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Old 08-27-2015, 06:13 AM   #1
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Default Which uses less fuel

A generator ( gas, diesel , propane ) or the new under hood engine generators ? Sorry if this was covered in the posts pertaining to under hood generators but while boondocking on our recent trip in a very hot and humid place I didn't want to run the generator at night because of the noise. My 96 Dodge van has no EGR system so I was ready to just run the engine and use the dash AC but wife would not allow it because of fuel cost involved. Got me wondering if Roadtrek or Advanced RV has provided documentation on the economy of the engine charging systems. My 2800 Onan supposedly uses 1/2 gallon per hour but unsure of what the 5.9 liter V8 would consume.
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Old 08-27-2015, 11:09 AM   #2
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I have a bit of info that might help:

In a 2012 email from Sprinter Engineering Support to me they indicated fuel consumption is .4 - . 5 gal. per hour of idling.

My 1997 Chevy at idle, running a 5,200 btu a/c through an inverter, my V8 diesel burns 0.11 Gal/h according to my ScanGauge.

And at idle, running a 5,200 btu a/c through an inverter plus the van dash air on "max air" my V8 diesel burns 0.45 Gal/h according to my ScanGauge.
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Old 08-27-2015, 04:52 PM   #3
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It is kind of a moot point with Advanced RV. They are all diesel Sprinters. The engine would not run all night since Mercedes Benz says to not idle for more than two hours without driving on the highway for 40 minutes between idle intervals. Two hours would put nearly 400-500 amps back into the batteries so it most likely would never stay on Autogen that long anyway. Advanced RVs lowest battery amp hour model is 400ah and goes up to 1200ah. You could conceivably run air conditioning all night without running the engine with batteries at 1200ah. I have 800ah battery capacity but this is not something I think I would ever do. First, I doubt I would ever camp in weather requiring air conditioning at night. I like to hope I am smarter than that. Secondly, if it happened I would seek an electrical hookup. Lastly, I did get stuck in 90F weather at night once in Kansas in September. That's why I have a B with a screen on the back doors and the sliding door. I opened the doors. I did that once with our Great West Van. The warmest we have experienced so far in our Advanced RV in over 100 days on the road was 87F during the day. We'll put up to another 60 days on the road this year but heat will be the greater concern.

If one did defy recommendations and ran a Sprinter 8 hours at idle that would be about 4 gallons I guess. Diesel is $2.50/gal. at our nearest service station so that would be $10 while sleeping.
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:08 PM   #4
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David since you have experience with older Sprinters, would the same idling rules apply to the pre 2007 vans?
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Old 08-27-2015, 05:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanw909 View Post
David since you have experience with older Sprinters, would the same idling rules apply to the pre 2007 vans?
I don't think so. I don't recall any idle warnings or restrictions since they didn't have all the pollution control additions that are causing the maintenance concerns now. Those diesels I think were capable of running forever.

I will say this, I don't think it is smart to sleep with a generator or engine running even if you can do so with the vibration and noise. You may never wake up. Too many things could go wrong.
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Old 08-27-2015, 11:02 PM   #6
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That's why all vans have a CO detector.
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Old 08-27-2015, 11:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
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That's why all vans have a CO detector.
Built by the lowest bidder.
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Old 08-28-2015, 01:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric1514 View Post
Built by the lowest bidder.
In China no doubt.
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Old 08-28-2015, 08:38 PM   #9
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It appears I have my answer.Engine idling uses less fuel than generator.
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Old 08-28-2015, 09:29 PM   #10
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the idling issues caused by post 2007 sprinters is because of the DPF.

since prior to 2007 no dpf's existed you can idle pre 2007 as much as you want
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