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Cost of running generator


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#1 Peter & Margaret

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:39 PM

Has anyone ever calculated the cost per hour of running a generator? I realise it depends on what appliances are on - A/C's etc - but there must be a basic cost of running the generator per hour.

 

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#2 docj

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:46 PM

I think most RV generators burn roughly half a gallon per hour depending on load and size of the unit. The manual for yours may provide a table for fuel consumption vs load. So you're talking about $1.50-$2 per hour.

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#3 Charles Farrell

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 01:50 PM

How about a 5500 Onan propane unit?

 

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#4 Kirk

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Posted 23 September 2013 - 03:37 PM

Most on-board generators burn somewhere close to 1/2 gallon of fuel per hour, depending upon the size of generator and the load on it. For propane it will burn slightly more since propane has about 10% less energy per gallon.


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#5 Mike57

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 12:09 PM

Nice having a small Honda I2000, (if it will supply your needs).  A full tank, about 1 gallon, will last upward of 12 hours. :)


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#6 Barbaraok

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 02:57 PM

Mike,

 

That wouldn't be enough power for our rig.

 

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#7 Mike57

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 03:11 PM

Barb,

 

Nor most fulltimers BUT it is an option for some, especially boondockers who don't want to run the "big boy" for long periods of time.  The noise also is an issue with some, especially boondockers and those that like the pristine peace and quiet of open forested areas.  Sounds like an advertisement for solar doesn't it. :rolleyes:

 

Mike


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#8 Stanley P. Miller

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 03:29 PM

Our 1000 watt Honda wasn't enough power to run our rig either but since we had a 3000 watt inverter on board we just ran that which was happy to supply the microwave and coffee pot at the same time. The Honda was hooked to a good three-stage converter that worked to keep the batteries up, it lost ground when we were using lots of power but made it up easily once our big uses were done. It wouldn't support the air conditioner or a space heater but for everything else it worked pretty well.

 

We liked the way it worked so well we did the same thing when we only had 15 amp power or low voltage power available. We plugged the converter in and let it charge the batteries while the inverter provided us with plenty of clean power. Over a 24 hour period the converter provides enough power that our batteries got back to 100% charge by the time we woke up the next morning every time we did it.

 

We could have gotten a bigger generator or piggy-backed a couple smaller ones but why bother when the little guy could do the job with a bit of support from the batteries and inverter we were already hauling around.

 

If we had to have air conditioning we'd have had no real choice but a bigger generator setup but we'd move somewhere cooler or with shore power in that situation.


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#9 Dave W

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 04:39 PM

X2 on what Stan said.
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#10 Peter & Margaret

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Posted 24 September 2013 - 08:14 PM

I have done some quick calculations and it appears mine is about $2.50 to $3.00 per hour. We where however boondocking in Texas and running both A/C's.



#11 StarDreamers.us

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 02:51 AM

This summer in the SW heat 100+ degrees, we used about a gallon(cost varies by location) per hour. Air and everything else that we needed. Would not be without it when needed. Solar meets most other daily needs, but not AC.

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#12 Lou Schneider

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:43 AM

An Onan 5500 gasoline generator uses 0.3 gallons per hour with no load, 0.6 gallons per hour at half load and 0.9 gallons per hour at full load.

 

Propane numbers are 0.4 GPH, 0.8 GPH and 1.1 GPH because propane contains fewer BTUs per gallon than gasoline.

 

Don't forget to include maintenance costs when running a generator.  Oil changes, filters, etc. are more than one a year items if you're using your generator regularly.


Edited by Lou Schneider, 25 September 2013 - 03:47 AM.

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#13 Jimalberta

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Posted 25 September 2013 - 03:00 PM

we do what Stan said with our 2000i genny. we don't boondock if its really hot or cold but rather use FHUs. Otherwise the 2 fantastic fans do a good job of keeping the fiver cool. We also have a catalytic heater for the cool nights.


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#14 SCClockDr

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 08:42 AM

We did not closely analyse our usage last summer on a mission trip in a texas Church parking lot where we ran the Honda 3K genny 24/7 for 3 weeks. The best as I can recall, we consumed under 6 Gals per day but not by much. We ran in ECO mode, temps were in the 90's to 100°F day & 70's-80's Night. The A/C was a 15K & I raised the thermostat in the AM for making coffee. Fridge was on AC & HW on propane.

 

Roughly 2 2.5 gal cans per day filled to 2.8 gals.


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#15 Biker56

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Posted 26 September 2013 - 02:33 PM

Over the last 5 years my 6.5W LP generator has use from .73 to .88 gal a hour.

LP has cost from $2.229 to $3.101 a gal in that time.

 

I don't boondock. I'd rather pay for a Passport America campground with full hook up, that is a lot cheaper in the long run.

As I usually spend 16-17 hours in one on a trip.

 

Full time my cost per year for LP for house & generator has been between $52.22 and $66.38.


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#16 JFX

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 08:12 AM

We have an Onan 7500, and I estimate my generator operation at $3 - $3.50 per hour (0.6 gph), including recurring maintenance.
FX

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#17 horizon36

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:40 AM

We have the Onan 7.5Kw diesel and it consumes about 0.7 Gal/hour on average.  If you figure fuel at $4.00/Gal and factor in the service needed every 150 hours we figure the cost to run ours is $3.80/hour.  

 

Even with our 375 watts of solar we run our genset about 3 hours/day total.  We both like watching our own shows at night so both tv's are on from news (dinner) time until bed time.  If we figure on boondocking at a NP for a month that will cost $5/day or $150/month.  Add to that 90 hours of run time on the genset and you can add another $342 for a total of $492.  I can get a nice FHU spot for that!  If you use a Honda 2000W it will cost about $0.67/hour to run for a savings of $282/month which brings the cost of staying at a NP down to $210/month.

 

If we watched little or no TV our solar would keep up with our demands.

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