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Old 06-29-2017, 07:45 AM   #1
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Adding supplemental propane for generator for longer boondocking times

We have an Onan Marquis 6500 LP generator and a 25 gallon onboard propane tank. The genset burns a tad more than one gallon per hour if an ac is on. We've been going four wheeling a lot lately which entails dry camping. If we start with a completely full propane tank, we are empty at about 20 hour of run time. It hasn't been a problem with cooler weather, but I cannot sleep in a hot Texas summer night without ac.
Our genset runs on liquid propane. Can I bring supplemental propane bottles in the event we run our main tank empty? BBQ propane bottle I believe draw off gaseous propane, right? So I cannot run genset on those. Would a forklift bottle work? I believe they feed liquid propane. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:50 AM   #2
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Any chance you could fit a bigger tank in? That would be the best solution.
Happy Glamping.
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Old 06-29-2017, 07:58 AM   #3
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Not sure LP generators run on liquid?????. Suspect they may have a separate regulator so they may run off the hi-pressure side of your tank--but not on liquid. I am sure more experienced boon-dockers will chime in but full-time A/C and boon-docking seem to be at odds to me. One or the other but not both?????
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:12 AM   #4
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Not sure LP generators run on liquid?????. Suspect they may have a separate regulator so they may run off the hi-pressure side of your tank--but not on liquid. I am sure more experienced boon-dockers will chime in but full-time A/C and boon-docking seem to be at odds to me. One or the other but not both?????
Yes. The genset runs on liquid. The liquid to gas conversion is done in the genset itself. I believe they came both ways (liquid and gaseous) in my vintage. We are not full timing. We sometimes do fri, sat, sun trips without hookups, causing lp to run low.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:14 AM   #5
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Any chance you could fit a bigger tank in? That would be the best solution.
Happy Glamping.
There's not room for a bigger tank at its current location. I didn't want to get into a major project for what is a minor inconvenience. Just wondering if I could carry 10 gallons of propane in the trailer and drag it out if needed. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:24 AM   #6
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OK--this liquid propane thing is new to me. To my knowledge, std propane tanks and connections work with gaseous propane. How do you get liquid propane off the bottom of tank without special equipment???
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:29 AM   #7
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OK--this liquid propane thing is new to me. To my knowledge, std propane tanks and connections work with gaseous propane. How do you get liquid propane off the bottom of tank without special equipment???
Turn it upside down.

As LPG for "domestic" purposes is taxed quite a bit lower than for "road use" over here I've known of people gravity filling their LPG powered car from up ended LPG cylinders.

The OP might be able to do something similar.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:34 AM   #8
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OK--this liquid propane thing is new to me. To my knowledge, std propane tanks and connections work with gaseous propane. How do you get liquid propane off the bottom of tank without special equipment???
Propane bottles are manufactured to be either VAPOR withdrawal or LIQUID withdrawal. BBQ type tanks are all vapor withdrawal...and need to stand upright. Some forklift (maybe all) are liquid withdrawal and need to be upright or, if horizontal, have to have a specific side down...for the pickup tube to be in liquid portion. This is my understanding and may not be fully accurate.
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Old 06-29-2017, 08:37 AM   #9
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Interesting--I do recall seeing ads for adaptors to re-fill the small bottles. But also thought the latest changes to std propane tanks have an internal float to shut off the valve in the event the tank tips???
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Old 06-29-2017, 09:42 AM   #10
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Interesting--I do recall seeing ads for adaptors to re-fill the small bottles. But also thought the latest changes to std propane tanks have an internal float to shut off the valve in the event the tank tips???
I have one of the adapters and use it all the time to refill the 1 pound bottles. Usually takes 2 shots to get a pound in. Just hook up and turn tank upside down, open valve, wait until it stops transfing, turn valve off, unhook and vent off a little bit of pressure. Then do it over again. I usually get 4 or 5 refills then get new ones.
Don't know if the propane genset will work with a normal 20 pound tank turned upside down, but it's worth a try. You will need a good high pressure line and check carefully for leaks.
Happy Glamping.
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Old 06-29-2017, 06:49 PM   #11
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Don't know if the propane genset will work with a normal 20 pound tank turned upside down, but it's worth a try. You will need a good high pressure line and check carefully for leaks.
Happy Glamping.
The pressure will be almost exactly the same whether vapour or liquid.
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Old 06-30-2017, 05:15 AM   #12
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If your gen set runs on liquid propane, do you have a second tank to run propane appliances in the rest of the rig - or don't you have any other propane stuff.

I gravity fill propane bottles from other bottles quite often (in south America where every country has different bottles) and there is no problem getting liquid out of any normal bottle by turning it upside down, even those with OPD fitted.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:05 AM   #13
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Many MH''s have 2 propane outlets. One with vapour to supply the fridge, stove, furnace and water heater. The other is liquid to supply the genset. This is most common on diesel rigs. The liquid outlet is handy for filling 20 pound bottles. You won't get them full, but here it's much cheaper to buy automotive propane than filling 20 pound BBQ tanks.
This is sort of the reverse to what the OP is wanting, but just thought I'd put it out there.
Happy Glamping.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:12 AM   #14
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Interesting--I do recall seeing ads for adaptors to re-fill the small bottles. But also thought the latest changes to std propane tanks have an internal float to shut off the valve in the event the tank tips???
Actually the safety valve shuts off the flow if it becomes too high; as in a propane line rupture . As long as his generator doesn't exceed that design flow rate it should work with an upside down 20 lb tank. How difficult would it be to test it with your home barbeque 20 lb tank?
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