How to Remove an Onan Generator from a Class C Motorhome

RVs provide the ultimate freedom to travel while enjoying home-like comforts and amenities. But when a critical component like your Onan LP or diesel onboard generator fails in your Class C motorhome, resolving the issue can be complex.

Removing and replacing the generator requires proper precautions, equipment, and procedures to safely extract the heavy unit without damage while disconnected from the fuel, cooling, exhaust, and electrical systems.

The key is developing an orderly, cautious plan to remove generator mounting hardware, detach all connections, shift the load’s weight appropriately, and transfer to a rolling dolly without bumping delicate components or spilling fluids. Certain aspects like lifting and transportation usually require an extra set of experienced hands.

Read on for a full, step-by-step walkthrough of the complete process so you can assess the effort involved. Follow along to gain the knowledge to tackle this upgrade with confidence, or determine if hiring a professional mechanic is the smartest option.

How to Remove an Onan Generator from a Class C Motorhome

The Common Challenges of Removing a Generator from a Motorhome

Replacing or removing the generator, which can weigh 500 pounds or more, is no easy feat in the tight confines of a Class C motorhome. Some key difficulties include:

  • Limited workspace: Generators are usually installed in confined storage bays with little extra space to maneuver tools and equipment. This can make removal difficult.
  • Access issues: Class C motorhomes have low ground clearance, so accessing the area under the generator bay can require jacking up the RV or crawling under it.
  • Weight and dimensions: Generators have considerable weight and awkward dimensions, making removal, transport, and installation challenging. Proper lifting equipment is essential.
  • System connections: The generator connects to the RV’s fuel, exhaust, cooling, electrical, and control systems. All connections must be safely removed.

10-Steps To Remove an Onan Generator From a Class C Motorhome

Before we start removing the generator, let’s grab some necessary tools first:

Helpful Equipment for Generator Removal and Replacement

To safely DIY this job, assemble equipment like:

  • Generator dolly or lift table: Allows controlled, safe generator movement
  • Engine hoist or chain fall: Provides lifting force to extract generator
  • Vehicle support jack: Supports bay underside during work
  • Wheel chocks: Brace and stabilize the RV so it can’t shift
  • Basic hand tools: Wrenches, drivers, pliers, screwguns, pry bars, etc.
  • Coolant spill kit: Contains drips during hose removal
  • Fuel line plugs: Seal detached fuel lines

Don’t scrimp on purchase or rental costs for specialty tools. Repair shortcuts can lead to damage, hazards, or failed generator operations down the road.

You can remove your RV generator yourself if you have solid mechanical skills, help from friends, proper tools, and plenty of patience. Follow these key steps:

REMOVING ONAN 6.5KW GENERATOR FROM RV link to add in the article 

Step 1: Prepare the Workspace Area

Since you’ll be working in a confined bay, maximize your workspace by clearing all nearby areas of tools, equipment, and debris. Have work lights ready. Lay down tarps, cardboard, or boards to protect surfaces from dirt. Prepare for fluid spills with absorbent pads. And stock up on personal protective equipment like gloves, eye protection, knee pads, and respiratory masks.

Step 2: Level and Stabilize the RV

Level the RV from side to side and front to back. Stabilize it with jack stands under the frame rails so it doesn’t shift during the job. Chock the wheels securely. Inserting a vehicle support stand under the generator bay also helps.

Step 3: Disconnect the Fuel Line

Put on protective equipment and disable the generator breaker. Then locate the generator’s fuel supply line and fittings. Carefully disconnect the fuel lines, watching for leaks or residual fuel. Plug the lines and cap the fittings. Contain and clean up any minor spills properly.

Step 4: Detach Generator Electrical Connections

Trace all electrical cables from the generator to circuit breakers and disconnect them. Remove ground wires and battery cables. Ensure all connections are labeled for reinstallation. Protect disconnected wires and terminals. Improper disconnections can cause dangerous shorts.

Step 5: Remove Coolant System Lines

The generator relies on the RV’s engine cooling system. So detach all coolant hoses and pipes leading to and from the generator while watching for hot coolant leaks. Proper coolant drainage and spill cleanup are critical for safety. Cap all loose fittings immediately so system contamination is minimized.

Step 6: Disconnect the Exhaust System

Detach the exhaust tailpipe, mufflers, clamps, supports, and associated hardware. The exhaust system has sharp edges, high heat danger, and very confined access, so caution is mandatory. Patch any open tailpipe areas temporarily to minimize fume entry into the living area.

Step 7: Remove Generator Mounting Hardware

Examine the installation area to locate all generator mounting bolts, brackets, supports, and isolation systems. Slowly unbolt, unlock, or detach all components while supporting the weight of the generator. Be extremely careful not to damage the generator or mounting tray.

Step 8: Extract the Generator

This is the most challenging step. Use an engine hoist, chain fall puller, lever jack, or winch to slowly pull the generator out, being cautious not to bump sensitive components. Watch for snags. Ideally, have at least two people to guide and handle the removal. Be prepared to tweak the angle of pull or shift the unit as needed.

Step 9: Transport the Generator

Carefully move the generator out and place it directly onto a heavy-duty wheeled dolly, pallet jack, or flatbed truck positioned as close to the bay as possible. Secure it carefully before wheeling it to the new location or repair shop. Never lift or carry the generator without equipment, and watch for fluid leaks in transit.

Step 10: Reinstall the Replacement Generator

I won’t cover full generator reinstallation details here but basically reverse all the disconnect steps carefully while torquing all fasteners to the proper specifications. Test all components thoroughly before startup. A faulty DIY generator installation can be extremely dangerous.

Quick Solution: Have a Professional Mechanic Remove It

The simplest solution is to hire an experienced RV technician or generator specialist to remove your Onan generator from your Class C motorhome. Although expensive, this option eliminates the headaches and dangers of doing it yourself. Professionals have the right tools, expertise, and facilities to safely and effectively remove and install generators. If at all possible, go this route.

People Also Asked

How Much Does It Cost To Have A Professional Remove My Rv Generator?

Expect to pay $200-600 in labor costs alone for generator removal and reinstallation by a certified technician, plus any needed parts or repairs. Generators weigh hundreds of pounds, so significant labor is required.

Can I Completely Remove The Generator Instead Of Replacing It?

Yes, you could have the generator bay framed in as wasted space. But you’d lose a key source of electrical power, potentially impacting HVAC systems, battery charging, and certain appliances.

What Precautions Should I Take When Removing The Generator Myself?

Go very slowly, use jack stands, brace the generator compartment, take all safety precautions against fuel or electrical hazards, label connections, photograph setups, and get skilled help for lifting and maneuvering the unit.

How Should I Dispose Of An Old RV Generator After Removal?

Contact your local municipal waste authority, which can direct you to licensed recycling or hazardous material disposal services qualified to handle older generators safely. Don’t abandon old generators or dispose of them improperly.

Can I Convert My RV generator Bay To Storage Space?

Possibly, but any buildout would have to allow access to connections in case a generator is added later. Work would likely require RV technician skills for proper structural design, ventilation flow, fireproofing, electrical loads, and more. storage conversions aren’t always straightforward.

Parting Thoughts

Removing an onboard generator from a Class C motorhome has its fair share of challenges. But with meticulous planning, robust safety measures, the right equipment, and skilled assistance, it can absolutely be done DIY-style for the cost-conscious RVer or mechanic. Just be patient, avoid shortcuts, and don’t hesitate to call in a professional if the project starts going sideways.

Here’s hoping your generator removal gives you the reliable auxiliary power you need for smoother journeys down the road! Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions. Thanks for reading – now get wrenching!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *