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Author Topic: So are the diesel gensets really better?  (Read 3004 times)
Paladin
Dave Knight
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« on: October 04, 2011, 12:37:49 PM »

I suspect that I know the answer but here goes.

I do not own a diesel genset, only a gas. Aside from the negatives of having to haul another type of fuel with the gas type are the diesel really better for the price? I hear they run smoother and quieter and maybe cooler?? Do they get better fuel consumption or similar, all things such as size being equal? A big water cooled genset costs bucks and weight!
Bottom line, can I justify the cost to the boss??

Lastly, any brands to avoid?
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Len Silva
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« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2011, 01:04:05 PM »

The main factor is longevity. A diesel will easily run 30-40, even 50 thousand hours, many times longer than a gas unit.  Fuel consumption is a lot less too.

So, it all depends on your intended use.  I have seen a lot of motor homes and bus conversions that are 12-15 years old and the generator has only 7-8 thousand hours on it.  Had to justify the expense of a diesel for that kind of use.
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« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2011, 01:40:39 PM »

It really depends on how much use it will get.  It is just like getting a diesel engine in a pickup truck.  Sure the diesel is more efficient but you can buy a LOT of gas with the extra $ used to buy the diesel.  They make gas generators which are plenty quiet now so that is not a big difference.  If you plan to "Dry" camp a lot and use the generator for climate control while you are driving then the diesel is a good choice.  If you just plan on occasional use for a day or two maybe save some $ and go with a gas or propane unit. 
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lostagain
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2011, 04:27:43 PM »

Our MC5C came with a built in propane Honda 6.5 KW genset. Feeds off the main LPG tank that also supplies the furnace, cook stove and fridge. Works great, quiet, remote start in the kitchen. Happy with it, although we don't use it a lot because there are also solar panels and a 3000 watt inverter.

JC
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JC
Invermere, BC
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gus
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2011, 06:12:39 PM »

I have a 6KW Honda gas liquid cooled genset in my 4104 and think it is probably the best thing made, quiet, no vibration and efficient. However, the 4104 has a stock 24 gal gas tank so it is an easy fuel setup.

My 4107 had a Kubota diesel genset which failed the first trip I took. I'm not saying it failed because it is a diesel, but replacement costs are double the Honda cost. If the 4107 had a separate gas tank I would have replaced it with another Honda.

There is a myth that because most gas gensets are 3600rpm they are noisier, not true. The noise factor is not based on rpm alone by any stretch. My diesel is 1800rpm, the Honda 3600rpm, and there is little or no difference in noise or vibration between the two. The loudest and shakiest genset I've ever seen was the 1800rpm gas, air cooled Onan I had before the Honda.
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2011, 06:33:37 PM »

Honda generators are good generators but they are a throw away parts for the 6 k  and 4k are ridiculous in price you can buy a new unit cheaper than repairs on a Honda,the ones I been around and worked on usually throw craps at 1800 to 2500 hrs  


good luck
« Last Edit: October 04, 2011, 06:41:42 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2011, 06:38:06 PM »

Basically it comes down to a few things.  How you will use it?  Do you need it to run cooler? Do you like dealing with diesel fuel only?  Is the Diesel gen out of your price range?  If you answer yes to all of these....you may want to really consider buying a diesel.  If you answer no to any of these....give a gas gen some more consideration.  Personally fwiw I have a diesel and love it.  If I have a choice there is no thinking....I will buy diesel.  Both will do what you want them to do if you make sure you buy one with enough power for your consumption.  It is truely up to the individual.  We all have reasons for and against every thing we do in/with our buses.  Good luck and hope our comments have helped.

James
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« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2011, 06:51:11 PM »

For some balance, I'll say there's nothing wrong with a gas or a propane or a diesel generator.

The "best" generator is the one that meets your various needs.

There may be a bit of "keeping up with the Jones's" when it comes to diesel generators.

Depends on what you can get your hands on for the right price.

Depends on the duty cycle you expect to run it.

Silent operation is a big motivator for me.

Gasoline has a bad habit of gumming up your carburetor when the coach is sitting unused.

Propane solves that one.

Diesel engines suffer from being lightly loaded.

You pays your money, you takes your chances.

happy coaching!
buswarrior



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« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2011, 08:25:27 PM »

I have an Onan 6.5 kw commercial 1800 rpm that I got locally from a gentleman who got it from his work when he retired.  It has 460 hrs on the Hobbs and I paid about that for the thing so I'm not complaining. It's better than the Generac 10k I had.
On the other hand, it would be nice to maybe have diesel for running while I'm moving, I really don't think my solar panels and battery bank will run the air etc for long.

There are drawbacks I suppose to diesel as with anything but I just sort of wonder if I run across another diesel genset if I should really try for one or if for the money I'm alright with my little gas Onan.
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« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2011, 10:07:10 PM »

I had an Onan 6.5kw Commercial Emerald III in my truck.  The first one lasted 12,000hours which the Onan people thought I was lying about the hours-they had never heard of a 2 cylinder air cooled go that long before giving out. The first one was also a pain since it had points.  The second Commercial Emerald III was better since it had electronic ignition-but still had a carburetor that had to be adjusted according to the altitude you were at, and periodically cleaning or replacing the spark plugs, and decarboning it by pouring Onan's decarb liquid down the intake.  If you could find an overhead valve (that would solve the carboning problem) electronically injected (that would solve the altitude adjusting problem) with a catalytic converter (that would solve the possible poisoning by carbon monoxide)-it might be alright to run a gasoline powered genset.  Propane takes care of the carboning problem-but you still have to adjust the carburetor for altitude.

Personally-I'll take a Diesel genset everytime.  Good Luck, TomC
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« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2011, 04:15:08 AM »

I have a ramsond 6500 which is a pos... I has never run properly. But when it did produce way too much heat in my ac bay.  450 from the exuast and 180 on the intake. I fixed that with a 14 dollar radiator fan from eBay. I attached it to the screen and now have 140 on the exuast and 65 on the input. I hooked the wire to the battery charging lugs so it will only run when unit is on.  B.t.w  if  you leave a battery connected to the charging lugs it will run the hour meter up even with the genny off.
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thomas f  Bethlehem n.h
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« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2011, 08:28:15 AM »

Hook the vent on the propane regulator to the vent on the mixer with a 3/8" hose and your generator will be altitude compensated, and will also compensate for dirty air filters.  It will also boost reference if you want to turbocharge it Smiley)))

Rick A. Cone
owner/driver of propane powered race car.  Shocked
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Rick A. Cone
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« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2011, 11:13:48 AM »

My Powertech has run real good up until this weekend.  I now have to start it about three times before it will generate electricity.  It will only make 3.5 volts when it doesn't work.  I'm waiting on a call back form Powertech as I've been through all the troubleshooting in the manual.  I only have 500 hours on this unit so I am hoping it isn't a major repair.

I do like having a diesel because it is quiet and I don't have to have a separate fuel tank.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2011, 12:17:41 PM »

Diesel generators fall off at altitude Kubota says they lose 3 % HP for every 1000ft above sea level that is why so many entertainers run the turbo on the generators helps but does not completely solve the problem on a mechanical engine


good luck
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« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2011, 03:25:42 PM »

mr belfart: sounds like it could be the stator? do you have a hard time getting it started? i had the same problem with the honda ev6500. engine ran fine after i applied 12 volts to the brushes but would not even start after i let off on the switch.once it was hotwired it ran fine but only 5 volts out.
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thomas f  Bethlehem n.h
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