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Old 09-26-2022, 09:42 AM   #1
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Install a generator, or not

I'm looking at building a GD 390RK and pondering installing a genny. Most will say it depends on how I would plan on using my camper. Most of the time I would be in a camp grounds, but once in a while would like to do some dry camping. I'm actually leading at caring a genny with me using the hitch on the back of the camper (300 pound rating) when I go dry camping. Like to hear comments of thoes that have installed the genny and, if any, those who carry a portable genny.
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Old 09-26-2022, 10:18 AM   #2
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Portable is far less expensive than installing one
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Old 09-26-2022, 10:36 AM   #3
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I second the idea of a portable unit. The new inverter generators are nice and quiet.

Get one that will power up whatever you plan to run (AC, Water heater, Microwave, etc.)

Take it along for your dry camping trips and leave it home the rest of the time.
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Old 09-26-2022, 03:30 PM   #4
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Agree with the other posts........since you are primarily camping with electrical hookup and occassional boondocking, a portable makes a lot of sense, particularily since its a big expense. An Onan 5500 propane genset was quoted to cost $9000 installed 2-1/2 years ago (much higher today) so purchased a portable Champion 2500-Watt dual fuel for <$600 for the few times we will use it AND it only weighs 39 lbs so light enough to store is the front compartment or in the truck bed (suggest using the hitch for your e-bikes)..........have not used it yet but I am ready for the next boondocking.
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Old 09-26-2022, 03:30 PM   #5
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My suggestion is portable. 2 Honda 2200i's stored in the front bay of the RV.
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Old 09-29-2022, 08:18 AM   #6
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Agree with the portables.

Here's how I carry 2-Honda 2000's

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Old 09-29-2022, 08:38 AM   #7
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Inverter Genny

Just be sure to get a inverter generator and not a construction generator which are noisy and can damage your electronics.
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Old 09-30-2022, 07:26 AM   #8
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2 Champion dual fuel with parallel kit. Leave the gas cans and mess at home for the lawn tools. They can run off the rv propane system. Super quiet and in addition I have an old construction unit (not quiet) over 10 years old still runs like a champ LOL.
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Old 09-30-2022, 08:26 AM   #9
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lot's of good reasons for portable generators and i can't argue against any of them. we have a 5th wheel with a built in onan 5500. and we only camp in sites with electric hook-ups. if i had to do it over i could make a strong case for going with portables. but the are convincing arguments for the built in also.

portables are less expensive. but having the convenience of a built in is worth something. it kind of depends on how you value your effort to set up and take down the portables. a built in will almost certainly use propane. the portables can ran gas. more energy dense fuel but it may require you to carry gas just for the generators.

we store our trailer in a storage lot that does not have any electrical hook-ups. the vast majority of the run time on our generator is actually at the storage lot. we have a residential refrigerator and when we leave for a trip we start the generator to cool down the refrigerator a couple of hours before we depart. we also put some hours on the generator when we do the monthly 'exercise the generator' maintenance.

one thing about the onan generator. ours is several years old and run at a constant rpm. onan has now come out with an built in inverter style generator that varies its rpm based upon the load. this should give you better fuel economy. if you go with the built in go with the inverter generator.

this is not a right or wrong answer. the economics is just part of the equation. the convenience of the built in is also a factor that only you can place a value on.
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Old 09-30-2022, 09:28 AM   #10
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I think part of the decision is the space factor. We have a decent sized basement in our 32' 5th wheel, but a built in generator eats a lot of that. We now carry a portable 3200w inverter unit that cost all of 625$CDN on special. It powers the A/C if needed and doesn't consume much fuel. I do find it a bit noisy under load, but since it isn't used that much, it's bearable.

We carry a 5 gallon jerry can beside the generator in the underbelly, all the way in the back of the compartment so it's away from prying eyes. Easy to pull out as it's on wheels, but it does weigh 100lbs fueled up, so only I can load and unload it.

The bonus is it can be used around the house or elsewhere too.
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Old 09-30-2022, 10:13 AM   #11
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It's not likely you'll have a genset running while underway (as you might with a class A or C) so the question then becomes the tradeoff of schlepping a genset in and out of a truck or storage bay when you stop, vs the noise you get operating one that's mounted on board. I have an Onan 4K in my class A and I will often bring along my small inverter genset to use when parked, just so I don't have to listen to the Onan hammering away under the bed for hours on end. With the inverter genset off in the woods 50' away you can't even tell it's running and it's plenty of power to run everything except the A/C. I'll still use the Onan while underway or as needed for A/C so it's nice to have both, but (for me) it would be a tough choice to have to have to transport and set up genset(s) for 3kW+ or listen to it any time you need the genset.

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Old 09-30-2022, 11:07 AM   #12
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FWIW, our onboard generator gets about 10-20 hours use a year. Most of that is when the power goes out at home. For boondocking we prefer the Honda 2000 and a 100' cord unless running the A/C, which is seldom in Washington.
Another vote for a quiet lightweight portable...or two.
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Old 10-04-2022, 06:10 PM   #13
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We have on board generator, but we are also a toy hauler so we purposely looked at having one when we purchased.

We use ours occasionally to boondock, but more often, we use it when traveling and stopping for lunch, etc. Nothing to hookup or mess with. Just press a button.

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Old 10-04-2022, 06:52 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Gigattime View Post
We have on board generator, but we are also a toy hauler so we purposely looked at having one when we purchased.

We use ours occasionally to boondock, but more often, we use it when traveling and stopping for lunch, etc. Nothing to hookup or mess with. Just press a button.

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That's how we use ours. Very convenient. With a gasoline genny, if you don't use it often, then you have to be concerned with fuel varnish. I don't like to be concerned.
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