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Old 03-16-2007, 06:53 AM   #1
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It has been suggested to me from another FT'er that running my generator while driving to power my house AC will produce a faster cooling of my unit, rather than using the engine AC in the front. He does it in his Dutch Star and claims he get's better gas mileage too. Since the generator his running off the diesel tank too however, wouldn't the savings be absorbed by running the generator? And, add more hours to my generator anyway. He claims that the generator only has to kick on for a few minutes to cool the unit...so being a newer owner...just wondered if anyone else does this?

Thanks - Eusefull
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Old 03-16-2007, 06:53 AM   #2
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It has been suggested to me from another FT'er that running my generator while driving to power my house AC will produce a faster cooling of my unit, rather than using the engine AC in the front. He does it in his Dutch Star and claims he get's better gas mileage too. Since the generator his running off the diesel tank too however, wouldn't the savings be absorbed by running the generator? And, add more hours to my generator anyway. He claims that the generator only has to kick on for a few minutes to cool the unit...so being a newer owner...just wondered if anyone else does this?

Thanks - Eusefull
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:39 AM   #3
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I believe a generator consumes 1/2 gallon an hour. The dash A/C will rarely cool the entire coach.

It doesn't seem that the dash A/C consumes an extra 1/2 gallon an hour.

That said, let's say it's 1/4 gallon for the dash A/C, were talking approximately $.60/hr to have the coach cooled equally and comfortably by zone. Plus you can run whatever you want while driving.

Finally, if you don't use your generator a lot, the manual calls for running it a couple of hours on 50% load every so often.
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Old 03-16-2007, 07:52 AM   #4
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Yes, I do this.

Have to exercise the generator anyway so might as well use it for AC while on the road.

As javajelly mentioned the dash AC will not cool the coach and the generator will use less gas/fuel than the engine AC.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:19 AM   #5
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Your diesel generator should use apx 1/2 gallon an hour when running at full load ...so actual usage will be less as it will not always (rarely, actually) be running at full load.

Occasionally we might run the dash air when temps aren't very warm. But in hot weather, we will always run the generator in order to run our big basement ac unit. It does a much better job of cooling the coach, and there is the added benefit of full ac power for our big refrigerator & ice maker.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:26 AM   #6
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When I did my walk around with the Maint guy he said that it would be better to run the Gen instead of the AC for cooling. I try to run the Gen at least once a month and then I turn on the TV, etc. at least for an hour. But remember to wait a certain amount of minutes to turn off the Gen after turning off any appliances. See manual for the correct time. I let the Gen run for two minutes after turning off the appliances, the same when turning on the gen.
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Old 03-16-2007, 08:50 AM   #7
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I also run my gen to use a/c when it is hot outside I like having the whole coach cool when we stop.
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Old 03-16-2007, 09:02 AM   #8
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Just a reminder about the generator and the 1/4 tank safety shut off.

I hate stopping for gas so I run the rig below an 1/8th regularly. Downside is that you can't run the gen below a 1/4 tank.
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:00 AM   #9
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You guys all have diesel, what about my propane genarator. Does it eat up too much fuel & is it still better to run the A/C from the gen while driving on a hot day with it? fyi, my DP has a very large propane tank.
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:00 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">reminder about the generator and the 1/4 tank safety shut off. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I've seen reference to this several times, and have heard of folks being unable to start their generator because the fuel tank was too low, but I've never had it happen on mine. I've begun to wonder if the 1/4 limit is true on my rig. I've put 80 gallon or a little over in my 100 gallon tank several times.
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Old 03-16-2007, 10:14 AM   #11
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The 1/4 tank is an estimate. The shut off level is determined by where the fuel draw tube is positioned on the tank. Also, does that position truly match the fuel indicator.

On my first coach the generator would shut right off at 1/4 tank. It was so precise, that I thought it was an electronic signal.

My current coach will go below a 1/4 tank a little bit.

I also have a hydrohot which burns diesel too. It is supposed to be set at a 1/4 tank but, it will go to an 1/8th of a tank at least as I haven't pushed it any further. (it isn't necessarily good to run these things dry of fuel.)
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Old 03-16-2007, 11:30 AM   #12
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">It isn't necessarily good to run these things dry of fuel.) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Scott, having done just that in an earlier life, I can assure you the mechanics at the shop were ready to KILL me...
The tractor they had given me to drive on local runs had two saddle tanks, but no working fuel gauge and as I was young and dumb, I got lazy one too many times on "sticking" the tanks to check fuel level...
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Old 03-17-2007, 02:04 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by socalracer:
You guys all have diesel, what about my propane genarator. Does it eat up too much fuel & is it still better to run the A/C from the gen while driving on a hot day with it? fyi, my DP has a very large propane tank. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Mark,

A propane generator uses so much fuel that for many people that dry camp it will be a deal breaker.

That being said it depends much on your personal situation. How long you drive how easy it is to get a propane refill when you are on the road etc.

I fill my 100 lb propane tank two or tree times a year and I have a non-propane generator however if I had a propane generator and left it on while driving I would be refilling the propane tank about 20 times a year. On some outings I would have to refill it mutiple times.

Personally if I had a propane gennerator I would turn it on occasionally while driving to assist the dash AC but would turn it off as soon as the coach was cooled down to save fuel.
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Old 03-17-2007, 03:31 PM   #14
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NEIL, thanks for your response. It's hard to believe a propane gen uses so much fuel. I never knew that. I have a beaver coach & it has an extra large propane tank. I guess I'll try to talk to people w/ DPs like mine to see how long it lasts. Thanks again. Mark
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