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Old 04-21-2015, 11:29 AM   #1
vbbigsky
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Onan 5500 Gold Generator Information

Looking for a little insight on the generator, as I could be running off generator for the first time this weekend for three days. Should I open up both bottles at once, if so where would I position the valve? Is it best to open both at once or just one at a time? If I do use one and it should run out, does it automatically switch over to the other tank?
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Old 04-21-2015, 12:02 PM   #2
bncinwv
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Leave both on and yes it does switch over automatically but only if both tanks are open. Which tank you point the valve at does not matter, until the indicator turns red. The red indicator means that the tank where the valve is pointing to is empty and can be removed and filled. Word of warning, if you are planning on running the generator much, a 30 pound tank of propane will last about 8 hours. Fridge (when generator is off), furnace and stove also require propane. Might want to carry an extra tank to be safe. I switched mine to dual forty pound tanks for a little longer run time, but them suckers are heavy!!
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Old 04-21-2015, 03:13 PM   #3
vbbigsky
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Thanks I will try and conserve only run one AC
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:53 PM   #4
bncinwv
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The specs on the generator are .8 gallons per hour burn rate at 1/2 load and 1.1 gallons per hour at full load. 30 pound tank holds about 7 gallons of propane. Do the math. With 30 pound tanks and running air conditioner, I do not believe two tanks will last three days. Just want to make sure you are aware of the burn rates.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:55 PM   #5
CORattler
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by bncinwv

The specs on the generator are .8 gallons per hour burn rate at 1/2 load and 1.1 gallons per hour at full load. 30 pound tank holds about 7 gallons of propane. Do the math. With 30 pound tanks and running air conditioner, I do not believe two tanks will last three days. Just want to make sure you are aware of the burn rates.
Bingo
I don't believe I've ever seen a burn rate chart for certain make and models of generators, refrigerators, furnaces, cook tops....well you get the idea. I expect it would be useful.
Or not.
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Old 04-21-2015, 08:32 PM   #6
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I think Bingo is right on about burn rates for the generator,we have burned through a bottle in one night with the air on in the summer when we overnighted in a parking lot.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:13 AM   #7
bncinwv
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by CORattler

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by bncinwv

The specs on the generator are .8 gallons per hour burn rate at 1/2 load and 1.1 gallons per hour at full load. 30 pound tank holds about 7 gallons of propane. Do the math. With 30 pound tanks and running air conditioner, I do not believe two tanks will last three days. Just want to make sure you are aware of the burn rates.
Bingo
I don't believe I've ever seen a burn rate chart for certain make and models of generators, refrigerators, furnaces, cook tops....well you get the idea. I expect it would be useful.
Or not.
Here is a link to the spec sheets for the Onan generators, average burn rates (usage) are included in the spec sheets:

Onan Generator Specs

Bingo
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Old 04-23-2015, 03:18 PM   #8
DonandBonnie
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Beware that there are occasions when you will experience that the generator demand for propane will exceed the evaporation rate of the liquid in your tank. When that happens your tank will freeze up and quit supplying propane even though it is not empty. You will see a frost line on your tank indicating how much is left inside and your indicator will show a false red empty reading. When this occurs you have several choices. You can run your generator intermittently and allow for proper evaporation in your tank so that the tank doesn't freeze. You can switch over to your opposite tank for a while to allow the frozen tank to defrost or when you get to the freeze point take you tank in for a partial refill. If you choose the latter make sure the propane dealer will charge you what he actually adds and doesn't charge for a full tank, regardless of what he puts in.
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Old 04-23-2015, 06:10 PM   #9
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Bingo where did you get your forty pound tanks? I had hoped for forty pound tanks to be part of the generator prep and generator installation. If the fridge only gets eight hours out of a thirty pound bottle I am going to be limited on my dry camping even with the generator. Looks like I will be carrying an extra bottle. I guess I should have known better when the solar prep is actually just an unregulated plugin that hoes directly to the battery. That is another thing that my dealer cheaped out on. Just one battery. Oh well we are still in new RV happy mode. :-)

Tom Marty
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:58 AM   #10
bncinwv
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Tom,
The fridge will run for days on a 30 pound tank, that is not a worry. The built-in propane generator is what sucks the propane. I knew to get the forty pound tanks since we had them installed on the previous rig with a generator. I had the dealer (Camping World) swap the 30 pound tanks for the 4o's as part of the purchase.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:40 PM   #11
mhs4771
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If you're looking to purchase 40 Lb tanks, last I knew Tractor Supply had much better prices than any RV Dealer that I found.
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Old 04-25-2015, 08:59 AM   #12
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To preserve propane during dry camping, turn off the frig. for eight hours at a time, your frig. will still be cool, after you shower turn off hot water heater until the next morning water in the summer months will still be warm. Run your a/c only in very hot weather.
Well that's my two cents.
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