry, too much for me to pick up.  Are there other
>generators that weigh less that would work?

Are you open to installing a built-in unit?  If so there are two small units
that will do the job.  The first is the new Onan generator designed for small
rigs.  I think it is the "Camper" or something like that.  2.5kw as I recall.

The other, what I have in my small MH is the Generac Impulse
( inverter
generator.  It is rated at 3600 watts (30 amps, 120 volts) and is quite light
weight and small.  Like the Hondas it is a variable speed unit with a true
sine wave inverter producing the 120 volts.

I've had mine about 6 months with about 250 hours on the clock and really like
it.  It is large enough to run the microwave and the AC at the same time, and
perhaps a coffee maker, and yet throttles down at light loads for superb fuel
economy.  I can REALLY tell the difference on a long dry camping weekend
between this one and the Onan AJ I replaced or the Onan 4kw constant speed
unit (Emerald, I think) in my mother's MH.  It did take awhile to get used to
the engine throttling up and down each time the thermostat operated but I have
now and sleep right through it.

There was only one thing I didn't like about this unit and that was easily
fixed.  It has a built-in muffler which has a flat bottom that resonates to
the exhaust note.  I fixed that by tack-welding a length of 1/4" black iron
pipe filled with lead shot to the bottom of the muffler.  Lead is a superb
vibration damper and almost completely eliminated this resonance.  I went
ahead and made up an adapter to hook up the old Onan exhaust and muffler.
Literally no sound comes out the exhaust now.  The only noise is mechanical
and a little intake noise.

the whole package only weighs a hundred pounds (the three phase alternator is
built into the flywheel so no additional weight of a separate generator) so it
is feasible to use thing as a portable.  It has its own electric fuel pump so
you could just stick a gas line into a 5 gal tank.  Or plumb it into your tow
vehicle's fuel system if it is gas.  One of those little booster start packs
would crank it.  I set the generator up like that to break it in and load test
it for awhile before installing it in the rig.

Compared to either of my Onans, this generator's output is VERY clean.  The
voltage dips a little, maybe 3 volts, which a major change in load but the
frequency is dead-nuts on 60 hz.  I measured the THD at <1% which is better
than the local utility power.  No hum or buzz at all even in an AM radio.

One other feature.  I broke the engine in for 10 hours with standard 10W30 oil
as recommended.  I drained that oil and refilled with Mobil 1 synthetic like I
do all my air cooled engines.  In the approximately 240 hours hence it has
used zero oil.  Nadda.  Nothing.  The level has not moved on the stick and
with the full flow filter system, the oil is still clean.  That's the best oil
consumption I've ever experienced on an air-cooled engine.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Generac QuietPact 55g first look
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 03:41:43 -0400
Message-ID: <>

Last week I admitted defeat.  The confluence of my waning time to finish up my
diesel generator project, the start of my concession season next week and the
need for an almost silent generator NOW (event requirement) led me to limber
up the old debit card and order a ready-made generator for my big concession
trailer.  I simultaneously changed some appliances over to gas so that a 5kw
genny is now perfect.

I would have liked to have had one of Honda's super quiet liquid cooled EX5500
generators.  I've repaired one of those and was greatly impressed.
Unfortunately for Honda (I'm sure they're quivering in their shoes) I'm
boycotting them until they rescind this crazy ban on posting prices to the
net. I decided that an RV generator mounted on a cart would do the deed.
Comparing sound specs, the Generac Quietpack series looked like one of the
quietest and the price was right.  As usual, my good buddy Joseph at Advanced
RV products was near the bottom on price.  He's a good guy so I try to do my
generator business with him.

It arrived today.  All 303 lbs of it.  After having to show the trucker how to
back up to my dock, we wrestled it off and onto the cart.  My first impression
was great.  Fully enclosed in heavy (probably 12 or 13 gauge) steel and with
all the air entrances, exits and exhaust on the bottom, it is a very nice
looking unit.  Quite similar in appearance to those Generac Guardian household
standby generators you see on display at the Home Depot.

All I had to do to get it running was hook up a gas line, hook up a lawn
tractor battery, add oil and crank.  When it fired off, I first thought that
it was in an idle warm-up mode.  It was soooo quiet.  Even with the access
hatch off.  It has a built-in muffler and good baffling on the engine and the
intake. The engine, driving the generator via a timing belt (lifetime P&L
warranty on the belt), only turns 2200 RPM.  It was quiet enough that I could
continue listening to my audio book on a small boom box.  First time that's
happened.  I put the access panel on and could not hear it run in the room
adjacent to my shop.  It uses a big Vanguard V-twin engine that is waaay
detuned to run at that low RPM.

I turned it off, quickly restrapped it for 120/240 service and mounted a
twist-lock outlet.  I fired it back up with a 3kw heater load.  The sound
picked up only slightly, probably from the intake as the throttle opened.  I
STILL could listen to the audio book at normal volume.  It goes into service*
tomorrow so we'll see how it does.

I metered the thing and found 245 volts and 62.5 hz, exactly what the manual
calls for no-load.  With the 3kw load the frequency dropped 1.5 hz and the
voltage held at 242.  Good voltage regulation.

The construction quality is fabulous.  The box is made of heavy gauge steel,
thickly powder coated.  The access panel goes 'thud' when struck.  Even the
internal controls housing is made of the same gauge metal.  All fasteners are
6mm bolts threaded into Rivnut threaded inserts instead of sheet metal screws
threaded into punched holes.  The inside of the case is padded with about 3/4"
of resined fiberglass batt.  The engine has two fans, one to suck air in and
one to blow it out.  The engine intake cleverly pulls fresh air through the
controls box, keeping the two black boxes cool.

Prominent in the control box is the single point ground stud with about 20
wires fanning out in all directions.  Impressive.  The wiring is the good high
temperature automotive grade like new cars use.  All connectors are of the
waterproof WeatherPack design, again like modern cars use.  About the only
thing I've seen that I don't like is that the black boxes are epoxy potted,
eliminating any possibility of repair.

The black box controls the choke, eliminating the flooding problem that
sometimes happens with conventional bimetal choke controls.  The black box
even controls a little module that flashes the generator field during
cranking.  That makes sure it comes up to voltage instantly, even after
sitting for a long period of time.

Yeah, so far I'm impressed.  I have photos that I'll post when I get back from
this trip.  So far the only major disadvantage is that this thing is too big
for most Class C's.  It will fit well in the front end of a pusher or in a
large side box.

* My Yamaha generator decided that today was the day to toss the screws
holding the throttle plate to the throttle shaft.  With no throttle the engine
ran up to oh, 5000 rpm before we could hit the kill switch.  The screws
apparently passed through the engine with no problem, as they're rattling
around inside the muffler now.  That generator probably has 8k hours on it so
I guess it's time for something to go wrong...  It's timing was perfect.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Honda vs Generac - the shootoff
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 01:00:13 -0400
Message-ID: <>

I did the Hwy 11 400 mile yard sale this weekend with my concession trailer.
For those not following along, I use a Generac RV generator, a QuietPack 55G,
to power the trailer.  It was, IMO, the quietest generator available.  Now I
Now I have the numbers to prove it.

Guy next to me was selling tee shirts and was using a brand new Honda EU30001
to power his presses.

Aha!, I said.  Since I just happened to have my trusty Rat Shack decibel meter
with me (actually I had to go home and get it but play along), I decided on an
impromptu sound shootoff.  My Generac was at a little disadvantage in that it
was just a bit overloaded (about 6kw) while the Honda was a bit underloaded,
the two shirt presses having a combined rating of about 2400 watts.  Yet the
Generac persevered to victory.  Here are the numbers.

At about 6 feet (two giant steps away) on the side opposite the exhaust

Honda 	78 db
Generac	76 db

In other words, the Honda is almost twice as loud.  Three db would be twice.

The difference in quality of the sound is also remarkable.  The honda is
dominated by exhaust pulses.  Quiet little chuffs but still obviously an
engine noise.  The Generac just hums, accompanied by some air flow noise.
With a fairly heavy overload and the throttle wide open there is a little
intake noise.  Just a rumble, not pulses.  Within the Generac's specified load
range, there are essentially no engine noises.

Another difference is the response to changing loads.  In both our setups the
loads are constantly changing as the thermostats cycle the various heating
loads.  With the Generac there is practically no difference in sound as the
load changes.  It is a constant speed generator.  The variable speed Honda,
OTOH, was constantly changing speed.  Thus it never could just blend into the
background noise.  Every change in speed drew one's attention to it.
Especially with the big step change in load as the tee shirt iron cycled.  The
Honda's governor would momentarily crank the throttle wide open, whereupon it
produced some intake noise.  Not disturbing, only attention getting,
particularly in contrast to the Generac's steady hum.

To provide an idea of how quiet this generator really is, when I was making a
trip to the portacan I heard a new, relatively loud clicking coming from the
generator.  I thought it might be a valve lifter needing setting.  While I was
in the portacan the engine stopped.  Turns out the noise was the little
electric fuel pump trying to pump air as the generator ran out of gas.
Running at full load and slightly over at times, it ran almost 9 hours on 5
gallons of gas.

For essentially the same money I got twice the power and less noise.  The
disadvantages include the weight (300 lbs) and that I had to mount it to a
cart to make it portable.  Still the Generac is the perfect generator for
someone who can mount it in his motorhome or who wants to put it in the bed of
his truck while towing a trailer or fiver.

The real telling is in the offers.  I could have sold this generator several
times over this weekend.  The guy on the other side of me was the first.  He
came over to chat while I was out changing tanks (I have it set up to run on
outboard motor gas cans so I don't have to fool with pouring gas.)  He said
that when I rolled out the generator he commented to his wife that they'd have
to listen to another weekend of generator noise.  Then he said that he kept
wondering when I was going to crank it :-)


From: Ralph E Lindberg <>
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Honda vs Generac - the shootoff
Date: Tue, 18 May 2004 05:41:38 -0700
Message-ID: <>

In article <>,
 Neon John <> wrote:

> Honda 	78 db
> Generac	76 db
> In other words, the Honda is almost twice as loud.  Three db would be twice.

  Ah no

  3dB = twice the energy
  3db <> twice as loud

  The human ear is an odd organ. Only a "trained" ear can honestly hear
the difference in 3dB

Personal e-mail is the n7bsn but at
This posting address is a spam-trap and seldom read
RV and Camping FAQ can be found at

From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Honda vs Generac - the shootoff
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 12:38:30 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 18 May 2004 05:41:38 -0700, Ralph E Lindberg <>

>In article <>,
> Neon John <> wrote:
>> Honda 	78 db
>> Generac	76 db
>> In other words, the Honda is almost twice as loud.  Three db would be twice.
>  Ah no
>  3dB = twice the energy
>  3db <> twice as loud

You're right.  My mistake.  Sorry about that.

As for the Three Stooges, well....  It should be fun to watch how they react
if I ever make a material mistake.  As it is, I bet they rubbed their little
puds raw...


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Honda vs Generac - the shootoff
Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 01:40:21 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Wed, 19 May 2004 19:13:57 -0700, Ralph Lindberg <> wrote:

>In article <>,
> (Pete Dumbleton) wrote:
>> Seems to me that if the perceived difference between the two gensets
>> is as small as our learned responding posters maintain, Much Ado About
>> Nothing is being made!
>  The biggest difference is the Generac lists at $2500 and the Honda at
>$1900 (?). Street prices are about $2000 and $1800

The Generac 55G is effectively twice as powerful as the Honda for about the
same price. has the 55g at $2195 with free shipping.  He usually
has some factory refurbs at about half that price.  Today Northern had the
EU3000 at $1795 (up $200 since honda's price ban).

From studying the manual and parts list I learn that the 55G through the 75g
share the same engine and generator.  The difference is the speed the engine
runs, the pulley ratios and the circuit breakers.  After changing the circuit
breakers, my 55G can run 6kw continuously without any undue temperature rise
and without the gearing change.  A set of pulleys from the larger rated set is
all that is needed to get even more if it ever becomes necessary.

A generator in the QuietPack line comparable to the Honda is the QuietPack
40G.  Advanced RV has this one for $1695 and free shipping.  This is a single
cylinder engine that runs at 3600 RPM so it is bound to produce a bit more
noise.  Most of the quieting in mine comes from the housing (it is
significantly more noisy with the access hatch off.  I'd quote numbers but I'm
afraid my cheering section would rub themselves raw.) so it should still be
comparable to the Honda.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Finding cost of Honda genrators
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 2004 05:35:15 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On 07 Jun 2004 22:51:52 GMT, Brian Elfert <> wrote:

>Hãrõlð   <> writes:
>>I am trying to find the cost of Honda generators, but it appears that
>>Honda is still  stopping sellers form showing prices.  Any way of
>>finding out the costs of their super-quiet models without jumping thru
> has prices.  Ebay has sellers selling new ones.  Look
>through completed listings for price or search Ebay Stores.

Looks like Northern has taken any reference to Honda Generators off its site.
Even on the "shop by brand" there are only honda engines.

I was in the local store today and noticed that the Honda shelf was almost
empty.  Probably a tie-in.  I bet Northern's about to dump the whole line.

>>hoops, or should I just go get a Yamaha, which do show the prices.  If
>>Honda is not letting the prices be shown, then I wonder how many
>>possible sales are lost by people like to trying to find some info,
>Honda is trying to protect local dealers by prohibiting prices on web

You'd think they'd be thinking about their customers....

>I would probably buy a generator locally due to weight and servicing
>issues, but I like to get an idea on how much something should cost before
>heading to the store.

This policy cost them a big sale from me.  I intended to buy that water cooled
6kw generator they offer.  The local northern store had one in stock.  I
decided to see what the internet prices were before buying locally.  When I
discovered Honda's new policy I eliminated that generator from consideration.

As I mentioned here before, I bought a Generac Quietpack, a generator that is
half the cost and quieter.  I guess I ought to thank Honda for that savings.
If the interest from both customers and other vendors is any indication, Honda
is losing a LOT of sales to this generator and this policy.

I've purchased 4 generators from Advanced RV ( and have
been completely satisfied with the service.  Best prices I could find and free
shipping.  I had an ignition sensor go out in my RV generator.  I simply
queried the Generac web site for a list of service shops in the area.  The one
I picked did the job properly and quickly.  Apparently Generac compensates
their mechanics quite well, as this guy was eager to do the warranty repair on
a generator he didn't sell.

I've heard that Yamaha has superb customer service.  I'd certainly consider
the Yamaha generators.  I've had two and both have been very reliable.  I'd
certainly investigate the service network before buying.  Given a good
network, there really isn't a good reason to pay list price to a local dealer
just to get good service.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Generac 75G Will Not Start
Date: Mon, 27 Sep 2004 05:03:13 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On 26 Sep 2004 17:48:02 -0700, (Mitch Melancon) wrote:

>I recently purchased a Generac 75G and installed it into a bus
>conversion.  Fairly straight forward and easy install.  After
>installation, I ran it for the 30 minutes that it recommends and
>everything ran great.  During the next few days, the generator was
>started and operated fine.  Yesterday, it was running and all of a
>sudden, for no apparent reason, it quit.  I went through EVERY trouble
>shooting technique, ie, high temp switch, DC breaker, low oil pressure
>cutoff, etc...and I can find nothing.  The generator is turning over
>and fuel is getting to the carbuerator (sp), but it will not crank.
>Any suggestions??

I have the 55g which is exactly the same generator except for the pulley ratio
so maybe I can help.

First thing you need to do is go to the Generac site and download the service
manual.  It is free and is very good.

The starter, ignition and fuel pump are controlled by a computerized control
board located under the circuit breaker and control panel inside the generator

Before you tear into the generator, unhook the external control connector at
the generator and try starting it using the internal switch.  If it cranks and
runs then you have an external wiring problem, specifically, a ground on the
STOP lead.

Everything about the generator is controlled by a computer PCB, AKA control
board.  The START and STOP switches simply ground the corresponding lead,
commanding the control board to start or stop the generator.  (I just tested
this on my 55G) If both the STOP and START leads are grounded at the same
time, the control board will run the starter but the ignition is not turned
on.  Since this is a new installation, it is logical to look for wiring
problems - chaffed insulation, etc.

Assuming the above isn't the problem, the next thing to do is make sure the
fuel pump is running.  When you press the PRIME button you should hear it
chatter.  It should chatter rapidly until the float bowl is full.  Then it
cycles only a couple of times a second.  The fuel pump is what you hooked the
gas line to, located right under the control panel.

The PRIME button bypasses the control board so it should run even if there is
a computer problem.  When you press the START button you should hear the fuel
pump chatter for a few seconds before the starter motor is engaged.  Verify
that this happens.

If the fuel pump is running, open the carb bowl drain and make sure it has
gas.  If it doesn't, then the inlet fuel filter is probably clogged, probably
from debris from installation.  The fuel filter is the nipple that the gas
line is installed on.  It screws out of the fuel pump with a 1/8th inch NPT
thread.  You should be able to reach in from where the fuel line goes in with
a deep well socket and unscrew it.  Otherwise, remove the air filter access

If you have gas, then check the spark.  Remove the plugs, connect them to the
spark plug wires, lay the plugs on the engine and crank.  The engine has a
separate solid state magneto for each cylinder so one, both or neither could
spark.  If one sparks but not the other, then you have a magneto problem.

If neither spark, separate the magnetos and the control board by breaking wire
18A.  This removes control from the PCB and allows the magnetos to spark all
the time.  The easiest access is on connector J1 on the PCB.  This PCB is
located in the control box behind the breakers. The manual recommends removing
J1, then gently pushing the pin out of location 4.  The wire should be
imprinted with the number "18A".  Plug J1 back in with 18A hanging loose and
crank.  If you get sparks at this point then there is either something wrong
with the control board or one of the permissives necessary for running isn't
present.  This includes oil pressure, temperature and a few other things.
Rather than try to go down all the diagnostic branches, at this point you need
to get the manual, run these tests and get back to me.

If it appears to be a control board or magneto problem, now is the time to put
everything back together and take it to an authorized warranty center.  There
is a list available on the Generac web site.  My experience with Generac
warranty service has been very good.  Apparently they pay their dealers well
for warranty work because they've always seemed eager to do the work even
though they didn't sell the units.

One other warning to be aware of.  Both the cooling air intake and exhaust are
on the bottom of the generator.  The cooling air is blown over the muffler
before exiting the generator housing.  This extends the muffler life but it
results in VERY HOT exhaust air.  This air must be directed completely away
from the air inlet.  If it isn't, the generator will overheat and stop.

My 55G is mounted on a fabricated cart so I can roll it around.  I use it to
run my concession trailer.  I had this problem.  The bottom of the cart was
only about a foot off the ground.  Exhaust air came down, hit the ground and
flared out in all directions.  Some of it was picked up by the intake.  The
result was the over temperature switch shutting down the generator.

My short term solution was to operate the generator with the door off.  My
long term solution was to fabricate a sheet metal baffle to force the exhaust
air out the side of the cart and completely away from the air intake.

Depending on how your generator is nestled up in that bus conversion, this
could be a problem for you too.  It may have already become a problem.  The
overtemp switch, located on the oil filter housing, is kinda cheap looking.  I
could imagine it activating and then failing to reset.  The oil pressure and
OT switches are in parallel and ground line 85 (J1-11) when they activate.
Even if the switch is activated, however, the generator still should start
since a time delay is built into the control board to allow the oil pressure
to come up.  At least I think that's the way it works.  The control board may
wait for the oil pressure signal to clear during cranking before enabling
spark.  I'd have to go test mine to know for sure.  In any event, make sure
line 85 is high (not grounded) while cranking.  Just unhook the oil pressure
switch to be sure.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Honda EU2000i or Yamaha EF2800i
Date: Thu, 04 Nov 2004 00:44:33 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On Wed, 03 Nov 2004 19:36:56 -0800, David <> wrote:

>On Mon, 01 Nov 2004 22:31:11 -0500, Neon John
><> wrote:

>>One other consideration if you plan on keeping the generator for years.
>>The only substantial bit of plastic on the Generac (wire strain reliefs
>>and other such bits not included) is the air intake elbow at the
>>carburetor.  The rest is made of steel or aluminum.  Compare that to
>>Honda's and Yamaha's all-plastic body, particularly the gas tanks.
>A *plastic* gas tank on a generator to be put *inside* the RV storage
>Holy shit, no thanks!
>Bad enough to have a plastic gas tank on a generator for purely
>*outside* use.

I can't say that I've seen a metal gas tank on a portable generator in
years.  My oldest yamaha has a metal one.  The later ones don't.  Many car
gas tanks are plastic now.  I don't have a problem with plastic per se.
Plastic is probably safer in the short term than metal because it won't
spark and because it absorbs abuse better.

My concern is that over time the plastic is affected by gasoline and ozone
and gets brittle.  Only a concern if one plans on keeping the device for a
long time.  For example, the plastic tank on my 15 year old Lawnboy lawn
mower split several years ago and I had to get rid of it.  The tank was no
longer available.

Metal tanks have their problems too.  I've welded up more than one stress
crack on that yamaha tank.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: problem with GENERAC Impact 36 HELP!!
Date: Thu, 11 Aug 2005 19:49:00 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On 11 Aug 2005 12:51:11 -0700, "gwen" <> wrote:

>We have had our Generac generator for about 4-5 years.  It always
>worked beautifully for us.  It JUST stopped working. We had to cancel a
>trip, but thought if we could get it repaired, we'd re-schedule.  Took
>it to the place that installed it, and found out that the company has
>had trouble with them (they are no longer made), it's the inverter,
>that several years ago would have cost $1300 to replace (they don't
>know the cost yet to replace it today, if that's even possible), and
>here's the kicker -- it's because of a 25 cent part that does something
>to the wiring.  They have known about the problem... according to the
>mechanic, 'most of these models have blown up by now.'  Does anyone
>know anything about this problem?  And we are wondering WHY there was
>no recall to repair the part before a problem occurred.  I am feeling
>angry and frustrated.
>Gwen in S.E. PA

Well, that's what you get for listening to a friggin' mechanic! Pretty
much nothing you quoted above from that mechanic is true.  The Impact
series is still made:

Everyone I've recommended one to has been very pleased with the unit.
I certainly am with mine.

Generac replaced my inverter after the cooling fan quit and it
overheated.  Rather than take a chance, they replaced it under
warranty.  The retail price of the inverter is $700.  I signed the
warranty voucher for the tech so that he could be reimbursed and I saw
the price listed.  Sounds like your "mechanic" is trying to break one
off in you.

There is very little inside the inverter box to go wrong.  All the
smarts are on the control board in the head unit.  Just a  couple of
transistors, a fan, a couple of inductors and some capacitors in the
inverter.  You can see the internals here:

If my inverter ever fails out of warranty I'll certainly repair it.
All the parts have standard markings (no house numbers) and the PCB is
spacious. If you can't do the repair, most any electronic service shop
should be able to.

I seriously doubt the inverter is at fault.  Neither I nor the tech I
use has ever seen a failure.  I hesitate to use the word "common"
so...  A failure I suffered, one my tech has seen before and for which
Generac issued a tech notice is the Hall effect sensor in the ignition
being smoked by sneak current caused by a bad neutral connection.  My
bad neutral was a loose terminal in the breaker panel.  Certainly not
Generac's fault but they replaced the sensor under warranty anyway.
Unfortunately, replacing the sensor is a major job, requiring
disassembly of the head unit.

You didn't say how your unit "stopped working" so I'll guess.

If your unit quit running, I'd check for spark and suspect the Hall
effect sensor after the usual check for gas at the carb.  If it cranks
but shuts down in a few seconds, I'd check the wiring between the head
and inverter.  The control wiring is, unfortunately, poorly
stress-relieved. I potted the connectors on my harness (heat shrink on
the back side filled with RTV) but I can certainly imagine a wire
vibrating in two if left laying unsupported.

Beyond that, you can download the full service manual from the site I
referenced above.  It has an excellent troubleshooting guide.  If you
don't want to fool with it, then you really should find a technician
who has a clue.  Generac will recommend several in your area if you
email and ask. Really good technicians usually won't do installs, as
that is hard work that can be done by lesser trained individuals.  You
need to find a SERVICE TECH and not a mechanic.

Generac parts are high but then that reflects the 100% markup over
cost for the dealer to encourage him to stock spares. Perhaps you can
find a dealer who will discount off of retail, especially if the
dealer doesn't stock the part.  If all else fails, I can recommend  I have no connection to them except as a repeat
satisfied customer.

If you DO want to fool with troubleshooting the generator yourself and
can lay off the hurt child routine (Ohhhhh, that big bad ole Generac
has been mean to me, daring to charge me for repair parts after 4
years....  Sheesh, give me a break!) then I can help.  I'm quite
familiar with that generator.  You or someone you know will have to
know how to use a DVM.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel,
Subject: Re: Is there a reasonable soundwall for a loud generator
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 14:56:33 -0500
Message-ID: <>

Yes it is.  I've written extensively about this in recent years.  You
might want to try the google archives.

If you want a quick tip, look for marine acoustical treatments.
They're much more advanced than RVs.

You might also want to look at the photos here:

to study how Generac did it with their QuietPack line of generators,
the quietest ones I've ever laid ears on!  Major features:

* heavy metal case.  Probably at least 12 gauge.
* Heavy coating of sound damping paint, probably powder-coated.
* Fiberglass sound absorbent on internal surfaces.
* sound damping metal shields around the engine.  All panels are
coated with the same heavy sound damping finish.
* A huge muffler (all of the space to the left of the open bay) in a
fiberglass damped compartment.
* baffled air intake.


On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 08:58:37 -0800, "PeterM" <>

>I just got  back from a vacation, and my neighbor mentioned that my son's
>generator is too loud. I'm wondering if there is a way we can make it not so
>loud. build a wall, buy maybe some igloo thing, with a exhaust fan, or
>something like that...Any help is appreciated

From: John De Armond
Subject: Re: Need help!!   Chinese Jiang Dong 6500kw Generator
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2007 17:00:40 -0500
Message-ID: <>

On 6 Mar 2007 17:21:51 -0800, wrote:

>A bit over a year ago I purchased a Chinese Generator, then after I
>got it I left it sit in the box in the garage. When I finally got
>around to hooking it up (over a year later) I found wires coming from
>the bottom of the carb not connected to anything.   I need to know
>where they go and there is no obvious place to plug these in.   Does
>anyone have a chinese 6500kw generator that has wires coming off the
>bottom of the carb that they could trace so I can get an idea where
>they might connect???   Photos would be great, and if needed I could
>supply some myself.

I didn't see an answer to this so I'll take a shot.

If the "wires coming from the carburetor" look anything like this:

Then the device is a combination carb heater and emission control
device.  It is a solenoid that plugs the main jet when the ignition is
turned off, preventing raw fuel from passing through the coasting-down
engine. Additionally, it makes the engine shut down smoothly without
any after-running or dieseling. When energized, it supplies a small
amount of heat to help prevent carb icing.

If this is what you have then the leads need to be connecting to 12
volt power that is energized when the ignition is on and is
de-energized when the ignition is off.

When you supply 12 volts to the device you should hear a small click
and the device should gradually get warm.  The engine will run only
when this solenoid is energized.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: HELP! Onan Emerald III No AC
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2007 08:40:15 -0400
Message-ID: <>

On Thu, 21 Jun 2007 05:15:13 -0400, "JerryD\(upstateNY\)" <>

>Steve Wolf" wrote in message
>The last and final repair was when I replaced it with a Generac.<<<<
>My MH had the generator replaced with a Generac when I bought it.
>The only problem I have is I can't find the choke/primer control on the
>If it is days between starts, I have to open the generator compartment and
>manually push the choke/primer and starter buttons to start it.
>Then if I shut it off, I can start it from the dashboard.

There isn't one by default since most installs are following behind an OEM Onan.  If
you'll notice when you run the starter (assuming you also have a QuietPack), the fuel
pump runs for several seconds after you quit cranking.  You can take advantage of
that.  Simply hit the starter for the briefest of moments, not enough to even engage
the starter.  That causes the fuel pump to run through its prime cycle.  Two or three
times of that and the carb is primed.

There is a wire in the I/O connector for priming so you can hook up a prime button if
you like. If the harness doesn't have the extra wire then I'm thinking about a
circuit that uses a couple of diodes to dual-purpose the "run" wire, the wire that
lights the "running" light and powers the hourmeter.

This pulsing technique is what I use with both of my Generacs and it works well.


From: John De Armond
Newsgroups: rec.outdoors.rv-travel
Subject: Re: Generator for 5er (Ping Neon John & Alan Robinson)
Date: Sun, 09 Sep 2007 12:27:34 -0400
Message-ID: <>

Hi Marcel.

Sounds like you're in the same situation as I was with my little MH.  Not enough room
for a REAL (read: low speed) generator.  In fact, little room for anything.

I ended up going with the Generac Impact 36G (also on my website) inverter generator.
It fit my tiny generator box with plenty of room to spare.

Advantages include:

* synthesized 60 hz output that is precisely on frequency, clean and stable.
* Very good part throttle fuel economy because of the variable speed feature.
* small and light.
* very quiet at low loads

Disadvantages include:

* a bit noisy at high load (NOT contractor-grade noise but noisier than a QuietPack
or even Onan Emerald)

* Low surge capability - not really an issue with an RV but if you plan on running
other things like a full-sized air compressor then it might be.

* Built-in Muffler needs some minor attention to stop its ringing from exhaust note.
It has a flat slab surface that rings like the dickens.  I welded a little tubular
container of lead shot to the surface.  The lead's probably melted but it still works
fine.  Something like fiberglass or even thick steel would do the job too if you
didn't want to weld.

* High load involves high speed - 4200 RPM max.  It probably won't be the longest
lived generator if you plan on running it fully loaded.

* Cyclic speed and therefore noise when the AC's on.  The thing going from idle to
more than half speed every time the AC kicks on is something that you have to get
used to.  I did, even though the generator box contacts the underside of my bunk.  If
tiny changes in sound awaken you then this probably isn't the generator for you.

All in all, I'm quite pleased with it.  I haven't looked lately but something in the
back of my head makes me think that they've quit making this model.  You might want
to check and see.

My next choice would be to take a real hard look at finding a way to use the
QuietPack.  It's such a sweet generator that it deserves the extra work.  Could you
carry it (temporarily or permanently) in the truck bed?  A second umbilical
containing the power conductors and the remote control wiring would take care of the
connections.  Or a simple RV outlet and a wireless remote.

If neither of the above were possibilities and I had to buy a generator right now,
I'm not sure what I'd do.  I've developed somewhat of a hard-on for Onan.  They ain't
your daddy's Onan.  Alan is evidence that they're a mechanic's full employment brand.
I was especially un-enamored with the Emerald in my mom's MH.  Designed to be hung
out in the weather and yet equipped with open vents to the generator windings and to
the controls.  Her's had never been driven in salt and yet all the aluminum was
crudded up, along with what I could see of the generator itself.

I guess that I'd have to do some serious research into generators at this point if I
were buying right now and couldn't use a QuietPack.  I've been intrigued with the
Honda line of liquid cooled RV generators.  I've never gotten to hear one run but
looking at one on the shelf, I was quite impressed.  The water cooling HAS to make a
quiet engine.  I've never read anything negative about them.

I might also take a look at (semi) permanently mounting one of the portable 3KW
inverter generators in the genny box or truck bed.  Probably that nifty Yamaha with
the surge boost feature.  Honda is good too but because of their long-standing
price-fixing policy, when I have any other choice I don't buy Honda.

You'd have to arrange cooling air, fuel and exhaust and of course, something to hold
it in place.  None of those would be particularly challenging.  All of 'em have
electric start which means hooking in a remote control is as simple as figuring out
where to hook the wires.

Whatever you choose, I strongly recommend against propane.  Talking about feeding the
monkey on your back!  If you use bottles then you'll be huffing to the refill station
every day if you're dry camping and running the AC.  If a built-in tank then you'll
be dragging the rig to the fill station every couple days.

Using the Impact 36P as an example because I happen to have the brochure on my
computer, at half load it uses 1.72 pounds per hour and at full load, 3.25.  A single
13.5kBTU AC represents a little more than half load so let's say 2 lbs/hour.  A 30 lb
tank will be sucked dry in 15 hours, a 20 lb tank in 10.  One tank would not get you
through a whole day.  Even with 2 tanks you'd be going to the fill station every day.

The gas version uses 0.32 and 0.54 gallons per hour at half and full load
respectively.  A 7 gallon outboard motor tank would last 21 hours at half load.  In
other words, a whole day, for all practical purposes.  When it runs out, you simply
wag it to the nearest gas station and fill it up.

Which leads me to the next point.  THE most convenient method of fueling a generator
if you can't connect to the vehicle's fuel system is outboard motor tanks.  Available
in a wide variety of sizes, the quick-couple makes buying and handling gasoline or
diesel simple and reasonably pleasant - as pleasant as lugging around an expensive
liquid could be.  If you equip the generator with a sufficiently long fuel line then
you can leave the tanks in the truck bed.

If I had a fiver I'd be taking a very hard look at having the generator in the truck
bed and selecting a generator to burn the fuel that the truck does.  Getting the
generator in the truck bed gets rid of the last vestiges of generator noise.  You
simply won't hear it from inside the rig.  When I've taken along my QuietPack
(usually a concession event where I power both the rig and the trailer from the unit)
and ran the MH on it, I've enjoyed the total lack of noise.  I don't get all bent out
of shape over generator noise but total quietness is nice.

You might also want to take a look at a wireless remote.  I have a Bulldog wireless
remote starter for a car wired up so that it will plug right in to the remote control
plug on my QuietPack.  It's a very straightforward connection.  That way you don't
have to run wiring to the generator (nice for a truck bed-mounted genny) and you can
have any number of remote controls in the rig.  Or out, for that matter.  The remote
that I use is usually available at Sam's club for under $75.


On Sun, 9 Sep 2007 06:22:57 +0000 (UTC), Marcel <>

>So, I've been reading Neon John and Alan Robinson, for years about
>gennys, and it is now time to decide on what to install:
>There is an enclosed bay in the front of the fiver, with wiring and
>plumbing for an LP 3.6Kw Onan Microquiet genny.  (It is a Nash 28-5D:
>looks a lot like
> )
>What I'm concerned with are: Reliability, quiet, and cost.
>Based on Neon John's writings, I would put in a Generac QuietPact 55G,
>but it is 2.5 inches too wide to fit. (I like the 2200RPM, instead of
>3600RPM, since it is just below my bed).  But, it won't fit.
>The local RV fixit place has had some bad luck with older generacs,
>and recommends onan, but will install whatever the customer (me)
>wants. (Yeah, I can do it, but I got less time than money).
>So, the choices  break down to:
>Model		Watts	$		DB
>QuietPact 40LP 	3400	$1445		? (3600 RPM)
>PrimePact 50LP 	4500	$1628. 		? (2570 RPM)
>RV QG 3600LP KY	3600	$2905  		56 db* (3600 RPM)
>*@50 feet, )
>So, don't be shy: what would you do?
>Thanks in advance!

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