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Old 10-20-2010, 02:19 PM   #1
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Default Newbie Question

Hi All,

New to the Class B market and the RV world in general, hope to be a owner in the weeks/months to come. I'm in the initial stages of researching Class B motor homes, specifically the Sprinter conversions, and had a question. *note* - I realize this question illustrates my newbie status... please excuse my ignorance.

If I were boon-docking without shore power, how long would the generator be able to power the Van? I understand that most manufacturers equip Sprinters with LP powered generators, with a 12 gallon propane tank. I guess my real question is how long the 12 gallons would last? Is refilling the propane tank as easy as going to a gas station that sells propane?

Any other pointers are appreciated. Thanks in advance guys.
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Old 10-20-2010, 04:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Newbie Question

RV Propane can be easy or difficult to find. It really depends where you are. There's only one place that has it near me.

Your water heater, fridge, stove & furnace can usually run off propane in most Class B RV's so you need to find it anyway.

Onan 2500 LP fuel consumption spec:
No load .2gal/h
Half load .4gal/h
Full load .6gal/h

Full load output is 2500 watts.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Newbie Question

You might not need to use the generator as much as you think.

Lights and fans etc. run off your coach battery. As I mentioned above, many other things run off propane. With a Class B we tended to move every few days at a minimum and your coach battery recharges when you drive around (or are plugged in or running generator).

TV's & stereos can run off battery directly or through an inverter.

If you are boondocking and want to run your air conditioner then you must use your generator.
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Old 10-20-2010, 08:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Newbie Question

Good info Mark. Thanks much. I did some calculations and figured a 12gallon LP tank would be able to last me an entire weekend or boondocking... which is about as much as I would need it to do.
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Old 10-21-2010, 02:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Newbie Question

Keep in mind, there's almost always a noise factor when running a generator.
If you're truly boondocking, in some farmer's back 40, or well off the beaten path,
it likely isn't going to be an issue. If you mean Walmart parking lots, or State/National
Parks, NRAs, NSs, NMs, NWRs, BLM lands and the like, or just a tent site at a commercial c/g
without all the hookups, you may not be able to run your generator continuously.
Even, if you don't get tired of listening to it, others might, or the park may have run times.

As Mark says, lots of your stuff can run off the coach/house batteries, and you'll only need to
run your genset to run large draw stuff like the microwave or coach A/C or a coffee maker? Or,
you can run it just to recharge your coach battery(ies).
My 2002 Roadtrek's manual says, the generator running for 12 hours,
or the van's engine running for 2 hours, should fully recharge my 2 coach batteries.
So far, I've never run out of battery power with the 2 deep cycle AGMs.
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