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Old 12-16-2022, 07:05 PM   #1
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Location: CSRA Georgia
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Year: 1994
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Ford B-700
Engine: 12V 5.9
Lightbulb Rooftop Onan QD 10-12.5 K

Pro's and cons of putting 750# of generator on the roof?

Trying to keep the chicken bus aesthetics/ground clearance and expect an aux fuel tank and fresh + graywater tanks underneath.

Will have 2 overhead A/C units and a laddered full-roof rack on top anyway, maybe with some strakers to guide limbs over.

Saw some horse people using roof-mount gensets and other than the servicing, what's the downside?

Pluses seem to be less under-bus clutter, moves noise overhead, really difficult to steal.

Minuses seem to be overhead weight and branches, but the height is similar to the a/c units.

Bus is for touring, not living aboard.

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Old 12-17-2022, 12:25 AM   #2
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That's alot of weight to put on the roof. I would think it would be much louder and possibly cause the whole roof to resonate. The other problem I could see is not having clearance to put a drain pan under the generator when changing the oil.

Ted
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Old 12-17-2022, 07:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by TJones View Post
That's alot of weight to put on the roof. I would think it would be much louder and possibly cause the whole roof to resonate. The other problem I could see is not having clearance to put a drain pan under the generator when changing the oil.

Ted
That's where I'm curious - what would the resonant difference be between frame-mount and overhead? Wouldn't the vibration be the same no matter where it is mounted? Engine is rubber-mounted, maybe use some auto engine mounts between the gen mount frame and the bus mount part?

And yeah, probably want a quick-drain hose down to the ground, but that can be run alongside the fuel line going up.
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Old 12-17-2022, 09:46 AM   #4
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I wouldn't.

Weight is the issue in my mind. Horse people usually use those light inverter gensets up top. 2 people can usually put it up there. Onan QD's are much more heavy then that. You'll need a fork lift or something to get it up there, and you'll have to have significant structure and bracing to keep it up there in a crash. I'm also not sure if an onan is rated to be in the elements like that either.
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Old 12-24-2022, 03:45 PM   #5
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Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La Camioneta View Post
That's where I'm curious - what would the resonant difference be between frame-mount and overhead? Wouldn't the vibration be the same no matter where it is mounted? Engine is rubber-mounted, maybe use some auto engine mounts between the gen mount frame and the bus mount part?

And yeah, probably want a quick-drain hose down to the ground, but that can be run alongside the fuel line going up.
Frame mounted, the vibration passes through your shock mounts to the frame. The chassis is separated from the frame by vibration dampening mounts, so, far less vibration getting from the generator to the chassis in a frame mounted situation.
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Old 12-24-2022, 04:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by La Camioneta View Post
That's where I'm curious - what would the resonant difference be between frame-mount and overhead? Wouldn't the vibration be the same no matter where it is mounted? Engine is rubber-mounted, maybe use some auto engine mounts between the gen mount frame and the bus mount part?

And yeah, probably want a quick-drain hose down to the ground, but that can be run alongside the fuel line going up.
The frame being much stiffer than the roof structure would be less likely resonate. The roof structure including the sheetmetal would act like a drum.

Ted
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