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Old 10-08-2016, 03:10 PM   #1
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Well I'm sure nowhere near coastal regions but lots of rain and power out in Pinehurst, NC.

Running Cable Modem, Laptop & TV off the Airstream Interstate EXT generator.


Never ran more than an hour or so a day. Anyone know how many hours I can expect on full tank of LP gas?

(This is when I ask why the generator isn't Diesel).

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Old 10-08-2016, 03:17 PM   #2
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Depends on the load.. If you're just running some small electronics, I would guess at least 24 hours if not more of run time..
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Old 10-08-2016, 03:18 PM   #3
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We have gotten 12 hours out of ours (T1N) running the A/C continuously while driving in 115° heat. We like the propane since we often use it for light loads as you described. The light loading on propane isn't subject to "wet stacking" like diesel is. Diesel likes 60% loads or more. Propane, not an issue.
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Old 10-08-2016, 04:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MILATV View Post
Well I'm sure nowhere near coastal regions but lots of rain and power out in Pinehurst, NC.

Running Cable Modem, Laptop & TV off the Airstream Interstate EXT generator.


Never ran more than an hour or so a day. Anyone know how many hours I can expect on full tank of LP gas?

(This is when I ask why the generator isn't Diesel).

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Mike
On an NCV3 Interstate that holds 14 gallons of propane in an 18-gallon ASME tank, you can theoretically get up to about 22-24 hours of generator run-time, assuming the generator is the only thing using your propane and the generator is only lightly loaded. If you add the stove and/or the water heater as propane users, that duration will go down accordingly.
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Old 10-08-2016, 05:16 PM   #5
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Airstream told me when I asked that question that the same capacity diesel generator was physically larger and wouldn't fit.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:24 PM   #6
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Airstream told me when I asked that question that the same capacity diesel generator was physically larger and wouldn't fit.
Funny. They told me it was because Mercedes wouldn't let them tap into the diesel fuel line. I guess other brands don't have to obey Mercedes like Airstream does.

We could get about two to three days running the AC, TV's, charging phones on our last trip. The generator ran for about 5-8 hours each day. So, I am guessing 15-24 hours approximately. I am going to guess the days we ran 8 hours are the days we only got two days out of a fill. That would put it more in the 16 hour range. Give or take from our last big trip.
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Old 10-11-2016, 12:45 PM   #7
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Funny. They told me it was because Mercedes wouldn't let them tap into the diesel fuel line. I guess other brands don't have to obey Mercedes like Airstream does.
They wouldn't tap into the diesel fuel line for a diesel generator anyway. The typical diesel engine + diesel generator setup (usually seen on big Class A motorhomes) is to run a separate fuel pump from the tank to the generator, but drawing from somewhere above the bottom of the tank (about the 1/4-full level or higher) so that when the generator runs out of fuel there's still about a quarter-tank of fuel left in the tank to run the engine, to prevent the generator from leaving you stranded with no fuel at all.

And since a Sprinter only has a 25-gallon diesel tank to begin with, that wouldn't leave you with much run-time on the generator…
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Old 10-11-2016, 04:38 PM   #8
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Could also put a separate diesel fuel tank where the propane tank is now and have a smaller propane tank for the stove/WH.
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Old 10-11-2016, 06:51 PM   #9
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Funny. They told me it was because Mercedes wouldn't let them tap into the diesel fuel line. I guess other brands don't have to obey Mercedes like Airstream does. :.......

That's interesting as the Sprinter has a separate fuel tap on its tank to supply other diesel powered accessories, like heaters. It is designed to not fully drain the tank and leave at least 1/4 tank of fuel.

Also all the Airstream Interstate 12V Main Schematics I've seen show both an LP and diesel generator.


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Old 10-11-2016, 07:28 PM   #10
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When I sketched out a custom build it was my intention to use the PowerTech diesel generator specifically made for the Sprinter: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/00...34311221573876.

Running at full load, if 3/4 of a full tank of diesel was available, the run time would be over 85 hours. At half load, it would be 188 hours.

Given the disadvantages of diesel, presence of other LPG appliances, cost, etc. I don't think a retrofit makes sense. Having just taken delivery of my 2017 I've explored underneath, and intend to discuss with a specialist the possibility of adding a second ASME propane tank. It must be located within the wheelbase.
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Old 10-12-2016, 08:49 AM   #11
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When I sketched out a custom build it was my intention to use the PowerTech diesel generator specifically made for the Sprinter: https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/00...34311221573876.



Running at full load, if 3/4 of a full tank of diesel was available, the run time would be over 85 hours. At half load, it would be 188 hours.



Given the disadvantages of diesel, presence of other LPG appliances, cost, etc. I don't think a retrofit makes sense. Having just taken delivery of my 2017 I've explored underneath, and intend to discuss with a specialist the possibility of adding a second ASME propane tank. It must be located within the wheelbase.

The PowerTech diesel generator is also larger than the Onan LP unit and reduces the rear ground clearance even further.


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Old 10-15-2016, 01:49 PM   #12
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That's interesting as the Sprinter has a separate fuel tap on its tank to supply other diesel powered accessories, like heaters. It is designed to not fully drain the tank and leave at least 1/4 tank of fuel.

Also all the Airstream Interstate 12V Main Schematics I've seen show both an LP and diesel generator.


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Model years? NCV3 only, or also T1N? I haven't had time to look into it yet.

Coincidentally, I came across this Instagram post while eating lunch today, which caused me to pound my anguished head on my desk (literally).

Here I am trying to persevere with a miserable 6-gallon propane tank that is supposed to fulfill three functions (fridge, stove, and furnace), and here's THIS guy in his low-end T1N home-made camper who has a freakin' diesel furnace and virtually unlimited heat.

What is wrong with this picture?? Somebody shoot me! Or don't bother because I'll just freeze to death instead!

Anyway, I don't care so much about running a generator on diesel, but I *have* to reduce the load on the existing propane system, by adding a second tank or by shedding one or more functions from the existing system. If I/we could get a standalone diesel furnace that could be retrofitted, that would help significantly. Future research project; lithium comes first.
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Old 10-15-2016, 02:08 PM   #13
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Model years? NCV3 only, or also T1N? I haven't had time to look into it yet.

Coincidentally, I came across this Instagram post while eating lunch today, which caused me to pound my anguished head on my desk (literally).

Here I am trying to persevere with a miserable 6-gallon propane tank that is supposed to fulfill three functions (fridge, stove, and furnace), and here's THIS guy in his low-end T1N home-made camper who has a freakin' diesel furnace and virtually unlimited heat.

What is wrong with this picture?? Somebody shoot me! Or don't bother because I'll just freeze to death instead!

Anyway, I don't care so much about running a generator on diesel, but I *have* to reduce the load on the existing propane system, by adding a second tank or by shedding one or more functions from the existing system. If I/we could get a standalone diesel furnace that could be retrofitted, that would help significantly. Future research project; lithium comes first.
It would not be difficult to retrofit a small Espar diesel-fueled heater (https://www.eberspaecher-na.com/prod...r-heaters.html), even if your tank does not have a specific tap.
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