Joe's EggCamper Journal - Page 12 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-08-2017, 08:53 PM   #155
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Closet/Entry Light

A rather simple mod but I am just trying to document everything I do to the Egg in this journal. If I ever sell this camper, the journal could be valuable info to a new owner. Thanks not in the plans tho for years.

Anyway, Cherie told me we needed light for the closet - its very dark in there. Also, she could use light at the mirror. All I did is add a new light at the entrance like Casita has. I taped into the 12v light above the sink for power and ran 18ga to the new light.
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Old 08-21-2017, 10:03 AM   #156
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Finished Propane Install / Generator Conversion

Finally finished up the propane install. Basically I used a regular auto-changeover regulator and (2) 20 lb tanks. Then used a 3/8 x 1/4 fitting on the outlet of the regulator between the tanks (bottom), and a 1/4 quick disconnect on that fitting. Now the q/d fitting is tucked up between the tanks a little bit. You simply click the hose to the q/d between the tanks and then put the cover back on, then the hose just comes out the bottom.

It took me a couple hours to convert the gen to propane. I used a kit by Genconnex. I did study all the kits and found this to be choice I preferred for many reasons. Its a very good quality kit. The fit is great - very clean! No holes in the gen cover. And (not that I plan to) its totally reversible to gasoline if you prefer. It was a little unnerving tearing apart the new gen, but the directions were spot on so it went well.

Also, I did make a few modifications to my order from Genconnex (longer hose, no reg on hose, extra q/d for home propane tank, etc) and their customer support was great in answering my questions and getting me set up the way I wanted. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I just don't want to carry gasoline. And the only propane will be used is for the gen - all outside the egg.

Pics of install, and finished gen. The hair dryer and cube heater are being used to run various loads on the gen for initial break in/oil changes. Honda doesn't say this is required - but it cant hurt. After 2 cycles of break in/oil changes, I'll put in synthetic and it should be good to go.
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:41 AM   #157
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Quick generator review.....

Its very early to review, but I spent Sunday converting to LP. Then Sunday and Monday running break-in loads and changing oil. So last night I finally decided to try it out with the EggCamper plugged into it.

I couldn't get the darn thing to run more than 30 seconds before sputtering and quitting. Spent hours on it, redoing the LP install etc. The the LAST THING I did before it had issues was change the oil. Well, oil was full, all good. What I found is in my haste to go to bed, I drained out the oil too fast - in other words I tipped the gen on its side fully holding it above the drain pan. This made oil go up into the breather and saturated the air filter. So I finally figured that out and squeezed all the oil from the filter. Reinstalled and it purred just fine.

Lesson learned (after hours of frustration) - when changing the oil, tip the gen slowly as to let the oil run out without getting up in the carb. And when done changing oil, clean and squeeze out the oil filter!

So finally running good I was able to test a few appliances. It ran everything fine, but there are 3 appliances (a/c, elec water heater, and microwave) that you must run one at a time. Also, you must run the gen with eco mode OFF for these appliances to kick on properly. The 5000 btu a/c will red light the gen (too high initial surge) and then kick back to fan mode with Eco mode on, but with Eco mode OFF, the a/c kicks in fast and fine. I was even able to run the A/C and water heater at the same time - but only after the a/c was on, and since the a/c cycles on-off, that will not be an option. So its one high wattage appliance at a time.

So I think I'm pretty happy - it will power everything. I expected to have to run those 3 appliances individually. But what I am disappointed in is that the gen wont run a/c by itself in Eco mode. That means the gen has to run higher rpm the entire time a/c is on, being much louder, and using more fuel. But for just battery charging, Eco mode can be on, and it will run quiet.
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Old 08-23-2017, 09:27 AM   #158
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I have a Champion inverter generator about the same size as your Honda and it runs the 7000btu AC in my Egg while in ECO mode. I wonder if the lower BTU content of propane (notice dual fuel engines are de-rated on propane) is at fault or a soft start is in order?

I had one of those 2 stroke 1000 watt generators that struggled but would run the original 5000BTU in the Egg.

Kinda interested in this as I also want to add propane to my EggCamper, though I do wish to go further and add some propane appliances as well.

Jason

PS: I recognize the water heater switch above the closet, but what is the other box on the left side above the closet?
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Old 08-23-2017, 10:01 AM   #159
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Eco Mode - a/c

Hi Jason,

Thats interesting yours ran the 7k on eco. I will try again a few times but I believe it would red light, then the a/c would kick back to fan mode, then compressor try to kick on and red light the gen again - viscous cycle. I'll try it again this weekend (busy next few nights) and report back. But yes - maybe the LP derate is the issue? If so its still too close for comfort loading the gen up like that every time the a/c compressor kicks on. Funny thing is i can run a 1875 watt hair dryer in eco mode, but I guess its a softer start up.

Mike (Civilguy) also contacted me about the micro start. Thank you!!! I had heard bits about these but really didn't do any reading or research on them! I didn't realize they would also work for a "window unit" air conditioner. I just assumed they were specially built for the RV rooftop 13.5k models.

That being said, one of the last mods I was "considering but holding off on" was a swap out of the 5k a/c for an 8k unit. Now with the ezstart cost, I might as well install it on an a/c that cools well at all temps. So I guess I just added the a/c swap and ezstart project (together) to my list. The benefit of running on Eco mode all night is worth it, plus having 8k electronic temp controlled a/c will be a big plus. One thing leads to another.......lol.

As for the extra box, its a Trimetric TM-2030-RV battery monitor. I love that box as it measures the battery percentage accurately, and also shows amp usage of any 12v appliance while boondocking. The small switch on the right is my fridge on/off.
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:42 PM   #160
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With the new bumper I needed to find a home for the sewer hose. So I added a 4" ABS pipe just aft of the tires. This was a time consuming task just because of the drilling, making brackets, painting the parts etc. But it went ok. I made "L" brackets to bolt to the frame, and used U bolts to hold the tube to the L brackets. This is the same way EggCamper did their sewer lines.

Decided while I am at it, we always have the canopy and poles to contend with inside the Egg - frustrating and not easy to store. So I added 3 storage tubes total. One 4" for the sewer hose, then one 3" for the canopy side poles, then added a 3" tube that is 9 feet long to store the canopy and long pole. The canopy now does not need to be folded, something I didn't like doing because of kinking the big bead that slides into the rail. Now you just leave the 9' square tube in the awning and stand there with one person and start rolling it up. Once its rolled up, you slide the whole thing it the storage pipe and put the cap on. Since this pipe is 9' long, it needed mounted at an angle under the egg.

I did check both clearance checks. First, the storage tubes are higher then the axle. Second, they do not stick below the drag triangle (string between bottom of tire to the very front or rear of frame). If both those checks are ok, there should be no issues - I hope......lol.
This is a great idea. I'm going to do it. Thank you!!!
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Old 08-23-2017, 07:08 PM   #161
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I have a Champion inverter generator about the same size as your Honda and it runs the 7000btu AC in my Egg while in ECO mode. I wonder if the lower BTU content of propane (notice dual fuel engines are de-rated on propane) is at fault or a soft start is in order?

No idea if this even relates to the gen/LP change over but our company converted a few gas vehicles over to LP back when there was talk of gas shortages possible. I drove one regularly, the power was not the same and the mpg was less.
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Old 08-23-2017, 08:51 PM   #162
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Originally Posted by Borrego Dave View Post
No idea if this even relates to the gen/LP change over but our company converted a few gas vehicles over to LP back when there was talk of gas shortages possible. I drove one regularly, the power was not the same and the mpg was less.
I agree Dave. I've read conflicting info but agree there is most likely some hit to performance. But this was a trade off I had to decide to take in order to not have to carry gasoline. And the other disadvantages of gas during storage. It's all a trade off but I think this thing will work ok once the easy start is installed and i can run it on Eco. Also, I want it to be able to hook up to my large home propane tank for power outages. I too have read that these window units don't even have a capacitor making them heavy to start. I have been successful with the microwave and water heater on Eco without red light. She struggles a bit but does then get going. Maybe that's normal?
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Old 08-24-2017, 06:13 AM   #163
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This is a great idea. I'm going to do it. Thank you!!!
Hi Buggeee,

I see you are in Ohio also. If I may, a tip for the project. I went to Home Depot, Lowe's, then called all the mom/pop stores and even plumbing supply stores. Nobody had ABS pipe (refereed to as black PVC). They only have white PVC. I was about to buy PVC and paint it, then my wife said "call Menard's". Wouldn't you know it - Menard's carry's black ABS!

Menard's even had the large u-bolts required that the others stores didn't have. And a nifty stair support (10" L bracket with holes already in it) that I was able to cut into smaller L brackets with an angle grinder.

Good luck with the project!!
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Old 08-24-2017, 10:26 AM   #164
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I had a post all typed and ready... then poof! Hate the internet connection sometimes.

Joe - question for you. Does your kit dynamically adjust propane flow based on load or just regulate to one preset amount?

I have been reading about propane conversions for small generators and most I have seen state ECO mode is no longer possible. Basically the ECO mode on Hondas is an electrically controlled throttle plate on the OE carb, which regulates air flow and the resulting fuel metering. But for propane add on kits, there is no regulation of propane flow. Only thing that happens at this point is the air is blocked off while propane still flows at preset amount.

Jason
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:23 AM   #165
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Hi Jason,

I'm not really sure, but my best guess is it does not regulate propane flow. Here is the reason why - all that is to the kit is a regulator on a bracket that mounts inside the gen. The only wire to the entire thing is a ground wire. So the propane goes into the inlet, thru the internal regulator, then thru the hose to the spacer nozzle on the carb. So I really dont see a way it can regulate propane flow.

But the rpm's still vary by load - maybe thru air flow control like you said. With that being the case, Im not sure where the extra propane would go. Because if in Eco mode (it does still vary with the switch), wouldn't it be too rich? And at full throttle too lean? This being with propane flowing the same but air adjustment. There also is a separate orifice to install for high elevation.

I really am not sure how it works in any more detail than that - I wish I did know! But the interesting thing is when you read a lot of others posts on LP conversion with the Honda, they say it sips propane on Eco mode (imagination?). If what we believe is happening really is happening, wouldn't fuel usage be the same no matter rpm?
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Old 08-24-2017, 11:32 AM   #166
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on demand regulator?

Propane & Nat. Gas Kits for Honda Generators

Jason, on their link, it states 0.7lbs usage at 400w, 0.92lbs at 800w, and 1.6lbs at 1600w.

The description does say "propane demand regulator". So maybe the regulator somehow opens up on demand? But how does it know the demand?

You must have regulated LP going into the gen - I used a standard 11-15wc regulator at the tank. But you can also use the inline regulator with the kit. So this is actually regulated twice.

The only thing I can think of is if somehow it regulates propane flow by the vacuum created thru the LP feed hose by the carb??

IDK - its over my head....
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Old 08-27-2017, 07:48 PM   #167
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Generator user error and a/c user error.....uuugggggg

Pretty much sums it up. I fired up the gen again only to have it run like crap for a few seconds and die. Back to going thru instructions. Everything installed correctly. Anyway, I noticed it said a smaller plug gap is recommended so I pulled the plug and set to Genconnex gap value. It ran better and didn't quit but didn't run smooth. Finally I see the Genconnex papers say to use a different spark plug. Off to store I go and $3 later return. Install new plug to Genconnex gap and the gen now FINALLY runs great!

Here's what frustrates me. When you follow the directions step by step beginning to end it does not mention changing the plug gap and type. Not in there. Its just listed in a quick reference section but not in the step by step. I tore into this thing for 2 full days. This would have been avoided if Genconnex included the $3 spark plug in their $350 kit, and added it as a step in the directions! Oh well - its fixed now.

Now that its running right I have better results with the appliances. I can now run all the appliances on Eco mode. That's a HUGE plus. I even ran the hot water heater (1440 watts) and the a/c (450 watts) and it fired up both from Eco mode. I wont do that because its rated 1600 continuous but the test run didn't red light the gen. I'm satisfied now!

Ok, as for the a/c - when the gen is running Eco and a/c kicks on, the gen idles higher but not all that much!! As expected since its 450 watts. So before I was having a/c user error too! I would turn down the a/c temp to turn off compressor then turn it back up and gen would red light. What I was doing was not waiting time for the high/low lines in the a/c to equalize. When you turn it down and right back up, the a/c kinda locks up spiking the gen to red light. That was user error and if I let it sit a few minutes then the a/c compressor kicks on fine with little rpm increase!

So basically the issues I was having were my own doing. But finally got em figured out! I'm going to hold off on the 8k btu and the easy start!

One interesting thing tho - when the a/c compressor kicks on, or even the water heater kicks on there is a tiny power outage or power blink in the gen output. Its like when the gen goes from Eco to high rpm - that that ramp up time (less than a second) will cut output power for a half second. I know this is happening cause the microwave will beep - like i just plugged it in. I guess its normal during that split second transition. I would never know this was happening if it were not for the microwave beep. So in order to keep the microwave from beeping every time the a/c kicks on I will have to unplug the microwave while sleeping. Minor issue I guess. Not sure its fixable. It doesn't happen when the camper is plugged into shore power, so its definitely the gen output blinking.
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Old 08-27-2017, 09:23 PM   #168
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Finally I see the Genconnex papers say to use a different spark plug.
Oh yeah, Joe, I was going to suggest that!

Naw, I had absolutely no idea whatsoever. I was clueless.

But, it certainly makes sense. This is a part of the forum that is helpful, when we learn from what happened to others, so thanks for posting. Hopefully I can be the one to take the hit and benefit others with a "lesson learned" some time!

Oh, and like you said, you did save a ton on the new hardware, so there's that to keep in mind!

As to the power supply to the microwave, I'm thinking programmable logic controller with load-shedding relays, what do you think?! We can get that extra money spent somehow!
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