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Old 06-06-2018, 02:09 PM   #1
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AC hook up to shore power or generator

I have a 2007 Bluebird All American that came with 2 AC/ heating units on the roof. I know the heat is generated by the coolant but the AC is run by electric but it will only work when Iím driving. Iím wondering if there is a way I could run it through an inverter/converter and fire it up with the engine off and using shore power or a generator. Thanks!
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:02 PM   #2
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You could power the fans through a converter or something, however... the compressor(s) are almost certainly belt-driven off the engine. Without a compressor running it won't do any good to run the fans.
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Old 06-14-2018, 08:13 PM   #3
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I don't know if it'll work, but harbor freight sells small engines. Would it be possible to run the compressor to the HF engine to drive the belt?

https://m.harborfreight.com/engines-...not%20providedScreenshot_20180614-211227.jpeg
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:10 PM   #4
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"Would it be possible to run the compressor to the HF engine to drive the belt?"

Sometimes, it is required to think outside the bus...
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Old 06-24-2018, 11:54 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
"Would it be possible to run the compressor to the HF engine to drive the belt?"

Sometimes, it is required to think outside the bus...
Wow, that's quite the redneck setup.
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ninjakitty View Post
I don't know if it'll work, but harbor freight sells small engines. Would it be possible to run the compressor to the HF engine to drive the belt?

https://m.harborfreight.com/engines-...not%20providedAttachment 23300
There would be a lot of practical problems with the idea.
Its technically possible, but not easy.
I'll bite on an actual answer why not.


I'm not sure how the automotive AC pumps work - do they run constantly and have internal regulation, or are they on-demand with a clutch, and they only come on when the AC demands? (You might need the pump to communicate with rest of the AC system.)

Either way, you'd have to find a way to un-belt the pump from the bus engine, and hook it up to the external engine - otherwise you'll be trying to spin over parts of the engine with the AC pulley/belt. I wouldn't be surprised if there are multiple things on that belt other then the AC pump, and the belt probably isn't designed to be removed and replaced all that frequently.

On top of that, you'd need to make room for the aux engine under the hood, and make sure that it was oriented so that the pulley spins in the right direction, and is on the correct side of the engine. (The engine controls might not be on the side of the engine facing outwards....) You would also have to make sure that the RPMs match (or install the correct pulley to compensate.)


Personally, I'd just buy a generator. Coiling up a 50' extension cord sounds a lot easier in the long run. Plus, with the generator, you can run other things beside the AC.
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:19 PM   #7
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There's only 2 things under the hood of the car A/C related that are important, the belt driven compressor and the radiator. Both can be removed from the engine bay and made to work elsewhere. I don't see why you couldn't mount a pulley on a gas engine and mount the compressor next to it and put it in a storage bay with proper venting.
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:57 PM   #8
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I have seen a handful of buses that have a small diesel engine (pony engine) that runs the a/c compressor(s) as opposed to running the compressor(s) from the main engine.

From what I have read, the little 6hp engines that HF sells may not be powerful enough. As best I understand it you will need 8-10hp to run a single compressor of the size we typically see in our buses.
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