Yamaha Onboard RV Generator: Is The Yamaha NPS 5500 Any Good?

There is a bit of misinformation going around about this generator. It is NOT made by Yamaha but powered by it. That means that this generator comes with a Yamaha motor with the rest of the components made by some other company. The website says ‘powered by Yamaha’.

From all reports, there seems to be a consensus that this new generator is a very good model to purchase. It also seems that NPS and Forest River made an exclusive deal and this is the onboard generator you will get and not an Onan. The wiring is different and you cannot run an Onan on this wiring system.

To learn more about this interesting generator, just continue to read our article. it has the information you want to know about so you won’t be surprised if one turns up in your newly bought RV or trailer. It is a very recent design and model so you may not find a lot of information on this generator.

What Generator Does Forest River Use?


This RV maker used to use Onan as their go-to onboard generators. However, it seems that a recent deal has been made between NPS and Forest River and the former company is replacing Onan as the go-to onboard model.

The generator has only been on the market since late 2020 and the replacement has been so sudden that many Forest River customers who ordered the Onan, are getting the NPS 5500 instead.

We say the NPS 5500 as the generator has nothing to do with Yamaha, except that Yamaha supplies the engine for it. This generator is not made by Yamaha despite any advertising that may reflect the Yamaha connection.

Many owners seem to be upset at the switch as they had ordered the Onan and got the NPS instead. One owner who reported this switch seemed to change his tune about the switch once he saw the NPS in action. He said it is a good generator.

Yamaha Onboard RV Generator

This may be a bit hard to determine as most RVs have the Onan brand generator when they come with an onboard generator. You would have to contact the individual RV makers to see if they use the Yamaha or not.

Onan has had the largest market share when it comes to RVs and 5th wheel trailers that it has shocked some people when Forest River scrapped using that company. Then went with a little-known generator company for its onboard models.

We did check the Yamaha website and their products do not mention any onboard models for sale. But that may be for the reason that option would be a company to company agreement and not a company to customer strategy.

When talking about the NPS 5500 you cannot use the word Yamaha in the title as that company only supplies the engine and has nothing else to do with the brand or the making of that generator. It is a good business move for Yamaha as they get a lot of free press.

Are Yamaha Generators Made in China?


The generators seem to be made all over the world. Yamaha is a Japanese company and they do have production facilities in their own country. However, they also use Thailand, India, China, and Vietnam as well as Germany to make their generators.

When it comes to the NPS brand, their generator motor will be built in one of those countries and then shipped to the NPS company for either assembly or other technical aspects. Yamaha does not make the NPS 5500 components outside of the engine.

Most products are going to be made in China or other southeast Asian countries these days as businesses look to boost profits after having a 2-year slow down due to the pandemic.

Since NPS is a new company, less than 2 years in existence that we can determine, there is little news on its operation and overall business practices.

Yamaha 5500 Generator Specs

This information is taken from the NPS website as it seems to be the only website with information on this new model generator. “Yamaha is providing their robust MZ360KHIP3, an air-cooled 4-stoke OHV engine offering 10.4 Net Max HP at 3600 RPM. Our proprietary inverter uses a 5% pure sine wave that allows for cleaner, more efficient, stable power”

A generator with an inverter still produces AC electricity, just like a conventional generator. However, a rectifier is used to convert the AC electricity to DC power, and the DC power is “cleaned” and “smoothed” out by capacitors”

The generator measures roughly 29.33"L x 21.46"W x 16.10" H and weighs 185 pounds. Plus, it has a remote start and the starter is a key fob design. That is about the most we can find about this model.

Are Yamaha Generators Quiet?


For the most part, Yamaha has done a lot of work to reduce the noise put out by their generator models. They use a special muffler system to lower the noise and their units are quite quiet in comparison to their competitors’ models.

With that said, however, the engine sold to NPS for the 4500 and 5500 models is said to be loud. The company will send you a baffle part to help quiet the noise but some owners have said that part is not effective in quieting the generator down.

One owner said it was a quiet unit until they started using more power by starting more appliances, etc. Then the generator got a lot louder. It also likes to drink the fuel as well as another owner stated it used more fuel than two Hondas running in parallel.

You may have to test drive this model before you buy to make sure it is not louder than you want it to be.

Our Yamaha 5500 Generator Review

It is hard to review a generator that has not been out on the market for very long. There is no real track record to judge the unit by. The biggest drawback to this model is that it is advertised by everyone else as a Yamaha generator.

It is not. The company’s website states very clearly that their models of generators are only powered by Yamaha and that makes a big difference. From what information we can glean any data from, this generator seems to be worth its weight in performance although the noise level is questionable.

This model is supposed to be fuel efficient until you put more load on it but that fuel usage will depend on the type of appliances you run off this generator. This brand is supposed to be an upgrade over Onan but time will tell. The generator is not even 2 years old yet.

NPS 5500 Fuel Consumption


The NPS website doe snot place this information on any of its web pages. Then from the owners who have used this model, all they say is that it can be a thirsty machine when it is asked to put out more power.

The problem with getting any specifics is that this generator is so new, that no one has published any specs on it. If they have, those reports have been taken down, per one RV discussion forum thread talking about this device.

As far as we can tell, the generator made its debut in late 2020 and it has only made one RV deal so far and that is with Forest River. We have made different searches on the internet and there have been no PDF files published on this generator as of yet.

When you look at the different company web pages, they just say they are taking orders and give brief descriptions of their models.

Honda vs Yamaha RV Generator

If you are looking to compare actual Yamaha generators with the Honda models, then you will find that it is about a trade-off. One brand has some aspects and features better than the other, while the other brand does the same.

Their performance is similar with 2200 starting watts and 1800 running time watts, depending on the models you are comparing. There are good and bad points about both brands.

However, if you are trying to compare the Honda generator with the NPS powered by the Yamaha model, there have been no real comparisons made. The Hondas are supposed to reach only 48 decibels in some models while the word is that the NPS is really loud at times.

Also, the Hondas are supposed to be more fuel-efficient but those conclusions are based on actual owner use and not through official studies or comparisons. Our search turned up no comparisons made between the Honda models and the NPS models.

Yamaha NPS 5500 Inverter Generator Price


This will depend on where you buy your generator. There was one for sale on eBay and it sold for $4200. The NPS website has a store page and it sells its own model for $5660.

Most likely, the cost of this unit when you buy an RV through Forest River is absorbed into the overall cost of the RV. At least the owners who were surprised by the switch did not mention a separate price for the generator.

Our searching for retailers who are offering this unit for sale turned up nothing. Not even the big box stores have gotten on board with this Yamaha-powered unit yet. The NPS website does have a dealer web page where you can find one near you.

That list is quite extensive making it a possibility that someone else will write an official review giving all the specs and other important information about this device. Keep in mind that the dealers are RV dealers and not retail outlets.

Finding a Yamaha 5500 RV Generator For Sale

This is going to be a difficult task as the only outlets we have seen is the NPS website and the different dealers that install this generator in your new or used RV. No retail outlets are jumping on board to market this new generator but we are sure the company is trying to get a market presence.

The key is not to look for a Yamaha 5500 as that company only makes an EF5500DE model which can be found for sale on Amazon and other retail outlets. This article has been about the NPS 5500 powered by Yamaha and the two generators are not the same.

The 5500 sold by Yamaha is about 1/3 the price of the 5500 sold by NPS. Just do not confuse the two units as they are not the same nor designed the same.

Download Yamaha 5500 Generator Manual

The news is not going to be good here. You can go to the NPS website and click on their manuals link or just click here to get to the same page. That link will give you access to all the NPS website pages.

Since NPS is using different RV dealers to market their generators, you can contact the dealer near you to see if they have any download options for the manual. The same would go for Forest River.

Other than that, no one, even our go-to manual websites, has posted this manual for either download, viewing or hard copy.

Some Final Words

It is obvious that NPS is using the Yamaha name to boost sales. While it is a good generator, their marketing it as a ‘powered by Yamaha’ will cause some confusion and many buyers will think they are getting an actual Yamaha generator when they are not.

Buyers of Forest River RVs may be in for a shock when they do not get their trusted Onan model and end up with the NPS option instead. Check it out to see if it is for you or not.

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