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Open Roads Forum  >  Class A Motorhomes

 > Propane Vs. diesel fuel for Gen.

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michahicks

Waterford/Gaylord, Mi

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Posted: 04/09/12 06:58am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

workhardplayharder wrote:

IMHO it is just convenient to have the gennie run off the same fuel as the chassis.


That's what pushed my decision when I was buying. The other thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is expected longevity one vs. the other. The diesel is liquid cooled, the propane air cooled. I think it safe to say the liquid cooled engine not only runs quieter, but is capable of at least twice the life expectancy of the propane.


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Jim@HiTek

Gresham, OR, USA

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Posted: 04/09/12 08:56am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I haven't read about propane gensets drinking 2-3 gallons an hour. Nearly all I've heard about sip 0.5 to 1.0 gallons per hour. Mine, over 8 years, is averaging 0.8GPH (I use mine on the road to run the AC and sometimes boondocking). Sure, it can be difficult to find a propane distributor, but all I do is ask people at service stations or RV parks and they point the way. Nearly one in every town. And those big white tanks outside of most towns are easy to spot as well.

Diesel is liquid cooled, true, so more things to go wrong. And I don't think diesels will have a 2X life expectancy over a propane either. They both are quite capable of 10,000 hours run time and more.


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Pogoil

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Posted: 04/09/12 09:15am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a propane generator. Yes they can use 0.5 to a little less than a gallon an hour. Problematic compared to a gas one? They are the same you can switch back to gas but propane burns cleaner and no ethanol in the gas problems. The motor will have less build up on propane than gas.

Yes it would be more convenient to use the same fuel as your diesel.
I have only had trouble 1 time finding propane and that was in
Las Vegas. Otherwise propane is everywhere.

Cost, propane $2.89 diesel $4.50 where I live. My tank for propane is 50 gallons so I never run out. Yes it takes up some basement space.

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jauguston

Bellingham, WA

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Posted: 04/09/12 09:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Onan QD series diesel generator is a very high quality quiet generator that is powered by a three cylinder Kubota engine. It is the most common diesel generator for larger DP's. They are a lot more expensive than a propane fueled generator and are a lot quieter.

Jim


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rvrepairnut

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Posted: 04/09/12 10:03am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

frederick w wrote:

I looked at a MH that the Gen. ran on propane. Wouldn't that be more expensive than running on diesel fuel?

Any benefits of Gen. running on propane. The huge propane tank sure takes up alot of basement storage.


Bottom line is the liquid cooled Diesel gen sets are far and above a old air cooled gas/lpg.Anyone with a choice will choose the quite diesel over the lpg unit
A liquid cooled DGS will outlast a air cooled gas/LPG genset 2-1

* This post was edited 04/09/12 01:00pm by rvrepairnut *

Ivylog

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Posted: 04/09/12 03:05pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OP, doubt you need to run the genny for AC in WA. Only you can estimate how much you will use one,,, so if it not that much, don't worry about it. If you are going to run it a lot then finding propane could be a pain.


This post is my opinion (free advice). It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.

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moisheh

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Posted: 04/09/12 11:47am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Let us simplify this discussion. If you were looking at 2 equivalent units and one was propane and the other was diesel which would you buy? Name the mfr. that has used a propane genset in say the last 6 years? As was previously stated the QD series of Onan are a proven reliable choice. How many rv dealers can work on propane gensets? Have you ever tried to start a propane engine of any kind in -30 degree weather? We had 2 propane powered trucks in our fleet back when this was a popular way to reduce costs. NOT! Never again. The loss of storage space just makes the propane option worse! When and if you go trade in a unit with that propane gennie most dealers will lower the value of your unit. Wise buyers will walk away. I understand that at one time it was a way for Mfrs. to hold down prices of their units and often a buyer had little choice but today the buyer does have that choice.

Moisheh

dougrainer

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Posted: 04/09/12 12:56pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

1. Diesel APU's are LARGER power 7.5 to 12k
2. LP are just up to 6.5 to 7.0
3. The FULL LOAD LP consumption on a Onan 6.5 LP APU is 1.2 gallons per hour. 50% load .8 gallons per hour
4. 6.0 Onan diesel is .4 50% load per hour and .7 gallons at full load per hour
5. Onan 8.0 is .49 at 50% load per hour and 1.02 at full load per hour
6. I have NEVER seen a OEM LP tank on a motorhome for LP APU larger than 35 gallon liquid capacity.
7. You take about a $5000 hit on lower resale value with a LP APU according to my Sales manager. Doug

Pogoil

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Posted: 04/09/12 04:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Guess I am not Wise. According to some.

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Tinstar

McKinney, TX

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Posted: 04/09/12 11:27am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

A propane genset will run a lot cleaner than diesel. They will last as long or longer if properly maintained. The cost difference to run is basically $0.00. The diesel tank will hold more gallons of fuel than a propane tank. It's easier to find and more fuel storage are the two advantages of having a diesel genset.

I have a diesel pusher but my genset is propane so all diesels are not running diesel gensets.


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