Gasparini Self Energy 20 LPG generator

John and Joan

Well-Known Member
We have had one of these onboard now since 2007.
The things that are not mentioned in the sales info are servicing and repairs.
The generator needs to be removed after about 400 hours and the plug changed but also the exhaust needs to be replaced as this clogs up with carbon/oil from the 2 stroke system. As these are mounted under the vehicle it is not a 2 minute job to do these things. Labour was 3 hours when ours was last done.
We have had our first breakdown at 550 hours of use. That was the fan had shed its fins all over the casing and the generator stopped. The fan is cheap enough at £36 +vat but again the labour was 3 hours to remove the unit and replace it.
While we were on we had our batteries tested and had to replace one of the two 110ah leisure which ad gone down to less than 50% and remove an 85ah that had died completely. We now have 2 x 110ah gas matt leisure batteries.
I keep a record of use and we when off hookup for a couple of days need to put in about 100ah into the batteries from the generator.
Yesterday it ran 3 hours @20amps after not being used for two days (off hookup and not running the engine). Then last night it cut in again after we had been watching TV and had the lap top, 2 phone chargers and the heating fan going for the evening. This I let run until it auto stopped after 2.3 hours.
At this I reckoned we used 5.3 hours @ 20amps (106 ah) for 3 days on site in wet and windy conditions.
 

lady_liberty

New Member
How many wolts do your generators have? And how expensive is it to buy the diesel for it when you rely on them for all your energy?
(sorry for not being really answering to your post, but reading it made me curious)
 

coolasluck

Well-Known Member
How much was the labour costs and would you in hindsite have gone for a portable genny instead?
I would suppose that the Onan onboard genny ,amongst others, would require the same period of costly maintanance?
 

John and Joan

Well-Known Member
How many wolts do your generators have? And how expensive is it to buy the diesel for it when you rely on them for all your energy?
(sorry for not being really answering to your post, but reading it made me curious)
Hi Liberty_Lady
The Gasparini generator runs on LPG It is two stroke so also has an oil tank on a total loss system. As well as needing LPG the oil has to be filled up about every 100 hours.
It is 12v @ 20amps. It is intended to top up the leisure batteries when they drop below 12v and cuts out when charged at about 14v automatically. To get mains power we run an inverter 1600w from the leisure batteries. We have a large bulk tank for domestic LPG on board which we fill from Autogas pumps at garages or gas depots.
This link will give all the information http://www.conrad-anderson.co.uk/power/generators/generator-SelfEnergy-EG20.htm
 

John and Joan

Well-Known Member
How much was the labour costs and would you in hindsite have gone for a portable genny instead?
I would suppose that the Onan onboard genny ,amongst others, would require the same period of costly maintanance?
Hi coolasluck
Conrad Anderson now charge £45 per hour labour charge. This has gone up from last year when it was £35 when we had the service done. They are the importers and have stock of parts on hand.
The generator is excellent and I much prefer it to a portable. No risk of theft. No lugging additional fuel in cans. Fully automatic in operation. No risk of leisure batteries being discharged below safe levels. The generator can also supplement the batteries when high demand mains equipment is being used through the inverter without intervention my me. It has a link that prevents it working when the engine is started or main hookup is applied.
It is very quiet but we had noticed it was getting a bit noisier before the fan blades came off. We now realise that was vibration, as it is now back to very quiet again.
We have been told that the fans can disintegrate between 500 and 1000 hours of use. We would now get the fan replaced at a 400 hour service, as the extra cost would be minimal at that stage.
We are now saving for Solar panels to allow us more freedom to be off hookup and supplement the genny. I have the space on the roof to accommodate 2 x 130w Panels.
When off hookup and not running the engine we use on average 45ah per day so the generator cuts in once or twice per day for about 2 to 3 hours at a time. It uses about 0.5kg of LPG per hour
 

dicktracey

Active Member
45a per day!! what are you using to consume so much power? we have a narbonne accessoire catalogue, full of gasparinis, agm batteries, onan gennies - expensive kit compared to the price of solar panels, plus, with solar no maintenance, they work when you are asleep or away from the van, and are a one off payment . . . are we missing something? or are you using curling tongs and hairdryers?
 

coolasluck

Well-Known Member
Some women, like my wife, need to have their hairdryers and curling tongs,without these comforts my wife would be less keen to full-time.It is your home so for us we need to have all avenues of free power covered.Makes life easier especially for me,so we will go for an onboard genny as planned get it now whilst we are both still in full time employment. They are expensive but for me its a backup i want to have.
 

coolasluck

Well-Known Member
Thanks John Thompson,by my reckoning then you need to replace the fans blades every 5 months and i would suppose that you would have it serviced every 6 months.My only concern would be if the company went bust,whom would you have service your genny then.I am wondering if the service can be done byy yourselves?
 

John and Joan

Well-Known Member
Thanks John Thompson,by my reckoning then you need to replace the fans blades every 5 months and i would suppose that you would have it serviced every 6 months.My only concern would be if the company went bust,whom would you have service your genny then.I am wondering if the service can be done byy yourselves?
The generator is slung under the vehicle. Yes it could be removed and replaced by yourself, if you are fit enough and know what you are doing. We have only put 150 hours on it since last September. We had it fitted in early 2007 and it had its first service last September. It will only be needed if the vehicle is not being run and batteries charged by the alternator or if on site without a hookup and the vehicle not being run.
We came back to Preston from Birmingham and were overnight on hookup before going off hookup again in the Lakes. We ran 2 days on the batteries before the genny cut in.
A Service involves changing the plug and fitting a new exhaust as the old one gets clogged up. Conrad Anderson have tried unsuccessfully to clean an old exhaust.
 

Marilyn

Active Member
Many thanks John for starting an interesting and thought provoking discussion.
I can't contribute anything useful to it but just wanted to show my appreciation for the advice.
 

Bigpeetee

New Member
John,

What oil do you use?

When I used to instruct in microlight flying, if we used a mineral based 2T oil you would need a de-coke every 50 Hrs, if I used a fully synth oil, this could improve to 100-150 hrs.

These engines were working VERY hard

As for the exhaust, if it's a steel one, the old trick used to be to bung up one end with a potato and fill with conc caustic soda and leave for a couple of days then wash out thoroughly with as high a water pressure we could get.
 

John and Joan

Well-Known Member
John,

What oil do you use?

When I used to instruct in microlight flying, if we used a mineral based 2T oil you would need a de-coke every 50 Hrs, if I used a fully synth oil, this could improve to 100-150 hrs.

These engines were working VERY hard

As for the exhaust, if it's a steel one, the old trick used to be to bung up one end with a potato and fill with conc caustic soda and leave for a couple of days then wash out thoroughly with as high a water pressure we could get.
Hi Bigpeetee

It is a fully synthetic 2 stroke oil. The service interval is 400 hours. When they stripped ours at 400 hours, they said it was the cleanest they had seen and didn't need a decoke, just changed the plug and air filter. We now have about 700 hours on it and it is still running OK.
 

Pollik

Active Member
As everyone else has said, thank you for a very interesting review.

I am hoping to change my MH very soon, with the aim of going semi full time. Apart from storage, electric power is a key issue for me. I am a heavy laptop user (netbooks lack the power I want) and I can easily drain 2 x 75 Ah batteries in a day or two. On the new (to me) van, I will be making sure I have solar panels as a minimum, together with better leisure battery storage. I was put off a generator because of maintenance (which your review has dispelled), running costs, noise and initial outlay. It might be time for me to review this again. I had already worked on using LPG, but it might depend on whether I can also afford the larger on board tank (compared with 22kg of bottled)...and whether I want the hassle of convincing gas stations that it is really OK to refill my gas!

Thank you, again.
 

happy campers

Active Member
pollik
if you go for a american rv will probably come with a 5kva onan genny as standard. these usually run on petrol from the main fuel tank for the rv and will automatically stop when your fuel level gets down to a quarter full. just for your info.)
 

Pollik

Active Member
Thanks for the info, but after much thought, I have decided against RV. Don't know if it is the right decision for the right reasons, but...

Looking at a Euramobil Integra 810 EBL at the moment
 

vwalan

Well-Known Member
polly google lynton trailers they do a nice trailer the unit as anice genny.
 

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