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Old 03-23-2015, 11:09 AM   #15
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If we are talking about commercial apps - that chapters been written - diesel wins every time with the one time up from hit being hardest.

My household runs a commercial grooming operation out of a van.
we switched from a ford E250 with an Onan 7KW to a Sprinter with an Onan 8KW diesel genset.

Propane if it even worked would require fuel EVERY DAY.

We put about 1000 hours a year on the genset.

Fuel cost alone is 50% less than the gas rig was.
Maintenance wise the diesel setup is approx 66 less frequent @ relatively the same cost per service.

The diesel infrastructure and gensets are simply light years ahead of their gasoline and propane counterparts.

Uncle Dave
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:37 PM   #16
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My advice comes from owning a 2006 WGO View 24J with a propane generator for 8 years. In that time, we put about 300 hours on the genny (<40 hours/yr.) Our travel pattern was about 75% boondocking and 25% full hookups. The propane genny used about 0.4 gal/hour or 750 gallons over 8 years. At an average of $2/gal that's about $1500 over 8 years or <$200/year. IIRC, the diesel genny costs about $3K more. That means you're paying twice as much as I paid for propane over 8 years. Last but not least, if you plan to use the diesel genny for hours at a time, keep in mind the MB Sprinter chassis has a 26 gal tank and won't let you use the last ~7 gal for the generator.

Bottom line, go with the propane generator. I never had a problem with my propane genny.
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Old 03-29-2015, 11:52 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by LeeOts View Post
My advice comes from owning a 2006 WGO View 24J with a propane generator for 8 years. In that time, we put about 300 hours on the genny (<40 hours/yr.) Our travel pattern was about 75% boondocking and 25% full hookups. The propane genny used about 0.4 gal/hour or 750 gallons over 8 years. At an average of $2/gal that's about $1500 over 8 years or <$200/year. IIRC, the diesel genny costs about $3K more. That means you're paying twice as much as I paid for propane over 8 years. Last but not least, if you plan to use the diesel genny for hours at a time, keep in mind the MB Sprinter chassis has a 26 gal tank and won't let you use the last ~7 gal for the generator.

Bottom line, go with the propane generator. I never had a problem with my propane genny.
Which genset did you have ?

If I examine your claim of .4 GPH over 800 hours it seems highly suspect.

According to Onan the tiny 2500 propane genset IDLES with -0- load at .3 GPH

https://powersuite.cummins.com/PS5/P...1-EN-Final.pdf

Starting at the 4000 all Onan propane genset all consume at least .4 GPH IDLING AT NO LOAD.

https://powersuite.cummins.com/PS5/P...ets/a-1399.pdf

The 7000 Idles at .5

Not sure which genset you had but your consumption figures don't add up according Onans printed specs.


Fuel pickup height is determinable.
Anyone can choose how far in the tank to put the fuel pickup.
For my commercial vans I put it down to about 5 gallons, and for my RV down to about 15 out of 90.

UD
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Old 03-29-2015, 12:23 PM   #18
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...If I examine your claim of .4 GPH over 800 hours it seems highly suspect...
I'm not here to argue and I'm especially not here to argue about what I saw and experienced over 8 years of ownership and use. I kept track of all my diesel, propane and maintenance expenses so if you choose not to believe me, that's your prerogative. If the OP wants more info, I'll be glad to help.

I'll add that a 90 gal fuel tank is quite different from a 26 gal fuel tank.
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Old 03-29-2015, 01:46 PM   #19
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I'm not here to argue and I'm especially not here to argue about what I saw and experienced over 8 years of ownership and use. I kept track of all my diesel, propane and maintenance expenses so if you choose not to believe me, that's your prerogative. If the OP wants more info, I'll be glad to help.

I'll add that a 90 gal fuel tank is quite different from a 26 gal fuel tank.
If you aren't being square about stuff we can all go look up then what about stuff we can't?

People can claim anything but when their claims dont match manufacturers printed spec (yours are way off) everything else you say becomes suspect.

Its Cummins doc - not mine.

Moho has 90
Sprinter has 27

Both have diesel gensets,
Motorhome was switched from propane to diesel.



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Old 03-29-2015, 02:01 PM   #20
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Had a propane (6,200 w) generator once, in one five day period we went through two 15 gallon tanks and most of our onboard 40 gallon (32 usable). We were at a FMCA rally in Redmond and had two dogs with us so needed to run the gen for air con, had to take a spare tank and use the Extend A Stay, then take it in the van to get it refilled. Luckily we were close to places that sold propane. Plus it was noisy and blew the onboard breakers a couple times due to heat (it was air cooled). Never will have a propane gen set again!
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Old 03-30-2015, 08:59 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by LeeOts View Post
My advice comes from owning a 2006 WGO View 24J with a propane generator for 8 years. In that time, we put about 300 hours on the genny (<40 hours/yr.) Our travel pattern was about 75% boondocking and 25% full hookups. The propane genny used about 0.4 gal/hour or 750 gallons over 8 years. At an average of $2/gal that's about $1500 over 8 years or <$200/year. IIRC, the diesel genny costs about $3K more. That means you're paying twice as much as I paid for propane over 8 years. Last but not least, if you plan to use the diesel genny for hours at a time, keep in mind the MB Sprinter chassis has a 26 gal tank and won't let you use the last ~7 gal for the generator.

Bottom line, go with the propane generator. I never had a problem with my propane genny.
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We too had the same question you have put forward. I think the main question you must answer is how much time you will put on generator. For light use, get propane.

Diesel for heavy usage. We have a Winnie view 24 ft. with 30,000 miles showing, and generator (propane) shows under 20 hours use. Salesman at dealer steered us correctly (Lichtsinn) telling us their trade in units almost never had many hours on generators, and that is why they order their views with propane. Propane cleaner than diesel, no smell, doesn't gum up, and now is readily available at big truck stops like Flying J or Love's. And cost of propane generators much less initially.
Bingo, application is everything. A commercial application is one thing, but I don't think the OP was talking about a commercial application so that is not very relevant. Typical private RV use usually entails a lot less generator runtime than a new owner envisions... there are very few campgrounds where it's practical to run a generator for more than few hours at a time (unless you enjoy well-deserved cold stares.) When dry camping typically they are run for an hour or two in the early evening to cook dinner and bring up the batteries. That, or providing some A/C while eating lunch at a rest stop, stuff like that. Plus we're not talking about a Class A with a 150-gallon tank that needs to run house A/C while going down the road, we're talking about a Sprinter-based unit that doesn't need house A/C while enroute (or at least I never have) and has a 26-gallon fuel tank, at least 1/4 of which is unusable for powering a diesel gennie... so unless you always arrive at your destination with a full tank you may not have as much runtime available as you expect. Plus an LP unit has a much less objectionable exhaust odor, is simpler (no high pressure fuel pump, etc.), lighter, and (even though the noise specs are the same) most report it to have a less objectionable noise signature. And not to mention the cost difference, which in most non-commercial applications you'll never ever make up.

Does this mean propane is better? No, it depends on the application which can favor one or the other. As above, in a 40' Class A or for most commercial business requirements diesel would be the only way to go, but for a Sprinter RV in personal use? Propane has it's advantages too.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:14 AM   #22
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Bingo, application is everything... ...Does this mean propane is better? No, it depends on the application which can favor one or the other. As above, in a 40' Class A or for most commercial business requirements diesel would be the only way to go, but for a Sprinter RV in personal use? Propane has it's advantages too.
Glad to see someone else understands the difference between a 24ft Sprinter based motorhome with a 26 gal tank and a 40 footer with 90 gal tank.

RE: my math, I screwed up. Three hundred hours of generator run time at 0.4 gals per hour equals 120 gallons. At an average cost of $2/gal, I spent about $240 to run the generator over 8 years. Add in the propane to run the furnace, refrigerator (tiny) and range (also tiny,) I'd say my propane usage was infinitesimally tiny compared to the overall costs to operate the rig.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:49 AM   #23
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Glad to see someone else understands the difference between a 24ft Sprinter based motorhome with a 26 gal tank and a 40 footer with 90 gal tank.

RE: my math, I screwed up. Three hundred hours of generator run time at 0.4 gals per hour equals 120 gallons. At an average cost of $2/gal, I spent about $240 to run the generator over 8 years. Add in the propane to run the furnace, refrigerator (tiny) and range (also tiny,) I'd say my propane usage was infinitesimally tiny compared to the overall costs to operate the rig.
According the genset manufacturer you generate zero electricity at .4 GPH so maybe you had the thing idling when running it, or maybe you didnt do the math right then too because your numbers don't jive with Cummins.

I brought up Class a as a point that fuel filter pick height is user determinable- I changed in my Sprinter and in my Class A. Your commentary implied its always in a fixed location which is not always a given when it comes to how much you can use in a given tank.

Propane however IS fixed.
You can only get in 80% of the listed capacity because of OPD.
Then you share that with water heating, furnace, cooking, and most often the fridge.


To Smillers comment - intended use always rules. (I basically said the same thing in the first line of my first post here - its about run time)

Gary brought up the commercial app, I just commented on it.

Here an interesting question the OP might ask himself -

If he boondocks for one night and turns his AC for 8 hours just to sleep how much propane will he he have left if he starts from a full tank(s)?

http://winnebagoind.com/products/cla...specifications

This capacity # seems to be 13.4 -20% or a whopping 10.7 gallons.

Lee- you think he will get .4GPH?

Try more like .6GPH or about 50% more than your claim.

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Old 03-31-2015, 02:22 PM   #24
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If he boondocks for one night and turns his AC for 8 hours just to sleep how much propane will he he have left if he starts from a full tank(s)?
In my case my Sprinter RV holds about 14 usable gallons of propane, so the answer is after 8 hours of running the generator for A/C (which takes on average about 0.5 gph, no matter how many links you post) so I'd have about 2/3 of a tank left.

But again that's pretty much irrelevant. How many Sprinter RV owners have ever run their generator all night for A/C, much less frequently enough to base a purchase decision on? (assuming you can even find a place you can get away with it, want to lie on top of a running generator all night, etc.) In most cases, just doesn't happen in the real world.
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Old 03-31-2015, 07:35 PM   #25
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In my case my Sprinter RV holds about 14 usable gallons of propane, so the answer is after 8 hours of running the generator for A/C (which takes on average about 0.5 gph, no matter how many links you post) so I'd have about 2/3 of a tank left.

But again that's pretty much irrelevant. How many Sprinter RV owners have ever run their generator all night for A/C, much less frequently enough to base a purchase decision on? (assuming you can even find a place you can get away with it, want to lie on top of a running generator all night, etc.) In most cases, just doesn't happen in the real world.
The OP's won't hold 14 usable - more like 10 - so your capacity isn't relevant to the OP.

Onan is pretty clear on consumption at 0, half, and full load - you can claim what you'd like, but Ill stick with Onans spec of .6 at half load for a 3600, my own ownership experience that propane units swill (I had one too) Vs. your or Lees claims- which are 25% apart.

Your .5 is at least workable on some level- .4 is not.

Not debatable is that the diesel spec show its twice as efficient under half load- .3GPH
Maybe the guys that own these genset claim it only uses .2?

- at some point we all have to go by the spec vs ' My generator" because we all own magical gensets that defy the builders efficiency ratings by at least 25-to 50% right?

I guess in your "real world" its always comfortable at night and you never need AC to sleep. Awesome.

You saying people running a genset at night to run AC to sleep doesn't happen seem a lot like an opinion vs hard absolute fact.

You seem awfully sure you speak for the majority of sprinter RV users- maybe you do. Curious do you have any stats, or polls to back this up? Do you have any source material to look at or read?

We run Ac all the time at night when boon docking in the desert, or in humid areas like Galveston. Maybe the poster stays in cold places - maybe he doesn't.

Maybe sprinter RV owners don't boondock where its hot or humid.
The poster may or may not be so lucky.
It seems guys with propane gensets and people with Advanced RV's seems to rarely need AC at night.

Maybe its a sprinter thing?



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Old 04-02-2015, 09:21 AM   #26
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I'm not desperate enough to prove a point to get into an argument over this. I think most reading the thread have the general gist of things at this point.
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