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Old 11-23-2015, 10:11 PM   #1
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Generator For Fifth Wheel

I am considering installing a generator for my Montana fiver and looking for one than can power the entire unit including the 15,000 BTU A/C. Will welcome your thoughts and recommendations. I am not planning to boondock but want to be able to run if the power goes out in the campground. Both the fridge and water heater have the option of AC or propane. I have been looking on line but can't find a standalone genny with a 50 AMP plug which leads me to think I need an onboard unit.

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Old 11-24-2015, 02:10 PM   #2
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A 50 amp service generator would be pretty large. If you're only talking about one A/C you really don't need that much power. Add up all the wattage and size a portable generator accordingly. If you have a generator space, it would probably be more secure and perhaps wired for a generator.

If you're only going to use it for campground outages, it might be cheaper and easier to just drive to another campground with power.
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:02 AM   #3
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A 50 amp service generator would be pretty large. If you're only talking about one A/C you really don't need that much power. Add up all the wattage and size a portable generator accordingly. If you have a generator space, it would probably be more secure and perhaps wired for a generator.

If you're only going to use it for campground outages, it might be cheaper and easier to just drive to another campground with power.
Thanks for the reply. In doing some research it looks like I would need a generator in the 4000-5000 watt range to be safe. Couldn't find any with a 50 AMP outlet. I may just buy a small 1200 watt one to run a fan or two if the power goes out.

Jim
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:59 PM   #4
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Our Yamaha 3000ISEB runs our 15k A/C and other items without a problem. With gas fridge and W/H you don't "need" a 4-5k generator.
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Old 11-25-2015, 03:08 PM   #5
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Thanks for the reply. In doing some research it looks like I would need a generator in the 4000-5000 watt range to be safe. Couldn't find any with a 50 AMP outlet. I may just buy a small 1200 watt one to run a fan or two if the power goes out.

Jim
If you're looking for a generator with a 50 amp outlet, there really isn't a need. A 3000-3500 watt generator would have a 30 amp outlet that you could plug your 50 amp shore cord into with an dogleg adaptor. The adaptor would send (+) into both legs of the 50 amp cord and provide power to the A/C and anything else in the RV. Just pay attention to your power use and don't exceed the power of the generator.

You won't be able to run everything at once, but remember 50 amp RV service is actually two circuits of 120 v @ 50 amps, for a total of 100 amps. That is far more than most every RV needs to operate except the all electric Provosts with 3 rooftop A/Cs.
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Old 11-27-2015, 05:10 PM   #6
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Thanks to all for the advice and info. I just bought a Black Friday special, Champion 3650/4500 with an RV outlet for only $250.00. Based on your replies that should handle the 15,000 BTU A/C if campground power goes out.

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Old 11-30-2015, 10:56 AM   #7
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If you are only going to use it "IF" the power goes out then Gasoline is a bad choice as it can go bad. Propane would be a better choice since fuel source is already there. I went with a Commercial 6500 Cummins/Onan LP get so I could run the 240V dryer. It will power the whole rig no problem. The regular 6500 is NOT 240V.

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Old 11-30-2015, 11:46 AM   #8
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I use a bit of StayBil stabilizer in my gas cans and equipment that sit unused more than used. Many years with no stale fuel problems.
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Old 11-30-2015, 11:49 AM   #9
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I have a Champion 3100 inverter genny as backup and other times of need. Very quiet and will run a single AC unit.
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Old 12-02-2015, 02:54 PM   #10
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Update. I bought the Champion 3560/4500 unit, followed the directions and it started on the first pull and ran steadily for two hours. I plan on running it for a few more hours tomorrow after the rain stops and then change the oil and winterize it. I do use either Stabil or Startron with all of my stored gas and only had an issue once. I liked the idea of propane because it can be stored much longer than gas, but in researching it I found it has about a 10% less efficiency rating than gas and cold weather can be an issue with condensation in the carb. Not a real issue but a deciding factor. I called Camping World to see the cost of installing an on board propane unit and they wanted in excess of $7,000.00!!!!! I am very happy with my choice of the Champion.

Thanks for all of your advice.

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Old 12-02-2015, 04:34 PM   #11
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Are you 'exercising' it with a load or just running? You might plug in an electric heater or two to give it a workout. Just running with no load isn't the best for the long term health of the unit.
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:11 AM   #12
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Are you 'exercising' it with a load or just running? You might plug in an electric heater or two to give it a workout. Just running with no load isn't the best for the long term health of the unit.
Yes, once it has run for a minute or two to stabilize the current, I add a drop light. Good idea for the heater too. I think I have one around here somewhere. Thanks for the tip.

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Old 12-14-2015, 02:26 AM   #13
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Compared to big blue or red models price difference is Hugh. I may have to take another look at this model.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:43 AM   #14
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Good choice. Propane generators are nice and clean running, but supplying them can be a challenge for heavy use. They have a slightly higher consumption rate than a comparable gas or diesel generator. It is much easier to run to a quick stop and fill a gas can than it is to re-fill propane bottles. Toy haulers have the advantage of having fuel cells for gasoline, whereas most conventional 5th wheels or trailers do not.
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