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Old 03-24-2019, 10:55 AM   #1
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Generator-How far away is safe

Iíve read on this forum about members adding a generator mount that attaches to the bumper of their RV. My question is it safe to operate it from the platform or is it to close for fear of carbon monoxide gas poisoning?

I would like to upgrade my generator size but this adds weight that I will have to lift. I can do that but would rather not.

Who uses a generator from a bumper mounted platform? What are your thoughts?
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Old 03-24-2019, 11:13 AM   #2
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I wouldn't be concerned about Carbon monoxide poisoning unless a window or intake are close by. I would be worried about the weight on the bumper if not properly installed and reinforced and heat from the muffler (if to close)
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:36 PM   #3
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Someone on the forum adapted one of the exhaust stacks to their genny on the back rack. Gets the exhaust up high and he takes it down while traveling. Ties it off next to the ladder.
I use the same stack for my built in genny to get the exhaust up high.
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Old 03-24-2019, 12:52 PM   #4
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As long as the bumper supports the weight AND the exhaust does not point directly towards the back wall (for more reasons than carbon monoxide) then I have no issues having it there.

Remember, a running generator produces vibrations and that can often compound through the bumper, into the frame and then into the rig. I had one on our last 5th wheel's bumper and the DW forbid running it there. Couldn't stand the vibration.

While I carry our generator on the bumper of our current 5th wheel, I set it just under the edge of the slide out once at the campsite.
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:33 PM   #5
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One my last rig, I ran ours from the bumper but never carried it back there.

The CO detector went off once in 2 weeks, but it could have been a neighbor’s RV. It was at the Balloon Fiesta and we were parked nuts to butts and packed in.

The vibration was real. The kids dealt with it without complaining, though.

Once I knew we were running a generator, I added CO detectors in each living area that didn’t already have one (aka in the front master bedroom and rear bunkhouse). This was important to me.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:33 PM   #6
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We have several close friends who permanently mounted their generators on a rear bumper tray. They occasionally have exhaust entering their RV depending in which windows/vents they have open and what the wind is doing. They learn to avoid this.

The big problem I see is vibration. They choose to ignore it, but when I'm in their rigs, I can't stand it.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:23 PM   #7
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I mounted two Honda 2200i inverter generators on my beefed up bumper. Both are inside a lockable aluminum box with 12V 12 inch diameter automotive fan mounted in front of box to draw cooling air in. The exhaust of each generator is vented out the rear of box. The box sits on 3/4 inch thick plywood that has 1.0 inch thick hard foam between it and the bumper mounted supports (4 each). Vibration is very low and almost no noise. Our 5th wheel is a 2016 Prime Time Crusader Lite. With windows closed and AC running, I have never had an issue with exhaust fumes.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walholler View Post
I mounted two Honda 2200i inverter generators on my beefed up bumper. Both are inside a lockable aluminum box with 12V 12 inch diameter automotive fan mounted in front of box to draw cooling air in. The exhaust of each generator is vented out the rear of box. The box sits on 3/4 inch thick plywood that has 1.0 inch thick hard foam between it and the bumper mounted supports (4 each). Vibration is very low and almost no noise. Our 5th wheel is a 2016 Prime Time Crusader Lite. With windows closed and AC running, I have never had an issue with exhaust fumes.
How far is it between the back of the box where the generator's exhaust comes out and the back wall of your R/V?

I had a friend who did similar and when running the generator for short periods, all was well. When he run the generator for an extended amount of time, (8 hours) he burned the paint off the rear cap and melted a hole in it.

His clearance/distance was 10".
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Old 03-25-2019, 03:44 PM   #9
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How Far?

I have the Champion 3500, I just leave it in the back of the truck, chained of course.
Seems t fare well back there and helps channel the noise up.


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Old 03-25-2019, 03:56 PM   #10
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I would say that there are a few variables to look at when worrying about CO issues. Biggest thing is how much air flow is around the generator? If you have plenty of open space around your RV, and the wind is blowing, then you shouldn't have an issue. The worst thing is confined spaces and poor air circulation. Lots of RV's are manufactured with a generator underneath them, and the exhaust just sticking right out the side. As long as you have enough airflow around it, then there's no issue. They sell an exhaust "extension" that was mentioned in a previous reply, that goes up and will vent the exhaust up above the roof of the RV. This would be the best route to go, if you are worried about it. Otherwise, just invest in at least 2 or 3 CO detectors to place in different areas inside the RV. Don't rely on only the factory detector alone.

I heard a story from another RV group I'm in, about a family and their friends that had parked 3 toy haulers close together in a group. They were running 2 or 3 generators to power them, and in the middle of the night the CO alarm went off in only 1 of the RVs. The guy got up, and turned it off, thinking it was the smoke detector, and he didn't see or smell any smoke. It wasn't until it went off a second time, that he actually was awake enough to see that it was the CO detector and not the smoke detector. He woke his family, killed the generators, and woke the other families in the other RVs. Come to find out that the other 2 RV's CO monitors batteries were dead. So now they carry extra CO detectors and make sure to keep generators as well ventilated and/or away from the living quarters.

I have yet to actually use our generator on our Motorhome in a boondocking situation, but before I do, I plan to get the exhaust extension to route it up above the roof, for good measure.
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