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Old 07-20-2012, 01:50 AM   #1
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Is the diesel generator option noisier?

I have not heard either the LP gas generator, nor the diesel generator in action, but I was reading that the diesel tended to be louder than the LP gas.

Is there a significant noise difference, or is it more of statistics? Both are rated the same in the Onan spec sheet, so it might be a matter of perception.

Thanks in advance -- because LP gas is so darn hard to find (fillers, that is... not places that exchange 20# bottles) where I am, being able to fire up a diesel generator and use that for my boondocking runs is a lot saner than trying to fiddle with an Extend a Stay system and a bunch of 20 pound propane bottles.
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Old 07-20-2012, 05:12 AM   #2
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Go diesel! I wouldnt even mind if it was just a tad louder. LP generators are expensive to run for any length of time. Most 4-6KW diesel generators only use 1/2-3/4 gal or less per hour compared to about 1 - 1 1/2 gal. hour of LP. These fuel use ratings are at full power. A 20 LB tank of LP has approx. a 5 Gal. capacity and of that you only get 80% (4gal.) of that in a fill.
Around here I can get a tank filled at the farm store for $14 or do an exchange at the gas station for $19

LP 4 Gal $14/4=$3.50 Gal 3-4 hours run time @ full load
LP 4 Gal $19/4=$4.75 Gal 3-4 hours run time @ full load
Diesel 4 Gal $16.00 @$4.00 Gal. 6-8 hours run time @full load

Lp is a cleaner fuel source for the environment but the least efficient. I have a 4500 Watt LP Onan and in the manual the difference between gas and LP is even different. LP full power is 1.2 Gal. per hour
Gas full power is .9 Gal. per hour


EDIT:
One other thing to consider with LP if your running on LP you run the risk of the tank "freezing" this happens by drawing to much vapor off the tank and creates the tank or regulator to freeze. With the 20 LB bottles if your running a 4000 Watt generator at full power they will freeze, especially in cold weather.
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Old 07-20-2012, 07:51 AM   #3
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Diesel has a lot less noise and about a 85% increase in run time. I have one and is great.
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Old 07-20-2012, 08:32 AM   #4
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What about the weight difference?
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Old 07-20-2012, 03:30 PM   #5
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The LP we have is already pretty load - at least for us that love having no noise around us.... So take that with a grain of salt...

We usually run the gen about 1 hour per day when we stay longer to top the battery off a bit - so far this worked just fine. You use more gas on the fridge and stove then on the gen that way.

For extended stays the water capacity is the major issue on the Solera. We can manage about one week and that uses about half the gas right now. So I would manage 2 weeks at most before filling gas....

The Solera has a small diesel tank so using a Diesel gen us just as messy as you only have about 260 miles of total range.....

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Old 07-20-2012, 05:17 PM   #6
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The one I have is a 6500 watt unit. It is heavy but I have nothing to compare it to.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:07 PM   #7
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As a side note, the diesel gen is only 3.2kw. The LP is 3.6
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