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Old 11-11-2021, 01:54 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Generator install locations???

Hi all!

I’m picking up a new generator hopefully tomorrow.

It’s a fairly standard type open frame 3500 running watts, dual fuel (gas/propane)

I’m going to try to install it in the Engine compartment of my 40’ RE Thomas.

There seems to be plenty of room in the rear drivers side corner under the electrical box and next to the air filter housing.

Anyone else done this?
Good idea? Bad idea?

—————————————

I’m also thinking of plumbing my propane to it as well, but have been unable to verify what pressure it needs???

I have a onboard ASME tank that feeds my water heater and stove/oven. Is that the right pressure already?
Or do I need to put in a Tee before the regulator and use the regulator that is supposedly coming with the generator?

Thanks All!

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Old 11-11-2021, 02:10 PM   #2
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The pressure should be the same for the water heater and stove as the generator would accept. The generator should have what is called a "zero regulator" which looks like a standard regulator-- but its job is to stop the gas flow should the engine stop running-- which is very important, and in addition to that-- there should be an electric solenoid valve located prior to that zero regulator, or a ball valve or something to positively be able to turn the gas off.

LP is heavier than air, so wherever that generator is installed should have an opening toward the ground.

I am not an expert of any kind on this, but I have some Onans that I use for house backup-- and my limited knowledge comes from fooling with them. They are gaseous fueled-- but natural gas.
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Old 11-11-2021, 03:21 PM   #3
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It sounds like you are installing a plain generator and not an inverter. Keep in mind that unless you have a way to convert the generator output to DC and back to clean AC, anything in the bus with sensitive electronics that runs on AC will likely be damaged by the output from the generator because it is not a clean sine wave AC.
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Old 11-11-2021, 03:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Zork View Post
It sounds like you are installing a plain generator and not an inverter. Keep in mind that unless you have a way to convert the generator output to DC and back to clean AC, anything in the bus with sensitive electronics that runs on AC will likely be damaged by the output from the generator because it is not a clean sine wave AC.
During Hurricane Andrew (1992) I ran my house on a coleman 5kw generator (no a/c of course) and nothing got damaged.

Not to say you are wrong but yes you are right about sensitive electronics...such as life support systems and things of that nature.

Toaster, microwave, and even your television would be fine. Computer...desktop style power supplies have so much filtering and regulation, you should be fine but... I wouldn't run a very expensive laptop on power alone, I would keep it off and charge the batteries and run it off the battery.

Brownouts and surges, now those things cause more damage than anything else.

Plug in an oscilloscope to your home a/c power, you will see that it is not clean, you will see spikes & surges and accompanying waveform distortions due to many sources.

As a facility tech for Bellsouth (2006) my job was to fix ADSL transmission problems on the telco plant itself.
One of the biggest source for brownouts, cross (EMF) current flow and just plain old stray voltage was vines wrapped around a telephone pole, especially if that pole had a light that would come on at dusk. When the light would come on it would create and EMF field that would bleed over into the telco cable and create noise which in effect would degrade the signal flow on the cable.

I even saw this in a heavily wooded neighborhood. Every day at at around 11 am untill about 2-3 pm all the ADSL signal would just about die on this two block area. Turned out it was caused bu TOO much EMF being bleed into the line which was caused by all the crazy amount of a/c systems turning on and running full blast in the peak heat of the day.

Point is, yes inverter is cleaner and more stable but I would not necessarily rule out your standard 5kw coleman.

Many of todays electronic systems will have some kind of spike clamping devices such as z-mov's, capacitors and even induction coils, not to mention shielded cable and shielded power supplies.

Heck, i run a 20kw generator, circa 1970's in my warehouse as a backup for power failure after a storm. I can run the a/c's in the building and all the computers (with a ups battery backup of course) with no problem. this generator has ZERO electronics in it!

Zork is not wrong, not at all, inverter is the better technology but like I said, I have no problem running an old fashioned, no electronics, genny.

As a matter of fact, I am putting one in on my bus, since I got about 6 genny's sitting in the shed!

Old loud genny noise, well that is another discussion!
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Old 11-11-2021, 04:02 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
During Hurricane Andrew (1992) I ran my house on a coleman 5kw generator (no a/c of course) and nothing got damaged.

Not to say you are wrong but yes you are right about sensitive electronics...such as life support systems.

Toaster, microwave, and even your television would be fine. Computer...desktop style power supplies have so much filtering and regulation, you should be fine but... I wouldn't run a very expensive laptop on power alone. Yes, I would keep it off and charge the batteries.

Point is, yes inverter is cleaner and more stable but I would not necessarily rule out your standard 5kw coleman.
Many of todays electronic systems will have some kind of spike clamping devices such as z-mov's, capacitors and even induction coils.

Heck, i run a 20kw generator, circa 1970's in my warehouse as a backup for power failure after a storm. I can run the a/c's in the building and all the computers (with a ups battery backup of course) with no problem. this generator has ZERO electronics in it!

Zork is not wrong, inverter is the better technology but like I said, I have no problem running an old fashioned, no electronics, genny.
This is what I said. Most A/C's do not contain sensitive electronics. Modern televisions, computers, laptops, security systems and other items that are not from the 1970's do.

To be considered a clean power generator, the unit has to maintain its frequency, voltage and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) within acceptable levels. IEEE 519 recommends that general systems like computers and related equipment are subject to no more than 5% total harmonic voltage distortion with the largest single harmonic being no more than 3% of the fundamental voltage.

It should come as no surprise that generators that are most recommended on Amazon are inverter generators which very low THD, and most of the plain generators that are for sale from brands like Wen, Westinghouse, Duromax, etc. don't even list their THD spec.

Again, the solution is to have an AC to DC converter, and a DC to AC inverter.
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Old 11-11-2021, 04:23 PM   #6
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I’m getting a Westinghouse 3600DF , it’ll be a bit noisy, but it’s mostly for back up to my solar, for cloudy weather. And for when I need to fire up bigger tools like my welder or power saws.

I will probably plug the big tools directly into it, but otherwise to run everything in the Bus, the electricity will be filtered through a charger/inverter that cleans it up.

I’m mostly looking for peoples thoughts on installing it in my engine bay, and confirmation of propane to it! lol

The online measurements would suggest that I’ll need to immediately vid my warranty and take it out of the frame to put it in the engine compartment.
I’m okay with that. I’ll thoroughly test it for a week or three before I do that though!
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Old 11-11-2021, 04:36 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by KlingonFiero View Post
I知 getting a Westinghouse 3600DF , it値l be a bit noisy, but it痴 mostly for back up to my solar, for cloudy weather. And for when I need to fire up bigger tools like my welder or power saws.

I will probably plug the big tools directly into it, but otherwise to run everything in the Bus, the electricity will be filtered through a charger/inverter that cleans it up.

I知 mostly looking for peoples thoughts on installing it in my engine bay, and confirmation of propane to it! lol

The online measurements would suggest that I値l need to immediately vid my warranty and take it out of the frame to put it in the engine compartment.
I知 okay with that. I値l thoroughly test it for a week or three before I do that though!
I can only give you my opinion, because I haven't gotten to that point yet. I would not do that, if nothing else because I don't think the generator would react well to the heat in the engine compartment. The engine on that unit is air-cooled, how are you going to make sure it gets fresh, cool air for that?

My plan is to place mine at the rear of the interior of the bus, with an extended exhaust through a gasket in the body wall, vents for cooling and noise abatement material. But I have a Honda inverter generator (EU6500is) that is extremely quiet, I doubt that would work with your generator.

BTW, did you see the THD on that Westinghouse unit? 23%!! No wonder it's so cheap to buy. I would never buy that.
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:02 PM   #8
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My thought was this;
That space under the electrical box/ next to the air filter is often taken up by a Webasto coolant heater.

It shouldn’t really effect the engine temp, seeing as is water cooled and the massive radiator is in the other side of the engine compartment… or is there something I’m missing in that theory???

I’m more concerned about heat affecting the generator itself!
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:06 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
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Still not worried with the THD, seeing as the inverter will clean up a range of 90-145volts and 50-70Hz.
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlingonFiero View Post
My thought was this;
That space under the electrical box/ next to the air filter is often taken up by a Webasto coolant heater.

It shouldn稚 really effect the engine temp, seeing as is water cooled and the massive radiator is in the other side of the engine compartment or is there something I知 missing in that theory???

I知 more concerned about heat affecting the generator itself!
I'm not sure how you conclude the generator will not be affected by the heat in the compartment. The job of the radiator is to make it possible for the heat to be removed from the coolant. Where does that heat go? How does the airflow work in the compartment?
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:11 PM   #11
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Still not worried with the THD, seeing as the inverter will clean up a range of 90-145volts and 50-70Hz.
That's voltage and frequency drift, but what about harmonic distortion? Will it be able to handle up to near 25% of that? Quick call to the manufacturer should clear that up.
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:17 PM   #12
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Sorry for the confusion, I thought you were referring to airflow being blocked and overheating the Bus engine!
That’s what I was referring to on my last post!

There is a huge screen opening on the side of the bus, much larger than the generator itself.
There would be plenty of airflow to cool the generator.

I’m more concerned about the big Bus Diesel engine cooking the genny when I drive around all day!
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:24 PM   #13
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Sorry for the confusion, I thought you were referring to airflow being blocked and overheating the Bus engine!
That’s what I was referring to on my last post!

There is a huge screen opening on the side of the bus, much larger than the generator itself.
There would be plenty of airflow to cool the generator.

I’m more concerned about the big Bus Diesel engine cooking the genny when I drive around all day!
That is what I was referring to, not the bus engine but the generator engine. Maybe then all you need is an additional fan on that screen opening to cool the generator. But without seeing the layout I can't really tell how that should be configured.
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:39 PM   #14
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I can’t imagine I’m the first/only person to think of putting a generator in that spot.

Someone has to have done it, or seen one, or knows someone that has one installed there.

If I removed the genny from its frame, it would be smaller than the larger Webasto heaters.

Adding a temp controller and fan to the air intake side would probably be a fantastic idea!
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Old 11-11-2021, 05:44 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by KlingonFiero View Post
I can稚 imagine I知 the first/only person to think of putting a generator in that spot.

Someone has to have done it, or seen one, or knows someone that has one installed there.

If I removed the genny from its frame, it would be smaller than the larger Webasto heaters.

Adding a temp controller and fan to the air intake side would probably be a fantastic idea!
Somebody probably has, but your problem is finding that person. Then again, maybe someone did do it and concluded it was a bad idea. Who knows. I honestly cannot think of a single pusher RV with a house generator in the engine compartment. Most of them are installed in their own compartments somewhere along the side of the bus.
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Old 11-11-2021, 06:17 PM   #16
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It sounds like you are installing a plain generator and not an inverter. Keep in mind that unless you have a way to convert the generator output to DC and back to clean AC, anything in the bus with sensitive electronics that runs on AC will likely be damaged by the output from the generator because it is not a clean sine wave AC.
not to mention SO much noisier, make you a very unpopular neighbor
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Old 11-11-2021, 07:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlingonFiero View Post
Hi all!

I’m picking up a new generator hopefully tomorrow.

It’s a fairly standard type open frame 3500 running watts, dual fuel (gas/propane)

I’m going to try to install it in the Engine compartment of my 40’ RE Thomas.

There seems to be plenty of room in the rear drivers side corner under the electrical box and next to the air filter housing.

Anyone else done this?
Good idea? Bad idea?

—————————————

I’m also thinking of plumbing my propane to it as well, but have been unable to verify what pressure it needs???

I have a onboard ASME tank that feeds my water heater and stove/oven. Is that the right pressure already?
Or do I need to put in a Tee before the regulator and use the regulator that is supposedly coming with the generator?

Thanks All!

I queried the wider audience of Google, using [generator in engine compartment] and found alot of well supported opinions against placing a portable generator inside of an engine compartment. Safety being the primary concern. Historical records cite fires, CO2 poisoning, fuel venting, excessive heat, and lack of spark suppression on portable models.

https://www.google.com/search?q=gene...%20compartment

Please take a look before you get your heart set on this idea. Ultimately, the the decision is yours. While the risk is shared by all of the current & future. occupants.
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Old 11-12-2021, 10:13 AM   #18
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Almost all of those are about generators in the hullof a boat!

This is going in the Rear Engine compartment.
It’s basically open on each side and the bottom is completely open to the ground.

I’m thinking it’s not a big concern for Vapor build up???
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Old 11-12-2021, 11:58 AM   #19
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Please do your homework. Propane & Diesel engines housed together? Fire, fuel venting, excessive heat, and spark suppression? Hundreds of RV generator deaths in recent history. Mostly of the portable type.

https://www.irv2.com/forums/f93/fume...rv-103489.html

https://www.npr.org/2019/12/04/78427...ble-and-deadly

https://www.google.com/amp/s/rvlifes...poisoning/amp/

https://www.thefencepost.com/news/ca...silent-killer/

https://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/f...print/true.cfm

We are not here to spoonfeed the truth to you. Only to show prospective jurors that you knew the facts while they deliberate your true intentions.

Remember the guy who looked up "baby in hot car", then left his child in a hot car anyway? No one wants to be that guy.
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Old 11-12-2021, 01:19 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KlingonFiero View Post
This is going in the Rear Engine compartment.
It痴 basically open on each side and the bottom is completely open to the ground.
Open <> Cooling. Something has to take the heat away, that's why radiators in water-cooled engines sit in front of or behind fans. The heat won't go away on its own quickly enough. If the airflow in the engine compartment is OK then it won't be a problem, but if you are not sure, a secondary fan would ensure it does happen that way.
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