RV News RVBusiness 2021 Top 10 RVs of the Year, plus 56 additional debuts and must-see units → ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > TRAVEL TRAILER, 5th WHEEL & TRUCK CAMPER FORUMS > 5th Wheel Discussion
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on iRV2
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 07-28-2020, 03:24 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 119
Generator gas vs propane

Generator gas vs propane
Did you guys already talked about this? is Propane better than gas in every way, how many hours of operation do you get out of 20 gallon tank of propane?,
I don't want to store gasoline.

Dual Fuel Hybrid, Gasoline/Propane Portable Generator ?

__________________
2010 Keystone Mountaineer 345DBQ fifth wheel
the wife and 2 dogs, one of them will kiss me.
dutch99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

iRV2.com RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 07-28-2020, 08:06 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: LA, Lower Alabama
Posts: 1,909
Propane fueled generators are "gas hogs" and will exhaust a normal supply quickly. The most efficient is a diesel but that's not practical unless you have a diesel motorhome. Most trailers will have a propane generator because that's the fuel available not because it a better fuel. Most toy hauler will have gasoline generators because they normally have a fuel station for the "toys" and can tap off that for the generator. My TH has 2 30 gallon tanks, one for the toys and one for the generator. I can transfer the toy one to the generator one at the fuel station. Tanks are side by side. Sometimes manufacturers will increase the propane tank size to 40 gallons from a 20 or 30 to compensate for the fuel usage.

To answer the question how long could you run a generator on 20 gallons propane would depend on what load you are applying but a simple answer, not long. I don't have a propane generator so others with them can be more specific.
__________________
2020 Keystone Raptor 356
2012 PT Crusader 355BHQ (GFs)
2020 Ram Laramie 3500 DRW CC 4WD Diesel
chunker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 08:31 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
paul65k's Avatar


 
Alpine Owners Club
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ
Posts: 1,627
Quote:
Originally Posted by chunker View Post
Propane fueled generators are "gas hogs" and will exhaust a normal supply quickly. The most efficient is a diesel but that's not practical unless you have a diesel motorhome. Most trailers will have a propane generator because that's the fuel available not because it a better fuel. Most toy hauler will have gasoline generators because they normally have a fuel station for the "toys" and can tap off that for the generator. My TH has 2 30 gallon tanks, one for the toys and one for the generator. I can transfer the toy one to the generator one at the fuel station. Tanks are side by side. Sometimes manufacturers will increase the propane tank size to 40 gallons from a 20 or 30 to compensate for the fuel usage.

To answer the question how long could you run a generator on 20 gallons propane would depend on what load you are applying but a simple answer, not long. I don't have a propane generator so others with them can be more specific.
I have had both and have to say that while Propane is great for long term storage and not gumming up a carb....that's about where the benefits end. Gasoline is more efficient and creates more BTUs (Power) per unit and will therefore last longer at a campsite. Gasoline is typically more plentiful and easier to transport when you need to refill on the road.......there are always gas stations but a much smaller number of places to refill your propane.

Pretty sure Chunker was referring to 20 and 30 lb tanks as a 30GA propane tank would be about about 135lbs

Some people like the dual fuel external generators (Champion for instance) but in the end gas will make more power and be more plentiful while traveling.

Diesel as stated previously is typically most fuel efficient and also quieter as a rule because they run at about 1/2 the RPMs of a gas/propane units!

Cheers!

PS....we have onboard diesel but we're in a dry campground and the 2 guys behind us both were running Predator 3500 Inverter units and they truly were VERY quiet even in a paved lot
__________________
Paul & Jean
2001 Alpine 36FDDS (74291) - 1600W Solar, 10,752 Wh (420Ah @24V) LiFePO4
2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
2006 Alpenlite 32RL - Sold
paul65k is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 10:06 AM   #4
Senior Member
 
TXiceman's Avatar


 
Vintage RV Owners Club
Texas Boomers Club
Oklahoma Boomers Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Full Time, TX Home Base
Posts: 19,107
Blog Entries: 21
Also check that the rating on the generator is for propane. If it is a dual fuel (Gas/propane), it will only provide about 80% of the capacity on propane as on gasoline.

Ken
__________________
Amateur Radio Operator (KE5DFR)|Full-Time! - 2012 6.7L Ford Crew Cab Dually -2013 HitchHiker Champagne 38RLRSB - Travel with one Standard Schnauzer and one small Timneh African Gray Parrot
TXiceman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 10:06 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: payson, az
Posts: 749
everything above is pertinent.

i'd like to add just a bit. we have a 5th wheel with a built in lp generator. it is important to state that we do not do extended dry camping. our use of the generator is for backup in case shore power fails (it has), an overnight stop, or to provide 120 vac power in our storage space in order to run things like vacuum cleaner, rug shampooer, air compressor, etc. we also travel with a pet and when we are on the road and stop for lunch or something we will put the pet in the trailer and run the generator in order to get a/c for the pet.

for our uses the propane generator is more than sufficient.

i have read so many posts about people with gas generators having problems with fuel pumps, fuel lines, gummed carburetors, etc. these problems are non existent on a lp generator.

so look at how you are going to use the generator and factor it into you decision criteria.
bigchick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 04:54 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 119
how many hours of operation do you get out of 20 gallon tank of propane?
__________________
2010 Keystone Mountaineer 345DBQ fifth wheel
the wife and 2 dogs, one of them will kiss me.
dutch99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 06:16 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: LA, Lower Alabama
Posts: 1,909
Quote:
Originally Posted by dutch99 View Post
how many hours of operation do you get out of 20 gallon tank of propane?
As paul65k pointed out that is POUNDS of propane not gallons. At 4.2 pounds per gallon that would be an 80 pound+ tank. Not something found in a trailer but maybe in a fixed tank in a motorhome. In which case it's very unlikely to be the fuel for the generator.
__________________
2020 Keystone Raptor 356
2012 PT Crusader 355BHQ (GFs)
2020 Ram Laramie 3500 DRW CC 4WD Diesel
chunker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 07:50 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 119
OK how long would a 20 lbs tank last for a LP gen ?

__________________
2010 Keystone Mountaineer 345DBQ fifth wheel
the wife and 2 dogs, one of them will kiss me.
dutch99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 07:54 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 119
I found

A 20 lb propane tank holds 4.5 gallons of propane, and when full it weighs 36 pounds. A 20 lb tank will fuel my 7500W generator for 10-11 hours straight.
__________________
2010 Keystone Mountaineer 345DBQ fifth wheel
the wife and 2 dogs, one of them will kiss me.
dutch99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 07:59 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 25,705
If your generator is burning 1/2 a gallon per hour of gasoline, it will burn a bit more then 1/2 a gallon per hour if propane gas. Less energy in propane compared to gas.

A 20 lb BBQ tank had 4-1/4 of a gallon of propane.
That means the generator will run about 8 hours.
twinboat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 10:57 PM   #11
Senior Member
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 119
Its about $20 to exchange the 20 lbs tank
__________________
2010 Keystone Mountaineer 345DBQ fifth wheel
the wife and 2 dogs, one of them will kiss me.
dutch99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 11:03 PM   #12
Senior Member
 
Freightliner Owners Club
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 119
more

Using gasoline, the 224cc Champion engine produces 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts, and will run for 9 hours at 50% load when the 3.4-gallon fuel tank is full. It produces 3600 starting watts and 3150 running watts, and will run for 10.5 hours at 50% load when using a 20-pound propane tank.
__________________
2010 Keystone Mountaineer 345DBQ fifth wheel
the wife and 2 dogs, one of them will kiss me.
dutch99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 11:08 PM   #13
Senior Member
 
rarebear.nm's Avatar


 
Excel Owners Club
Winnebago Owners Club
Ford Super Duty Owner
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 4,586
Like many things RV, it depends.

Many good points above. I have a Champion 3500watt gas only generator for our 5th with a remote start. It works great, first time every time. No carb problems. I do exercise it every month and store it with Stabill in the gas. When I shut it down for any length of storage I let it run dry.

In the MH we have an Onan 4K gas generator. It feeds off the main fuel tank. Thus it becomes expensive to add enough Stabill for a 55 a gallon tank. I exercise it every two weeks. It's carb can be a PIA.

Depending where and how you camp propane may not be easy to find. Gas is always easy. In the west some place that sell propane may have only person certified and if they are not around- LOL, perhaps come back tomorrow. If you boondock propane is going to be a problem unless you can carry lots of cylinders. If you mostly stay at full hookups sites and only an occasional dry camp, then propane may not be a problem.

Keep in mind if you are going to travel in the west at higher elevations, you loose about 3% of rated output per 1,000 ft elevation. This added to the 20% loss for propane vs gas, at say 7,000 feet you have 20% + (3 x 7) 21% =41% efficiency loss of rated output. So for a 3200 watt run time full load load you are left with about 1,800 watts. At half load you have about 944 watts of power.

If you have a major aversion to carrying spare gas and can accept the limits of propane then that may be best for you.

We spend almost five months in Alaska in our 5th with a solar system and only used the generator a total of 24 hours. I returned home with some of the 5 gallons of spare fuel I started with.

Again IMO the answer is that depends.... I'll never have a propane only generator for RVing.
__________________
Fred & Denise (RVM157) New Mexico
2007 Excel Classic 30RSO & 2015 Mini Winnie 22R
2007 RAM 3500, Diesel, 6Spd Auto, SWD, 4x4, CC & LB
rarebear.nm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-28-2020, 11:11 PM   #14
Senior Member
 
jcussen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,734
Had a 6500 watt propane gen in a bus conversion. Running two roof airs. would run less than 8 hours on a 20 lb tank, would look for a gas or diesel genset.
__________________
Foretravel tag axle 40 ft. 500 hp/1550 ft/lbs ism 1455 watts on the roof. 600 a/h's lithium down below.
jcussen is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
gas, generator, propane



Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Storing Generator w/gas in & Gas Canister with gas in Pick Up Bed under Tonneau Cover dexters Gear and Product Discussions 2 07-04-2018 02:27 PM
Traveling with extra propane cannisters, generator and gas can M2D 5th Wheel Discussion 4 01-18-2015 10:10 PM
Propane or gas generator, which is better on a motor home? Rp1955 Class A Motorhome Discussions 18 09-16-2013 06:13 AM
Gas or propane generator. What is best? Quest RV Systems & Appliances 28 07-19-2011 01:33 PM
Running propane generator--how long will propane last? glfprncs Class A Motorhome Discussions 5 03-19-2007 06:51 AM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.