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Old 12-24-2005, 10:41 AM   #43
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BUSTED !

Vajeep, I do understand that most of us go to the NP’s for peace & quite with nature.
WOW, being busted for the Suburban running ... that’s a little ‘over-the-top’.

Must have been a Ford Guy!
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Old 12-24-2005, 12:43 PM   #44
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Our 1976 Overlander only has one battery. When our furnace is running and it is below freezing our battery will run down in those 12 hours. Even with the fridge on propane we were cutting it close by 8am.
We did have some fun talking about our camp hosts... They took their job very seriously!!! We did think that they were "over the top" but that is always a fun part of camping for us!!

Merry Christmas!!!
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Old 12-24-2005, 02:14 PM   #45
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Totally understand...

in the Redwoods, our neighbors were running their F150 for a while - while gunning the engine for about an hour. I didn't make the trip to knock on the door, but any engine noise stands out in the wilderness, there's nothing else to cloak it.
Happy Holidays!
Marc
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Old 12-24-2005, 02:55 PM   #46
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One of the reasons I converted my Honda to propane, was the fact, that now I can store it anywhere, without worrying about gasoline spills or fumes. As far as "having less power with propane, than gas", I have not noticed any difference in power. This may be due to the fact that the Honda does not have to hold 3600 rpm constantly to produce 60 cycle AC, being that it is an inverter type generator. If it needs to produce more power, the governer simply gives it more fuel, be it gasoline or propane.
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Old 12-26-2005, 04:51 PM   #47
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Saddletramp

A generator is an upcoming issue for me too.

I will use the Dodge Mercedes Sprinter for a Tow Vehicle and one attraction of the Onan Microlite is that it will fit between the frame rails and below the floor, in the space used for a spare tire.

I could also start it on remote like you do.

The Hondas however are less expensive and even quieter than the Onans. I wish they were made in the dimensions of the Onan.

They also have the advantage of clean inverter power.

I doubt that servicing a Honda is an issue in todayís world.

Ideally, I want a diesel but the smallest diesel made by Onan is 5500 watts of Big Bucks.

Maybe a Honda or Kipor engineer will stumble on this site and realize there is a specialized RV market out there.

Onan claims they already do but they do it in the same way all the other RV oligarchies out there do it: dictate what the customer gets.

For instance, I know that several converters of the Sprinter Van have asked Onan to produce a small diesel generator and the reply is always that ďthere isnít a marketĒ.

There are hundreds of these vans running around with LP generators when they could be using the truckís main diesel tank. Winnebago alone is converting several hundred Sprinters annually.

You did a service by reminding Honda users to be careful with their neat, small generators.

Sergei
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:29 PM   #48
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Sergei,

I am a Sprinter owner also and I use it to tow my '06 Bambi 19' CCD. BE VERY CAREFUL OF YOUR TOW LIMIT!!!!! The 2500 Sprinter is rated for a maximum of 5000lb GTW/500lb tongue weight. I have Firestone airbags on the rear springs and don't need or use a weight distributing hitch or sway control. I don't even know the AS is back there except for the drop in mileage and the longer run-up time to speed.

I was going to buy a 22' Int'l but the GTW was over 5000, so I opted for the 19' to stay under the limit. Be safe out there!

In keeping with the thread, I have a Yamaha EF2400-IS that I converted to propane. IMO, propane or diesel is the ONLY way to go for ANY gen-set. You don't have to deal with the explosive nature of gasoline and you can run it from your AS propane tanks......not to mention the huge decrease in maintenance!
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Old 12-26-2005, 09:56 PM   #49
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Sprinter

Hi Lew:

The Sprinter specialist took me to the Mercedes Sprinter UK site to show me something. (We arenít supposed to say he did it). The exact same vehicle there, pound for pound and inch for inch the same, is rated for towing as follows:

GTW (unbraked) 4250

GTW (braked) 6300

These are KILOGRAMS, not pounds. Thatís 13,889 pounds !!

The GCWR for the Argosy/Mini/Sprinter is well within limits and, especially knowing the above, well able to tow the trailer.

He says, as I have long suspected, that towing weights are seriously under rated in North America - were people sue if hot coffee spills on their pants.

It maybe also be that the Big Three want you to go up to the next class and spend even more money.

This may help explain why your Sprinter is towing so well.

Sergei

(you can check this at http;//www2.Mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/unitedkingdom/mpc/mpc_unitedkingdom)
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Old 12-27-2005, 12:46 PM   #50
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Hello Smokeless Joe,

There were several reasons I posted on this thread. I had no illusions of converting anyone from Honda to Onan. In fact, I spent an entire career with a competitor to Onan, although not in sizes this small.

I wanted people who are converting to propane to know they will lose power. This is a simple engineering fact. There is less heat in the volume of an engine's cylinder filled with propane compared to the same volume of gasoline
vapor. Heat produces power. Anyone who thinks otherwise from his experience simply hasn't put enough load on his engine or didn't use accurate instrumentation to find this out. If you want equal power you have to increase engine displacement.

Comparing sound levels of generators where one is idling and the other is at full load isn't a valid comparison. Without accurate data it's like arguing about the length of a piece of string. Compare decibel levels from the manufacturer's specs. at EQUAL distances. Sound diminishes rapidly with distance. If you compare Honda to Onan on this basis you will be surprised some Onans are quieter than Honda.

Often people just don't realize the cost of designing, building and marketing a new engine. Onan has the greatest market share of the RV market. They evidentally haven't seen enough volume yet in a smaller diesel.

People often compare initial purchase price only and don't consider product support. They just assume it will be there when they need it. Life's lessons with Chineese knock off's where they copied someone else's design usually means "Let the buyer beware."

Lastly, I have observed that most owners of small portable gen. sets just toss them in the back of their tow vehicles like another piece of luggage. I don't depend on a plastic llid or a cable which may may or may not hold it, depending on how you restrained it. Mine is anchored to the frame.

Now as to your desire to mount a generator where the spare tire is. If this means behind the rear axle between the frame rails, you need to take into account salt spray which is greater here than any place you could put it. Salt spray is just about the worst environment you could put it in. I have seen some totally ruined in one year's use. I'm not saying it can't be done, it just takes more engineering than simply bolting it in place.

Happy New Year!
Saddletramp
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Old 12-27-2005, 02:00 PM   #51
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Happy New Year to you too, Saddletramp.

You sound like a man who knows what heís talking about so Iíll add just two points:

It was the local Onan dealer, who also had some Hondas in the shop, who ran the Micro Lite and a Honda side by side for me, out on the tarmac in front of his place.

He told me the Honda was quieter and I think it was.

He also said he thought the Onan was a better solution than two Hondas patched together. I expected an Onan dealer to say that.


Every Sprinter van conversion Iíve seen (Iíve been to five plants, including Airstream, that convert them) uses an Onan Micro Lite placed in what was formerly the spare wheel well.

They cut an opening in the floor at the rear and place a service hatch there. I think they use an accessory from Onan, a kind of hanging pan, to support it.

Thanks for the comment about salt spray. I will pay attention to your point even though I donít expect to drive the truck in snow and sleet.

I wanna go South in winter, man!

Sergei
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Old 12-27-2005, 09:57 PM   #52
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Generators

Hello again Smokeless Joe,

You sound like a man who is doing it right. You are going to see first hand what their workmanship is like.

Always be a little skeptical about comparative evaluations of noise level. Be sure they are the exact same KW rating, both run at the same load and decibel measurement taken at the exact same distance. I always ask to see their data. If you see one was taken at a greater distance you have to ask what is he hiding.

I too would rather have one larger generator than two smaller ones.

It sounds like the people you have visited have done their homework. If you have them do it for you, inquire about an hour meter made by SNM. It is relatively inexpensive, has a small wire that you wrap around the spark plug wire for a pickup. It has a lithium battery for its own power that lasts ten years. When the engine is running it is a digital tachometer. With a calculator you can determine frequency. When the engine is at rest it shows elapsed run time, an hour meter.

A generator should be operated at full load for at least an hour every month of its life. It will last much longer if you do that religiously.

You must be about ready to leave for the south. We won't go till late April, we want to see the desert when its in full bloom.

Have a good trip,
Saddletramp
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Old 12-28-2005, 12:25 AM   #53
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Does this apply....

Saddletramp -

Really interesting series of posts about generators. Thanks for that.

Do have a question about the full size generators - you know the power outage full building ones/ home backup/ other... Does your statement about running at least once amonth with full load applied, apply to them too? What is the reason for the 1 mo/full load routine? Is it simply to have the motor broken in properly? Bearings lubed? ???

Just curious, in case I ever get ambitious enough to get the home gen set. Gotta be ready, right??

Axel
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:32 AM   #54
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Silvertoy, I take care of 4, 150KW Caterpillar, a 250KW Caterpillar and a 30 KW Isuzu propane powered generator at work. We run them for 45 minutes every week, with the load that they protect. Once a year we have the Cat dealer come in an do a full load test, (700 amps on the 250 KW!!) which gets the carbon out and really makes the turbo's sing.
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Old 12-28-2005, 08:53 AM   #55
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Hello SilverToy,

Generators that sit idle most of the time accumulate moisture. This causes oxidation on contact points, short circuits and general deterioration in electrical insulation. Exercising it drives out moisture especially if loaded.

When an engine is new it should be warmed up, then immediately have load applied incrementally to bring it to full load. This breaks in the piston rings and cylinder wall(s). The increased cylinder pressure gets behind the rings forcing them out against the wall, wearing off any high spots created by the machining process. This gives better oil control. That's why many engines that were not broken in properly use oil. Engines that are run for exercise without load often use oil.

Gasoline engines that sit around without exercise get varnish formation in the fuel system, making them hard to start and run rough. Every ounce of gasoline I put in my generator has Stabil in it, that not only helps prevent varnish, but removes deposits as well. I do this
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Old 12-28-2005, 11:13 AM   #56
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Saddletramp,

Thanks for sharing your expertise.

I am making careful note of your recommendations, like for the tachometer/hour meter Iíd never heard of before.

Your explanations and operational tips will be filed away for reference too.

In Toronto, I have a building next to the main communications centre for the Fire Department. They have a large standby power plant in there.

For years and years, a service company has been coming by every month or so and making the diesel plant ROAR for about an hour.

Now I know why.

I wonít be going south until NEXT winter. This winter Iím at Port Bruce, on the Canadian side of Lake Erie, remodeling a 1976 Argosy.

We are now installing new, upgraded holding tanks.

If you want to visit my plan go to

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ase-18448.html


Thanks again for the good contributions.

Sergei
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