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Old 02-25-2013, 10:47 PM   #1
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propane versus diesel generator

How do the two generators compare in fuel consumption--that is gal. used per hour for same load? Some DP such as Discovery come with LP generators. Am I going to empty the tank for generator running under two a/c load in the Florida Summer, say in a 24 hour time frame for example.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:59 PM   #2
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In 5 days in 90 weather we used two 10 gallon and most of our 32 gallon propane tank. It also quit twice due to overheating and it was LOUD. Will NEVER have another propane generator!
Now we have a 8.5Kw liquid cooled diesel gen. so much better and quieter too. At full load it uses .71 gph, the 6.2 Kw propane used over 1.3 gph and closer to 1.5 gph.
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Old 02-25-2013, 10:59 PM   #3
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Go Diesel............It's the only way to go. When I bought my motorcoach out of Florida, the generator ran steady until we got home. Put over a hundred hours on it. Ran A/C's, fridge, and the wife was doin' some vacuuming as we were going down the highway. The reliabilty of diesel is far superior than propane in my opinion. You also have a huge abundance of fuel as it's coming out of the 150 gallon coach tank. Also my 7500 Onan Diesel generator is variable speed depending on demand and that is nice as it is not screaming and a lot easier on fuel consumption. Any propane powered stuff I've had before seems like it was always getting low on fuel or totally empty. Then you gotta scramble. I just wish my unit even had a diesel fired Aquahot system. Maybe I just love diesel.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:08 PM   #4
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We have propane and have no complaints. It's cheaper than diesel and can easily be refilled by mobile propane services which are abundant. I also like not having to worry about carbon monoxide since we have a 1year old child. Also with propane you don't have to worry about diesel fuel going bad if it sits unused.

Either way if you like a coach I wouldn't let fuel type sway you.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:20 PM   #5
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Propane might be cheaper than diesel but you also burn twice as much and the propane tank is much more limited.
Our Power Tech (Kubota 3 cyl engine) is a constant speed (1,800 rpm) rather than the 3,600 that some Onan's run so it's pitch/vibration is the same under all load conditions.
Have never had diesel go bad either. I do have to fill our propane tank (40 gal, 32 usable) every couple of years though, rather than every trip.
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Old 02-25-2013, 11:23 PM   #6
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To each their own. I still wouldn't let fuel type of generator be a determining factor for me.
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Old 02-26-2013, 05:59 AM   #7
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I think you're wrong about not worrying about CO with propane. Something left from burned propane kills people on a regular basis.

Buy a unit with a gen set that runs off the main RV fuel tank. One less thing to have to search for. Gasoline and diesel are more efficient and more readily available. I know people here in Key West dry camping with propane generators fill their tanks regularly because their tanks are small and generators run a lot.

While no bargain, diesel here is $4.34 a gallon on base and propane is $5.24 a gallon.
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Old 02-26-2013, 09:31 AM   #8
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Ok, going to rule out the LP generator. You have confirmed my belief from the start that it wasn't the way to go in a diesel pusher where you already have the diesel fuel onboard. Thanks for the posts.
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Old 02-26-2013, 12:19 PM   #9
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Good choice...Diesel only for me.
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:02 PM   #10
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had a propane one for 6 weeks ripped it out and bought a diesel never been so happy
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Old 02-26-2013, 01:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoafan View Post
We have propane and have no complaints. It's cheaper than diesel and can easily be refilled by mobile propane services which are abundant. I also like not having to worry about carbon monoxide since we have a 1year old child. Also with propane you don't have to worry about diesel fuel going bad if it sits unused.
Combustion of propane still produces CO, just in reduced amounts. According to the quality of the fuel and adjustment of the device, propane can reduce CO by 50-92%, but you don't know the fuel quality, so precautions are still needed. In addition, an infant is more sensitive to CO than an adult, so I wouldn't be too complacent about the safety of ANY exhaust products.
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Old 02-26-2013, 02:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoafan View Post
We have propane and have no complaints. It's cheaper than diesel and can easily be refilled by mobile propane services which are abundant. I also like not having to worry about carbon monoxide since we have a 1year old child. Also with propane you don't have to worry about diesel fuel going bad if it sits unused.

Either way if you like a coach I wouldn't let fuel type sway you.
Just an FYI if you burn any type of fuel Carbon Monoxide is a byproduct of combustion.

So Propane produces Carbon Monoxide, Ask me how I know.

When I was 17, I was badly poisoned by Carbon Monoxide from Propane Fork lifts.

Also it takes a lot of years for Diesel to go bad, never found any that would not burn.

A Genturi Pipe Really helps with the fumes.

Ted.
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Old 02-26-2013, 03:26 PM   #13
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trailer king your gen has to run constant rpm's to get to full voltage so if you are using any juice the rpm's are there..
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Old 02-26-2013, 04:36 PM   #14
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trailer king your gen has to run constant rpm's to get to full voltage so if you are using any juice the rpm's are there..
I think you're wrong. It's "Load-Matching" variable speed. All depends on the load. It works pretty much the same as my Honda EU3000 Inverter generator. I know they are not all variable just that one model. I know as I add more load to the system you can hear it rev a little higher each time.
I researched this stuff a bit when I was considering building a motorhome from an ex highway coach. There were choices from constant speed units 1800 to 3600 rpms. I was wanting to go with the variable speed unit. Then when I bought my '99 Fleetwood that's exactly what it had in it.

Read the attached link.

http://www.rvtechlibrary.com/generat...0specsheet.pdf
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