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Old 08-29-2012, 09:54 AM   #1
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Can a propane generator get xtra run time from 20lb tanks

I have a Onan 6.5k propane generator that has a run time on a full tank of about 35-40 hrs. I am going to to boondock all weekend and may need more.
I wondered if anyone has a system that allows standard 20lb tanks to be used to extend the run time for the generator. (I have 2 extra tanks at home)
My fixed tank has two supply lines a gas and a liquid. I am pretty sure that the genny uses the liquid side of the fixed tank supply because that line runs in the direction of the genny.
Any help to get more runtime is appericated.
This is on a 97 Monaco Windsor. Thanks in advance
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:02 PM   #2
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Are you actually going to be running the genny for all those hours?

We usually run the genny a couple hours in the morning - using the microwave, charging batteries, etc. Then again maybe at lunch. And a couple hours in the evening - charge the batteries, watch TV/movies. Much of the time we are on battery and/or inverter.

We dry camp several days this way.
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Old 08-29-2012, 12:24 PM   #3
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We may if it gets hot and need to run the A/C for the pets during the day while we we are gone. If the weather is cool we won't. I was asking in case we need to. Thanks
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Old 08-29-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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Are you asking if the Genny will run off a portable tank by means of something like an Extend-a-stay?

Let me ask you a question.. How many valves on your propane tank ,or to be more specific how many hoses or pipes connect to the tank either via valves or not?

If one then yes, If two ,one high, one low, then no.

Most of the larger (more than a kilowatt or two) propane generators suck LIQUID propane from the tank. The luggables are not designed to deliver liquid.
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Old 08-29-2012, 08:05 PM   #5
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Are you asking if the Genny will run off a portable tank by means of something like an Extend-a-stay?


Most of the larger (more than a kilowatt or two) propane generators suck LIQUID propane from the tank. The luggables are not designed to deliver liquid.
Yes I was thinking about some kind of extended stay using xtra 20lb tanks, I will be boondocking maybe 5 days.

My generator does run off the liquid side of my fixed tank. I was wondering if a 20lb tank could somehow be used (turned upside down, special hoses, or some other way) to get liquid or run the genny from a portable tank.
Thanks .. Looks like its a no go for the xtra tank .. I will just tell the DW, when the propane is gone no more A/C or hot water.
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:56 AM   #6
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No. Your Generator uses liquid propane and standard tanks won't supply liquid propane. You could purchase forklift tanks but would need adapters and hoses rated for liquid.

Any good forklift shop could fix you up but may be very costly.

Jerry
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Old 08-30-2012, 07:57 AM   #7
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I will just tell the DW, when the propane is gone no more A/C or hot water.
No fridge either. It too uses propane when no 120vac is available.

An Extend-a-Stay to attach portable tanks would at least give you hot water and a cold fridge. They both run on LP vapor, so the extra tanks work fine for that.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:06 AM   #8
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No fridge either. It too uses propane when no 120vac is available.

An Extend-a-Stay to attach portable tanks would at least give you hot water and a cold fridge. They both run on LP vapor, so the extra tanks work fine for that.
I forgot about the fridge Thanks to all for the info.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:19 PM   #9
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I read somewhere that the LP gen can run on high pressure vapor.
I'm gonna switch mine to keep the oil from the liquid from ruining the LP system.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:55 PM   #10
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Regardind the idea of turning a propane tank upside down DO NOT DO IT.

here is why

The valve assembly contains safety devices (at least 3 of them on modern tanks) and they are designed to work RIGHT SIDE UP only.. One of them is an over pressure releif.

now, in normal use it MIGHT vent a bit of vapor from time to time epically in the hottest part of the day if the tank was JUST filled.

This is not NORMALLY dangerous as the vapor never reaches critical ratio.

But if you turn it upside down, it will vent liquid and when that vaporises a fraction of a second later critical ratio will be reached, not to mention if it vents on you the temp is somewhere close to MINUS FORTY as I recall.
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Old 08-31-2012, 08:25 AM   #11
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I read somewhere that the LP gen can run on high pressure vapor.
I'm gonna switch mine to keep the oil from the liquid from ruining the LP system.
What oil are you talking about ruining the LP system. There is no connection between anything that has oil and your LP tanks. The generator is not designed to run off vapor. The generator has its own vaporizer.
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:19 AM   #12
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Yup here is oil from the smelly stuff they put in it and it will clog up the vaporizer.
Read a lot about it on the monacoers forum.
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