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Old 06-26-2014, 09:33 PM   #15
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This is where you can get a lot of questions answered. You can buy them already converted or convert them yourself. The new motor snorkel is supposed to be universal on brand per se.

Propane and Natural Gas Generator Conversion Kits - Motor Snorkel
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Old 06-27-2014, 03:39 PM   #16
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How big do you need?

I agree that a propane fueled generator is the best. So, using propane, how many watt generator do I need to run my 31 ft Airstream including A/C?

Also, if I were wanting to have one installed in the trailer, would that be a dealer install, or should it go back to the factory?
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Old 06-27-2014, 05:00 PM   #17
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I prefer gasoline for my needs. I use my generators for a lot more than just camping, having to haul propane tanks to remote locations just to run a generator is not as easy as taking a 5 gallon gas can. Also gasoline is a lot easier to come by than LP in many areas. We had one tri-fuel and we found that it was not easy to get it to run on one fuel then transfer to another later. They seem to work best when they run on one type of fuel and stay on that fuel. My home backup generator is LP which is great as long as the tank stays full... we ran out here a while back when the LP company forgot to fill the tank up over a two month period. I was out of town and did not know that they had not topped it up. We now have a new supplier.

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Old 06-27-2014, 05:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terryV View Post
I agree that a propane fueled generator is the best. So, using propane, how many watt generator do I need to run my 31 ft Airstream including A/C?

Also, if I were wanting to have one installed in the trailer, would that be a dealer install, or should it go back to the factory?
You will need to tell us some more to get some good advice. Do you have one or two AC units? If you have two, do you think you'd want to run them both at the same time?

As far as mounting a genny "on" the Airstream is concerned, that can be problematic. I've seen smaller genny's mounted on the A-Frame (behind the tow hitch above the battery box) but to mount a pair of 2,000's or even a single 3,500 genny to run the AC there would be tight.
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Old 06-27-2014, 06:04 PM   #19
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FLASH UPDATE

So sorry about my bad math. We were just going over the propane versus gasoline usage cost and my father said something was wrong. He was SO right. The reason I use 72% is that is the load of my AC on the generator.

The actual corrected costs are thus:

Propane @$1.69/gal(price last paid) =1 tank 7.1 gallons or 16.3 hours genset on 72% load
Gasoline@3.65/gal = 1.6 gallons on genset tank or 5.16 hours @72% load

Consumption Rates

Propane .43gal/hr or $0.73/hr
Gasoline .31gal/hr or $1.13/hr

That is a $0.40 difference per hour @ 72% load (running the AC)!
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Old 06-28-2014, 08:18 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by AnnArborBob View Post
You will need to tell us some more to get some good advice. Do you have one or two AC units? If you have two, do you think you'd want to run them both at the same time?

As far as mounting a genny "on" the Airstream is concerned, that can be problematic. I've seen smaller genny's mounted on the A-Frame (behind the tow hitch above the battery box) but to mount a pair of 2,000's or even a single 3,500 genny to run the AC there would be tight.
My 31 Classic has one A/C unit. I don't know how big it is, but it can't be any bigger than most of them. ( just bought it last week, haven't had time to figure it all out yet)

While searching for the perfect used Airstream, I ran across an ad for one in Oregon that said it had a factory mounted generator. Having had motorhomes for the past 30 years, I've been accustomed to being off the grid most of the time.

My 35 ft Southwind had 2 big A/Cs and a 5,000 watt Onan. I would want to run A/C, the converter, coffee maker, and possibly the microwave in my Airstream. So, would a 2500 watt Yamaha work for that?

I have a 3000 watt Honda, but it weighs 134 lbs. The days that I could throw that into my pick up bed by myself have long gone. Plus, I think it's too tall to fit under the tonneau cover.

I suppose I could go thru the owner's manual, and figure up all the wattage usage of all that stuff, but I hoped one of you guys would already know the answer.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:13 AM   #21
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This is not field tested yet so I haven't really posted it up on the forum.

This one runs on LPG and is mounted up in the spare tire well of my 72 Sovereign.

It is shop tested, and it seems like it will run everything in my trailer when used with my inverter.

It is by no means off the shelf. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-28-2014, 09:36 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rodsterinfl View Post
FLASH UPDATE

So sorry about my bad math. We were just going over the propane versus gasoline usage cost and my father said something was wrong. He was SO right. The reason I use 72% is that is the load of my AC on the generator.

The actual corrected costs are thus:

Propane @$1.69/gal(price last paid) =1 tank 7.1 gallons or 16.3 hours genset on 72% load
Gasoline@3.65/gal = 1.6 gallons on genset tank or 5.16 hours @72% load

Consumption Rates

Propane .43gal/hr or $0.73/hr
Gasoline .31gal/hr or $1.13/hr

That is a $0.40 difference per hour @ 72% load (running the AC)!
The road tax on gasoline is killing ya, need to burn off road gasoline.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:44 AM   #23
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So, would a 2500 watt Yamaha work for that?
The microwave AND the AC are pushing it- opinion.

You would have to know your wattages on your appliances to really know. I CAN run my AC and microwave- together they pull just over 1900 watts and the generator does fine but I do not know about the cycling of the converter, etc. I have a 11K BTU and 600 watt micro. The 2400isHC is designed to run a 13,500 BTU AC up to 110 degrees (per literature) but that may be all as the extra wattage from 11K to 13.5K is anywhere from 200-400 watts.
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Old 06-28-2014, 09:46 AM   #24
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The road tax on gasoline is killing ya, need to burn off road gasoline.
Tell me about it! Yeah, all those freeloading electric cars, what a shame!
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Old 06-28-2014, 02:03 PM   #25
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I wouldn't use less than a 3.5kW generator per Dometic's literature.

https://www.dometic.com/b97fb7b3-584...758792f7.fodoc

I advise against relying on the generator manufacturer's "guess" of the power required. It seems that most of the forum's members tie two 2kW generators together to run their AC units. The 2 kW units weigh about 50 lbs. each.

Running a generator smaller than 3.5kW will "starve" the compressor of starting current which will shorten the AC unit's life. It is probably not good for the genny either. Will it work with 2.4kW? Most likely. But it won't be good for your equipment, and you won't have adequate headroom to run other appliances.
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Old 06-28-2014, 06:43 PM   #26
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It is shop tested, and it seems like it will run everything in my trailer when used with my inverter.
J.Morgan that is interesting. wow.

@TerryV, I am not sure but I do not believe Airstream would install a generator in the trailer. Someone else on this comment? It is custom for sure but you pose a good question- where. As far as what generator for your 31'. I can tell you that you are beyond a 11K AC for sure. My guess would be a 13.5 minimum. A 2400 watt can continually run only the AC of that type as long as it does not exceed 1600 watts or around 14amps total for compressor and fan. You would have to do the math to double-check but that is about right. The reason that is the cutoff is that you do not want to run a gen at 100% continuously.

Quote:
wouldn't use less than a 3.5kW generator per Dometic's literature.
@Airrogant, it all depends on how much power you need. You have to look up the wattage or amp requirements of the AC unit. Mine, from the Dometic literature 600xxx.321 is 9.5amps compressor 2.8 amps fan motor at max. So, it is 12.3 amps@115V. Amps X Volts = Watts so, 12.3 x 115 = 1414.5 watts. Following the 80% rule of load for Generators (don't exceed % for extended period), a 2000 watt generator is at 80% providing 1600 watts. In my case, it is enough to run the generator. This particular unit can also run off of a 15amp house outlet as its requirements are 12.3 amps. There is still 300 or so watts left for initial start without overload beyond manufacturer specs.Oh, and just an FYI, the Dometic literature has two different charts on my unit, one based on 110V and the other on 115V so, I took the 115 as it requires a higher wattage to run just for safety.

A smaller AC unit has its advantages. Less is best. I am always amazed at AC usage and cooling issues I read about. There are formulas out there for matching BTU to room size based on room volume, square footage, insulation factor, etc. A 25' AS is about 145 sq feet. I worked it out on mine using the formula with a worse case scenario insulation factor in direct sun. I came in at around 7000 BTUs needed. Ah but then there are calculations for room type- if a kitchen or stove is present add 3000 BTU- viola. 11K BTU. Yet many owners have 25' units and complain about cooling with their 13.5 units. I can only summize that the pano windows must be a source of a great deal of radiation. That, or it is a low humidity climate they are in and more well suited to a swamp cooler than an AC.
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:47 AM   #27
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Wow!! I thought you guys would have some good ideas, but never imagined I would get this much information. Thanks, guys, this is great!

Yamaha and Honda both make a light weight genny (2800 for Yamaha, 3000 Honda), recoil start that they both say will run a 13,500 BTU A/C. I'm pretty sure Yamaha has a tri power unit, don't know about Honda.

Usually, I run the air for a short time just to cool down a hot camper that has been setting in the sun, closed up all day. My Southwind had two 13,500 BTU A/Cs and either would run on a 14 amp breaker, but certainly not both.

So, for most of the time, I would be using enough current to run the converter to charge the batteries, nuke something in the microwave, and of course, make coffee.

The converter does what it wants, when it wants, so the genny would need to run it as well as the A/C. Most camper converters are 30 amp, as I understand it, but normally, I doubt they would be pulling that much.

I'm guessing either Yamaha or Honda would be good quality.
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Old 06-29-2014, 01:02 PM   #28
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Certainly the propane is less "dirty" on the internals as well and much easier to store ... just need to balance with the "ease" of fuel purchase. I'd like to have a propane conversion but have also read about a lot of problems with the conversions...
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