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Post Info TOPIC: Generator Mount
msg


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Generator Mount


As I free camp most of the time and becoming less tolerant of heat & cold as I get older, I am CONSIDERING getting a generator to power air con or heater.   I really am one of those generator haters.  However,

I have a couple of issues:

1.   My van is small, 5.7mtrs.  No room to carry one.  

2.   I couldn't lift it out even if I got it inside.  

Which is why I have never considered having one.

One idea, would be to mount it on a swing out arm on the back.  so I still have access through rear barn doors. 

Does anyone know where I might buy one?

The other way I could go:   Fit an inverta large enough to run air con.    I am currently updating to lithium batteries and will have larger solar panels to match. So I think??? that maybe they will handle the air con. 

Son is doing the installation so am not sure what he has ordered but it will be the biggest capacity that can fit into/onto the limited space. 

 

 

 

 

 



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Senior Member

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We have 400Ah of lithium, 400W of fixed panels and 200W of portables. The battery system will run the Aircommand Cormorant (3?) for over three hours without assistance. However it takes a long time to recover that charge. Days, if used to depletion. I went in knowing this... the objective was a civilised lunch environment, to remove the day's heat from the van at night or take the damp frost out in the morning. If you intend running aircon for long durations, look at the system capacities to make sure that you won't be disappointed.

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msg


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Thanks Barboots. Limited space is the problem no matter which way I go.

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Veteran Member

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Msg, Tongbox have these boxes that can sit on the vans rear bumper or aframe. Pricey but an alternative.  They also have mounting methods as well.

https://www.tongbox.com.au/generator-boxes/

Joe



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Guru

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Do NOT put weight like that at the rear of a caravan.
Even if the ball weight remains OK (or it is balanced by something else at the front), it is the very best way to induce serious instability.

If it is a campervan, not a caravan I would expect that you would either overload the rear axle (and under load the front steering axle) or exceed the 60% overhang law, or both.

The inverter, Li batteries, lots of solar and a voltage sensitive relay for charging would be a much smarter option both short and long term. 


Cheers,
Peter



-- Edited by Peter_n_Margaret on Monday 16th of April 2018 06:20:53 PM

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 600W of solar, 460Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
CMCA Member #30276. 

msg


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Peter, no problems with overhang or weights. Just finding a suitable arm and cost thereof. As barboots said, even with the lithium batteries, it may not be enough to run air-con. and take ages to get up to speed after discharge.

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Date:

msg wrote:

Peter, no problems with overhang or weights. Just finding a suitable arm and cost thereof. As barboots said, even with the lithium batteries, it may not be enough to run air-con. and take ages to get up to speed after discharge.


 It should not take "ages" to recharge if you fit enough solar AND a VSR AND a 240V charger.

Cheers,

Peter



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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 600W of solar, 460Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
CMCA Member #30276. 



Senior Member

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How much clear area do you have on the van roof for panels Msg, and what aircon do you have? Also how many days do you tend to spend when you have found a "great spot" prior to moving? Cheers, Steve

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msg wrote:

As I free camp most of the time and becoming less tolerant of heat & cold as I get older, I am CONSIDERING getting a generator to power air con or heater.   I really am one of those generator haters.  However,

I have a couple of issues:

1.   My van is small, 5.7mtrs.  No room to carry one.  

2.   I couldn't lift it out even if I got it inside.  

Which is why I have never considered having one.

One idea, would be to mount it on a swing out arm on the back.  so I still have access through rear barn doors

Does anyone know where I might buy one?

The other way I could go:   Fit an inverta large enough to run air con.    I am currently updating to lithium batteries and will have larger solar panels to match. So I think??? that maybe they will handle the air con. 

Son is doing the installation so am not sure what he has ordered but it will be the biggest capacity that can fit into/onto the limited space.  


 Gday...

Given your statement above, perhaps you could buy a swing-out spare wheel carrier for the rear of your vehicle and have it modified to take the generator box.

On the site put up by farmhat,  https://www.tongbox.com.au/generator-boxes/ it shows a bracket for the generator box ...

Carrier Brackert.JPG

That could be adapted to fit on a spare wheel carrier - perhaps like this -

Jerry-can-tow-bar-swing-arm.jpg

The generator could live on that and be run from there to power your air-con etc.

I am sure there are people who could easily fabricate this for ya.

Cheers - John



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msg


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Hi John, Yes that is exactly what I had in mind. Had a look and couldn't get a cost. But, now I'm wondering if its worth it. Would need to get a towbar fitted so it would have something solid to hang off. With the cost of a box, genie etc could end up too much on top of the new batteries and solar panels. Might have to wait a bit and save some pennies.

Barboots, I have often camped for up to six weeks with no shops for 100ks.
Luckily the people I camp with have a few of the necessities covered. Like water. They have a 1000 litre water tank we can fill up when we go into town each week. Even a flushing toilet and a donkey shower. Water conservation is a big thing and I can usually get by on 100lts a week plus bottled drinking water.

I would just like to be a bit more independent and less of a drain on their resources. at least by supplying my own power and comforts. (I have loo and shower). During the six weeks its gets quite cold overnight at least 0C, and later on the days can get up to 45C. That's when we head home. The machinery even says its too much. lol. Takes a bit of thought & organising. Yes you may ask why do we do it? Opal mining. lol.

Generally, when I travel though can often be about a week parked up.


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Yeah there's almost no point fitting VSRs and associated cabling if you are not driving regularly. My van ends up charging the car! Back to your situation if you are camped up for long periods, you could make a serious array of portable panels quite economically. It'd be cheaper than trying to extract the absolute maximum panel coverage out of the van roof. Plus saleable if/when you're done with it.

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Maybe this would be of interest......

http://thegreynomads.activeboard.com/t64535879/generator-box-for-sale/



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Daryl



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Barboots wrote:

Yeah there's almost no point fitting VSRs and associated cabling if you are not driving regularly.


Running the engine of the van would put 80% or more of the alternator capacity directly into a set of Li batteries. That could be 80A or more and probably use less fuel and be quieter too. If this is happening from scratch, the cables are quite likely to be short.

I can get 70A into my AGMs from an 85A alternator, PLUS 30A from the solar panels at the same time. That is more than a suitable aircon would use.

Fitting a special alternator just to do that (even a second one if that was necessary) would cost a fraction of the cost of a generator and weigh nothing at all.

 

Cheers,

Peter



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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 600W of solar, 460Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
CMCA Member #30276. 

msg


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Peter,
I think I asked that question regarding running engine when stationary on another thread. Have since asked the dealership. Their reply was: Not a good idea. Can cause problems with EGR & DPF. Apparently, if engine operates at lowish revs < 1500rpm it can cause residue not to be burnt off. Mostly this is seen in delivery vans doing short runs around town. Can be costly to repair. Those engines with DPF's need long hauls at higher revs to initiate the auto burn off in the DPF. That's the gist of it anyway, though my wording might not be technically correct.

Thanks Daryl, would love to have that, but still need somewhere to hang it off.

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It is not as if you would be running at low revs for hours every day like your example, in fact leaving the engine running instead of turning it off is best for an engine. Just note what semi drivers do when they stop for a meal. Tour busses (large and small) regularly leave the engines running when they stop too, so that the aircon keeps running.
What is important is to run it long enough to get and stay hot for a while. !0 minutes is not a good plan, but 90 minutes would be fine and 2,000rpm is probably good and at that speed there will be little risk and the fuel consumption is related to the work done which is minimal.

There is a fantastic high output generator under the bonnet of every vehicle. I don't understand the reluctance by many to use this great feature, particularly in combination with a generous solar bank. It ensures that you never run out of power.

Cheers,
Peter

 



-- Edited by Peter_n_Margaret on Tuesday 17th of April 2018 10:42:00 AM

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OKA196, 4x4 'C' Class, DIY, self contained motorhome. 600W of solar, 460Ah of AGMs, 280L water, 280L fuel. http://tinyurl.com/OKA196xtMotorhome
CMCA Member #30276. 



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To my way of thinking maybe run it for twenty minutes would be ok ,but your not getting an air flow through your radiator when stopped,and with an air cooled donk it may be an important consideration...



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Ron-D wrote:

To my way of thinking maybe run it for twenty minutes would be ok ,but your not getting an air flow through your radiator when stopped,and with an air cooled donk it may be an important consideration...


 I doubt that would be a problem ,except possibly in very high ambient temps.

Although the engine maybe running fast ,it is only under a very light load.[ possibly 1kW ][not really doing much work]

Do not over rev the engine, just set the speed to get max alternator output.



-- Edited by oldtrack123 on Thursday 19th of April 2018 11:59:41 AM

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