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Old 10-25-2015, 09:40 PM   #1
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Propane - generator question

Can someone out there in RV land help answer this - I have a 2013 Coachman Brookstone 36ft 5th wheel - it has two propane tanks and it has a cummins generator that runs off the propane.

I have to open both tanks fully for the generator to run. I cannot have one or the other open, it must be both.

Is this correct?

Let me know and excuse my ignorance - I'm new to 5th wheeling.

Thanks

Mike
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Old 10-25-2015, 10:04 PM   #2
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That's a tough question to answer definitively. Here's the problem: Your gen uses more or less propane vapor based on the load on the gen. When your tanks are full there is not much vapor space in the tanks to handle a high load or a surge in the load. In those instances it's likely that both tanks would need to be opened. I'm assuming you also have an automatic changeover regulator. The reg changes tanks based on vapor pressure in the tank. When pressure gets low it switches to the tank that would have the higher pressure. The cycle of low and higher pressure can repeat based on the variables of load and ambient temps. All the foregoing is assuming your gen is a vapor fed system rather than a liquid propane fed system. If I've muddied the water for you let me know and I'll try to do a better job for you.
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Old 10-26-2015, 04:26 PM   #3
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I think you may need a higher pressure regulater . Most let just one tank at a time feed system. I am not sure having both on sjould matter. I have a gen and it will run off of one tank.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:37 PM   #4
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Should be just one at a time
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradrvguy View Post
Should be just one at a time
I Agree.
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Old 10-26-2015, 07:53 PM   #6
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My setup did the same thing my dealer helped me out, it was low pressure I made a manometer and raised the water column to 12 inches by adjusting the regulator. Problem solved can run gen stove and furnace all at once w one bottle and can run both air cond
also on one thirty lb bottle. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:31 PM   #7
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The problem with both tanks open, if not checked frequently you run the risk of emptying both tanks. The common Onan 5500 will burn through just over a gallon in an hour under heavy load, so if you have 40 Lb tanks they are rated to hold 10 gallons, but since they are generally only filled to 80% of capacity that give you a little less than 8 hours run time.
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Old 10-28-2015, 07:42 PM   #8
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The problem with both tanks open, if not checked frequently you run the risk of emptying both tanks. The common Onan 5500 will burn through just over a gallon in an hour under heavy load, so if you have 40 Lb tanks they are rated to hold 10 gallons, but since they are generally only filled to 80% of capacity that give you a little less than 8 hours run time.
Exactly why I'll never have another propane generator, plus it was loud. In one 5 day period at an FMCA rally we used two 10 gallon tanks and most of our onboard 40 gal (32 usable) propane. We had our two dogs with us so needed to run the heat pumps to keep cool.
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Old 10-28-2015, 08:16 PM   #9
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My experience with a 1997 Onan 6500 LP generator was it used liquid propane from one tank. Once the liquid propane entered the generator engine compartment it was warmed and converted into vapor. In my coach, the two tanks were not interconnected so each tank was used independent of each other.
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Old 10-28-2015, 10:06 PM   #10
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Well l won"t argue they will burn fuel . I don't think they are loud ,of course that is subjective.
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