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Author Topic: LP vs Diesel Generator  (Read 202 times)

ChuckB

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LP vs Diesel Generator
« on: November 06, 2018, 03:39:45 PM »
I've been looking to purchase a small, probably Class C, either based on a Sprinter (i.e., a Vue) or Ford Transit (Fuse) chassis.  I'd prefer to get a diesel generator, but not finding many.  What are the advantages of either other than the diesel will run longer (I'm told) although I don't know how much longer...  I plan to buy used.
 
Thanks
Chuck B   

Lou Schneider

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Re: LP vs Diesel Generator
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2018, 04:00:29 PM »
You probably won't find a diesel generator in a Class C, especially on those smaller chassis.  Diesels tend to be larger and heavier than equivalent gas or propane engines, and both space and weight are at a premium.

Diesel fuel contains about 30% more BTUs per gallon than propane, so everything else being equal, a diesel generator will use about 30% less fuel by volume than a propane generator.

Of greater concern is the size of your propane tank vs. the diesel tank, and where you will get the propane tank refilled when it's empty.  Keep in mind your stove, refrigerator, water heater and furnace will stop working if you drain the propane tank.

On the plus side, propane is virtually odorless when it's burned in an engine  You can't say the same for diesel.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 04:09:30 PM by Lou Schneider »

Isaac-1

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Re: LP vs Diesel Generator
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2018, 04:30:38 PM »
The problem with propane is the relatively limited fuel supply, and difficulty finding places to get the tanks refilled, these rv propane generators typically consume about 1/2 gallon of propane per hour under typical load conditions.  Many of these sprinter based class B's have a 15 gallon propane tank, which can legally only be field to 80% capacity, meaning about 12 gallons of propane available to run the generator, as well as fuel the water heater, stove, and furnace.  So maybe enough propane to fuel the generator and handle the rest for 3-4 hours per day over a long weekend, but not much more.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Markap12013

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Re: LP vs Diesel Generator
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 05:51:03 PM »
You probably won't find a diesel generator in a Class C, especially on those smaller chassis.  Diesels tend to be larger and heavier than equivalent gas or propane engines, and both space and weight are at a premium.

Diesel fuel contains about 30% more BTUs per gallon than propane, so everything else being equal, a diesel generator will use about 30% less fuel by volume than a propane generator.

Of greater concern is the size of your propane tank vs. the diesel tank, and where you will get the propane tank refilled when it's empty.  Keep in mind your stove, refrigerator, water heater and furnace will stop working if you drain the propane tank.

On the plus side, propane is virtually odorless when it's burned in an engine  You can't say the same for diesel.

I have a diesel gen in my Winnebago class C - little to no smell and I can keep the propane for the stove, heater etc.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 05:53:23 PM by Markap12013 »
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ChuckB

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Re: LP vs Diesel Generator
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 06:38:35 PM »
You probably won't find a diesel generator in a Class C, especially on those smaller chassis.  Diesels tend to be larger and heavier than equivalent gas or propane engines, and both space and weight are at a premium.

Diesel fuel contains about 30% more BTUs per gallon than propane, so everything else being equal, a diesel generator will use about 30% less fuel by volume than a propane generator.

Of greater concern is the size of your propane tank vs. the diesel tank, and where you will get the propane tank refilled when it's empty.  Keep in mind your stove, refrigerator, water heater and furnace will stop working if you drain the propane tank.

On the plus side, propane is virtually odorless when it's burned in an engine  You can't say the same for diesel.

I have found some Diesel Generators in the Sprinter Chassis, mostly Winnebago Views.  However, the majority are LP Generators, especially near me (Kansas City) so I'm guessing if this is the route I ultimately, take, I'll probably have to settle for an LP Generator.  I've been looking at the Winnebago Fuse too, but so far haven't seen any with anything other than a LP Generator.  I'm told (unofficially at least) they are an option, but have yet to see one on the market.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 07:04:43 PM by Back2PA »

Back2PA

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Re: LP vs Diesel Generator
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 07:09:52 PM »
I have found some Diesel Generators in the Sprinter Chassis, mostly Winnebago Views.  However, the majority are LP Generators, especially near me (Kansas City) so I'm guessing if this is the route I ultimately, take, I'll probably have to settle for an LP Generator.  I've been looking at the Winnebago Fuse too, but so far haven't seen any with anything other than a LP Generator.  I'm told (unofficially at least) they are an option, but have yet to see one on the market.


Don't settle, get the one you want. The reason you're not seeing many diesel generators is that it's a $2-3K upgrade and many buyers aren't aware of the disadvantages of an LP genset (as detailed above). Wait for the one you want, and you'll get the extra money for a diesel genset back on resale.
Scott
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