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How are your generators set up/installed?

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  • How are your generators set up/installed?

    O.k...so if I can't afford an inverter I guess I'll have to just get the best generator I can afford...I don't have the $$ for one of the big Onan 5500 or 7000 models. If I end up getting a portable generator (either one of the quiet Honda models, or something from Home Depot or Lowes) how do I mount/install it? My van is a Gruuman Step Van, there is no generator compartment since it was shoreline only. The only doors are the rear doors, so I don't have the option of a rear utility room/cabinet. I can either roll a portable generator down the ramp and have it operate outside, or I could take the passenger seat out of the cab, and have the generator run up there, vented to the outside? Any ideas or suggestions would be great...how does everyone else do it when they are building out their own? Can you safely run a portable generator inside the van or inside the cab and vent it to the outside? If so, how? Is it possible to build a soundproof box around the generator, with air intake and vent for exhaust, without the generator overheating?

  • #2
    I don't have your issues since My mobile is a trailer and my gen sets on the hitch.

    However here are my thoughts and taking into your situation.

    1: I would not put it up front. It needs to be mounted in an area that is sound proof, and yet you need to be able to get to it for maintance. You might need to enlist the expertise from a trailer company or a coach builder. I would make it accessible from the outside. I would think that it would be possible to section off an area on the inside and make it accessible from the outside with a Flip up style Hinged RV door. You might be able to find one off of a salvaged RV, Cut and fit the opening. IF you get the door make sure you also purchase the door frame and all so it will have a gasket tight fit. Then you can use this to exhaust it to the outside. http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...t-system/14041

    Lastly being that generators (the cheaper Ones) are air cooled I would install a RV style Fan to pump in cool air and another to pump out the hot air.

    2. this option is probably the least involved and probably the cheapest. Use something designed like this. http://www.campingworld.com/shopping...-carrier/49397 I would start by extending the frame out about 2 ft and then attach your bumber. I would then put two cross braces to add support to the length. I would then cover it with a heavy steel mesh. I would then mount the gen and use the rest of the space to carry things like hoses, spare tire, or better yet a utility box that carries tools, backup water pump, etc. From ther you just run your power wires off the gen into your truck and connect them to a fuse panel. This would be the route I would go.

    Goot luck. If you have any questions let me know.

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    • #3
      Any good sheet metal shop can make a box that will surround the generator. Cut a hole in the floor nearly the size of the generator, make a frame to mount the generator on, and route the exhaust downward and out. DO NOT rely on the holes in an RV generator door to provide adequate ventilation of exhaust. Seal the seams between the body of the truck and the box with silicone seal and surround the box on the inside with fiberglass insulation.

      Here is an example of what might work for you and not break the bank:

      Generac 5.5KW RV Generator You have to keep in mind that this generator will be keeping you working, and trying to save money with a "contractor grade" generator is saving money in the wrong place. If you are going to be going "hybrid" this might be a way to afford a quality generator without putting a major dent in your budget.
      "With God's help, all things are possible!"
      Laura Lee Ray
      I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

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      • #4
        I am no expert on generator designs, but I personally use a John Deere Generator purchased at lowes. It was on there when I purchased my trailer Used. The lady that owned it before me had used it for two years and I'm on year number 3. Its powered by a briggs motor. If you keep the oil changed on it then it should last a long time. Its no different than a lawnmower engine. If anything gives you trouble its going to the the parts that create the electricity. I had the regulator go out on mine. I took the model number down to JD and they got the part for me.

        I will tell you that most of the generator are not very quiet and vibrate more since they are most are a single cylinder motor. Look for the DB output. I can also tell you the power modulation is not as good, but I have not had any issues powering anything in my mobile. Our local TSC sells a big generac for 1200. As long as you can get parts for them, keep the oil changed reg. I personally do not know why it would not last 3 or 4 years.

        If you have read through a lot of posts on here people have issues even with the commercial ones and they have to take it to a special dealer to have them fixed. So all in all they all have issues from time to time. I know someone on here has had nothing but problems out of their onan, while my noisy, but reliable briggs run JD has had no issues. Just stay away from the ones made overseas.

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        • #5
          There are reasons the commercial grade generators and RV generators cost more than contractor grade:

          1. Nearly all commercial grade and RV grade generators are made to operate more quietly than a contractor grade generator. This means two or three cylinder engines, a housing surrounding the generator for noise reduction, and usually a lower RPM to keep the engine noise down.

          2. Commercial and RV grade generators have more sophisticated voltage control circuits. On some contractor grade generators, you can get a variance between 95 and 135 volts. Not good for electronic controls or A/C units.

          If a contractor grade unit is all you can afford, then get the best one you can and save up for a better generator. Most contractor grade generators, according to the shop that services my Onan generator, are only rated for about 1000 hours of use before major overhaul. He should know, as he also repairs contractor grade generators, lawn and garden equipment, and other small engines.
          "With God's help, all things are possible!"
          Laura Lee Ray
          I am kats_melody on eGroomer. Follow my Twitter tweets - @ZOOMGROOM on Twitter.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Shasti333

            Isn't there a ton of room under the floor between the chassis and the skirt enough to mount one under the vehicle?

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