PTO uses for travel

tim87tr

Trails
I was looking at the new Ram HD trucks and noticed they have the PTO option. Has anyone used this for a generator, air compressor, winches, etc? I did a quick search and found Vanair mobile power solutions with PTO shaft and hydraulic driven accessories as mentioned.

Just curious as I see more standard methods to powering camper systems. Of course the vehicle would be running but needing an off grid bit of AC, or airing up tires, this seemed like it might work out. A possible backup system too, and eliminate fueled generators. The new 2019 Ram diesel was surprising quiet too, if a PTO system was utilized for an accessory. The trend seems to be solar and battery, and using PTO for running higher load items might preserve that setups charge.
 

Mundo4x4Casa

West slope, N. Ser. Nev.
My 2001.5 Dodge Cummins 2500 has a power takeoff access plate on the transfer case, but i'll never use it. Unless you are using the truck like a tractor, it's so old tech and terribly inefficient compared to newer tech. My 1966 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ-40 came with a factory installed power takeoff winch. Kind of a novelty, but that's it. The guy that bought it from me in 1970 uses it with the windshield folded down like a tractor at his vineyard with a post hole digger, sprayer and other 3-points. I use the PTO every winter on my Kioti tractor with an 1100 pound rear pull snow blower and occasionally the post hole digger.
 

Buliwyf

Viking with a Hammer
Overlanding a dumptruck?
Overlanding a firetruck, brushtruck?

I guess someone has to build the trails, and put them out when they catch on fire.
 

tim87tr

Trails
I grew up on a farm and even our cub cadet lawn mower had PTO so it'd power our grain auger. I just figured it had a legitimate use, especially for a generator and air compressor combo under the travel rig setup. I see all this solar and battery being used, and thought it might be a viable option or backup since it'd be out of they way under the truck and non fuel dependant. Surprised overland rigs don't consider it. If inefficient but possibly a simple option? If you're not worried about running your truck, 70 gal of diesel tanks? It's a $295 option on a new truck.

Thanks for the responses. My overland experiences have been Jeep related the last 8 years, but in a couple years it'll be a travel rig too. Learning a lot from the forums, been a lurker a long time till recently and read entire forums on hard side and ER and EC. Earthcruiser EXD looks promising, probably not a favorable topic here😬
 
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HowardH

Adventurer
it's so old tech and terribly inefficient compared to newer tech.
I am interested to learn what new tech is available and more efficient for the amount of power a PTO can produce.

I would be very interested in the ability to run an AC in my camper while traveling and no access to power.
 

tim87tr

Trails
I am interested to learn what new tech is available and more efficient for the amount of power a PTO can produce.

I would be very interested in the ability to run an AC in my camper while traveling and no access to power.
I looked at start up and running wattage required for a camper AC and the frame rail generator/compressor specs show it would easily handle it. There's even combos which also include a welder and battery charger. I was told the diesel trucks with dual alternators and the high idle feature with a blue sea automatic charging relay would charge the camper batteries, set up correctly, but the PTO would be a great backup or intermittent use especially for AC, which would need a fueled generator or shore power anyway.

I'm just trying to learn more and why I asked about the PTO. Even if PTO has been on older vehicles and not utilized, whether effecient or not, it should be functional for camping setups. Has modern camper builds not utilized this option due to few trucks having PTO? Seems like a great alternative or even backup system to me.
 
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HowardH

Adventurer
I was told the diesel trucks with dual alternators and the high idle feature with a blue sea automatic charging relay would charge the camper batteries, set up correctly,
I have been told the opposite. It appears the issue is the invertor/battery overheating trying to push that much power through it. I have dual alternators even.
 

tim87tr

Trails
I have been told the opposite. It appears the issue is the invertor/battery overheating trying to push that much power through it. I have dual alternators even.
Darn, I hope it'd work. I thought that's what the automatic charging relay prevented. I'd like to hear about what people are using besides solar, and their setups to charge the camper batteries. And....who is utilizing PTO?😎
 

Buddha.

Lurker
PTO is substantial cost plus alot of extra weight.
My 3,000w genset is ~180lbs. Does the pto setup weigh more than that? There’s also the weight of full fuel cans too.

I’ve casually looked into it myself and have concluded that there must be a good reason nobody is doing it but it would sure be nice not to have to throw my heavy genset in the back, also the extra gas cans for it.
 

Jo_Duval

Observer
I thought the earthromer HD had a generator on the PTO?

Compressor could be belt driven, maybe a hydraulic pump if you had a super heavy duty winch, I think the only thing I’d consider is a genset that also welds. But you’re also locating fragile equipment under the truck...
 

tim87tr

Trails
My 3,000w genset is ~180lbs. Does the pto setup weigh more than that? There’s also the weight of full fuel cans too.

I’ve casually looked into it myself and have concluded that there must be a good reason nobody is doing it but it would sure be nice not to have to throw my heavy genset in the back, also the extra gas cans for it.
I need to look around more, but the Genair generator/compressor listed on the Vanair website was around 500 lb yet a higher 6 kW, therefore probably heavier. So yes there's weight, but with a fueled generator, fuel cans and separate compressor it adds up like you mentioned.

The unit I viewed was a Ram under chassis listed as weather proof and 6000w. If it's 200 lb more than traditional setups, at least it's lower COG than a TC box mounted Onan. With a flatbed set up as I've seen with something like Sherptek, there's also a space behind the cab to mount such a unit, I did see the caged box version that included a welder. Ideally there's a smaller lighter lower kW unit that'd work best for a camper rig. Need to see what's out there, weight, dimensions, specs. Hopefully some experienced people on here have more insight to add.👍

Owners have different needs and outlooks, in my case I am not concerned with extra fuel or low speed hours on a truck I would own. The 2019 Ram I looked at was surprisingly quiet too, they've gone to roller lifters.
 
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