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Old 09-17-2013, 09:13 PM   #1
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LP or diesel generator

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 09-17-2013, 09:19 PM   #2
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I've had both. I'd go with diesel every time.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:25 PM   #3
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No brainer, diesel coach-diesel geny. Gasoline coach-gasoline geny. That way you always have a BIG fuel tank in reserve. Propane geny = crap!
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:33 PM   #4
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I've had both. I'd go with diesel every time.
And, your reasons are, jeffwit?

We have propane in our coach and find it is quieter and we can run it for a couple or more hours each day while boondocking and run most things from the inverter. Propane is less expensive (at least in our area), does not deplete our diesel (nor skew mpg records) and when we need it, still plenty for the furnaces.

I would not make an expensive purchase decision based on generator fuel alone, but propane seems fine. Ours is a Generac, for the record. (65 gal capacity.)

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Old 09-17-2013, 09:41 PM   #5
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Is this where we get into the efficiency of the two fuels, and the weight of the extra on-board propane, et al?

Me thinks there is a hill of beans in the offing.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:43 PM   #6
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And, your reasons are, jeffwit?

We have propane in our coach and find it is quieter and we can run it for a couple or more hours each day while boondocking and run most things from the inverter. Propane is less expensive (at least in our area), does not deplete our diesel (nor skew mpg records) and when we need it, still plenty for the furnaces.

I would not make an expensive purchase decision based on generator fuel alone, but propane seems fine. Ours is a Generac, for the record. (65 gal capacity.)

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Read post above, unless you rig runs on propane, propane geny-crap.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:47 PM   #7
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I failed to mention I'm looking at B+ RVs. I suppose that will affect tank size. Don't know if it will affect your responses or not.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:47 PM   #8
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Dont let it sway a potential purchase. If the gennie runs good I would not worry.

Me thinks that those that say "crap" may be biased in an unfounded way.

You probably would not use it enough to matter in the long run, especially in a B+. Your dash air will be plenty.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:57 PM   #9
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Uh oh. I guess I should know the answer. Sorry. Everything about RVing is new to me.
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Old 09-17-2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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While driving across Kansas on a 95 degree day, we ran the LP Gas Generator to be able to run the two roof air conditioners. We used 1 gallon of LP Gas per hour and of course ran out of LP Gas which was also need to keep the refrigerator running. We have had two diesel generators since and have never run low on Diesel fuel. After some experience, you can estimate the usage of fuel by the generator and adjust your figures for miles per gallon for your trip. Over 87,000 miles we average 6.7 mpg, so adjust accordingly for generator usage.
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Old 09-17-2013, 10:33 PM   #11
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Dont let it sway a potential purchase. If the gennie runs good I would not worry.

Me thinks that those that say "crap" may be biased in an unfounded way.

You probably would not use it enough to matter in the long run, especially in a B+. Your dash air will be plenty.
Just keep it simple. We are running our geny right now camped at a steakhouse in Colby Kansas. We fill the propane about twice a year. It only runs the stove and furnace if we are plugged in or have the geny running. We get gas every day or two, or whenever we run low. If we ever get another rig it will be total electric and only have one fuel, preferably diesel. As long as you have the one fuel, you are good to go. Why have multiple fuels when you can get by on one that is easy to access. What we don't have, we don't need. The journey is the destination. We run the geny a lot and I don't want to always be hunting propane as it can be hard to find in a lot of locals. Gasoline or diesel is everywhere.
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Old 09-18-2013, 04:59 AM   #12
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Propane vs Diesel. It's kind of like Ford vs Chevy. First let's face some facts.

Propane BTU/gal is around 90,000
Diesel BTU/gal is around 140,000

1gal of diesel does produce more BTUs than 1gal of Propane - however, currently, 1gal of propane average price is $2.50/gal and diesel average price is $3.95. Pretty darn close to 35% of a cost differential isn't it? Amazingly, the BTU difference is amazingly close to 35% as well. In the end it's virtually a wash on cost vs efficiency. Maintenance costs are only slightly higher with the diesel gensets - they both have the same oil type and capacity requirements and the filters are the same. Noise? There is no difference while some will swear propane units are "quieter".

Your decision on which fuel to settle with should be completely dependent upon how much you will use the generator. As others have mentioned above that the volume of propane you can carry along with the availability of it while traveling can be a problem. Will you burn more gallons of propane each day than if you had a diesel set? Yes. Will it cost more? No.

Another consideration should be resale when/if you do sell your unit. Having a propane generator could very well be a deal breaker to a future owner of your unit.
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Old 09-18-2013, 05:29 AM   #13
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We have a propane generator in our coach. It works great for what we use it for. There were only 400 hours on it when we bought it a year ago and we've added 5 hours in a year. We've had no trouble getting it filled (once). It's pretty simple and clean.

If we were to buy a new coach I might get a diesel generator but it wouldn't be a big consideration in a purchaser.
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Old 09-18-2013, 06:25 AM   #14
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On most RV's your LP tank is what, 100 pounds at around 4 pounds per gallon (25 gallon)

Your diesel tank may well hold over 100 gallons of which 3/4 can be used by the generator if you are parked with a full tank.

Diesel has more "Punch" than propane.

So you are looking at 70-100 hours run time v/s 20.

Now there ARE advantages to propane.. it's cleaner, and quieter,, You are less likely to wake up dead (Of course you can fix that on gas/diesel with a Gen-Turi) but frankly it is RUN TIME that is most important to me.. I have, right now, about half a tank of gasoline, that means roughly 20 hours of Generator run time should the park have a power fail (It has happened) and yes. I have a Gen-Turi.
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