No Noisy Generator

EarthRoamer XV-LTs are designed from the ground up to not require a typical RV style generator. Typical RVs and expedition vehicles use a separate stand-alone internal combustion engine powered generator (RV generator) as their primary power source when they are camping independent of electrical hookups. Typically these RV generators are fueled by gasoline, propane or diesel.

There are many reasons that EarthRoamer XV-LTs are designed to NOT require a traditional RV generator for stand-alone operation including:

  • Noise – RV generators are loud
  • Size – RV generators take up a significant amount of space
  • Weight – RV generators are heavy
  • Alternate Fuel Required – Gasoline and propane fueled generators negate the advantages of an “all diesel” Xpedition Vehicle
  • Service and Maintenance – Adding an additional internal combustion engine driven generator means an additional complex system to service and maintain

We order Ford F-550 turbocharged diesel Power Stroke trucks with the dual alternator option which provides a quiet, fuel efficient, factory installed 3.7 kWh generator. We install an advanced battery isolation system and connect the factory alternators using low resistance, #4/0 tinned copper marine cable to the massive  absorbed glass mat (AGM)camper battery bank. Whenever driving or the engine is idling, the AGM battery bank is being charged by the high output dual engine alternators. At idle, the Power Stroke diesel burns approximately .5 gallons of diesel per hour which is significanly less than many RV generators at full load.

The new Power Stroke is incredible quiet – this is from a Car and Driver review:

…the diesel is remarkably quiet. Hardly any clatter or turbo noise is audible, and the interior  
is actually quieter than in the last Lexus we tested. At wide-open acceleration the Ford
measures 69 decibels
(emphasis added), five fewer than a Lexus ES350; and even cruising

at 70 mph, the F-250 is a hushed 66 dBA compared with the ES350’s 69.

Combined with our standard .88 kWh (or our optional 1.1 kWh) solar panel array plenty of power is provided for standalone camping in an EarthRoamer XV-LT without the need for a noisy RV generator.

We have been asked about the viability of using a Fischer-Panda 4000w DC Diesel Generator (Panda AGT-DC 4000 PMS ) in our vehicles. We did an in depth evaluation and found that it did not meet our standards. Here’s one reason we decided against using it: Fischer Panda: The Final Chapter 

The other reasons are its size, weight, noise and fuel consumption. This generator takes up 3.23 cubic feet of space, weighs 200 pounds, is loud (67dBa at no load), and burns more than twice as much fuel (1.25 gallons/hour) as the Ford Power Stroke engine – and produces less power (3.2 kWh continuous) than the dual Ford alternators! The manufacturer of the Fisher-Panda 4000w DC Diesel Generator claims 54db sound level at 7 meters but an independent test measured the Fischer-Panda 4000w at 69 dB (with no load!) which is as loud as the Ford engine at wide open throttle. At idle the Ford engine is only 49.3 dB. The measured fuel consumption of the  Fischer-Panda 4000w was 1.25 gallons per hour. See: Victron Energy Marine Generator Test

To summarize:

 

Ford with factory

dual alternators

Fischer Panda

4000

Size (cubic feet)

n/a

3.23

Weight (pounds)

n/a

198

Noise (dB)

49.3

69

Output (kWh)

3.7

3.2

With the EarthRoamer XV-LTs energy efficient design and use of dual engine alternators, large battery bank and massive solar panel arrays, there is simply no need for a heavy, loud, and inefficient RV generator.