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Old 03-12-2015, 08:53 PM   #1
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Driving with generator running

I've seen RVs on the road with their generator running. Is there a law against it? Does anyone here do that? I don't have a problem with it but don't know the laws.
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Old 03-12-2015, 10:42 PM   #2
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I have done it many times with a conventional RV.
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Old 03-12-2015, 11:27 PM   #3
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Never heard of any law against it.
Done it many times.
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Old 03-13-2015, 12:27 AM   #4
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No such law in California. I see it all the time.

My Crown bus conversion has a generator that is capable of running while going down the road. It gets its diesel directly from the bus fuel tank. I wanted to do this because I wanted to be able to have one of the roof air conditioners going when it was hot.

We purchased computerized inverter and charger system to connect to our generator. The concept is that when you turn something on in the bus that is electrical, this system figures out what the draw is going to be and then decides whether to pull from the battery bank or turn on the generator. it all happens in a split second. We are told by experts that we can set up the system so that the bus alternator will also be charging the bank of agm house batteries while the engine is running. A big enough alternator putting out over 150 amps will allow up to a 15,000 btu roof top air conditioner to be on without the generator going. This is conditioned on you having a large enough bank of house batteries and a big enough alternator that is set up to be charging those house batteries as you move down the road. My Crown has a 170 amp alternator. Although above the minimum I also know that a bigger alternator would make sure that this double duty does not strain it and reduce its useful life or even worse, burn it up. I am paying for a 250 amp alternator from one of my client school districts. So, I am told by these electrical experts that this will work as follows:

1) It is 100 degrees outside, and I am driving my Crown down the highway and I am hot, sweating like a stuffed pig, and generally miserable.

2) I ask my lovely navigator (also known as She Who Must Be Obeyed) to turn on the front roof air conditioner.

3) She graciously gets up from her comfortably inclined navigator's chair and turns on the front air conditioner.

4) The computerized generator system (ours is from Onan) and its components sense that an electrical demand has hit the system.

5) It instantly checks what is available (shore power, battery bank, generator), senses that the battery bank is available, checks the available charge, sees that the charge can handle the load, and turns on the AC.

6) The system will be constantly checking to see if the battery bank can still handle the load. The AGM battery bank can since it is being constantly replenished by the larger alternator.

7) The occupants are happy and sweat free.

I have been told that this setup will work easily. They also told me that a second roof top AC running at the same time would be out of the question unless I want the generator to come on while moving. Again, it depends on key factors such as a large and efficient house battery bank (we have AGM's), a computerized interface with the generator/inverter/charger setup, and a large enough alternator. We don't see a situation where we would need to turn on the second AC unit while on the move.
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Old 03-13-2015, 07:53 AM   #5
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O.k. Thanks everyone! I'll be running the gen so we can cook, keep the fridge cold, run the bath fans, lights etc.
Great news!
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Old 03-13-2015, 08:38 AM   #6
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only issue you may have is if it is a gasoline engine

The needle in the carburetor may bounce off the seat causing engine to flood out and die

easiest solution for that would be a dual fuel gas/propane conversion for the carb

this could allow propane going down the road and gas while stopped or propane all the time

Make sure whichever direction you go to install a couple CO detectors
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:10 AM   #7
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gmarvel

Only some big coach alternators are able to push a continuous 150 amps +.

If you try that with most alternators, they will burn up.

I would see if there is some way to add a temp prob to your alt, connected to the system management. Or some way of restricting the output of your alt to a safe, continuous output.

I have a few one wire Chevy alternators in the small case form. Some are as little as 50 amps, one is 120 amp, a 160, and a 220 amp. As the ampage increases, the duty cycle drops.

Nat
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:36 AM   #8
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Yep, I learned that the hard way with my 150A powermaster POS. By the way, powermaster guaranty is worthless and they will not repair or send you a new alternator. Still pissed about that deal and its been several years now.
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gmarvel

Only some big coach alternators are able to push a continuous 150 amps +.

If you try that with most alternators, they will burn up.

I would see if there is some way to add a temp prob to your alt, connected to the system management. Or some way of restricting the output of your alt to a safe, continuous output.

I have a few one wire Chevy alternators in the small case form. Some are as little as 50 amps, one is 120 amp, a 160, and a 220 amp. As the ampage increases, the duty cycle drops.

Nat
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Old 03-13-2015, 10:47 AM   #9
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Yeah, that duty cycle is super important. Pushing 150A for a short time to charge a battery is way different than pushing it constantly. Think about it, 150A @ 13.8V is 2000 watts (P = E * I). A 2000-watt generator head looks like the lower-right here. This is designed for continuous duty:



Alternators are great little devices, but they're not magic.
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Old 03-14-2015, 06:46 AM   #10
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ambulance alternators are designed for high output/continuous. but they have their limits also. another note, usually, the higher output alternators perform poorly at lower engine speeds.
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Old 03-14-2015, 10:12 AM   #11
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This is what is needed for continuous duty output.

Oil cooled 300 amp.
50 DN Heavy Duty Transit/Coach Alternator | Brushless Alternator | Delco Remy | Delco Remy

Air cooled 300 amp.
http://www.elreg.com/c525-14volt-300...p%20alternator.

http://www.elreg.com/MCI-alternators.html

Nat
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Old 03-14-2015, 12:23 PM   #12
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Any idea cost?
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Old 03-15-2015, 10:04 AM   #13
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The crowns may already have a variant of this alternator style.

Most class 8 trucks, greyhound buses, big coaches, ect use this type.

They are brushless, meaning only bearings will need changing. They will also have around 5 times the lifespan between rebuilds compared to a little 120 amp, one wire chevy.

I will look into cost.

Nat
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:08 AM   #14
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The crowns may already have a variant of this alternator style.

Most class 8 trucks, greyhound buses, big coaches, ect use this type.

They are brushless, meaning only bearings will need changing. They will also have around 5 times the lifespan between rebuilds compared to a little 120 amp, one wire chevy.

I will look into cost.

Nat
Thats okay, I just thought maybe you had already looked into it, I was asking because the link you provided didn't list a price, when I get to that point I can research, you provide plenty of info thats appreciated already,, Stuart
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Old 03-15-2015, 01:05 PM   #15
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Good information. I am at the point where I need to make a decision on an alternator. I want one that will allow one air conditioner to be on while going down the road without the generator on. I get all the comments about not getting a wimpy alternator. The question is which one to buy?
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:54 PM   #16
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I'm going to start looking under the hood of big coach buses and class 8 trucks to see what is common.

Then I will see which one has the best price of the 5 most common models.

200 amps and up is all I'm interested in.

Brushless would be a nice plus, but not needed.

Must have a 100 % duty cycle.

Then I will see if I can score a used one still in working shape.

Last I will take it to the last Alt rebuild shop I know of and have it rebuilt.

After that, it should last for many years.

I will post my findings, but your luck will be different in your geographical regions.

Nat
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Old 03-15-2015, 03:59 PM   #17
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Unfortunately I no longer have the link, but as of 1 year ago a 350 amp 100% duty cycle alternator was going to cost between $800-1200
If I remember correctly, it was intended for use In fire trucks.

If you are in the Winnipeg MB area, there is this really cool HD salvage yard across from the Panet Rd. Princess auto store.
They have several fire trucks there with the electrical systems intact meaning that they still have the alternators and SUPER HEAVY DUTY inverters in them. They also have a "wagon" (like one of those covered circus wagons from old movies) that is filled with old HD truck alternators and some old truck generators too.
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:03 PM   #18
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Unfortunately I no longer have the link, but as of 1 year ago a 350 amp 100% duty cycle alternator was going to cost between $800-1200
If I remember correctly, it was intended for use In fire trucks.

If you are in the Winni
Nice, that's what I would like.

I will find one in a junk yard, or field some where, remove, rebuild, and Bam, pig power while driving.

Nat
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:06 PM   #19
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Nice, that's what I would like.

I will find one in a junk yard, or field some where, remove, rebuild, and Bam, pig power while driving.

Nat
Ha! You caught me editing! I got to that part.
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Old 03-15-2015, 04:13 PM   #20
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Ha! You caught me editing! I got to that part.
Lol

Same happens to me sometimes.

Nat
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