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We bought a toy hauler that did not come with a generator.  I know almost everything that we looked at came with one of the big green Onan generators by Cummins.  We need a 5500 watt generator and the standard Onan 5500 watt costs about $5500.  Would it be possible to get a portable inverter generator and use that instead?  We can get a higher wattage portable inverter generator that uses less gas and is much smaller for under $2000 for a quality model.  Could we just get one of those and hook it up in the generator cubby hole?  Any advice / experience would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks a bunch.

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39 minutes ago, JasonBecca said:

We can get a higher wattage portable inverter generator that uses less gas and is much smaller for under $2000 for a quality model.  Could we just get one of those and hook it up in the generator cubby hole?

This is what we did.  Store a small propane generator in the cubby, take it out and secure under the pin when in use, plumbed directly into the factory propane line, and wired into a new plug on the cubby door.  Effectively tied into the propane and power present as part of the factory gen-prep.

As our solar and batteries are completed we use it less and less.

2017 Jayco Designer 37rs "Fiona"

2007 Volvo 670 "Henry"

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The trade off's (there always seem to be trade off's) is a non Onan is often times much louder than a built in one, especially if it's large enough to power your entire rig. Sure a Honda/Yamaha or other small one's can be very quiet, but for me at least they wouldn't work because I need 220/240 volts for my Mini Split and hopefully soon to have induction cooktop. 

Last fall I purchased a dual fuel 240 volt capable GE model and found out while it will power everything in my rig during warm weather on a 20lb propane bottle, when temps are under freezing very much the propane flow won't keep up and the generator will die. It will start back up with the provided remote start and run for a bit again, but it was a night of very little sleep. The next day I put gasoline in it for the first time and it ran fine for hours and it was still very cold. I might try getting a larger bottle to see if it was a fuel issue vs a amperage issue. The peak output drops significantly between gas and propane. Propane doesn't go bad in the tank like gas sometimes will though. 




White 2000/2010Volvo VNL 770 with 7' Drom box with opposing doors,  JOST slider hitch. 600 HP Cummins Signature 18 Speed three pedal auto shift.

1999 Isuzu VehiCross retired to a sticks and bricks garage. Brought out of storage the summer of 2022

2022 Jeep Wrangler Sport S Two door hard top.

2007 Honda GL 1800

2013 Space Craft Mfg S420 Custom built Toyhauler

The Gold Volvo is still running and being emptied in July. 

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You can use a portable generator,  yet you won’t be able to Mount it in the generator compartment and use it in there.  The Onan generators draw air in and exhaust out the bottom.  Portable units draw air in and exhaust out the sides.  This is not good in an enclosed compartment.  Store the generator in there if you want, but pull it out and set it on the ground for use.

2000 Kenworth T2000 w/ Cummins N14 and autoshift
2017 DRV Mobile Suite 40KSSB4 with factory mods, dealer mods and personal mods - now in the RV graveyard
2022 DRV Full House MX450 with customized floor plan
2018 Polaris RZR Turbo S (fits in the garage)
2016 Smart Car (fits in the garage or gets flat towed behind the DRV when the RZR is in the garage)
My First Solar Install Thread
My Second Solar Install Thread & Photos and Documents Related to the build
My MX450's solar, battery and inverter system - my biggest system yet!

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Thank you all very much for your great ideas!  This newbie really appreciates your help.  I really like the idea of an inverter generator.  There is no way I could lift one in and out of the storage compartment for the generator, so this weekend I'm going to put the four wheeler and Harley in the garage (It's a 10 foot garage) and see if there is enough room for the generator.  It would be pretty easy getting it up and down the ramp.  Then I can use the front generator bay for storage!  I really like the idea of a quiet generator that uses less gas than a standard RV generator.  It may take a couple of months before I can afford the generator but once I get it and figure out what I am doing I will post some pictures to this thread.  Thanks again!!!!

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