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Old 01-15-2021, 06:54 PM   #1
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2021 16' Caravel
Kirkland , Washington
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Your propane generator setup

Hi all,
I am curious about how folks setup their propane converted generators, more specifically the following questions, hopefully this can help many more newcomers considering propane as generator fuel.

- Do you use AS's low pressure LPG port or your generator or hook up directly to tank?

- Do you use 1/4 hose or 3/8?

- How long is your hose, from tank/LPG port to generator?

- Do you mount the pancake (low pressure shutoff valve that needs to be mounted vertically) on your generator or closer to tank/LPG port?

- Your generator class(2000w or above 3000w) and number of them (single or 2 in parallel)

Thank you!
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:03 PM   #2
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2021 16' Caravel
Kirkland , Washington
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I noticed that many video featuring Hitch Mountain kit, put the pancake on propane tank, then a fairly short hose(~48"?) from the pancake to generator. The inlet on generator looks very clean, but many installation guide of that pancake states that it should be placed 'as close to carburetor as possible. Looks neat is great, but I am not sure if I want to go through the trouble to take the tank out of A frame/Cover just to use the generator, or put generator right under the front window. So I want to learn how other folks set up theirs.

Thanks,
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:10 PM   #3
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Keep in mind, propane produces less energy than gas and is influenced by altitude. I have a 2500w propane gennie and wont run microwave at 7k. I do believe 1 fuel source is the way to go, would hate carrying gas, diesel and propane
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:12 PM   #4
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Your propane generator setup

Answers hopefully in the same order. I have a 2007 22 foot International CCD with one A/C unit, 30 amp 115 volt shore power supply setup. I did add another EZConnector stainless steel power port on the front of the Airstream.

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I added a 3/8 inch quick disconnect and a couple shutoff valves as my Airstream did not have one.

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I used 1/2 id low pressure hose because I have two 12 foot extension hoses. Larger diameter can flow more propane with less pressure drop.

The low pressure regulator on my single Champion 3400 dual fuel inverter generator MUST be mounted directly on the generator as Champion designed and built it to work correctly. The black hose at the left end of the regulator is the OEM hose that connects to the generator inlet port. I added a male quick connector in the other end that mates with the extension hose. The extension hose is the gray stuff in the background. There are two 12 foot assemblies available. Genset runs fine at 24 feet of hose.

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I run my Airstream off just one generator. I only have one air conditioning unit.

I can still run off a tank because the Champion high pressure regulator now has a female quick connector installed on it as shown.

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This is the generator running the air conditioning on the Airstream during testing. Note that it’s nice and quiet in this picture. I normally run it on the tailgate of the truck. It weighs about 90 pounds so I (at age 70+) only lift it into the truck bed once per trip. Push button start is a big plus.

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It barely gets off economy idle when the air conditioning compressor cuts on. I have a MicroAir EasyStart that I need to install eventually. For now it runs just fine without it. DW was wondering why we carried the generator until we sat in the Airstream for a couple hours in comfort in the hot sun in Texas last September! No further questions...from DW at least!
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:51 PM   #5
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Kirkland , Washington
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drtrash View Post
Keep in mind, propane produces less energy than gas and is influenced by altitude. I have a 2500w propane gennie and wont run microwave at 7k. I do believe 1 fuel source is the way to go, would hate carrying gas, diesel and propane
Thank you! I am fully aware of propane produce less energy and altitude, if I ever need to use AC in high altitude sites, I will just use gasoline, hopefully not very often. That topic has been covered in several other threads already, but I have not seen any dedicated discussion on Pancake placement, hose size/length, so I want to start one for that. Thanks again.
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:57 PM   #6
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2021 16' Caravel
Kirkland , Washington
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Thank you @rmkrum!
This is the data I want to collect!

I'd be very happy if I can lift a 90lb generator @70+, I am not even sure if I can lift it today

That stainless steel port likes very nice, BTW.

Thanks again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmkrum View Post
Answers hopefully in the same order. I have a 2007 22 foot International CCD with one A/C unit, 30 amp 115 volt shore power supply setup. I did add another EZConnector stainless steel power port on the front of the Airstream.

Attachment 387035

I added a 3/8 inch quick disconnect and a couple shutoff valves as my Airstream did not have one.

Attachment 387030

Attachment 387032

Attachment 387033

I used 1/2 id low pressure hose because I have two 12 foot extension hoses. Larger diameter can flow more propane with less pressure drop.

The low pressure regulator on my single Champion 3400 dual fuel inverter generator MUST be mounted directly on the generator as Champion designed and built it to work correctly. The black hose at the left end of the regulator is the OEM hose that connects to the generator inlet port. I added a male quick connector in the other end that mates with the extension hose. The extension hose is the gray stuff in the background. There are two 12 foot assemblies available. Genset runs fine at 24 feet of hose.

Attachment 387029

I run my Airstream off just one generator. I only have one air conditioning unit.

I can still run off a tank because the Champion high pressure regulator now has a female quick connector installed on it as shown.

Attachment 387031

This is the generator running the air conditioning on the Airstream during testing. Note that it’s nice and quiet in this picture. I normally run it on the tailgate of the truck. It weighs about 90 pounds so I (at age 70+) only lift it into the truck bed once per trip. Push button start is a big plus.

Attachment 387034

It barely gets off economy idle when the air conditioning compressor cuts on. I have a MicroAir EasyStart that I need to install eventually. For now it runs just fine without it. DW was wondering why we carried the generator until we sat in the Airstream for a couple hours in comfort in the hot sun in Texas last September! No further questions...from DW at least!
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:11 PM   #7
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We have a champion 3400 dual fuel and I just run it straight off a 20 lb tank leave it in the bed of the truck it's just happy there.
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Old 01-15-2021, 09:22 PM   #8
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Note that my dual fuel Champion Inverter has never run on gasoline, and the only way that would happen is in a serious emergency.

Gasohol fuel is rough on these small engines, and goes bad rapidly in storage. Propane leaves no residue or fumes.

One of the quirks of the Champion model I have is that you cut off the propane to stop it. That guarantees there is little propane in the hoses when it shuts down, hence little odor. There is a cut-off valve right next to the propane port. I installed it as a safety feature, but it turns out to be kinda necessary to properly manage the generator.

To start it up, I turn on the propane, switch on the master battery switch on the front panel, pull the choke, and crank it on internal battery. I ease them choke off when it runs smoothly in ‘eco mode’ for a few minutes to warm it up, then turn on the electrical load. I have a ground/neutral bonding plug in the generator so my EMS/surge protector will be happy. Works great.
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Old 01-15-2021, 11:49 PM   #9
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Bend , Oregon
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Rmkrum - your post was incredibly helpful! Thank you!
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Old 01-16-2021, 03:51 AM   #10
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We use a Yamaha 1000 to keep the batteries charged and run the fridge, plus other misc. small 120-volt uses. No A/C or water heater obviously. Very small, lightweight, quiet, and portable for home/emergency use, running off a stand-alone BBQ grill 20-pound propane tank. The right tool for our job IMO.

FYI posts/threads to check out:

https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ay-150492.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ml#post1805993
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f28...-151942-2.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...ml#post1802501
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f44...0i-147804.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f54...ml#post1805991
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f28...or-151942.html
https://www.airforums.com/forums/f28...ng-104363.html

There is some redundancy in the links above, but the referenced threads are all worth a good read IMO. If you want to run your A/C, the 1000 is probably not the right tool IMO.

"generator on propane" search results FYI: https://www.google.com/search?q=gene...=airforums.com

Good luck!

FYI
FWIW
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Old 01-16-2021, 05:46 AM   #11
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Run my champion 3400 dual fuel off the Airstream LP propane port. Keep it on the back of the pickup, use a 12 foot, 1/4 inch hose, with the pancake next to the generator.
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Old 01-16-2021, 07:28 AM   #12
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Zanadude Nebula , Milky Way
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Disclaimer....Our 'set-up' is going on 16yrs old.
USCarb Dual fuel kit. 3/8" quick disconnect, spare front panel for petrol use, 24gal ActionPacker, tach/hour meter, petrol shut-off. SFSG.👍

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Old 01-16-2021, 10:38 AM   #13
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2007 19' Bambi
EUGENE , OR
Join Date: Jan 2019
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Your propane generator setup

Boondocking my waste tanks are my limiting factor. My 2 propane tanks last all Summer and my largest fuel asset. I prefer to cook outdoors when possible. My trailer came without a BBQ propane fitting. I set up my driver's (street-side) bottle for power needs since the AC connection on that side and I added a curbside fitting and use the curbside bottle of the trailer for cooking. I cut a hole and used a wide diameter rubber hole grommet to connect my Hutch Mountain regulator to the driver side bottle and run fitting through my propane bottle cover. I use the Honda 2200i generator on propane to power the trailer off-grid exclusively on the driver side bottle. Minimal fumes, nice, neat, and clean setup.

My trailer propane lines were dented from the WD tool striking them too, so I re-ran new propane lines through "A" frame interior channel for protection from WD tools and added a curbside cooking propane fitting at that time. AS factory exterior-mounted exposed propane lines were too prone to damage and is a design error IMO. Our door is on the curbside and made more sense to access the kitchen. This has worked great and I use 12' hoses past the quick releases. I carry the generator in a rolling tub with Hutch Mountain fittings and hoses in the back of my truck. I have a specialty burner I use for off-grid cooking combined with my biomass stoves. Great set up and never run out of fuel.
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Old 01-16-2021, 10:59 AM   #14
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I am with dbrick, that is what I do. I hate to complicate thing, or maybe just too lazy to add this or that connector.
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Old 01-16-2021, 04:56 PM   #15
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Here’s mine...

Quote:
Originally Posted by hovr View Post
Hi all,
I am curious about how folks setup their propane converted generators, more specifically the following questions, hopefully this can help many more newcomers considering propane as generator fuel.

- Do you use AS's low pressure LPG port or your generator or hook up directly to tank?
LOW PRESSURE PORT

- Do you use 1/4 hose or 3/8?
1/4” from LP port on the trailer to a 1/4” tee but the two generators have 3/8” from there to their demand regulators

- How long is your hose, from tank/LPG port to generator?
8’


- Do you mount the pancake (low pressure shutoff valve that needs to be mounted vertically) on your generator or closer to tank/LPG port?
ARE YOU REFERRING TO THE GENERATOR’S DEMAND REGULATOR? MINE ARE MOUNTED TO THE GENERATORS

- Your generator class(2000w or above 3000w) and number of them (single or 2 in parallel)
I CARRY TWO HONDA 2000s (not the newer 2200... the older 2000)

Thank you!
Thanks for asking!
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Old 01-16-2021, 05:26 PM   #16
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1) I use the Airstream low pressure tap.
2) 1/4" hose
3) 15': a 10' premade plus the 5' hose that Airstream provided. I also use it for my grill.
4) I have a single Honda 2000 with a Genconnex conversion. The Genconnex kit puts the regulator inside the generator housing where the gas tank use to be. It's a very well-designed conversion.

I started with a pair of Yamaha "2000"s before Yamaha increased the engine size to allow it to perform as well as Honda--I was not aware of this shortcoming when bought them. I switched to a single Honda and installed a Microair EasyStart on the heat pump to save space and fuel and not carry gas. It all works well.

I rarely use the generator but I continue to carry it. I also replaced the factory solar with 300 watts on the roof plus a 100 watt portable so I don't need the generator to charge the batteries.
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Old 01-16-2021, 06:37 PM   #17
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1) I use the Airstream low pressure tap.
2) 1/4" hose, which has 3/8" connector on the generator side.
3) 10-20': a 10' from Genconnex, and a 10' extension sometimes, to get the generator further away from the trailer. The 10' extension works for our weber grill, too - 1/4" connect on each end.
4) I too have a single Honda 2200 with a Genconnex conversion.

I have an Easy Start on the air conditioner, which the generator can run near sea level, where we do most of our camping. We were disappointed, though, to learn that it did not work in 95 degree weather at 5-6 thousand feet, in Utah this year.

Nonetheless, we do like the Genconnex, and wouldn't have done it differently - I like not having to deal with carrying gasoline. I did get some high altitude jets from Genconnex, so maybe we'll try that next time.
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Old 01-16-2021, 08:38 PM   #18
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Propane powered gennys use the same amount of BTUs whether on propane, natural gas, or gasoline . The electrical output is the same, but the amount of gas (propane or natural) used is more. High altitude and temperatures each, have a negative effect on genny output. It is called higher field pressure altitude. That is why turbo chargers are used. They return the engine intake pressure to that of a lower effective altitude,i.e., pressure. So, our gennys without turbos, we need more capacity to overcome these effects. The simplest solution is a tongue quick connect for your propane teed of of your regulator. If you have numerous high volume use propane devices such furnace and instant hot water heaters you may need to a higher capacity propane regulator. They only cost a few more dollars than the OEMs.
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Old 01-17-2021, 01:17 AM   #19
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Kirkland , Washington
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Thank you Bob, could you please share the type of that yellow tubing goes from the pancake output to inside the generator? is it vinyl or silicon? I need to run 1/4 tubing in chassis to carburetor and I am not sure how hot it gets in there so I am not sure if vinyl is good enough and if silicon would collapse too easily.

Thanks!



Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERT CROSS View Post
Disclaimer....Our 'set-up' is going on 16yrs old.
USCarb Dual fuel kit. 3/8" quick disconnect, spare front panel for petrol use, 24gal ActionPacker, tach/hour meter, petrol shut-off. SFSG.👍

Bob
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Old 01-17-2021, 01:51 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BillfromWI View Post
1) I use the Airstream low pressure tap.
2) 1/4" hose
3) 15': a 10' premade plus the 5' hose that Airstream provided. I also use it for my grill.
4) I have a single Honda 2000 with a Genconnex conversion. The Genconnex kit puts the regulator inside the generator housing where the gas tank use to be. It's a very well-designed conversion.

I started with a pair of Yamaha "2000"s before Yamaha increased the engine size to allow it to perform as well as Honda--I was not aware of this shortcoming when bought them. I switched to a single Honda and installed a Microair EasyStart on the heat pump to save space and fuel and not carry gas. It all works well.

I rarely use the generator but I continue to carry it. I also replaced the factory solar with 300 watts on the roof plus a 100 watt portable so I don't need the generator to charge the batteries.
Having that pancake thing inside is really nice. one of the thing I want to figure out is how to avoid mounting it on generator - I don't have a truck so the generator will go in the SUV, with that thing mounted it not only limit where I can put it in the car, it also easy to get damaged when things bumping into each other.

Thank you, I am really learning a lot in this thread!
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