5er Generators

Discussion in 'General RVing' started by OldTymer, Aug 13, 2003.

  1. OldTymer

    OldTymer New Member

    Anyone with advice on Generators for a 5er (3000-6000 watts)? What about interior 5er installation vs. in the pickup bed? Will need output to supply 13500 btu a/c plus balance of elect needs. What brands are you using and the pros and cons of in trailer installation vs. truck bed installation. I've been told because of the noise that in trailer installation should not be considered. what's your experience?
     
  2. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    5er Generators

    If your trailer has a compartment which is or can be set up for generator usage, that is your best option. Generally the standard here is Onan, although some other companies do make models which may work ok. Noise can be a nuisance, but your real concerns should be not filling your trailer with exhaust, or overheating the generator enough to damage it.

    For 1 A/C, 4K watts should be enough, 3K can do in some cases (may require installing an 'easy start' kit in the A/C).

    Generators in the bed of the truck are a pain in the butt, but with many 5ers, the only practical choice. That's where mine is, and after considerable searching, I found a fiberglass 1/3 bed cover which keeps it out of the weather and prying eyes/fingers.

    For standalone generators, Honda EU (inverter) series are the standard. A bit pricey, they are perhaps the quietest of generators, fuel efficient and provide power as clean as, if not cleaner than, the power company. The EU3000 is marginal, big and heavy, but a pleasure to use with its key start. Many people use a pair of EU2000 connected by a synch cord. This provides all the power you are likely to need, in a small, light, easy to store (and steal) package. EU2000s can even be stored in 5er compartments between usage (as long as any gas fumes can't leak into the trailer).

    One thing to consider, if your generator is mounted in the bed of your truck, you may want to rewire the trailer with that in mind. Properly set up, you could even run the generator while driving, allowing for a cool trailer when you stop.
     
  3. OldTymer

    OldTymer New Member

    5er Generators

    Thanks for the info John. Sounds like you know what you are talking about. We certainly would like a cooled down trailer while we travel, we'll have a pet on board, plus we want the ability to boondock. We'll certainly use your advice as a follow on to more research.
     
  4. hertig

    hertig Senior Member

    5er Generators

    For running while travelling, the built in generator would be best; unfortunately, with many trailers having a built in generator is impractical.

    Carrying pets in the trailer while travelling is a contraversial subject. Many trailers have no shocks, so the ride is vigerous, to say the least. A possible exception is the very front of the 5er, which can get a decent ride since it is over the back of the truck and gets some benefit from the truck suspension. Also, the trailer contents are at risk during an accident. Some states outlaw people riding in a trailer in motion for these reasons. So for pets, its a non-trivial decision.

    If you still think it is a good plan, I'd suggest a trial ride with someone in the trailer (where legal) watching how the animals deal with it. The person, for sure, should be in the forward part of the trailer, or they may find themselves airborne when going over a bump...

    My trailer's power cord is at the rear. What I am doing is starting with a standard 30 amp RV extension cord. I cut it so that the socket end reaches from the front of the trailer into the bed of the truck (with the same amount of slack as the standard trailer hookup cord). On the raw end, I put Honda's special locking plug to plug into the generator. I'll feed the other cut end into the front of the trailer along with the standard cord and down into the front compartment (that will be the tricky part). Then it will be fed down to the frame through the front jack hole and along the frame back to just under the compartment where the trailer power cord attaches. Up through a hole drilled through the floor and attach the raw end to a new automatic transfer switch mounted in that compartment in between the original cord and the trailer power. This will keep the plug end up front from ever being 'live' when unplugged.

    I'll probably have some sort of box or chunk of sewer pipe mounted next to the kingpin to store that plug when not in use, and provide some protection when connected.
     

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