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Old 06-25-2012, 11:45 AM   #1
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Portable generator

I am a new RV owner. The onboard generator (onan 4.0 KY) is inoperable and will require $ 1200.00 to fix. I was curious if it is safe to mount a portable generator (Champion 4000 w) on the back of the RV (on a cargo carrier hitch securley mounted) and operate it while driving with the 30 amp shore plug connected. I would do this to run the rooftop AC. Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:50 AM   #2
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If you're a DIY'er, many here can guide you through a test procedure for the Onan. Unless there's a problem with the internals of the engine, or a short in the magneto, that Onan is worth the trouble to repair. They have an expected life of 10,000 hours.

You can also see if you can get a 2nd opinion, there are many shops with much lower rates then Onan shops...if Onan is where you got that quote.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:56 AM   #3
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Yes, the quote is from Onan repair. But what about the portable? Any input on whether or not this will work? I dont have the spare cash to fix the onan at this time, but already have the portable sitting in garage!
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:19 PM   #4
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As long as the structure is sound, sure, it's safe...

Many of us with broken dash air run the genset all the time for roof air while driving.

The wiring would have to be sized for the length of run and at 30Amp. I'd use solid wire, the type that can be buried. The other way to do it is to use a heavy gauge extension cord, but that would be pretty expensive. You might turn the refer to gas and unplug the converter (or find the circuit breaker that turns it off) while you're on the road so you can use a smaller gauge extension cord.
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