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Old 05-18-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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Propane - converted generators?

To avoid all of the issues related to transporting gasoline, I am wondering if a generator converted to run on propane might not be the way to go. Anyone had any experience with these? Sure would appreciate the help..... Here's a link to a potential source : Yamaha Propane and Natural Gas Generators

Thanks
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:21 PM   #2
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Converted our Honda 2000 three seasons ago.

It can run on lpg, about 22hrs on this tank, and gasoline.

This the outfit I got the conversion kit from.
Generator Conversion Kits to Propane and Natural Gas. Couldn't be more pleased with the outcome.

I had no problems at all with doing the conversion....BUT

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f448...ded-46854.html
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:06 AM   #3
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whats the little connection from the bottom of the genny over to the tank, a ground wire?
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:19 AM   #4
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Yep...a braided copper gnd strap, but not attached to the tank.

Usually grounded with a 10in tent spike and washer, may not really do anything but it makes me feel better.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:33 AM   #5
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I was told by a Honda sales,man that the propane conversion does not work well in the higher altitudes, which is generally where we camp. He also said that propane produces lower btu's than gasoline. Not sure how this translates into usage, but just passing along the comments. I have not converted due to the altitude comment.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:38 AM   #6
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Don’t really mean to hijack, but a quick point.

From my layman’s understanding, unless you ground the trailer too you are creating a better chance of being shocked than would exist if the generator was left ungrounded.
Should a wiring fault occur in the trailer and the skin become hot, your body would provide the path to the ground you created by grounding only the generator. This could possibly happen when you touched the skin and stepped on the planet.
Again, this hazard would not exist if you ground the trailer to the same tent stake.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:06 AM   #7
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I have not converted due to the altitude comment.
The mixture is easily adjusted with a screw on the low pressure regulator.
The Honda "man" told me essentially the same thing, also that it would void the factory warranty, not a concern, the conversion was done after the warranty expired.

Not a hijack....I'm just skeered about anything I can feel but not SEE!!
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:13 AM   #8
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There are many threads on this. People are satisfied with the conversion in most cases.

There is a Yamaha dealer that will sell converted generators with a full warranty. I don't believe there's any such arrangement for Honda.

There is some slight loss of power output from the engine but no one has reported this to be a problem in practice.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:49 AM   #9
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I have used my conversion at 6000' with no problem, even bought new jets for the carb for high alt, never used them.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdalrymple View Post
Don’t really mean to hijack, but a quick point.

From my layman’s understanding, unless you ground the trailer too you are creating a better chance of being shocked than would exist if the generator was left ungrounded.
Should a wiring fault occur in the trailer and the skin become hot, your body would provide the path to the ground you created by grounding only the generator. This could possibly happen when you touched the skin and stepped on the planet.
Again, this hazard would not exist if you ground the trailer to the same tent stake.
Good practice. Back in a previous life when I was mobilizing a lot of electronic systems on a lot of different boats-of-opportunity, I learned that the best way to do it was to ground every electrical system to a common point, and ground that to the sea. Your observation is the same thing, basically. the 'lectricity will take the path of least resistance to ground. Holding on to the door handle of the aluminum trailer and stepping barefooted onto a soggy ground, for example, might be a good way to check your trailer grounding, ha ha.

hey, I think people freak out too much about shocks in the USA. I mean, I've had dozens and dozens (scores?) of 110 volt ac zaps, and it hasn't permanently affected me any affected me any affected me any affected me any
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Old 05-19-2011, 09:04 AM   #11
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Gringo . . ..

you're so funny, you're so funny, you're so funny . . .

glad to have you on the forums
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Old 05-19-2011, 04:43 PM   #12
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Thanks to all for the very helpful advice and the link to the other thread that I did not find. I plan to go for it, but skip the do-it-yourself option, and get a professionally converted generator. Your help is much appreciated.
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Old 05-19-2011, 07:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steamy1 View Post
I was told by a Honda sales,man that the propane conversion does not work well in the higher altitudes, which is generally where we camp. He also said that propane produces lower btu's than gasoline. Not sure how this translates into usage, but just passing along the comments. I have not converted due to the altitude comment.
You can adjust for altitude.

Gasoline has 125,000 btu's per gallon, LP 91,600 btu's per gallon. So there is slight reduction in power output.

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Old 05-20-2011, 04:53 AM   #14
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Is that liquid gallons, or gallons of vapor? It would be interesting to know if that makes a difference. I mean,if it takes 1 oz of liquid gasoline vaporized to fill the cylinder of an internal combustion engine with the ideal gasoline to air ratio for the best combustion, would it also take 1 oz of liquid propane to fill that cylinder with the ideal combustion ratio of propane to air?

I guess another way to look at it would be by weight. 20 lbs of gasoline would be 3.29 gallons, at 6.073 lbs. per US gallon .

How long will a generator run on 3.29 gallons of gasoline vs how long will it run on 20 lbs of propane, with the same electrical loads?

Don't mind me. I'm on the espresso this morning....
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Old 05-20-2011, 05:04 AM   #15
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I've had a Yamaha 2400, that I bought converted, for about four years. I don't use it that often, but I've had no problems when I do. I added a flexible line with quick disconnects to the Airstream LP tanks and I use that for the generator and BBQ.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Is that liquid gallons, or gallons of vapor? It would be interesting to know if that makes a difference. I mean,if it takes 1 oz of liquid gasoline vaporized to fill the cylinder of an internal combustion engine with the ideal gasoline to air ratio for the best combustion, would it also take 1 oz of liquid propane to fill that cylinder with the ideal combustion ratio of propane to air?

I guess another way to look at it would be by weight. 20 lbs of gasoline would be 3.29 gallons, at 6.073 lbs. per US gallon .

How long will a generator run on 3.29 gallons of gasoline vs how long will it run on 20 lbs of propane, with the same electrical loads?

Don't mind me. I'm on the espresso this morning....

My numbers are based on liquid gallons...

Aaron
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