How Many Hours Should an Onan Generator Last? (All Facts)

How Many Hours Should an Onan Generator Last

Have you ever wondered how many hours should an Onan generator last? Look no more. Weยดve got you covered.

RVs are perfect for taking the luxuries of the home onto the road with you. One of the reasons this is possible is because they have generators that let you run various appliances and charge your devices.

Onan generators are some of the most highly-rated generators on the market today. They will give you thousands of hours of fun before you need to refuel.

So, how many hours should an Onan generator last? On average Onan generators have been known to last for 10,000 to 20,000 hours (up to 10 years of operation) if they are cared for properly. If proper attention is not taken, they will likely only last 1,000-5,000 hours.

What Makes Onan Generators Special?

Onan generators were recently purchased by Cummins. Reviews praise Onan generators for being particularly fuel-efficient.

This is crucial if you are planning on being on the road for extended periods. You will want to drive as long as possible without needing to re-fuel the generator every other day.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Many Cummins Onan generators also have a sound-attenuating enclosure. This means you can run the generator with reduced noise.

This is perfect if you need to run the generator while people are sleeping or if you want to enjoy the sounds of nature without the rattle and hum of a generator.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Onan Generators have other features that help them stay quiet while you use them. One of these features is computer-controlled variable speed operation.

This functions to make the engine speed match the load demand, so your generator will not be humming loudly if you are only using it to charge a phone.

๐Ÿ‘‰ The mounting system is another feature designed to help Onan generators stay silent. Most Cummins Onan generators utilize a three-point, focalized mounting system.

This helps reduce the vibration of the generator, which will help reduce noise and stop the rumbling that often accompanies generators.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Cummins Onan generators are also widely versatile. They come in diesel, gasoline, and propane options. You should check which fuel your generator uses if you are unsure.

Different fuel types have different benefits and that will help determine which generator is best for your particular RV.

This is an important consideration to make if you are upgrading or replacing the generator in your RV.

Onan generators are renowned for their high-quality, quiet designs. They work efficiently for hours, and they are incredibly versatile.

Read also: How Loud Is An Onan Generator? (ALL FACTS)

How Long will an Onan Generator Last?

Onan generators have been known to last for 10,000 to 20,000 hours if they are cared for properly. If proper attention is not taken, they will likely only last 1,000-5,000 hours.

These numbers will vary, given the specific generator model and fuel-type you have.

A general rule of thumb is that diesel generators will last longer than gas generators because diesel is less likely to clog the carburetor.

You can expect several thousands of hours of use if you take care of your Onan generator.

Read also: How to Fix Fault Code 14 on Onan Generator (Always Works!)

How to Take Care of an Onan Generator

Maintaining your generator is crucial for saving money and getting as many hours of run-time as possible out of your generator.

It does give you extra work, but in the long run, it will save you trouble and money.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Change fuel filters every 400 to 500 hours- Changing the fuel filters will help your engine and fuel pump running at maximum efficiency.

If you do not change fuel filters, your generator will slow down and you will not be getting as much out of the generator as you can.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Check the valves in the generator every 700 to 800 hours- A broken, cracked, or weakened valve can damage your generator and cause expensive repairs.

๐Ÿ‘‰ For diesel generators, make sure to drain the water from the fuel system at least once per year- Diesel can easily absorb too much water, and if it does, you can cause serious damage to your generator.

Draining the water from the generator will save you a lot of trouble.

Read also: Can You Jump Start A Generator Battery?

๐Ÿ‘‰ Exercise your generator- The more you use your generator, the longer you can use it without needing to do maintenance.

It is much like how runners who regularly run can run farther and longer without getting tired than people who do not regularly run.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Use OnaFresh to help stabilize and preserve fuel- Cummins developed this fuel stabilizer specifically for Onan generators.

It will help gasoline not breakdown during storage periods. It can also help prevent gum and buildup.

This will help your Onan generator keep running at its peak.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Never store anything else in the generator storage area- flammable items like cloth, towels, oil, rags, or paper can cause a fire. Generators heat as they run, and that heat could light a fire.

๐Ÿ‘‰ While this step is not necessarily crucial for the maintenance of your RVโ€™s Onan generator, it is important to have a carbon monoxide monitor in your RV- if you run your generator for hours and there is a leak that causes carbon monoxide to enter the cabin of your camper, you need to know as soon as possible.

A carbon monoxide monitor is essential for protecting your family.

Generator Preventive Maintenance >> Check out the video below:

Which Onan Generator Fuel-Type is Best for Your RV?

Onan generators are versatile because they come in diesel-fueled, gas-fueled, and propane-fueled generators. There are benefits and drawbacks to each of these fuel options, so you will need to consider all of these options when selecting the generator for your RV.

Diesel generators are great if you are not sure which RV you will use, or if your generator will serve multiple purposes. Diesel generators will work in pretty much any RV, so you do not need to worry about too many specifications when selecting these generators.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Onan diesel generators are quiet enough to use at most campgrounds and in nature, so you can take them anywhere that you can take your RV.

Most diesel generators are much louder, but Onan has enough soundproofing to make them quiet enough to match your sound needs.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Diesel generators produce more power per gallon of fuel than their counterparts.

However, diesel is generally more expensive than gasoline, so you may have to consider how much you will use it to determine which fuel is right for your budget.

Gasoline generators are more generally used in trailers and smaller motorhomes. Class B motorhomes are roughly the size of panel vans, so chances are your class B motorhome has a gasoline generator.

๐Ÿ‘‰ The Cummins Onan gasoline generators are generally smaller than their diesel counterparts, which makes them a great lightweight option for your small trailers and motorhomes.

They are easy to transport if you want to use your generator in different vehicles or different settings.

It is usually easier to find gas at refueling stations, so gas generators will offer you more ease and flexibility than diesel generators.

When you do have to re-fuel, you do not want to have to drive to several gas stations just to find the right fuel for your generator.

While gasoline does not get as much power per gallon as diesel, it is the cheapest fuel to purchase, so if you are not using your generator a lot or not powering large appliances, it is likely a more budget-friendly option.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Gas does leave a larger carbon footprint than other fuels, so if you are hoping for the most eco-friendly option, you may wish to look elsewhere. Gas generators will also require slightly more maintenance to avoid clogging of the carburetor.

Be sure to watch the temperature of your gas generator to make sure it does not overheat or overheat its surroundings.

Gas generators are great because they are budget-friendly, light, and portable. They are great for class B motorhomes, some class C motorhomes, and camper trailers of all shapes and sizes.

Onan Propane generators are specifically designed with class A motorhomes, class C motorhomes, and fifth-wheels in mind.

๐Ÿ‘‰ If you are unsure of which RV you have, or what these classifications mean, class A motorhomes are the largest options. They are designed like buses and they have their engines.

Class C motorhomes are slightly smaller and usually have overhead sleeping spaces. Fifth-wheels are the largest trailers you can buy. Onan generators are efficient for larger RVs and trailers.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Propane Generators are very popular for RVs. Propane is a cleaner fuel with a smaller carbon footprint. If you are looking for the most eco-friendly option available, Onan propane generators are probably the right choice for you.

While all Onan generators are incredibly quiet, propane generators are even quieter. An Onan propane generator gives you the chance to sleep without hearing the constant thrum of the generator.

Propane can last longer between uses than many other fuels. It also has a great fuel economy. For these reasons, propane generators are fantastic if you are trying to get enough “bang for your buck.”

Read also: RV Propane Refill Near Me โ€“ Stations & Locations [UPDATED]


Onan generators are incredibly popular for RVs. They have portable options and built-in options, so there is likely an Onan generator that is perfect for your camper needs.

Onan generators are renowned for their quiet designs.

They will not rumble or hum like other generators, so you can run them without waking all of your neighbors. Onan generators are also high quality, so they will last for ages.

Onan generatorsโ€™ run-times will vary based on the model and the fuel-type that they use. Diesel generators tend to last longer, but propane generators are more eco-friendly, and gas generators are the most budget-friendly options.

Onan generators, in general, can run for about 10,000 to 20,000 hours with proper maintenance.


Mike Gilmour

Hi, I'm Mike, co-founder, and editor of RV and Playa. My passion is traveling (with my RV) and enjoying the day at the beach (Playa)! Well, I originally created this blog as a way to share what I've learned by experimenting with the RV lifestyle, and I want to help others develop in life through new skills and opportunities.

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