I just purchased a 1972 Shasta Starflyte. I'm not sure about the original wiring because the previous ower "customized" the wiring. He actually used grounded residential wiring, but I still only have the one 15 amp breaker. Anyway, my question was... he removed the gas tanks and lines... I have a generator, like every good Floridian, and I was wondering if I could turn the platform on the front of the RV into a platform for my generator? It's a pretty high producing generator. I think it has 4200 peak output. I think my biggest question is, will it ruin the generator, and should I build some kind of housing around it? It has 4 recepticals on it so I could actually plug in the external plug, right into the generator. I read one of your posts and it said something about an exhaust. How do I find out where the exhaust is located, in order to run a vent if I box this thing?

Thanks for your help!


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HI Mary, My advice to you would be to not put your generator in the enclosure left by the tanks. RV generators are designed with ducting and fans to accommodate being used in enclosures designed for them. Most backup generators are not designed to operate that way; they need the open air to help dissipate the heat and exhaust. The generator most certainly has the capacity you need but it would be best if you made a platform say on your back bumper to store it and then use it as it was designed in an open well ventilated area. Hope this helps, stay safe and happy camping.     

Like Rich just mentioned. A standby genset (generator) should never be operated in an enclosure NEVER. They rely on air circulation to stay cool (air cooled engine). and ducting the exhaust would throw the engine operation off with the added back pressure and such. (Won't run good). The mention of mounting it to the rear bumper is a good option.. Another option if you did want in a compartment is to make it on a slide with aa support system under it. Slide it out to use then slide it back in when cooled off and done. But be sure the exhaust is NOT near doors or windows.

I vote for the bumper mount. Here's one example I pulled off the internet... so many neat installs looks like Lakota on steroids. Spent about 1/2 hour looking at them all.   LOL


-Highly theftable

-Noise, noise and noisy

-Pricey little Honda preferred by far, ifn you have a deep wallet.

-Exhaust will/can kill you, even if mounted below open window.

-Up front in open is "nice" but puts a problem on tongue weight, and not my preference.

Other options that come to mind:

by a true used rv generator off Craigs.   Go solar with batteries for off grid, no noise and kind of a fun installation; of course, you ain't going to be able to run a big air conditioner (someone will chime in on that!  LOL)

my 2 cents...       post pictures of your installation! love to see them.  

If you take a tour of my page, you will see my mounted genset on th back of my 5th wheel. I use the genset mostly for running the roof air, and on occasion with inclement weather. Most of my Dry camping power comes from Solar panels and a good battery bank. On several RV's I have installed Gensets on the rear bumper,, and some modifications might be needed, But its the most useful place and your shore power cord will reach it. When bolting it down, be sure to put rubber pads for cushioning and vibration dampners and double nut all bolts, Deters theft. I built an enclosure box over mine to protect it a little from the elements ,plus what someone cant see, they cant attempt to steal. A genset of 3250 with 4000 watt surge is plenty to run a single a/c unit, but will struggle with running 2 a/c units. (talking about roof air RV a/c units).

Thanks Pat for the Lakota on steroids comment,, made me grin.. 

 Ive seen several bumper mounted after market gensets and that seems to work fine. As posted I would NOT stick one of those in an enclosure as gensets intended for those locations have vent fans that correctly move the air. Some of those portable gensets have a non bonded floating Neutral which is NOT what I would use. Its easy to bond their Neutral to the case/frame if that's the case and then electrically bond the gennys case frame to the RV frame. Its permissible to operate plug and cord equipment fed by onboard mounted receptacles without bonding to a Grounding Electrode. If the genset has the correct receptacle you simply plug your RV shore power cord into the genset to use it, piece of cake. Of course Id want the exhaust directed away from the RV to the extent possible (NEVER under it or under an RV window, well DUH) 

 John T

I think you're right. I also forgot about something. The previous owner put the air conditioner (a window type) up front and took out the center front window. That would blow the exhaust right into the camper. The beds are in the rear and one of the rear windows doesn't even open. Which really isn't a problem for me. Maybe  I will just mount the generator I have or carry it inside when I will need it. Then when I get where I'm going I will set it out and plug into it. I know it won't look as nice, but for now and until I get the money to do the other...it should work. Plus I have the space where the old hot water heater was located, and the space where the gas heater was located. Both are going, so now I have space for an interior generator. I could actually use the old heater exhaust to vent one.

Solar won't work because I have order a solar pool heater to put on the top of the camper and my camper is only 16 feet so there's not a lot of room up there. I found out the pool solar weights a lot less than the regular solar!

Thanks for the info!



With respect to the above comments, I have to play devils advocate to a point, and explore the possibilities if you were to go ahead with the idea of a tongue-mounted generator. (Mostly because I too would prefer to mount mine in front) Safety is obviously the primary concern, but after remodeling as many projects as I have, I'm more of the mindset that you can do almost anything you really want to do, money, time, and resources dependent. That said, I have to agree that the front of the trailer is not ideal for ventilation so your primary concern will be a chimney to carry the exhaust above the level of the roof so that the breeze can carry it away rather than into your trailer. As to the issue of changing the generator's back pressure by adding an exhaust chimney, many manufacturers actually sell extended exhaust pipe kits, so just look for a kit that matches your generator's specifications and voila! As to the suggestion of mounting it on the rear of the trailer, I feel that there is enough of an issue backing any trailer up without adding 2-3 ft of extra length that you can't see, much less the issue of thievery. All of this is just my $.02 worth though, and I wish you all the best in finding a solution that works for you!


PS. This is the link I found the generator enclosure on, I think they may be selling it. http://en.visonerv.com/cgi-bin/md/M11919/s1.pl


Thanks RMS...I will look at the info as soon as I can!

Thanks again..Mary




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