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Old 07-22-2012, 12:25 PM   #15
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I don't know why I couldn't find this last night, but here is one on the first try this morning: BELT DRIVEN GENERATOR | POWER MITE | UNDER HOOD GENERATOR | FABCO POWER.

Anyway I found that by searching "Generator truck under hood".
That generator has the same problem all the PTO related stuff has. It needs more RPM's than you'll get at idle. The diesels will usually have a way to install a High Idle switch, but I've never seen that on gas, but may be possible...

You think the neighbors get mad at an idling truck, wait until you rev it up 1000 RPM's over idle!
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Old 07-22-2012, 12:32 PM   #16
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If what you describe was the "hot setup", that's what we would all be using in place of Hondas, Yamahas, and the like.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:19 PM   #17
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That generator has the same problem all the PTO related stuff has. It needs more RPM's than you'll get at idle. The diesels will usually have a way to install a High Idle switch, but I've never seen that on gas, but may be possible...

You think the neighbors get mad at an idling truck, wait until you rev it up 1000 RPM's over idle!
I'm not saying it's a good idea. I was looking into one when my (on board) Onan died in the B190, for running the A/C on the road. I decided replacing the Onan was the best option.
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Old 07-22-2012, 01:25 PM   #18
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An extension cord to your neighbors generator is the most economical solution...but probably not prudent?
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Old 07-22-2012, 02:41 PM   #19
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Under the hood, belt-driven generators have been used in ambulances and SWAT vehicles for years as well as other military vehicles. They produce way more power than you need, but they are intended to support lots more equipment too. If you scour junk yards and are handy, you can go that route for a few thousand dollars.

The efficiency and db levels of small modern gensets, particularly by Honda & Yamaha, have been developed for campground use among other criteria. I believe a side by side comparison of pros and cons, and lifecycle expense will reveal the portable as a more desirable solution.
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Old 07-22-2012, 03:47 PM   #20
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The factor that is missing in this discussion IMHO is what the use-case is. If the purpose is to have a gen running all day/night to power air-con or such, then I agree with everything that has been said. What the original question spurred in my mind, though, is the use of the truck to recharge batteries when the solar fails due to weather or similar. If I have a good alternator in my truck, what would it take to recharge the trailer batteries from 50% to 80% or 100%? I currently carry a yamaha gen for this purpose but virtually never use it. It would be awesome to save the ~80 lbs.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:04 PM   #21
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If I have a good alternator in my truck, what would it take to recharge the trailer batteries from 50% to 80% or 100%? I currently carry a yamaha gen for this purpose but virtually never use it. It would be awesome to save the ~80 lbs.
The usual amp output on a TV charge line is 10-15 amps. Charging two batteries means halving that per battery, so 5-7.5 amps per battery. Putting 30 amp hours back into each battery would take up to 8 hours of running the tow vehicle.
You CAN direct wire to the trailer batteries, which would increase the charge rate, but that would again depend on amp rating of the TV alternator, size of charge line, length of charge line, number and type of connections.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:59 PM   #22
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Thanks to everyone who replied. I guess I was thinking of the space that the external generator takes up. Unlike a motor home, an airstream trailer doesn't have a lot of external storage compartments. I did have an airstream land yacht in 91 and the generator made as much noise as a truck engine running on idle. I only used it a couple of times so I'm relying on memory. Also in the forum I've read where the external generators get stolen even when chained down to a tree with logging chains. When staying in parks I'd of course plug in to the electric outlet, but I have some very rural properties where there is no electricity, and no neighbors to complain. I just thought the truck manufacturers would have thought of some solution to fill a need. Just think of all those folks in the northeast that had no electricity when the trees fell on the powerlines. I'd love to be able to power my house with the truck engine... with the appropriate attached gismo.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:13 PM   #23
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The factor that is missing in this discussion IMHO is what the use-case is. If the purpose is to have a gen running all day/night to power air-con or such, then I agree with everything that has been said. What the original question spurred in my mind, though, is the use of the truck to recharge batteries when the solar fails due to weather or similar. If I have a good alternator in my truck, what would it take to recharge the trailer batteries from 50% to 80% or 100%? I currently carry a yamaha gen for this purpose but virtually never use it. It would be awesome to save the ~80 lbs.
You're not going to save any weight....maybe space. By the time you mount the underhood gennie, add brackets, possibly a proper ratio pulley on the crank, add the large guage wire to connect up to....you're going to be at every bit of 80#s, IMO.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:26 PM   #24
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When they first started making the Silverado Hy-brid it was setup from the factory to use it as a generator, not sure if the new ones still are but they only have a 6000lb tow rating.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:34 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by tvoneicken View Post
The factor that is missing in this discussion IMHO is what the use-case is. If the purpose is to have a gen running all day/night to power air-con or such, then I agree with everything that has been said. What the original question spurred in my mind, though, is the use of the truck to recharge batteries when the solar fails due to weather or similar. If I have a good alternator in my truck, what would it take to recharge the trailer batteries from 50% to 80% or 100%? I currently carry a yamaha gen for this purpose but virtually never use it. It would be awesome to save the ~80 lbs.
Honda makes an EU1000 generator which is the size of a bowling bag - and works great to power a battery charger, fans OR your hair dryer. If you're not looking for max power it's handy to have.

Paula
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:37 PM   #26
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When they first started making the Silverado Hy-brid it was setup from the factory to use it as a generator, not sure if the new ones still are but they only have a 6000lb tow rating.
No they're not. Was not a lot of available amps, and the customer want wasn't there. A contractor or the like could run maybe one circular saw....that's it.
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:38 PM   #27
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Honda makes an EU1000 generator which is the size of a bowling bag - and works great to power a battery charger, fans OR your hair dryer. If you're not looking for max power it's handy to have.

Paula
Hmmmm....DW's hair dryer is 1850 watts????????
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Old 07-22-2012, 07:39 PM   #28
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Honda makes an EU1000 generator which is the size of a bowling bag - and works great to power a battery charger, fans OR your hair dryer. If you're not looking for max power it's handy to have.

Paula
Hi, I use a solar hair dryer; I go outside for about 30 minutes.
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