Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 11-02-2016, 07:24 AM   #1
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New York
Posts: 23
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
__________________

AnFear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 12:46 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Northern VA, USA
Posts: 193
Default

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.
__________________

ManWonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 01:35 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ontario
Posts: 107
Default

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.
__________________
CruiseFx
2004 Roadtrek C190 Versatile
cruisefx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 02:03 PM   #4
BBQ
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: East
Posts: 2,484
Default

.

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
BBQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 02:10 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 8,012
Default

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.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 02:42 PM   #6
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,461
Default

+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.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 02:47 PM   #7
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New York
Posts: 23
Smile

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
AnFear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 02:54 PM   #8
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New York
Posts: 23
Default

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
AnFear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 03:06 PM   #9
BBQ
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: East
Posts: 2,484
Default

.

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.
BBQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 03:09 PM   #10
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 8,012
Default

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.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 03:33 PM   #11
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Northern VA, USA
Posts: 193
Default

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.
Just curious... did you go with a 200 Amp alternator or something different?
ManWonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 03:47 PM   #12
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: New York
Posts: 23
Default

I thought about mounting a Honda in the trailer. The trailer has a side vent I would have to add a roof vent. I even thought about using an automobile remote starter so I could start it from inside the van, not sure if you can turn it off though. I didn't think of running a fuel line from the gas tank, but since you mentioned it I would strongly recommend against it. Trailers sometimes come off the hitch and get dragged by the safety chains causing a shower of sparks. I wouldn't want a fuel line anywhere near that. If anyone wants to do something like that I recommend using a fuel line with some kind of gasoline rated quick connect fittings and not leaving it hooked up while moving.
i do like the idea of a second alternator and a battery pack, however a quick look on the above link doesn't show one that's bolt on ready for a 2002 Dodge. I'm thinking the cost after install and good battery's would be more than retro-fitting the Onan, not sure. It would be good to not make so much noise at night whether it's allowed or not. Also unsure of how much extra stress it would put on the motor. I'm thinking it would be nominal but I don't know.
Thanks for help and idea's.
AnFear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 03:50 PM   #13
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,461
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnFear View Post
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.
Generally, no. Only heroic battery projects (such as a very large Li setup) will get you all-night A/C. Most people consider this goal as beyond the state-of-the-art. You can come closer by retrofitting with a 12VDC split A/C system, maybe. But you are in pioneering territory at this point.

I would not worry about strain on the engine. The extra load is small and only occurs while you are actually charging.

Finally, before you get too excited about running an Onan all night, you might want to experience the noise level with an Onan below you and a roof A/C above.
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 03:52 PM   #14
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 8,012
Default

Those that use the Honda and off the tank in the van would have the hose on a outboard motor tank type disconnect, so it would not be connected while driving. Same for those that haul the Honda inside the van, hose disconnected. Or the Honda could just be taken out of the trailer when needed, and fuel and output plugged into the van.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 03:53 PM   #15
Site Team
 
avanti's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 3,461
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ManWonder View Post
Just curious... did you go with a 200 Amp alternator or something different?
270 amp alternator with a Balmar regulator from NationsAlternator:

Sprinter Dual Alternator Kit with 270XP Amp Alternator - 2014 and Up Sprinter Vans with 2.1L
__________________
Formerly: 2005 Airstream Interstate (Sprinter 2500 T1N)
Now!: 2014 Great West Vans Legend SE (Sprinter 3500 NCV3 I4)
avanti is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 06:04 PM   #16
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 881
Default

some good stuff in this thread- OP, consider your use.

some campers do follow the weather- we spent July on the oregon coast, no ac, no heat and no bugs!

we have a model with an onan and it is like having someone mowing the lawn in the living room.

I ensured it works and went through all the maintainence when we bought our van 2 years ago- them mothballed it with fresh oil and gas supply shut off. I run the starter for 30 seconds every week or so to splash oil the innards.

our style of camping is usually campgrounds with power ( if we need ac or microwave), aside from those 2 items we can run a couple of days with just our single 12 volt coach battery- that'll run the tv and led lighting.

if this is the van for you- and it is everythig you want, I think you'd be good to think about a genny later if you find you really need it.

I know that the small honda and yamaha gennys are quieter and can be placed at a distance from the van- chain to a tree if you have to.

1 thing with gennys is that they are rated at sea level- at elevation the power output may be reduced by a 1/3 or more

Mike

( rather han add another post...)
make that 30 seconds on the starter-3 was a typo- I have considered pulling it, but we'll see as we go. The carb is clean as stored. I'm an ASE tech so not worried about it starting and working in the future.

good point about used, just a quick look on my local craigs showed a couple of 2800 and 4000 models
mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 06:17 PM   #17
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 8,012
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
I ensured it works and went through all the maintainence when we bought our van 2 years ago- them mothballed it with fresh oil and gas supply shut off. I run the starter for 3 seconds every week or so to splash oil the innards.Mike
Sorry to hijack, but...

You may just want to pull it out and sell it, especially if you don't run it regularly. Both the carb gumming and slip ring corrosion are big issues, and having it still in the van and getting in moist and corrosive areas with wide temp swings makes it all happen faster. Even 2 years can be too long under some conditions. We got $850 for our 07 that had about 40 hours on it, IIRC, this spring.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 06:42 PM   #18
BBQ
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: East
Posts: 2,484
Default

.

If you want to run all-night A/C without running the generator,

you can do it,

but the Lithium battery will cost more than your RV.



BBQ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 08:22 PM   #19
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New York
Posts: 133
Default The simple way

So far no one has suggested the simple way to keep cool when there is no plug in.

Just idle the van engine and run the dash AC. No extra under hood generator, no extra batteries. It will cost you about one half gallon of gas per hour but that is about the same as the Onan.

You can also get your batteries charged and your hot water heater heated (if you are so equipped) while you are keeping cool.
DCHitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-2016, 09:05 PM   #20
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Northern VA, USA
Posts: 193
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCHitt View Post
So far no one has suggested the simple way to keep cool when there is no plug in.

Just idle the van engine and run the dash AC. No extra under hood generator, no extra batteries. It will cost you about one half gallon of gas per hour but that is about the same as the Onan.

You can also get your batteries charged and your hot water heater heated (if you are so equipped) while you are keeping cool.
As a relative newbie, I've been wondering why folks are okay with adding a second alternator - which requires running the engine to operate but - if you're going to have to start the engine it does seem you could just then turn on the van's built-in A/C.
__________________

ManWonder is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 10:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×