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Old 09-19-2012, 12:54 PM   #1
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5th Wheel Generator prep/tank?

Hi, we are new to rv'ing and are looking at buying our first RV. We decided to to buy a 5th wheel mainly because we like the floor plan better than travel trailers. We have a diesel F250 and i've towed plenty of longer and heavier trailers at work with an F550, so a 5th wheel is no problem.

We are looking at buying a jayco eagle HT next year, but one thing i don't see mentioned in the brochures is anything about generator prep. Do all new 5th wheels have generator prep? Where do they put the gasoline tank? Can you order one with a nice large gasoline tank fitted underneath the RV chassis?

We ask because we have to take our dogs with us on vacation. The cost to kennel 3 dogs for a week or 2 is alot when we'd rather take them with us. We would also do alot of vacationing during the hot summer months, so it would be cruel to leave them in the RV while we're out, unless the A/C was turned on. I realize we can go to campgrounds and plug in to electric, but we prefer boondocking or at least parking as far from other people as possible.
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:00 PM   #2
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If the generator prep has not already been done to the rig, someone will need to do it for you. The dealer should be able to take care of that for you. We have a shop locally, that builds race cars. They are very good at sheet metal work and are eager to tackle a gen-prep job.

As far as the generator fuel... Our generator runs on propane. It gets it's fuel directly from our fifth wheel's on-board propane tanks.


Good luck!
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:15 PM   #3
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Not all new fifth wheels have generators . Only usually the high end and tow haulers. But if you won't use it a lot go with a Honda generator. They are very quiet and effiecient . However you will need to fill them more often due to small tanks. Usually once or twice a day.
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Old 09-19-2012, 08:10 PM   #4
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If you add a generator, make sure that the installer does it properly and seals the generator compartment and exhaust so that you will not get the exhaust and CO into the living space of the trailer. I would also add a second CO alarm in the trailer.

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Old 09-19-2012, 08:14 PM   #5
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We have had a generator in our last 3 5th wheels (the same generator), I have a 14 gal marine gas tank mounted outside the box but still inside of the frame. The newer generators come mounted in a box so you don't have to build a box for them. Look at the trailer you want to buy and make you can get a generator mounted into it, some can't.

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Old 09-24-2012, 02:11 PM   #6
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I went to a local boat shop and found a 6 gal Marine gas tank with a quick disconnect that fits next to the Gen (with a few wood blocks to prevent movement) in the Gen compartment.

The tank can be refilled by using the quick disconnect or by using a Jerry Can.

Some folks complain about the Propane usage if they have a Propane fueled Generator plus the lower BTU of Propane they have a lower electracal rating for the same size of Gen.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:48 PM   #7
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Yea, i wouldn't go propane just because it's more of a hassle to fill it up.

Looks like i'll just have to finally walk into a dealer to ask them about it. I just prefer to do all my research ahead of time so i don't get raked over the coals. I'd prefer a 15-20 gallon tank that i would fill up shortly before arriving at our destination. 6 gallons is way to small, and probably wouldn't last as long as we needed. I'm only finding those large tanks configurable on toy haulers. :-(
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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my last one a 2006 cedar creek was ordered by us with a genny installed an onan 6500 watt, it was a WHOLE lot more cost effective to have done at the factory as part of the build than to have the dealer add it after wards
most of the ones on the lot had the genny prep from the factory

ours was a lp model and the only downside was the fuel burn, it would clean a 7 gallon tank in short order (8-9 hrs run time loaded)

so i just carried an extra tank in the truck so we always had lp if needed
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Old 09-30-2012, 07:25 AM   #9
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Consider a toy hauler as their generators are fed by the onboard gas tank. Plus you can keep your dogs in the garage area and avoid possible harm to the human quarters. Have a friend with dogs and this works for him.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:14 AM   #10
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Dogs are a lot more heat tolerant than you would think. So are humans. We may be uncomfortable in the heat but that does not put us in peril. If you have all windows and vents open the interior will be close to ambient temperature. Just be sure to leave plenty of water during the day. If you are looking to keep the AC on while boondocking, I would highly recomend the honda eu3000is. It is powerful enough to run an RV AC unit, but burns such a small amount of gas that you would be only filling it up once a day. You can find them at honda power tool dealers for $2k which would be 1/4 what you will pay for an installed RV generator. The honda also makes 1/4 of the noise of the built in unit. With a honda you will also have the benefit of being able to use it for your house during a blackout. You could easily run the refrigerator, some lights and a window AC unit.
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Old 09-30-2012, 08:42 AM   #11
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A Honda portable unit is a good portable unit, but in my case there comes the problem. Having to pit out a 130 lb unit to run my RV for 7 hours (when needed) then refill is getting. The unit we are looking at for April will have a built in unit (a little louder, yes but also in a generator compartment) no dragging out and securing. As for .47 gph for the Honda versus .7 for the new, I will have 30 gallon tank attached to it.
It is personal preference.
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:18 AM   #12
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Other thing to consider is putting a Honda or similar genset in the bed of your PU when you go camping. You can use plywood panels to help keep the noise and fumes directed away from the trailer, only have to load and unload at the beginning and end of your trip. Just a thought
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #13
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Remember an on board generator is going to add considerable weight to the pin, in other words directly on your 3/4 tons rear axle. Are you positive you have enough truck to handle the weight? Not sure what hauling at work with a f550 has to do with your 3/4 tons ability to handle a fifth wheel? That has me stumped. What are the weights of the Jayco you are looking at? Besides cost and added weight, built in Generators on fivers now days are generally propane powered, so it is very likely you will not have a choice of fuel sources.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:27 PM   #14
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I would think that the 550 means he has towed long and heavy loads, I would also think that means he is aware that the 250 is lighter and makes wider turns.
As long as he remembers the payload difference......
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