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Old 08-25-2013, 10:19 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
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Propane generator

What are the pros and cons of a propane generator vs. diesel? Other than the fact that propane is generally cheaper, but only has about 80% the energy (BTU/Gal.) as diesel.

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Old 08-25-2013, 10:56 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,495
Propane vs Diesel:

Pros: Burns cleaner, less fuel management issues

Cons: fewer places to get propane vs diesel and often the propane tank on an RV is not as large as the diesel tank. Number of operating hours on an RV Gen is reduced because of the lesser fuel supply.

I have a 22kva propane gen in my S&B and have a 1000gal tank. It is underground so I don't see it, but I think it is about 16ft long, and about 3-4ft in diameter and very heavy when full. Not something one would cart around, If I want more capability, I can add a tank but 1000gal works for me.

Had a diesel B/U Gen for years but having fuel sitting for months in very hot and very cold temps created problems. No matter what supplements I added. It was difficult for the supplements to mix in a large fixed position tank. Fuel got contaminated from time to time.

Less problems with diesel fuel contamination in an RV that is used. When I had my DPs I put a fuel supplement everytime I refueled. Never had any problems with any engine components.

I found the operating costs slightly cheaper with propane.

Hope this helps.

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Old 08-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #3
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Location: Merrill, Oregon
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Have 5.5kva propane in the MH. No issues so far. The only advantage that I can see is cleaner burning. However, fuel burn is a little higher due to the higher efficiency of a diesel generator. Would convert to diesel if I had to replace the unit? I don't know. We don't often use the generator due to camp grounds having full hook ups. For dry camping I think the general opinion is diesel is the better way to go again due to fuel burn per hour.

Martin Picke'
1998 Rexhall Anthem 34' DP, Cummins ISB, Allison 5 speed, Spartan Chassis, 300 watts solar.
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Old 08-25-2013, 03:22 PM   #4
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We've had ours for around a year now. It had 405 hours on it when acquired, it has 410 on it now. It is a bit louder running than a water cooled diesel generator but it is nice to know the fuel can sit indefinitely without worry over contamination or issues from aging. Having the large propane tank that is used primarily for the water heater and refrigerator means long periods of time between refills. We don't have any problems finding places were we can fill up although we've only had to do so once and still have plenty left

for us it works
1998 Newmar Dutch Star, 3126B Cat/ Freightliner
2003 Honda Element
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generator, propane

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