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Mounting Generator on the HDT


Black Pearl

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Hello all :D ! I am a Newbie to posting on this forum, but have been lurking (monitoring) for over a year now on various sites gathering information regarding the potential design of my HDT. Its all in the planning right? I'm finally ready to start posting questions and provide comments too the group (well kinda started already). I believe I have the life experiences that could support the HDT and full time RV lifestyle. My goal is to continue the research for my particular application and proceed with a truck purchase hopefully next year, pending CFO (the wife) approval of course . The trailer is another discussion.

 

In talking to Jack Mayer some time ago he suggested to consider mounting the generator on the truck chassis and not on the RV trailer. I thought about this for quite some time and still can't find a good reason why not?

  • I plan to run two 150 gallon diesel fuel tanks, having the generator tied into that system makes the refueling easy with one stop.
  • Puts the weight where you want it near the drive axles.
  • No vibrations from the gen set in the trailer because it is not on the trailer
  • I would provide a power reel (same 50A power retract the coaches have) to allow the truck to park beside the trailer or a distance away.
  • Exhaust would be straight up the side of the drom box sending the noise up.
  • An easy access roll out box could be used for servicing, similar to the Tiffin Allegro Bus I had.
  • I was thinking to mount this on the driver side between the left fuel tank and the first rear wheel (at this point it will be a tandem drive truck). Many transport owner operators are doing this now.
  • I've looked at the Gen set sizing and could place a 10,000 kw unit in that location easily. Trailer power requirements are yet to be determined but should be in there somewhere.
  • The truck will have all the power to run anything in the bunk at any time like ductless AC.

I think this is a good start, any comments?? :mellow:

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Welcome and sounds like a good start. I have a 3500 kW portable that I'm going to put on the passenger side since I have an APU bracket already there and is empty. Be interested in seeing your roll out design.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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Having a Comfort Pro added to mine this week. Runs heat and air in the sleeper and will monitor the truck batteries and automatically start and charge them as required. I plan on adding a transfer switch and run a 30 amp circuit to the rear of the truck to allow me to run the generator going down the road to charge the trailer batteries, run one of the AC units and the fridge.

 

Can also be used with the truck sitting still and run from the main fuel tanks.

2017 Kenworth T680
2015 DRV 38RSSA Elite Suites
2016 Smart Prime

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Having a Comfort Pro added to mine this week. Runs heat and air in the sleeper and will monitor the truck batteries and automatically start and charge them as required. I plan on adding a transfer switch and run a 30 amp circuit to the rear of the truck to allow me to run the generator going down the road to charge the trailer batteries, run one of the AC units and the fridge.

Can also be used with the truck sitting still and run from the main fuel tanks.

Did you order a Milt Sparks cover for it? (inside joke for those scratching their heads) :)

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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I have a generator mounted on a rack behind the cab. It is up high so the fromt of the jeep can move partially under the generator. Easy to change the oil and connect the propane tank. I have been tanking about selling it though and trading for a diesel generator welder.

Ron C.

2013 Dynamax Trilogy 3850 D3

2000 Kenworth T2000 Optimus Prime

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I have a Honda EU3000is mounted behind the curb side faring. It feeds a 2 breaker panel box. 15A breaker feeds the generator side of the transfer switch for the trucks 120v system. The 30A breaker feeds a 30A RV receptacle mounted to the rear of the sleeper. When using the generator all I have to connect is the 30A shore line from the back of the sleeper to the trailer. The truck is automatically powered, assuming the 15A breaker is turned on.

 

Generator-NoFairing.JPG

 

The generator is easy to access and service. Open the service access panel/door and I have access to all I need for servicing. The generator is bolted to a platform I built that hangs from the frame rails using holes pre-existing in the frame rails. Since I took the photo I have also added a extended run kit from Pineallas Power and a 12gal marine fuel tank. Fueling up is now as easy as pulling up to a fuel pump. The tank also has a fuel gauge.

 

The extent of our off grid camping is overnight in a parking lot. The 3000is gives enough power to start and run 1 A/C. Initially I designed the setup for a cover on the generator. After about a year I stopped using the cover. Generator was always warm when breaking down to leave and it would be several days before I would remember the cover was not on the generator (generally due to being in my way). So I gave up covering it up. After 4+ years no problems as of yet.

 

Generator-Cover.JPG

 

With the faring closed and in place you can not even tell it is there. 75% of the time we run the generator with the faring closed. We are never in the truck with the generator running. The generator is so quiet that with the fairing closed most are unaware of it or that it is running.

 

Generator-Closed.JPG

 

So far we have been very please and it has served our needs well. The only time we have needed or wished for a larger generator was a overnight stop at 8500'. It was warm enough that evening to want the A/C. The altitude stole enough power that if anything other than the A/C was on when the compressor kicked over the generator would drop out. It was just the start-up surge. So I cranked the A/C down low and all was fine. That is until about 2am when it was cold enough to hang meat in the trailer.

2017 Entegra Anthem 44A

SOLD - 2004 Volvo 780. 465hp and 10sp Auto Shift (from 2010~2017)

SOLD - 2009 Montana 3400RL

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Nice job Rick,

Another advocate for mounting on the truck.

A simple framing system on my 610 Volvo held mine quite nicely.

I covered it also.

Later I built this box for it..

Sure miss that rig a lot .. :(

 

412597111.jpg

 

412597112.jpg

1989 Safari Serengeti 34'
Towing a 1952 M38A1 Military Willys

Past HDT owner

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Welcome and sounds like a good start. I have a 3500 kW portable that I'm going to put on the passenger side since I have an APU bracket already there and is empty. Be interested in seeing your roll out design.

You have a 3.5MW generator that'll fit on the side of your truck? Wow!

 

Oh, you meant 3500 W or 3.5kW....right. ;)

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I have considered mounting a gen on the truck, it has some merit, it also has some issues. The biggest issue is, without a generator or deep battery bank the trailer is limited in autonomous use. That may or may not be a big deal. If I were to locate the generator on the truck I would also add a large fuel tank for red diesel or off road fuel.

 

The better question is, where is the generator more useful. Space and weight constraints aside, personally I would keep the generator on the trailer.

 

Steve

2005 Peterbilt 387-112 Baby Cat 9 speed U-shift

1996/2016 remod Teton Royal Atlanta

1996 Kentucky 48 single drop stacker garage project

 catdiesellogo.jpg.e96e571c41096ef39b447f78b9c2027c.jpg Pulls like a train, sounds like a plane....faster than a Cheetah sniffin cocaine.   

 

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You have a 3.5MW generator that'll fit on the side of your truck? Wow!

 

Oh, you meant 3500 W or 3.5kW....right. ;)

 

Yep. Dang this getting old sucks.

2006 Volvo 780 "Hoss" Volvo D12, 465hp, 1650 ft/lbs tq., ultrashift

Bed Build by "JW Morgan's Custom Welding"

2017 DRV 39DBRS3

2013 Smart Passion Coupe "Itty Bitty"

 

"Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first!"

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I have considered mounting a gen on the truck, it has some merit, it also has some issues. The biggest issue is, without a generator or deep battery bank the trailer is limited in autonomous use. That may or may not be a big deal. If I were to locate the generator on the truck I would also add a large fuel tank for red diesel or off road fuel.

 

The better question is, where is the generator more useful. Space and weight constraints aside, personally I would keep the generator on the trailer.

 

Steve

 

 

Good point Steve..

We lived in West Virginia when I did this and did a lot of dry three or four day camping in areas that I could not get to pulling the fifth wheel....Hence the truck mount..

Other than that I agree on your camper comments.

Cheers,

HD

1989 Safari Serengeti 34'
Towing a 1952 M38A1 Military Willys

Past HDT owner

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I have considered mounting a gen on the truck, it has some merit, it also has some issues. The biggest issue is, without a generator or deep battery bank the trailer is limited in autonomous use. That may or may not be a big deal. If I were to locate the generator on the truck I would also add a large fuel tank for red diesel or off road fuel.

 

The better question is, where is the generator more useful. Space and weight constraints aside, personally I would keep the generator on the trailer.

 

Steve

I have plans for a support vehicle as part of the project, that will allow the HDT to remain with the trailer during trips away from the camp. At this point boondocking is a high priority for my project. I plan to use lithium based batteries (another discussion) with both the truck and the trailer on solar to ensure continuous charging if the two are separated. I would use a welding type plug threaded lock with 30ft plus cable on a reel that will connect the truck and trailer. I also plan to have a communication cable or Blue tooth to start the genset from inside the trailer or the truck. I haven't calculated power loss over that distance yet but it's on my list. I should be good.

 

Interesting comment regarding off road fuel? Its usually cheaper just dyed red for farm use right? I ran it in my truck in high school. Personally I would just use road fuel, easy to get anywhere. With the HDT you can carry large amounts of fuel, I don't wish to manage multiple fuel tanks in various locations. When the fuel gauge is full on the dash our good to go.

 

I have seen may people place the genset (portable ones) away from the camp as to not spoil the tranquility of their own camp. Using the generator in camp seems to be the last resort (because of the noise and fuel use) for most boondockers. If they can isolate it or move it away as to not feel (vibrations) or hear it (much) that would be an important aspect. I think location is high on the list, usefulness, we can run a cord. Oh by the way my unit will be a 10kw and could weigh about 8 to 900 lbs mounted that's another 100 gallons of water... but I suck at math, or maybe more batteries on the trailer so that really plays into things.

At this point It seems to me this is a viable design, looks like I will continue the march on this one. :)

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Our previous toyhauler had a 5kw genset built in. It took up the entire underside of the front of the 5th wheel and it was loud even for overnight stays when on the road.

 

In our new 5th we opted out of the genset but had it wired for it so we could attach in the front. Been using Honda portables off of the hdt, we are hyper happy with this solution, quieter, more storage in the 5er, all good so far. And skipping the built in dropped $5k off the cost of the new one ?

 

On the negative side the portables cant run all in the 5er but we only use it for overnights on the road so ok for the trade off.

2000 volvo 610
2013 cyclone 3950

 

ontheroad.jpg

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