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Old 02-03-2016, 05:28 PM   #1
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Location: North Carolina
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Default RT Zion SRT... Everyday driver?

Interested in the SRT as a camping platform for my 3 boys and I (plus 2 dogs). I have a small 5x8 trailer to load all the bikes, fishing gear and tents.

The SRT is catching my eye because I'm in need of a new vehicle and this could be an everyday driver (tanks drained). I'm a pilot and leave for days, so I don't really drive all that much in a month. I need seat belts for 5... The rest is just luxury really. Having a galley and bathroom would be awesome for us, but once we get to the beach or mountains we are outside people.

Thoughts?? Am I crazy? Get a pickup with a bed-camper?

And can someone explain how this "engine driven generator" works?

How many gph does the Dodge engine use at idle? (Thinking if a Honda generator would pay for itself over time).


Bill in NC

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Old 02-05-2016, 01:47 AM   #2
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Location: Manitoba
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I drove my van daily in the summer this year with no issues. But I do not have to drive far for work. It's not a stretch to say that you could do it easily.

Engine driven generator is simply a second alternator engineered to put out the power that is required to charge your batteries and/or run things like lights and AC.

No idea on the GPH, but most modern diesel engines are not designed to run at idle for long periods of time. If I recall correctly there are posts on the forum here that state somewhere in the range of 5ish hours. Someone more knowledgeable on this can answer you better.

Honda generator is probably your best bet, as if the generator dies you do not have to be out of service. Just repair or replace the unit.

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Old 02-05-2016, 03:13 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply Bruce. I did some research and the gas engine Promaster burns on average .6gph at idle. The larger Honda generator burns .25gph. At $1.80 per gallon and $2400 purchase price, the break even point would be 118 days (24hrs a day) using the engine driven generator before it would be cheaper to purchase the Honda.

I really like the SRT functionality, and it will easily pull my trailer which stores EVERYTHING we use to camp. Plus it would be more comfortable to shower and cook in.

Now... If I could just get past that $80k price tag.

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Old 02-05-2016, 04:02 PM   #4
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Location: BC
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FWIW, we are now a ‘one’ car (Class B) family. No kids just a pooch though. Our situation is somewhat unique too and sounds like we drive about the same amount as you would. Our Class B gets used about two to four times per month for a day at a time. It will get used for longer periods of time once we start doing some overnight treks. We find that it is very doable. We also considered the pop-up truck camper for our 4x4 super-crew truck (the truck is now sold to friends) and the van idea was just way more appealing and we suspect comfortable too. FWIW, the price for a new Class B was somewhat more palatable considering we are down to one vehicle and depending on what you buy, the resale value can be pretty good. Good luck with your decision!
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