QUOTE(David Spangler @ Sep 13 2007, 02:28 PM)
We are newbies shopping for a motor home. We found a '99 Discovery by Fleetwood 36R diesel pusher with 31K miles. It's very clean but we were warned about the LP Onan 6KW generator fuel consumption. Seems that at 1/2 power, the fuel consumption would be .5 gal/hr and at full power .8 gal/hr. So, if we are on an extended trip and run out of LP, all electrical and systems which require LP would be out of order.
Anyone with experience in this, please let me hear from you.
Duh? Can't anyone figure this one out?
See, you always want your generator to run off the same fuel and tank your motorhome runs off of. In the diesel world, you're always talking big bucks. A diesel generator cost's a lot more than a gasoline or propane generator, and since gasoline was not an option, some cheep-skate tried to save a few thousand dollars by going with a propane generator. This was a huge mistake when you look at the big picture.
When you look at the big picture, it goes like this; people who buy diesel powered engines do so for reliability. they plan to spend a lot of time driving and they do not want hastles. They do not want breakdowns, problems, etc. they just want to get in and drive, that's why they spent the big bucks in the first place that the average person can't afford.
NOW, when it comes to camping, I HONESTLY CANNOT THINK OF ANYTHING THAT IS MORE OF A HASTLE than filling propane.
Finding a place that fills permenantly mounted bulk LP tanks on a motorhome goes like this; first you have to find a place by asking every gas station in town. Then you have to drive all the way across town to see if they are open. Then you have to find out if they know how to fill permenently mounted bulk tanks or can they only do small portable tanks. Then, you find out that they are too busy at the time and when you finally think you do have it right, you can't back up into the spot because you have a 36' rig! BIGG BIG PIG HASTLE!!
Sure would be nice if it had the right generator, heck, passed up 36 diesel truckstops already today!!!
By the way, if you think your propane tank will last very long, guess what! It won't. A 100lb or 20 gallon tank that costs aprox $50.00 to fill will be consumed by a 4,000 watt generator in about 48 hours and a 6,500 wat generator like yours will consume it in 30 hours. Most campers and motorhomes have propane tanks much smaller than this. This means you will need to refill it and find a place that can every single day. Diesel! smells good all of a sudden!
The only pro's to propane is that the fuel never goes stagnant in the carbeurator like gas does. But niether does diesel, when compared to gasoline. This means that if you fail to follow the manufactures instructions to EXERCISE YOUR GENERATOR 1 HOUR PER MONTH, that fuel will not be the cause of your proplem if it breaks down. MOST GENERATOR PROBLEMS ARE CAUSED BY A LACK OF USE.
Here is an interesting rule of thumb about diesel VS gas. A diesel engine costs twice as muuch to buy, it runs twice as long, for about half the price of gas, but also costs twice as much to fix. Also most diesel breakdowns are related to fuel delivery, where as most gas engine prublems are electrical or overheating related.
If you ever wondered why everything doesn't run on diesel is because of dollars and sense. You will not automaticly save money simply by buying diesel. As a general rule in the transportation industry you will only reach significant savings if you operate more than 25,000 miles per year. that's 500 miles per week minimum.