Real Power Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What vehicles will accommodate Real Power generation systems?
If you have a 2001-2004 Allison® 1000 automatic transmission in your GMC® or Chevy®
2500/3500 truck, you have a PTO gear. Note: Starting around March 1 2004 Chevrolet® and GMC® pickup trucks were not built with PTO. After Nov. 30, 2004, PTO is optional (order "RPO=M1F or PTO" option). Real Power also offers applications for Allison® 3000 and 4000 series transmission applications with PTO.
Real Power is also available to fit medium and heavy-duty Ford® trucks with Torque Shift® automatic transmission and the PTO option (RPO=62R).
Our new lineup of 30-180kVA generator systems require a larger truck, typically
in the class 6-7 range with Allison 2000-4000 series transmissions. Please
contact us with your requirements and we can customize a complete package to fit
Q: How do I order my new vehicle from the dealer to make certain it has Real Power capability?
Chevrolet® and GMC® trucks must be ordered with the PTO gear to be compatible with Real Power. The order code must include "RPO = M1F or PTO" to assure compatibility with Real Power.
Ford® trucks also must be equipped with the PTO gear in the transmission to run Real Power. Be sure to include the PTO order code of "RPO = 62R" with the order of your next truck to assure compatibility with Real Power.
Q: What are the possible uses for Real Power?
Potential users include: equestrian tow vehicles and trailers; contractors who desire to be self-sufficient at the job site; home and recreational uses (backup generation for sump pump, water pumps, personal protection systems, tailgating, camping, etc.); auto racers & race trailers; railroad and transportation maintenance vehicles; emergency response; park and municipal maintenance vehicles; utility (water/gas/cable/telephone, etc.) maintenance vehicles; security and communications mobile command centers; military and defense vehicles; etc.
Q: What does the Real Power system cost?
Real Power is purposefully designed and engineered to provide substantial pure AC power for practical applications at an affordable price. Contact Real Power for a no obligation price quote
by sending us a note at
Q: Where and when can I buy a Real Power system?
Real Power does not sell it's products through a
network of dealers.
We sell direct to end users, upfitters and
We also offer
several installation options, such as:
Installation at our
facilities in Indianapolis, Indiana
Installation at your approved facility by our technicians
Ship-through option from the factory
Nationwide Pickup and drop-off service
(Driveaway and Haulaway)
Q: What is the warranty period for the Real Power system?
Real Power generation systems are delivered with a limited one-year factory warranty from the manufacturer (Contour Hardening, Inc.) and the installer.
Unlimited hours/miles during the warranty period.
Q: What is the estimated life of the Real Power system?
Under normal operating conditions, Real Power's anticipated life is expected to equal the life of the vehicle in which it is installed.
Q: Who will provide product support and technical support?
Contour Hardening, Inc. provides technical and engineering support from the Indianapolis, Indiana headquarters.
Q: Who is Contour Hardening, Inc.?
Contour Hardening, Inc. is the manufacturer and owner of the pending patent application for REAL POWER. Contour Hardening, Inc. is a privately held company in Indianapolis, Indiana.
In 1986, Contour Hardening, Inc. developed the patented Micropulse induction heat-treating process to harden gear teeth and other high performance mechanical parts used in a variety of applications ranging from industrial power tools to airplanes. Contour Hardening, Inc. has supplied induction hardening systems and services to harden high performance mechanical components used in airplanes, trains, automobiles, American made motorcycles, trucks, agricultural and construction equipment, lawn equipment, power tools, electric motors, and racecars. Contour Hardening, Inc.'s unique understanding of vehicles, driveline components, and gears lead to the development of REAL POWER. To find out more about Contour Hardening, Inc. visit our website at www.contourhardening.com
Supplemental Real Power Questions
Q: How does it work?
A: The Real Power generator is driven by a vehicle's power take off, which is located on the vehicle's transmission. Using the vehicle's factory installed settings; the engine will run at a constant idle speed that is controlled by the vehicle's computer. As the demand for electricity increases or decreases, the vehicle's computer automatically adjusts the fuel supplied to the engine to ensure a constant predetermined engine speed to enable the generator to supply a clean, constant and uninterrupted electrical signal. Real Power utilizes a "cold shift" PTO - so the truck must be turned off and then restarted to engage the generator. The PTO will only engage during the startup cycle of the vehicle and once all safety conditions have been met.
Q: How is Real Power different than the other products currently on the market?
A: Real Power is not an inverter. Real AC Power is separated from the vehicle's 12V battery system. Therefore, there is no risk of damage to your vehicle's electrical system.
1) The Real Power system is not hydraulically driven.
2) Real Power uses the truck's engine and fuel system so there is no need to maintain a separate engine or carry separate fuel cans.
3) Real Power is an integrated part of the vehicle so there is no concern that it will be stolen. You don't have to worry about hanging this generator from a crane at a jobsite every night.
4) Real Power's controls are completely integrated into the vehicle's factory-installed control systems.
Q: How do I make this work with my house or business?
A: Have a power transfer switch installed by a qualified electrician.
Place the truck in a well ventilated place.
Hook up the truck mounted generator to your house or business via the transfer switch.
Start the truck under no electrical load.
Turn on on-site devices (AC, Lights, Appliances, etc.) as needed up to 12,000 watts total load.
Devices may be connected individually to the power distribution box on the truck however, the load must be balanced.
Connecting cords may be purchased from the Real Power network or your local hardware store
Backfeed to utility systems can cause electrocution or property damage. Do not connect to building electrical except through approved device and after building main breaker is opened.
Q: What attention does the Real Power system need?
A: Check truck gauges 3-4 times daily.
Once load has been reached, check to make sure voltage at the truck distribution box is at
appropriate levels. Also check voltage when truck gages are checked.
After approximately 120 hours of operation: shut down truck and system, allow time for cooling
off, check shafts and belts and lube as described in your Real Power operators manual.
The system is now ready for another extended period of operation.
Q: How much fuel does the system consume?
A: 12 kW model - Chevrolet® with Automatic transmission- .67 GPH @ 50% load; Ford® with Automatic transmission- .9 GPH @ 50% load.
Q: What truck models does it fit, Ford®, Chevrolet®, Dodge and others?
A: GM Allison® Transmission 2001 to early 2004 (VIN 210,000 or lower), post
October, 2004 (with RPO= M1F or PTO); 2011 and newer Ford® TorqShift®
automatic with RPO=62R PTO option. There are currently no applications for Dodge.
Systems are available for larger vehicles, such as class 6-7. Contact us for
A: 12kW - Ship wt. approx 200#, installed wt. 183#
Q: Length of warranty?
A: 1 year- limited; unlimited hours/miles during warranty period.
Q: Generator rated amps.
A: 12kW - 50 @ 240 volt and 100 @ 120 volt; 15kW - 62.5 @ 240 volt and 125 @ 120
volt; however in all cases load must be properly balanced.
Local conditions (temp and altitude) will affect actual output. See owner's manual.
Q: Can both voltages be used at the same time?
A: Yes- however in all cases load must be properly balanced. See owner's manual.
Q: Who do I call with questions concerning operation of unit?
A: You may call Real Power at 877.670.7325.
Q: Can I operate it in wet conditions?
A: Yes- Real Power AC Generators are made of the same materials as your truck. Operate it wherever you would use your truck. However, it is never safe to operate electrical equipment in standing water conditions. Be very cautious of wet cords, plugs, etc.
Q: Will it void my truck warranty?
A: No- Real Power uses the PTO that was built into your truck from the factory. Your truck was designed to run PTO-driven accessories
Q: How long does it take to install?
A: 12/15kW systems take approximately 6-10 hrs. after proper training.
Q: How much noise does it make?
A: 12/15 kW systems - 70 to 86 dB depending on ground surface. Lower with noise screening. Note: average vacuum cleaner = 70 dB, avg. lawn mower = 90dB, electric shaver= 85dB. These levels are lowered considerably by appropriate noise screening. Real Power generator-truck combinations make less noise than a comparable portable generator set.
Q: Does it hurt my truck to run it for a long time?
A: No- Trucks in good running condition can support power generation for a long
period of time. Diesels are ideally suited for the task, which is why we
exclusively require a diesel powered truck to power our generator systems.
Q: Will it shut down before it runs my truck out of fuel?
A: No- A good policy would be to pre-determine fuel/time capacity by checking the hour meter supplied with each Real Power unit during a trial run.
Q: Is there a maximum number of hours of continuous operation?
A: No- limited only by scheduled maintenance intervals and fuel capacity.
Q: How does water/moisture affect the generator?
A: Generator not affected by moisture. If it is immersed in water, it should be allowed to drip dry before engagement.
Q: Will salt spray affect the generator?
A: No more than other aluminum and coated copper components of the truck.
Q: What kind of service does the unit require?
A: Lube shaft joints and check belt tension every 250 hrs.
Q: Do I have to use a transfer switch for backing up my office/ business / residence?
A: Yes- contact your local electrician or refer to local electrical codes.
Wiring and Equipment must be installed in accordance with the National Electric Code, local ordinances and the requirements of your power supplier. It is essential that you have the proper equipment for disconnecting the generator from public utility line. Check with your electrician or power supply representative for installation, instruction and inspection.
Q: Does generator installation lower truck ground clearance?
A: In most cases- No.
Q: Does generator reduce cargo area?
Q: What kind of circuit/safety protection does the system have?
A: 12/15 kW systems are GFI and thermal breaker protected. Protection is
available for other systems depending on package/application. Contact Real Power
for more information.
Q: What is service life of generator system?
A: Same as that of the vehicle if operated under normal conditions and with proper maintenance.
Real Power, by Contour Hardening, Inc. Patent pending.