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Old 01-16-2012, 04:49 PM   #1
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Permanent Generator

So my wife and I do a lot of boon docking in our 30 bunkhouse. She has a 13,500 heat pump, I run off of two Honda 2000s which I mount on each side of my flatbed (see photo), in parallel plumbed into a 12 gallon marine tank. They are tied in through a transfer switch I wired in near the ac panel, and connected through a marine twist lock cable I permanently installed up at the hitch.

We usually start the generators when we hitch up, and shut them down when we reach a destination with power. It is not uncommon for them to run over 30 hours straight while we are on the road.

Often the generators are chained in the back of the truck longer then they should be. I should know better since I used to be a cop, but still they will be there for month at a time when we are making frequent trips. I have been wanting to upgrade to a larger single unit, but have not decided yet on what (Honda 6500 or Yamaha 4500). Last week I caught two guys trying to steal the Hondas, they did not get them .

So I got to thinking, I am considering mounting a permanent diesel Cummins Onan QD 3200 under the flat bed, plumed into the trucks 52 gallon diesel tank. Question I have is if you think 3200 peak watts is enough for the heat pump? I have heard some people have had trouble with their Honda 3000 starting the newer heat pumps. What do you guys think?
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Old 01-16-2012, 04:53 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TavnAsh
So my wife and I do a lot of boon docking in our 30 bunkhouse. She has a 13,500 heat pump, I run off of two Honda 2000s which I mount on each side of my flatbed (see photo), in parallel plumbed into a 12 gallon marine tank.
Your wife has a heat pump?!
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:14 PM   #3
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Propane ONAN Genset

I'd go with a bigger ONAN than that. At altitude you'll have a harder time running the A/C; or if the genset is feeling finicky; a bit more trumps not quite enough. I'd also like to have a fairly large generator, permanently-mounted and just a few days ago was looking at what a 5500 ONAN run on propane mounted in the back of my truck might do (3/4T CTD) as I can get used ones for a decent price. Fuel consumption at 50% load questions. I like diesel, but the weight/cost is high. (The next trailer of mine will be 50A and dual A/C units). I also expect a pair of battery banks, one on TT and one on TV, to act for the house.

I haven't yet measured for it, but MANCHESTER TANK has frame-rail tanks that might work. The "thinking" at this point is to have a quite large propane supply for both vehicles as a dual use fuel; thinking of propane injection for the main powerplant when on the flats to stretch the diesel supply, not just extended TT propane supply or STAY A WHILE kit to power other devices.

The final thought is that if the propane can help stretch the diesel, then a smaller than originally planned auxiliary and replacement TV fuel tanks can be utilized. If, on the other hand, I were to make the TT a diesel-powered rig, then the diesel genset makes more sense (where a framerail TT tank is installed and can be filled from the TV if necessary).

I'd really rather have a greater water capacity on the TT, as of today. Access for genset service and ventilation is the unknown at present as to mounting in a conventional truck bed (past listening to others on this subject). I also have to decide if the genset should be capable of sustained commercial service. Etc, etc.

Looking forward to what you come up with.

.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #4
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The Onan company does not measure their gensets loudness at full rated power. Rather, they assume you will oversize the unit and then run it at 1/2 capacity. In fact, a well-sized solution will not stress the genset as this does bad things to the power output and burns considerably more fuel. Which would you rather have, a genset taking it easy or one that's struggling to keep up with demand?
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:26 PM   #5
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Yes, and you should see the one on the camper.
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:29 PM   #6
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Good point..... They make a larger diesel, but getting a bit $$.... I may consider a gas with a dedicated tank... I did not know that about Onan's sound ratings, thanks for the info.
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Old 01-16-2012, 06:09 PM   #7
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If I may ask, why do you require AC power while traveling?

No that it has anything to do with your question, I was just wondering.

If you are not planning on loading and unloading, I agree with the suggestions to oversize the output. It would be nice to have plenty of power. If I were going to truck mount a genset, I would choose one that used the same fuel as the truck. That way, I could use the fuel in the vehicle tank, as well as have the TV benefit from any extra fuel tank I might choose to install.

We chose the Honda 2000s for portability, and parallel two of them for capacity when required.


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Old 01-16-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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I've used my onboard Onan Microquiet 4,000 watt, 33 amp, gasoline generator for over 1,000 hours. It runs at about 1/2 power with the A/C, converter and refrigator on and I would not want to have anything less working harder, so I would recommend you go with at least 4,000 watts.
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TavnAsh
Yes, and you should see the one on the camper.
And I'd like to see how you go on those Hondas. Wait, maybe I don't.
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Old 01-17-2012, 04:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by withidl
I've used my onboard Onan Microquiet 4,000 watt, 33 amp, gasoline generator for over 1,000 hours. It runs at about 1/2 power with the A/C, converter and refrigator on and I would not want to have anything less working harder, so I would recommend you go with at least 4,000 watts.
Wow, I never considered installing one in the airstream... Hmmm, where is it installed on your rig??

We keep the power going because we are in Florida and during the summer it takes about 30 min to cool the 30' trailer if the unit is off, and often it can't recover until the evening, we love stopping at a rest stop for lunch and walking back to a cool trailer. It only costs about a $1 an hour in fuel to run, so well worth our enhanced enjoyment of the rig!!
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:38 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by TavnAsh View Post
Wow, I never considered installing one in the airstream... Hmmm, where is it installed on your rig??

We keep the power going because we are in Florida and during the summer it takes about 30 min to cool the 30' trailer if the unit is off, and often it can't recover until the evening, we love stopping at a rest stop for lunch and walking back to a cool trailer. It only costs about a $1 an hour in fuel to run, so well worth our enhanced enjoyment of the rig!!
TavnAsh, click the following link within Airforums.com and you'll find a good read, including a complete description and photos of my installation on pages 2, 3 and 4 of the post: http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ors-68808.html

Click on the photos and reference the photo file name in the lower left corner of each photo for a description of the photo.
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Old 05-12-2012, 06:38 PM   #12
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Genset in trailer

See this post on how I put an Onan Marquis under the dinette seat in my 34' trailer. http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ccd-34487.html
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