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Airstream trailers are one of the best RVs you can own. They are unique and manufactured in a very special manner. They are also costly and can last very long. Having a generator in RV is very much necessary. Its obvious to have below question if you are planning to own a airstream.
Do Airstream Trailers come with Generators?
Unfortunately, most Airstream do not have generators included and you will need to purchase your generator separately.
However, there are several ways that you can use to power up your Airstream. The first way is of course by getting a generator of your own. But it’s not the only way that is available to you.
Let’s first start with generators.
Adding a generator to airstream is not a difficult job. You can get one installed anytime. It’s highly recommended for you to get a less in weight generator like those produced by honda. They have a high-level of durability as well as efficiency. Apart from that, Honda generators are also highly portable. It’s quite easy for you to move it around. And it also operates silently so that you will be able to sleep comfortably in your Airstream.
Make use of Inverter
The second way for you to power up your Airstream is by using an inverter. It is preferred by many due to its ease of use.
If you have a great truck that can provide sufficient power to power up an alternator, charge the twin batteries as well as providing a huge amount of extra power then all you need to do is to take one of the inverters and install it on your Airstream.
After that, make sure that you run max power to turn on the Airstream. The estimated amount of money that you need for this is around $1,100 plus some additional money for the installation as well as the gauge cable.
The third way that you can power up your Airstreams is by harnessing the power of the sun to get free energy by utilizing some solar panels. All you need is to do is to install the solar panels on top of the Airstream to get a maximum amount of exposure to the sunlight. This is one of the best solutions to your power needs.
You will be able to completely live off the grid and you don’t need to depend on fuel or other external factors. However, just like any other method, there are also some downsides to using the solar panels. One thing that solar panels can’t power up is your air-conditioner. It’s also quite expensive for those who are on a tight budget as you will need at least $2,600 for the gears alone.
Why are There No Generators Included?
One of the most obvious reasons as to why there are no generators built-in inside the Airstream is because it provides a form of flexibility for the people to choose which types of power methods that they prefer.
Some will prefer to have a portable generator installed in their Airstreams as the number of people living in the truck is low and they would most probably not have any issues with the amount of space available in the truck.
However, for some people that would like to bring their whole family members living off-grid together for a certain period in the wilds, the space that is available in the truck becomes a major concern for them so they would most probably want to switch to other forms of power methods such as using the solar panels or the inverter methods explained previously.
Needs vary : Apart from that, the power needs of people are mostly not the same. Some will only need a low amount of electricity to charge their smartphones and laptops as well as to power up the television. Others may need a higher level of electricity. They may need a sufficient amount of power to run their essential electrical appliances that require a high level of electricity such as an air-conditioner and a water heater.
On top of that, different types of people have a different set of budgets. They can and willing to spend. hence, people would most probably turn to cheaper powering options so that they would be able to get the most out of their money.
Generator means noise (at-least some): Not all people would want a noisy generator installed in their truck that would ruin the overall experience of living off the grid in the truck. Instead of having a crappy generator installed in the truck, it’s better for you to manually buy the type of generator that you prefer separately so that you will have no problems with it later on in the future. This will also allow you to try out other forms of powering options that are available so that you will be able to have backup power supply just in case your generator malfunctions.
How to Add/Install a Generator on Airstream?
One of the first things that you will need to do is to know the size of the generator that you have. The total amount of power that you need as well as the power output of your generator.
This step is important for you as it allows you to choose the right generator based on your power needs. So that you would not end up at the end of the day realizing the fact that you have just installed the wrong generator that would not be able to meet all your needs.
Once you have all the numbers in your mind, the best thing that you can do next is to properly designate a portion of space that is available in your Airstream so that you will be able to match the size of the generator that you have to the amount of space available.
Just in case you are using a propane generator to power up your Airstream, you must check the fuel tank to make sure that it does not have any leaks.
Picking the right one is important
When picking the right generators for your Airstream, please make sure that the generator that you plan to buy is RV ready. For example the Champion 75531i as most of the generators that you can find in the market currently are not made specifically to be used for RVs.
Hence, when you bring your generators back home, you will notice that none of the plugs that are available on your generator can fit with the power cord of your Airstream and the only thing that you need to buy now is the power adapter. Let’s say that you bought a 2000-Watt generator online and you will most probably have 120-volt 15 amp outlet that can be usually found inside your house.
50 AMP or 30 AMP : The reason why you will need to buy a power adapter is that you will be able to connect your 50 or 30-amp RV power cord to the plug of the generator that you have just bought thus providing power supply to your Airstream. You may be wondering how do you know if you have a 50-amp or 30-amp power cord with you and the answer is simple. Just take a look at the numbers of male prongs that your power cord has.
A standard 50-amp power cord would usually have four prongs while a 30-amp power cord would usually have only three prongs. These power adapters would usually be available in a doggy-bone style or a hockey puck style and you can find them easily on almost any online store such as Amazon.com.
AC BTU and Size of the generator
There are a lot of types of generators that are available on the market currently and to make sure that you buy the right one that fits all of your power needs, you will need to know the necessary numbers in your mind to have an overview of the power requirements of your Airstream.
You need to keep in mind that your air-conditioner will require to have a higher level of power consumption compared to other electrical appliances that you might have in your Airstream and listed below is a small list of the minimum size of generator that you will need to power up the three different air-conditioners with different levels of power consumption.
Air Conditioner Decides : 13500 BTU air conditioner will need a 3500-watt generator 11000 BTU air conditioner will need a 3500-watt generator 9500 BTU air conditioner will need a 2500-watt generator.
Read More on Airstream : Why are Airstream Trailers Popular and Expensive
If you plan to not have an air-conditioner in your Airstream and you plan to only use the electrical appliances with small power requirements such as smartphones, laptops, television as well as a refrigerator then you most probably won’t need any huge generator.
A standard 2000-watt or 1000-watt generator would be able more than enough for you to charge your power bank or power up your laptop. However, as for the kitchen appliances such as the microwaves and coffeemakers, you will need more power and it will also use up your power battery pretty fast.
Apart from that, You would also want to avoid using a lot of electrical appliances at the same time. If you need to use all of the electrical appliances at the same time then you should consider buying a bigger generator compared to the standard one.
For you to ensure that you have sufficient power to operate your air-conditioner (if you choose to have one) then what you will need to do is to either buy a bigger generator or you can also switch off your air-conditioner when you need to use other electrical appliances such as a hairdryer or a laptop.