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So the 2021 F150 option for an onboard 2000 watt generator has me thinking.

 

a.  Why did if take a manufacturer so long?

b.  Does anyone really want a 2000 watt generator with a >200 cu in engine?

c.  Wagers this is a >$1400 option? 

 

Edited by Dean
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I want to think that Dodge or GM offered a much smaller generator at one point.  And we've had inverters for a bit now, too.

But I think it's now a matter of having a really large generator/alternator on board already to charge the hybrid battery bank - so I guess that's the answer to your first question.  Almost certainly you'll see this option appear on the next generation of competing trucks.

The answer to B will depend on if and how you use a generator today.  If you're camped in the summer and want the AC on 24 hours, then you probably don't want your truck idling that whole time.  

I think the smaller version is standard on some models?  I could be wrong about that.  

Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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In most developed campgrounds, idling your truck engine for long periods of time is considered to be very rude. Contractors working on framing a building couldn’t care less about rude....

There are already a number of HD trucks that have either very high output or twin alternator options which are intended for use with a winch, snowplow or similar high DC load. I guess the coming of big onboard battery packs makes this inevitable for more mainstream models. Adding a huge inverter seems like a gimmick to me. Sales numbers will show if this is a viable concept.

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

Edited by John E Davies
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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Has anyone looked at this option?  Since I have a old 1000 watt Xantrex inverter, I think I’ll play around a bit.  After all 7.5 amps of continuous output could be useful to recharge the batteries.

https://cargenerator.com/

Mossey

Edited by mossemi

Mike and Krunch   Lutz, FL   LEII #193 “the dog house”

 

 

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2 minutes ago, mossemi said:

Has anyone looked at this option?  Since I have a old 1000 watt Xantrex inverter, I think I’ll play around a bit.  After all 7.5 amps of continuous output could be useful to recharge the batteries.

Mossey

Going from DC to AC and finally back to DC involves efficiency losses at each step of the process. It is always better to go DC to DC when practical. I have tried running the Ollie inverter to power an extension cord to run my ARB fridge in the truck. It works way better overall to just use a low voltage cord plugged into the external solar port. Much safer too. Having too many high voltage cords lying around is never prudent.

John Davies

Spokane WA

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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I know that you can order your GM  truck with factory duel 200amp alternators.  And with a diesel you already have two battery’s on board. Most GM ambulances have this with i think 3000 + watt inverters to run all the equipment.  My last Chevy 2016 duramax 4x4 crew cab came this way with out an inverter.  Sales said, customer order it and didn’t take delivery.  Maybe every one can weigh in would it be a workable option.  If its workable they do have aftermarket kits to retrofit your truck. I didn’t keep the truck long enough to find out.

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Posted (edited)

You're both forgetting about voltage and voltage drop, though, which is the problem with getting DC current directly from a vehicle to the trailer.  Yes, there's an inefficiency in converting from DC to AC and back, but it's less than what's lost trying to push a high amp DC charge to the trailer.  The required cable size alone is enough to make you want to convert to AC - 20 feet of twin 4/0 cable would weigh a ton and take up a load of space.  Yeah, you could charge at lower amps, but the advantage of the big generator in the F150, especially when combined with LFP batteries, is quick, shore power charging which keeps you from having to run the truck for hours.  I mean, a 400 HP / 300,000 watt engine idling for 10 hours while you take a minuscule 100 watts or so off of it is the definition of inefficient.  For my setup, as I mentioned in the other thread about this, I estimate that I'd need 30 minutes or less charging per day.  

The biggest question for me is how loud is the truck vs a generator?  Truck guys like their loud exhausts, because volume equals manliness I guess, so there are a lot of trucks out there that I wouldn't want to idle in a campground - diesels and my Raptor come to mind.  Give the truck a decent muffler, though, and I think a lot of camping neighbors might prefer 15 minutes of that twice a day to a generator.  

Edited by Overland
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Snowball • 256 • 2018 Ford Raptor

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46 minutes ago, Overland said:

You're both forgetting about voltage and voltage drop, though, which is the problem with getting DC current directly from a vehicle to the trailer.  Yes, there's an inefficiency in converting from DC to AC and back, but it's less than what's lost trying to push a high amp DC charge to the trailer.  The required cable size alone is enough to make you want to convert to AC - 20 feet of twin 4/0 cable would weigh a ton and take up a load of space.  Yeah, you could charge at lower amps, but the advantage of the big generator in the F150, especially when combined with LFP batteries, is quick, shore power charging which keeps you from having to run the truck for hours.  I mean, a 400 HP / 300,000 watt engine idling for 10 hours while you take a minuscule 100 watts or so off of it is the definition of inefficient.  For my setup, as I mentioned in the other thread about this, I estimate that I'd need 30 minutes or less charging per day.  

The biggest question for me is how loud is the truck vs a generator?  Truck guys like their loud exhausts, because volume equals manliness I guess, so there are a lot of trucks out there that I wouldn't want to idle in a campground - diesels and my Raptor come to mind.  Give the truck a decent muffler, though, and I think a lot of camping neighbors might prefer 15 minutes of that twice a day to a generator.  

Yes those Dodges and Fords do make a lot of idle noise. 😳😉

Edited by Overland
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1 hour ago, Dean said:

If all you want to do is charge batteries.....https://www.centurytool.net/Plug_In_Cable_Kits_s/16302.htm

I made a similar setup many decades ago to charge a pair of regular 100 amp hr batteries in a Nash travel trailer. I used 1/0 welding cable and 175 amp Anderson Powerpole connectors at the rear bumper of the Suburban. Plus a rotary selector switch in the engine compartment so I could run the engine and send all the current to the back for a while before switching back to Both. It worked OK, I guess, But the alternator was only about 70 amps. It would be harder to do this with an Ollie due to having to feed the cables to that rear compartment. If I had a pair of monster 220A alternators on my TV I might choose to leave one dedicated just for trailer charging, that might make it more practical. 

FYI when recharging batteries statically you should run the engine at a fast idle, which is not usually possible without a manual throttle. Unless some newer gas trucks have that capability through the Setup menu? Some diesels have this Idle Up feature, via the cruise controls.... My ‘06 Cummins did. I added a hand throttle to a 1996 Series 80 (LX450) for winching, the amps were significantly higher at 1200 + rpm. The truck even had a factory spot in the dash for it 😉

Interesting charts showing the effect of a hot engine compartment on output vs at room temperature (rpm shown is alternator speed, not engine speed):
Alternator output - rpm, outside temp

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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The 7.2 kW generator on the hybrid is interesting.  That represents around 10 horsepower including losses.  I am pretty sure that the F150 will be quieter than even a 2k inverter at 1.5kW when running that load, but could charge batteries much faster -- assuming you have the appropriate charger and batteries. 

I'd love to see something official like this on the Duramax, as I'd feel more comfortable heading into the mountains with 80 gallons of Diesel vs 30 gallons of Gas. Even the DMax at an elevated idle is still quieter than 2k/3k Inverters.

2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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3 hours ago, WhatDa said:

I'd love to see something official like this on the Duramax, as I'd feel more comfortable heading into the mountains with 80 gallons of Diesel vs 30 gallons of Gas. Even the DMax at an elevated idle is still quieter than 2k/3k Inverters.

I am not sure that I would be happy leaving an emissions equipped diesel running for long periods unattended. Active regenerations and the extreme heat from the DPF can start grass or even vehicle fires. There is a lot of discord in the woodland firefighting community about newer trucks parked on dry grass and the unintended consequences. They are supposed to put out fires, not start them

https://axi-international.com/dpf-diesel-particulate-filter-or-dangerous-potential-fire/

How often does your DM regen, and have you seen it happen when parked and running?

This is one more reason to "delete" the stuff, as illegal as that is.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies

"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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21 hours ago, John E Davies said:

How often does your DM regen, and have you seen it happen when parked and running?

 

About every 800 miles, less in the city.  Ideally an official solution on the DM would involve deferring regen and eventually forcing a manual regen. I know the PSD when properly equipped won't regen until you tell it to - that is usually a fleet option though.  Since I bought my truck off the lot I didn't look too deeply into GM's equivalent options.

 

Edit to add: there are also options like the Banks iDash that can force/monitor/do other things, but I really am more interested in a factory option.  New generator (propane) comes tomorrow, and I'll happily use that instead of voiding the warranty on my engine.

Edited by WhatDa
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2019 LE2 #529.   Standard Floorplan.

2020 GMC Sierra 2500 Duramax

 

 

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