Author Topic: Generator  (Read 4680 times)

Offline viking1

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Generator
« on: June 07, 2011, 02:04:01 PM »
Here is a question to the wiser more experienced bus nuts.

We have had our bus for about 3 years now, of course I thought I would be done by now but well u know. My plans are for a diesel generator one day when it fits the budget. Mean while, I have an 8500 Watt gas generator. I am thinking of installing it where the toilet used to be in the back on the right side of the engine compartment. I was thinking of welding some supports and bolting the generator to the supports, going to a muffler shop and having a custom exhaust attached to it to come out the back side of the bus. Has anyone tried this? And keep in mind it will only be until I can afford to spend the big bucks on the diesel Gen set that I really want.

By the way the bus is a 1989 MCI 102C3, nicknamed "Stripper BUS"

She got her name from the previous owner. I bought it from Gary at B&B Coach in Las Vegas, he was converting it for a customer. It was going to be a party bus with stripper poles in it and they were going to run it up and down the strip. Since then The name stripper bus has stuck (wife hates the name). So if you ever hear a loud viking yelling to his wife "lets get in the stripper bus and go" and you see my wife rolling her eyes, that be us. ;D LOL.
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Offline Len Silva

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Re: Generator
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2011, 02:38:06 PM »
My wife would not roll her eyes.  She would say "Have a nice trip."

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Offline eventer1

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Re: Generator
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 03:59:29 PM »
I have been thinking of doing the same thing. I am about 3years and one day behind you in the conversion process!

Do you think heat from the diesel engine will be an issue?

I am going inverter and batteries for most of the load and just want the option of a backup system. I have a gas 5KW that has 10 hours on it. I was thinking of making steel walls and insulating them to keep the heat away from the fuel tank.
My S&S has a 12kw diesel and I hate the noise and vibration you get from engine.


Offline viking1

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Re: Generator
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2011, 04:39:49 PM »
Batteries and inverter is the same thing we are doing and its really just for back up and once in a while to run the A/C. I was going to leave it open so it had lots of air circulation. I also wonder how hot it gets back there when you are trucking down the road and what that heat might do to the gasoline fuel tank sitting on top of the unit. Someone out there must have tried this.
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Offline Barn Owl

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Re: Generator
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 04:48:27 PM »
Try searching this topic, you will find that it is not a good idea. I see RV gas Onan takeouts on Craigslist all the time less than $400. I would do that until you have the coin for a diesel genny. My bus came with a 1979 6.5 NH, and I have no complaints so far.
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Offline chev49

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Re: Generator
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2011, 06:05:59 PM »
if you can weld your braces, etc., then its easy to weld up your own exhaust system, esp if you have a mig and one of those tubing benders from harbor frieght.
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Offline Lin

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Re: Generator
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2011, 06:14:26 PM »
I assume that you plan on using a generator that is designed to fixed, RV use, right?
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Offline NJT5047

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Re: Generator
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2011, 07:27:08 PM »
Batteries and inverter is the same thing we are doing and its really just for back up and once in a while to run the A/C. I was going to leave it open so it had lots of air circulation. I also wonder how hot it gets back there when you are trucking down the road and what that heat might do to the gasoline fuel tank sitting on top of the unit. Someone out there must have tried this.


The engine compartment doesn't get all that hot when trucking down the road.  It's in the 200* range.  The temp is just a little higher than the radiator temps.  
However (IMHO), semi-permanently installing a gasoline genset in the engine room, that's not designed to operate in an enclosed area is a really bad idea.  
Two issues are readily apparent...1) a CO producer is under your bedroom   2) having gasoline in the engine compartment is an extreme fire hazard.   There's enough heat and vibration to create a good bit of venting.  A minor rear-ender and you got major problems.  Your insurance company will have major issues too with such creativity...if they can sort out what caused the explosion... :o  
If you gotta run "dual-fuel" genset, do as Barn Owl says and find an RV takeout that's already in a quiet box.  You'll still need an inboard fuel tank, located between the steer and drive axle, with a proper filler, and vent, and safely mounted inside one of the bays.   The filler will need to be located near the diesel filler so that you can use the RV diesel pumps where gasoline is available next to diesel.  
If you can stand the expenditure, going diesel will be one of your best purchases.   The install is going to be a tidy bit of work either way.   Fuel tanks excepted, a boxed RV genset would be the most easy to install.   They vent and exhaust thru the floor.  
If you gotta use a portable genset, store it in an unused bay when not in use, and set it outside when in operation.  
FWIW, one rooftop will require about 5K in a gasoline genset, 2 rooftops will run on 6.5Kw, but that's not suitable for long generator life.  7.5K to about 10K is probably optimal.   An all electric coach will require a larger genset (12-15Kw?) depending on load management.    
One rooftop will not cool a bus in 90* plus weather.  Two rooftops will with foamed ceiling.   We tested this theory (again) last week.  Thanks to the power gods for 50A power poles!    
BTW, do the math on inverter powered A/C...if you mean as used in "air-conditioning"...may as well buy a nice diesel genset by the time you install that large an inverter and battery bank.    
Good luck, JR
« Last Edit: June 07, 2011, 07:30:59 PM by NJT5047 »
JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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Offline TomC

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Re: Generator
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2011, 08:57:46 AM »
I would mount the generator as far forward as you can since you'll have that time when you want to run the generator all night when it is hot. You don't want to have to listen to it running right beneath you.  The CO comment is valid.  I had an Onan Commercial Emerald 3 on my truck (it had a shaft coming out of the back of the alternator that I ran my A/C compressor for my sleeper) and with the exhaust near the sleeper, I always ran an electric fan outside to push the exhaust away from the truck. Just have to have an outside plug. 
Instead of going through all that effort to mount the gasoline powered generator as "temporary" I would look for a good used genset with under 5,000hrs on it.  You'll be surprised at what you might find.  Good Luck, TomC
Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.

Offline TomC

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Re: Generator
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2011, 09:00:25 AM »
P.S: I paid Dick Wright at Wrico for my 3cylinder Kubota 12kw with remote radiator, fan with variable speed, compartment blower, muffler, automatic gen start $8,100.00.  If you don't have $8,100.00, then how are you going to pay for an engine or transmission or new tires for the bus?  Good Luck, TomC
Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.

Online luvrbus

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Re: Generator
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2011, 10:10:53 AM »
TomC while you may have a point that comment was uncalled for a lot's of people don't have 8,100 bucks laying around they are not using like you JMO

good luck   
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Offline rampeyboy

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Re: Generator
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2011, 10:42:07 AM »
Might not have $8K laying around because he bought the tires or something else for the bus. My project needs so much, $8K for a generator is out of the question. It can always be updated later when the cheapo gen dies..
« Last Edit: June 08, 2011, 10:43:52 AM by rampeyboy »
Boyce Rampey
Columbia, SC
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Offline Van

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Re: Generator
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2011, 11:23:46 AM »
I have been using a honda as a temporary, until that magic day arrives when we find the diesel that suits our needs. It is mounted in the rear ac compartment, it will run the 2 ac's  maxed out in the pinch but I try not to put it under that much of a load. Definitely nothing I would want as a permanent solution, but as a temporary it has proven it's worth.
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Offline robertglines1

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Re: Generator
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2011, 01:13:01 PM »
Generator shopping: I run across a Rv take out in the 7.5 to 10 kw range about twice a year usually gas or propane--reason because someone wants a diesel.  although diesel would be my gen of choice the dollar valve to me is more important.  recent purchases 7.5 kohler gas  8oo hrs rv no cabinet  600$   7.5 kohler 34 hrs lp with cabinet 1500$ (was to small for command center use).  Where did I find these? My local commercial generator supply dealer. Also watch road side and salvage Sticks and staples.
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Offline viking1

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Re: Generator
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2011, 03:03:43 PM »
Van, how are you venting the exhaust on the Honda Gen Set?
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