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Old 08-18-2014, 01:31 PM   #1
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Carrying Gasoline

I'm planning to buy a Honda 2000 Generator as a back up power supply for use at home and when we are out in the trailer. The primary purpose for the power supply is to provide backup power for dialysis machine that we need to use on a nightly basis. Dialysis time takes about 9 hours. The machine takes between 600-100 VA to operate. The higher voltage is used when the machine is using it's dialysis fluid heater. My guess is that about 3 hours of the 9 hour run time is spent with the heater on.

My major concern is carrying fuel in my van. Much as I don't like carrying this in the van, I don't see another alternative at this point. Is there anyone with a suggestion of a fuel container that one could consider relatively safe for this kind of duty? Obviously I don't need anything gigantic. Just enough fuel to replenish the Honda tank in case we lose power in the middle of the night. Typically the generator will be transported or stored full with the appropriate fuel stabilizer added. I'd go after fuel the next day or potentially move to another site or campground with power.

Jack
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:40 PM   #2
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carrying gasoline

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Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post


My major concern is carrying fuel in my van. Much as I don't like carrying this in the van, I don't see another alternative at this point. Is there anyone with a suggestion of a fuel container that one could consider relatively safe for this kind of duty? Obviously I don't need anything gigantic. Just enough fuel to replenish the Honda tank in case we lose power in the middle of the night. Typically the generator will be transported or stored full with the appropriate fuel stabilizer added. I'd go after fuel the next day or potentially move to another site or campground with power.

Jack

I wouldn't carry gasoline in the van. I have a 2004 Classic also and I carry 2 One gallon cans in the small metal box between the propane tanks and battery compartment. Wolf146
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:50 PM   #3
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You might consider modifying the generator to run propane. The kits aren't too expensive. This would allow you to avoid the complications of gasoline, while burning a fuel that you already have onboard your trailer.

I haven't modified my EU2000i yet. I use the Rotopax fuel containment system - it works great for me.

Amazon.com: RotopaX RX-1G Gasoline Pack - 1 Gallon Capacity: Automotive

Fuel Cans : Gas Pack : Gasoline Containers : RotopaX.com

I purchased several 1 gallon containers so that I can quickly fill the generator when it is empty without worrying too much about overfill.

It would be worth understanding what the full run-time of your generator is with one tank of fuel. I suspect that it won't operate for a full 9 hours without a refill. If you aren't able to refill the generator's fuel tank while the dialysis machine is running, you might want to look at an extended run system to allow you to complete the dialysis cycle without worrying about refilling.
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Old 08-18-2014, 01:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
My major concern is carrying fuel in my van. Much as I don't like carrying this in the van, I don't see another alternative at this point. Is there anyone with a suggestion of a fuel container that one could consider relatively safe for this kind of duty?
Best plan, get a propane-fueled generator instead. You can either tap into your Airstream's propane system, or you can carry a small propane tank in the van. As long as the tank is sealed and stored upright, and doesn't get hot enough to cause it to vent into the van, you're good.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
My major concern is carrying fuel in my van. Much as I don't like carrying this in the van, I don't see another alternative at this point. Is there anyone with a suggestion of a fuel container that one could consider relatively safe for this kind of duty? Obviously I don't need anything gigantic. Just enough fuel to replenish the Honda tank in case we lose power in the middle of the night. Typically the generator will be transported or stored full with the appropriate fuel stabilizer added. I'd go after fuel the next day or potentially move to another site or campground with power.

Jack
Hi Jack, are you looking for a small container?

I can give some advice to a solution which might be slightly over kill, but would be very safe for you.

I have a Baja Rack for my vehicle with a Fuel Can holder that holds Nato fuel cans.


Fuel Can Five Gallon NATO Style Brand New Unissued 18x13x6.5" Green with Lever Lock Lid

These 5 gallon fuel cans are made of metal, seal tight, do not leak or vent. I've been all over Moab with them. They hold up well.

You might be able to find a bumper mount for your vehicle to hold you cans.
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:14 PM   #6
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Propane Generators

Propane is definitely the way to go. Here are two sites of companies that will make the tri-fuel conversion for you (will run on either gasoline, natural gas or propane.) One is Honda the other is Yamaha, I lean to the Yamaha product because Yamaha will cover the modified generator under warranty. Honda will not, you would be dependent on the company that did the conversion for warranty work and while they may be perfectly reputable, you would probably have to ship it to them for service (in Maine) while with the Yamaha you could go to most any dealer.

Inverter Generator with CMD Triple-Fuel System

Yamaha Propane and Natural Gas Generators
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Old 08-18-2014, 02:33 PM   #7
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Rotopax and Kolpin make some compact ATV systems that you could mount on the Airstream frame near the hitch or the rear door of van.



the bracket looks like this:


The slim cans look like this. 1 - 3 gallons



The Kolpin Gas Pack Jr is 1.5 gallons.



You can get a locking handle too.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:08 AM   #8
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Another benefit of using propane as the fuel for intermittent and infrequent generator use is that you don't need to worry about the gasoline going bad or carburetor buildup from the old gasoline. Propane basically lasts forever (well, perhaps not forever, but long enough for this discussion.) Also, using propane as the fuel for the generator costs basically the same as using gasoline.

The way I looked at it, between the comparable operating cost, relative storage safety, fuel longevity and availability (my AS already carries 60 pounds of propane in the tanks) and since my tow vehicle uses diesel and I would have no use for the "aging" gasoline, propane is the best way to go.
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Old 08-19-2014, 08:11 AM   #9
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I should add that if you are carrying gasoline anyway to fuel up a motorcycle or other "toy" the results of the equation I used for my decision would be different. But if the only reason you would be carrying gasoline would be to power the generator then I believe my analysis stands.

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Old 08-19-2014, 03:20 PM   #10
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Carrying Gasoline

I think I'm going the Yamaha propane route. Makes a lot of sense and I didn't really know of that alternative. What's nice is the Yahama unit will also run gas or natural gas. I have a natural gas outlet on the deck that I use for a rolling gas grill. I could use that if I have a need for home use. Thanks folks for the suggestions and links. The Yamaha solution also has free shipping right now.

Jack
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Old 08-19-2014, 03:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
I think I'm going the Yamaha propane route. Makes a lot of sense and I didn't really know of that alternative. What's nice is the Yahama unit will last run gas or natural gas. I have a natural gas outlet on the deck that I use for a rolling gas grill. I could use that if I have a need for home use. Thanks folks for the suggestions and links. The Yamaha solution also has free shipping right now.

Jack
Jack, I've not ordered mine yet but will probably do so when I get back from the current trip in another month or so. I'd appreciate your posting your thoughts and experience with it in this thread when you do get it.
Thanks,
Bob
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Old 08-19-2014, 04:52 PM   #12
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Where do people with a Van and a gasoline powered generator store the generator while traveling?
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:04 PM   #13
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I think that carrying gasoline in a metal container designed for that duty with a good seal is safe. I would depressurize it outside of the van before the trip and stand it securely upright. I think a lot of people (including myself) carry gasoline in enclosed spaces (under cap on a truck bed for example).
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