Discover the Pros and Cons of Cummins Onan Generators for RVs

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Discover the Pros and Cons of Cummins Onan Generators for RVs

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Importance of RV Generators
  3. Cummins Onan RV Generators
    1. Company Overview
    2. Popularity and Market Share
  4. Pros of Cummins Onan Generators
    1. Relatively Quiet Operation
    2. Superb Reliability and Longevity
    3. Availability of Parts and Repair Services
    4. Flexibility in Fuel Options
    5. Convenient Remote Start
  5. Cons of Cummins Onan Generators
    1. Size and Weight
    2. Space Requirements
    3. Regular Exercise Needs
    4. Cost of Replacement
  6. Maintenance Tips for Cummins Onan Generators
    1. Regular Exercise
    2. Following Maintenance Schedules
    3. Professional Repair and Maintenance
  7. Conclusion

Cummins Onan RV Generators: A Reliable Power Source for RVers

RVs provide a unique opportunity for adventure and exploration, allowing travelers to experience the freedom of the open road while enjoying the comforts of home. To fully embrace the RV lifestyle, having a reliable power source is essential, especially for RVers who enjoy boondocking or find themselves in areas with limited access to electricity. Cummins Onan RV generators have established themselves as a popular choice among RV owners for their reliability, longevity, and performance. In this article, we will delve into the world of Cummins Onan RV generators, exploring their features, benefits, and considerations. Whether you are a seasoned RVer or someone considering purchasing an RV, this comprehensive guide will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision.

Importance of RV Generators

Before diving into the specifics of Cummins Onan RV generators, it is essential to understand their importance in the realm of RVing. While solar power has gained popularity as a sustainable and cost-effective energy solution for RVs, there are inevitable situations when a generator becomes a necessity. These instances include extended periods without access to sunlight, the need to power high-demand appliances like air conditioners, and power outages in RV parks or campgrounds. Furthermore, larger RVs equipped with 50-amp electrical services require generators capable of providing adequate power. With its wide range of generator options, Cummins Onan provides a solution for RVers of all sizes and power requirements.

Cummins Onan RV Generators

Company Overview

Founded in 1926, Cummins Onan has established itself as a leading manufacturer of generators. With nearly a century of experience, they have earned a reputation for producing high-quality, reliable, and durable generators. In 1986, Cummins acquired Onan Corporation, merging their expertise to create industry-leading generator solutions. Today, Cummins Onan holds an impressive 85 percent market share in the RV generator industry. Its widespread use in motorhomes, fifth wheels, and other large RVs further emphasizes the trust and credibility the brand has built over the years.

Popularity and Market Share

The popularity of Cummins Onan RV generators can be attributed to several factors. Firstly, their reputation for manufacturing quiet generators sets them apart from the competition. While other inverter generators may produce lower decibel levels, Cummins Onan generators emit a low, less noticeable sound, ensuring a peaceful and enjoyable RV experience. Alongside their quiet operation, Cummins Onan generators are renowned for their exceptional reliability. When properly maintained, these generators have been known to outlast the RV itself, offering peace of mind to RV owners.

Another advantage of choosing Cummins Onan generators is the extensive availability of parts and repair services. With a strong network of Cummins facilities and independent repair technicians, RVers can access comprehensive support and maintenance for their generators. This ensures that any issues encountered can be swiftly resolved, minimizing downtime and inconvenience.

One of the standout features of Cummins Onan generators is their flexibility in terms of fuel options. Whether it's diesel, gasoline, or propane (LP), Cummins Onan offers generators that can accommodate different fuel types, allowing RV owners to choose the most convenient option for their setup. Additionally, many Cummins Onan generators come equipped with remote start capabilities, simplifying the process of powering on the generator from the comfort of the RV.

Though Cummins Onan generators boast an impressive array of advantages, it is important to consider some potential drawbacks. One significant downside is their size and weight. Unlike portable inverter generators, Cummins Onan generators are permanently installed and cannot be easily moved around. RV owners must carefully plan for the space and weight requirements of these generators, especially in compact RVs where every inch matters.

The fact that Cummins Onan generators necessitate their dedicated space also brings us to another drawback: space requirements. Despite the constraints of limited space and weight in RVs, accommodating a Cummins Onan generator becomes a priority. Determining the ideal location for the generator ensures it remains secure and accessible without impeding other vital components of the RV.

Another consideration is the need for regular exercise of Cummins Onan generators. To keep them performing at their best, these generators require periodic activation under load, even if not in regular use. A monthly exercise routine consisting of running the generator for a couple of hours with a significant electrical draw is crucial. Neglecting this aspect can lead to suboptimal performance and potential issues down the line.

Lastly, the relatively high cost of replacement is worth noting. While the price of smaller Cummins Onan generators starts around $3,000, larger models can exceed $15,000. However, it is essential to remember that these generators often outlast the RV they are installed in. Though replacement costs are infrequent, they should still be factored into the overall ownership and maintenance expenses.

Maintenance Tips for Cummins Onan Generators

Now that we have explored the pros and cons of Cummins Onan generators, it is crucial to address their maintenance requirements. By following a few essential tips, RV owners can ensure their generators remain in optimal condition throughout their lifespan.

Firstly, regular exercise of the generator is paramount. If the generator is not utilized regularly, it is recommended to exercise it once a month. This involves running the generator under a substantial electrical load for a couple of hours. This practice helps prevent fuel system issues, lubricates engine components, and keeps the generator functioning at its best.

In addition to exercise, adhering to the maintenance schedules outlined in the Cummins Onan generator manual is crucial. Routine tasks such as changing oil, air filters, and spark arrestors need to be completed promptly. These preventive maintenance measures prolong the lifespan of the generator and contribute to its overall reliability.

While some maintenance tasks can be handled by individuals with sufficient knowledge and experience, it is advisable to entrust major repairs and complex maintenance to qualified repair technicians familiar with Cummins Onan generators. Their expertise and access to specialized tools ensure that any issues encountered are properly addressed, reducing the risk of causing further damage to the generator.

Keeping a detailed record of all maintenance activities, including dates and components serviced or replaced, is highly recommended. This documented history allows for easy tracking of maintenance intervals and ensures that essential tasks are not overlooked or duplicated.


Cummins Onan RV generators have solidified their position as a preferred choice for RV owners seeking a reliable and durable power source. With a legacy spanning almost a century, Cummins Onan has earned the loyalty and trust of RVers worldwide. The company's commitment to producing quiet, dependable, and flexible generators, along with readily available parts and services, has contributed to its dominance in the market. While considerations such as size, weight, and maintenance requirements exist, the benefits provided by Cummins Onan generators far outweigh these concerns. By following recommended maintenance practices and engaging qualified professionals when necessary, RV owners can enjoy the unrivaled dependability and longevity offered by Cummins Onan generators. Invest in a Cummins Onan generator, and embark on your RV adventures with peace of mind and uninterrupted power supply.


  • Cummins Onan RV generators offer exceptional reliability and longevity, often outlasting the RV itself.
  • With a market share of around 85 percent, Cummins Onan is the go-to choice for RV manufacturers.
  • Cummins Onan generators are relatively quiet, making for an enjoyable RV experience.
  • The availability of parts and repair services ensures easy maintenance and support for Cummins Onan generators.
  • Cummins Onan generators come in various fuel options and can be remotely started for added convenience.
  • While larger and heavier than portable generators, Cummins Onan generators provide unmatched power.
  • Regular exercise and adherence to maintenance schedules are crucial for optimal performance and lifespan of Cummins Onan generators.
  • Qualified repair technicians are recommended for major repairs and complex maintenance tasks.
  • Keeping records of maintenance activities allows for easy tracking and ensures essential tasks are not overlooked.
  • While replacement costs can be significant, the long lifespan of Cummins Onan generators justifies the investment.


Q: Are Cummins Onan generators suitable for both small and large RVs? A: Yes, Cummins Onan offers generators in various sizes and power outputs, catering to the needs of RVs of all sizes.

Q: Can Cummins Onan generators be moved around like portable generators? A: No, Cummins Onan generators are permanently installed and cannot be easily moved from one location to another.

Q: How often should I exercise my Cummins Onan generator? A: If the generator is not used regularly, it is recommended to run it once a month for a couple of hours under a substantial electrical load.

Q: Are there specialized repair facilities for Cummins Onan generators? A: Yes, Cummins has a network of authorized repair facilities, and many independent repair technicians are skilled in working with Cummins Onan generators.

Q: Can I perform maintenance tasks on my Cummins Onan generator myself? A: Routine maintenance tasks such as oil and filter changes can be performed by knowledgeable individuals. However, major repairs and complex maintenance are best left to qualified professionals.

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