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Need help with propane generator setup


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Hello everyone,

I'm new on here and excited to be a part of the community.

I just placed an order for a small 2500 watt dual fuel Champion generator and plan on running it off of the propane quick connects. 

Will i need to get a diaphragm regulator? Anyone have advice and/or photos of their setup? 

Thanks, Happy Camper

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1 hour ago, Happy Camper said:

I just placed an order for a small 2500 watt dual fuel Champion generator and plan on running it off of the propane quick connects. 

I have a Champion 2500 watt dual fuel inverter/generator.  It came with a 1/4" RV quick connect fitting for the generator end, and an ACME female fitting with a regulator, for connection to a bulk propane tank.  To use it with an Oliver quick connect, you will need a different hose which does not include its own regulator.  This is because the Oliver propane tank outlets are already regulated down to about 11 inches of water column (an appropriate LP gas pressure) by the regulator on the tanks. It is not recommended to have two regulators between a propane tank and an appliance.

I believe you will need a propane hose with 1/4" RV quick connect male fittings on both ends, since the Oliver quick connects are 1/4" female and the Champion generator connection is also 1/4" female.  A quick Google search for such hoses yielded no results.  Maybe you can do a more thorough search and find something I missed.

But, you can make it work with a hose that has a 1/4" RV quick connect fitting on one end, and a 1/4" NPT male fitting on the other, then install a 1/4" female NPT to RV quick connect adapter on the NPT fitting end.

One option for the hose from etrailer:

https://www.etrailer.com/Propane/JR-Products/37207-31115.html?feed=npn&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Google | Shop - Propane&adgroupid=87654329164&campaignid=242147297&creative=404001548795&device=c&devicemodel=&feeditemid=&keyword=&loc_interest_ms=&loc_physical_ms=9029558&matchtype=&network=g&placement=&position=&gclid=CjwKCAiA9aKQBhBREiwAyGP5lU0e-j0ikSO7EAddLox3b9SPS1pjxsZhQVuTqH4MJ1xJ6B8ZQ9MmERoC1tMQAvD_BwE

I found the fitting to adapt a 1/4" male NPT hose end to 1/4" male RV quick connect on ebay:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/313633756083?_trkparms=amclksrc%3DITM%26aid%3D1110006%26algo%3DHOMESPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20200818143230%26meid%3De2b29c92a60649c1aff0f5442c7cf7d4%26pid%3D101224%26rk%3D2%26rkt%3D5%26sd%3D313868724841%26itm%3D313633756083%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2047675%26algv%3DDefaultOrganicWeb&_trksid=p2047675.c101224.m-1

FWIW, I considered getting the quick connects on our Elite II and doing what you plan to do, i.e., run the generator from the trailer's propane tanks.  But, I finally decided to carry an extra 5-gallon propane tank in the bed of my pickup to run the generator, to preserve the fuel in the trailer's propane tanks for heating, cooking and water heating.  An added benefit is that I can place the generator farther from the trailer without a long propane hose.  So, I plan to use the hose with regulator that came with my Champion dual fuel inverter/generator.

Hope this helps.

 

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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Thanks so much for the information Rivernerd. I know the propane coming out of of the quick connects has been regulated already and i won't need the regulator that comes with the generator but it is my understanding that if for some reason the generator stops running that the propane would just keep flowing to the generator and then would be released into the atmosphere and that is why a diaphragm regulator is needed. I really want to be safe with my use. Do you or anyone else on here know anything about using this kind of regulator?

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4 hours ago, Happy Camper said:

t is my understanding that if for some reason the generator stops running that the propane would just keep flowing to the generator and then would be released into the atmosphere and that is why a diaphragm regulator is needed. I really want to be safe with my use. Do you or anyone else on here know anything about using this kind of regulator?

You have now exceeded my limited knowledge of propane regulators.  FWIW, it is my impression that all regulators used for RVs and small, residential propane appliances are diaphram-type regulators.  I could be wrong.  Whether a second diaphragm regulator is needed or even wise, to avoid propane release if the inverter/generator quits running while the main propane valve is still open, sounds like a question for Champion's tech support folks.

I can only offer an anecdote.  When testing my new Champion 2500 watt dual fuel inverter/generator on propane from a full 5-gallon tank, for a couple of hours total on two separate occasions, it did shut down twice.  The first time I was close by and noted the shut down quickly.  The second time I was on a bike ride, letting the generator run for 30-45 minutes to see how much fuel it consumed under load over time, and I found it had shut down while I was away, so I don't know how long it had been off.  I wondered on each occasion if there was a brief fuel delivery issue that caused those shutdowns, which could have been caused by the propane tank valve, or the Champion regulator, not the generator itself.    Both times, I closed the propane tank valve, then slowly reopened it again, and it started again on the first pull.  So, I kept the generator, figuring I could live with an occasional unplanned (and unexplained) shut down when running on propane, since it restarted easily.  But, significantly, on neither occasion did I smell mercaptan (the odorant added to propane and natural gas to enable olfactory detection). 

Wherever you find a credible answer to your question, please post it here.

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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  • Moderators

Happy Camper - 

Perhaps another way to "attack" your concern would be to install a couple of THESE on your tanks.

Note that if there was a "slow leak" these GasStops possibly would not work but they would work in the event of major failure.

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 know nothing specific about Champion dual/tri fuel generators.  However, I do have to use a "demand regulator" downstream of on-board regulator when we converted our Honda generator to use LP from the trailer's external LP connections.  Again, I don't know if Champion's need this or not but Honda conversions do need it.

On the subject of GasStops (which we give 2 thumbs up) - while they won't necessarily shut off in a slow leak situation, they do provide the capability of a good slow leak test. 

  1. Start with tanks being turned on - gas in all lines. 
  2. Turn off all gas appliances (water heater, cooking stove, frig, furnace, etc.). 
  3. Turn tanks off. 
  4. Watch indicating gauges on GasStop(s).   If they move towards red area after a minute or two, it indicates a small gas leak in system.  If they don't move, you have no leaks.

I have this little test on both our pre and post checklists.

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SE Texas  | 2021 Elite II  # 927  "Lucy"  |  2019 F250 FX4 6.7

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Out of curiosity I Googled whether a separate regulator is needed for a Champion dual fuel generator connected to an RV propane outlet.  I found this web page:

https://www.jaycoowners.com/forums/f7/tips-for-running-dual-fuel-generator-on-propane-62240.html

As I read this, you will need a different set of hoses to run the generator from a quick-connect outlet.

For me, this has confirmed the decision to run my Champion generator from a separate propane tank.  I will only have to haul one hose set.

Hope this helps.

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2022 Elite II with expected delivery November, 2022.

Tow Vehicle:  2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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I run a Champion Dual 2500 generator (inverter) from our Ollie propane ports to charge our lithium batteries when the sun doesn't shine and/or power the A/C, microwave, etc. when shore power isn't available.

I called Champion three times before I got the answers I needed.  Each call took almost an hour to get through to them.  Afterwards, I was told call after hours as they have had to go to 24/7 to handle all the calls.  Off-hour calls have short wait times. 

I asked about the little black "finger" that is on their quick connect setup and was told it was needed to cease all gasoline flows. (I don't plan to ever use gasoline in it.)  Because I asked, they assumed my little black finger had broken and said they would send me a new one.  I said OK, but...  They said there was no charge for the first one.  Again, I said OK.  When the new one arrived, I removed the small regulator but kept the larger looking diaphragm.  BTW, If you haven't noticed the configuration of their male coupler end is different from those most common.  Added a "null" plug in one of the two generator outlets and now things run just fine.

Now we use the original connections for a 20# tank as needed and the newly built connections just for the Ollie.

Charlie

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ALAZARCACOCTDEFLGAHIIDILINIAKSKYLAMEMDMA

Arizona | 2020 Oliver Elite II Twin bed Hull #617 | 2021 Ram 1500 e-Hemi 4x4

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@Happy Camper, I also purchased a Champion Dual Fuel 2500 watt generator, Model 200961.  From reading the OTT forum I learned the regulator provided with the generator should not be used when connecting to the low pressure propane system on our LEII (pickup on Thursday).  So I set about checking that I had obtained the proper low pressure hose and connectors to eliminate the Champion regulator.

I tried connecting a low pressure hose with common ¼" NPT quick connectors to my generator.  I then learned the male quick connector on the hose was incompatible with the female quick connector on the generator, and could not be connected.  Comparing the male quick connector on the Champion regulator male quick connector (below, left) with the ¼" NPT quick connector the low pressure hose (below, right), I found they differ slightly, as can be seen in the photo below.  The ¼" NPT quick connector will not connect to the female quick connector on the generator.

IMG_0003.thumb.jpeg.9eabac5101e68c1a831300e3b7eabc34.jpeg

On the left is the male connector on the Champion regulator assembly; on the right the low pressure hose and ¼" NPT quick connector I purchased on Amazon. DOZYANT 18 feet Low Pressure Propane Quick-Connect Hose, RV Quick Connect Propane Hose, Quick Disconnect Propane Hose Extension - 1/4" Safety Shutoff

I contacted Champion technical support and found them to be, essentially, no help. 

I searched extensively online and found this link: https://www.forestriverforums.com/forums/f224/champion-dual-fuel-inverter-q-c-to-rv-on-board-propane-153043.html

The photo shows a layout of various parts, with detailed notes.  This looked straightforward, so I proceeded to obtain the needed parts.  Only after receiving the parts and attempting assembly did I discover the ports on the safety valve are NOT ⅛" or ¼" NPT, but some ******* size no one has ever seen before.  I spent most of a day calling and visiting suppliers of hose connectors for gas and hydraulic applications in the DFW area.  None had any compatible adapters to connect the common ¼" quick connects to the ports of the safety valve.  The connectors on the  Champion hose connecting the regulator and safety valve measures 0.44" O.D., with a 12 pitch.

IMG_0167.thumb.jpeg.fa615cc8fb090686d65eba9ac1012c54.jpeg

Left- ¼" NPT connector; Right- Champion regulator hose connector 

IMG_0169.thumb.jpeg.736ff7c1e86b4e48d08a1de798a15794.jpeg

Left- 1/8" NPT connector; Right- Champion regulator hose connector 

Having reached an impasse, I decided to purchase a Y connector and a high pressure extension hose, to run the generator directly from the propane tanks. DOZYANT Propane Splitter, Propane Tank Y Splitter Adapter with Gauge, 2 Way LP Gas Adapter Tee Connector for 20lb Propane Tank Cylinder, Work with BBQ

image.png.332c5c929d4953640136a03b41db4e28.png

DOZYANT 12 Feet Propane Tank Hose Extension with Gauge Replacement for Gas Grill, Heater and All Other PropaneAppliances, Acme to Male QCC/POL Fittin

image.png.58187e5d3c5127ed27e9c3c7e39acacc.png

I don't view this as the optimal solution, as I would prefer using the low pressure connections.  However, with no way to connect the Champion generator without its regulator, I have no other option.  I want to be able to operate the generator at a safe distance from the trailer to avoid intake of carbon monoxide.

If anyone have overcome the issues described above, I would love to hear the details.

IMG_0166.jpeg

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North Texas | 2022 LEII, Hull #990, delivered 2/17/22 | 2014 BMW X5 35d

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@CNC,  I did not see your post before submitting mine.  

Your description caused me to look again at the regulator, and I noticed the regulator connects to the safety valve via an adapter, one end of which is ¼" NPT and the other end is the odd size used by Champion on the two ports the safety valve.  I believe you have solved my problem.  I can now connect a female ¼" NPT quick connect to the safety valve by using the adapter previously used to connect the regulator.

The solution is embarrassingly simple.

Thanks!

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North Texas | 2022 LEII, Hull #990, delivered 2/17/22 | 2014 BMW X5 35d

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Thanks everybody for all of the replies and information. Not really sure if i got my answer but i'm a novice at this propane stuff and there is a lot to learn. I'm really looking for the simplest way to do this. Definitely want to run off of the propane quick connects.I guess i will wait to see what i need when the generator arrives. It does seem like i should be using a demand regulator(They are called so many different names)

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Well i guess i should have just waited until the generator arrived to ask my initial question. It already has a demand regulator in line with the regular style regulator that you would find on a gas barbecue or fire pit. Yes it has 2 regulators. At this point it seems good to go if i just run it straight from the propane tanks or i might just bring another just for the generator. Testing it all out tomorrow.........

Thanks again everyone for all of your ideas!

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I have been able to run both of my dual fuel generators in the same manner, either directly to a propane tank or the OTT’s QC ports.  The following has been posted a few times on Oliver FBs in response to others requesting pertinent information:  To answer your question, alter the two stage regulator system that comes with most dual fuels by installing a QC between the first stage (primary) and second stage (secondary) regulators. When utilizing the Oliver’s QC for propane, the primary regulator is removed and only the secondary is needed to operate the genny within reach of a hose. I typically pass an extension hose connected to the Oliver’s front QC through the access port on the front tank housing and stage the genny on the trailer tongue, TV tailgate or ground. If you want to connect directly to one of the trailer’s tanks or a spare, you simply utilize the two stage regulator by rejoining with the QC. 
Attached photos show the divided regulator and secondary stage only being used to operate generator by an extension hose from the OTT’s front QC.

EA83E2F6-3EAA-4BD2-BDF9-9B985F89A3F2.jpeg

0F6B031D-CA65-464D-A27E-F5ABE8B75003.jpeg
 

Additional info: I too have the Westinghouse iGen4500DF and find on long hose runs to have the regulators close to the generator with use of an extension hose when spanning directly from a propane tank to the generator.

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