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Old 01-11-2010, 08:23 PM   #1
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2010 30' Classic
Vintage Kin Owner
South of the river , Minnesota
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Posts: 4,166
Generator placement in late model classics

I'm planning ahead for the great fall 2010 wild goose chase (well, grouse hunt, actually, but that isn't as poetic) and accordingly my concerns are turning to the conundrum posed by camping at the end of a Forest Service road 10 miles from nowhere for four days in the cool October weather common in northern Minnesota.

I am considering many alternatives, among them a TV-mounted generator, modifications to the TV electrical system, half a ton of batteries, and a junkyard roto-tiller engine and the alternator from an old dump truck bolted to opposite ends of a scrap of plywood. And mounting a propane generator on the 'stream itself.

All kidding aside, I'm trying to avoid the fuel handling, cords, and heavy lifting that goes with the portable generators that everyone seems to like.

Cummins makes a propane-fueled generator that weighs 107 pounds and is 12.25 inches high, designed for installation in RVs.

Cummins Onan 2.5 KVD-2089 RV QG 2500 LP RM 2500K LP Vapor Propane Generator Camp Power Trailer RV Motorhome Camper

I'm getting twin beds and it would seem that this would fit in either of the under-bed compartments, which have exterior doors. Installed as far forward as the compartment would permit, that would seem to have a minimal effect on balance, compared to the cantilevered effect that can be produced with generators mounted on the rear bumper.

I do not intend to run air conditioners from the generator. It's just a glorified battery charger.

Any insights? Good idea? Bad idea?

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:15 PM   #2
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1972 23' Safari
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Think you should mount twin wind turbines with telescoping mast heads on either side just to over your bases in case the batteries go down.

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Old 01-11-2010, 09:28 PM   #3
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1975 29' Ambassador
Reno , Nevada
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You should be able to last 4 days on standard batteries with a bit of conservation. But if you like evening lights and media and a warm interior, that's another story. Do check the genset fuel use and make sure you have enough for it and for heating and whatnot.

I have a microlite mounted in a '76 Overlander. A cabinet was built for it between the wheels and the water heater on the roadside. Works well but uses a jerry can on the bumper for fuel and a battery in the bath for starting. Improvements being made.

A much better choice is to put the genset in the TV and run it off the TV main fuel supply with an appropriate feed into the tank. The microlite is very common in B-Vans. Diesel vans usually mean a separate fuel supply - the Sprinter based Airstreams usually use propane. This solution does require a cord but that isn't much hassle, usually.

Do be careful of exhaust. Standard exhaust routing can infiltrate even a closed up Airstream.
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:57 PM   #4
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2006 34' Classic
Sioux Falls , South Dakota
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We have a Yamaha 3500 with the propane conversion kit in the bed of the TV. We plug it into the 30 amp plug at the front of the trailer. ( our unit has a 50amp system with the optional generator hook up at the front) so usually just leave it in the bed. We carry a 30lb propane tank in the TV also which makes for quick and easy hooking up.

I use a foldable dog ramp to roll the genset in and out of the TV when we need to take it out. It makes it a one person job.

If you go to , you can check out my listmania and see the specific dog ramp that accommodates the dimensions of the Yamaha.

The list is:

Equipment for the Fulltime RVer and Boondocker

Hope this is helpful.

Happy trails,

2006 34' Classic LTD
2010 Ford F250 PSD
Hensley Arrow Hitch
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:10 PM   #5
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South of the river , Minnesota
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Originally Posted by RichHog View Post
Think you should mount twin wind turbines with telescoping mast heads on either side just to over your bases in case the batteries go down.
Too many trees :-)

I'd love to run solar panels but at this northern latitude it's hard to get them to do much even without the trees and the clouds.
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:55 PM   #6
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genset placement...

occasionally a/s trailer owners have had gensets mounted under beds...

this modification has been done for years, although liability and the availability of more genset options now...

means this mod happens less on newer streams.

i've seen a few 70s and 80s units with the older style onan gensets installed...

so yes it can be done, fuel and exhaust and electric starts are part of the equation.

one could connect directly to the onboard lp tanks too...

providing one does NOT want/need to run the a/c and is basically looking for battery extending and juice for small ac gadgets...

then starting with ONE eu2000i or ef2400is makes sense.

these are LIGHT, easy to move can be plumbed for gas/lp and can be paralleled IF more juice is needed.

start with ONE genset and expand ONLY if the power needs require it.

one unit will amount to 50 lbs of gear to heft.

the advantage of NOT mounting IN/under the trailer is that the genset is available for other uses when carried in the tow vehicle.

i haul one 24/7 in the truck and use it away from the trailer often.

as i recall you plan to tow with a full size van at some point, with kids on board?

so IF fumes IN the tv become a concern there are very tight containers that can help...

and robertsunrus carries his INSIDE the stream with a custom 'cozy cover' he made.

OR the gensets can be A frame mounted (good photos of this are HERE too)

there is a plethora of posts and threads on this issue, photos of all sorts of combos and so on...

start reading the genset sub forum for ideas and solutions, i could provid the links but it's all there IN that sub forum.

all of the true things that i am about to tell you are shameless lies. l.b.j.

we are here on earth to fart around. don't let anybody tell you any different. k.v.
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Old 01-11-2010, 11:53 PM   #7
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That looks like a lot of cost, weight and noise for a "glorified battery charger" and i'd be concerned about vibration inside the trailer. At 71 db, it's well above the Hondas and Yamahas, which are in the high 50's.

US Carburetion will supply kits or converted generators that are multi-fuel. We are happy with the EF2400is, which runs our 11,500 btu A/C. For batteries only, you should get away with the 1000.

As 2air mentioned, there are some pictures slick mounts on the a-frame up front.

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Old 01-12-2010, 12:29 AM   #8
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1978 28' Ambassador
Morada , California
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Those Onan 2.5KVD genny's are single cylinder, 3600 RPM types, according to their specs...and 71db's are noisy - especially if attached to your AS!

I'd try to find a two cylinder, 1800 RPM RV type to cut down on the noise and vibration...or get a nice quiet Honda inverter type...

Ray & Pat; Morada, CA
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