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Author Topic: Types of generators  (Read 1364 times)
Dakell12
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« on: May 17, 2007, 10:43:02 AM »

Hey everybody,
    In order to save what small amounts of money I have, could anyone tell me if buying a standard 7kw outdoor generator and building a silencing containment box is a good idea, relative to paying for a silent diesel generator?
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2007, 11:02:36 AM »

I'd look for a used 'real' RV generator that runs at 1800 rpm and has all the start & stop circuitry built in.  I did just that and bought a used Onan 6.5.  This is one of the older models that are heavy as hell but seem to be reliable.  I haven't used mine much, but I've run it under a load of about 4500 watts and it was putting out 117 volts at 59.5Hz.  Yes, it runs on gasoline, but I won't be full-timing in the bus anytime soon.  I'd rather save the $1000's more that a diesel generator would cost and put that into something more critical to the conversion, like... everything!   Wink 

Having said that, I did have a guy that was going to sell me a used 3 cylinder Kubota powered 6.5 kw for $800.  I told him that I wanted it, but would go home to measure and make sure it'd fit.  This was around 7:30 one night in the late winter (cold and dark).  I called him the next morning, and he told me that he sold it to another guy who 'happened to just come in' for $1700.  As he's a friend of a friend, and I know him socially, I didn't think he'd do that, considering he told me he'd sell it to me and said it was ok to wait 'til the next morning.  Anyway, if you can find a good, used brand name generator (gas or diesel), I'd do that before I'd use one of those noisy 3600 rpm generators.  Also, when / if I do replace this with a diesel, I'll use the old Onan as a backup for the house.  It can be converted to natural gas fairly easily. 

David
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bigjohnkub
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« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2007, 11:29:06 AM »

I am also fairly new to bussing, but have been an avid R.V. camper for years. I've
used tents to trailers. Last year, I took my brothers converted fishbowl to Terilingua chili cookoff. I was hooked to bussin' but that Onan generator ate my lunch. It performed well, but used a gallon of gas an hour. Five days at 24 gallons at$2.75, well, you figure it out.
In February this year I bought and have been finishing converting a pd4903. My 1st priority was GENERATOR. I finally decided on the new Honda 3000 and bought 2. I have a parallel kit on the one that stays on the bus and can connect together and produce 5500 watts. Used for 14 hrs last weekend. Used only 5 gallons of fuel. Ran everything in bus.
I am convinced these are the generators to use. If I can help with your search, email me .
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Big John  Tyler Tx PD 4903-188 & 4107
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2007, 11:43:00 AM »

I am also fairly new to bussing, but have been an avid R.V. camper for years. I've
used tents to trailers. Last year, I took my brothers converted fishbowl to Terilingua chili cookoff. I was hooked to bussin' but that Onan generator ate my lunch. It performed well, but used a gallon of gas an hour. Five days at 24 gallons at$2.75, well, you figure it out.
In February this year I bought and have been finishing converting a pd4903. My 1st priority was GENERATOR. I finally decided on the new Honda 3000 and bought 2. I have a parallel kit on the one that stays on the bus and can connect together and produce 5500 watts. Used for 14 hrs last weekend. Used only 5 gallons of fuel. Ran everything in bus.
I am convinced these are the generators to use. If I can help with your search, email me .


How do you use this setup while on the road?  Isn't the price for two Honda 3000's fairly steep?  Honda makes a really nice, compact water cooled 6.5kw RV generator that is supposedly very quiet and economical to run and isn't too pricey to buy.  I believe some on the board have used them and were happy with their choice.

David
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bigjohnkub
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« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2007, 01:02:01 PM »

I have an external exhaust kit that hooks to one. I still have bus air ,heat, and lights, and use a converter for fridge. I got the gen sets at cost plus 10% so cost $3500. But, I can pull one out and use it on camper trailer, P.A. for cook off, and have used one for power to band. These are super quiet and you cannot hear running while driving.
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Big John  Tyler Tx PD 4903-188 & 4107
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LOVE MY BUS!!!!
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JackConrad
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« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2007, 01:34:47 PM »

In order to save what small amounts of money I have, could anyone tell me if buying a standard 7kw outdoor generator and building a silencing containment box is a good idea, relative to paying for a silent diesel generator
 
Check the "outdoor" unit carefully. If it is 3600 RPM, it will be rather noisy. Many of these units are designed to be in the open air for adequate cooling. Trying to build a sound box around it or operate it in a bay may cause it to overheat.  Jack
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Chris 85 RTS
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2007, 01:49:10 PM »

I think this is a case of pennywise and pound foolish, or whatever the saying.  People have done what you are proposing, so it does work.  However, some issues to consider should be:

1)  A RV diesel genset is designed to run 24/7 at full load for hundreds if not thousands of hours.  The contractor model will likely die long before.

2)  Quieting down a 1800 rpm diesel genset is easier than a 3600 rpm contractor genset.

3)  RV Gensets are designed to be easy to service

4)  In addition to noise you have to contend with vibration.  The purpose built RV unit already takes that into account.

I am sure someone will post that each of these items was not something they have had a problem working around, so your mileage may vary.  For me personally, the genset was the largest expense of my conversion.  Yes, it was more expensive than the bus itself.  I want to be sure I have power when I need it.
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2007, 02:27:46 PM »

Quote
How do you use this setup while on the road?  Isn't the price for two Honda 3000's fairly steep?  Honda makes a really nice, compact water cooled 6.5kw RV generator that is supposedly very quiet and economical to run and isn't too pricey to buy.  I believe some on the board have used them and were happy with their choice.

David

David,

I had one in my bus and it was so quiet you had to check to make sure it was running.  Very economical too.  I would highly recommend it.
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pvcces
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2007, 07:37:18 PM »

Take a good look at your loads and see exactly how much power you have to have while boondocking. Your greatest generator savings will come from cutting down your power consumption.

I think the Honda and Yamaha inverter generators are a very good chioce, but you need to realize that the manufacturer does not recommend running them inside an enclosure. I have not studied the new Honda 6000 inverter generator that just came out, so I don't know what they cost or whether they have the same limitation.

The fuel economy and noise reduction are really big pluses, with the only service complaint I've heard was that they are so compact that they have to be dismantled if they need work done.

The Honda 3000 is the smallest electric start unit, as far as I know.

For what it's worth.

Tom Caffrey

Hey everybody,
    In order to save what small amounts of money I have, could anyone tell me if buying a standard 7kw outdoor generator and building a silencing containment box is a good idea, relative to paying for a silent diesel generator?
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Tom Caffrey PD4106-2576
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2007, 08:19:42 PM »

That new honda 6000 looks like a contractor type but it's rated at 60 DB and runs around 4000 dollars, and it uses inverter technology, not sure how it would work out for rv applications in a compartment.
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TomC
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2007, 10:43:40 PM »

I have a Powertech 10kw that is as heavy duty as they get without being super heavy.  Mine runs at 1800rpm, has a large Marathon brushless gen that has given me zero problems.  I have to run it going down the road when running any of my three roof top A/C's.  If you're going to keep the bus for a few years and you'll be doing some boon docking-there is nothing better than spending a few extra bucks for a really good generator that will give many years of faithful reliable use.
I consider using a gasoline generator not suitable for RV use.  I'm not talking off the top of my head since on my big rig (Kenworth) I had a commercial Onan 6.5 2-cylinder gasoline generator.  It was a pain having to get gasoline for it about every other week (had a 75gal tank), having to readjust the carb when changing altitudes, decarboning it, cleaning the spark plugs frequently, changing the spark plugs, replacing the carbeurator once, and having to use an electric fan next to the exhaust pipe to make sure the exhaust was blowing away from the truck-since gasoline exhaust is many times more toxically poisonous than Diesel exhaust.  I managed to get 12,000 hours out my first unit before it died.  As compared to one of my truck driving friends that had a Powertech 3 cylinder 7.5kw that when he sold the truck had over 23,000 hours on it and was still running well (with one rebuild on the generator end).  So I figure you can be cheap now, and then pay and pay and pay various times frequently in the future for maintenance on the gasoline unit, or spend $6-8,000 for a really good Diesel unit that will just run and run for thousands of hours.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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