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Old 02-28-2016, 10:17 PM   #1
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Generator installation

Has anyone ever bought a 5th wheel TT and had the dealer install a generator? I was wondering what was the cost and what did it look like. If you have pictures please post I would like to see what they are doing for the prices they charge.
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Old 03-01-2016, 12:25 PM   #2
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If you trl is gen prepped you will have a transfer switch already in it and a remote start in the trl. If not buy them on line . Cheaper then the dealer. Go to Norwall website and they have great prices on Onan and transfer switches. No tax free shipping. A 5500 propane gen about $4000 which is cheaper then the dealers. Cheaper if already gen prepped about a grand if not.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:01 AM   #3
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The one we have isn't prepped or should I say isn't prepped right. It needs all new wiring for it to work right. The way the charging system is setup it won't charge the batteries right. But the reason why I was asking is because me and my friend are thinking of offering this service to others that don't have a generator in their trailer. But we are doing it pretty fancy unlike what you would get from any dealer. They don't care about anything but getting it in and making money. So I was wanting to see what people have and how much they paid for what they got. Cause what we have going on is a lot of work but its sound proof and airtight. I just don't know if its cost effective or if anyone would pay for this service since it will cost few grand to have done. Ill post some pictures when its done and see what you guys thin of it and get your opinion and what you think it would be worth to you to have something like this done.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:20 AM   #4
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I am in Lake Havasu, AZ and ordered a 5500 Onan
from Norwall. 5ver had the gen prep. I asked Norwall about a suggested installer in Havasu. Their suggestion has installed many Onans. He picked up the Gen from Norwall and also installed my supplied items such as a AutoFormer, auto power cord winder and Progressive surge protector. Total labor was around $1000 to $1200. Don't remember. The shop was a general automotive shop, but does significant work on motorhomes and 5vers. Excellent work!

Shop around your area for similar shops. I think most RV repair shops could do the work.
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Old 03-02-2016, 09:54 AM   #5
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Do you have pictures of what they did? My friend and I are doing the work ourself. It's getting done better than any other shop around here I. The wiring is getting redone in some spots cause the wire from the inverter is not sufficient enough to charge the batteries properly and i'm sure most of them are like this cause the manufacture doesn't care much they just want to pump these out and make money and keep it cheap.
I would like to see what you paid in labor for what they did.
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Old 03-02-2016, 11:47 AM   #6
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Here are some pics of my set up . I ran a piece of 2 inch square tubing spaning the width of the trl and. Bolted into the frame flange to add support to gen floor . You don't need to box it in but it gives you a little more storage.

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Old 03-02-2016, 06:27 PM   #7
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Sorry, I don't have any pictures. I'm not even sure where they connected the wires. However, the factory installed transfer switch is only a couple feet away against the back wall. They had to work with the exhaust a little and make the propane connection sanitary. The Gen Prep was already for an Onan including the inside switch and connector inside the front compartment.
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Old 03-03-2016, 09:54 PM   #8
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We are getting ready to put a LP gen in our unit. It is not gen prepped. What all do you need to get it Gen ready?

I can get the generator, but wasn't sure what it took to "prep" the unit.
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McRod View Post
We are getting ready to put a LP gen in our unit. It is not gen prepped. What all do you need to get it Gen ready?

I can get the generator, but wasn't sure what it took to "prep" the unit.
Line from propane tank to generator.
Large wiring from onboard batteries to provide starting power.
Wiring to inside starting switch.
Wiring from generator to onboard batteries to charge them.
Manual or automatic change over to get 120V from generator to shore power input.
And lots of drilling, wiring, clips and patience.
And maybe bigger propane tanks. We had a 6.6Kw propane unit. In one week we went through two 10 gal aux tanks and most of our onboard 40 gal (32 usable) propane tank.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:24 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mr_D View Post
Line from propane tank to generator.
Large wiring from onboard batteries to provide starting power.
Wiring to inside starting switch.
Wiring from generator to onboard batteries to charge them.
Manual or automatic change over to get 120V from generator to shore power input.
And lots of drilling, wiring, clips and patience.
And maybe bigger propane tanks. We had a 6.6Kw propane unit. In one week we went through two 10 gal aux tanks and most of our onboard 40 gal (32 usable) propane tank.
Do you already have the generator or you gonna go buy one?
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:28 AM   #11
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Ill take some pictures of what we did to mount the generator and then ill take pictures of everything in its place and then i will take a finished picture and see what you guys think and what its worth or what you would pay to have something like this done. My friend and I are well more me cause its a lot of work and he really isn't looking forward to doing this kind of work on the weekends or after work. I'm thinking of trying to start a business doing custom generator installs but I'm not sure if anyone would be willing to pay the price we are worth to do this kind of project.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:50 AM   #12
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Of course you will be insured for the possibility of a propane leak, fire and inevitable death of the RV'S occupants.
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Old 03-04-2016, 10:12 AM   #13
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Of course you will be insured for the possibility of a propane leak, fire and inevitable death of the RV'S occupants.
If we do decide to do this I'm gonna be insured to make sure i cover my assets 100% and all are installs are gonna have sealed covers over them and proper ventilation for proper operation. Some people just want them installed with nothing around them and if they do decide to do that i will strongly suggest that they don't and that they will have two options for the job. 1. Sign a waiver releasing us of all liability or 2. Go somewhere else and have it done.
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:56 PM   #14
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I think that providing a gen install service is a great idea, but don't think it will ever be profitable--not enough demand, especially when you consider how many proximate to your location would be needing/wanting an install. I, for one, would never travel more than about 50 miles--maybe a 100--for such work.
Do you do any other work that would tie in with RVs that could help in providing income?

Not sure what you mean when you say "The wiring is getting redone in some spots cause the wire from the inverter is not sufficient enough to charge the batteries properly and i'm sure most of them are like this cause the manufacture doesn't care much they just want to pump these out and make money and keep it cheap." as the factory install of my Onan/Mobile Suites has performed very well for over 10 years and was done very nicely.
Wish you luck and success if you go thru with the project.
Joe
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