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Old 02-15-2006, 04:46 AM   #1
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Which is the better option for a generator installed in a 5th wheel, diesel of propane? I was thinking diesel as I can install an auxillary tank in the bed of the truck to refill the generator, where as with propane, you have to take the tanks somewhere to refill. I am also concern about how much propane the generator would use as the trailer only carries 2 30lb bottles. Is there a significant weight difference between a diesel and propane genrator?
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Old 02-15-2006, 04:46 AM   #2
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Which is the better option for a generator installed in a 5th wheel, diesel of propane? I was thinking diesel as I can install an auxillary tank in the bed of the truck to refill the generator, where as with propane, you have to take the tanks somewhere to refill. I am also concern about how much propane the generator would use as the trailer only carries 2 30lb bottles. Is there a significant weight difference between a diesel and propane genrator?
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Old 02-15-2006, 07:23 AM   #3
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I would like to know how much propane it takes to run a generator myself, or weather i should use gasoline, Because i have the same 2 30lb

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Old 02-15-2006, 12:41 PM   #4
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Deisel stinks and the ones I've heard, seem to be a bit noisier. Our inlaws now have a propane generator and it is quieter and hardly has any smell. A mobile generator will be difficult to operated on propane.
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Old 02-15-2006, 06:24 PM   #5
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It's really going to amount to how much you use it.

We have a Onan 6500W LP generator that we use only on and off (even when we dry camp we only run it for a couple of hours a day) and we have 2 30# bottles. Never run out of gas while camping.

That being said, I enjoy the fact that my coach has a single fuel source - everything is built in. If I were runnning a toy hauler I guess I would run gas instaead of LP, but since I don't, I don't have to mess with another fuel.

As for diesel, all the diesel generators I heard were louder than my Onan, or they were installed in $300,000 Class A diesel pushers. If I had one of those, I'd run diesel.

The other thing for us, it seems it's easy enought to pop a bottle out and get it refilled. If you have a gas tank, you'll have to carry a jerry can or else drag your trailer out to fill it up (unless you have a toy hauler with gas tanks on board)

I'd much rather carry around an LP tank than a fuel tank.

It's really what you feel you need and what you want to put up with.

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Old 02-16-2006, 07:34 AM   #6
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I had propane and currently have Gasoline. Both generators were Onan 6.5KW generators. I could get an entire weekend out of a 40# propane tank running the generator 5-6 hours per day for 3 days to recharge the batteries or run the AC for a while. The dealer told me the gasoline is rated for 1 hour per gallon, but I ran 20 hours on 6 gallons of gas.
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Old 03-04-2006, 09:44 PM   #7
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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 Rick A:
Which is the better option for a generator installed in a 5th wheel, diesel of propane? I was thinking diesel as I can install an auxillary tank in the bed of the truck to refill the generator, where as with propane, you have to take the tanks somewhere to refill. I am also concern about how much propane the generator would use as the trailer only carries 2 30lb bottles. Is there a significant weight difference between a diesel and propane genrator? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Neither!

Gasoline lasts longer than propane for the same amount of output power and Diesel generators are both heavy and far more expensive.

Your concern about the amount of propane is very valid since, had I gone propane with mine, I'd have only about 12-14 hours running time on my pair of 30 pounders as opposed to at least 36 on my trailer's 30-gallon on-board tank.

Plastic 5-gallon gasoline containers can either be carried or acquired easily and can be refilled almost anywhere while, OTOH, it can be difficult to find propane at 3 AM.
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Old 03-05-2006, 04:40 AM   #8
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I was leaning towards the diesel since I can use an auxilary tan in the truck for the truck and the genny, but I think sound will be an issue. Looks like it may be a gas generator and will have to carry 2 fuel types.
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Old 03-05-2006, 05:51 PM   #9
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I think the comment about how many hours do you intend to run the unit has a lot of merit. I have 6500 LP Onan. I have 2 40# bottles. I can dry camp for several weeks on one bottle including cooking and water heater. I have large 6v batteries and an inverter, so the genny is only run to recharge the batteries, not to run the TV set. That would not include camping in cold weather. If you have either diesel or gasoline and store your rig for a couple months at a time, you will have to worry about stale fuel and you need to start the genny once every couple weeks to prevent some costly maintenance bills to clean out varnished fuel systems. In my RV's, I have had 4 gasoline gens, 2 diesel and now the propane. For maintenance and quiet operation, the propane is number one, diesel number 2, gas brings up the rear. For cheap fuel costs, diesel is 1, gas 2, propane 3. If I were replacing mine today, I would buy another propane unit.
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Old 03-05-2006, 07:28 PM   #10
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Rick A

I bought a gas gen. (don't waste your money on a Generac RV generator, pay the money and get an Onan).

For a fuel tank I went to a boat store and bought a Coast Guard approved 6 gal (5 gal with 1 gal reserve) plastic boat tank. I think it was about $30-35. It is connected to the gen through a 4 foot gas rated fuel hose and a quick disconnect at the tank. (Supplied with the tank) For refilling I can either use a jerry can or disconnect the tank and take it with me. At approximately gal/hour fuel consumption you don't have to fill it very often. The length of my tank is exactly the depth of the gen compartment and with the use of a few wood blocks it is wedged in tight next to the gen.

Maybe this will give you another option.

Richard
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Old 03-06-2006, 05:06 AM   #11
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I installed an Onan 3600LP in my 5er. See http://www.klenger.net/arctic-fox/ge...ion/index.html for details and LP runtime. For those who use a generator on a somewhat limited basis, I think LP makes prefect sense, and LP is cheaper than gas now. I prefer not to have to worry about gasoline varnishing up the engine when in storage.
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Old 03-09-2006, 06:09 AM   #12
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I don't want to derail your thread as you asked specifically about generators. I wanted to tell you though, that I have a friend who full-times with an Excel and has several years' experience with a number of rigs. After checking the hour meter on his last rig with an Onan, he went a different route: He now has a new trailer with a solar charging system installed by Excel, and loves it. I have no idea the extent of his capacity, but he says batteries, converter, and all his initial expense was lower, the weight isn't much different, and although he has some battery maintenance he isn't using any fuel! Just a thought. I'm sure the amount of dry camping you do as opposed to full hook-up time is a huge factor, along with how much AC runtime you need in those dry camps.

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Old 03-10-2006, 02:49 AM   #13
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I do already have solar for when we dry camp. The generator would be more for being able to run the AC while on the road. When dry camping I don't mind sleeping with no AC, but while traveling on long trips and overnighting without hookups, it would be nice to get a good night sleep in a comfortable and cool trailer.
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Old 03-10-2006, 04:27 AM   #14
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we have a built in 6.5 kw onan LP , it performs perfectly...... except it flat goes through some fuel,
looking now to run a dedicated lp bottle for it or go with gasoline conversion.
I can get just about 8hrs run from a 30# bottle,
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