Sleeping with generator running..........

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Fizzban

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I am new to motor homes.  Been camping alot, but not with generators.  I have run the generator for the A/C at night many times, and now find several article's that say never to do that.  I also am looking at an exhaust system that vents the exhaust above the MH.  If I run it that way, venting in the higher air, is it safe?

THANKS
 

John From Detroit

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To answer your second question

firstGenerator Exhaust Extension

This is the best of the lot near as I can tell, works very well and I mean VERY well.  It is light weight, though mine hooks to the side of the rig with eyelets (Very nard to notice if you don't know where they are) suction cups work well too.  I've run my generator 12 hours with one of these on it and not had a CO alarm, 2 hours without is about the limt before beeping starts.

To answer the first question.. If you go to sleep with the generator on, and you don't have an exhaust extension system, and possibly even if you do... You just might forget to wake up in the morning (of if you like the alternate phrase is "Wake up dead")

I'm not kidding, I read articles all the time about people who did that and will never do it again cause they were killed by carbon monoxide in the generator exhaust.  A good detector tested and working is a MUST, it's also an annoyance and sometimes folks disable them, and die
 

Carl L

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Well of course there is always the hazard in running a generator all night of being lynched by your neighbors.

Most campgrounds place a strict limit on running generators.  Silence after 10pm and before 8 am is typical
 

keywester

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key west fl
I thought leaving the gen on all night was fine, and it seems to be if you believe the alarm and direct fumes away. On my Dolphin with a rear gen I put a 18" fan near the gen bay to blow/suck fumes away, worked if the breeze agreed. Now have a DP and the gen's up front but still bought a gen exhaust stack ($130?) for peace of mind. I thought I was slick and tried a 10 foot aluminum dryer vent, $5 flexible deal, to lead fumes away from the rig but all I got was my fingerprints removed when I adjusted it.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The chances of getting CO poisoning from the gensetare very slim, especially with a front mounted and/or diesel genset.  Unfortunately, the rare occurrence is usually fatal, making the gamble extreme.

The fan idea sounds like a good one to me, but a Genturi exhaust extension is the usual solution.  You can make an extension yourself too, but don't use the dryer vent stuff. Get a rubber automotive exhaust extension hose of the type used in big garages to duct exhaust away to a suction vent. Auto parts stores have them or can get them.
 

427v8

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I'm confused, The only reason I would run the Gen at night would be to power the rooftop AC. Now a stack would put the exhaust right up by the AC unit.

Doesn't that seem worse than having the exhaust down by the ground??

Unless I guess the stack was 3 or more feet ABOVE the roofline.

Keith
 

Ray D

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Great subject. Good questions. Glad to see an airing out of this issue.

Keith asks, "I'm confused, The only reason I would run the Gen at night would be to power the rooftop AC."  Me too!

I may be all wet - at least a bit damp - but isn't CO1 heavy? If so, isn't it going to sink, making it more dangerous if you are on its path?

I like RV Roamer's idea, I think, if I understood it. What is a "Genturi exhaust extension?" What does it do? Why does that work?

I have seen the "rubber automotive exhaust extensions used in garages. I haven't seen the "suction vent" or maybe I did, but didn't know what it was. Haven't seen any suction device on any of those, or didn't know what I was looking at.

Please expand the advice.

Thanks

Ray D

 

Clay L

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427v8 said:
I'm confused, The only reason I would run the Gen at night would be to power the rooftop AC. Now a stack would put the exhaust right up by the AC unit.

Doesn't that seem worse than having the exhaust down by the ground??

Unless I guess the stack was 3 or more feet ABOVE the roofline.

Keith

As far as I know all the roof top ACs draw air from inside and recirculate it so getting the exhaust up high shouldn't matter - unless there were leaks in the AC plenum .
 

Ned

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CO is about the same weight as air, CO2 is heavier than air.  CO will mix quite well with air, that's why CO detectors are mounted about half way up the wall and not on the floor, like propane detectors.

The Genturi exhaust extension is a large diameter tube that directs the exhaust fumes to the roof of the RV and keeps them out of your, and your neighbor's, open windows and doors.  It makes for good neighbors when boondocking in close quarters.
 

keywester

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key west fl
here's a link to a picture of the Gen exhaust stack.


http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus/index.cfm/Outdoor-and-RV-Accessories/Maintaining-Your-RV/Generators/Genturi-Generator-Exhaust-System/deptID=3:subOf=369:skunum=14041:src=TSC
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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I haven't seen the "suction vent" or maybe I did, but didn't know what it was. Haven't seen any suction device on any of those, or didn't know what I was looking at.

Sorry I confused you, Ray.  The suction vent I was talking about is a powered exhaust system that large garages have to suck out exhaust fumes.  It's not part of the hose or someting you are likely to install on an RV.

Co is lethal becasue it combines with the hemolobin in your blood more readily than oxygen and thus you can be aphyxiated even though there is still adequate oxygen in air that has a mix of both CO and oxygen (O2).  As Ned says, CO is about the same weight as oxygen and in fact about the same as the entire mix we call "air", so it mixes readily rather than seperating out like the heavier propane or CO2 gas.
 

Gottasmilealot

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PA
Regarding CO detectors, follow the recommendation of about 5 ft. above the floor.? Remember that your generator is one source of CO, but so is any flame producing device like your water heater, refrigerator, oven, rangetop, or an exhaust system leak from your engine.? CO is a little bit lighter than air, but with your heater, AC fan, or even the convection cause by a rangetop burner will cause the air to circulate within your RV, mixing it up anyway.? It can come from any one of these locations in your rig, and will probably be throughout the rig, as we're dealing with a limited space to begin with.? The good thing is that they are very sensitive and will pick up minute amounts prior to your health being at risk. The bad thing is that because the volume of an RV is much smaller than say your home, accumulations can build much faster.? A marginal venting condition will tend to be much more severe in an RV, given the much lower volume of air to begin with.

A 2000 SF home with 8 ft. ceilings = 16000 CF of volume
An 8 ft x 30 ft RV with 7.5 ft. ceiling = 1800 CF of volume

Dimensions will vary, but the point is the same.  If you put the same parts per million of CO in each container, the RV accumulation to unhealthy levels will happen faster.

Click here for some additional information.

Stay safe...
 

John From Detroit

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427v8 said:
I'm confused, The only reason I would run the Gen at night would be to power the rooftop AC. Now a stack would put the exhaust right up by the AC unit.

Doesn't that seem worse than having the exhaust down by the ground??

Unless I guess the stack was 3 or more feet ABOVE the roofline.

Keith

AC units recirculate air more than suck it in, Thus it basically does not matter.

Still. I don't run the generator at night because if the exhaust leaks... I don't want to be in the rig sleeping
 

Shayne

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Two years ago in Atlanta we stayed at a BMX track during August.? Hotter than blazes.? No hookups, so we ran the Genset constantly for 5 days and nights. We used an exhaust extention and also had altered it so it was 8' fromthe coach and 5' above on the other side of some bushes.? Never had any problems with the fumes not the detectors. However when we let, this big dummy disassembled the exhaust and drove off and left it, discovering the fact 9 hrs and 400 miles down the road.? Needless to say, I didn't go back to pick it up.? Had hookups in Fl, AL, Tx,? Ar, Mo, and IL for the rest of the trip.? Now I tie a strainger around my finger and usually forget what it's for and throw it away.
 

Shayne

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They probably could but would add length or width to the units in addition to 500 bucks in cost.  Good it is an alternative add-on.   
 

John From Detroit

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Pierat said:
I guess I have to ask, could RV manufacturers make these a permanent part of the coach?

Very easily, all they would need to do is run a standard tripple pipe exhaust stack up through the body in any convienent place, Tripple pipe somke stacks are often used for Fireplaces and the like in houses and pass through wooden parts of hte house without any problem.

Somewhere, and I don't know where, but Somewhere I have read of a person who did this, I do recall how he did it and I think it could be done on my coach easily, but I have yet to try it.

He ran the exhaust pipe all the way to the back of the rig (had a exhaust fabricator make a special pipe for him) and then ran tripple pipe up the gap behind the real rear wall and the rear cap.

Tripple pipe, if you don't know, is like a 1 inch pipe, inside a 2 inch pipe, inside a 4 inch pipe, The inside pipe gets hot, the middle pipe gets warm, ice can form on the outer pipe if it's done right.  This is heavier than a gen-turi though, close to fifty lbs I'd guess

but you never pick it up
 

Ned

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It would be nice to route both the engine and generator exhaust to the roof, but that would add cost to the manufacturer.  I believe there are some high end coaches that do just that, however.  Bluebird may be one of them.
 

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