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Another Hot Day Working On A Generator Trying To Get AC

Article from: June 1st, 2013


Today was a hot one again. After months of cold and running my fireplace every night, it is a shock to the system to have such heat suddenly. So I am working on an old generator I got cheap a year ago and trying to get air conditioning going in my off grid camper in the forest.

Last night was a bit cooler so I did not sleep too bad, but it was very short. After answering comments on youtube until nearly 1am, I went to bed. I was awake at 4 am and up just after 5 am to start the day. I wanted to get a head start before the heat set in again.

It was supposed to be a rare sunny day so I took my laundry down to the creek to wash in the cooler morning hours. Since I am hand washing with a plunger and bucket, it is a bit of a workout.

I also washed out my swimming pool filter housing that I found in the forest. I am going to make a drinking water filter out of it.




I got to hang my clothes on my new outdoor clothes hanger. I am impressed how rugged it actually is. It holds a lot of clothes as well. You could dry clothes for a whole family on it easily. Since I have not washed my clothes in a few weeks, I had quite a load myself. It has been raining almost every day so I never got my clothes washed until today.

After hanging my clothes, I set up my old Coleman camp stove on an old Coleman folding camp table frame and cooked my breakfast outside. It was too hot in the camper already at 10 am to cook inside. I had a nice breakfast of turkey, eggs and cheese. I get deli meat and cheese ends for $1.99 a pound. It makes a nice breakfast with some eggs. I cooked it all in my cast iron frying pan. I love my cast iron cookware.

This morning I went “shopping” in my forest shopping mall and found some nice goodies. I got a small cast iron skillet which I will use for open fire cooking. I dont like to use my good indoor cast iron on an open fire. I got a couple heavy hammers, some antique augers and some old files. I also found some old hatchet heads laying around. I pay my landlady for the scrap price and we are both happy. Since she slowly takes stuff into the scrap yard, it would be stealing to just take stuff, so I buy what I find off of her. This applies only to usable metal stuff. She has piles of stuff she hopes to sell at garage sales one day. Any junk that was tossed in the junk pile in the forest if fair game, on the other hand.

I also found a nice frame for an outdoor work bench. There were two metal frames for a work table. I will use some pallet wood and make myself a nice work bench for cutting wood or repairing small engines.

Speaking of small engines. I wanted to get a generator going to run my camper air conditioner. It is so hot out and I get a headache from the heat. So I spent the better part of the day working on my old generator. I attacked the job with all my strength. I actually got the old generator running – sort of. The gas tank was full of some strange sludge, rust, gas and water. I had to drain it and then wash it out well with water.

This left me with the problem of getting the water out of the tank. I put it in the sun and placed a satellite tv dish in front of it to concentrate the suns rays on the tank. I had coated the dish with aluminum foil to reflect the sunlight better. This worked pretty well and in a few hours I had a good, clean gas tank for my generator.



While the tank was drying I was working on the old generator carburetor. The whole machine had been badly treated and neglected. I also had to tie down the engine mounts which were broken. I added an inline fuel filter to protect my newly cleaned carburetor.

Then I poured gas into the fuel line to try the generator out and it ran. I was excited.

When the gas tank was back on the machine, it fired right up and ran. But the choke is loose and flops around. I will have to fix that later.

In the late afternoon a sudden thunderstorm came up and I had to run like a mad man and take down all my half dried clothes and put away my tools and the generator. It was a mess and I literally ran around the place getting stuff inside. I started pouring rain just as I finished. Not too long after though it stopped and I was able to work on the generator some more.

The carburetor was leaking gas, so I had to pull it back apart and adjust the float level so it would stop flooding. This is no easy task on a rusty old carb that is partly siezed up inside. The retaining pin for the float is frozen in place so I had to carefully try to bend the float with it in the carb.

I also made a carburetor fuel bowl gasket out of a cardboard box to keep dirt out and the gas in. This needs to be replaced with a better gasket later when I find something. But it works for now.

When the generator was running well, I ran into town to get some gas and an air filter. After filling the tank the generator ran well. Except for the floppy choke, that is. But I will fix that.

I ran a cable from the generator into my camper and tried to get my air conditioner working but had no luck. I am not sure which AC wire goes to the air conditioner. It got dark out so I had to call it a night and put things away for today.

Hopefully soon I will have AC out in the forest on hot days.


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Troy Reid


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