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Generator for 5th wheel


cockneyboy

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Hello gang, after getting some great advice from y'all on my first post (advice on quality brands) I have narrowed my search down to a few manufacturers and I feel much more confident and knowledgeable when I look at used fivers. So Thanks

My new question is about Generators. I hope to spend at least part of my travels Boon docking and see the need to have a Generator. So my question is this, is it worth paying a whole bunch more for a unit with an on board genny or would it be better (and less expensive) to have a good size (7-8KW) portable either chained in the truck bed or on the back trailer hitch of the fiver.

Sure will appreciate your thoughst and advice.

Cheers.

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I'm told it takes about 12KW of generator power to give you the full 50 amp service you (and we!) would enjoy. So, a portable genset of that size is out of the question, and nothing that big can be installed in a fiver. So, everyone chooses either a built-in (Onan 5500 or 6500, normally propane. They use a ton of your propane, however, and they add about 300 lbs to your cargo.) Or a single gasoline or a pair of gasoline generators in the 1000-3000 watt range, in which you have to make due with something less than 30 amps of power.

 

Due to our RV having a serious lack of cargo carrying capacity, we opted for one of the most common setups: a pair of Honda 2000 watt generators that we use whenever boondocking. We just have to be aware of our power usage. Otherwise, they just hum along nicely outside the rig.

 

Roy

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We have been looking at the Champion inverter generators. Our plans would be to boondock occasionally and will not have a residential fridge nor start off with any solar. A friend we met who travels part time had a Honda 2000 inverter but sold it and bought a Champion 775531i 3100 watt inverter generator for a lot less, and it will run one air conditioner. He heard one running at a campsite and said it’s no more loud than the Honda. I noticed Champion also has a new 3500 watt model that has a 30 amp outlet and remote control start button. Friend is mounting his in the truck as he has a sliding cover on the truck bed for times he is not towing.

  • The 3100 watt Champion noise level is advertised at 58 dBA at 23 ft and runs for 8 hours at 25% load with a 1.6 gallon fuel tank. Cost is $795 at Amazon. It weighs 94 pounds (gross weight). That’s manageable. You can also buy a dual fuel generator that runs on gas/propane.
  • Another option is the lighter, more expensive Honda 2000 watt units that you can link together for 4000 watts. I could see one advantage being if you don't want to run the ac, such as to charge the batteries, you could get by with just running one of the two. the Honda 2000 Inverter is slightly lighter weight than the Champion 2000.
  • Yamaha is another popular selection. In 2016 the 3000 watt units weigh in at 136 pounds and above according to my research.

We rented a class C motorhome last year that had a 4500 watt Onan on-board. It sure was nice just to push a button inside to start the generator and the fuel was provided out of the motorhomes fuel tank. Myself, I'm apprehensive about the amount of propane the built in units would use on a fifth wheel. But then again many have them.

 

If we wanted to run both air conditioners and a lot more I would go with the Onan on-board. But for us, the 3100 or 3500 watt portable unit will be good enough.

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Thanks a lot for your responses (is that a word) I will check into the afore mentioned units. What's still a mystery to me is the "Inverter" thing Champion has a regular Rv ready 4kw genny that will run for 12 hours on a tank for half the cost of the Inverter 3.5 KW. Think I'll call Champion and have someone explain the difference. I already have 1 Honda I2000 so I could get another it just seems sill to run 2 motors when 1 will do.

Thanks again

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Most generators are Modified sine wave. Inverter generators are Pure sine wave. Today most electronics don't like to be run on modified wave for extended periods. Most all the residential fridges you see are run on Pure sine inverters. If you're just going to charge batteries then the modified is fine, anything else then the inverter style is better.

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Most generators are Modified sine wave. Inverter generators are Pure sine wave. Today most electronics don't like to be run on modified wave for extended periods. Most all the residential fridges you see are run on Pure sine inverters. If you're just going to charge batteries then the modified is fine, anything else then the inverter style is better.

What? :unsure::blink::wacko:

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The non inverter Champion generators are much louder. They aren't much different than contractor type generators as far as noise. They are nicer and are built for the RV market with RV plugs wired in them, but your neighbors (and in my case my wife) will not be happy with the noise they produce.

 

I haven't used one of the Champion inverter style generators personally, but a friend has one. It is reasonably quiet, but not as quiet as a Honda or Yamaha inverter style. It is definitely quieter than the non inverter style Champions though.

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Hello gang, after getting some great advice from y'all on my first post (advice on quality brands) I have narrowed my search down to a few manufacturers and I feel much more confident and knowledgeable when I look at used fivers. So Thanks

My new question is about Generators. I hope to spend at least part of my travels Boon docking and see the need to have a Generator. So my question is this, is it worth paying a whole bunch more for a unit with an on board genny or would it be better (and less expensive) to have a good size (7-8KW) portable either chained in the truck bed or on the back trailer hitch of the fiver.

Sure will appreciate your thoughst and advice.

Cheers.

We have a built-in 5KW Generac gas generator and wouldn't be without it, the convenience of just pushing a button when stopped is hard to beat. I mounted a 14 gal Marine fuel tank next to it outside of the gen box. It will run are only a/c and the electric water heater if needed plus charge the batteries. We also have a old Honda 650W generator if we are just watching TV.

 

Denny

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Cockneyboy. We use the twin Honda units for our 5th wheel. If you already have a Honda 2000 you can purchase the companion 2000 which come with a 30 amp plug installed and 20 amp. If we are just charging batteries or other low load we run one unit. If we want to turn on the ac unit we run both. Been doing it for 5 years with no problems. dick

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We have an onboard Onan on our fiver. We use it during the summer time when dry camping or sometimes when pulling off the road for a bite to eat. I do wish though, that Honda or Yamaha would make an on board RV genny.

Honda did make a 6500 that was water cooled, I helped install one and I thought it was noisy and had a lot of vibration but it did put out the power.

 

Denny

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Checkout the Boliey 3600. I'm going to purchase one to carry in my 5th wheel. Only weighs about 75 lbs is pure sine wave, will Also run a 15k but A/C. Has a fair run time with the take and has the option of running with an external fuel source.

Around $1350'with remote start and external fuel option.

Google Boliey generators.

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Yes, D&J, That is what I wanted to put in when I put this stupid Onan in. But the Honda was just a tad bit larger, side to side, top to bottom to fit in the genny compartment. That model didn't last very long and I'm sure the water cooled idea was a killer.

Cowdog353, I would want it permanently in the compartment. Exhaust and cool air supply would be major drawbacks. Also, need at least 6500 for the 2 AC's and other stuff.

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My used HitchHiker came with an onboard Onan propane fueled generator. I wouldn't have ordered one as an option on a new trailer, but since it was already there . . . .

 

I'm really glad I have it. For my lifestyle it is perfect. Uses a little less than a 14# tank of propane in 24 hours of heavy use. Will run my heat pump just fine and I spent several days at around freezing temperatures. I do have to shut down the heat pump if I want to microwave anything, but that aside, it handles everything I need.

 

It is a little hassle to have to get one of the tanks refilled with propane every day :mellow:.

 

It is a little loud and I'm sure some neighbors might have a problem with it. My neighbors didn't mind at all, they knew it was temporary and enjoyed watching TV with the extension cord I loaned them while the power was out. If we were all crammed together boon-docking in Muir Woods or some peaceful sacred place, likely a different story.

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I'm told it takes about 12KW of generator power to give you the full 50 amp service you (and we!) would enjoy. So, a portable genset of that size is out of the question, and nothing that big can be installed in a fiver. So, everyone chooses either a built-in (Onan 5500 or 6500, normally propane. They use a ton of your propane, however, and they add about 300 lbs to your cargo.) Or a single gasoline or a pair of gasoline generators in the 1000-3000 watt range, in which you have to make due with something less than 30 amps of power.

 

Due to our RV having a serious lack of cargo carrying capacity, we opted for one of the most common setups: a pair of Honda 2000 watt generators that we use whenever boondocking. We just have to be aware of our power usage. Otherwise, they just hum along nicely outside the rig.

 

Roy

 

Actually 12KW should produce 100 amps @ 120 V in a perfect world ... Volts X Amps = Watts ... so 120 volts X 100 amps = 100,000 watts or 100 KW. There is always some loss, but to get 50 amps you generally would use a 6 KW gen set.

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Actually 12KW should produce 100 amps @ 120 V in a perfect world ... Volts X Amps = Watts ... so 120 volts X 100 amps = 100,000 watts or 100 KW. There is always some loss, but to get 50 amps you generally would use a 6 KW gen set.

 

Actually, a 50 amp RV service is two, 120 volt legs at 50 amps each. So to get a full equivalent from a generator you would need the 12 kW generator.

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