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Author Topic: Anyone using an Air Cooled Generator???  (Read 3479 times)
Highway Yacht
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« on: May 26, 2010, 06:36:29 PM »

Anyone using an air cooled generator to power their A/C units while travelling down the road? I know the water cooled diesel gensets are the best but was just wondering if the air cooled units have ever been used.
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cody
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2010, 07:03:55 PM »

All right, I confess, I use an air cooled generator to power an ac unit on the road, omg, and it's located in the old a/c compartment back by my engine, and gasp it's a honda,,,,,,,,,, hello, I'm cody and I have a bus,,,,,,,,,,,, next question? lol
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2010, 07:06:42 PM »

me too 7.5 Gaurdian Rv
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cody
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2010, 07:12:07 PM »

I use the honda 3000IS inverter generator, it'll power one of my 15K carrier heat pumps but not both on the road.
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Highway Yacht
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2010, 07:14:26 PM »

All right, I confess, I use an air cooled generator to power an ac unit on the road, omg, and it's located in the old a/c compartment back by my engine, and gasp it's a honda,,,,,,,,,, hello, I'm cody and I have a bus,,,,,,,,,,,, next question? lol

Do you have a remote start button to start it from inside the bus? I was thinking also of placing one in the old a/c compartment. Ever had any problems with it overheating?
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2010, 07:16:51 PM »

I was thinking of something between 5k to 6.5k. That should power 2 15000btu units I would think.
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2010, 07:22:21 PM »

I just installed a Generac #5754 in my rear passenger side engine compartment, I got some SS boat vents and cut in the side door for ventalation, We went on a trip to VA a couple of weeks ago and that was the first I used it and I didn't have the vents and it go pretty hot in there but it also was 92 degrees, but we where parked I don't think it would get to hot going down the road. Jason
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cody
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2010, 07:24:27 PM »

I have the remote start for it but haven't installed it yet, no overheating problems at all yet, no problems of any kind with it. I have a 30 amp cord that is plugged into the generator and dead ends in the center bay where the breaker box and inverter are, for on the road I plug the shore power cord into the deadended cord from the generator, when were parked and have access to shore power we plug the power cord into the power post. Doing it this way we are the transfer switch ourselves lol, it's either shore power or generator power, never both.  My honda 3000 isn't supposed to power my 15K carrier but it does just fine, it does idle up when the a/c cycles but handles it flawlessly but 5K or more would certainly give a greater advantage in regards to available surplus power.  Our a/c compartment has an expanded metal screen on the door thats almost the full size of the door.
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2010, 07:26:06 PM »

should give you two 25 amp circuits(aprox) which is plenty(6500 divide by voltage...120 = amps available..) not scientific but close enough to start with
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2010, 07:30:11 PM »

Mine has one 30amp and one 20amp and 4800 watt it did run both of our 15,000 dometics but thats when I noticed it getting pretty hot in the compartment and I cut it back to just one and ran the fan on the other air and it still kept it cool even at 92 outside temp. Jason
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2010, 07:52:18 PM »

 We have an old Onan 4000 watt propane air cooled that sits back next to the engine.  We have run it a time or two going down the road to power an ac, but if it is not over 100 degrees we just have the windows open. Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2010, 08:00:15 PM »

We have an old Onan 12KW and use it on the road if my wife starts to sweat. It's mounted in the first bay, driver side. I can hear it barely, in a few years maybe not at all. Roll Eyes It's really been a great unit, even if it's on the loud side. I'll evenentually build a quite box ,maybe. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2010, 08:01:23 PM »

We just have a 5500 watt air cooled Onan (gas), and a single roof top A/C unit (13.5K).  Running the genny and A/C while we cruise down the road is a regular situation for us.  I wouldn't attempt two roof units without upgrading my current gen to a higher output model, however
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2010, 04:56:26 AM »

My little honda is a remarkable generator, for 3000 watts it states 28 amps on the plate and at around 50 DB is hugely quiet without any additional work, right now I've got it out of the bus and am using it to power the skanee house and it is doing a great job, I tied it directly into the breaker box with a jumper catching both sides, remember this house is off the grid no lineman were injured in making this movie lol.  This way I can catch any of the outlets or lights and they are hot, I can also flush the toilet and in no time the refrigerator is cold so it has proven to be a good worker out there, I've also got a revcon that has an air cooled onan that is a 5 K unit but the plate says it is only 20 amps that I had given some thought to putting into the generator compartment but at only 20 amps I think I can do better unless it turns out to be 20 amps per leg which I think it is, just haven't taken the time to pull the cover to check it yet.
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2010, 05:04:52 AM »

7kw Onan Marquis - Gasoline - air cooled - OEM Noise suppresion enclosure (very quite) - remote start switch - fits in the RTS's low bay just fine - 2 marine 6 gal portable fuel tanks
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« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2010, 05:25:39 AM »

I have a Yamaha EF3000iSEB semi-permanently mounted in the old AC compartment on my MCI.  I'm not hugely sanguine about running it in there while stopped, so I can easily take it out and put it beside the bus, but I do plan to be able to run it on the road if required - haven't yet.  The front wall of the compartment will be ventilated so air can flow in from the front, obviously the entire side of the compartment is open, and I am building a fan driven evacuator to pull hot air from the top of the compartment down and out the existing fan hole.  Air pressure is lower under the bus than in that compartment, but the Yamaha cooling fan exhausts up from the side compartment where the exhaust also exits, so all the heat is concentrated  at one point so a focused cooling fan can have maximum effect.  I also fabricated a remote exhaust for it that exits down through the floor and out along the side of the bus, and wrapped it with fiberglass header tape.  The whole gubbins still gets hot, though.

Brian
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2010, 05:46:18 AM »

Hi jlink,

General Motors built somewhere near 20,000 motorhomes from 1973 through 1978 with 6kw Onan, enclosed, air cooled generators.  To date, over 8,000 of these units are still on the road.

I have a 1978 Royale with the 6kw Onan which still performs as it should.
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cody
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2010, 05:48:09 AM »

Garhawk, my 1978 revcon is the oldsmobile sistership to your royale lol.
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« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2010, 05:56:40 AM »

I have an air cooled 6.5KW Onan Genset in my 4104.
I run it all the time as we go down the road to run both roof top airs. I think it runs at about 65-75db.
The only problem that I have with it is that it uses a little oil and when it gets a little low it will shut down during a sharp left hand turn because the oil sloshes to the opposite side of the oil pickup..

I have two remote starts, one in the middle of the coach mounted on the wall and one up front on the drivers left side panel.


.
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« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2010, 06:07:03 AM »

I use  two honda 3000 air cooled. Will replace with  6000su when building pink bus. Other than that my expierence is the same as Cody's.
  Big john
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« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2010, 08:23:47 AM »

I have just installed a 3000 w air cooled into my old A/C condensor compartment. It seem to work well but I am quite concerned about the amount of heat it generates. I did run the exhaust out the side but after running for about an hour it is 140 degrees in the compartment and only approx 65 outside. Therefore I will be also mounting some sort of fan. Don't plan on using too much while parked but for running my A/C while running down the road. It sounds like my set up is similiar to Cody's
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« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2010, 08:36:32 AM »

My a/c compartment has an expanded metal front that has a factory air scoop for air movement, it is also open to the back and side where the engine is and the back hatch, I did fasten a 12 inch exhaust fan to the upper corner of the screened door that is plugged into the generator, when the generator is running the fan is running to exhaust any heat or fume that could possibly build up that might showup.
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« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2010, 09:25:42 AM »

my chink built 5000 watt gen sat in the front bay next to washer. drilled holes in the cargo door and installed a line of round vents. cut some holes under the gen and mounted 12v. twin electric car fans to suck the heat out the bottom. worked fine. Smiley

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« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2010, 12:11:33 PM »

some good ideas.  I have been thinking the same thing but was unsure of what exactly to do. My floor is also open towards the back but there just doesn't seem to be the air flow. I do have a 12V auto rad fan I could put up against teh mess side screen.

 Thanks
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« Reply #24 on: May 27, 2010, 12:41:20 PM »

Anyone using an air cooled generator to power their A/C units while travelling down the road? I know the water cooled diesel gensets are the best but was just wondering if the air cooled units have ever been used.

You have three issues when using a generator in motion.

First, you need sufficient intake and cooling airflow, and you need the exhaust where the gases won't be drawn into the coach.  Also, you MUST REPEAT MUST have carbon monoxide detectors in appropriate places, including one in every confined area where someone might go, including cargo bays (unless you plan to ventilate them for a few minutes before entering).

Second, you need a generator which can handle the gyroscopic forces in combination with the yaw forces of the coach moving.  Most can.

Third, you need a mount which can absorb those forces.  Again, most can.

The issues are the same for air- or water-cooled -- the only difference is that you can move your heat exchange to another place with water cooling, instead of being forced to cool the genset bay.

The airflow issue can be tricky.  Air blowing past the coach can create a partial vacuum in the genset bay, and in the wrong place can mean the genset doesn't get enough intake air to run.  This is easily solved by putting an air scoop into the airflow.

Also, air going past the bay isn't the same thing as air coming INTO the bay, and the same partial vacuum can cause overheating.  Again, easily solved with an air scoop -- but in cold weather, you can overCOOL an air-cooled engine.

In aircraft, we solve this with adjustable cowl flaps and Cylinder Head Temp gauges.  If the CHTs go up, we open the cowl flap a little, letting more hot air escape, if they are too cool, we close the flaps to trap the heat.

The genset in my coach is an Onan air-cooled unit originally intended for standby power use.  Since these are often in closed buildings, there is ducting to draw the cooling air from outside and dump the exhaust outside.  This makes it easy to control cooling airflow (a simple flap) if I were to set up a scoop.  My genset is in the bay where the aircon condenser was, with one wall which is just expanded metal and a nice, big hole in the floor (you want holes in the floor anywhere that you are using propane, which is heavier than air).

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« Reply #25 on: May 27, 2010, 07:13:22 PM »

We have an gas Onan 6.5 Marquis mounted in the old AC condenser bay. it has the remote start & I built & installed a remote transfer switch. I have a 100 gallon tank I got off  a S&S  RV that was wrecked. Haven't had any problems at all. I have a vertical stack also for when we dry camp a long time. It runs both roof tops all the time.

TOM
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« Reply #26 on: May 27, 2010, 08:40:57 PM »

We have a 7k (24hp) twin cylinder Kohler that runs at 1600 rpm or thereabouts. So its relatively quiet. Mounted it in the former condenser bay on our MC-5. It came out of a firetruck and was designed to run in a confined compartment with cooling intake up high and heat discharge down low. Works great and we run it all the time to drive roof top AC driving down the road. Otherwise we use inverter.

No remote start, because I have to manually plug the bus in to the generator when I want to use it. Never installed a transfer switch even though I have one!

Fred
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« Reply #27 on: May 27, 2010, 08:46:10 PM »

I guess I'll come outta the closet too LOL, Honda 5000 In the ac condenser hole,open grill door and to the engine compartment. Been using it quite often during the de-construction of our Eagle, and powers both 1300 roof warts while parked or moving. Lol! my honda is not electric start, but that is nothing a remote switch and a longer cord won't fix  Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2010, 09:05:11 PM »

What are you folks doing for "bonding"?   What happens when the little neighbor boy hoses down your bus with a garden hose while he is bare feet.
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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2010, 09:17:03 PM »

We use our air cooled gen, on the road and parked. the guy that installed it put a fan in with it. but the outlet was too close to the intake so it just recycled the hot air, so I installed a duct to have the hot air exhaust out away from the intake and it works great.

Ron 
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« Reply #30 on: May 27, 2010, 09:24:36 PM »

In '79 when my bus was converted Onan was about it. My 6.5NH still works like a champ. Buy them on craigslist all day long for $400 to $800. The 6.5 will run two airs and a few other things. Many bad mouth them and have never seen one. For the money you get a good system. As with any genny, just make sure it runs before you buy.
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cody
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« Reply #31 on: May 27, 2010, 09:33:07 PM »

My 1978 revcon has a 5K onan that hasn't missed a beat in all those years, it still runs like a champ and only asks for an oil change now and then and a new set of plugs on occasion or an air filter, the onans were rock solid, I still use mine regularily, I use the revcon to go places that the bus can't due to low hanging branches or rough roads but it's just as confortable on an interstate.
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« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2010, 07:10:27 AM »

In '79 when my bus was converted Onan was about it. My 6.5NH still works like a champ. By them on craigslist all day long for $400 to $800. The 6.5 will run two airs and a few other things. Many bad mouth them and have never seen one. For the money you get a good system. As with any genny, just make sure it runs before you buy.

The Onans are also easy to convert to propane.  Many of them come set up for "tri-fuel" (gasoline, LP or natural gas) just by adjusting the carb.
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