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Generator For My 1989 Itasca Spirit


FrenchTexan
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Hi, I am new to this community. I just bought a 1989 Toyota Itasca Spirit, and this is my first RV.

I would like to instal a generator, however I don't even know where to start, what to look for, or what my options are.

Does anybody have any suggestions?

Thank you!

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Welcome

I'm a fellow Itasca owner but mine also has no generator. That said installed would be Onan. Don't think there are any other choices but others might chime in. Option B is portable but then where to store, secure and such. Thinking you are looking to power the AC unit. Depending on what you have, you'll need something that will start it which is the biggest challenge. The 2000 watt Honda Inverter gen is pretty reliable and very popular but depending on the load, might not get the AC going. It is also very quiet.

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if you have a 321-rb (has the sofa), you can install an onan 2800 in the gen compartment on drivers side behind drivers seat (under sofa). If you have a 319 (a little shorter, no sofa) I can't tell you

I have a the 321 . I had the kohler that was offered as an option. It died. The onan option would run about $3k. I bought a honda. Fits in that compartment with a mod - I cut out the mounting sheetmetal with a sawzall, using the engine mounts to make a new floor a few inches lower (actually the floor is plywood held in place by the brackets.

The honda 2000 costs about $1000 and uses half the gas. It can start my 13500 btu AC at sea level - just barely. Even then I do not run the ac more than 30 minutes because the gen manual says the engine can only do 2000 for 30 then derates to 1600.

The honda is noticeably quieter. However you have to get it out and pull a cord to start it.

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I am in a quandary on this now. I do not want one of those RV type generators. I had one in my first RV and was very unhappy with it. They are noisy, they vibrate, terrible things. Only my opinion, some may disagree.

My second home I had a diesel built into a soundproof compartment. Great but expensive to run and repair. I sold that and bought 2 Honda EU2000. I was full timing and going out to start them got to be a hassle. Then I bought a Honda water cooled RV generator and installed it in the sound box. That was the best of all worlds. They are no longer available.

I have not used the Toy yet. I have 1 Honda EU2000 and could buy a 2nd, but where to put them? I like some of the other inverter types on the market and some like the Champion are bargains. But again where to put it?

I could add a box on the end (my original plan) but there goes the advantage of having a 21 foot home. Now its 23 feet.

I am not planning on living in this full time so may have to cry uncle and look for a 2800 watt RV generator.

Still thinking and looking, so will be watching this thread with great interest. Jim

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I am in a quandary on this now. I do not want one of those RV type generators. I had one in my first RV and was very unhappy with it. They are noisy, they vibrate, terrible things. Only my opinion, some may disagree.

My second home I had a diesel built into a soundproof compartment. Great but expensive to run and repair. I sold that and bought 2 Honda EU2000. I was full timing and going out to start them got to be a hassle. Then I bought a Honda water cooled RV generator and installed it in the sound box. That was the best of all worlds. They are no longer available.

I have not used the Toy yet. I have 1 Honda EU2000 and could buy a 2nd, but where to put them? I like some of the other inverter types on the market and some like the Champion are bargains. But again where to put it?

I could add a box on the end (my original plan) but there goes the advantage of having a 21 foot home. Now its 23 feet.

I am not planning on living in this full time so may have to cry uncle and look for a 2800 watt RV generator.

Still thinking and looking, so will be watching this thread with great interest. Jim

For far less than an Onan you could buy a smaller AC unit that would run on 1 Honda 2000. In an RV less is more

Linda S

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The built in units exhausted both hot air and engine exhaust out the bottom and pulled fuel from the truck fuel tank. It would be unsafe to run a portable generator in the compartment and impossible to refill with fuel.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My previous Itasca (319RB) had a space prepared for the Kohler generator with gas line available. I modified that compartment to fit the Onan Microlite 2800. I did not like that generator and used it very little. The exhaust was right on the space of the spare tire and it was noisy and turning the motor home into a massage chair.

On my current one, Itasca (321RB), I use a Honda eu2000i and store it in the compartment under the sofa. It fits well there but I have to take it out to use every time. I currently have no AC on the roof but that's another topic.

If I go with the rooftop AC, then bumper mount is the only option unless I want to modify that compartment, extend the Honda's exhaust and add cooling fans, with electric start, high temperature shut off SW....

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For far less than an Onan you could buy a smaller AC unit that would run on 1 Honda 2000. In an RV less is more

Linda S

Linda S, do you have an air conditioner that you would recommend? The Coleman Polar Cub keeps coming up in searches as an option.

I'm in a similar boat as the OP. I have the original Kohler 2.5K generator and it is so loud when I run it that my dogs freak out not to mention how it annoys the neighbors. Due to this fact I don't even use the thing. I asked my local RV mechanic what he thought and he said if it runs you may just need a muffler. He said I shouldn't get rid of it - my initial request - since it's running and for resale. I don't plan on selling anytime soon.

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Linda S, do you have an air conditioner that you would recommend? The Coleman Polar Cub keeps coming up in searches as an option.

I'm in a similar boat as the OP. I have the original Kohler 2.5K generator and it is so loud when I run it that my dogs freak out not to mention how it annoys the neighbors. Due to this fact I don't even use the thing. I asked my local RV mechanic what he thought and he said if it runs you may just need a muffler. He said I shouldn't get rid of it - my initial request - since it's running and for resale. I don't plan on selling anytime soon.

The Coleman Polar Cub AC unit keeps coming up because you can run it with a Honda EU2000i. I have a Kohler too and surprise. I have compared it to an Onan and they are almost just as loud. I have also camped next to people running a Honda and I had to walk over to be sure it was running. Nice. Drawback is you have to pick it up and put it on the ground every time you use it unless it's on a bumper platform.

Linda S

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The Coleman Polar Cub AC unit keeps coming up because you can run it with a Honda EU2000i. I have a Kohler too and surprise. I have compared it to an Onan and they are almost just as loud. I have also camped next to people running a Honda and I had to walk over to be sure it was running. Nice. Drawback is you have to pick it up and put it on the ground every time you use it unless it's on a bumper platform.

Linda S

I'm almost not wanting to bother taking it in to the shop to fix the atrocious sound. I really like the idea of the Honda except for the fact that you have to take it out and chain it up to use it. I've had the Toy for about three years now and I think I've run the generator maybe three times while camping. And in higher elevations it's been useless. I'm seriously thinking of removing it and maybe converting the hole where it is into something I can use for storage.

Why have you kept yours?

Another item I'd like to change is the furnace. I think I'd like to have a propane line added to the inside so I can use a catalytic heater like the Olympian. I've heard they use less juice electrically and propane which is helpful when you have just one house battery.

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why have a generator? if you want electricity.... and you boondock.

as for high elevation, the honda has replacement main jets for use at elevations about 4500'

I spent a summer in colorado once - easy to change and makes it run good without carbon fouling. All engines lose power as you go up in elevation. I did not plug in for several months - run the gen about a hour or 2 a day does the trick ( i use the internet a lot)

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I haven't removed mine cause I'm just too lazy. I don't even have air conditioning. I pulled that off years ago. Probably should get to the gen set and save the weight.

Linda S

I still have my air conditioner because I live in Arizona and have yet to retire, so unable to venture too far on the weekends.

I'm trying to find a 2.5 kohler .

Really?

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why have a generator? if you want electricity.... and you boondock.

as for high elevation, the honda has replacement main jets for use at elevations about 4500'

I spent a summer in colorado once - easy to change and makes it run good without carbon fouling. All engines lose power as you go up in elevation. I did not plug in for several months - run the gen about a hour or 2 a day does the trick ( i use the internet a lot)

I think a generator is worthwhile - I wouldn't mind using it except for the fact that it is hella loud and I feel really bad running it when I have neighbors so I don't. That's why I'm interested in a quieter model like the Honda/Yamaha.

Good to know about the replacement jets for higher elevations.

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I am also thinking about this issue. I now have no cab a/c because of motor swap, and I like ac. I have a roof ac that would work great at cooling the whole rig, but I need to power it. I own 2 honda eu2000i units but again where to you mount them, and you have to pull start them. I could build a box that would hold both, rig up a fuel system and mount to to the rear. I would much rather have a on board rig that fit in one of the side compartments with a push button start. I plan on using the ac alot!.

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I am also thinking about this issue. I now have no cab a/c because of motor swap, and I like ac. I have a roof ac that would work great at cooling the whole rig, but I need to power it. I own 2 honda eu2000i units but again where to you mount them, and you have to pull start them. I could build a box that would hold both, rig up a fuel system and mount to to the rear. I would much rather have a on board rig that fit in one of the side compartments with a push button start. I plan on using the ac alot!.

Right up your alley Dave. http://www.pinellaspowerproducts.com/view/HEUREMOTEKIT2/

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I have a 91 Winnie with a 3 year old onan 2800 that was professionally installed for 2800.

To be honest, I'm not entirely impressed with the unit. I know they last if properly maintained, but it has had a decent amount of problems since I owned it. They have a computer that complicates things, and they are a bit of a pain to diagnose. The local onan shop wanted 250 to simply diagnose it when I asked.

Mine may need a carb rebuild due to sitting for a bit from the previous owner. I did manage to get it working for the entire weekend just last week and it got the job done, though I did have a few issues I worked through. I will say that the muffler is already degrading quite a bit for a 3 year old unit that cost nearly 3k

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Sorry for the autocorrects in that, jeesh

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My info on Onan or Ohno as they were often referred to is old, things may have changed. But $250 for a diagnosis is far beyond highway robbery. The biggest problem with them used to be the circuit boards. One person who I have no reason to disbelieve claimed that the solder around the contacts in the board would micro crack and that remelting the solder on each one of them would restore the board, I have never tried this and it does go back 10 years.

OF course a replacement board was highway robbery expensive and they failed far too often. This is common in RV products. There is a company that saw a business opportunity and started making aftermarket replacement boards for various RV products, refrigerators, water heaters and such.

So bookmark Dinosaur electronics, they may be in your future.

http://www.dinosaurelectronics.com/Onan_boards.htm

Dinosaur boards are built far better and do not fail like the OE stuff does.

Can't blame what the gas and improper storage does to carburetors on Onan. HTH Jim SW FL

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Don't have a RV gen set but I bookmarked the link as there seems it could be handy in the future. Thanks,

A cheap soldering iron and good solder, one could shotgun all the connections on a suspect board pretty easily. If it is dead, what do you have to lose? It's heat, flow and let cool. Don't try to force it to cool faster and avoid mechanical movement while it does. Would not be the first time this was done chasing an intermittent problem.

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They have boards for refrigerators, furnaces, hot water tanks and test equipment also. I see they use dealers now. Back in the good old days you could call the company and talk to a tech to troubleshoot something. Jim

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What is the smallest AC unit that can be installed in a Toyo Home???? I just got a Warrior with no AC and Gen and am thinking of the same thing. For the Genset, I was looking at the eU3000, but it looks so big and heavy so I think the Champion instead. For AC , I haven't decided yet.....

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