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Old 09-25-2012, 03:46 PM   #1
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Default 20KW generator anyone?

Does anyone use a 20K-ish diesel generator? Or have a recommendation?

I've thinking this is severe overkill for what I need on the truck, but then I can subsequently plug the truck into the house in the event a hurricane knocks out our power - thus making the generator into a twofer, so to speak.

Anyway, I've got a nice quiet Honda 6500ES but am interested in diesel generator suggestions, e.g. Onan (Cummings now), Perkins, etc.

Please share your experience and thoughts.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:11 PM   #2
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Buddy of mine has had multiple 20kw Kohlers on his Silver Eagle coaches and never had one go down. I bought my gen from martin diesel here in Ohio. They have been great to work with and will custom make any size and style gen you want. they are reasonably priced as well. they use yanmar engines, which are very reliable.
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:58 PM   #3
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Hi Doc,

What capacity is your genset and what are the dimensions?

I have a 4'-ish long space at the left rear corner of the truck and crawling around today (OK, not crawling, laying on my back on the crawler) with tape measure in hand, this seems like the best for placing the genset.

I figure if I leave 15" of ground clearance there's about 28" of height available and the unit can be as much as 32" wide (this allows as much as 3" of space for fabbing a mount).

I'm discovering a 20KW genset is not going to happen as they seem to all be about 42" high so I am back to square 1 with plans for a genset capable of running the house as well. It was a nice thought experiment - heavy sigh.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:41 AM   #4
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Martin Diesel Generators follow the link to the unit i bought
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
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You wouldn't need tons of power for the house though. Enough to run the refridgerator, furnace, tv, microwave, toaster. That should cover you for the duration of the power outage. And it won't have to power anything in the truck if you're at home, would it?
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:43 AM   #6
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When Hurricane Charley hit us we were out of power for nearly 10 days. Meanwhile, the pool got green because we didn't have the capacity to keep the 2 hp pump motor going. Moreover, potable water was an issue because our 2 hp well pump posed a considerable load (the refrigerator was the primary load). Add to it, and quite naturally, it got very hot and uncomfortable due to the humidity, which lead to frayed tempers. Furthermore, we burned a lot of gasoline through the little Honda ES6500 genset and due to widespread power outages, just getting gasoline was a challenge for many (though we were well prepared by having 80 gallons on hand, I still ended up tapping the 30-gallon tank of my step van).

Anyway, hurricanes aren't as common an event as folks would suppose for us here in Central FL but they do happen. And when the power goes it can be for extended periods of time. However, you're correct, we wouldn't really need to power the truck, e.g. just the house (though come to think of it, sleeping in the truck would be a workable alternative to sweating in our regular bed - I hadn't thought this through well enough because that would definitely change things).

Regardless, it's moot because there doesn't seem to be a generator large enough to run the house, which will fit in the available space. Thus, at present it's looking like 6.5KW will be as large as I can easily get (or maybe as much as 8KW), but nothing like the 20KW I had hoped to purchase. Thus, I suspect when it comes down to it, my little Honda will continue to do the duty because I can buy a lot of gasoline for what a replacement diesel genset will set me back. Especially when I consider I only anticipate using the truck a half dozen times a year. Add to it, the Honda is really, really quiet.

Like I said, it was a nice thought experiment.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:22 PM   #7
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but what if you split the draw between the 8k and the honda during outage?
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:19 PM   #8
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Definitely a possibility worth pondering. A bit of a cluster though.

Frankly, I've been thinking about a whole house genset for years but each time I stay my hand because it's a lot of trouble and expense for a week or so of discomfort. Trouble because they need to be tested monthly, which I do with the Honda along with our household maintenance chores like replacing water and air filters, spraying, etc.

Anyway, it's probably smarter to go visit friends and family by either taking the truck or the Bonanza: 1954 Beechcraft E35 Bonanza
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbeech View Post

Anyway, it's probably smarter to go visit friends and family by either taking the truck or the Bonanza: 1954 Beechcraft E35 Bonanza
My friend used to have that same plane. nice
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Old 09-29-2012, 07:08 AM   #10
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man a 20kw gen in a coach is huge...ive got a 10kw oman and wish we had an 8k (for the fuel consumption)

we didnt own the coach during hurricane ike (sept '08) - we were out of power for 13 days....green pool too....thank god it was cool w/ low humidity. We did well on a borrowed 8kw but eventually i drove up to dallas and picked up a 10kw gas...the 10kw could run quite a bit more (pool pumps).

i "back fed" the house via my welder outlet in the garage (ive since added an outlet on the back of the garage)...i didnt like the 10kw (gas) "portable" in the end - i consumed way too much fuel (2gal per hour at full tilt)...ive since converted it to TRI-fuel (LP, NG or Gasoline).

now i figure we'd just live in the coach (for air conditioning) and/or use the coach's 10kw onan diesel (50a) to back feed the house

nice bonanza btw - friend of mine has a late 60s twin engine (6 passenger) w/ storm scope, nc bose com & 3 axis autopilot...really nice.
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