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Old 03-26-2017, 10:53 AM   #1
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Southeastern , Pennsylvania
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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!!!
— David

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He has all of the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire. — Sir Winston Churchill
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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...

2016 30' Flying Cloud / 2016 Ram 2500 Diesel 4x4

“Character is doing the right thing when nobody’s looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that’s right is to get by, and the only thing that’s wrong is to get caught.” - J.C. Watts Jr.
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:25 AM   #6
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Fair Oaks , California
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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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Spicewood (W of Austin) , Texas
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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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2012 28' International
Greensboro , North Carolina
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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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