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Generators In this forum we will try to answer any of your questions about the different model generators that can be found on Blue Bird coach's.

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  #21  
Old 10-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubledoc View Post
Has anyone installed a 50 amp receptical on there BB which would allow one to plug in an other couch into your generator system? A friend with a Prevost said he has heard of that and they call it a buddy plug.

I would assume that one would intercept the generator output near the generator and just add the new outlet in an appropriate location. Then to tap off the power one would just plug in the other coach to that oulet. Probably one should have a switch and maybe a curcuit breaker in the system so power could be switched on after plugging in.

If this is doable and not a problem for the coach, then the next step would be to wire our home such that the house can be disconnected from the power grid and then powered by the BB generator in case of power failure that might last along time especially in cold weather.

Our Powertech genny is 17 KW which would be great if available to power the house. Also the diesel fuel is fresh at all times and of signifacnt volume.

Thoughts?

Wanderlodge Owners Group > Mechanic's Corner > Generators > Using Your 'Birds Generator For Emergency Power

Here is my post in that thread, be sure to check oput the complete thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamflagman View Post
Hurricane season is upon us and some of us you have already experienced loss of electrical service at your homes during severe storms and tornadoes, so I thought that this would be a good time to bring up the topic of adding a connection to your homes electrical service so that you could use the generator on your 'Bird for emergency power.

Ever since I went through HURRICANE HUGO here in South Carolina back in September 1989, I have had a way to use an auxiliary generator, for my bus, shop and rental property.

http://facstaff.gpc.edu/~pgore/students/w97/matheson/hugocsat.gif

Since the generator on my old bus didn't work properly, I first purchased a 8000 watt Lincoln Ranger 8 Welder / Generator and had it mounted on a small trailer, so that it could be also transported to friends and relatives homes for their use if I wasn't already using it here.

http://www.pbase.com/image/98008157

Now I use the generator on my 'Bird to do the same job, keeping the old generator for backup, or for use by relatives and friends. On my 'Bird I have installed a BUDDY PLUG for this use.

http://www.pbase.com/iamflagman/image/41069743

I have installed in my shop a STANDBY GENERATOR BREAKER PANEL, that allows me to safely switch the power source from shore power to generator power, so that it will not feed back power into the shore power when it is restored.

http://www.pbase.com/iamflagman/image/50203372

There a many styles and brands of these types of panels on the market, here are some links to some of them;

General Electric Generator Interlock Kit

Cutler Hammer

Harbor Freight

If you are using something different, tell us what you use as it is always a good idea to be prepared ahead of time.
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  #22  
Old 10-09-2010
Doubledoc Doubledoc is offline
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Thanks all for your great info. I will look into getting it done. We may have a 20KW. I knew it was either a 20 or a 17KW genny.
Thanks again.
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  #23  
Old 10-09-2010
rrueckwald rrueckwald is offline
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In our coach, the PO installed a marine 30 amp marine cord from the back of the 110VAC CB panel to the power cord compartment. It does not look very professional. I have plugged another coach into it, and verified no voltage between coach grounds, but I have been nervous about this ssince there is no shutoff switch, and I don't know just how it was connected or how it should be connected. Sure am interested in seeing how it is properly done. I'd like to understand it and how the grounds are supposed to be. When this thread runs out of suggestions, I'll try to figure it all out and make some corrections. Thanks, guys.
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  #24  
Old 10-09-2010
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I know this is a bone of contention with some people and has been thoroughly discussed in previous threads...

The key to properly powering a home with a portable generator of any type is the... neutral bonding point. There should only be 1 neutral bonding point in any electrical system. If not, a potential shock hazard is created in that the coach generator is isolated from true ground (rubber tires) and a short circuit down stream could be back fed throught the white neutral wiring at the homes electrical panel, driving high voltage electricity back into the motorhome via the white neutral wire which happens to be "bonded" to the ground wire at both the generator and the home panel. Confusing yes. A shock hazard yes!!!!

For this application to be up to the NEC code, the neutral ground bonding point would have to be seperated at the generator when used to power the home electrical system.

A good suggestion would be to insure that the coach is truly grounded via an independent grounding source/rod whenever using it to power a home situation.

Sorry, but getting tingled is no fun especial for youngsters
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  #25  
Old 10-09-2010
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I'm combining this thread and the already existing thread on the same subject;

Wanderlodge Owners Group > Mechanic's Corner > Generators > Using Your 'Birds Generator For Emergency Power / Install a Buddy receptacle?
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1982 FC35RB
I'm NO EXPERT, but I did stay in the FINN'S INN EXPRESS last night
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VISIT THE FINN'S INN EXPRESS REMODELING ADVENTURE AND TECH. TIPS
I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
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  #26  
Old 10-09-2010
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How ya doing John? Thanks for the move, I knew you would be right along keeping this in order Loved your other pictures on your motorcycle. Too much fun it looks like
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  #27  
Old 10-09-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turbokitty View Post
How ya doing John? Thanks for the move, I knew you would be right along keeping this in order Loved your other pictures on your motorcycle. Too much fun it looks like
Thanks, I rode my last Fall Color Cruise on the Blue Ridge Parkway two years ago, it was so cold that it took me days to warm up afterward, but I still ride locally usually on Sunday afternoons, as long as my body will put up with it No ride tomorrow, I'm still trying to get the race car fixed for Maxton and it's driving me nuts, but that's for another thread.


If anybody gets a chance to take a motorcycle or car ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway during the change of colors, don't pass it up, you travel on, or near the top of mountains and look down into the valleys below that during that time of the year takes on the appearance of a very colorful quilt, don't pass it up, it is worth the trip!

Now back to fixing 'Birds
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I'm NO EXPERT, but I did stay in the FINN'S INN EXPRESS last night
HOPKINS, SOUTH CAROLINA
VISIT THE FINN'S INN EXPRESS REMODELING ADVENTURE AND TECH. TIPS
I'M SO SLOW ON THE HILLS,THAT I GET TO SMELL THE FLOWERS AS I GO BY.....AND WATCH THEM GROW TOO!! NOT SO MUCH ANYMORE
Visit the WILD HARE RACING website
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  #28  
Old 10-09-2010
rrueckwald rrueckwald is offline
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Ryan,

We will be in Pinellas Park all winter. Let's get together. I want to pick your brain about this issue. You seem to know a lot more than I do about it.
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  #29  
Old 11-07-2010
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OK, Calling all Electricians for Clairification.

I thought I knew a fair amount about electricity, been wiring houses, cabins, adding electrical lights , outlets for many years.
But there are several threads addressing adding Buddy Plugs to the Bus, and as I read there are discrepancies in the methods of Bonding.
Just a few more questions for clairification.

1.) If a four wire 50Amp plug is added to the generator breaker box on the Bird, does the bus still need an Earth ground rod to power a home house or another Bird??
Is the bonding at the BB generator?? Or the BB main AC panel??
Should the Bird transfer switch be in the OFF, On, or Generator position???

2.) If a free standing portable generator with a four wire connection is used to power a home/house,
Is an Earth ground rod required?
If the main house breakers are open, Is the bonding at the portable generator or in the main house panel??
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  #30  
Old 11-07-2010
davidmbrady
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Pape View Post
OK, Calling all Electricians for Clairification.

I thought I knew a fair amount about electricity, been wiring houses, cabins, adding electrical lights , outlets for many years.
But there are several threads addressing adding Buddy Plugs to the Bus, and as I read there are discrepancies in the methods of Bonding.
Just a few more questions for clairification.
Bill,

Maybe this topic belongs in it's own thread. In any case, until Christian comes along, I'll take a stab at what I think the answers to your questions are:

Quote:
1.) If a four wire 50Amp plug is added to the generator breaker box on the Bird, does the bus still need an Earth ground rod to power a home house or another Bird??
I'd say that it's optional. If the bird is powering a residential dwelling, then the earth ground should take place at the home's circuit breaker panel. If the bird is powering another bird, then none, one, or both of the birds can be grounded. I say this cause isn't this the way things work when we power our own birds with our gensets; i.e., no grounding pole is driven into the ground?

Quote:
Is the bonding at the BB generator?? Or the BB main AC panel??
Should the Bird transfer switch be in the OFF, On, or Generator position???
The bond is at the generator just as the bond is at the inverter when on inverter power and it's at the shore when under shore power. According to the National Electric Code any AC source (shore, genny, or inverter) would have to have the neutral and ground bonded and there would have to be just one active neutral to ground bond at any one time.

The bird's transfer switch should be in the Generator Position and the transfer switch should be 3 pole so that both hot leads and the neutral are switched. This way no bonding takes place at the transfer switch. When the buddy plug is active and being used, the other bird think's it's on shore power; consequently, it switches 3 poles at it's transfer switch and it also leaves neutral and ground unbonded. This guarantees that bonding only occurs at the AC source.

Quote:
2.) If a free standing portable generator with a four wire connection is used to power a home/house,
Is an Earth ground rod required?
I'd say no grounding rod is required at the generator cause the ground to earth will be established at the home's circuit breaker panel, but again, I don't see any harm in establishing a ground at the generator.

Quote:
If the main house breakers are open, Is the bonding at the portable generator or in the main house panel??
I think the answer depends on the properties of the generator. If the generator is bonded, then the house needs to switch neutral along with the black and red leads in a 3 pole transfer switch so that the house doesn't bond. If the generator is unbonded, then we can bond at the house and use a 2 pole transfer switch to switch just the two hot leads.

Fundamentally you can ground liberally, you bond only at the AC source, all transfer switches switch 3 poles, and you never bond at the circuit breaker panel. These rules eliminate errant voltages caused by ground loops (that is, neutral connected to ground down stream somewhere), and they give you hope of throwing a breaker in case you develop a short to ground, sometimes referred to as hot skin.

Last edited by davidmbrady; 11-08-2010 at 12:13 AM.
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