How loud are original 1970s Onan generators?

Started by cosmic, January 08, 2013, 05:20 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


I have an opportunity to buy a running mid 70's onan 4kw generator.for $250 Canadian. so my question is how loud are the old onans? my rig didn't have one when i got it. and would i be better off putting that money toward a new Chinese crap.
The guy I'm getting it from did the valves and valve seat a year ago and said the thing works great...
any thought or comments will be greatly appreciated.


If you don't take it I will. As far as I'm concerned it's one of the best if not the best generator you can buy. For a 4W that's cheep if it runs good and it will run everything you need. It will fit perfectly in your gen bay and all things being equal your rig should already be wired for it. Let me know what you decide. Were is he? :laugh: for that money I'll take it.


I bought a used generator from a totally wrecked RV. Looking at the damage to RV. I didn't think the generator would even work. I cleaned it up and then tuned it up it's been running great for nine years. I paid 750 for it.
Gil in LA


thanks guys. ill pick it up and let you know how it works out for me.


I can't tell you what the decible rating is on the old generators but, it's known that they are louder than new ones.  However, I do recall one member making an exhaust modification for his and that a Subaru muffler fit on it and it was much quieter.
1969 D22, 2 x 1974 D24 Indians, 1977 27' Itasca


I've got the original 4.0cck purring in the Titan. When I fire it up, it's definitely one of the loudest amongst the "neighbors".  Is what it is!   I just try and be respectful to not run it too early in the am or into the late hours (unless others are too).

While it is louder than most -- it's no problem.


I have a 4kw model in my rig but does not start. It does turn over from the controls on the dash so that's good. States it only has 123 hours on it too. My guess is if I spend a few hours on it I can get it running too. Will need to drain and clean fuel tank as previous PO stated he never used aux tank.  Old gas I assume too. Plus switch and gauge not working.

I guess what I am battling is also whether to buy a newer quieter one instead. Also any fire hazard issues with these old gens?

1973 Winnebago Indian D-24 M400 Chassis


If you decide to not buy and LJ-TJ changes his mind, please let me know. I'd be interested, and my brother (in your area) would handle shipping.

Screwed up on dates.
It is not our abilities that show what we truly are - it is our choices.
Albus Dumbledore


The old 70's gennys are really noisy...I have a 6.5 Onan in mine (it barks) the old muff doesnt help, I wouldnt use it if I had close neighbors in a friendly perfect harmless enviroment, but if the neighbors were blasting Justin Timberlake music or were "yellers", then I would for sure W%

Never get crap happy with a slap happy pappy


Hmm, I think I have this same generator (the 4kw one) on mine and it runs pretty quiet. It's not silent, but you do have to get fairly close to the rig to hear it and it is definitely quieter than many (seems like all) of the "neighbors."  We have no problem watching TV at a reasonably low volume with it running.

Load JT and "yellers" do make a difference in whether I care about how load it is and when I run it, that's for sure.

I just checked underneath and mine does have a small muffler on the exhaust.


The old BFA type generators that I've owned weren't too bad if they had a good muffler on them. They only run at 1800 rpm compared to some of the newer onans that run at 3600 rpm. My 7000 generac is the quietest generator that I've owned, and has very little vibration. The vibration was my complaint against the BFA in my Itasca. It was in a rear compartment right be low the bedroom. I can't even tell my generator is running in the Challenger, as it's right behind the driver. Can't hear it running even going down the road.