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Old 07-07-2016, 01:20 PM   #1
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Propane generator on Airstream's low pressure port - Actual Experiences, please.

Hi there. We're looking at options for a propane-fired generator that we could run off the low pressure port quick disconnect that came with our 2014 Airstream. Our low-pressure port is described in glorious detail on page 647 of this Airstream parts document for our trailer: https://www.airstream.com/wp-content...tional2014.pdf

We'd like to hear from people who have actually done this (or have tried this and had to go with Plan B instead, whatever that was). We do *not* want speculative opinions, just actual experience-based fact-driven details. Armchair quarterbacks are welcome to follow along and learn with us, but we'd appreciate them holding their opinions.

Here's what we hope to accomplish: Charging our batteries as needed and running appliances up to and including the microwave. We will *not* attempt to run the air conditioner on the generator. (We'd save that for later, as someday we'll do a huge upgrade of our electrical system to Lithium batteries, more solar, hybrid inverters, etc. ... but we're not doing that today and don't want to discuss it in this thread.)

So, we're assuming either the Honda or Yamaha 2000 watt generator would be perfect. Nice and quiet, clean power, etc. We also do *not* want to deal with gas cans, which is why we're going to propane. (Tri-fuel is maybe nice to have, but not a big deal.)

Here's what we specifically would love to know, thanks in advance for any experience-based input you may have.
  • Where did you get your propane conversion kit?
  • Did you install the kit yourself or have the vendor do it for you and then ship you the whole thing?
  • What brand and size of generator did you buy?
  • Did your kit invalidate the manufacturer's warranty?
  • What diameter & length hose between trailer & generator, what quick-disconnect fittings?
  • How well does your generator work on that low pressure port? Any problems, issues or concerns?
  • Does it also work on the low pressure port when you're camping at higher elevations, say in the Rockies, etc.?
  • Do you have a backup plan that also allows you to connect your genny directly to a propane tank, and if so, what is it? Have you needed it?
Again, we'd love to keep this thread as clean as possible, no speculation, no fact-free opinions, etc. Just tell us what you've done and how it worked for you. That way it will serve well as a reference in the future. There are lots of threads on propane generators here, of course, but for some reason we can't find all of the above info in one place. Here's our chance!
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:30 PM   #2
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I have used mine with no problems. I bought my Yamaha 2000 from Central Maine Diesel already converted because I like the cleaner look than the normal kits and the warranty still applied. I use a 10 ft hose that I also use for the grill, a quick disconnect. Until I was sure the generator would run on the low pressure I carried around another tank and a hose with a regulator to go from the tank directly to the generator. I never had to use it and stopped worrying about a Plan B.
Larry
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Old 07-07-2016, 01:43 PM   #3
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Thanks for the quick reply, much appreciated. What diameter hose do you use to connect, and if you added quick disconnect to the hose / generator, what do you have? (There are so many sizes, it's confusing. )


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Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
I have used mine with no problems. I bought my Yamaha 2000 from Central Maine Diesel already converted because I like the cleaner look than the normal kits and the warranty still applied. I use a 10 ft hose that I also use for the grill, a quick disconnect. Until I was sure the generator would run on the low pressure I carried around another tank and a hose with a regulator to go from the tank directly to the generator. I never had to use it and stopped worrying about a Plan B.
Larry
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:36 PM   #4
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https://tejassmokers.com/LP-Quick-Disconnect-Hose/35

Model 250 1/4" ID Got that stuff from the folks above
Larry
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:51 PM   #5
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Hi: I just went through this exercise. Answers:
You can get the Yamaha 2000 already equipped with the propane conversions. Go to USCARB website. Its the Tri-Fuel conversion. They are a Yamaha Dealer and the converted units are under warranty. I talked to them at length at the International Rally (yes they were there).
Just talk to the USCARB folks and tell them you need the right fittings and hose necessary to connect to your Propane port on the trailer. They know what you need.

Yes one stop shopping..... nice folks and reasonable.

I originally converted both my Yamaha 2000s...... I wish I knew about these folks before, since, it's not much more for the converted generator.

If you buy 2 propane-equipped generators, you can also run your AC:
- 1 Generator into the trailer port, and 1 generator hooked up directly to the 30-pound propane tank (this requires a different hose with a separate regulator. Of course, you'll need a parallel kit to gang the 2 generators together to create enough power.

Good luck... google USCARB. They're nice folks and will help you out.
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Old 07-07-2016, 04:23 PM   #6
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Thanks again, guys. Also, found some other helpful posts here on Forums. I'll quote them here so folks can find them easily in future.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrprez View Post
I connect mine into the front LP port on the trailer. Works great. I also used the USCarb kit. They run 50% off sales a few times during the year. Doing the installation is pretty simple. I did read the instructions a dozen times to make sure I understood them before proceeding. They do recommend that you run your new unit for at least two hours on gas before doing the conversion.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lsbrodsky View Post
I also use the gas qd on the front of the trailer. I bought my Yamaha from Central Maine Diesel, already converted. I had done a US Carb conversion of a home generator but I liked the cleaner look of the CMD conversion so I paid a bit more.
Larry
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Originally Posted by GammaDog View Post
I run both Honda's off the lp port on the front of the trailer. I fabricated a quick disconnect tee fitting. The whole sequence is: trailer quick disconnect -to- 10' Camco lp hose -to- the tee -to- the 3' feed hoses that came with the lp kits. Total distance is 13', but my concern was whether the configuration (including the tee and several quick disconnects) could sustain the flow rate needed to power both generators simultaneously. I've tested (and used) this configuration extensively and it had not failed to run and to sustain voltage until the total load exceeds the rating of the two Honda's (which would be expected under any circumstances).

As for installation of the kits, it isn't a good candidate project for a mechanical newbie. However, the sellers of these kits have instructions online (at least propanecarbs.com does) and there are YouTube videos of people doing the work. Check those out to see if you feel it's within your abilities. I'm guessing any local small engine repair shop would do it for a fee if it looks like too much of a DIY task.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexterpix View Post
Your in New England check out this company in Hingham, MA.
http://www.genconnexdirect.net/
I bought the conversion kit for a Honda EU2000. About 1hr for the conversion very simple and clean. You can buy from them, but it was a little cheaper to by the Gen from the best deal you could find on line (I paid $799 free shipping) and then buy the kit from GenConnex (I paid $399 thru their Ebay store) I changed it over as soon as I bought it and have never run gas thru it. Made the conversion easy becasue it was brand new and no lingering gas smell to deal with. Saved all the parts and can always put it back to as new if needed. This kit does not modify the case or any other parts on the generator and is very clean looking with nothing hanging of the side cover like some of the trifuel conversions out there. Works perfect of the propane outlet on the front of the trailer (2014 FC25 RB).

Joe D
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Old 07-08-2016, 11:27 AM   #7
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Just to wrap up this short thread, here's what we've decided to buy: http://www.genconnexdirect.net/honda...g_packages.htm

Scroll down to "Package RV 2", which includes a Honda EU2000 Companion and all the fixin's. We will likely only ever need one generator, but we like this package because it includes a 30-amp style outlet with an adapter that bonds neutral to ground and lets us easily plug our 30 amp RV cable directly into the generator.

We know we can't draw more energy than the generator produces. We also know it's not that hard to bond neutral to ground on a regular generator. However, for us the extra convenience of a ready-to-use adapter with grounding that keeps our GFI outlets happy was worth the slightly higher price vs. the regular Honda 2K generator.
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Old 07-08-2016, 01:32 PM   #8
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GammaDog here. You found my post. Nothing new to add. I was amazed that the single QD on the trailer can run two Honda 2000s in parallel with all three stove burners, the fridge and the water heater running at the same time... but it can.

I had another post or three on this subject including the parts for the QD tee and propane consumption rates. Let me know if you need any of that.
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Old 07-08-2016, 02:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocinante View Post
Just to wrap up this short thread, here's what we've decided to buy: http://www.genconnexdirect.net/honda...g_packages.htm
I have it. it's great
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Old 07-08-2016, 05:06 PM   #10
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We recently bought the Yamaha 1000 tri-fuel from US Carb and it has worked out great!

We bought 2 10' extension hoses with quick-connect fittings and shut-off valves to locate the gen at the back of the CG site behind the trailer where it is quieter.

See the recent posts in these threads:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ay-150492.html

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...0i-147804.html

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 07-08-2016, 06:30 PM   #11
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The US Carb guys were at the Lewisburg rally. It looked to me as if they did a brisk business selling Yamaha generators and a LOT of conversion kits. Great folks. Converting my Honda EU3000iHandi was a bit more involved, but their tech, Sean, did this for me with my generator sitting on the tailgate of my truck. Having the 3 fuel option is a terrific plus, I think. While I don't mind carrying a gas can in the bed of my truck, I would rather not have it back there for obvious reasons. Using the quick connect on the front of the trailer makes this a lot more convenient -- and safer.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:39 AM   #12
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You need to add up the expected use of BTUs of all appliances and make sure it does not exceed your regulator's capacity. If you do it will freeze and shut off. US Carb help me figure out my equipment needs.
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Old 07-09-2016, 12:38 PM   #13
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Thanks, Gus. You're right, of course. However, per my OP request in this thread, I'd prefer to avoid any any armchair quarterbacking here. Please just post what has worked well for you, and what hasn't.
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Old 07-09-2016, 01:05 PM   #14
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As noted in a earlier post I have a Smarter Tools generator (Costco) that I converted to tri fuel. I used a kit from US Carb.

It was an easy conversion. Works great and half the price of what you are thinking of buying. It has the Yamaha engine.

I have had this for over two years. I see they have a newer model on sale at Costco for under $500.00

Dave
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