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Post Info TOPIC: Running the on board generator and AC units in a 5th wheel


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Running the on board generator and AC units in a 5th wheel


I know that running the generator and house AC units while underway is a common practice with motor home owners.  It seems to me that the same could be done with a 5th wheel as the equipment is basically the same ... I’ve never done this, but it seems doable ... it would have a side benefit of exercising the generator.  My generator is an onboard factory installed 5.5 KW onan propane which can easily carry the two AC units.  Do any 5th wheel owners do this? What are your thoughts on doing this (running the generator and AC units while towing)?  TIA



-- Edited by RonC on Saturday 29th of February 2020 04:23:14 PM



-- Edited by RonC on Saturday 29th of February 2020 04:33:02 PM

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016



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Almost 9 years in our Mobile Suites, and we've never done it.  However, our generator is one of the Honda EU3000iS portable models, so it would be difficult to hook up to run and we could only run one A/C if we did.

To be truthful, there's been very few instances when we really would have wanted to do that.

Terry



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Terry and Jo

2010 Mobile Suites 38TKSB3
2008 Ford F450
2019 Ford Expedition Max as Tag-along or Scout

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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Never heard of this…but in hot weather it could keep the rig cooler for when you park on travel days. Safety wise…you're probably just fine in my opinion. Some folks turn the propane valves off when traveling…some don't. As long as you aren't going through any tunnels then it's not required and letting the genny run doesn't seem unsafe to me. I'm not a lawyer though so take that as just my opinion. 

There have been travel days when we arrived and the rig was 90+ inside when we parked…so the idea has some attractiveness…but for us it wasn't an option as our genny was just a Honda 2k…which was fine for the way we boondocked (i.e., not hot weather) but it won't run an A/C unit.

 



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Thanks for the comments. I’ve googled this topic and it turns out this is not an uncommon practice. Makes sense because I have a “made for RV installation” Onan. The AC units are identical to those installed in motor homes. Some just run them ... others stop about an hour before their scheduled destination arrival and use that time to cool down the unit before arrival. What we have done for the last three years is after setting up we leave and go to dinner ... the rig is cooled down by the time we get back. But we now have two dogs, which shifts our needs.



-- Edited by RonC on Saturday 29th of February 2020 05:48:04 PM

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016



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Ron:

Should not be an issue.  The only problem could be an "overheat" IF - IF - there is a problem with reduced air-flow to the generator due to some kind of vacuum situation under the rig restricting air-flow.  I've done it and it works fine.  But every rig is different.  With that in mind, the generator will shut down in an over-temp condition and you would see the warning code on the starter control. (Blinking like code - see the manual to decode it.)

Keep in mind, the 5.5kW Onan / Cummins will consume about 1+ gallon of LP per hour.  A 40lb tank holds ~9.5 gallons.  So there is some expense to running an LP generator and the amount of LP on-board.   Motorhome owners have diesel and while the diesel consumes a like amount of fuel (BTU's is BTU's) they don't notice it as much out of a 100+ gallon (or a lot more) fuel tank while traveling.  Pretty much as expensive but it drops in the noise vs. the LP tank use if you follow me.

Bill



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Bill & Linda



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Thanks Bill. I think we would fall into the users who stop about an hour before our final destination to use that hour to cool down the rig prior to arrival. That would use approximately 1 gallon of propane per event ... easily managed. But it could make our arrival much easier. We now have two dogs so leaving them in a hot rig doesn’t work for us, thus the question. Before the dogs (puppies really) we would set up, turn on the air and go to dinner. By the time we returned, the rig would be cooled down. Thanks for the input.

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Ron and Janice

 

2016 Ford F350, King Ranch, DRW, 4x4, CC, 6.7 PS Diesel, remote control air lift system

2017 Durango Gold 381REF, Lambright furniture, Truma AquaGo, MCD shades, morRYDE IS, 8K Disc brakes, GY G114  LR H Tires, 27,320 lbs CGVW

FT class of 2016

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