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Old 11-15-2015, 08:22 AM   #1
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Pickup truck cap or no cap?

Just purchased a new Silverado 4 DR Crew cab with 6.5 in bed. Towing a 19 ft flying cloud. Question is regarding a generator. I want to get one. I have seen campers who have them chained in the pickup bed and use them right there. No pickup cap so fumes etc not an issue. What about if I put on a full hard cap? Can I still run the generator if I leave the windows open on the cap? Has anyone done it. Generator will be 2 or 3000 inverter style.
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Old 11-15-2015, 09:23 AM   #2
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I have not run a genny from the p/u, but not a good idea for me as it ties my vehicle down to my trailer if I want to use it. Don't see a reason why not though if you have the ventilation. I had a shell but now use a tonneau cover. The reason is a shell makes it difficult to get at your stuff, unless you have one of those sliding beds. I also have a pick up tool box which works for me.
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:00 AM   #3
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I went with a cap this time on my new 2015 Ram. I had a hard multi-sectional tonneau on my previous Tundra. It restricted us from carrying taller items or stacking items. I plan to get a generator too, probably 2000watt. I will probably carry it outside to use and not run it from the truck. I'll secure it to the trailer with a cable like I use for my portable solar panel.

The 3000 sized units are too heavy to move in and out of the truck by myself. With a 2000 you can't run the AC so if its too hot we will use an RV park, state park or COE for campsites with hookups.

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Old 11-15-2015, 11:00 AM   #4
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I usually run mine on the tailgate so it doesn't get dirt in it. And I don't leave it behind at a campsite unless one of us is home. Things disappear.
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:43 AM   #5
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Same for me. On the tailgate with a chain usually.
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Old 11-15-2015, 11:55 AM   #6
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I had a cap on my former truck. I have a new truck and just had a cap installed. The old generator I had been using was a 2500w contractor model, Honda. It was noisier than todays RV types so I had welded a plumbing union onto the exhaust and had a stainless steel hose to vent the exhaust to the outside so I could run it from the inside. NOW I have a new Honda 3000w and not sure I can manage the same vent method. This generator is light enough that I can remove it but if I want to run it from inside I think I can leave the rear window open. I'll need to experiment with that.
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Old 11-15-2015, 12:08 PM   #7
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I, too, like a tonneau so I can access items close to the cab without having to crawl back there in a shell. I store our 2000W generator in the truck under the tonneau (out of sight, out of temptation) but operate it on the ground. When we do happen to be camping in a campground, I like to position it so that the trailer blocks most of the noise from other trailer folks and tenters. It's not 100% but it does cut down on the noise a decent amount.
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Old 11-15-2015, 12:54 PM   #8
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We have a Snugtop on our Silverado 6.5' bed. When dry camped I chain the Honda 2000 to the back of the trailer. When on the road I place it at the rear of the bed. Making sure that there is nothing to get hot, I open the upper window and tailgate and run the Honda from there when necessary for coffee etc. in the morning. If weather is bad on the road, I close the tailgate, leaving the window open when running the generator.

Works for us.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:23 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by BoldAdventure View Post
I usually run mine on the tailgate so it doesn't get dirt in it. And I don't leave it behind at a campsite unless one of us is home. Things disappear.
I have the silver vinyl Honda generator covers (Honda also makes a camp cover) primarily because the thugs may not know a generator is underneath. I also have the Honda steel security handles and use a lock and chain to discourage simply cutting the plastic carrying handle
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:54 PM   #10
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I have the silver vinyl Honda generator covers (Honda also makes a camp cover) primarily because the thugs may not know a generator is underneath. I also have the Honda steel security handles and use a lock and chain to discourage simply cutting the plastic carrying handle
I have the cover too. I just prefer to not leave the generator. Way my truck is organized only takes me 1 min to put it back.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:55 PM   #11
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Hope this isn't out of line asking a related question:

I run a Honda 2000i in the back of my PU/shell with back window up - works great, but need to unhook my truck and move it to the rear of trailer to reach trailer cord.

Would like to charge while hooked up to trailer without adding extra cord (60' length to charger inside trailer).

What is the gauge of the charging wire in the PU to trailer connection and can I use that to charge my batteries with the Honda 2000i in the back of my PU? Would need an adapter.
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Old 11-15-2015, 02:02 PM   #12
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Hope this isn't out of line asking a related question:

I run a Honda 2000i in the back of my PU/shell with back window up - works great, but need to unhook my truck and move it to the rear of trailer to reach trailer cord.

Would like to charge while hooked up to trailer without adding extra cord (60' length to charger inside trailer).

What is the gauge of the charging wire in the PU to trailer connection and can I use that to charge my batteries with the Honda 2000i in the back of my PU? Would need an adapter.
I'm not an electrician but my guess is you would have to use the same type of power cord as the shore power cord. There will be power loss over the distance from the generator to the converter unless you move the converter.
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Old 11-15-2015, 05:18 PM   #13
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Thanks,
The shore power cord is very heavy - made to handle 30 amps. I will only be sending (drawing) less than 13 amps (1600watts divided by 110 volts).

The charging amperage is less than that - (three stage charger) - at most maybe 6 or 7 amps. (nothing else will be on).

I don't know what Airstream uses for their charging wire (blue) from TV to trailer - does anyone? (1976 AS)
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:09 PM   #14
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I don't know what Airstream uses for their charging wire (blue) from TV to trailer - does anyone? (1976 AS)
Thanks
I think most common is 12 ga but I have seen umbilicals with 14.
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:15 PM   #15
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It depends

#1 How else will you be using your truck. It wasn't very often that I didn't want a cap on my pick up. ( hauling firewood, mulch, big lawn tractor )

#2 If you get a Honda 2000, it's a non issue, as they are easy to move.

#3 There are many reasons for having a cap( security, keep stuff dry, a little better gas mileage, being able to camp in it, spare camping bedroom )

#4 At any rate…I don't think having a genny, is reason to not have a cap
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Old 11-15-2015, 06:35 PM   #16
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We use a cap on the truck and would be hard pressed to do without it, as we use the back of the truck to serve as the "Basement" of our trailer in order to keep clutter out of the trailer - it works well for us.

We do carry a Honda 2000 gennie. We mostly only it when stopping at Flying J's on our way down and back on our winter trips.

When we want to use it, I use a couple of those very heavy cables with loop ends locked together and I put the gennie on the ground between truck and trailer - there is enough gap at the tailgate weatherstrip that I can leave the gennie locked to one of the anchors in the truck bed and can still close up the tailgate and cap window to protect contents.

I don't leave the gennie out overnight though - I put it back in the truck for safe keeping when we retire for the night, and we run the furnace overnight on the coach batteries.

If time permits I will put the gennie out again in the morning to recharge the coach batteries via the AS battery charger while we have breakfast before we hit the road again.


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Old 11-15-2015, 07:25 PM   #17
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I had a cap on my Tundra, and opted for a foldable bed cover on my new F-250 instead. The cap made sense pre Airstream days, when we used to sleep in there, but after we got the Airstream, the drawbacks outweighed the advantages.

Advantages: can sleep in there and can store more stuff than under a bed cover.

Disadvantages: restricts visibility to the rear, hard to get stuff out of, can't easily move objects (furniture, trees) that won't fit under the shell.

In your case, it would be easier, and safer, to run your generators in the open truck bed with a cover folded back than under a cap.


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Old 11-15-2015, 07:29 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weber.roger View Post
Just purchased a new Silverado 4 DR Crew cab with 6.5 in bed. Towing a 19 ft flying cloud. Question is regarding a generator. I want to get one. I have seen campers who have them chained in the pickup bed and use them right there. No pickup cap so fumes etc not an issue. What about if I put on a full hard cap? Can I still run the generator if I leave the windows open on the cap? Has anyone done it. Generator will be 2 or 3000 inverter style.
There are caps that side opening windows (windoors) available that would aid in ventilation if you want to run your genny back there. The windoors also make it easier to reach your stuff in the truck bed.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:51 PM   #19
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If you have a carpet lined cap and you run your genset in the back, your carpet will pick up the exhaust fumes. You won't notice it until you open the rear door and stick your head in. It isn't a big deal unless you plan on putting animals in the back or sleeping in the back at times. But the smell is there.
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Old 11-16-2015, 12:55 PM   #20
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I have,the Access roll up tonneau cover and love it. It's been on my truck for 8 years. Very handy just to roll it up for tall situations or using the generator.
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