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Old 12-31-2013, 09:54 AM   #1
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Using an RV generator as a portable

I like the idea of getting one of those super quiet portable generators but the cost is high and I'd need two in order to run my air conditioner.

I've seen a few 4kw Kohler and Onan RV generators in running condition on craigslist for around $500 or less. I know they would require a remote gas tank and a small power distribution box wired up, but it seems like it would be easy enough to install in the bed of a pickup. Might even be as quiet as a portable with a properly built enclosure.

Has anyone tried this or seen it done and how has it worked out? I know that buying a used generator of any kind I'd have no idea how well it had been maintained, but I'm pretty good with small engines and assume that parts are still available.
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Old 12-31-2013, 12:21 PM   #2
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I like the idea of getting one of those super quiet portable generators but the cost is high and I'd need two in order to run my air conditioner.

I've seen a few 4kw Kohler and Onan RV generators in running condition on craigslist for around $500 or less. I know they would require a remote gas tank and a small power distribution box wired up, but it seems like it would be easy enough to install in the bed of a pickup. Might even be as quiet as a portable with a properly built enclosure.

Has anyone tried this or seen it done and how has it worked out? I know that buying a used generator of any kind I'd have no idea how well it had been maintained, but I'm pretty good with small engines and assume that parts are still available.
When you buy cheap, that's what you get.

If you want a cheap generator, it will be noisy.

As always, the higher the quality, the better the overall performance.

Many owners have installed a generator in the bed of their pickup.

Then simply run an adequate size extension cord to the city power cable.

If you want to maximized the cable, then use an 8 gauge 25 foot extension cord.

Andy
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:48 PM   #3
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Hello Andy. I think the reason for the low prices is that these are used units taken from old motorhomes. Buyer beware.

Believe me, if somebody had one for sale and for what ever reason I could not see it run, I wouldn't make an offer.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:54 PM   #4
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What andy said..

One dual use 2000i Honda has worked fine for us....boondock mostly, don't run the AC. Lives in it's own tent.


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Old 12-31-2013, 02:23 PM   #5
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A honda 3000 should run your AConditioner. Jim
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Old 12-31-2013, 02:38 PM   #6
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Does the tent offer extra electrical safety by keeping the rain off, security via a disguise, cosmetic improvements or something else? Also, for a Honda /generator, I was toying with the idea of Honda's 2000i companion because it has a standard 30 amp socket, though it also won't run the AC. Thoughts?
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Old 12-31-2013, 03:14 PM   #7
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Does the tent offer extra electrical safety by keeping the rain off, security via a disguise, cosmetic improvements or something else? Also, for a Honda /generator, I was toying with the idea of Honda's 2000i companion because it has a standard 30 amp socket, though it also won't run the AC. Thoughts?
Sits off the tent floor on 2 24" 4"x2", yes I run it in the rain.

Security- minimal, out of sight out of mind only.

Stored/sealed in 24gal ActionPacker for security, in the AS or TV.

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Old 12-31-2013, 03:21 PM   #8
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I like everything about those little Honda generators except the price. That's why I've been thinking of picking up a used RV generator, like a Kohler or Onan that used to be in a motorhome, and installing that in the back of my pickup with a small fuel tank, connect the trailer with a heavy duty extension cord, etc.
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Old 12-31-2013, 05:41 PM   #9
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Using an RV generator as a portable

Thanks for the response!

Minimal noise and exhaust fumes would be an absolute requirement for us. We had a MH with an Onan onboard. It was effective, but so loud and stinky that we were always embarrassed to run it any more than absolutely necessary. Maybe that Honda 3000, if it's quiet enough...

Anyway, I'd rather go without than host something noisy and horrible alongside my streamlined aluminum beauty...but then, I don't live in the southern tier.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:32 PM   #10
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Bill,

One of the nice benefits of the lpg conversion, no petrol fumes and a pretty stinkless exhaust.


Bob
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:57 AM   #11
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Interesting about the Onan noise, Silvery Moon. I've been next to motorhomes with the generator running and they were reasonably quiet.

The propane conversion is a good idea and I would guess I could find a kit for any RV generator.
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Old 01-01-2014, 08:43 AM   #12
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The motor home Onan's are so quiet because of the larger muffler they can put on them because they aren't worried about portability, and the nice enclosure around them. The one we had in our old Winnie was so quiet it was almost unnoticeable in the camper, and the one on my dad's mega motor home you can't even hear when inside the motor home. Both of those were propane also. No stinky fumes... Love the old Onan's. Dependable and simple. Don't know how the company or product is now.

I'm thinking one in good shape, built into a nice insulated box in the back of your truck would work great. Make sure it can get all the air it needs for cooling though...

I love the idea of the little Honda's, and I'm really liking that propane setup on it! They're pricey little buggers though...

I tried going cheap by building a larger muffler for a Briggs and Stratton 5K that I have, but the Briggs engine is so loud even when you get it muffled down that it just wasn't working.

-Red
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