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Old 09-18-2013, 07:29 AM   #15
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We had a propane generator on a previous Safari Trek. We did a lot of multi-day dry camping where we would run the A/C all day and run low on propane after two days; even with a large tank. This was a a pain since propane can be much harder to find than gas. Try to find propane in a small town, on the afternoon of the 4th of July, when it falls on a Sunday...

A gas (or diesel) generator is better.

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Originally Posted by Pgustaf249 View Post
In some of the RVs I've read about so far they have an LP generator or diesel generator as options. What questions do I need to answer for myself to help me determine which way to go?
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wa8yxm View Post
On most RV's your LP tank is what, 100 pounds at around 4 pounds per gallon (25 gallon)
Don't know about classB but our ClassA has 32 gallon tank
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Old 09-18-2013, 09:54 AM   #17
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The object is to provide the electricity you need at the time.
Both do that. If you plan a lot of boondocking, and to spend a lot of time running off the generator, the diesel is a better choice. If your generator is for those times shore power is not available, or when you want to run the roof airs going down the road, propane will be more that satisfactory.

Maintenance on the propane generator is considerably less than a diesel, it is quieter, cleaner and I have not had a problem finding propane. In most RV's you will still need propane for heat and refrigerator back-up. ( You can actually plan ahead- just like figuring mpg, you do have a gauge for the propane and can anticipate your usage...)

In 12 plus years I have just over 500 hrs on my generator, only routine annual maintenance has been needed. Hard to justify the added initial cost and maintenance expenses involved with a diesel...
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:13 AM   #18
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In 12 plus years I have just over 500 hrs on my generator, only routine annual maintenance has been needed. Hard to justify the added initial cost and maintenance expenses involved with a diesel...
I'm not sure what extra maintenance expense you're thinking of. The annual servicing consists of an oil change and a filter like most other generators would have. Every couple of years a cooling system drain and refill. That's all, not sure how much less a propane generator would require.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:27 AM   #19
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We currently own two coaches, one with an LP Genset and one with a Diesel Genset. Both are reliable but the diesel is quieter.

We have run the LP Genset for many hours at a time with no problems at all. Often we run it on the road so we can run both roof airs and not use the vehicle air. No problem.

I do like the diesel better.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:28 AM   #20
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Look at what type of use you will be getting out of your MH. A large amount of our use is 'boon docking' some times for a few weeks at a time. With the diesel generator if we need 'extra' fuel we can just add more diesel, no so with propane. We just completed a three week boon docking trip, during which we did need to add diesel. We were 140 miles to the closest place to get either diesel or propane. We run the generator (diesel) 2-5 hours a day, during which time we would also heat the hot water on AC. We limited the propane use this way. Even with the temps as low as 21 degrees, or propane lasted the whole time.
The propane generator may run 'cleaner' but for what we use our MH for, diesel is the way to go.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:43 AM   #21
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In cold WX

One thing that has not been mentioned in this discussion is cold weather camping. If it is cold enough your propane level of fill can be high, but USEABLE (sp?) Gas may be surprisingly minimal. (Bin dere, unfortunately.)
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:24 PM   #22
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OK.... I had to cheat...
Onan 5500 propane vs 5500 gas vs 6000 diesel

Idle
Propane .4
Gasoline .3
Diesel .13
Full load
Propane 1.1
Gasoline .9
Diesel .7
At 2.50 for propane (listed here) and 4.00 diesel (my neck of the woods), full load per hour 2.75 versus 2.80.

Except for prices the rest is from Onan brochures. As for likes, in my case, 1 diesel, 2 gasoline, 3 propane. My TH has gasoline unit (ATV gasoline so that works for me).
We go riding in the fall (had a 32 deg night this Monday), I like to save my propane for heat. DW not happy if trailer cool in mornings and for me it is the best use of our propane (heat), batteries (blower for heater and lights) and gasoline (recharge batteries, coffee, assist with water for shower). In my case diesel for getting everything there and back.
....... if I could find some reason to carry nitro or jet fuel.......
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:31 PM   #23
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Had a propane 6.2 KW gen in our 2000 DSDP. In 5 days and 90 weather we went through two 10 gallon tanks and most of our onboard 40 gal (32 usable) propane tank. Quit twice due to overheating (air cooled) Neighbors complained about the noise too.
Never again.
Now have a 8.0 KW PowerTech diesel gen. w/Kubota 3 cyl liquid cooled engine. At full load it burns .72 gph and we carry a LOT more diesel than propane.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:55 PM   #24
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Lp is back up plan for me. I use it sparingly for hot water and running the fridge. Ooh and occasional stove use.
So say your camping without any hook up. I can run my fridge and hot water on lp. If it runs out I can start my diesel gen and heat water using elect and run my fridge on elect. But if my gen was lp elect hookup is your back up.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:59 PM   #25
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I agree re diesel first is my preference for an RV if that is an option the second is gas and the third propane. I had a gas gens on gas powered RVs and then diesel gens in my DPs. I currently have a gas powered RV and had the option of Propane or Gas. The decision was easy for me. I went with gas. Gas and diesel are sooo much easier to get than propane IMHO in many locations and my gas tank is larger than propane and I want propane for the fridge, heating water and cooking while boondocking as others have noted. I know some people stay in areas with extremely hot weather and need the AC - While I use my AC when required and run my gen if needed, however I prefer to move or take my rig to places where I don't have to put up with extreme weather 24/7. But that is just me

I had a an 18kva diesel backup gen for my S&B but fuel management was problematc that caused me to get rid of about 500 gal of contaminated diesel fuel and I was left without power during a critical period. So I now have a 22kva propane gen with a 1000gal buried propane tank and an above ground 500 gal backup propane tank - have never had propane go bad. I converted my fireplaces to propane and installed a new propane furnace so propane for my S&B.

Diesel fuel management is not usually such a problem with an RV unless it is stationary for an extended period and this has to be done regardless of having a diesel gen or not.

Bottom line for me: I go with the fuel that powers my RV for the gen. But for the S&B I prefer natural gas first if that option is available, and propane second. I have space to safely store a lot of propane at my S&B, but some homes could not have large propane tanks so that is a consideration.

Hope sharing my experience is helpful in your decision.

Money was not a consideration in my decisions re the fuel selection option but for a TT or 5er, propane might make sense vs diesel if propane is the primary fuel source.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:05 PM   #26
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I've had both......I'll take the diesel every day !!

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Old 09-21-2013, 07:47 PM   #27
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I would absolutely take the diesel over the propane. BUT gas vs propane gets a little sticker for me. Gas units with a carburetor can and do gum up with lack of use, so it is much more important to be sure to run them a couple of hours each month or you are in for an expensive repair (do NOT ask me how I know this). Propane does not do this so if you do not use it much then propane may be a viable choice for you providing you can not get a diesel unit. All JMHO.
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Old 09-21-2013, 08:59 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann n Gene
I would absolutely take the diesel over the propane. BUT gas vs propane gets a little sticker for me. Gas units with a carburetor can and do gum up with lack of use, so it is much more important to be sure to run them a couple of hours each month or you are in for an expensive repair (do NOT ask me how I know this). Propane does not do this so if you do not use it much then propane may be a viable choice for you providing you can not get a diesel unit. All JMHO.
For gas generators 2 things - 1 add a petcock to the fuel line. When storing - turn the fuel line off - the let the generator burn out the fuel. While it is burning out - spray some of this in the carb.
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At very least get a can and follow directions. After those two things my gas unit never gave me another problem.

If you have a DP best advice is diesel generator IMHO. Buy what makes ya happy.
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