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Propane VS Gasoline


GAP
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I have a Honda 2200 inverter generator which I intend to use primarily with our new trailer for on board battery charging and running the AC.  I'd was considering picking up the Hutch Mtn propane conversion kit which allows the option to run on either gas or propane with just the turn of a switch.  Question is, does anyone have experience running the Elite 2 air conditioning with a 2200 generator fueled by propane?  Propane is less efficient than gas so I'm wondering if that could prevent me from using the Honda.  BTW, I did get the "soft start" for the AC unit.

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There is a rather large efficiency difference in propane vs gasoline. That generator has a max output of 2200 watts with a continuous output of 1800 watts. This is based on using gasoline. A gallon of gasoline has 125,000 BTU’s. A gallon of propane has 91,700 BTU’s. As you can see, the output is significantly lower with propane therefore it can’t produce as many watts. 

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge) 2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0026 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, HULL NUMBER: 0050 2017 Silverado High Country 2500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

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13 hours ago, GAP said:

I have a Honda 2200 inverter generator which I intend to use primarily with our new trailer for on board battery charging and running the AC.  I'd was considering picking up the Hutch Mtn propane conversion kit which allows the option to run on either gas or propane with just the turn of a switch.  Question is, does anyone have experience running the Elite 2 air conditioning with a 2200 generator fueled by propane?  Propane is less efficient than gas so I'm wondering if that could prevent me from using the Honda.  BTW, I did get the "soft start" for the AC unit.

Hi GAP, I also have the Honda 2200 and I've had the Hutch mountain propane conversion kit for a while.  I prefer propane (hope to not have to carry gasoline) and I will be testing this soon as we pick up our trailer this week.  So if you are not in a huge hurry, stand by and I'll let you know if it works as soon as I have a warm enough day back home in NC to do some quick tests.  We have the Lithium package which also included the soft start. 

I will likely buy the companion Honda down the road and convert that to propane as well.  I eventually need 30 amps to charge the pair of Lithiums on days where solar can't keep up.

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3 hours ago, NCeagle said:

I will likely buy the companion Honda down the road and convert that to propane as well.  I eventually need 30 amps to charge the pair of Lithiums on days where solar can't keep up.

They can't be charged on 15 amps? Or are you simply wanting faster charging  ability (cueing in on word "need")?

Edited by Jim_Oker

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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16 hours ago, Jim_Oker said:

They can't be charged on 15 amps? Or are you simply wanting faster charging  ability (cueing in on word "need")?

Yes - strictly charging capacity / time.  I suspect I "may" need extra charging capabilities on trips where I would be at 8-10K elevation and have to rely on electricity for heat, cooking, etc. due to propane challenges that can occur at these altitudes (gasoline for generators at these altitudes too perhaps?).  I would have bought a bigger, single generator, but I want the ability to mix and match needs vs. the type of trip I'm taking as well as not wanting to deal with the weight of a single unit.

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For what its worth to you - every summer for the past 15 years I've spent the better part of two months at altitudes ranging between 8-10 thousand feet.  To date, both in the Oliver and other campers, I've never had a problem with any of my stock propane appliances.  Perhaps I've just been lucky.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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I have the both the Honda eu2000i and the Champion dual fuel 3400.  I purchased the latter to have the TT-30 outlet, the extra power, and to not have to carry gasoline in the back of the TV as it will be run on LP.  The Champion has a handle to allow it to be maneuvered in the back of our RAM 1500 TV.  I have sufficient hose to allow me to connect to the RV QC outlets.  It will meet my needs for power on ECO, but I usually don't need to run the A/C.  I did have purchase the low pressure regulator for the Champion, but have the option of using the provided high pressure regulator if I use this at home during a power outage where I would connect it to a propane tank directly.  It has a battery starter, but I have started it manually before it it works like it would with gas as the choke is still in play.

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David Caswell and Paula Saltmarsh


Hull 509 "The Swallow"

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3 hours ago, topgun2 said:

at altitudes ranging between 8-10 thousand feet.  To date, both in the Oliver and other campers, I've never had a problem with any of my stock propane appliances.

I've  not spent as much time at altitude as you  but I've  spent several days and nights in that same range and neither the Dometic fridge nor the Suburban furnace in  my van  have failed to work. I had some issues  with the igniter on the fridge  (it's  fully manual - a piezo button, and I've had some intermittent problems with it at lower elevation too, which I have easily solved by lighting the pilot with a "wand" style lighter, so I don't know if there was any contribution  from  elevation though this was particularly common up  at ~8-9K at Bryce).

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Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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9 hours ago, NCeagle said:

Yes - strictly charging capacity / time.  I suspect I "may" need extra charging capabilities on trips where I would be at 8-10K elevation and have to rely on electricity for heat, cooking, etc. due to propane challenges that can occur at these altitudes (gasoline for generators at these altitudes too perhaps?).  I would have bought a bigger, single generator, but I want the ability to mix and match needs vs. the type of trip I'm taking as well as not wanting to deal with the weight of a single unit.

Thanks - that makes sense. You  may find that you  use a fair bit of space heater assistance even  if your appliances keep working.

Jim and  Yanna, Woodinville WA

2004 Ford E250 camper conversion

Oliver Elite II hull #709

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Super interesting trip down the rabbit hole.  Really useful information so thanks to all on that.  It's great to know that it is possible to run the AC on a 2200i converted to work on propane.  Whew!  Really didn't want to travel with a spare gas can that speaks only to the gennie and not to any other component.

I did a bit of research this AM.  A few interesting points that seem to apply:

-  Propane regulators are supposedly "self regulating" so will adjust by their working nature to changes in altitude automatically adjust for pressure differential between atmosphere inside the tank and ambient atmosphere.

-  Propane is actually a mixture of propane and butane.  That ratio is changed in areas that offer seasonal mixtures with the winter mix having less butane.  It seems that the butane ignites poorly in high altitude as it requires more air to burn well.  The suggestions I saw were to purchase propane local or make sure you have a winter mix when going into altitude.

-  Same applies to cold with butane not doing well in freezing temps so, if winter camping, the winter mix will burn more efficiently.

-  Maintenance related issues can rear their ugly heads in both cold weather and high altitude.  From what I read, a side effect of burning propane is the production of water.  Supposedly, jet nozzles can get partially plugged with bit of rust so while burning good in optimal conditions, can fail in cold/altitude where they may have done fine if serviced

-  I ran into a few folks that claim the adjust their regulators to perform better in altitude.  Adjust back when in  lower altitude.  Does anyone have experience with this?

 

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6 hours ago, GAP said:

Propane is actually a mixture of propane and butane.  That ratio is changed in areas that offer seasonal mixtures with the winter mix having less butane.  It seems that the butane ignites poorly in high altitude as it requires more air to burn well.  The suggestions I saw were to purchase propane local or make sure you have a winter mix when going into altitude.

That is good information to know. Thanks for posting that! 

6 hours ago, GAP said:

I ran into a few folks that claim the adjust their regulators to perform better in altitude.  Adjust back when in  lower altitude.  Does anyone have experience with this?

I have a Genconnex propane conversion kit on my Honda EU2000, and they offer a free carburetor adaptor for use at elevations above 5000 feet. 

 

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David Stillman, Salt Lake City, Utah

2016 Oliver Elite II  Hull 164    |    2017 Audi Q7 tow vehicle. 

Travel and Photography Blog: http://davidstravels.net

 

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Just a simple data point: During the second half of a recent hunting trip the temperatures averaged 24 degrees at night. In 6 days I used 7 1/2 gallons of propane for the RV heater, and only 2 gallons of propane to run the Honda 2200 for 3 hours every night. I have the Hutch Mountain conversion.

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theOrca,  2020 Legacy Elite II, Twin, Hull 615

Tow Vehicle - 2016 Ram 1500, Hemi, 8 Speed with 1500# rear springs and Goodyear bags.

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1 hour ago, SeaDawg said:

Orca, do you remember at what elevation you were camped during the hunt?

Sure do, 2,800'.

theOrca,  2020 Legacy Elite II, Twin, Hull 615

Tow Vehicle - 2016 Ram 1500, Hemi, 8 Speed with 1500# rear springs and Goodyear bags.

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  • 2 months later...

I plan on using our 15 year old Honda 2000 with the Propane Conversion also, gasoline is a pane. I understand however that there maybe a Serial Number Break on the Honda that makes the Conversion Kit not work on. 

My question is, will the Conversion Kit's LPG Regulator mount on the 20/30 LB tanks inside the Fiberglass Cover. I want to mount the Regulator directly to a LPG Tank (20/30) under the housing and then run a long extension hose to the Generator for safety. Any ideas?  

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On 2/11/2021 at 12:18 PM, Pat Maundrell said:

I plan on using our 15 year old Honda 2000 with the Propane Conversion also, gasoline is a pane. I understand however that there maybe a Serial Number Break on the Honda that makes the Conversion Kit not work on. 

My question is, will the Conversion Kit's LPG Regulator mount on the 20/30 LB tanks inside the Fiberglass Cover. I want to mount the Regulator directly to a LPG Tank (20/30) under the housing and then run a long extension hose to the Generator for safety. Any ideas?  

Hi Pat, yes the Hutch Mountain LPG regulator does fit under the propane fiberglass cover on the Elite II.  I have the 20 pound tanks which are shorter.  Not positive that it would fit with the 30's, but it should as the regulator doesn't sit more than about 4" above the tank and there's a good foot of clearance to the top with the 20's.  

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Posted (edited)

Have you checked the serial number cutoff? Will it work? 

I can definitely see your reasoning,  towing with an suv. I really dislike carrying fuel inside a vehicle. I hated that, too, on the few occasions we towed with our Volvo. 

Somethings are unknown.  As I've read, the genset doesn't give quite as much power on propane,  so you may not be able to run ac. Especially at elevation. 

We only carry a (now 13 year old) Honda 1000, to recharge batteries if weather is crummy, days on end. It's been awesome, for that. But won't run much, other than charging batteries. 

Edited by SeaDawg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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On 3/11/2021 at 2:32 PM, SeaDawg said:

We only carry a (now 13 year old) Honda 1000, to recharge batteries if weather is crummy, days on end. It's been awesome, for that. But won't run much, other than charging batteries. 

@SeaDawg Appreciate your comment about your Honda 1000 to recharge batteries.  I have a 7 year old Yamaha 1000 (900w continuous) that runs great and is very quiet.  It's efficient and is rated to run for 12 hours at 1/4 load on one tank of fuel.  I don't want to carry extra gas and I'm not concerned about running the A/C.  Can you give me some idea of how many times I could recharge my 4 AGM batteries on one tank of gas if my solar is not producing due to shade/weather?

 

2020 Elite II Hull 627, 2021 Silverado 1500 3.0 deisel 

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Sounds like your yamaha's tank might be a little bigger than our honda's. 

What we normally do is run the generator in the morning , maybe a half hour to 45 minutes, thrpugh boost and the high end of absorb, figuring we get the most bang for the buck (and noise) and hope the solar will take care if the rest. If it's still not charged by the time the sun is getting lower, we'll run it again for awhile in the evening.  The solar does the most effective job at the low end of the ramp down , to take the batteries to 100 per cent, even on some cloudy days. 

How long it will take is really a matter of how much power you've used, so I  can't answer that for you. But, we only two 105 ah agm batteries, and try to not run below 75%.  I'd think you could surely get several days of charging, maybe a week, if you're conservative with consumption, with one tank.

 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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On 3/11/2021 at 4:32 PM, SeaDawg said:

Have you checked the serial number cutoff? Will it work? 

I can definitely see your reasoning,  towing with an suv. I really dislike carrying fuel inside a vehicle. I hated that, too, on the few occasions we towed with our Volvo. 

Somethings are unknown.  As I've read, the genset doesn't give quite as much power on propane,  so you may not be able to run ac. Especially at elevation. 

We only carry a (now 13 year old) Honda 1000, to recharge batteries if weather is crummy, days on end. It's been awesome, for that. But won't run much, other than charging batteries. 

Unfortunately, our EU2000i Generator is to old for a LPG Conversion! The S/N Cut-off is EAAJ2017305, higher you are OK, below a Kit is not available, our is EAAJ1225188. 

I want a Conversion Kit that will let us run the Generator on both LPG/Gas. These are readily available. We plan on using our Honda Generator for RV (LPG) and around the house (Gas) applications.

BTW, we had "Buyer Remorse" when we bought this Generator about 15+ years ago, but since then I wouldn't want to be without it, they are fantastic! Our runs like new!

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Big blue and big red are more expensive, initially, but I, too, can attest to the longevity. Our big Yamaha is over 14 years old, the little Honda over 13, and both run great. 

It wouldn't keep me from buying a small off brand, though, for occasional use. Many people here have had good luck with them. 

 

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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