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Old 06-19-2021, 07:38 AM   #1
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Running Generator On Propane

We are trading in our Toy Hauler w/built in generator and 30gal fuel tank for a 5th wheel with more actual living space. We like to travel to see different car, truck, motorcycle races and having the on board generator was always great.

Has anyone every run a generator off of their on board propane tanks? If so any pros, cons, advice? My generator can run both gasoline and propane.
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:00 AM   #2
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Propane generators

I work on generators and as far as propane generators goes, they work good not quite efficient as gas. What you have to remember is they both run roughly 3/4 of a gal under load an hour, so if you have a small propane tank you could run it dry. Gas is about the same usage but they put a separate probe in the most gas tank that runs out at about 1/4 tank of gas left in the tank. Maintenance is about the same.
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Old 06-19-2021, 08:29 AM   #3
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Propane has less heat energy that an equivalent volume of gasoline and are generally derated to run on propane. In general, propane generators are fuel hogs, so I would carry an extra 30 or 40# propane bottle.

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Old 06-19-2021, 08:57 AM   #4
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:39 PM   #5
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For me the only real con would be fueling if you are talking about an onboard 5500 Onan

A 20lb (bbq) bottle would last about 6 hours.
A 30lb (RV) bottle would last about 8 hours.

If you are using a smaller generator it might be a little better, but I would think that fueling with gas would be easier logistically than LP.
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Old 06-19-2021, 04:57 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoingOnATrip View Post
We are trading in our Toy Hauler w/built in generator and 30gal fuel tank for a 5th wheel with more actual living space. We like to travel to see different car, truck, motorcycle races and having the on board generator was always great.

Has anyone every run a generator off of their on board propane tanks? If so any pros, cons, advice? My generator can run both gasoline and propane.
It’s a lot easier to pull up to a pump and put gas in than finding someplace to fill your propane tank. I have my motorhome on a seasonal site and have an extra long hose so I can disconnect from the onboard 30 gallon (witch really only has a 24 gallon capacity when you go by the 80% rule) when I got back in April I was going through a 20# tank nearly every weekend. So consider how easy it is to take two 5 gallon gas cans with you if yo stay somewhere for a while compared to hooking up and towing to someplace to fill the LP. I would never do it for a generator.
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Old 06-19-2021, 05:13 PM   #7
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OP is thinking about 5th wheel which will have two 30# cylinders

Usually when Generator is Propane a separate cylinder is dedicated for Generator use
*Few 5th wheels have propane gens for that reason...3 cylinders take up extra storage space

My 4K gen is Gas in its' on Gen Box with fuel tank in front of truck bed.
Power cord is 15' ---reaches receptacle in front of 5vr under overhang while in transit
Plus I have dual receptacles......front and rear of 5vr so when parked I can connect gen at either end
**Or reach power pedestals w/o extension cords
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Old 06-20-2021, 05:42 AM   #8
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Thank you everyone. Always have a spare 20# for emergencies but gas will be my primary fuel. After reading the reply about logistics I looked up propane filling in the camping areas we visit and they are not convenient at all. To be confident I would need to have a 100lb cylinder for our 7K generator.
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