installing a generator

Not sure if I'm at the right forum. I have a 96 Four Winds Chateau Sport. I would like to install a generator just to power the a/c unit. I am looking at an Onan Camppower 2800 gas unit. Will this be a big enough generator to run the a/c? I also want to install the unit myself. I am an ASE certified Master Tecnician. Where is the best place to purchase the gen and all the accessories I will need(wiring harness, Muffler etc)? Also the home has a Coleman 7300 roof top a/c unit is this unit an easy start unit? And where can I find detailed instructions on installing the gen? Any and all responses are greatly appreciated Thank you Brett


Senior Member
Re: installing a generator

Note that all generator ratings are 'SURGE', and that the 'steady state' rating is a bit less. So a 2800 generator won't provide 2800 watts for more than a few minutes at a time.

2800 is marginal. It probably will provide 'steady state' of nearly 20 amps, with surge up to 23 or 24 amps. This might be enough if there is nothing else besides the A/C on it (I used to run my A/C off a 15 amp plug, but I'm sure the startup surge was more than 15 amps). But if you hook the generator into the entire trailer, you will need to be careful nothing else is running when the AC starts up (in particular, the converter - since it is 'always' on - and the water heater - since it is out of sight, thus out of mind).

When I went to a Honda EU3000 generator, it would not start the A/C all the time, sometimes when the A/C tried to come on (after sitting for a while), the generator thermal would blow and the generator would stop. This is a peculiarity of the 'inverter' style generators and probably would not have been a problem with an equivalent 'normal' generator. In my case, I put an 'easy start kit' in the A/C unit, and didn't have any problems after that (as long as I was careful what was running when the A/C came on). To fully cover a 30 amp RV, you would probably want something like 30 amps x 120 volts = 3600 watt generator. 2 Honda EU2000s hooked together is very popular.

The 'easy start kit' is trivial to install. The hardest part is getting the cover off the A/C unit :)

Installing a generator where one was not designed for is tricky. You have to be sure that the generator gets adequate ventilation, and that no exhaust gets into the trailer. Then there is the location of the gas tank, for optimum safety. Many people go with a propane generator, because the fuel supply is already designed in.

There was no place in my trailer where a generator would go. So I installed in the back of my truck, in front of the hitch.
Re: installing a generator

Hertig Thank you for your reply. It is very helpful. Iwas leaning toward a 3600 watt generator. There is a place for the generator I'm not happy with the location but what can you do? Thanks againn for the great reply. If any one else has any other info it will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance Brett