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Generator Recommendations -- Propane, Gas or Diesel


s106300

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We need a recommendation on the fuel type to use for the onboard Onan gen set we're about to order ...

 

Here's the issues I can see ...

 

LP is 1.1 gal/hr at full load ... Onboard LP tanks carry 18.8 gal. max ... Less than 18 hrs. run time till tanks exhausted ... Lots of trips to town for LP refills that would last 3 to 4 hours on the 5 gal. size tank ... Not very satisfactory ...

 

Gas is .9 gal/hr at full load ... No onboard tanks ... Everything must be maintained and watched ... Lots of trips to town for gas ... Not very satisfactory either ...

 

Diesel is .7 gal/hr at full load ... 6000 watts vs. 5500 too ... No onboard tanks ...

 

So the questions ... Which fuel type and how do you manage the fuel requirements for it ???

 

We've got a lot of diesel onboard the truck ... Did any of you come up with an effective way to utilize it for the 5'ers onboard gen set ??? How did you do it ??? How did you manage with the truck not being parked close to the 5'er for perhaps days at a time ???

 

thanks and hope to get a lot of comments on this ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We need a recommendation on the fuel type to use for the onboard Onan gen set we're about to order ...

 

Here's the issues I can see ...

 

LP is 1.1 gal/hr at full load ... Onboard LP tanks carry 18.8 gal. max ... Less than 18 hrs. run time till tanks exhausted ... Lots of trips to town for LP refills that would last 3 to 4 hours on the 5 gal. size tank ... Not very satisfactory ...

 

Gas is .9 gal/hr at full load ... No onboard tanks ... Everything must be maintained and watched ... Lots of trips to town for gas ... Not very satisfactory either ...

 

Diesel is .7 gal/hr at full load ... 6000 watts vs. 5500 too ... No onboard tanks ...

 

So the questions ... Which fuel type and how do you manage the fuel requirements for it ???

 

We've got a lot of diesel onboard the truck ... Did any of you come up with an effective way to utilize it for the 5'ers onboard gen set ??? How did you do it ??? How did you manage with the truck not being parked close to the 5'er for perhaps days at a time ???

 

thanks and hope to get a lot of comments on this ...

 

I have had them all, and when I put a gen set on my Volvo it will be diesel, as you state, tanks on board with 200 gal cap, I hope it never has to run that long without moving.

 

Roger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I have a diesel 7500 watt gen on my MH. I use my gas sipping Honda 2000i 90% of the time and it will run for 7 hrs on a tank of gas.

Rarely do we run the big gen.....we do run it enough to keep it in good condition but not enough for fuel consumption to be an issue. Personally if I were you I would look at a gas gen.....I am even wondering if say a 3000i honda would suffice.....it will run an A/C, or a microwave no problem. And they are easy on gas. Better yet might be 2 honda 2000i gens connected together when needed.

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If you are boondocking, then I can see why the generator would be running for long periods. In that situation parking the truck close shouldn't be an issue so mount the genset on the truck and get an Onan Quiet Diesel like Bob said.

 

Otherwise, how long are you planning to run off the generator and why? I ran my TT on generator for 16 straight days once...living in my yard after a hurricane. If I hadn't been working, I would have simply been somewhere else when the hurricane got there. During that period even finding fuel was a trick.

I currently have a 30amp portable gas genset mounted on my truck, that I can move closer to the 5er if I need to. I have had it for 2 years. I haven't even run it once. I have yet to add the oil or pour gas in it...nothing. I've never needed it.

 

Where do you plan to be, without power and too far away from your truck, that you can not mount a diesel genset on the truck?

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Go solar....supplement with a Honda 2000 or two.

More efficient use of your dollars!

Can you even get a gas or diesel fueled gen set in a DRV product these days?

 

Scott

 

I also would like to mention the possibility of "modifying" the Honda's to run on three fuel types gas,propane, and natural gas. I did this mod to my two Honda's and love the fact I have the flexibility to run any fuel I have available. Just another thing to consider.

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Portable Hondas. Way easier and can use one or two depending on needs. I carry on the truck and no issues if truck is not close.

 

I also use a portable 6 gal boat tank with special caps for the gennys and T fitting/hoses and they feed from tank. Run times are like a 5 days on the tank charging and supplementing inverters. About 3-4 hrs a day.

 

We had a built in Onam on gas. It was fine on fuel but problematic for repairs and it needed them more than once. Never need to fix the Hondas.

 

 

Please avoid the cheap framed gennys from Home Depot etc. anyone nearby will not be your friend. ??

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We need a recommendation on the fuel type to use for the onboard Onan gen set we're about to order ...

 

Here's the issues I can see ...

 

LP is 1.1 gal/hr at full load ... Onboard LP tanks carry 18.8 gal. max ... Less than 18 hrs. run time till tanks exhausted ... Lots of trips to town for LP refills that would last 3 to 4 hours on the 5 gal. size tank ... Not very satisfactory ...

 

Gas is .9 gal/hr at full load ... No onboard tanks ... Everything must be maintained and watched ... Lots of trips to town for gas ... Not very satisfactory either ...

 

Diesel is .7 gal/hr at full load ... 6000 watts vs. 5500 too ... No onboard tanks ...

 

So the questions ... Which fuel type and how do you manage the fuel requirements for it ???

 

We've got a lot of diesel onboard the truck ... Did any of you come up with an effective way to utilize it for the 5'ers onboard gen set ??? How did you do it ??? How did you manage with the truck not being parked close to the 5'er for perhaps days at a time ???

 

thanks and hope to get a lot of comments on this ...

 

I use a Fuel Works transfer kit to fuel our Onan Quiet Diesel 7500 which is mounted on the FW with a 30 gal tank. I also will use the transfer kit to fuel the Smart Car if needed ...it is diesel as well. If, I can't get close to the truck for the fuel I always have a 5 gallon diesel fuel container if I have to fuel the Genset or the car. I also, haul 2-Honda 2000 gensets in the vented compartments in the drom box on the truck. We seem to only use the QD7500 when the AC is needed in hot weather. The 705 watts of solar on the roof and large battery bank/Magnum 2000 watt inverter can run most everything else. Here is a picture of the Fuel Works transfer kit.

 

8550535.jpg?_v=5a94e708-b43a-47fc-b9d2-5

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Another vote for the Honda. Had an Onan RV gen set on this tractor and it beat itself to death in less than 2 years. Honda has been on here for 6 years no problems. You can do any number of diesel apu's for over the road trucks st 4 times the price of my little Honda.

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My wife is wanting to add a gen set to our fiver just in case of a power loss when we are away from the fiver. With the dogs sometimes staying there, she is wanting to make sure they will not get too hot in a power outage. We are also looking into a warning system that will text our cell phones in the case of a power failure or a temperature increase and I think that will be a better fit for us and keep a couple of 2000 or 3000 watt Hondas around for backup. That way, we can get back when the temp starts to rise as the trailer is pretty well insulated and then start the portable generators.

 

I was also intrigued by the comment of running the generator going down the road to keep at least one AC unit running while moving. I thought of doing that with a 7000 watt Honda mounted in the bed of the truck but figured that someone would think they needed it more than I did. Two 3000's connected together might be a better fit for that and easier to stow away from prying eyes...

 

Anyone else have those same concerns with their dogs?

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First is sizing the system correctly, you are right about full load fuel consumption, is that how it will be used? Too big is wasteful.

Also is weight a concern? diesel has the highest KWH / pound of fuel, but often the gen set may be heavy.

As mentioned above, a properly sized solar/inverter/battery system using a smaller generator to supplement the

charging will work for most needs except the real hogs, that is air conditioning and electric heat. My vote is drive to

where the climate suits your clothes and carry small Honda units for less normal use.

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I use a Fuel Works transfer kit to fuel our Onan Quiet Diesel 7500 which is mounted on the FW with a 30 gal tank. I also will use the transfer kit to fuel the Smart Car if needed ...it is diesel as well. If, I can't get close to the truck for the fuel I always have a 5 gallon diesel fuel container if I have to fuel the Genset or the car. I also, haul 2-Honda 2000 gensets in the vented compartments in the drom box on the truck. We seem to only use the QD7500 when the AC is needed in hot weather. The 705 watts of solar on the roof and large battery bank/Magnum 2000 watt inverter can run most everything else. Here is a picture of the Fuel Works transfer kit.

 

8550535.jpg?_v=5a94e708-b43a-47fc-b9d2-5

the Fuel Works transfer kit looks very handy. Who did you buy it from?

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You really need to provide more info on the power requirements and how you will use it for a detailed answer.

 

I'll use us as an example, and how we use our rig.

 

We have 1220 watts of solar and 1200 Ah of battery storage. We typically show a deficit in the 200 Ah area in the morning. We run our genset almost every morning to make coffee and get bulk charge started. This is when our 125 amp charger and AGM batteries "play" the best together. Typical genset run time is 20 minutes. Then solar takes over. We are typically charged late morning or early afternoon depending on the deficit.

 

If necessary we can run our air conditioners on the genset, but we never do.

 

Because of the way we use our system we choose to use LP for our fuel. We do not run the genset that much, so the LP has a very distinct advantage. It can be ignored and still work. If you forget to exercise it you are not going to have issues, typically. Really - that is it's only advantage....other than that the diesel is far better. But like gas, diesel does need regular exercise to avoid issues when you NEED the genset.

 

If you want to run the genset a lot AND you have a diesel truck then mounting on the truck is probably the best. Or fuel from the truck like Rick does.

 

If you want less intense use then what Jeff does is very good. The Honda 3500, for example, will run an AC unit and also has remote start. Gas is easy to obtain. And if you add the marine tank you can run for a LONG time without refill. Or, just use a single 2000 for charging - it will drive a 100 amp charger below 2000'.

 

In my case if I did not already have the Onan 5500LP I would likely use a Honda 2000 just for charging. That would meet my needs. But I have been moving the 5500 between rigs for a few years now.

 

If you specify your use in more detail then you will get more tailored comments.

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Currently I have a Honda 3000i on the truck. GREAT little generator. I then added a extended run kit from Pineallis Power with a 12gal marine fuel tank/cell. Our use is primarily overnights in a parking lot as we are traveling. The 3000 will run 1 A/C no problems until you get in to higher altitudes. (Spent the night at 7000' and as the A/C would cycle it would drop out as the load kicked in. Finally had to set A/C down as low as it would go then by 2am you could hang meat in the RV.) I then put a 30A outlet on the back of the truck cab then a 30A input on the front of the RV. Then just use a 30A cord to connect the two. If truck and RV were further apart I can just add another 30A cord. You can run two 3000i Honda's parallel just like the 2000i and then use a 50A plug.

 

Later this summer or next winter I will swap out the 3000i for a much larger Diesel unit. It will be mounted on the truck and use the truck tanks for fuel. But this is for backup at the house/office. Moving to a property that is part of a Electrical Coop and they are known for being slow when power is lost and we are the last house on a dead end road and the only one on the transformer. So I am sure we will be low priority in a major outage to reset and get back online. If not for this reason If I needed more power I would just add a 2nd 3000 and only have to run it when I need more than a single 3000 will provide.

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I had an Onan 5500 gas on my last 5th which was very handy, but I had a 60 gallon tank built in. On my current 5th it had a generator prep which can mean many different things depending on who you ask. Pricing around I figured it would cost me about 5-7k to get an LP Onan installed. I thought about putting a diesel generator mounted on the truck and tapping into the diesel lines to run it. Again around 6-9k. My current plan is to add a Honda EU7000is and carry it on the right side of my truck behind the side panel. I'll build a platform that I can roll the generator on and off and lock in place when not in use. WiseSales has the new Honda EU7000is for $3999, they are super quiet, and by far the cheapest option.

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Jim,

I bought the kit here on sale for $169.99 Cdn. Or about $136.00 USD.

 

If you have a Gas generator - Not good for Gasoline. Buried in most specs - rated for diesel fuel. Most are fine with diesel but the lack of lubrication with Gasoline really eats up the impellers. Make sure the specs specifically mention good or gasoline.

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If you have a Gas generator - Not good for Gasoline. Buried in most specs - rated for diesel fuel. Most are fine with diesel but the lack of lubrication with Gasoline really eats up the impellers. Make sure the specs specifically mention good or gasoline.

Thanks. Reminds me of my last toy hauler. The on board pump lasted one trip and then froze up. The gasoline ate up the rubber impeller

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You really need to provide more info on the power requirements and how you will use it for a detailed answer.

 

I'll use us as an example, and how we use our rig.

 

We have 1220 watts of solar and 1200 Ah of battery storage. We typically show a deficit in the 200 Ah area in the morning. We run our genset almost every morning to make coffee and get bulk charge started. This is when our 125 amp charger and AGM batteries "play" the best together. Typical genset run time is 20 minutes. Then solar takes over. We are typically charged late morning or early afternoon depending on the deficit.

 

If necessary we can run our air conditioners on the genset, but we never do.

 

Because of the way we use our system we choose to use LP for our fuel. We do not run the genset that much, so the LP has a very distinct advantage. It can be ignored and still work. If you forget to exercise it you are not going to have issues, typically. Really - that is it's only advantage....other than that the diesel is far better. But like gas, diesel does need regular exercise to avoid issues when you NEED the genset.

 

If you want to run the genset a lot AND you have a diesel truck then mounting on the truck is probably the best. Or fuel from the truck like Rick does.

 

If you want less intense use then what Jeff does is very good. The Honda 3500, for example, will run an AC unit and also has remote start. Gas is easy to obtain. And if you add the marine tank you can run for a LONG time without refill. Or, just use a single 2000 for charging - it will drive a 100 amp charger below 2000'.

 

In my case if I did not already have the Onan 5500LP I would likely use a Honda 2000 just for charging. That would meet my needs. But I have been moving the 5500 between rigs for a few years now.

 

If you specify your use in more detail then you will get more tailored comments.

 

Hey Jack, I have been wondering if I would recover the 4 6V batts in the genny re-charge Honda 2000, (no solar) faster with a portable charger I have instead of the 80amp converter? I guess I would need to unplug the converter while doing so?

 

Bill

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Thanks everyone - this is DW - Shelley - DH (Ron) posted the questions in the first place; he is just getting on the forum so is not quite used to checking in frequently. I sent him a text (I am out and about) but he is busily going through 40 years of old photos so not sure if he will get the message. I will answer what I can. Our rig (in work) is a 2010 Volvo 670 with a deluxe smart car bed; DRV Elite Suites 38RSSA (translation: 39 feet long). We will have the 2400W inverter option with DRV and will have solar installed. Ron is leaning towards Lithium over AGM batteries. We have 3 cats traveling with us; they will be in truck when we travel but may spend time in 5er when we take the Smart on day trips. Our current plans are to boondock as much as possible so that we can enjoy some quieter locations and manage our funds - especially our first year as we learn what we actually spend. We plan to follow milder climates but with kids in VA and family in AZ there will be times when things are warm. Ron can get claustrophobic if rooms get stuffy so will want temperatures in very low 70s or high 60s. We have same concerns as Georgia Hybrid when it comes to leaving animals alone in trailer during warm weather.

 

DH is quite proficient in most mechanical, electrical, and systems issues and has run a variety of Honda generators before but is not super familiar with fuel needs and capacity for 5er and boondocking applications. His back is not in the greatest shape either so frequent heavy lifting is not an option. Hope this helps; I am sure he will fill in whatever I have left out.

 

FYI we met and talked to several of you while at the HDT Rally last October. We're the Johnstons. Thanks, Shelley.

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Hi all, thanks for the responses (including the DW's) ...

 

 

As the DW said, the concern is for the cats when we are not around to manage the systems ... Things have to be pretty automatic ideally -- and reliable ...

 

I can visualize most everything being said except for those of you who are carrying Honda's on the truck (especially the big ones) where are you carrying them ??? We're going to have a drom box but the bed is full when the Smart is onboard ...

 

Also, I would like to research the APU idea for the truck itself ... Can one of you elaborate on those gems please ...

 

Someone mentioned text alerts for an over temp condition ... That would be good insurance ... Can you get me started down that research path with a bigger hint please ???

 

 

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It is great that you share your thoughts with us, it makes us all think of ways to improve.

You touched on several topics and I know a little of APU equipment. Like has been mentioned

before, the APU is an expensive option, The little unit will provide heat for the cab and engine,

cooling when needed in the cab, and some battery charging. Mostly this is automatic on a

thermostat and requires no thought really, did I mention they can be expensive. At the MATS

show there were more than 5 different brands. We have and use the tripack because it came on

the truck but if I had the $10k that it cost installed, I believe we would be using the Onan/Cummins

quiet diesel inverter/generator and a heatpump. The challenge there is to make it do what you want automagicly.

APU_montoge.png

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Hey Jack, I have been wondering if I would recover the 4 6V batts in the genny re-charge Honda 2000, (no solar) faster with a portable charger I have instead of the 80amp converter? I guess I would need to unplug the converter while doing so?

 

Bill

Bill, the key is to push as much into the battery bank as you can with the Honda 2000. That is a MAX of 100 amps, and then only below 2000' in my experience with the Honda 2000 I had. So in that case you need a good charger. The converter - if it is a three stage 80 amp converter - is likely the best you can do. Sure, you could try to squeeze 20 more amps out of your charge source by changing out the converter, etc. But you get so little return on that investment that I don't recommend it. Just use what you have. BTW, the use of the DC charge capability built into the Honda is about useless. DOn't even consider that.

 

Shelly and Ron....You have some "challenges" if you truly want to maintain 60* temps in an RV. You are going to find that you will need to run 2 air conditioners to do that in even moderately hot climates, and three will be far better. You might consider having DRV put three on your unit if you are ordering it. That also gives you a spare in case of failure, since they have a central plenum.

 

For the truck, an APU is really nice but generally not worth the expense for most RVers if the truck does not already have it. You might consider putting a diesel genset on the truck in a side box and running the RV with that. In boondock situations there will be no issue having the truck close to the RV. Have DRV put a second shore power hookup at the nose of the trailer. They have done that before, but if they refuse, then it is pretty simple to add on later. Of course, if you go that route if you are out in the truck then your house has no power. So consider that tradeoff. Also, if you are going to boondock extensively also consider that you will likely have a solar system, and probably a large one. So you will have some power via that and your battery bank, but no way to run air conditioning with it. Also, consider the lithium battery issue carefully. There are definite tradeoffs to going that way. If you do, then it is critical to make sure the batteries are in as temperate environment as possible for longer life at full capacity.

 

For monitoring the RV the wifiranger makes it easy to set up a webcam (or several) that you can monitor on your phone while away. Or you can set up independent monitoring several ways, including Raspberry Pi, etc. It depends on how techie you are and how much sophistication you want.

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I had my Magnum inverter and Genset installed at the factory. I added the Magnum BMK and AGS-N that comes with a temperature probe which when away from your unit will start and stop your genset based on your temperature setting. If, you have two or three A/C units you just set them a few degrees apart so if one is not keeping up the second one kicks in. If the temperature is achieved of the lowest setting the A/C turns off as well as the generator. The nice thing about the Magnum components is you can make them work with almost any generator you choose.

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