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Old 02-04-2016, 02:40 AM   #1
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Smile buying and installing generator / air bags

Hello everyone, I have only used my 2015 38rl Sequoya twice since I bought it last Feb, due to excessive warranty work taking up most of the camping months, and excessive heat the rest of the summer here in Arlington Tx.
Now that we have solved most of the problems we are planning our first "real" trip, to Branson this spring / summer.
I have a few questions for y'all. My rig is prepped for a generator, and I want to have one installed before we leave.
We also want to purchase some air bags for my 2015 3/4 ton Duramax w/ towing package.
First the generator, I am leaning towards the Onan 6500, but several other posts say they have the 5500 and are happy with it. I have two a/c Whisper units, with a residential fridge, fireplace and a slew of other options that we probably don't need. What is the best unit to buy? I do not want to spend any extra money, but REALLY do not want to need the extra juice and not have it. The only time we plan to use it is when we pull over to rest in a Walmart parking lot, but I am well aware that we will probably have to use it much more that we plan too.
Next up: I have a quote from the RV dealer for $8875.00 to install the 6500 and $7300.00 for the 5500 installed. I also have a quote from Camping World to install the 6500 for $9000.00 + any extras.
I also have a quote from the dealer for air bags installed for $800 (manual) and $ 1400 w/the controller.
I am normally very good at working on different goodies that I have, but, am very hesitant to tackle installing the genny. Even though it is pre-wired for the Onan, there have been sooooo many issues with wiring and cable in almost all new 5-ers, Along with the extended warranty I purchased, I do not want to be the reason that they deny any claims due to me not using authorized mechanics installing the unit.
I also think that the price for the air bag is way too high.
To wrap it up: I am looking for any and all help and advice concerning the purchase and the install of both items. I live in Arlington TX and if anyone from this area has found a reliable RV mechanic, I would welcome the referral. The same goes for anyone that knows of a less expensive dealer for both items I would like that referral as well.
In closing this rambling post, I am saying PLEASE help me with any and all knowledge you might have.

Thank You
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:26 AM   #2
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I've been pricing air bags as well & have found the bags for $350-400+/- & the compressor for $300-400+/- neither include installation which could run $100-150 per hour so another $300+/- which sounds like your estimates may not be to far out on line, JMO.
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Old 02-04-2016, 03:38 AM   #3
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I bought a 6500 LP onan delivered to the door for 5000.00 from Norwell they were the cheapest another 75.oo for muffler pipe 200.00 for custom made propane line and #2 wire for power from transfer switch. 400.00 for mobile rv tech to install. I also had airbags installed and for Firestone they run about 400.00 plus labor more if you install an on board compressor
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:33 AM   #4
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We are in the process or ordering a 38RL complete with gen. I actually posed the question as the unit will have 3 ACs and res fridge. Was told no way do I need a 6500. (before I get told, I know there is a new energy management system on the 2016). Suggestion....Why don't you call the plant / service center. You are going within 6 hours of there and as an option they charge $6500 aprox installed with the prep.They have all the correct parts. You may want to include the 40 lb tanks when you do the conversion.
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Old 02-04-2016, 01:53 PM   #5
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Onan 5500 LP Generator

I had the dealer install the Onan 5500 LP Generator in my 2016. I had the same genset (gasoline version) installed in my earlier toy hauler and it supported the 2 ACs and Residential fridge just fine. The Onan 5500 LP does fine as well for the 2 ACs and Residential fridge. The only issue I have with the LP version is that it will not startup from the further LP Cylinder with the single stage regulator running over the 8' line to the two stage regulator. It seems to take about 2 hours before there is enough pressure to run off of the distant cylinder.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:23 PM   #6
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Are you tied in on the high or low side of the regulator. Mine is tied in on the high pressure side and have no issues using either tank
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:28 PM   #7
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Are you tied in on the high or low side of the regulator. Mine is tied in on the high pressure side and have no issues using either tank
Do you have 2 regulators?
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:32 PM   #8
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I had a 2012 36RL and the 5500 was plenty of power. Check out Air Lift for the springs and definitely get the remote compressor. I got the non commercial version. It is a simple bolt on set up. If I had a lift and tools I could have done it.
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Old 02-04-2016, 02:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Do you have 2 regulators?
My gen has a built in regulator
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Old 02-04-2016, 04:37 PM   #10
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The secondary regulator on the curbside is in place as a safety feature so that there's not 200-250 psi in a 8' hose running across your RW, if you want to run off that bottle you could remove that regulator, I know several that have so they can use their grill, works fine.
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Old 02-04-2016, 05:54 PM   #11
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Our 5500 has never overloaded, even with 2 ACs running, but we do turn the friddge and hot water to propane when running it. If it were me I would probably go to the 6500, but that is a bad habit of mine. Realistically the $1500 savings for the 5500 is probably justification for staying with the smaller unit.

The key for the installer is to make sure the panel bus is somewhat balanced, so that neither of the 2 output circuits on the generator are carrying more then their share of the load. Not so critical when plugged into the shore line with 50A on each leg, but can cause frustration using a generator with two 30A outputs if one side is loaded down too heavy. Its easy to balance the load in the 5er electrical panel, and the installer should check that before he finishes the job.

I tied in right below the regulator on the low pressure side.



Having installed my generator 3 times in different units, I have to say those install prices are outrageous if you already have generator prep. With all the parts in front of me, I wouldn't spend more that 4 hrs.

Knock out the cabinet floor panels,
get help setting in gen,
wire the two outputs to the transfer switch
connect battery cables
Install and connect LP feed
assembly and install exhaust,

Piece of cake!
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Old 02-04-2016, 07:41 PM   #12
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Agree on the pricing. Sounds way high to me.
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:20 PM   #13
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installing generator / air lift bags

Thank you all for your responses,
Is there anywhere in the DFW area that you would recomend for purchase and install?

Steve
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Old 02-04-2016, 10:39 PM   #14
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Defiantly get the onboard compressor with dual gauges.
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Old 02-04-2016, 11:01 PM   #15
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I have an Onan 5500 LP which supports all I need. Remember that this generator will provide you with approx 45.83 amps, not much more than pedestal power. However you will have to watch what you run, arun, as you would on shore power.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I have an Onan 5500 LP which supports all I need. Remember that this generator will provide you with approx 45.83 amps, not much more than pedestal power. However you will have to watch what you run, arun, as you would on shore power.
A 50 amp hookup on shore power gives you 100 amps total 50 amps on each leg
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