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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Onan Generator Service

Normally I keep our blog “G” rated, but I have to warn you right up front, this is an “R'” rated post due to some naked pictures.  No, not of me (thank heavens, don’t want to lose all our readers). 

The Cummins Coach Care service advisor took the Journey into the shop right at 8 am, to begin the service on the Journey and the Onan generator.  Marti and I beat feet out to get some breakfast.  After we ate, we came back and took up residence in the RV owner’s lounge.   Pretty comfy.

I periodically visited the service bay to see how the work was progressing.  The service advisor and technicians were great, keeping me in the loop on what was going on.

To remove the generator, there are two ways, you can remove the front fiberglass (everything from the bottom of the windshield down) or jack the motorhome up and remove it from the bottom.  As crazy as it sounds, that is the easiest way.  When you are paying a labor rate of over $100/hour, easy (and fast) is what you want.

They had the Journey up on jacks so they could work underneath.


The tech had a special jack to put under the generator to lower it once it was disconnected from the chassis.


After quite a bit of work the generator was lowered out from the Journey.


A couple of views of the generator out of the chassis.



The Journey looked funny without the generator under the hood.


The tech buttoned up the generator’s electrical and fuel lines, so we could pull the Journey out to the RV parking slots for the night without any chance of problems.

Once that was finished, the “strip tease” began.  Off came the top.


The undressing continued.


Until the generator was completely naked.  See, I delivered on my promise… ;c)


Here is the main reason I had this work done, the fan belt, which is located in the rear of the generator.


Onan’s maintenance schedule for my generator requires the belt to be changed at 1000 hours of use.  We pushed the envelope and had 1840 hours on it, and I didn’t want to chance it any longer.  While the generator was out, I had the thermostat replaced and the cooling system flushed. 


An inspection of the coolant hoses showed they were all in excellent condition and no replacement was necessary, which saved me over $500.  It is very labor intensive to replace the hoses and the tech, who works on these generators every day has never seen a hose failure.  Okay by me.

I also had the fuel filter and air filter replaced as well as an oil change with a new oil filter.

The second day, the tech dressed the generator back up, putting all the cowling and sides back on, then slipped the generator back into the Journey where it belonged.  As an added quality bonus, he replaced all the mounting bolts with new ones, not required, but certainly going the extra mile to ensure a trouble free job.


Finally topping off the maintenance, the CAT diesel had its oil and filter changed, new fuel filters installed and the chassis greased.  Good for another 11,000 miles or one year, whichever comes first.  With our medical appointments keeping us here in SC longer than planned, it’ll probably be a one year service.

The work was finished around 3:30 pm, so we pulled out of the service bay and went back over to the RV slots for the night.  I wanted to run the generator under load for several hours to make sure all was well, and it passed with flying colors. 

We had a leisurely breakfast this morning and then we headed back to the campground, first stopping at our Tractor Supply Center to fill the Journey’s propane tank.  At $1.99/gal, that is hard to pass up.

Finally, back to our “Home Sweet Home”, we got everything hooked up, ready for  more medical appointments and visits with the grandsons.


So, was it worth it?  First of all, the Coach Care people were terrific, great customer service and quality work. Even though the labor rate is expensive, we certainly got more than we paid for, at times there were several techs working to get the job done, but labor was charged only for one technician.  I know there were more hours spent on the generator service than I was charged for.

Will I recommend Cummins Coach Care of Colombia, SC?  Absolutely and will use them for my future maintenance tasks.

Now the sixty four dollar question.  Did the fan belt need to be replaced?


Stay tuned for the next post, and I promise, there will be no more naked pictures.  ;c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.



  1. Another great post! Just looovveed the nudie photos. Did you blog on cleaning your radiator a while back?

  2. It might have been naked, but sadly not that sexy:)

  3. Those X rated pictures didn't do a thing for me. :P

  4. I liked the nekkid pictures and can't wait ti hear about the belt. That's something we didn't kniw about. Luckily our Onan sits in a slide out compartment.

    1. ...and this is why I don't like to comment using my smart phone. I really can spell better than this!

  5. Glad the service was a success but sad that you are back in THAT campsite again;o(( Now we hope that the medical issues get resolved a nicely as your generator service;o))

  6. Hmmm...what a disappointment :-) Not the sexy picture I was hoping for. Glad the service went well!

  7. Shucks, I couldn't even tell if it was a boy generator or a girl generator!

  8. I take it you're going to include the final bill in the next post? Some folks wanna know what "stuff" costs! :-)

  9. $1.99/gal for propane? Where do I sign up?? It is really wonderful and all too rare to feel that you got good service and were charged fairly.

    1. $2 bucks a gallon still exists, in 2017! Propane at Baldini's, Sparks, NV. Occasionally it's higher, but they are best price, in Reno/Sparks

    2. $2 bucks a gallon still exists, in 2017! Propane at Baldini's, Sparks, NV. Occasionally it's higher, but they are best price, in Reno/Sparks

  10. nice to find somewhere to have things serviced and you know they are doing a good job!!

  11. Nice write up and photos of the belt change process Paul. Certainly makes you think that the persons who design these things are not the same guys who will ever have to do the maintenance.

  12. That's great that you received such excellent service!

  13. I wasn't too worried about you posting nude shots. Glad you got this job taken care of. Now you'll have to come up with something else soon instead of just waiting around again.

  14. The hoses may never fail but the clamps can :). It looks like you have the old fashioned kind which work better than the new crimped ones.

  15. If the belt was that old it will eventually fail. Best just do it and you will be good for another 1,000 or more hours.

  16. Our annual maintenance is scheduled for next week. Luckily, our generator just slides right out. I wonder what Winnebago was thinking when they designed it that way?
    I also would like some of that $1.99 propane. We paid $3.50 this winter.

  17. Your nekkid photos didn't do much for me I'm afraid ;-)

    Like Gail's, our generator slides out on a tray, too. That should at least cut down on some of the $$$s the servicing of its "innards" will cost us when the time comes.

  18. I'm a day late as your title had me horrified - I thought it might be pictures of you!!

    That generator is huge - no wonder MH's get such low mileage!! What a beast.

    As for "did the fan belt have to be replaced"?? That's a Mr. Murphy question, bro!! Of course it did! Cause if you didn't, it would have broken - that's how Mr. Murphy works!

  19. Ron says we only have about 450 hours on the generator in our 2005 RV and half of that was when it was a rental before he bought it. I thought you were always plugged in. Our fan belt will probably dry rot!

  20. I think it was on rental and used a lot that is why it created problem.
    Now with the pessage of time technology improved a lot and best generator for travel trailer are available now.