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Roadtrek 1

Do you any of you just fly without a generator?

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How many times do you actually use the generator vs. plug into a campsite? 

We have used the generator especially in National Parks where there's no hookups, but, it's limited.   

Now, it seems like it might need a major service or replacement due to lack of use from the previous owner.    

Is it even worth doing this, if we mostly plug in? 

How much of an impact will it be if we possibly sell the vehicle WITHOUT a generator? 

Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome. 

Thank you. 

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It would be a big impact when selling. not to have a generator especially in a Class B where you'd really not have the room to carry a portable generator.   If not using the generator it should at least be 'exercised' under load once a month for an hour or two.

We had a generator but rarely used it because we loved solar instead and used solar 95% of our 16 years of traveling.  Therefore, we 'exercised' it consistently so that it was workable when sold.  We rarely had hookups.  Everyone RVs differently.

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1 minute ago, 2gypsies said:

It would be a big impact when selling. not to have a generator especially in a Class B where you'd really not have the room to carry a portable generator.   If not using the generator it should at least be 'exercised' under load once a month for an hour or two.

Understood.   Yes,  I exercise it for 1 to 2 hours each month now.   Let me explain. 

I purchased this RV two years ago and being a newbie,  when I purchased the RV and discovered that the generator only had less than 15 hours on the unit I commented to the salesman that "Wow, it's like a brand new generator"... and he said "yes, that's correct"... that was not truthful.... as you would probably agree.    It would have been better if the two years old generator had a few hundred hours on it.   Being a first time RV purchaser with a built-in generator,  I didn't know this.

Well,  it worked fine for just over a year and then we had a failure...brought it to Cummins Onan and they replaced my voltage regulator and rotor... not inexpensive and instructed me to how to keep it exercised... it was fine until we were around 3,000 feet running the A/C … at first it was fine for about 30 minutes and then the thing just shut down....mind you,  I have a full tank of propane.    That should not have happened.  Now,  it's back in the shop and they're trying to figure out what's wrong?   I hate to have  equipment failure just when you rely on it, so,  now the big question of how many times in two years have we really used it vs. just fix it right and get everything back to normal?   It's a tough question.... yeah, it's great convenience to have when you need it, but, I certainly don't expect to get all the money back at the time of the sale. 

RV stands for "ruined vacation" as you know and WOW.. this sucks.   SO,  you think that just going without it would reduce the price by how much in thousands?   I might be looking at a complete replacement if the model is a 2500 propane?   My owners manual says it's a Cummins KV 2800;  that would be better.. the 2500 got trashed on the internet big time,  people all over the place said they had less than 50 hours on theirs and were disgusted, mine currently has just under 46 hours. 

Any further input gladly welcome.  

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1 minute ago, rm.w/aview said:

What's wrong with your generator?

Thanks,  just posted a reply now.  See my response to the first one. 

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By the way,  I do have a Zamp 180 watt solar panel system built in on the roof and two 6 volt AGM batteries, but, it's not enough to power the AC or microwave convection oven.    

I have a space limitation problem and there's no way I can get enough solar and a bank of batteries like the VOLTA system... just not setup for that. 

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3 minutes ago, rm.w/aview said:

yeah, it posted after mine so I ext it but you beat me :) There is 3% loss of generator capacity for every 1000 foot gain in elevation. Could this be related as well?

That's correct,  but, my A/C only draws a maximum of 2,000 watts ( range is 1400 to 2,000) and the generator manual says it produces 2,310 watts up to 5,500 feet.  

It ran fine for 30 minutes then just shut down with the A/C running.  If it could run for 30 minutes,  I didn't think this was the problem;  why didn't it shut down say in 5 minutes? 

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Without the fault codes, guessing is a fools game. The control panel should have been flashing a code, or if it has the LCD screen, it would have been on there. 

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4 minutes ago, Darryl&Rita said:

Without the fault codes, guessing is a fools game. The control panel should have been flashing a code, or if it has the LCD screen, it would have been on there. 

If it were that easy?  No,  I don't have a control panel showing any codes or LCD screen warnings.  

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How do you start the generator? That's the control panel. If you don't have a LCD display, showing hours of run time, there's a light behind the Start button that will flash a code.

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1 hour ago, Roadtrek 1 said:

How many times do you actually use the generator vs. plug into a campsite? 

To answer that question, we currently have a travel trailer that has no generator but do have a portable which we could use but very rarely do. With our previous motorhome we did have a 5 kW generator that could and did supply both air conditioners. In a large class A you do use the generator to supply the roof air while traveling in hot weather and we used it for lunches pretty regularly, but only a few times did we stay in the RV without shore power and so use the generator for extended periods. When we sold that motorhome after 14 years it had about 650 hours of use. There were several times when we kept it running 24/day for 2 days and once for 3 days but that was quite rare. 

As to how much it would lower the resale of your coach, that depends to a large extent on how old the RV will be when that day comes. I would be surprised if it lowered the sale price by any more than $3000 since you can buy a new one for less than that. 

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There's a push button start inside the coach and along side that is an hours counter, that's all,  no LCD panel and no warning lights. 

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1 minute ago, Kirk W said:

To answer that question, we currently have a travel trailer that has no generator but do have a portable which we could use but very rarely do. With our previous motorhome we did have a 5 kW generator that could and did supply both air conditioners. In a large class A you do use the generator to supply the roof air while traveling in hot weather and we used it for lunches pretty regularly, but only a few times did we stay in the RV without shore power and so use the generator for extended periods. When we sold that motorhome after 14 years it had about 650 hours of use. There were several times when we kept it running 24/day for 2 days and once for 3 days but that was quite rare. 

As to how much it would lower the resale of your coach, that depends to a large extent on how old the RV will be when that day comes. I would be surprised if it lowered the sale price by any more than $3000 since you can buy a new one for less than that. 

I guess the question is …. how much will we be needing it.... I expect that the generator will be around $3,000 to $4,000 and the last service I had was already $ 1,200 just eight months ago for them to service and put in a new voltage regulator and rotor,  oil and filter.    I'm just wondering whether I'm going to cut my losses and just do one of the following;  

1.  Fix the generator I have..?  

2. Replace it with a brand new one and start over? 

3.  Skip it and not have one?

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1 minute ago, Roadtrek 1 said:

I guess the question is …. how much will we be needing it....

That will depend on how you choose to travel. If you seldom spend a night dry camping the answer is very little. If you prefer to stop at Walmart & other parking lots then you would use it a lot. It sounds like you are using it very little. 

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50 minutes ago, Roadtrek 1 said:

There's a push button start inside the coach and along side that is an hours counter, that's all,  no LCD panel and no warning lights. 

The start button has a backlight. It's used to give info to the user about the generator. In the event of a fault, the light will flash a coded sequence, ro minimize the trouble shooting needed. The list of fault codes is available online, or in the owners manual. 

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My van had no generator. But it had lots of solar and batteries. I could boondock for a week using my microwave and electric water heater. Your Class B is not set up for that. Our previous Class A had a generator that we would only use when we needed to exercise it once a month. I am not a fan of generators but not having one has implications with which you need to be comfortable.

Linda

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45 minutes ago, sandsys said:

My van had no generator. But it had lots of solar and batteries. I could boondock for a week using my microwave and electric water heater. Your Class B is not set up for that. Our previous Class A had a generator that we would only use when we needed to exercise it once a month. I am not a fan of generators but not having one has implications with which you need to be comfortable.

Linda

Thanks Linda. It's not just about the money, although I'm not wealthy and it does bother me that the failure occurred 8 months after I just had the unit at Cummins and they assured me that everything was fine.... it's a lot of labor to have it pulled off and reinstalled on the Sprinter.... it's also about having a vote of no confidence in the unit.... I like many people, I'm sure,  don't like surprises where it fails exactly when you need it.. that's horrible... 

I do mostly everything I can to avoid equipment failure through proper maintenance... that's why I drive two 10 years old cars....it's all about maintenance...

I think that the original owners probably purchased this RV and rarely used the generator..it only had less than 15 hours on it when I purchased the RS Adventurous in May 2017...now it has almost 46 hours... still, that's not a lot of use.

And, being that it was my first RV, and generator, I didn't realize that this was a problem...in fact, when I got it I remarked to the sales guy that this generator was practically brand new...he didn't disagree or correct me... that was very disengenous....or maybe he didn't know??  Now I know that very few hours is definitely not good. 

SO...I have to wait for an evaluation of what's wrong... depending on the price of labor...I might consider replacement for the old generator....or something... Seems like a huge expense for something I use occasionally.

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6 hours ago, Roadtrek 1 said:

How much of an impact will it be if we possibly sell the vehicle WITHOUT a generator? 

Any ideas or suggestions would be welcome. 

Thank you. 

If it is original equipment I would say "yes" although as to how much of an impact I don't know. When you use Kelly Blue Book or the other service to establish a selling price, accessories are gone though and add or subtract from the price. Don't know but I would expect the same service is available for RVs. Selling an RV with an installed, non-functioning generator would be a problem for me as a buyer. I recently hosted a couple (Boondockers Welcome), class B sans installed generator. They did have a whisper quiet 3500w inverter generator that was stowed in one of the compartments. It cost them $700. I forget the name at the moment. If/when I remember I will post it. He also told me it would run up to 11 hours per tank of fuel depending on load. 

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6 hours ago, 2gypsies said:

It would be a big impact when selling. not to have a generator especially in a Class B where you'd really not have the room to carry a portable generator.   If not using the generator it should at least be 'exercised' under load once a month for an hour or two.

We had a generator but rarely used it because we loved solar instead and used solar 95% of our 16 years of traveling.  Therefore, we 'exercised' it consistently so that it was workable when sold.  We rarely had hookups.  Everyone RVs differently.

Since I gave a legitimate answer to the OP's question I will engage in a little thread drift. Did you run you 40' RV on solar? That seems like it would take a rather large array for AC, microwave etc. Also, what size battery bank did you have? Seriously interested. 

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Friz:  We used electric minimally.... a short burst of microwave, turn lights off when not needed, catalytic heater instead of a inefficient furnace, propane hot water but only turned on once a day & it stayed hot enough all day, no television; radio only.  We had 300 w and 4 golf cart batteries.  We traveled using elevation in the summer so no AC.

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12 hours ago, Roadtrek 1 said:

SO...I have to wait for an evaluation of what's wrong... depending on the price of labor...I might consider replacement for the old generator....or something... Seems like a huge expense for something I use occasionally.

Very true.....  But it is very difficult to advise you as we have no way to know how much you may want to use the generator. I do suggest that if you do have it repaired, you should at least make an effort to use it some for things like lunch stops and such, just to exercise it. Most of us tend to use a generator more as we get used to having one. It is one of those things that we don't think much about until we use it but as we do the "need" grows.

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We use our generator a lot, but we mostly boondock, so we use it to run the microwave or to get a head start in the morning charging the batteries.

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I spent the last 9 years traveling without a generator, including as long as 91 days of dry camping (in a row).  Depending on the trailer, either 200 watts or as much as 480 watts of solar, and a pair of 232 amp hour 6V batteries.  I usually make a 5 cup pot of drip coffee each morning, sometimes an electric toaster, and short runs of the microwave (all with a 1500 watt inverter).

That said, after a string of cloudy days, even at Quartzsite in the winter, and a fair amount of furnace operation, I've had to go back to heating water on the stove for coffee and other electrically conservative steps.  My reluctant solution - a month ago I purchased a Ryobi 900/700 propane only generator.  It won't run the AC, in fact I have to put the refrigerator on propane when running it, but it does provide enough to recharge the batteries.

I've used it once after 3 days in the rain, shade & heavy clouds here in the east.  The ultimate solution will arrive today via FedEx - a pair of Battleborn lithium batteries.  Hopefully, I won't need the generator in the future.

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We do not have a MH but a 5th wheel .We have a 3K generator in the back of the truck.We have had the generator for years as there was  a time when power failures were common at campgrounds but not so much anymore. We do not boondock but have used it at quartzsite.We have little need for it now but it is there just in  case. We run it 1/2 hour every month. We  have used it more here at the S&B  due to power outages caused by summer storms.

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To answer the title of your thread, no, I never fly with a generator, the TSA kept confiscating the gasoline every time I went thru security. I wish they would let me take it though, half the people in the plane would want to plug in and charge their cell phones and laptops.:ph34r:

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