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Old 08-30-2017, 02:26 AM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: North Carolina
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Default Portable generator use and location

I am nearing purchase of a portable generator. Main use will be for A/C unit. With temperatures in 90s and high humidity, a fan just won't cut it. I also want to be able to go off grid in state parks/other places. Keep in mind my limitations (2016 RT Simplicity with no Underhood generator and 100 AH battery). So.... a few thoughts looking for comments:

1. Can I put the portable generator on top of the RV next to the A/C unit and run it up there (while parked) ? I am thinking if the A/C is on and making noise that I may as well put the generator there.

2. Could I run the generator while driving down the road (attached on back to a hitch extension or a ladder attachment? - will this create a problem as the inverter may not "see" the external power source since the coach motor is running?

I am looking for best "value" to be able to run the rooftop A/C and a portable generator sees best fit. i.e. a Westinghouse 2500i for around $500 all in. This beats the UH generator at approx. $3000 all in and only usable while coach motor is on. Also beats any cost of Solar (not a big fan due to cost/weight. A Onan (if possible) seems outrageously priced for the need.

Thanks for you input.

aturner1973 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 02:48 AM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 8,563

When you need AC and don't have shore power, you wind up living with some kind of compromise, be it hauling a portable and gas plus cords and locks, an Onan with lots of noise and cost, or the shaky capacity of the battery and engine generator systems. None of the options are very good, IMO, but that is the way it is.

We choose not to be in the very hot and humid whenever possible, and if we are stuck, we get shore power. We removed our Onan and replaced it with batteries in that location, and added an underhood generator, but we still couldn't run AC reliably on it, and never planned on it. We can run everything else. If we needed AC all the time we would have kept the Onan, but not liked it.

booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 05:13 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Florida
Posts: 8

Some considerations with the mounting locations are vibration and also refueling. The genny you mentioned holds 1 gallon.

I'd go with a used Honda, one of the quiet ones, Electric Generator Depot - Honda Inverter Generators at Electronic Generator Depot

Ideally, for me anyways, it could be plumbed into your RV's fuel tank.

Good luck,
Sails941 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2017, 05:41 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Arizona, Tempe
Posts: 805

If you want to run A/C in a B use the permanently mounted Onan. The best alternative would be a hitch mounted Honda 3000i. This is just an opinion, of course.

B roofs are not for climbing on.

Going into a camping area with a $500 noisy generator is more than rude and you should restrict it's running time.

A Honda 2000i will probably not run a B A/C, weighs 50 lbs. and is very inconvenient to store in a B.
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Old 08-30-2017, 10:58 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: New York
Posts: 133

So don't use the roof AC when you are not plugged in. Use the dash AC and install a rear evaporator in the back of the van. That way batteries, generators, etc. don't become part of the problem.
DCHitt is offline   Reply With Quote

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