Do OEM Specialty Vehicle Manufacturers Need a Remote Radiator for Their Generators?

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) that produce specialty vehicles, trailers, custom trucks, or any specialized mobile unit, often require onboard generators to supply power to various vehicle systems. The question of whether to use a remote radiator for cooling these generators often arises. Let's dive into the key reasons for and against the use of remote radiators in this context.

Advantages of Using a Remote Radiator

Do Specialty Vehicle Manufacturers Need a Remote Radiator for Their Generator

  1. Optimal Temperature Control: Remote radiators can offer superior temperature control, especially in compact spaces where the generator might be located close to other heat-sensitive equipment or systems. A remote radiator can be positioned in an area where it has access to a more significant volume of ambient air, ensuring better cooling efficiency.

  2. Flexibility in Design: For specialty vehicles where space is a premium, the ability to separate the radiator from the generator allows designers greater flexibility. They can position the radiator where it gets optimal airflow without being constrained by the generator's location.

  3. Reduced Noise: Locating the radiator remotely can sometimes help reduce the overall noise emanating from the generator, as the noise produced by the cooling fan may be isolated from the main living or working areas of the specialty vehicle.

  4. Improved Maintenance Access: By positioning the radiator away from the dense core of the vehicle’s systems, maintenance tasks related to the radiator (like cleaning, checking for leaks, or replacing parts) may become more straightforward.

Drawbacks of Using a Remote Radiator

  1. Increased Complexity: Introducing a remote radiator means adding more components, such as extended coolant lines, pumps, and additional fittings. This can increase the complexity of the system and introduce more potential points of failure.

  2. Cost Implications: A remote radiator setup is generally more expensive not just in terms of initial costs, but also potentially in terms of maintenance. Additional components and the need for longer hoses or cables can drive up costs.

  3. Potential for Leaks: With the addition of extended coolant lines and fittings, there's a heightened risk of leaks developing over time. This can lead to coolant loss, overheating issues, and potential damage to the generator.

  4. Efficiency Concerns: Depending on the design and length of coolant lines, there might be some loss in cooling efficiency as the coolant travels a longer distance between the generator and the radiator.


The decision to use a remote radiator for a generator in an OEM specialty vehicle is not black and white. It depends on multiple factors, including the specific design and use-case of the vehicle, budgetary constraints, and maintenance considerations. While a remote radiator offers benefits like improved temperature control and design flexibility, it also introduces complexities and potential risks.

For manufacturers, it's crucial to weigh these pros and cons against their specific needs and constraints. If cooling efficiency, design flexibility, and noise reduction are of paramount importance, a remote radiator might be a good choice. However, if simplicity, cost, and reduced risk of leaks are more critical, then an integrated radiator setup may be preferable.


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