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Old 05-25-2018, 11:26 AM   #1
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Question Diesel v. Propane Generator??? (View/Navion 24v)

My husband and I are getting ready to purchase a Navion or View 24v. After some research, it seems there are pros/cons for both propane and diesel generators, but diesel would probably win out. We are leaning towards diesel, but want to be sure it’ll be worth the extra cost before we pull the trigger. Anyone go with the propane and wish they chose diesel?

Also if anyone has an opinion on whether the full body paint is worth the extra cost, I’d appreciate that too, since it seems the diesel generator option usually comes with full body paint, and the propane option usually comes with the decals.

Thanks!!! (We will be full-timing for awhile, hoping to bop around between boondocking, moondocking, and campsites. We had a home renovation go bad and are going to travel while we wait on our lawsuit. Trying to make some lemonade out of the lemons that keep getting chucked at us!)
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Old 05-25-2018, 11:45 AM   #2
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A diesel gen is built to last longer so it holds its value better. I have the lp because it came that way even though I would rather have diesel. My home back up is diesel. It always starts.
My vote is always paint. After a few years decals peel and fade.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:39 PM   #3
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IMO your generator's fuel should match the RV's fuel. No second fueling stop will be required. Consider an adequate solar system to cut down on generator time.
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Old 05-25-2018, 12:43 PM   #4
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As you know it's how you plan to use your rig. Diesel has many advantages for that, ease of getting fuel and economical at 1/3 gallon per hour of use. If your planning on being hooked up most of the time perhaps you can get by with the propane. My Diesel has been flawless with about 250 hrs in a little over 2 yrs.


The paint is really nice if you choose to spend the money. The decals are good, mine show no sign of wear except where I banged my scooter (on rear rack) when loading it. If you plan on keeping your rig for many years paint may be worth it for the price.


Since I have decals, when they bite the dust I can always get it painted in south Texas where I winter for about 4k. Of course that's if I keep the rig and don't do a trade in. I've seen some nice, reasonably priced work down there. At their rates it's a better choice than redoing the decals.
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Old 05-25-2018, 03:27 PM   #5
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LP or Diesel? LP is 3.6KW. Diesel is 3.2 KW. While both will power your AC and some other items, the advantage goes to LP. LP unit is less expensive. LP is slightly less weight (slight advantage). The diesel has a slight economy advantage in fuel consumption.

Downside to diesel is that it stinks. And, you have to check carefully where the exhaust pipe exits. Most have the spout exiting on the side similar to the Sprinter's exhaust which will be on the 'party' side and under the awning. LPs almost always exhaust near the rear 'bumper'... behind the RV. That is better in that you can easily add a GEN-TURI to put the exhaust exit above the roof of the RV.


Both generators are exactly the same as to measured noise levels using the Forest Service testing procedure. Exactly the same. The difference is the diesel has a lower tone and a bit more vibration. That means low frequency vibration which travels further and is transmitted to the interior of the RV. The LP has some vibration but is less objectionable IMHO.

Diesel uses only the top 2/3s of the fuel tank. Sprinters have a 26 Gal (100 L) tank. The diesel may run down to about 8 gallons remaining which is about 3 gallons above the "reserve fuel warning" on the Sprinter's fuel tank. Your reserve is approximately 5.2 gallons of which (my estimate) 4 gallons are useable to prevent damage to the fuel injection system. Your run time will depend on how much fuel you arrive with at your camp site. LP gives you a 'separate' source of energy to power the generator, WH, fridge (if you do not have the compressor fridge) & range.

There are those who bitch about not being able to find LP. Never had that problem. Like everything else in life.... plan ahead.

Diesel units are higher Maintainence due to the nature of the fuel. It's 'dirty' and you need to pay a lot attention to the Maintainence schedules. LP, on the other hand, is clean burning and other than periodic oil changes (150-200 hrs IRRC) you only need to replace a spark plug once in a blue moon. A DIY job.


The last point is: how do you intend to use the generator? If you will use it intermittently to power the AC for a period of time or when under way. Charge coach batteries. Make a cup of coffee.... boost the hot water heater or some other convenience, LP is the solution. If you plan on running the genny for hours and days at a time, perhaps diesel is your answer. (Really not a good thing to do in camp grounds....)


I hope this helps...
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Old 05-26-2018, 06:22 AM   #6
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1/2 tank knowing that the reserve can't be used for the gen still gives you more run time than a full tank of LP.



Yes diesel does smell more when you first start the motor. BTW propane gens smell also. To reduce both a venturi tube works great by moving the exhaust to above the rig.



Yes the higher maintenance is to use it 2 hrs per month. Check the forums and see all the issues LP gens have.


As far as finding LP .... plan ahead .... ha. If you travel you will find LP can be hard to find.



really not good to do in camp???? really what about all of the other gens running.


I have a friend who purchased a View with LP and now ownes two Honda gens to run his AC for pets when dry camping because the LP only lasts 1 DAY.


Plan ahead and get the Diesel.


Call a dealer and ask what has the best resale with the hours you plan on putting on the gen, also the resale on the paint. His/her answer may help you with your decisions.


This is a good place to get some information and lots of opinion. Good luck with your decisions, as you know there long threads over the LP/Diesel issue. No need to further that discussion unless you enjoy beating dead horses.
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Old 05-26-2018, 08:10 AM   #7
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Our last unit had a propane genset and the one now has a Quiet Diesel. Both were made by Onan. Both did the job.

The Propane was a 6.5KW, and the diesel is a 5.5 KW.

Both ran all the accessories OK. including the ACs.

I have had to unhook the toad in order to get to propane refills. Never for diesel.

In colder weather if you run the furnace and a propane genset you will deplete your propane pretty fast. My rig holds a lot more diesel.

Both smell but the propane gives off a lot more heat in warm weather and it's built right in the coaches shell.

In the end, I prefer the diesel.
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Old 05-26-2018, 10:12 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TravelingTs View Post
My husband and I are getting ready to purchase a Navion or View 24v. After some research, it seems there are pros/cons for both propane and diesel generators, but diesel would probably win out. We are leaning towards diesel, but want to be sure it’ll be worth the extra cost before we pull the trigger. Anyone go with the propane and wish they chose diesel?

Also if anyone has an opinion on whether the full body paint is worth the extra cost, I’d appreciate that too, since it seems the diesel generator option usually comes with full body paint, and the propane option usually comes with the decals.

Thanks!!! (We will be full-timing for awhile, hoping to bop around between boondocking, moondocking, and campsites. We had a home renovation go bad and are going to travel while we wait on our lawsuit. Trying to make some lemonade out of the lemons that keep getting chucked at us!)

Hello and welcome to the forum. We are currently researching some of the same things so I'm interested in the responses you get. We are not new to RVing but have only owned gasoline generators and can't decide which way to go on a new one. Ultimately, you are the best judge as to whether diesel is worth the extra cost to you; either will get the job done.

As for the full body paint, I'd definitely choose that but it's just a personal preference. I believe it looks better longer with less maintenance.

For those thinking that paint will get you a better trade in price, you are fooling yourselves. Dealers aren't going to give you squat for a trade in, even if it's gold plated. So don't buy with any "trade in value" as part of the justification because you'll be sorely disappointed. Just buy what you like best that's in your price range.
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Old 05-26-2018, 11:28 AM   #9
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“really not good to do in camp???? really what about all of the other gens running.”

What others are doing should never a be reason for doing something. A friend runs his TWO generators all day to keep his pets cool. Don’t want to camp next to him. Do you?
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Old 05-27-2018, 01:57 PM   #10
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If you are going to be dry camping or boondocking for several days and planning on using the generator for several or quite a few hours a day to do something like run the air conditioner you will run out of propane and need to drive to some place to get propane. If you start with a full tank of diesel it will be a long time before you use enough to need to refill. By that time you holding tanks are full and you need fresh water anyways.



We frequently stay places it may be an hours drive or more one way to get propane, or water, or dump.
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Old 05-27-2018, 05:59 PM   #11
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Iím the type who tries not to overthink things .... usually. So hereís my opinion:

1st motorhome had a propane generator, didnít like it.
2nd motorhome had a diesel generator, liked it.
3rd motorhome had a diesel generator, liked it.
4th motorhome has a diesel generator, like it.

If there are ever any more motorhomes, uh ... let me think ... yep, diesel generator.

Whew, now Iím exhausted.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:15 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryW View Post
ďreally not good to do in camp???? really what about all of the other gens running.Ē

What others are doing should never a be reason for doing something. A friend runs his TWO generators all day to keep his pets cool. Donít want to camp next to him. Do you?

if I'm running my gen sure why not. Some campgrounds have a no gen area, perhaps you could ask next time you camp. Most have a quiet time. MOst people run their gens as needed. There is nothing "wrong" with running one as needed.



Would you rather not have your friend run his 2 generators and roast his pet?



The thing that's great about RVing is that they have wheels - if you don't like who you are near you can move.
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Old 05-28-2018, 01:17 PM   #13
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I vote that one should have a generator which uses the engine fuel. In this case diesel. Once owned an 06V23H with LP generator, a real pain. So bad I bought a Honda 2000 because it was easier to find gasoline than LP. What a mess that LP generator was never used. Fool me once and I will buy a rig with diesel generator. Imagine where you boondock, now where are you gonna get LP? Really no way to use the LP but according to one source near the Mother Ship most folks don't use it anyway. We do. Diesel.
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Old 05-29-2018, 04:21 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Old Crows View Post
LP or Diesel? LP is 3.6KW. Diesel is 3.2 KW. While both will power your AC and some other items, the advantage goes to LP. LP unit is less expensive. LP is slightly less weight (slight advantage). The diesel has a slight economy advantage in fuel consumption.

Downside to diesel is that it stinks. And, you have to check carefully where the exhaust pipe exits. Most have the spout exiting on the side similar to the Sprinter's exhaust which will be on the 'party' side and under the awning. LPs almost always exhaust near the rear 'bumper'... behind the RV. That is better in that you can easily add a GEN-TURI to put the exhaust exit above the roof of the RV.
I hope this helps...
fyi- New units (mine's a 2017) diesel genset vents out rear and the smell is nonexistent... with mine at least. Diesel fuel advantage increases with the load. LP usage increases much more under a heavy load. Also diesels require less frequent oil changes.
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