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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Has anyone given this a try with a Promaster diy conversion? I don't understand why the links aren't working here on the forum, but if you click on the words 'You Tube' above the video images it seems to work (but fails for me if you click on the actual video images below):





Gotta luv the music!



This seems brilliant, he did it on a Sprinter, but I'm wondering about if this could fit in the spare-tire space under a Promaster (or other location?):


It looks like he even solved a fuel feed, the yamaha ef3000 I think is a great choice as it has a remote starter, and it seems super quiet compared to other options out there:




I'm still trying to solve power challenges in my diy plans, and I'm not comfortable with the alternator charging my battery pool so pretty much convinced I'll want a generator (for AC too).


What is the best generator option for a Promaster diy build? Doing searches, I haven't been able to find much, I'm guessing clearance is the main issue ya?


I think with a 159 extended, would be easy to build an air-tight compartment for this generator above floor though, with venting/door external if it can't be mounted below. Interested in thoughts/ ideas.
 

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I'm wondering if there's more space in the sprinter because the floor is at at higher level than the Promaster, so there's more clearance to the ground?


I've often thought about a Honda 2200i for my camping trips to state parks, etc, where there isn't any power. With almost all 12V equipment and just 200Ah of AGMS, we've been comfortable without it!


If I added AC to the van, then I would also add the Honda, but probably mount it on a "tailgate" behind the seldom-opened driver side rear door. And remove it when not on a trip...





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Discussion Starter #4
Don’t forget many state, federal and private campgrounds not allow generator usage in the evening (or at all).

Yes, evenings probably you are right. But you usually don't need AC once sun goes down and can switch to an internal roof fan only. Most state and fed campgrounds have a 55 decibel at 60' restriction and some aren't time restritcted. There is a good video on Youtube of one of the vanlife guys, he does a test of almost every generator out there and all of them pass this test.

I've posted before about the diy I'm trying to plan for. I need extreme weather coverage, both extreme cold and extreme heat (high deserts year round).



This little yamaha though sounds insanely quiet (see vid I posted). I wish he had a decibel meter but he's easily talking over the generator from within 10'.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I'm wondering if there's more space in the sprinter because the floor is at at higher level than the Promaster, so there's more clearance to the ground?

I can't seem to find the thread, but someone on this forum modified the spare tire space on their promaster, and custom attached this guy:
https://www.powertechgenerators.com/collections/sprinter-and-transit-van-generators/products/sprinter-van-rv-3kw

I think others have tried, I seem to recall someone had to remove it due to a slant on their driveway and they had issues with clearance, but I think others have been fine with it - not sure. Unfortunately that generator is diesel only, and at almost 16" high, that's the same as what the fellow I've linked did with the Yamaha - so should fit in spare tire space?? Idk. Seems like a cool solution.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If I added AC to the van, then I would also add the Honda, but probably mount it on a "tailgate" behind the seldom-opened driver side rear door. And remove it when not on a trip...
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I've thought about this approach also. I have a bad back (getting old, artificial disk from car accident) so it would be difficult for me to mount something like that regularly. And I go out very often - so I'm looking for something more permanent.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have seen this on a Promaster ental van from Canadream in canada.

It hangs awfully low.

Can anyone help with more specifics? What is the clearance specifically? Is it less/more than the axle/anything else under the Promaster?


I was thinking about lifting the diy promaster up a couple of inches anyway - but I'd like to know a specific clearance without a lift -



thx
 

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The Onan 2800-Watt is about as low a profile as you’re likely to find. They use that model on Winnebago Travato and other Class Bs built on ProMaster chassis. It’s about 12” high and leaves very little room under a Travato — generator hangs about even with bottom of axle (about 6” more or less).

I bought a 2200-Watt portable inverter last year to boondock at football games, and it’s a hassle compared to built-in Onan. It runs my little A/C all night on a tank of fuel, so mission accomplished. Noise and vibration is better if I place it on ground rather than on hitch carrier. Solid connection transmits noise and vibration.
 

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...Noise and vibration is better if I place it on ground rather than on hitch carrier. Solid connection transmits noise and vibration.
Good point. Last Dec. I bought a Westinghouse 1800W on a Sam's club promotion (only $370 delivered so not much risk). It's supposed to be similar to the Honda and Yamaha units for sound rating. Sitting on the ground in eco-mode I could still hear it clearly inside the van. Not too noisy to sleep, but I could see where it would be annoying to other campers expecting to hear only the sounds of nature. Mounting it on the back would definitely be noisier.

As the OP states, the big advantage would be charging batteries and other 110 loads (maybe even while driving). I don't think I could get a comparable 12V pure sine wave inverter for what I paid for the Westinghouse inverter/generator. Plus, with AC you could use inexpensive 110V smart chargers, making it cheaper to charge rapidly, or charge multiple batteries at once.

Technically these units are for stationary operation, but I plan to try mounting it on the rear bumper this spring to see how it works while driving. Not sure how the fuel system will handle sloshing. It might get liquid in the fuel vent and cause problems.
 

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Hi,
Don't underestimate how many campers really dislike generators -- people don't go camping to hear thier neighbors generator.


We were at the Maroon Bells campground once and saw a very heated argument over generator noise that I thought was going to turn into a fist fight.


Gary
 

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At football games practically everyone runs a generator. Most are far louder than my 2200/1800 inverter generator. Built-in Onan RV generators and conventional portable generators are much louder, and exhaust fumes much worse.

My preference would be to have enough battery energy to power A/C overnight, but that’s a lot more expensive than a portable inverter generator. One thing that helps is for us to run A/C so compressor doesn’t cycle on and off. A steady sound is easier for me to ignore.
 

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Generators can definitely be noisy, but it also depends on the type and size.

Inverter / generator noise varies with load, so for a honda 2000 size, 900 watts is pretty much the max before they aren't any quieter than a conventional generator. This effect, and the much larger fuel tank are why I suggest to people to use a 3000 size with electric start.

It isn't as cool looking, but for these low vans, it is worth studying how to mount the gen off the back.
 

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Generators for us show heavier than normal use in an off-grid retreat.

My Brother and I bought identical Yamaha EF3000IS generators and both failed with a catastrophic oil leak at about 1500 hrs while under warranty. I took mine into a certified Yamaha dealer for repair and waited 6 months for them to finish. When I got it back the case had been put back on and not aligned properly, the fuel shut off was almost impossible to turn, a cover was left off the connection to the electronic carb control, the weather cap on the ON/OFF switch was missing and it appeared the screws used to reassemble the case was just whatever was laying convenient on the workbench at the time. I did a test run and it still leaked oil. IMHO, it is in WORSE shape than when I took it in. I sent a certified letter to Yamaha USA and received no reply. 2 months later, with oil still leaking, the engine seized and now it is a useless 40lb brick in the corner of the shop. The hour meter shows 1583 hours.

My brother took his generator to the same dealer since it is the only one within a reasonable distance - and it is STILL 75 miles away. He voiced some concerns over work quality and length of stay in the shop based on my experience and yes --the service manager remembered me. The service manager flat out told him his generator would be the lowest priority of anything in the shop and he would be LUCKY to get it back in 6 months! I was absolutely astounded by the poor attitude! He asked to speak to the General Manager and was told he does not get involved with issues dealing with these "smaller units." My brother declined to leave it with that shop. He also sent a certified letter to Yamaha USA with no reply afterward.

It is my opinion Yamaha USA has a little profit margin on these generators and it is throwing bad money at them to have to do warranty service on them. As such, they basically ignore you after the sale.

I am not a complainer by nature but I made myself a promise that I would relate honestly my experience with the Yamaha EF3000IS generators at every public opportunity after we had these near identical horrible experiences. When we bought the Yamahas we ***ASSUMED*** we were getting quality products while paying a premium price and would be assured of stellar warranty support. We were wrong. Forum reviews of the Yamaha are generally good but when you dig deeper, most of the units mentioned only have a few hundred hours on them.

FWIW, Both of us bought the Honda EU2000i tailgate generators as replacements and are well pleased. He has about 600 hrs on him and I have about 150 on mine. It is more than equal to or better than the Yamaha on most counts.
 

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For those who can wait a bit longer, Onan will have an inverter version of their popular 2,800-Watt generator that is often used under ProMaster factory camper vans. The new inverter model will fit under same floor clearance.

I was told about it by an Onan technical guy at Tampa RV Super Show, and recently saw an add for it in MotorHome magazine. Later they will also have an inverter version of the 4,000-Watt size generator.

It’s probably not going to be as quiet as a Honda 2200 or similar under no load, but it should be both quieter and more fuel efficient when powering an air conditioner compared to the standard 2,800-Watt Onan. While Onan are expensive, having it fueled from van’s tank would be worth a lot to me.
 

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Thanks for the update. I would like to know more about this unit. Any ideas where I can get more details.
 

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On the Yamaha generator, it's been my experience in recent years that, with medium level tools and appliances, there's 2 ways to go:
1: do a ridiculous amount of research and pay top dollar for the product with both the best quality AND best reviews on product support
2: pay half as much for an "off" brand product from a place that will likely replace it with a new one, like HF, TS, etc.
Usually when you by what you think is a quality name, isn't as cheap as the off brands and cheaper than the most expensive, it turns out that the parts and manufacturing are the same as the cheaper off brand products and you are paying for the paint color and name sticker.
But, as mentioned, there is no product support.
You are better off buying a cheap generator from HF. Chances are, it's made in the same factory as the one you paid another $200 for.
 

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Good example is the chainsaw I bought a few years ago.
Bought a Husqvarna from a tractor dealer. $329.
Turns out, anything below the extremely expensive professional level saws that are made for distribution at dealers for the average Joe to buy,..... are made by Poulan.
So, if mine takes a crap, I will either have to take it to the dealer and pay through the nose and wait 6 mo to get it back, or get roped into buying a new one.
If I knew better, I would have bought the equivalent Poulan for half the cost.
 
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