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Old 03-12-2014, 01:01 PM   #1
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Adding generator to fifth wheel

Have a DRV 2014. Looking to add or get a generator for the RV. Has anyone added one.
What would be a good choice ? Did anyone hard wire it to the RV or just plug it in?
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Old 03-12-2014, 01:13 PM   #2
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I helped a friend with a 5ver hook up his portable generator to his transfer switch so when running on the generator all he needed to do is plug the pigtail into the 30 amp outlet.

Unfortunately he purchased one that was a little too small to run even one A/C so if you plan to do this make sure that you purchase one adequate enough for what you want to power up when using the generator.

He sits his outside and plugs in the 5 foot pigtail I had wired to his ESCO transfer switch.

He chose not to install in in his front storage compartment as the manufacture of the one that he purchased stated not to add any exhaust extensions which would be needed if installed inside.

Dr4Film ----- Richard
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Old 03-12-2014, 05:07 PM   #3
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It depends, if you want to have painless and automatic operation then a built in Onan would be your option but pricey. If you don't mind baby sitting the generator than I would probably go with a Yamaha or Honda and install it in the generator compartment in the front on a slide out tray and run a 30 Amp cord to the RV power hookup (the tray with the generator should be pulled out when running). It wouldn't be fully automatic but you could still start the generator via remote plus it would burn gasoline instead of propane which is a lot cheaper.
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:05 PM   #4
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Couple things to think about. 1) why do you want the genny? 2) Will you be dry camping? 3) Do you travel all the time or will it sit still for periods of time in storage? Each answer will present different parameters.

I dry camp quite often for periods of time like a week to a month. I needed something large enough to run microwave, possibly AC unit and charge batteries. I hard wired in an Onan. If you sit in storage for periods of time away from your house, you need something that is not susceptible to problems if not started for a few weeks and if it is gas, you have to keep the fuel fresh in both the tank and the carb. Hence, I installed a propane unit. If you dry camp, the other thing is you don't want to be running the genny just to watch the TV or have some coffee. Put in at least two 6v golf cart batteries and a sine wave hard wired inverter. You will almost forget you are not hooked up, reduces run time on the genny and sure is quiet. I have a 2000w Prosine inverter/charger. Gives you great control over both your AC and DC power. Another thing to consider is changing your propane tanks to 40's if they are not all ready that big. Love our setup - - very comfortable living in some beautiful places. Park it and forget it for a month when in storage. Be sure to ask lots of questions on installation if you decide to do it.

Bob
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Old 03-13-2014, 11:28 PM   #5
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Bob, I totally agree with you about the problems with gasoline going stale after a few weeks especially in hot weather. I have been adding 2 cycle engine oil to the fuel on the last fill up for the season. Got this tip decades ago from a small engine mechanic, it keeps the fuel fresh almost indefinitely. I have never measured it but I'm guessing 1 shot glass full per 5 gal is lots. I have done this on generators, atvs, trucks, snow blowers etc. even our 2012 SRX.
But I admit we to have an Onan hard wired because I'm just to lazy
John
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Old 03-23-2014, 01:29 PM   #6
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Instead of wiring in a cord to transfer switch could you not just plug in RV power cord directly in to generator? Just thought this would be a lot easier but not sure if there is a benefit to wiring it into transfer switch.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:19 AM   #7
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Instead of wiring in a cord to transfer switch could you not just plug in RV power cord directly in to generator? Just thought this would be a lot easier but not sure if there is a benefit to wiring it into transfer switch.
My answer to this question would be "why not?" If I pull into the dry camp, I do nothing but set up level. When it comes time for needing to recharge batteries I push a switch - - no long big wires to run from the rear of the coach to the front to plug it in. I don't even go outside - - push a switch and the genny is running. Pull into WalMart for the night and want to run the microwave, push a switch. No hatches unlocked to access the genny, no wires on the pavement, no mess. Call it lazy - - call it ingenious - - call it "Why Not?"

Bob
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:23 AM   #8
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I found that my 200 watt solar panels with 3 RV batteries have been the best in 22 years of RVing.
Installed myself for under $500.
No fuel, noise, fumes, and batteries at 100% everyday.
Right now in Arizona and comverter unplug and saving on power.
Power plant has not been used since solar installation.
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