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Old 03-29-2003, 01:33 PM   #11
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Here's a link to some I've been considering -- -- --

http://community.webshots.com/album/47421720vXokAd

I've taken a close look at most -- and eliminated some.

As far as what to stay away from -- In my opinion -- No gas models period. And of those that are diesel -- No contractor series -- the Home Club variety.

My desires are a bit different -- -- --

The generator MUST be enclosed in a weather/sound reducing enclosure. This eliminates several excellent choices -- such as Wrico's unit -- used in the Custom Coach line.

I've a small "Foot Print" to work with -- behind the sleeper. On the new Deck Plate I've installed.

I'm also removing the underbunk HVAC unit -- and installing an all AC HVAC -- although this can be purchased separately -- I'm now taking a very close look at those companys that offer a "Package" deal -- for the Trucking Industry. Why re-invent the wheel ??

Today I received a package from Truck Gen -- and I've ordered their Owners Manual for their UCT2-5.5 System.

I like the idea of not only providing AC for the 5th wheel -- but climate control for the tractor cab/sleeper also. I like the remote control feature and thermostat control in the sleeper also.

When I make my decision/purchase -- I'll post pictures of the installation ....... This will end my work on the tractor -- and posting of pictures.
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Old 04-01-2003, 03:59 PM   #12
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For those of you with insomnia this should help.

Old phone man has articulated far better than I the requirements for a gen set. I am going to describe another system, why I am using it, etc.

There are a couple ways to get ac power, one is by an ac generator powered by internal combustion engines, wind, water, hydrogen, what ever.

In order to determine the size needed you need to know the peak load you will see, and size your ac gen set to that peak. For most of us it is when the air conditioners kick on, high load for a few seconds and then tapering off to the normal run condition, but during its operation again cycling the compressor off and on. Perhaps the microwave will be used during a compressor cycle, need to add that load along with all of the others to determine your peak load.

The reason for me repeating peak load ad naseum, as another technique using a ac inverter powered by a battery bank and/or charger to provide the dc to the inverter. In this case the battry charger can be a small diesel driven alternator that will provide dc to the batteries. The alternator needs to be sized to the average power used not the peak. The battery bank acts as a buffer to the system and provides power for the peak loads.

A far better description is at www.amplepower.com and there are a couple of articles in professional boatbuilder magazine on this topic. (Issues are in my truck which is 1600 miles from me)

They system I have on my truck is as follows.

* A 3kw prosine inverter. Pure sine wave, with a built in 100 amp battry charger. There was discussion on this board about pure sine wave vs modified, and one thing not covered was an issue called the power factor. What you will find is it will take longer to cook in a micorwave with a modified sine wave inverter. Won't make a darn bit of difference on resisitive loads. Now the difference is in the who cares region.

* Feeding the inverter dc are 820 amp hours of agm batteries. 4 8D AGM batteries from xantrex on close out.

* The batteries are charged by 3 sources. One is the 100 amp charger driven by shore power in the inverter. The second is from an ample power genie battery charger. A single cylinder diesel turning a 175 amp alternator. (This little motor could also turn a air cond. compressor and be use like oldphoneman was discussing) The third source is from the main enging alternator. I have replaced the Delco alternator in the Volvo with an ample power 275 amp hour alternator, no 275 is not a typo.

Contolling this is a smart regualtor by ample power, and a battery monitor and controller by ample power.

The smart regualtor can charge batteries based on the particular charging protocal of the batteries. i.e. AGM batteries cannot be charged to the same voltage as normal flooded cell batteries, they wil die very early. The smart regualtor can charge the start batteries with the appropriate protocal for them.

The controller monitors the amount of current used and displays in the cab in real language how much capacity remains. i.e. 25% of capacity use.

It will also monitor each battery bank (house, and truck) and distribute the charging current to the appropriate bank. It gives priority to the start batteries.

It will automatically start the genie at a predetermined discharge level of the battery. (Software not quite there yet)

Again a far better description on ample powers site.

The reason for the agm batteries is they can handle rapid recharge rates. I can put all 275 amps off the main alternator into that bank and bring them up from a 50 % discharge in less than two hours.

I can also plug my lap top into the battery monitor and find out more than I ever wanted to know about the use, condition of the batteries , blah, blah blah.

On the rear of my bed are a shore power inlet, a shore power outlet (30 amp) and a 15 amp ground fault outlet.

Inside the compartment with the inverter is an ac distribution box, which provides the power to the cab and rear of the bed.

Going down the road I can have ac power on my fiver at all times if I want too. I will modify the fiver when I get it to put a shore power inlet in the horizontal surface under neath the bedroom, as close to the hitch as I can get.

Now why. first of all I want to boondock and this will allow me to do so. Second I am dangerous when I try to fix things so I bought what is argueably the most reliable equipment yo can buy to generate my power.

i am going to use this skiing where a loss of power can be fatal rather than an inconvenience.

Do I recommend this, heck no, I have never used it yet, it is just what I wanted to do.

Chuck
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Old 04-01-2003, 05:12 PM   #13
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GREAT post Chuck -- -- --

And -- Thanks again for pictures of yours!!

Sure would be nice if we all could get together this summer and tour each others !! Parker -- mid-September works for me ...... :^)

Received in todays mail -- the owners manual for the Truck Gen setup. I'll spend the next few days contemplating this system.

How's the weather Chuck? Snow advisory here thru Wednesday night !! Hit 70 Saturday !! Whew!! Larry -- With 90 inches of rain a year -- even the rocks seem to grow !! :^)

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Old 04-02-2003, 06:31 PM   #14
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Real interesting post Chuck. I had looked at doing something similar but cheaped out and just set up a (real nice) solar system with a small gen (Honda 2000) for backup. Obviously, I can not run the air, but have had very little need to do so - at least not recently. We boondock more than 4 months a year, but have not really had the need for air other than a few blistering nights.

Do you have any pics of your setup? I would be real interested in seeing it. Thanks

Jack Mayer
F550 Centurion Conversion
36' Newmar Kountry Star
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Old 05-04-2003, 03:10 PM   #15
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Well -- It's done !!

http://community.webshots.com/album/68827129iOaMmN

Quite a puzzle -- This company sends most everything required. It does help having a shop to work in as we have had several spring storms pay a visit !!

The pictures tell most of the story. Still left in the "Kit" is the underbunk electric HVAC unit. It's in place -- just not hooked up yet.

Next winter I'll fab-up a small steel box that will go between the generator and the hitch -- It will also incorporate the front S/S mounts -- and will then all blend in. This will be used for the storage of wood blocking for the 5th wheel and also for chalk storage.

I've also reached the maximum albums allowed by Webshots. Soooooo -- as time goes by -- I'll be eliminating some of the tractor albums and replacing with travel albums for our family around the world -- as this was the premise for origionally posting pictures on the Web.

This also brings an end to the upgrading of Ol Red. Now -- It's time to put Her to work !!

See Ya down the road ..........

OLDphoneman
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Old 05-04-2003, 07:52 PM   #16
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Oldphoneman: If we are ever at a rally together I will never, ever park near you. You can eat off of your truck, not true for mine.

I did put some pictures up in the Gallery section showing how I did my genset.

also my bed is much like others. It is bolted on, so it can be removed. My compartments are semi water proof, hopefully completely so shortly. It too is way over built. Rear compartments shout have been a little deeper so I could mount my batteries length wise and had room for two more and easier access to the connections. Getting the wires from the rear into the cab was a real b----. Many sesor wires and really fat 12 volt high amp wires.

A more complete description is in my post a few weeks ago on this topic.

Chuck
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Old 05-05-2003, 06:37 AM   #17
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Hi Chuck -- --

.. .. .. :^D

Once the house sells -- and we are on the road -- Well -- Ol Red will loose Her luster !!

I was fortunate enough to tour your's -- just before you'r shop finished Her. Quite a layout !!

Glad to see you've made it back home -- by the way .. .. On the way back -- did you stop and view the 5th wheel you are interested in ??

If you venture out this year -- drop me a line .. and I'll see what my schedule is !!

Now that Ol Red is nearly done -- my main focus is the house and property -- and preparing it for sale.

Take Care ........

OLDphoneman
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