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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Saw a posting elsewhere on propane generators - interested in what people here think about them.

The 3500W pictured below will supposedly run for 20.5 hours at 1/2 load on one 20lb tank. Cost $599.
 

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hellhound
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Saw a posting elsewhere on propane generators - interested in what people here think about them.

The 3500W pictured below will supposedly run for 20.5 hours at 1/2 load on one 20lb tank. Cost $599.
Would that mean no toxic exhaust fumes?

Also I wonder if a normal petrol powered generator could be modified to run on propane as well........kinda like they do with automobiles? Interesting thought.

Thanks for the post.
 

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trois pour cent
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My old Bigfoot Truck camper had an Onan propane generator. Generally, I was pleased with it. It was nice to not carry gasoline or worry about refilling the tank. I did find it a little slow to start in below zero temps. But it never failed to start. In the article below they claim easy starting in cold weather. I took it as far North as Inuvik, NWT and it never failed me.
It was annoyingly loud. Much more so than my Honda's.
I had it for a total of about 4 years. I lived in the camper for 3 so had many, many hours. Never had to be repaired, routine maintenance only which was very easy to accomplish.

I've read that propane gens are less efficient but mine really didn't seem to drastically increase my propane use. Wish I could give you firm numbers but would have been tough to measure.

My Honda gens are gasoline. A gallon gets me many hours of use.

This article is in reference to home backup gens but is still applicable.
http://www.findgenerators.net/Propane_Gas_Generator.html
The propane gas generator is used as permanent standby generators and in places where availability of standard fuel supply is limited. The primary disadvantage of propane is that it is a more expensive fuel than gas and it produces less energy per unit volume than diesel. Once you get past those issues, propane generators makes good sense.

If you are already using propane gas for cooking, heating or other uses, upgrading to a propane generator will be a cinch. If you live in a cold weather climate, the propane generator makes for a surefire back up generator because it has no problem starting up in cold weather or condensation.

Disadvantages of Using a Propane Generator

Fuel system is complicated
Higher installation costs due to plumbing costs
Large fuel tanks are unsightly
Fuel is somewhat expensive
Propane generator has a shorter life span than a diesel generator
If lines are broken, propane can become extremely dangerous
Around 20 degrees above zero, propane begins to derate
Initial cost of propane generator is higher than gas

Advantages of Using a Propane Generator

Propane fuel has a long shelf life
Propane fuel does not gum up
Propane fuel burns clean
Propane generators don’t experience wet stacking like diesel generators
Can connect to both large and smaller propane tanks
Lower engine noise level than other generators
Can connect to your natural gas pipeline
Starts better in cold weather
Propane fuel can be obtained during power outages
Has longer uninterrupted run times
Clean burning fuel
Gives you longer engine life

Something Special About the Makita Propane Generator
We’ve got some good news for you; the folks at Makita generators provide an ingenious feature we felt was worth mentioning. They have a do-it-yourself change over kit that allows you to run your Makita gas generator on propane fuel or on natural gas or on regular gas. How about that for a feature?

That means, in the event that an outage or catastrophe cause one fuel or even two types of fuel to be unavailable, you can revert to fuel that is available. And the fact that the kit is a do-it-yourselfer, you can make the change from gas to propane or from propane to natural gas without the assistance of a technician or an expert.
Saw a posting elsewhere on propane generators - interested in what people here think about them.

The 3500W pictured below will supposedly run for 20.5 hours at 1/2 load on one 20lb tank. Cost $599.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Would that mean no toxic exhaust fumes?

Also I wonder if a normal petrol powered generator could be modified to run on propane as well........kinda like they do with automobiles? Interesting thought.

Thanks for the post.
I've heard that propane does burn much cleaner. Other advertized benefits include:
- longer run times
- longer fuel storage (safer?)
- fewer engine problems (carb won't gum up)
- less engine problems due to running out of fuel while under load
- gasoline availabilty during troubled times is more problematic.

A person on the site I originally saw this generator observed that if there an evacuation or exodus of some sort then everyone's bbq becomes a potential fuel source if needs be.

There are conversion kits available - after reading your question about conversion kits I was curious enough to take a quick look. You can get conversion to just propane or a 'tri-fuel' conversion kit (gasoline, propane, natural gas). The tri-fuel conversion kit was $187 (http://www.propane-generators.com/a-c_kit_list.htm).

Cheers,
-Per.
 

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Battling the Beast
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There are also generators on the market that come "tri-fuel" from the factory. A buddy of mine installed one at his house, plumbed for natural gas with the ability to use gasoline or propane as backup. His generator is not large enough to run the whole house, so he has a critical circuits sub panel off his main panel that the generator powers.
 

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One that ran on Natural gas as well would be good. Run it on NG first line, and if the NG quits, go to Propane tanks. Additionally, I've seen a brass adaptor to run the small disposable bottles as well.

If you vent the Propane Generators just like the Gas powered ones, you should have no issues. I plan to keep mine in a corner of the Garage and run a vent pipe outside. Just trying to figure out the best way to vent and reduce the noise signature at the same time to reduce unwanted attention.

DT :D:

PS ... Hey -Per- ! :thumb:
 

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I'm keeping my eye on you
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I have a 6500 generator that I converted from just gasoline to dual fuel, gasoline or propane. It works great with either fuel. I have four 20 lb. tanks for my grill and one 60 lb. tank as a spare for the generator or grill, whichever the need becomes. It is some of the best money I have spent.
 

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trois pour cent
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I have a 6500 generator that I converted from just gasoline to dual fuel, gasoline or propane. It works great with either fuel. I have four 20 lb. tanks for my grill and one 60 lb. tank as a spare for the generator or grill, whichever the need becomes. It is some of the best money I have spent.
Which brand is that, if you don't mind sharing?
And how hard was the conversion?
 

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Facin' Long,Personal SHTF
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Personal opinion? I'd rather run a gasoline generator with a wood gasifier; then again, I'm in the Pacific Northwest, where's there's old growth trees a-plenty.
 

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my whole house genny is propane powered
runs for a LOOOOOONG while on a full sized tank not those little ones like you have in your picture there.
Powers 90% of the house. Some rooms we dont use so we dont need power to them.
Powers the well pump ac heat and fridge and freezers. Thats the most important things.
 
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