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Old 05-16-2006, 08:58 AM   #1
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1995 36' Classic 36
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diesel generator

Has anyone installed a diesel generator in a 36 classic motorhome? Any help at all with type, modifications, or possitioning would be greatly apreciated. I also want to convert to 50 amp shore power at the same time. Referrals for information if you have it please.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:46 AM   #2
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Forgive me for asking, but what is in there now? Do you have a gas 360 or a dp 360?
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:27 AM   #3
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diesel generator

I have a 6500 onan propane generator now that I want to covert from.
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:51 AM   #4
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OK, is the 6500 in a 360 diesel or gasser? I'm asking as it relates to the complexity of an additional fuel tank for a diesel genset in a gas chassis. Again sorry to dig in but your profile and post don't indicate which version of the 360 you own (or are planning to purchase) so more info would help you get a better reply to the post.
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:19 AM   #5
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diesel generator

It is a diesel. I would like to run the generator off of that tank. Thanks for your help.
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:32 PM   #6
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Gotcha,
Just realized that while your profile says "currently looking" your detailed profile says 95 360.

First off, very nice coach. Second, welcome to the forums.

A few people around here have upgraded their generators when their Onans/Kohlers finally gave out. Most were gas chassis and upgraded to Honda RV Generators.

If you use the search feature on the forum you'll find a few posts about the process. I've read many of them and it typically comes down to cramming the new generator into the existing space. I would think other than the plumbing required to get diesel to the generator compartment and any wiring conversions to hook up the new genny to the old 12V and 110V systems you would be mainly concerned with simply fitting the generator in, mounting plates, mounts and maintaining the necessary access for service and maintenance.

Once you've narrowed in on a generator check the dimensions against the current compartment.

If this is something you're going to DIY then post some details and pictures and I'm sure more people will jump in with advice and opinions.

Personally, I think I might leave something like that up to a professional.
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:26 PM   #7
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The only problem I do see is the actual size of the generator. The propane generator is just so much smaller. The width does not seem to be as much of a problem as the hight. Finding two feet of hight under the low deck seems to be the largest of the problems and after shoehorning it in there, service access would be my next concern. I do own the coach and can handle the conversion I'm just trying to pre discover any roadblocks ahead of time.If there is any thoughts out ther as far as placement, mounting and altering the interior floor to gain clearance I would love to hear about them. I do own the coach and would not give it up, I'm just trying to gain the benifits of the extended dry camping time and effiency of a diesel generator setup. Thanks for any help or ideas anyone may have.
I've been thinking about raising the floor in the existing location and losing a little floor space under the driver side nightstand in the bedroom. The other possibilites may be the existing propane tank location under the kitchen cabinets or under the front trunk where the spare tire is located. What do you think?
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:39 PM   #8
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Without "seeing" your setup, all of those possibilities sound reasonable. Generators are "add-ons" by definition and the floor is modified to accomidate them into the coach shell. Increasing the deck height is a good solution as long as you don't need to get into the floor to wall connections.

My favorite setup is a nose setup on a slideout tray. This keep the generator away from sleeping quarters and make maintenance pretty easy.

Just as an FYI - on my 345 the generator compartment is between the roadside couch and rearward facing dinette. It splits the floor and a steel box (about 12" high) gives is the head room it needs inside the coach. The entire compartment is sealed and insulated. So, AS did exactly what you are describing in some of their other coaches.

Keep us posted and feel free to upload some images of your concepts, existing setup, possible spaces, etc.

We live to figure this stuff out around here.

PS - you live in a nice part of the world. We used to live in Rockport (Pennobscot Bay) many years ago.
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Old 05-16-2006, 04:21 PM   #9
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Arty,

Most diesel gensets like the Onan QD series are VERY large due to the soundproofing cabinetry surrounding them, and the majority that I have seen are mounted in the nose of the MoHo on a slide-out tray. This makes servicing and other access quite nice, which would otherwise be a nightmare. You might also check on the Powertech line made in FL. They are used on a lot of the Prevost, Bluebird and other high-line bus type MoHo's.

Other than getting a fuel line to the gen from your fuel tank (be sure to place the hose fitting NO LOWER than 25% above the bottom of the tank), The 7.5KW Onan has 2-30 amp 120VAC feed lines, just like your 6500 should have so wiring it might not be the problem. Converting your coach to 50 amps will be a bit of work, though. IIRC, there was a thread not too long ago dealing with that topic.
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Old 05-17-2006, 04:45 PM   #10
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Opinion

Quote:
Originally Posted by artymjr
The only problem I do see is the actual size of the generator. The propane generator is just so much smaller......The other possibilites may be the existing propane tank location under the kitchen cabinets or under the front trunk where the spare tire is located. What do you think?
I have a couple of thoughts -

First, if you remove the LPG tank, will you convert the stove, furnace(s), and water heater to electric? Unless you install an amp manager it seems likely that you would overload a 50 amp service.

Second, have you checked the actual weight on your chassis (all four axle support points)? Even the diesel units were sometimes constructed with the empty weight close to being maxed out. The significant weight penalty of a decent sized diesel generator may well put you over the limit on any one of the four tire locations.

As the lewster pointed out previously, it will require an abundance of insulation to make the diesel run as quietly as the propane genny. Just the nature of the beast.

If you are having difficulties with the Propane Generator, I would suggest replacement with another LPG unit - I think it would be a much slicker fit.

BTW, are you having a problem with the present LPG unit? Would appreciate the hours and useage on it prior to failure. The reason I'm asking, the 6500 ONAN gasser in my 345 became uneconomical to operate after 750 hours - just trying to establish a "death" pattern.

Keep us posted.
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Old 05-19-2006, 08:08 AM   #11
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Welcome to the forums.
I have a 6500 propane gen-set. After having the valves adjusted and the unit properly serviced it runs very well. Propane right now is less expensive than diesel and the engine is more efficient to operate than a diesel. I would also be concerned with the added weight of the diesel generator. One last consideration is the exhaust. The propane exhaust is less offensive than the diesel exhaust.
My mechanic has told me that these propane gen-sets will burn up their valves if they are not kept adjusted regularly. Maybe all that you need is a valve job on your gen-set. These generators are made to run for thousands of hours the hard thing is the stop and starting we do to them.
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Old 05-19-2006, 09:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaplain Kent
Welcome to the forums.
I have a 6500 propane gen-set. After having the valves adjusted and the unit properly serviced it runs very well. Propane right now is less expensive than diesel and the engine is more efficient to operate than a diesel. I would also be concerned with the added weight of the diesel generator. One last consideration is the exhaust. The propane exhaust is less offensive than the diesel exhaust.
My mechanic has told me that these propane gen-sets will burn up their valves if they are not kept adjusted regularly. Maybe all that you need is a valve job on your gen-set. These generators are made to run for thousands of hours the hard thing is the stop and starting we do to them.
.............Propane is LESS efficient than Gas , and gas is Less Efficient than Diesel !!! Your 6.5kw propane genset has to be derated by 10% from the getgo which means that your genset will putout 5850 watts max at Sealevel . Now , You must also derate it's output by about 4% for every 1000 feet your elevation increases above sealevel .
.............The most efficient Small Diesel genset available by Onan(Cummins) is either their 10kw\12kw . Either one of these units runs at 1800 rpm and is computer controlled . They'll run around $10,000 or so . Onan small diesel gensets go all the way down to 5500 watts but they ALL run at 3600 Rpm and while very efficient are rather noisy . r66
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