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Old 11-05-2007, 06:06 PM   #1
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I Love my Honda EU2000i Generators

I don't boondock (not yet anyway) except that I drag the 34' Limited to the infield of the Texas Motor Speedway twice a year. Last year I got tired of refilling the tanks on my two EU2000i and made the jump to propane. The propane conversion is pretty slick and I plumbed LP off the coach so I can tap right into the onboard tanks.

Well during the April race, one of the generators seized up. I figured it had something to do with the propoane conversion, although I had no idea what. I just figured it must have been my fault. I was pretty bummed. I kept meaning to take it into to the shop to have it looked at, but I kept putting it off.

Well, the next race was this past Sunday. I waited too long to get it repaired and didn't know what to do. Being mechanically inclined, I decided to take it apart since I figured I had nothing to lose. I tore the whole thing down and discovered that the connecting rod had come apart causing the engine to seize. My local Honda shop set me up with a new connecting rod and a service manual. A few hours later, presto. The part was $40, and it fired right up once I got all the parts back on.

My pair of Hondas ran 36 hours straight this weekend on a single 40# bottle of propane. I couldn't be more satisfied with them.

Once all the window dressing is removed from these gensets, the engines are incredibly simple and very easy to repair. The tech said I must have let the oil run low. I thought the oil sensor would prevent that. It looked to me like one of the screws holding the connecting rod together just vibrated out and the other sheared. In any event, the propane conversion was not the culprit and these puppies are still runnin' strong.

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Old 11-05-2007, 07:28 PM   #2
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Interesting post - hope you don't mind a few questions...

1) Do you have any info on where to get the propane conversion?

2) Is there any loss in generator output for using propane vs gasoline?

3) Any real world experience on how long you can run the generator on a full tank of propane?

Well done on going ahead and tackling the repair of the rod yourself - there are a lot of things that we can fix ourselves if we have the confidence to give it a try!
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Old 11-05-2007, 09:16 PM   #3
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I too an interested in who made the conversion. According to Honda, using propane fuel voids the warranty. No big surprise there.
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Old 11-07-2007, 05:06 PM   #4
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Quote:
1) Do you have any info on where to get the propane conversion?
I got the conversion kits from US Carburetion (Generator Conversion Kits to Propane and Natural Gas.). I used the Type A kit ($157).

The installation is pretty straigh forward. You remove the plastic cover, remove the gas tank, plug up certain parts of the carbuetor, drill out the carb where the jet is otherwise (ouch) and start plumbing. The only tricky issues on this genset are (1) where to install the propane regulator or valve or whatever it's called (it will fit where the gas tank was, but you have to fabricate some sort of bracket) and (2) access to the primer button. The regulator or valve or whatever has a button which, when pressed, allows propane to flow. It's a primer. With it, the genset starts up 1st time every time. No need to choke, ever. Without it, I have to choke to create enough suction to get the propane flowing. It makes starting a little more tricky since it won't run choked. You've got to kill the choke pretty much as soon as it fires. My next project is to fashion a means of operating the primer button. The kit is actually generic, but I had little difficulty getting it running. I pretty much figured the warranty was gone when I converted them, but the only terminal change is the drilling of the carburetor. You can get a new carb for $103.44 at Plano Power Equiptment. I guess you could put it back together and I don't know how they'd know it ran on propane. My real concern was not the warranty, but the thought that I really fried it, which I guess I did, but a $40 repair bill was good news to me. I'm sure it would have cost a lot more for them to repair it. Bottom line, be sure and top off your oil every time. I have not yet checked the generators after the race to see where the oil level is. I'm interested to know to what extent they burn oil.

Quote:
2) Is there any loss in generator output for using propane vs gasoline?
This, I don't know. I ran them with gas and was satisfied with the power, but not with the run time or the smell in the back of the car. On propane, they operate my 15K BTU A/C no problem on eco mode as well as all other electronics on board except the microwave. I have a 1600 Watt microwave that will run with the A/C running, but it doesn't seem to get stuff very hot. I just turn the thermostat up when I need to use the microwave, then it works fine as well.

Quote:
3) Any real world experience on how long you can run the generator on a full tank of propane?
I have two 40# bottles of LP on the coach. One was full, one was about 20%. The gensets ran 36 hours starigt (Saturday morning to Sunday evening). The A/C was on all that time, but didn't cycle on much Sat. night (It didn't cycle off much during the day). The tank with 20% ran dry and it switched over to the second tank. I have not pulled it off to see how much LP is still in it, but it was still running when I shut the gas off to the gensets. I know it's not very technical, but I am sure I could run these things non-stop an entire weekend without a problem on two 40# bottles.

Let me know if you decide to do the conversion as I have climbed the learning curve on the kit installation. I'd be happy to answer any questions.

PanaBax
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:45 PM   #5
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An Alternative

An alternative to converting to propane is to expand upon the amount of fuel you have available. I found a guide on another RV website that details how to expand your fuel useage for the Eu 2000i's.

Basically you purchase 2 new Honda gas caps and remove the vents. Next you drill out a hole in the top of the cap and install either an Evinrude or Mercury marine fuel fitting. Apply a small amount of JB weld to the fitting and install it in the top of the new gas cap. This will 'seal the deal' and there you have it. Make the connections to the marine fuel tank.

I now have a fuel capacity of 7 gals per generator and it set me back $100.

I had thought about converting to propane but figured its much easier to find gasoline when needed. Of course I have a truck so if you're TV is a suburban style vehicle I'd probably run with the propane gig.

Good luck!

PS. Maybe I'll see you guys at TMS in April!
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:09 PM   #6
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loss of power

Quote:
Originally Posted by RDM16CCD
2) Is there any loss in generator output for using propane vs gasoline?
Yes,
anytime you go to a less dense fuel you will loose power.
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swanny
An alternative to converting to propane is to expand upon the amount of fuel you have available. I found a guide on another RV website that details how to expand your fuel useage for the Eu 2000i's.

Basically you purchase 2 new Honda gas caps and remove the vents. Next you drill out a hole in the top of the cap and install either an Evinrude or Mercury marine fuel fitting. Apply a small amount of JB weld to the fitting and install it in the top of the new gas cap. This will 'seal the deal' and there you have it. Make the connections to the marine fuel tank.

I now have a fuel capacity of 7 gals per generator and it set me back $100.

I had thought about converting to propane but figured its much easier to find gasoline when needed. Of course I have a truck so if you're TV is a suburban style vehicle I'd probably run with the propane gig.

Good luck!

PS. Maybe I'll see you guys at TMS in April!
I like this idea but then do you need to have the marine tank above the generator? How does it siphon out of the marine tank?
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Old 03-31-2008, 06:26 AM   #8
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Great post Baxter - nice detail, thanks!

I also like the idea of a separate marine fuel source. Same question tho', all things being equal in terms of load, does how does 40# of propane compare to 14 gallons (7X2) of gasoline? In the summertime around these parts, won't be using much propane other than for cooking... and most cooking would be done in the microwave.
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Old 03-31-2008, 07:31 AM   #9
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That funny shaped 'pancake regulator' with the priming button on the back is a Garretson demand regulator. You need to hit the prime button to inject a little LP into the carb to start the gen. The regulator then operates on vaccuum from the carb until you turn it of, when the regulator will close and shut off the flow of LP.

You would need a manual valve and turn it on/off every time you used the gen if you didn't have it......not to mention the safety factor of having LP vapor escaping if the gen shut down for some other reason and you weren't in the vacinity to turn it off.
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Old 03-31-2008, 09:43 AM   #10
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They make a commercially available siphon tank for two Hondas. It does not need to be elevated above the generators. Cost is about $120. Hooks right up.

Tom
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henw
They make a commercially available siphon tank for two Hondas. It does not need to be elevated above the generators. Cost is about $120. Hooks right up.

Tom
Where does one get this product?
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Old 03-31-2008, 10:50 AM   #12
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Right here; Duration Power || Ext. Run Tanks.

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Old 08-13-2008, 09:12 PM   #13
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Here's how I did it. Keep in mind it cost less than $100, where the commercial vendor wants $120 for each tank.

You can save youself a bunch of money by just buying a marine gas tank, 2 marine fittings and a marine hose w/squeese ball. One marine fitting is threaded into an extra generator cap the other marine fitting is threaded into the gas tank. All parts except the gas caps were at Academy Sports. I recommend buying a new gas cap for your marine fitting because that allows you to remove it and put on the 'stock' cap for travelling.

When I'm ready to crank them up, I just set my marine tanks beside the generators and fire them up. Because all of these parts are for marine application they are heavy duty and safety oriented.

I did this set up for both of my 2000i's and I spent a little under $100 for both generators.

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Old 08-13-2008, 09:29 PM   #14
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I've been using the Duration Power 6 gallon tank to run my two guys (Amos and Leon). It's pretty slick and works like a charm.

Brian
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