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Old 08-29-2010, 06:53 PM   #1
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Why no built in generators?

I have never understood why they don't build generators into the camper at the factory. What is the reason for not doing so?
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:02 PM   #2
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There was a built in option in the seventies sov's, but I beleive the reason they do not offer this option anymore is due to noise and weight.
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Old 08-29-2010, 07:02 PM   #3
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Mist likely size. We have a Yamaha ES2400ISHC and it does fine locked up to the rear of the trailer.
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:33 PM   #4
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until about 10 years ago...

the green onan gensets were the ONLY real a/s option.

they did offer this option in the 70s

and there were COMMON dealer install kits then too...

the gensets worked FINE, but were noisy.

nothing was offered in the 60s,

i'm not sure even onans were available for mohos 50 years ago.

the 50? trailers had a 12v? generator option, a little weird thing.

lots of threads on both older genset arrangements.

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Old 08-29-2010, 08:44 PM   #5
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60s had em

The factory put a propane generator in at least one 63 Safari for charging the batteries.... probably dropped it because of noise and no sales.... Colin Hyde has it in his 63 Safari.. it's a neat little thing!
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:53 PM   #6
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I'd like the option of built in generator. I wonder if there is enough real estate on the tongue to get in the batteries, genset and propane? This would get some of the noise forward of the living area. I suppose weight could be a concern.

And since I'm dreaming, how about one portable genset offering with modern fuel injection and catalyst. This would provide altitude compensation, no gummed carburetors after sitting idle, and most important safer, odor free exhaust. The technology is already there- I have a 150CC Honda SH scooter with completely odor free exhaust. I bring this up on RV net and it is always met with a thud.
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Old 08-29-2010, 09:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by robandzoe View Post
The factory put a propane generator in at least one 63 Safari for charging the batteries...
yeah i think this was available in the late 50s originally?

these were 100-250 watt DC gensets...

but nothing 'comparable to modern gensets with plentiful AC juice.

especially the 'inverter styles' we all enjoy nw.

as i recall there were some threads on these old gizmos years ago here.

search 'tiny tiger' dc generator...



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Old 08-30-2010, 05:04 AM   #8
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Amen do I agree! A little re-design of the "A" frame, and you could mount a couple of Honda 2k's converted to propane, with a cover to allow it to run in the rain. It would be the cat's pajamas fer sure.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:49 AM   #9
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With the advancements in generator technology it seems like manufactures would start installing them. It would be nice to have one built in. I would love to have a 1000W.
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Old 08-30-2010, 08:52 AM   #10
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I think solar charging systems make using a noisy, hydrocarbon-spewing generator an unecessary choice, if you can live without AC, an oven, etc. whilst out boondocking. Anybody seen a 12V swamp cooler for trailers?
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Old 08-30-2010, 09:00 AM   #11
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I would love to see a built in generator. Down here in Texas, AC is a must for about 5 months of the year.
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Old 08-30-2010, 11:01 AM   #12
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Swamp Cooler

I had an SOB in the early 80's that had a swamp cooler. It worked pretty well but I don't remember what brand or any details. I usually boondock at the coast or in the mountains so about the only time I use my roof A/C is at home in the driveway when I'm getting ready.

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Old 08-30-2010, 11:26 AM   #13
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My "forever" Airstream will have a generator installed, with 12v for charging and 110v with enough current to run a 15k btu A/C and a couple of smaller devices.

I decided to place it just forward of the wheel well on the passenger side, fully enclosed and insulated, air in from below, exhaust out from the top through a refer vent. I expect to shut out enough noise that it will be not uncomfortable. I would install a custom fuel tank to run it for 24 hours (however large that may be).

And, my next Airstream will have a lojack unit.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:04 PM   #14
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Built in Generators

Just to say my feelings about this option I have an Onan Built in propane powered generator on our 1973 Sov . It works fine but is noisy, and causes vibration in the trailer so we seem to never really use it. I also have a 1000 watt unit that is portable and with a little distance from the trailer you can't hear it. It also use's gas and very little of that so it keeps my batteries charged and ads hydro for small things around the site on a very small buget.
Of course it would be nice to have the air on but hey, Im in Canada !!!
I may remove our Onan and us the space to carry my portable but i don't really want the gas fumes inside so would have to be very careful to may sure only outside venting is allowed.

Jim
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:48 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by silvertube65 View Post
Just to say my feelings about this option I have an Onan Built in propane powered generator on our 1973 Sov . It works fine but is noisy, and causes vibration in the trailer so we seem to never really use it. I also have a 1000 watt unit that is portable and with a little distance from the trailer you can't hear it. It also use's gas and very little of that so it keeps my batteries charged and ads hydro for small things around the site on a very small buget.
Of course it would be nice to have the air on but hey, Im in Canada !!!
I may remove our Onan and us the space to carry my portable but i don't really want the gas fumes inside so would have to be very careful to may sure only outside venting is allowed.

Jim
Even without looking at your profile, when you said the generator "adds hydro" I guessed you were Canadian.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:16 PM   #16
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It occurs to me that there will be a sea change in generator technology in another couple of years as the inverter designs now used in portables make their way into vehicle-mounted generators.
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Old 09-02-2010, 02:19 PM   #17
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This might be why RV generators have dropped substantially in price, with some well-made off-brand units selling for $500 that have 12v and 120v outputs capable of running a 15k btu A/C.
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Old 09-08-2010, 11:50 AM   #18
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In June of 2001 when I purchased my 2002 ASCL 31 foot twin rear bed from CanAm RV I had expressed my desire to be able to use the A/C and microwave while enroute or if ground power was not available.

Andy Thomson installed an Onan Micoquiet 4000 (120 Volt, 33 amp, 4,000 watt) genset under the curb side bed in a ” metal lined enclosure. Remote start/stop/hour control panel is located on the wall to the right of the cook-top under the vent hood. The 30 gallon (only 25 gallons useable) fuel tank is made of aluminum and mounted under the front in the spare tire holder (I carry the spare tire in the rear between the two twin beds when enroute and stow it under the hanging closet in that “not so usable gap” at the foot of the street side twin bed when parked).

The genset can power the Air conditioner, converter and hot water heater OR microwave simultaneously. When just powering the Air conditioner and converter it consumes about gallon of fuel per hour, so the 25 gallon fuel supply will provide over 48 hours of power. The genset is tied into the A/C wiring via a switch which, if I am tied to land power when I start the genset, will cut out the land power when the genset comes on line so that there is no conflict.

The genset’s indirect location, under the curb side twin bed, intaking cooling air from the underside and exhausting it to the curbside/underside with engine exhaust exiting at the rear curbside minimizes vibration and sound (the curbside mattress and ” containment box plus the storage enclosure under the bed acts as a great noise suppressor). In fact noise is suppressed to a level that on the outside it is only about twice as loud as the rooftop A/C unit and inside with the A/C running noise is negligible. Sleeping on the twin bed over the genset is TOTALLY comfortable as the drone of the genset is no worse than the sound of a floor fan and vibration is negligible (the genset engine has a gear driven counter balance shaft to suppress single cylinder vibration).

Servicing: It is accessed to check/add oil and adjust altitude through the upper curbside storage door and the oil is changed through the lower curbside storage door.

The genset now has 912 hours on it. As the Airstream is parked next to my home I have used the genset several time over the years to power my home refrigerators when land power failed due to storms; the latest being two years ago when hurricane Ike moved through Houston (I flee all hurricanes and power was out when I returned).
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:04 PM   #19
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Kind of interested in the Genset, i just recently took my Airstream back to the factory and had the Solar Panels installed, but am still considering getting a generator, and the built in one suits me better the external. Do you have any photos? and do you mind sharing what the price of your setup went for?
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Old 09-24-2010, 06:15 AM   #20
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My unit is an original Onan installed in the 70's and came with the AS so I really don't know the original cost. I do know that the output of the unit is very small and only acts as a trickle charger so the weight and space usage was only good back in the days before todays much improved unit were available. I find the least expensive available today produce at least 3-4 times as much output and are much lighter and quieter so you should have no problem finding something that would fit nicely.
My unit is under the rear curbside bunk on my 31 and I for one would not want to sleep with it running.
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