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Old 09-27-2013, 12:52 AM   #11
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

The main negative with diesel is that it stinks. Lots of people rig a snorkel that diverts the exhaust high above their rig. I wouldn't want to sit down wind of the exhaust.

Cal
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:20 PM   #12
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

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The main negative with diesel is that it stinks. Lots of people rig a snorkel that diverts the exhaust high above their rig. I wouldn't want to sit down wind of the exhaust.

Cal
You dont want to be around the exhaust of my 6300 Propane genny either.

It just stinks different.

The snorkle thing/genturi is manadatory at Nascar and other infield type events regardless of fuel type.

UD
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Old 09-28-2013, 04:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

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If you live in Texas, the diesel will support air conditioning about 3 times as long as propane.
I have a 57 lb. tank of propane in my Serenity. At 2.2lbs/hour at half load that's 20+ hours. I don't know what time we are talking, but in the years I have owned my RVs I usually only run the AC during the heat of the day, so maybe 4 hours. So every week I need to get a fill of propane. The same would be true for diesel, only if I am doing much driving I could be filling that daily or more. If I am sitting, I may not have diesel to go to as a resource because I have driven into the wilds, and having a second fuel tank of propane would be nice.

Since the propane tank is there no matter which genset you get I would go propane. I don't mind the stink of propane exhaust, nor Mercedes exhaust, but diesel generator exhaust is bad and the generator is louder despite having Quiet in it's name.

-Randy
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Old 09-30-2013, 04:48 PM   #14
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

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Originally Posted by israndy View Post
I have a 57 lb. tank of propane in my Serenity. At 2.2lbs/hour at half load that's 20+ hours. I don't know what time we are talking, but in the years I have owned my RVs I usually only run the AC during the heat of the day, so maybe 4 hours. So every week I need to get a fill of propane. The same would be true for diesel, only if I am doing much driving I could be filling that daily or more. If I am sitting, I may not have diesel to go to as a resource because I have driven into the wilds, and having a second fuel tank of propane would be nice.

Since the propane tank is there no matter which genset you get I would go propane. I don't mind the stink of propane exhaust, nor Mercedes exhaust, but diesel generator exhaust is bad and the generator is louder despite having Quiet in it's name.

-Randy
57 useable or 80% of 57? - which would be about 45.

This is fuel you share with water heating, cooking, and usually refrigeration and general heating if needed.

Where I'm at (California high desert) one has to run AC about 12 if not 24 hours a day, and at 100 degrees plus the propane genny has a hard time starting the second AC when its hot.
At about 107 the propane genny stops wanting to run altogether.

Propane is not available at every diesel stop.
I cannot just carry extra fuel for a propane genset like I can diesel with 5 gallon cans.

An extend-a-stay doesnt xfer liquid propane the genset needs to run - only vapor so I have not had good luck with finding a way to keep it running.

I wish I was as happy with my propane setup as you are with yours.

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Old 09-30-2013, 06:34 PM   #15
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

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57

An extend-a-stay doesnt xfer liquid propane the genset needs to run - only vapor so I have not had good luck with finding a way to keep it running.


Uncle Dave
Your propane genny runs on liquid propane?

The Cummins/Onan in our coach is plumbed in AFTER the main valve and regulator. It runs on low-pressure gas like all the other appliances. In fact, I don't think there is even a liquid tap on our tank (or else it is plugged).

Only exception to this is the extend-a-flow tee installed on the high-pressure side of the regulator to provide fuel for a portable stove and grill.

On that subject, slightly off topic, I just ordered a ball valve to install in line with the extend-a-flow hose at the tee, so I can have a positive turn-off of the grill hose(s) when not using the portable stove. Coming from a marine environment, where I always had a separate propane shutoff for the stove, I just don't trust the integral seals and check valves over the long haul. With hoses connected, you are of course relying on the LAST check valve and seal in the chain, which if you also have a grill or stove hooked up, is actually the appliance valves!

With the new valve, I can just turn off that circuit when it is not in use, and the only potential leaks are from the propane actually in the hose run. About $20 worth of parts and an hour or so of my time to install it, it's cheap peace of mind.
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Old 09-30-2013, 06:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

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Your propane genny runs on liquid propane?

The Cummins/Onan in our coach is plumbed in AFTER the main valve and regulator. It runs on low-pressure gas like all the other appliances. In fact, I don't think there is even a liquid tap on our tank (or else it is plugged).

Only exception to this is the extend-a-flow tee installed on the high-pressure side of the regulator to provide fuel for a portable stove and grill.

On that subject, slightly off topic, I just ordered a ball valve to install in line with the extend-a-flow hose at the tee, so I can have a positive turn-off of the grill hose(s) when not using the portable stove. Coming from a marine environment, where I always had a separate propane shutoff for the stove, I just don't trust the integral seals and check valves over the long haul. With hoses connected, you are of course relying on the LAST check valve and seal in the chain, which if you also have a grill or stove hooked up, is actually the appliance valves!

With the new valve, I can just turn off that circuit when it is not in use, and the only potential leaks are from the propane actually in the hose run. About $20 worth of parts and an hour or so of my time to install it, it's cheap peace of mind.
My 6300 is tapped to the liquid outlet vs. vapor.

I can run my heater, the fridge, a grill off the extend a stay, but not the genset.

This keeps my fridge running when I run out of propane on day 3 dry camping.

UD
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Old 09-30-2013, 07:52 PM   #17
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

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Originally Posted by Uncle Dave View Post
...Where I'm at (California high desert) one has to run AC about 12 if not 24 hours a day, and at 100 degrees plus the propane genny has a hard time starting the second AC when its hot. At about 107 the propane genny stops wanting to run altogether....
Uncle Dave
Your situation is one I would not attempt no matter what equipment I have. Over 90 degrees Fahrenheit without external electrical power is extreme for any RV. Running any generator more than about two hours is way too noisy regardless of whether it is propane or diesel. I could not sleep with that noise. If I were ever to do what you are doing, a Honda portable generator that I could move away from where I am camping is the only thing I would consider doing... Al
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Old 09-30-2013, 08:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

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Your situation is one I would not attempt no matter what equipment I have. Over 90 degrees Fahrenheit without external electrical power is extreme for any RV. Running any generator more than about two hours is way too noisy regardless of whether it is propane or diesel. I could not sleep with that noise. If I were ever to do what you are doing, a Honda portable generator that I could move away from where I am camping is the only thing I would consider doing... Al
Then you could forget about RV'ing the summer anywhere in Southern California or Arizona.
All the big lakes out here are about 100 day and night starting from June to about mid September.
Boat trips are a big part of my RV lifestyle.

The water cooled diesels run just fine up to 120 ambient.

I have 2 hondas, and use them in the winter when desert camping or when I only need one AC unit.

In the summer when running air - the two together will not reliably start and run both AC units.

Plus you have to carry a "third fuel" with you that is more volatile than diesel or propane.

UD

Last edited by Uncle Dave; 09-30-2013 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 10:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

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Then you could forget about RV'ing the summer anywhere in Southern California or Arizona. All the big lakes out here are about 100 day and night starting from June to about mid September. Boat trips are a big part of my RV lifestyle.
I live in California and camp extensively everywhere, including boon-docking. There are plenty of lakes with campgrounds that have power if we want to do it in the summer. We avoid Arizona in the summer, except at high elevations where the weather is very nice. One of the reasons for having an RV is to move around to the right place each time of the year; e.g. don't camp in Alaska in the winter, nor in Death Valley in the summer. You obviously are enjoying what you are doing, but fighting the weather and temperatures like you do is not my cup of tea.

Last edited by aljimenez; 09-30-2013 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 09-30-2013, 11:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: Propane vs. Diesel generator?

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I live in California and camp extensively everywhere, including boon-docking. There are plenty of lakes with campgrounds that have power if we want to do it in the summer. We avoid Arizona in the summer, except at high elevations where the weather is very nice. One of the reasons for having an RV is to move around to the right place each time of the year; e.g. don't camp in Alaska in the winter, nor in Death Valley in the summer. You obviously are enjoying what you are doing, but fighting the weather and temperatures like you do is not my cup of tea.
Sounds like you go North.

I hear you on dodging the weather, but sometimes you just cant win...Lake Nacimiento was brutal this summer- no hook ups except water. Ran the crap out of my 2 hondas because I needed gasoline with me anyway. Mead and Powell are always hot.

I do my best to find electrical and avoid Havasu in July but I always seem to get stuck somewhere needing more genny run time than my propane rig allows.

I would likely be happy with a bigger tank and a water cooled propane genset if one existed.

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