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Old 11-02-2016, 06:24 AM   #1
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Default Roadtrek generator retrofit

Hi, just joined the forum so sorry if this question has been answered elsewhere.
Looking at buying a 2002 Roadtrek Popular 190. It never had the generator. It looks like I can buy an Onan 2800 on Amazon. I have two questions. Will a new generator I buy fit in the existing brackets? I don't know if Onan has changed the casing on the generator since 2002. Second, is there an existing provision on the gas tank to accept the generator fuel feed?
Thanks
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:46 AM   #2
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Having recently purchased a 2004 Roadtrek 190 Popular and joined this forum. I suggest you contact Roadtrek on their website. Once you provide the VIN they can be quite helpful. Personally, I would see if I really needed one before buying. The one we got had less than 25 hours on it so suffered from lack of use and surges at idle. I have only run it for maintenance. But, again, I am new to all of this.
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Old 11-02-2016, 12:35 PM   #3
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When we purchased our 2004 Roadtrek 190 Versatile, it also did not have an Onan generator. We decided that since we would use everything except for the air conditioning if we installed solar panels, newer batteries and an inverter. Best decision made. There is no need to exercise the generator, nor listen to it and the panels keep the batteries charged through the winter. Since we are in southern Ontario, Canada the need for the air conditioner is not required. We have travelled on very hot days and we are able to manage with some reflectix on the windows and the fantastic fan. Plus you save on the weight of the generator hanging on the bottom.
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:03 PM   #4
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.

Before you jump in and spend $4,000 bucks on a genset,

think about your trip plans:

1. How often do you need the generator?
I am sure you have checked the classified ads, you will see most 10+ yr old RVs have less than 20 hrs on the generator. Will you be doing the same? Will you be off-grid days on end? or will you be mostly staying at camp grounds (with hook up)? and only doing occasional weekends off-grid?

2. If you have 2 good house batteries (200+AH), that should tide you over the weekend (reading lights, radio, TV, computer, phone, but not air cond or microwave).
The chassis alternator can charge the house battery while you are driving from campsite to campsite.

3. If you really need a generator, you can consider the "Underhood Generator".
ie. a 2nd alternator fixed to the engine.
Multiple Alternator Kits
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:10 PM   #5
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To answer the original question, yes the Onan sold now is a different size than the older ones. I don't recall seeing anything about putting a new one in an older van, but I am sure it has been done. Most of the Roadtreks are "generator ready" so would have the fuel pickup on the tank.

Is this Dodge or Chevy Roadtrek.

As was mentioned, you may want to consider non-generator solutions, but you would need to evaluate you camping style and needs to make a good decision on that. For the record, we have an 07 C190P Roadtrek and ditched the generator for lots of batteries, inverter, big alternator, and solar.
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:42 PM   #6
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+1 on considering an under-hood second engine generator as an alternative. We added one to our GWV Legend, and are considering ditching our Onan. Best thing ever.
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:47 PM   #7
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Ok, first thanks for all the help. The present owner sent me a picture of the gas tank. It clearly has a Tee fitting and even has a small "sump" where the tank can be drained without removal.
As for the need of the generator only time will tell. I have noticed that used RV's often have low miles on the generators. My plans right now are to move into the van full time possibly for a few years. I'm leaving NY January 1st and going to Denver (won't need a/c for sure). I plan on getting a short term lease on an apartment there then hitting the road next summer. I'm going to try and boondock as much as possible so i anticipate using the a/c while I sleep anytime the temperature is above say 85 or if the humidity is high. I plan on using the weather as a general guide of where to travel but don't want it to be a limiting factor.
Again, thanks for the help and quick responses. I just joined this site and haven't had time to look through it (48 days to go) very busy getting ready. I'll try and post detailed instructions on installing the Onan if someone hasn't done so already
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
+1 on considering an under-hood second engine generator as an alternative. We added one to our GWV Legend, and are considering ditching our Onan. Best thing ever.
I came across these while researching the Onan. I didn't look in depth however. Do you think using one of these generators and adding a battery box were the Onan usually goes would allow running the a/c overnight? My other thought is the extra strain on the motor. I'm going to be pulling an enclosed motorcycle trailer as it is and have concerns about engine wear. Thanks
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Old 11-02-2016, 02:06 PM   #9
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.

Most campsite do not allow generators at night
but if you are boondocking, then nobody cares.

Have you considered a Honda generator?
It is cheaper, quiet, and burns less gas. But it has its own set of trade-offs. eg. security, storage, set up inconveniences, etc.
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Old 11-02-2016, 02:09 PM   #10
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Here is a link to our build. The second page is where the batteries into the generator location starts.

http://www.classbforum.com/forums/f8...rade-4007.html

But--this system will only run AC for a couple of hours before needing charging, unless you have the van running.

If you need all night AC, you will be stuck with a generator, if you can sleep though the noise and vibration.

Since you will be pulling a trailer, you may want to consider a nice quiet Honda portable. The trailer makes for a good space to haul it and gas, and it will be much quieter. You could probably even make it connect to the van gas tank with the right adapters, if you wanted.
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