Sandwich Van Generator Issues

by Lynda
(South Wales)

Hi, I recently bought a sandwich van made by a company called Parragon (who are no longer in business so unfortunately I can't direct my queries to them).

The van is virtually unused with only 900 miles on the clock. It is powered by a diesel LDE 6800T generator, which runs but doesn't produce power and is housed in its own compartment in the van. It powers a warming oven, a cooking oven, a fridge and a tea urn.

If we can fix the generator, is it ok to keep it running, even when I am driving from one stop to the next or will it have to be turned off? If we are unable to fix it, would you recommend replacing it with another generator, as all the equipment on the van is wired up for that purpose, or do you think converting to gas and battery power would be better?

I am a little concerned about fumes and noise from the generator and I want to get things right before beginning my business. Thanks.

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Mar 11, 2015
Switching to gas and battery power
by: Annette (Food in the Hood)

Hi there

I don't think it's legal to drive with a generator running, but double check that. NCASS do a good brochure which tells you everything you need to know and do with a catering unit, I am sure generators are covered in there.

You said you are thinking of switching to gas and battery power. That's what I have in my van, but only because I designed it to be mobile, as in moving every 15 mins or so. Unfortunately the fridge I have, the doors need replacing and it's only now that I can afford to buy new ones. Because the doors are broken it uses a lot of battery power. The batteries I have, three in total, should give me ten hours for my fridge, which is the only thing connected to them, at the moment it's about 4, but as I said that should improve once the doors are replaced. can't complain I bought it for £30 at auction and it's a tall slim catering fridge, British made and the company is still in production, so I can replace any part, worth £1300 brand new!

I have an oven on the van as opposed to a fryer, and lots of gas bain maries, so essentially it's not much different to a small kitchen, minus a microwave of course. I am selling a mixture of home cooked meals (to older people regularly), and burgers (for private events/festivals). I am not moving about as I had originally planned because I deliver food cold, but I have the option if I want to.

So I guess you need to work out how you are trading. If you are static for long periods of time, and only drive for an hour or so, your fridge should stay within the correct temperature - you can check that, but if you're moving about continuously then you don't want to be jumping in and out of the van all the time to switch on the generator. I trialled going out in the street selling home cooked food, and I didnt need the gas on at every stop because the bain maries stay hot for ages, and if you do you temp checks regularly you'll avoid food going cold and in the danger zone.

Sorry that was so long and good luck!

Dec 30, 2014
Maybe, but i wouldn't unless it was a bulletproof setup.
by: D morris

I entertained this idea once but came to the conclusion that if it caught fire I may not know about it until too late.

I suppose you could do it, however, i would ask myself the following.

1 - How would the generator keep cool whilst driving. Many inbuilt generators involve opening a hatch to let them have access to air once static.

2 - If you were to discount the direct above by suggesting that your generator setup is designed to be ran with hatch/door shut and have access to air via wall/floor vents etc...there still may be no guarantees such a setup would work properly whilst the vehicle is moving.
Maybe the air circulation would not work to it's optimum whilst moving. You may suck air in and exhaust directly to a hole in the floor via an exhaust pipe however, a generator usually requires movement of air all around it and being in a closed cubicle may cause over heating. Vents which are designed to let air in may not do so in the same way when you're bombing about at 40/50 mph. Like I said 'may' i could be wrong, your setup maybe fine, I'm just stating possible problems.

3 - Would your insurance company be happy with it. I would definitely check this out. Such a setup maybe okay for domestic use but commercial use...

4 - If all is well with all of the above just ensure that non of the emissions can enter the driving cabin whatsoever. A vehicle and all it's parts including generator cupboards could be suspectible to hairline fractures or simply parting of joints the day to day movement of the vehicle itself.

5 - If all is dandy with all of the above then good luck and let me know via here as I have such a vehicle setup and knowledge is everything.

Dec 16, 2014
Generator Issues
by: Brian

Hello Lynda,

This may be the problem.Do a search for field flashing generators Field Flashing

As to you other query I would not advise running a generator whilst a vehicle is moving, unless a manufacturer expressly authorises it, due to the risk of fuel spills near a source of ignition.

Hope this help,


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