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Old 03-08-2008, 11:05 AM   #85
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saluda , Virginia
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Got the inverter/air conditioner combo working today. Works great , Roof air works via 2500watt inverter 3/0 cable 1000ca marine cranking battery
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1979 AIRSTREAM EXCELLA / DRIVER CONTROLLED AIRBAGS IN REAR / BUFFED / HEAT DISSIPATING WHITE PAINTED ROOF / 2500 WATT INVERTER / KUBOTA DIESEL 5.5KW GENSET / ((((CUMMINS)))) TURBO DIESEL / 14CM TURBO HOUSING WITH PACBRAKE EXHAUST BRAKE / 4" EXHAUST WITH 5" EXAHAUST TIP / 16 MPG
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:16 AM   #86
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwbaker
Got the inverter/air conditioner combo working today. Works great , Roof air works via 2500watt inverter 3/0 cable 1000ca marine cranking battery
Wow! I hope you'll take a bunch of pictures of that installation and provide some detailed diagrams. What size alternator did you install on the engine?

I'm also curious as to how running the a/c while driving will impact the available horse power from the motor considering a bunch is going to be needed to drive that alternator. Or am I missing something?

Brad
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:46 PM   #87
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saluda , Virginia
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220 amp alternator. Rule of thumb is: 1 horsepower per 50 amps DC. I need about 181 amps to run the 2500 watt inverter at full load. Luckily the AC doesnt need anywhere near that once it is past initial startup.
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1979 AIRSTREAM EXCELLA / DRIVER CONTROLLED AIRBAGS IN REAR / BUFFED / HEAT DISSIPATING WHITE PAINTED ROOF / 2500 WATT INVERTER / KUBOTA DIESEL 5.5KW GENSET / ((((CUMMINS)))) TURBO DIESEL / 14CM TURBO HOUSING WITH PACBRAKE EXHAUST BRAKE / 4" EXHAUST WITH 5" EXAHAUST TIP / 16 MPG
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:56 PM   #88
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So I figured out the tranny problems. Had to adjust the TV cable a little and I had the pressure switches hooked up wrong. So now the motorhome drives and shifts great. It goes from 3rd to overdrive with a smooth transition and a nice surge of turbo boost. The tranny locks up just after that, and Its great. I am very pleased. The motor is now much quieter as I have installed soundproofing from LC whitney inside of the doghouse. I still have to install a speedometer correction unit as the speedo is reading about 30% too fast, but this was expected. I cant wait for my first trip
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:22 PM   #89
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Sounds like some easy fixes.

I think I'm going to video record the 454 from a tripod inside the motorhome to capture the noise on start and while driving. Maybe use a CD on the stereo at the exact same volume as a control source. Then do the same drive with the 6BT after the transplant. Noise is one of my concerns, but I've heard that once you're on the road, it's less noticable.

I don't know if it's coincidence, but there seem to be more cheap 91-93 2WD donor trucks showing up on craigslist for around $2,000. they all say "body dings, and passenger window doesn't work, but motor strong; 135k miles". PERFECT. Maybe it's fuel prices hitting $4/gal.?

I tend to always swim the other way of the general public - I'm probably not alone here since we all own RVs that are extraordinary; but I see $4/gas as a great thing. our RVs are going to be cheaper to buy because everyone is so scared of high fuel prices. And you can bet for sure that some sweet alternative fuels will evolve when fuel is $8/gal. We can let all sorts of troops die, and people get sick from fumes, and "greenhouse" effects happen (if they are real), but if you want real action, just hit us in the wallet- change will abide. (sorry for the soapbox).

-Kevin
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Old 03-15-2008, 08:54 AM   #90
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They are cheaper and available because owners are tired of fixing them. The Dodge simply rots out around that Cummins. Also, the Diesel hot rodders want the 94-98 Dodge because of the P7100-inj Pump. 91-93 engines are perfect for us because of the size, economy and you can still turn these pumps up to nearly 300hp with proper mods, even more with injectors. But if you are like me, you are in it for the MPG.
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:54 AM   #91
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saluda , Virginia
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Just Got Back From My First Trip

We just got back from Florida, and the fuel fuel numbers are unbelievable. I did all the milage with 2 separate GPS units and of course my odometer. They are all within 2% of each other, so expect a 2% error. Also, the way I am measuring fuel is simply by filling up until it is completely topped off, then recording how much it takes to top off at the next fillup. Anyway, the numbers are as follows:

15.9 MPG averaging 55mph
14.4 MPG averaging 60mph and 25% in town driving
16.0 MPG averaging 55mph

So my goal of 15MPG has been achieved

It is a bit louder, but my wife and I had our usual conversations with no trouble. Its definitely not a big consideration at all.

The inverter runs the roof air, but the alternator just cant keep up. It is rated for 220 amps, but that is at 2500 engine RPMs and I'm usually at 1800, so I have to put the air on a very low setting so that the compressor cycles on and off to give the battery time to recover. This will not work in the heat of summer so my next thread will cover the installation of a kubota diesel genset so I can run both airs while travelling.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:08 AM   #92
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great mpg

i was curious as too how well your alternator could handle the AC load as I was considering a similar setup. Is your inverter the pure sine wave or modified? Whats your goal for genset gallons per hour?
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Old 04-14-2008, 10:25 AM   #93
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high-output altenator

Hey GW! your mpg numbers sound great. Congratulations. Great project. For low rpm output from the altenator, check out this site: paperformance.com . I know there is a way to go directly there, but I don't know how to do it. Low and slow. Regards, Phil and Sam
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:19 PM   #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Phil
Hey GW! your mpg numbers sound great. Congratulations. Great project. For low rpm output from the altenator, check out this site: paperformance.com . I know there is a way to go directly there, but I don't know how to do it. Low and slow. Regards, Phil and Sam
Yeah, its already setup correctly. Its set up to be at its max rpm when the cummins is at its max rpm of 2500. If I put a smaller pulley on it, it will overspeed if I do rev up to 2500.
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1979 AIRSTREAM EXCELLA / DRIVER CONTROLLED AIRBAGS IN REAR / BUFFED / HEAT DISSIPATING WHITE PAINTED ROOF / 2500 WATT INVERTER / KUBOTA DIESEL 5.5KW GENSET / ((((CUMMINS)))) TURBO DIESEL / 14CM TURBO HOUSING WITH PACBRAKE EXHAUST BRAKE / 4" EXHAUST WITH 5" EXAHAUST TIP / 16 MPG
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:27 PM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbundi
i was curious as too how well your alternator could handle the AC load as I was considering a similar setup. Is your inverter the pure sine wave or modified? Whats your goal for genset gallons per hour?
Its a modified sine wave. It has no trouble, its the battery/alt combo that cant handle it.

I'm looking at a kubota powered 5.5kw genset on ebay right now. Its a 2 cyl and it runs at 2800rpm. I do not know what it will burn per hour, your guess is as good as mine.
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Old 04-14-2008, 02:46 PM   #96
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16mpg!

really impressive. How many miles did you go round trip? I'm sure you tracked fuel price too? do you have a list of all the components you bought and the prices? not the endless little stuff, but just the big stuff; donor truck, drivelines, tranny, radiatior, etc. I remember a total of about $9k, but I'd like to see how that breaks down.
I'm trying to figure out how long you have to own the rig to make it payoff.
7mpg @ $3.50/g is $.50/mi.
16mpg @ $4.00/g is $.25/mi.
So if this conversion cost $9k then at 36,000 miles you recover the cost of the conversion.

I guess this assumes that you have a running 454 (like me). If you need a new motor anyway (-$5,000) then it shortens to 16,000 miles.
Or, if you're buying an RV and you find a unit for sale that's $10k less because it's a gasser, then it's a wash. Or if you consider that you can get $10k more in resale for a diesel unit, then this pencils out too.

Or, let's say you have an unlimited supply of veggi oil from the Frito-lay plant in your neighborhood and you can convert it to bio-diesel for $1/gal. ($.0625/mi) it's still going to take 20,500 miles to break even.

I'm only crunching all these numbers to figure out what approach I need to take to rationalize this project to my wife. Looks like I'm going to have to sabotage my 454 (or fake it). Maybe $5k is a little high for a replacement 454 DIY project. Hummmmm.
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:12 PM   #97
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Justification

Quote:
Originally Posted by outofcontrol
really impressive. How many miles did you go round trip? I'm sure you tracked fuel price too? do you have a list of all the components you bought and the prices? not the endless little stuff, but just the big stuff; donor truck, drivelines, tranny, radiatior, etc. I remember a total of about $9k, but I'd like to see how that breaks down.
I'm trying to figure out how long you have to own the rig to make it payoff.
7mpg @ $3.50/g is $.50/mi.
16mpg @ $4.00/g is $.25/mi.
So if this conversion cost $9k then at 36,000 miles you recover the cost of the conversion.

I guess this assumes that you have a running 454 (like me). If you need a new motor anyway (-$5,000) then it shortens to 16,000 miles.
Or, if you're buying an RV and you find a unit for sale that's $10k less because it's a gasser, then it's a wash. Or if you consider that you can get $10k more in resale for a diesel unit, then this pencils out too.

Or, let's say you have an unlimited supply of veggi oil from the Frito-lay plant in your neighborhood and you can convert it to bio-diesel for $1/gal. ($.0625/mi) it's still going to take 20,500 miles to break even.

I'm only crunching all these numbers to figure out what approach I need to take to rationalize this project to my wife. Looks like I'm going to have to sabotage my 454 (or fake it). Maybe $5k is a little high for a replacement 454 DIY project. Hummmmm.
You can sell this to your wife however you want, but here is why we do what we do:

Any moron can take out a loan and buy an over priced diesel motorhome. It will usually be too big, and it will not yield good results. Smaller motorhomes usually come with gas motors. Why? Because its cheaper to make. Then you have people like us. We like smaller rigs, but appreciate diesel technology. We are inovators. I have done two veggie motorhomes, and I love the idea of optimizing and maximizing these machines. Its not out of the question to make good numbers with a motorhome. Just get a smaller motorhome and add an efficient diesel engine. This is not a hard sell, its a move toward efficiency. For example, the only motorhome that can get 16 or better is the Winnebago View, and that thing is 60k$ used. Its too small for 4 people in my opinion and not producing the results that it could. I threw together a bunch of old parts and beat that damn thing hands down. Not because I'm smart or anything, but because nobody seems to care about saving money on fuel. I dont get it. I took a 1979 machine and put a 1991 engine in it, and I'm getting 16 MPG. Why cant I buy one that does that already?

OK sorry folks, off the soap box now, Back to the inovating. Good luck. If anyone needs help with anything, Shoot me a private message.

Greg
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Old 04-15-2008, 07:03 AM   #98
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Of course, I'm not calling anyone here a moron for buying a diesel motorhome. I've owned 2 myself prior to this one. I looked for quite a while for one of those Isuzu powered 28 footers some of you have. Those are a pretty good score. And the Cummins powered airstreams are very cool also. Hope no one took offence, I just know what he is going through. I too had to justify this project myself.
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