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Old 02-28-2014, 08:47 PM   #1
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Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

I know the ins and outs on gas vs diesel for mpg etc.. But I live in Texas and from about June - early October its hot. Need AC. I see you can get some good built in Onans for gas, seems like diesel you have to use a portable generator or a built in propane with limited capacity/runtime. Is this correct?

I am leaning towards a hard top with bed up there, vs pop up. I plan on having very little space below for living. Fold down bed maybe a fridge/microwave, some custom cabinets. I will have a wall partitioned for hauling dirtbikes in the back. Or actually I will roll around with Mt bike and dirtbike, and other misc gear. Paddle board on top of rack and I should be dialed.

Anything to consider?

Thanks, Clayton
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:28 PM   #2
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

You must be talking Sprinter...or are you talking a used van?
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Old 03-01-2014, 06:58 AM   #3
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

I apologize, I was referring to the Ford Econoline 350 vans. I dont plan on hauling a trailer very often. But as far as the interior built out very limited and some dirtbikes and bicycles and gear bags etc... That would pretty much consist of my load. Or even without bikes might have some other gear of equal weight.

I have known a guy that has had Ford vans for 20+ years for hauling dirtbikes. He said he would never buy another diesel again. Said the fuel mpg wasnt that much better and the fuel cost more. I was shocked. He and his son both run gas vans. Maybe even a v10 in one.

I do want good milage. But the only other concern is the convenience of a generator built in that I would really use.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:32 AM   #4
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

If you are looking for a built-in generator that uses the vehicle fuel to run, the only practical choice is gas IMO. Diesel generators are great, but they are big and HEAVY. For a motorcoach, a diesel gen is a good option, but for a Ford van I would definitely go with gas.


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Old 03-01-2014, 10:46 AM   #5
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

So are you referring to just the diesel generator, or van? I understand a diesel generator is big heavy and bulky.
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Old 03-01-2014, 10:57 AM   #6
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by clayton47
I have known a guy that has had Ford vans for 20+ years for hauling dirtbikes. He said he would never buy another diesel again. Said the fuel mpg wasnt that much better and the fuel cost more. I was shocked. He and his son both run gas vans. Maybe even a v10 in one.
The 6.0 gets about 15-20% better fuel economy than the V10. Diesel around here is about 15-20% more expensive so fuel cost per mile is about awash.

The V10 has more HP, nearly the same torque, and is infinitely more reliable. The V10 can safely be upgrade to more HP without adversely affecting reliability. And the 500 pounds you save in engine weight is 500 pounds more you can carry as cargo.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:02 AM   #7
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

Aren't diesel generators a lot more expensive too? SMB price difference between gasoline or propane and diesel is quite significant.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:13 AM   #8
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

If I were to get a V8 Gas model Ford van, how bad would that be? I stated above what my cargo will roughly be. It might be hard to find a cargo V10 vs a passenger V10 which seems to be plenty of those out there.
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Old 03-01-2014, 11:48 AM   #9
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

Quote:
Originally Posted by clayton47
If I were to get a V8 Gas model Ford van, how bad would that be? I stated above what my cargo will roughly be. ....cut.......
"How bad" is relative to what you are after. I have a V10 and wish it were a V8 because I don't need the added power or torque of the bigger engine and would trade the excess for slightly better fuel economy. I would even take a 4.6L V8 over my V10. Depends on what is most important to you. The 5.4L V8 is probably a good middle ground for many.
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Old 03-01-2014, 12:14 PM   #10
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Re: Suggestions on Gas or Diesel van w/built in generator

The 5.4L tends to get about 1-2 MPGs better than the V10, but a lot depends on the final configuration. A heavy, lifted 4x4 probably won't do any better than the V10. Both will be guzzlers.

But when I've rented newer V8 vans for larger trips, they average 18+ MPG, fully loaded. Granted, its mostly highway driving, but we're talking southern Oregon highways which aren't really flat. I would expect 16 MPG from a newer stock V10 van being used on the same conditions. My V10 maxed out at 15.5 MPG when it was stock (or 13 MPG tops now), however the newer drive-by-wire motors do get a little better because they completely de-fuel when coasting, and maintain closed-loop operation even at WOT.

I also took my dad's 5.4L van with my Weekend Warrior once (snapped off a pinion gear tooth on my van) and it burned quite a bit more fuel towing that heavy (~11,000 lbs) compared to my van.

BUT....

The 5.4L is not as easy to convert to 4x4 because it does not come with the TorqueShift. The 4-speed required transmission disassembly to replace the tail-shaft. The TorqueShift does not. Also Tow/haul mode with grade braking on the V10 is pretty nice.
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