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Author Topic: Neubie Various Thoughts  (Read 2991 times)
TomC
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« on: November 06, 2006, 04:37:46 PM »

Seen lots of repeat threads on much the same subjects.  Touch on a few- you'all add a few.  -Buy the bus that has the engine and transmission of your choice.  Too expensive to change later. -Use a Diesel powered generator. Gasoline is a pain and has limited gas tank life (like 60 days), propane you need a big or multiple tanks.  Also, use a 3,600rpm Diesel gen.  It'll have more than enough engine life, cost less, weigh less and sometimes even quieter. -Reefers-there's a real good reason houses don't use absorbtion reefers.  They're expensive and tempermental.  I have a Norcold compressor type without any problems in 12 years.-Use two sewage tanks.  One for gray (sink & shower water) black (toilet).  If you use biodegradable soap, you many times can discretely dump the gray without harm. I have a 45 gal black and it takes two weeks with two of us to fill it. -Both my wife and I like big windows.  Have seen many conversions where limited windows were used.  We're out here to see the scenery. -Above all make sure you have the bus inspected by a professional for both mechanical and rust.  Just some thoughts.  Good Luck, TomC
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RJ
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« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2006, 05:05:19 PM »

TomC -

A few thoughts on your Newbie Thoughts:

Agree: Buy the bus with the powertrain you want.  Also, buy the newest coach you can afford, even if you have to stretch just a little bit.

Disagree: The consensus seems to be that an 1800 rpm Diesel genset is the way to go, not a 3600 rpm model.

Agree: Compressor-type reefers are more efficient than absorption, albeit at some additional operating expense.

Agree & Disagree:  Use of two waste tanks.  This one will go round & round forever.  Most new stick 'n staple rigs only have one tank.  Dumping of grey waste discretely is illegal in many communities nowdays, biodegradable soap or not.  Waste tank(s) total size should be 25 - 30% greater than fresh tank capacity

Agree:  Windows are a good thing - dual-pane are even better.

Totally Agree:  Having the bus inspected by a competent bus mechanic is well worth the cost to avoid an expensive mistake.

Good post, Tom!

 Wink

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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2006, 04:30:20 AM »

I would not want to park within 100 feet of you if you ran a 3,600 rpm diesel generator... That screaching and whining carries a long way.

1,800 rpm is the ONLY option, Slow and reasonably quiet

Maybe that was a Typo? Cheesy
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2006, 05:08:11 AM »

Why here is an attenuated diesel generator that is 70 decibels at 7meters(approx 21 feet for us in the US).

http://www.hardysolar.com/shop/product.php?productid=17347&cat=0&page=1

70 decibels is about normal street noise, normal conversation is 60 decibels I'm sure that we all know people whose normal conversation level is closer to 70db ;^)

Decibel levels of common sounds
http://home.earthlink.net/~dnitzer/4HaasEaton/Decibel.html

What is the decibel level of a 1800rpm attenuated diesel generator?

Paul
 

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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2006, 05:30:42 AM »

Windows should be sized to be functional.  Huge windows are pointless if you will just obscure them with furniture or cabinets and huge windows are not as energy efficient as an insulated wall.  That's where proper planning comes in. 

Ross
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Chaz
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2006, 05:56:22 AM »

That generator looks like a good deal!!! What's wrong with it?Huh Wink All the ones I seen are WAAAAAAY higher than that!
 I was told that I would be better off with around a 6.5k gen. But then W.T.H.D.I.K???
 Jerry Lieber has me on track with a Trace Inverter that I think may help with down sizing my gen.

  By the way, THIS is a great thread!! Thank you from me and my gang of newbies!  Wink

   Chaz
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 06:24:59 AM »

For starters, that generator is most certainly Chinese and probably hard to get parts for if the need arises.  It has an air cooled engine.

70 DB is loud.  My Powertech is rated at 62 DB I believe and it is not the most quiet. 

I would choose a Generac or Onan gas generator over this one if you want to stay around $2000.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2006, 06:26:07 AM »

Yea, and you want a db rating at 6 feet not 20 feet.
Richard

For starters, that generator is most certainly Chinese and probably hard to get parts for if the need arises.  It has an air cooled engine.

70 DB is loud.  My Powertech is rated at 62 DB I believe and it is not the most quiet. 

I would choose a Generac or Onan gas generator over this one if you want to stay around $2000.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2006, 06:36:04 AM »

Thanx. I thought it was too good to be true. I was thinking about a Honda powered gen from SAMS. I know it's gas, but...... It's something like 65k or 68 k and only about 1000.oo I will NOW check on the db rating and rpm.

  Thanx, Chaz

  p.s. I have a 4k now.
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« Reply #9 on: November 07, 2006, 06:43:22 AM »

I originally went to buy a diesel generator, but was persuaded against it by the dealer as they were both more expensive and more noisy. There is slightly extra hassle in having to carry a can of petrol for the generator, rather than having it plumbed in to the bus tank, but overall I think I made the right choice. The generator I bought has a 'smart throttle' device, so it only does enough rpms to produce the power you are using - most of the time it is very quiet indeed. I think the 'quality' of the noise is an issue too - a modern petrol generator will emit a smooth 'purr' compared to the harsher rattle of a diesel.

Bear in mind also that 'decibels' work on a logrithmic scale, not a linear scale, so small differences in the dB number represent a big difference in the loudness. Also, to get really complicated, decibels are actually a measure of sound power rather than amplitude (or even sound pressure, which is what you should really be measuring).

Jeremy
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« Reply #10 on: November 07, 2006, 06:59:05 AM »

I have an 1800 rpm, 13k diesel generator I bought from Wrico.  I mounted it in a quiet box, and whilie there is a hum, is not very loud at all.  Its easy to have a normal converstaion while sitting or standing next to it.  I am very happy to have it plumbed into the diesel bus tank, only one fuel to worry about.  235 gals, so as long as I'm not on a 1/4 tanks, I'm fine for anything or anywhere I want to go.  I would not do it any other way

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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2006, 07:13:39 AM »

Thanx. I thought it was too good to be true. I was thinking about a Honda powered gen from SAMS. I know it's gas, but...... It's something like 65k or 68 k and only about 1000.oo I will NOW check on the db rating and rpm.

Any open frame construction type generator is going to be LOUD!  It really doesn't matter who makes the engine.  A better muffler helps somewhat, but most of the noise is not from the exhaust.  You will have trouble cooling a construction type generator in a bay unless you do a lot of customization.

You can get a Generac Quietpact 5.5KW with sound enclosure for $2100 shipped.  I wouldn't personally buy a Generac, but it will be way better than a contruction type.

Brian Elfert
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2006, 07:19:25 AM »

Brian, based on dozens of posts on this and other boards, and my personal experience, I think you would be better off with a construction genset than a Generac. LOL
Richard

 I wouldn't personally buy a Generac, but it will be way better than a contruction type.
Brian Elfert

« Last Edit: November 07, 2006, 07:23:35 AM by DrivingMissLazy » Logged

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, a good Reisling in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming:  WOO HOO, what a ride
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« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2006, 07:48:17 AM »

I agree with you both! I think Generacs are junk!! (care to hear how I really feel?  Grin) I've owned some of their junk and regretted it. Never again.

 Ok, so me trying to be the "creative one" (not always the best thing to do)  Wink  if I was to get this construction gen, bought a better muffler, sound proofed the bay -which I am doing anyway, what else would I have to do? Maybe have a small fan that comes on with the gen to keep air moving insde. Just curious. I'm always trying to be creative in some way and hopefully"occassionally" come up with a good idea that will help others.

 Chaz
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« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2006, 08:09:26 AM »

All generators should be sound proofed IF you plan on going to camp grounds or rallies where there will be other coaches close by.

Mine is a 12.5 wrico diesel and even without being fully insulated and the bay doors closed i can barely hear it outside or inside. I plan to do more to make it even quieter.

I know a lot of people plumb their diesel gensets directly into the coach tank and that works but IF you have a seperate tank for the generator, you can One, know exactly how much fuel you have IN the bus and IN the gen tank, and Two, in some instances you can purchase off road fuel for the generator which would probably be a little cheaper than on-road fuel! Another thing to think about is IF your on the road and NEED to change your fuel filters for whatever reason, you will have a seperate supply of fuel in the gen tank to do so!

Using a gas generator is ok but in the end you will see that a diesel is much more efficient in all aspects!

Ace
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2006, 08:14:55 AM »

One of the bigger problems with construction gensets is that they are air cooled and you must move large amounts of air to keep it cool. Not only does this create noise, it makes building a low noise enclosure difficult due to the air movement required.
Also, construction gensets are typically designed as throw away units to be thrown away after the construction project is finished.
Richard

I agree with you both! I think Generacs are junk!! (care to hear how I really feel?  Grin) I've owned some of their junk and regretted it. Never again.

 Ok, so me trying to be the "creative one" (not always the best thing to do)  Wink  if I was to get this construction gen, bought a better muffler, sound proofed the bay -which I am doing anyway, what else would I have to do? Maybe have a small fan that comes on with the gen to keep air moving insde. Just curious. I'm always trying to be creative in some way and hopefully"occassionally" come up with a good idea that will help others.

 Chaz
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2006, 11:20:19 AM »

Good post, Tom!

Amen on drivetrain. It's about the only reason I bought my present bus... but it's the one thing that would be far too complicated and expen$ive to change. Just about anything else you do to a bus is cake compared to a repower or tranny swap.

I can't agree with everything you said, though. I've owned all three: gas genset, 3,600 and 1,800rpm diesels. The 1,800 rpm diesel is the only one I would buy again. Gas unit was a pain with multi-fuel and more maint. The 3,600's can be freakishly loud and vibrate a bunch unless one spends a lot of time soundproofing. Right, JR?  Wink I wouldn't like propane, myself, but that's just me. I like to fill the one big fuel tank and just keep motoring... but that's just me!

And unless one needs three rooftop A/Cs and "all-electric"v, a 6-8kW unit is plenty. Best not to buy a big unit and run it only partially loaded. More fuel and wet-stacking that way.

My $0.02, and great thread!
Brian B.
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TomC
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« Reply #17 on: November 07, 2006, 01:20:24 PM »

Kubota makes their own generators-both 18 and 3600.  One that comes to mind is the Panda line of Marine generators.  They are 3600 rpm and come in their own enclosure.  The 2 cylinder 8kw was the quietest gen I've ever heard.  My main point is that most of us don't need a generator that will last 20-30,000 hrs, like the 1,800 rpm's will.  If they last around 15,000 hours, like the 3,600rpm units do, that's enough.  I personally have a 10kw Powertech that is 1800rpm.  But next time will consider a 3,600 rpm, if it is also as quiet.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #18 on: November 07, 2006, 01:39:00 PM »

Buy a Generac if you need a anchor for your boat actually not good for that either, not really good for anything my 2 cents worth

LarryH
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« Reply #19 on: November 07, 2006, 07:12:31 PM »

I went through all these considerations and had decided on an 1800 RPM water cooled diesel. My only delay was in the outrageous cost. Then I discovered the Honda EV6010 water cooled RV generator which I am in the process for installing.

It is 6KW, 3600 RPM and is made to be enclosed for proper cooling. I'm making an insulated(fireproof) plywood box. This is less than half the cost of a diesel and probably quieter. It will last as long as I will at my low rate of usage.

The cooling system is totally selff-contained, no need for external hookups.

The only downside for gas gen seems to be the need for a gasoline tank, but my 4104 already has a 24gl tank used for the original AC engine.

Stale gas is not a problem if one uses Stabil. Generators should be run at least once a month under load anyway.

This thing is a HONDA, what more needs to be said!
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« Reply #20 on: November 08, 2006, 10:07:08 AM »

Stale gas is not a problem if one uses Stabil. Generators should be run at least once a month under load anyway.

Stabil helps the gas last longer, but it will not allow it to last as long as diesel. I use stabil EVERY time I fill my gas can for the lawn mower & etc. Some times the gas will go bad after as little as 2 months. I buy gas from high volume stations to try to get the freshest to start with.

Keeping a gas genset exercised is mandatory if you want it to be usefull when you need it. Grin
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« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2006, 07:33:21 PM »

Good post, Tom!

Amen on drivetrain. It's about the only reason I bought my present bus... but it's the one thing that would be far too complicated and expen$ive to change. Just about anything else you do to a bus is cake compared to a repower or tranny swap.

I can't agree with everything you said, though. I've owned all three: gas genset, 3,600 and 1,800rpm diesels. The 1,800 rpm diesel is the only one I would buy again. Gas unit was a pain with multi-fuel and more maint. The 3,600's can be freakishly loud and vibrate a bunch unless one spends a lot of time soundproofing. Right, JR? Wink I wouldn't like propane, myself, but that's just me. I like to fill the one big fuel tank and just keep motoring... but that's just me!

And unless one needs three rooftop A/Cs and "all-electric"v, a 6-8kW unit is plenty. Best not to buy a big unit and run it only partially loaded. More fuel and wet-stacking that way.

My $0.02, and great thread! Brian B.

Right-O on the noise Brian.    However, as you state, with enough time and effort, even the higher RPM diesels can be quieted.  I've made great improvement with sound control.   The little Yamaha EDL 6.5 is quite tolerable now.  And it just sniffs fuel.  Been pretty good item so far.
High RPM Kubotas  are less expensive and much more compact that many low RPM units.  Jack Conrad squeezed a low RPM unit into the old condensor bay...which is where mine is located.  I didn't want to give up a bay for a genset.   If space isn't a consideration...or lack thereof, a low RPM diesel is preferable.   
Regarding that engine thing...if you'll buy an MCI, the engine and trans swap is almost easy...installing sedan doors in bi-fold holes is still what I'd consider the most PIA operation...'course, I haven't raised any roofs either.   I speaks with some authority as one that has had to R&R a rear main seal.  Add to the list of PIA's....bleeding a DDEC once it's full of air.  Just had that thrill again last Monday.  Changed the oil and fuel filters.   The filters were in good condition...probably good for another couple years at least.  Somehow I have this mental image of trying to bleed the thing in 25* weather while stuck on the side of the road...so we changed the filters.  Wink
Note that it was cold last Monday and the newly installed block heater is a charm!  One hour plugged in and the old 2 stroke lites up and runs perfect...no cold smoke or anything.  Block heaters are highly recommended.  I'd install a simple electric block heater even with a Webasto or Proheat unit.  Sometimes the KISS method will get you going...and what if the Weeb don't lite?  Happens.
Cheers, JR







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« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2006, 09:51:02 PM »

Kyle,

You're absolutely correct, Stabil is not magic. What it does do is keep the carb from gumming up. If anything I own sits all winter without running I always drain the old fuel out and add fresh even if Stabil was used.

Stabil will completely stop combustion if just a bit too much is used. I found this out years ago with my '53 JD Model 60 tractor. Took me three days of total frustration to finally realize the problem.

Fresh gas is a good idea anyway.
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« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2006, 06:57:52 AM »

The coach to me is a nostalgic thing: I used to drive it for a bus company in the 70s. When they got sold in '77, I thought those Courier 96s would make a nice motor home. Well 2 years ago when I saw one for sale I could not resist. We use it a lot in the summer. I spent all last winter renovating the inside into a 50s theme to match the exterior. It was tired 70s (lots of vinyl). I enjoy fixing and improving the mechanical side of things just as much in the winter. I am putting a turbo on the 4-71 Detroit now. The sense of satisfaction is priceless. All this is to say that it is not the money, but the enjoyment of it all that counts. That's the nature of the hobby. I'm having way more fun with it than I ever had with other RVs.

Lostagain
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JC
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« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2006, 03:43:23 PM »

Hey lostagain
YOU ARE a NEWBIE Smiley

#1 post Welcome to the "NUTHOUSE".

Courier 96? Huh
 4-71 Detroit, TURBO POWER cool. Grin
Glad to see your enjoying it.  Wink

How about a picture?

I love old busses. Grin

Bill
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« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2006, 08:11:08 AM »

How do you post a picture? How about on my profile so it shows under my user name when I post? Thanks in advance.
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JC
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