PDA

View Full Version : New generator install from dealer



MICKEY
05-20-2010, 04:28 PM
GUYS;
I ordered my coach with gen prep, cost a little over $800. It came from factory with brackets to mount gen, firewall compartment, wires from interior for start, and box to connect gen wires to. So I ordered the generator from dealer, 55oo onan LP because it woudl be self contained, and asked them to install. I just got the call that it was ready. Now for the bad news. I had a heck of a time getting them to give me an estimate on install. Finally Service manager said 5 hrs, which I thought was a bit much, since it was already prepped however I haven't ever installed a generator before. Now they tell me they had to MODIFY a lot of brackets and the firewall to make it fit. they tell me it took 8 plus hrs but are only going to charge me for 6. First off let me say I haven't seen install yet, dealer 1.5 hrs away and plan to be there first thing in morning. Secondly why would they have to modify anything. I bought generator suggested by factory and I have faith that factory knows how to prep for a generator, mine can't be first produced. I just hope that my brand new coach that I love hasn't been jerry rigged. Now for all of you who have experience with Onan gens in BH please tell me what to look for . Should firewall box come completely to meet door in front? Where should LP lines be run? How much clearance should be between gen and box to allow maintenance? How many holes should be drilled in bottom floor for ventilation and service? Any advice on how much time it should take to install? Please feel free to comment.
Mickey

KENNY COCHRAN
05-20-2010, 08:22 PM
I can't answer all your questions but have a little advise. I would take a good look at all the installation, ask whatever questions come to mine. I would get them to show you how to start it, let it run for 5 minutes or so. Find out about maintenance on your part. The door should close and it should be air tight so no fumes can get into your bedroom. Make a call to heartland before you go and ask them about the installation, why they would have to do so much modifying.

MICKEY
05-22-2010, 12:28 PM
I picked up unit Friday morning. Install didn't look too bad. Service writer that called me sort of overstated modifications a little. Almost had to beg dealer to get someone to show me how to operate system. Remember I have never had permanent mount generator or ONAN before. The dealer sent tech out and I asked pretty good questions about service and crawled under unit to see bottom. Tech took me inside to show me how to start. It took way too long for gen to start. should have been a clue. I hooked it up, took it home. Once I got home and set up coach extended slides I started gen to let it run and cool interior down. Again took too long to start. Primed it a couple of times. Cranked again and finally she lit. I turned on a/c, and went out side to check it out. It seemed to miss a little with a load on (dealer didn't have a load on unit when running) and lots of LP exhaust smell all around unit. First thing I thought are that neighbors aren't going to like me very much. Wife even complained when she brought more things to coach for me to store. It smells like it's very rich mixture. Also I opened door to gen bay and immediately thought this thing is too hot, way too much hot air inside gen bay. I felt of exterior door, hot to touch, below door area hot. I left door open and let it run for about 45 min to hour and had to leave for a while so I cut it off. Came back 2 hrs later and unit still pretty warm to touch. I crawled under and started trying to figure this out. Here are my thoughts and feel free to comment. The mounts that tech moved mount left 2/3 of unit. Right side where exhaust is located has no support. Also unit is off floor of bay area about 5 inches which brings it up almost level with door opening. The exhaust has to travel that distance to get out of bay. There is no duct between bottom of gen where exhaust/cooling air comes out and bottom of bay. Exhaust heat/cooling air pretty much dumps all it the gen bay and has a hole about 6 x 10 to escape but still heats up entire bay area including generator itself because of no closed ducting. Ok I decided I would start it up one more time to test theory. Gen turns over, won't start. I took maintenance cover off tried from that switch so I can be there to listen, won't start. Let it sit overnight, won't start. Changed bottles, won't start. I went down to local Giant Rec World (not where I bought unit ) and looked at 5'er on lot. The gen was mounted flat on floor, with opening directly underneath, so no possibility of exhaust gas flowing into bay area. That should cure heating problem. But why won't it start. I can hear gas flowing when I prime, and can smell LP. Has to be ignition problem related to high heat from failure to duct correctly. Any members with knowledge of LP gens please advise. Dealer states he will try to find someone in my area to look at it and will call Monday.

branson4020
05-22-2010, 12:39 PM
Do you not have an exhaust pipe the extends at least to the edge of the coach? Its not a safe installation without it.

MICKEY
05-22-2010, 01:09 PM
Branson 4020;
Yes there is an exhaust pipe, ugly and low. I should clear up something. Exhaust gas is piped out however, cooling air that flows over exhaust and muffler is whats dumping into bay area. Good catch.

Mickey

2010augusta
05-22-2010, 01:30 PM
Mickey, Can you please post some pictures of your install and exhaust system, so we can compare to the factory installed system.

We have the 5500 Onan LP genset, and it has not been ran in about 2 months, I primed it once and it started on a 4 count and then died, primed once again and it started again on a 4 count.

MICKEY
05-22-2010, 01:52 PM
2010 Augusta;

I'm trying to figure out how to post pics now.

Mickey

2010augusta
05-22-2010, 01:59 PM
to post pics you have 2 options.

If pictures are in a on-line gallery like picasa web then you can just use the "insert image" button above the reply text box.

to insert pictures that are not already on-line somewhere. click the "go advanced" button and scroll way down past all the reply box, and you'll see "Manage Attachments" form there you can upload images and insert them. pictures need to be resized first to about 800x600 for easy upload and viewing

MICKEY
05-22-2010, 02:10 PM
Here are pics

MICKEY
05-22-2010, 02:13 PM
2010 Augusta;

Not the best photos to show entire install but hope to show no ducting on exhuaust/cooling air side.

Mickey

2010augusta
05-22-2010, 02:38 PM
okay, here are some pictures of ours. We have 2 large cutouts under the genset, one for intake and oil change and one for exhaust. and a large hole for something else. our exhaust is not nearly as low as yours. it can run for a long time with out much heat buildup.

MICKEY
05-22-2010, 03:21 PM
ALAN;
Thanks for sending pics. Your gen appears to be mounted on left side of compartment, mine on rt (landmark vs BH). It appears the gen sits like mine up on mounts to get it level with opening. And it looks like there is no seal around exhaust side of gen. My pipe will be changed soon, as soon as I get it running well. I complained that it sat too law but tech said "Meets Company Specs". It may meet specs but it will be laying on road somewhere in Fl soon if not moved. I think if it was running well and not missing it would be cooler. Well Monday I'll be on the phone again with dealer, Onan, and HL.

Thanks
Mickey

newbie
05-22-2010, 07:28 PM
Mickey,
I installed my own Onan last year. It is a 6500 watt commercial (different configuration than the newer consumer models). I also had the factory generator prep. The generator compartment did required a few hours of mods but anything more than 2 seems high. I had to cut my own holes as the factory hole knock-outs weren't aligned for my genset.

I have three holes. One larger rectangle for the fresh air intake, a smaller rectangle for the hot air out and a small hole for the exhaust pipe. My genset didn't require an additional hole for the oil drain.

The outside door of the generator compartment does get hot to the touch, almost so hot that it is uncomfortable to hold your hand there for long (this was in August) but the door is still okay. Burning propane does have a distinct smell (like the propane forklifts at Home depot) but it is not like propane gas. If you can smell any actual propane gas then you have a problem. One thing to look for to indicate it is burning too rich is black soot at the end of the exhaust pipe. (Also, burning too lean will cause the genset to run hot )

My genset runs very well and always starts but I need to prime, wait 5 seconds, hold the start button and let it crank for about 5 seconds, pause, hold start button again and it starts after about 3 seconds.

I maintained about 2 inches or clearance from the top of the exhaust pipe to the underbelly. The underbelly doesn't get more than slightly warm even in August with two air conditioners running. I agree the your exhaust is ridiculously low and they have to raise it.

Hope this helps,
John

MICKEY
05-23-2010, 07:51 AM
John;
Thanks for the reply. I should have installed it myself, and will in future. I just didn't have equipment to test for propane leaks, and wanted the assurance that it was done correctly since it's right under bedroom. I will move pipe as soon as I get dealer to get it running correctly. I will also duct hot air directly out bottom so it's not blowing back into sealed compartment. I was looking at installation instructions and it clearly states that there is a test to make sure that inlet air is not effected by exhaust air, which mine is. As for the door and lower sash below I was concerned it would warp or at best discolor. Yes the exhaust smell is like standing beside towmotor, but it is still sort of rich, stilks up whole area around trailer pretty soon. I believe this is contributing factor to not starting now, but I have been wrong before. What do you think about wrapping exhaust pipe with header wrap and moving it up, exiting behind lt frt jack. The factory pipe runs back a good ways but still exits under slide overhang. I would carry extension with me to run further away when parked.
Mickey

MICKEY
05-24-2010, 07:44 PM
Latest update;
I got it touch with certified ONAN service center locally. Took BH to them and in 2 1/2 minutes they had it diagnosed. Before I could unhook truck they were already removing gen since problem was on back side of unit. They had it out and on the bench in about 20 minutes. They double checked pressure from my regulator and knew what problem was quickly. The problem is pressure regulator on back of motor. Senses vacuum from carb and changes amount of LP to motor. It was allowing way too much fuel to motor.
They took one look at exhaust pipe and offered to fix it before it got knocked off. Also I asked about heat being generated in bay. Experienced tech advised new units have to run hotter to get by emissions. Told me I could duct heat out of bay and advised a insulation material that I could insulate bay with to cut down heat absorbed by coach.
After watching them work I wondered why it took 8 hours to install!

newbie
05-25-2010, 03:50 AM
I insulated my bay on both sides of the metal box. I'll see if I can snap some pics this afternoon. Makes it much quieter too.

John

MICKEY
05-25-2010, 06:19 PM
JOHN;
Please send pics and type of material. That is what I have planned.
Mickey

MICKEY
05-27-2010, 08:43 PM
LATEST UPDATE ON GEN INSTALL;
Man is it nice to finally find a service center that (1) Knows what they are doing and are good at it. (2) Puts the customer first. (3) Does what they say they are going to do. I just got my generator with 1.1 hrs on it back from Advanced Generators in Daytona Beach, Fl. Runs like a dream, they showed me what kind of material to use to insulate box, fixed the terrible exhaust pipe deboggle, and helped me hook back up to coach when I was ready to leave. Can't say enough about them. If you are in the area, or looking for a great shop to work on your ONAN, you can't go wrong with these guys.
Mickey

KENNY COCHRAN
05-29-2010, 06:59 PM
Glad you finally got it all up and running. One thing i would change, and you may have, as i may have missed it, would be to change the exhaust pipe to one that would exit at the top of your rv. I've had friends parked real close to another rv with a ground level exhaust and they were worried about the fumes coming into their rv from his. I know i would not want it under a slide out.

newbie
06-05-2010, 05:28 PM
JOHN;
Please send pics and type of material. That is what I have planned.
Mickey

Sorry I took so long to get these posted. The material is called duct liner and is a commercial duct insulation that you buy by the foot. The material is 48" wide and 1" thick. It is UL rated for flammability and heat exposure. I also had to buy the stick pins, caps and pin glue.

We just went dry camping last weekend and ran both air condtioners a lot. It made a big difference in the sound level since I installed it. (My wife says it cut the sound level in half) Our set up is very quiet.

I glued the pins to the box the day before, measured and cut each side of the box, and fitted the insulation pieces onto the pins. I then put the caps on the stick pins and cut off the excess pin length. And yes, I did stick my head once or twice while installing the insulation. They are sharp. I also removed the front bulkhead wall in the basement and insulated the outside of the box.

I added a pic of my exhaust height for reference to your height.

Hope this helps,
John

880588068807880888098810

porthole
06-06-2010, 02:20 PM
Where did you buy this insulation?

tenglish
06-06-2010, 11:15 PM
Mickey, keep me posted as I'm expecting delivery of my 2011 BigHorn 3610 next week. I also ordered the gen prep package. The dealer will be installing the same Onan LP as you so we should compare notes. From what I've seen on other BigHorn's, they have to cut out the bottom metal (under the generator) of the front compartment completely for air flow, not just holes.

newbie
06-07-2010, 03:53 AM
I got it from a friend who is an HVAC mechanic. You should be able to buy it from a HVAC/duct supply house

John