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Old 03-26-2017, 10:53 AM   #1
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Why no Generator?

We are beginning our search for a new Airstream. Pretty much decided on an Int'l Signature 25FB. But I have one question for those far more experienced than I am. We all know Airstreams are expensive. In some cases as expensive as a Class A. Generators are included in Class As which make boondocking somewhat easier. On the larger Airstreams (say 25 feet and larger), why isn't a 3000W generator incorporated into the design? This way it would be plug and play. I understand that some may not want a generator so perhaps it could simply be an option.

Perhaps there is a very simple answer to my question but I am curious why for a trailer that cost between 70K and 130K (depending on size) Airstream would not incorporate a generator into the design. Perhaps it is a safety issue and you are not allowed to have a vessel storing gasoline inside a travel trailer. However, if that were the case the gasoline could be simply siphoned off before travel.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:01 AM   #2
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I've found almost no generators in any RV that doesn't have it's own engine and fuel tank, even big fifth wheels.
I think it's not so much the generator but the fuel supply that add complexity.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:05 AM   #3
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I wouldn't want the added cost, complexity, or loss of space. I just bring a 40lb 2000w generator, if at all.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:43 AM   #4
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When you're designing a thing that can be used for 50 or 70 years, it doesn't really do to tie too tightly to technology that's going to be obsolete soon. Would anyone want a '70s generator running near them when camping? (much less vibrating the trailer while it runs.) It's been nice to have a modern inverter generator with our vintage Argosy.

A few towables have generator options, but until you get into the big 5th wheels it's uncommon (and still often an option.) We've tended to boondock where conditions don't mandate a generator except for charging up every few days. It'll be interesting to see how well that model plays on a more modern trailer with more electrical demands (but more battery capacity as well). We went for a bit of solar and we'll see how the group 24s serve us for a while before deciding about upgrades.

Oh, another nice thing about the external generator... I didn't have to give away my excellent Yamaha generator when I sold the Argosy.

PS: It also gives another thing to argue about. Red! Blue! Yellow!!!
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:28 PM   #5
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Why no Generator?

We bought our 4 year old SOB Class B with a genny. It had 14 hours on it. 14 hours. Kinda shows how little a genny is actually used.

This freaked me out a bit until I realized that unless you are a big rig and stop frequently at Truck Stops overnight, your generator use is pretty limited.

They are loud, vibrate like crazy if you are nearby and take a while to recharge your house batteries. Plus you need to carry fuel. Almost everything essential to "camping" can run off 12V (plus solar) anyway.

And if you plug in at a RV Park, you don't need or want one.

Believe me, I get it; but if you start to RV for a while you won't miss having one...

Rich
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:25 AM   #6
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It's nice to have options. Depending on the trip, I'll take 1 generator (most of the time), 2 generators (rarely, if I think it will be hot enough to run the AC), or no generators if I don't plan to boondock. I didn't consider buying a 3 kw generator because of the weight. 2 - 2kw generators are easier to move around and give me more flexibility. Although I have "quiet" Yamaha generators, I would not want a generator running inside the trailer because of the noise and vibration.

I would not be without my solar, which is quietly recharging my batteries whenever there is sun.
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:38 AM   #7
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wouldn't the noise and vibration be awful ? even from a Honda ?
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:47 AM   #8
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How many MH's with portable generators? (0)

Why complicate a simple trailer with a fuel-tank issue? (and it's safety issues, and stale-fuel issues, and weight issues, and how-to-remove-it-for-service issues)

Plus, if a TT owner wants a genny.... he can have a whole-wide-world of choices from which to select versus being stuck with what the OEM prescribed.
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:52 AM   #9
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It really has a lot to do with how and where you'll use your trailer. We like to NOT be in a park if at all possible. There are many National and State parks without hookups. While I have 600W of solar panels which work great and plenty of battery power, if I'm in a shady spot they can't replenish the batteries adequately. A couple of hours with the generator, though, and we're in business. Then there's the issue with A/C. To me, A/C is a mandatory in a hot, humid climate inside an aluminum trailer. The generator just adds so much to the flexibility (and independence!) we love about our trailer.
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