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Old 07-22-2002, 04:43 AM   #1
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Take this Generator and Stuff It.....

I'm one who has no patience for equipment that won't work. Every trip we take my Kohler generator (which I'm learning to hate with a pasion) seems to act up. I spent $700 on who knows what to get it fixed. It starts up fine but always dies about 30 minutes into it so the whole family overheats.....when it dies you can't start it for atleast an hour. I smell alot of gas as if it's flooded. So while I would love to get it fixed for good I can't help but think there are some really neat and dependable units out there today. Does anyone have the skiny on replacing generators. Best make, model and price. Do the new ones put out any more whatevers that will allow us to run both of our AC units while driving? I don't know the first think about Generators just want it to be there when I need it. I hear Honda makes some good ones but not sure if their for Motorhome use. I have a 1984 310 motorhome....

Any good advice is appreciated..
Ken
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Old 07-22-2002, 08:37 AM   #2
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Best Generator

Honda is probably the best, water cooled, very well made, but you will definitely pay for it. If you are going to run both AC's, you will need the 6010, the 4010 won't make it.
I originally had a Generac in my 74 MH. When I got it, the generator was out and in pieces, more wires than I had ever seen hanging everywhere, no schematic. I began searching, settled on Honda. But it would not fit in the space I had. Look at the opening size and depth of your generator compartment. Then determine if the exhaust, fuel, AC and DC hook ups will be compatible. Remember, this is semi-exposed, a couple of wire nuts and 14" of wire won't make it.
You also need to think about maintenance. Will the location of the oil and air filters, breaker(s), controls, etc. be accessible?
I started this project by taking the body off and sandblasting the frame, am now prepping the body for paint. The generator was one of the harder systems to 'engineer.' I understand your frustration, dumping a bunch of cash into this and having nothing, but you will pay $4000+ for a Honda, and that will be sitting in a crate.
Have you pulled your plugs? They will tell you the state of your fuel system. If they are black and sooty it is running rich, flooding out.

John
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Old 07-22-2002, 08:37 AM   #3
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Ken,

Honda does make units for installation into RV's and I hear they are quieter that many. For the quietest you would need to go to a water cooled one. They have their own cooling system. Can you run both roof AC units on the Kohler you have now? Is there the famous rotary switch in a cabinet in your galley?

The reason I as is that if the coach is not wired to run both AC's at the same time you would need to modify/upgrade your Shore Power/AC power panel. Each AC could conceivably pull 20+ amps when running. What is the model number of the generator you have? Model number denotes size. Usually in max watt output. Meaning a 5000 series would be able to generate 50 Amps/5000 Watts.

If you modify your power panel to utilize a 50 Amp shore connection and rewire past the rotary switch if you have it, you could then run both AC on shore power. You would need to change out the transfer relay as well as the power cord.
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:29 AM   #4
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Small gen sets

These small gen sets are just like a lawn mower so..... go to the local small engine shop for repairs. The rv service guys will take all yer money...... Kohler get set maker is the most respected in all the world, but their small units have poor engines made by others. The engine technology as an old farm tractor. Having said that, the good mechanic can make the gen set run flawlessly for a long time. I have and use a Kohler 7KW. The engine is OK but not the greatest.
Honda is a very good engine maker as their premium prices would indicate. These engine are also the most dependable..
If you consider doing some rewiring to accomodate running 2 roof AC units, it is a fairly easy task to just add a small dedicated circuit breaker box for the second AC unit, rather than change the existing c/b box.... The source for power can come from a 50 amp 240 volt RV hook up, but can be connected in a variety of ways. Consult a local electrician.
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Old 07-22-2002, 01:07 PM   #5
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I have seen on the big box/bus motorhomes that the gensets are mounted on a sliding rail system. This might be a way to increase the choice of models. I am aware of a place in FL that has done this on GMC motorhomes but not on an Airstream. I would think you could just buy the tray and slide system and have it installed prior to installation of the generator. Then plugs, filters, and drains are not as crucial. Just my $.02.
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Old 07-22-2002, 02:26 PM   #6
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Sliding the generator is what gave me such a headache. Once it begins to move, the ac, dc, fuel line and exhaust must all move (safely), and return to the same place where they started. Now that it is done it is great, I have access to all four sides, but it took a lot of work to get there.

John
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Old 07-22-2002, 09:54 PM   #7
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The 345 is wired so the genset automatically powers the rear air unit. If the "famous' rotory switch is set to front air, you can run both. The gen set is the only way to run both air units at once. The coach shore power is rated at 30 amps. The Kohler 7000 is rated to produces 56 amps.

All the GMC motorhomes I looked at came with a slide out generator.

Jim
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Old 07-23-2002, 01:42 AM   #8
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I do have this famous switch that allows me to run both AC units off the generator. I also noticed I have a big plug in the generator compartment that I think runs the other AC Unit if plugged in. Like I said I know nothing about this stuff. I did some checking and found a site that will ship the largest Honda RV generator made (6010). I will have in 4 days and installed next week. The price of the unit is $2,695 which includes the exhaust system. I thought that seemed pretty reasonable. I appear to have plenty of room for it based on the dimensions they say you need. Anything I'm not thinking about. My mechanic likes the fact that it's water cooled and it's quieter. I know I'm moving quickly on this one but I have a trip to Glacier Park in Montana coming up with the family and I'm not spending the trip listening to everyone moan about the heat or lack of cool air......

Kenhttp://www.hicklinpower.com/ev6010.cfm
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Old 07-24-2002, 08:30 PM   #9
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Ken,

My rig does not have a plug in the generator compartment. I wonder if that was a PO installation? Output from the generator is wired directly to the rear air in my '84 and on later years (have an '86 manual). There is a separate circuit breaker in the bedroom. The system switches power automatically when the generator output is present.

Let us know how that honda install goes. $2700 sounds like a great price.
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