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Old 09-25-2012, 07:52 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 553
Need LP Generator Comments

One of the costliest options I'm considering on a 5'ver is the onboard LP generator. I'm looking for info/comments about these generators. NOT about the cost compared to portables, or gasoline or diesels. Not really concerned about the expense. More about the satisfaction/convenience and performance.

The Columbus I'm considering has racks for 3, 20# lp tanks. No room for a 4th unless you store it loose. That would be all you'd have to run gas appliances and heat, plus the generator. What kind of run time can you expect (I know depends on load, but they usually have low/high load figures).

Noise. My Yamaha portable is fairly quiet - around 53lb under load. Would a lp generator in the compartment be as quiet or quieter to my neighbors? I can accept it being noisy in the coach, but don't want to disturb other campers.

Maintenance. What is involved? Is it fairly easy? - looks like these things would fit tight in the compartment. Get you easily get to service points?

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Old 09-25-2012, 09:30 PM   #2
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 77
Not the same but I have one for my house that I use for hurricanes etc. Essentially I change the oil and check the gap on the sparc plug. It is the cleanest running, least maintenance requiring generator I have ever owned. If you run your generator only occasionally there is no comparison (you will never have a gummed up carb and the oil will look clean even when it needs to be changed). CO emissions are around 30% less. Significantly less smell from the exhaust due to 80% less particulate matter.

On the negative side if your generator will run for 8 hours on 5 gallons of gas it will run for about 6 hours on 5 gallons of LP (this will vary by generator but was my experience, the official numbers are that LP has 72% as much energy as gasoline per unit). When it is very cold outside you will burn more LP as the colder the gas gets the more dense it is.

You will need extra LP tanks, so carry extras and keep a map of fill stations. If you can move to 30# tanks (standard on TTs) I would do so. I use 40#s for everything now including my BBQ. Eventually I will get rid of all the 20#ers that people keep giving me. Grin.

And a quick size chart
20# = 5gal = standard for BBQ
30# = 7gal = standard for TT
40# = 10gal

- 06 Salem LE 28BHS (axles flipped), Boliy Pro3600ES Generator
Dodge Dakota 4.7l HO (260hp/310torq), 131 in wheel base
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:34 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Mapleton, Utah
Posts: 26
I have a Onan LP onboard generator in my 5th wheel. As I recalled I used about 7 to 8 gallons of LP in about 8 hours of use (which includes the water heater & frig use). We were at an elevation of 7600 feet (if this is a factor?). I believe this generator is about as quiet as you are going to get. The noise level is very tolerable in the coach & a very good generator for your neighbors (I think it is extremely quiet compared to others).

I really like mine - extremely easy to start/stop from inside the coach and outside.

Have not had it long enough to perform any service, can't help you there.
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