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Open Roads Forum  >  Tech Issues

 > Converting Honda generator to propane

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Skibane

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 11/24/21 08:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

^AmeriGas claims that they fill theirs to 17 pounds.

Even so, underfilling exchange tanks is a bum deal - particularly since there's not a lot of energy capacity in a 20 pound tank to begin with.

valhalla360

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Posted: 11/24/21 11:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:


And if, like me, you have a fixed tank propane becomes just that much harder.


Very true and makes running a generator off propane more of a hassle.


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Skibane

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Posted: 11/24/21 11:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've seen claims that engines start easier on propane than gasoline in very cold weather, due to the fuel already being in vapor form when it's drawn into the engine.

(Living in South Texas, I have absolutely no way of personally verifying this...)

StirCrazy

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Posted: 11/25/21 06:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Skibane wrote:

^AmeriGas claims that they fill theirs to 17 pounds.

Even so, underfilling exchange tanks is a bum deal - particularly since there's not a lot of energy capacity in a 20 pound tank to begin with.


I dont know about the US but in canada they can only fill them to 80% of there capacity so 16#s in a 20lb bottle is full. this allows for expansion when it gets hot and concidering the BTU valuse of propane is twice that of natural gass, there is a fair amount of energy in that bottle.

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red31

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Posted: 11/25/21 07:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What is so difficult about 20# containers, 20# is 80%
Exchanges get less, 15#

[image]

When my S-10 was converted to propane, finding propane on Sundays could be an issue, a simple switch and I ran on gasoline.

Bobbo

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Posted: 11/26/21 06:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Ummmm, Red31 is correct. With a 20# propane tank, that 20# IS 80% of the tank's capacity. The tanks are marketed with what they can be filled with.


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dave54

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Posted: 11/29/21 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ajriding wrote:

The ONE guy that actually answered your question with a pro/con list is correct, and another added that propane does have a cleaner burn and cleaner exhaust.

He also forgot that propane can store a very very long time, but gas has a shelf life.

That's about it for pros unless you are parked on your land with a big underground propane tank or would be using natural gas from the grid. The varnish build up from gas is a minimal one as that can be negated. Worried about replacing spark plugs? Stop, you can't afford propane to begin with.

The big con is the availability of getting propane quick and easy. Gas is easy and everywhere and unless I drive into the big rig section at the back of the travel center gas station there is always a gas hose just inches away. Doing a BBQ tank swap at the gas station or store is not a quick transaction either. The things people come up with just to make a comment...

An e way....


Thanks. I'm the OP.

No natural gas at home, on propane at home too. My I have several 20# bottles. I figure it is easier to carry a couple propane bottles than a couple of 5 gal gas cans. I can plug into the RV grill gas port if I need to. I have 2x7 gal bottles there. I have never had any problem getting my 7 gal bottles filled on the road. 5 gal bottles should be easier. Plus, I am in California. Propane is cheaper than the cheapest gas.
My real question (which I should have addressed in my original question) was how long does a 20# propane bottle last compared to 5 gal gas? Is it any quieter on propane than gas (they are getting old and are not as quiet as they once were, although still pretty quiet), and is starting the same whether really hot or cold weather. Like I said they are now 15(?) years old and, like me, can be slow to start on cold mornings.


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ktmrfs

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Posted: 11/29/21 04:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dave54 wrote:

ajriding wrote:

The ONE guy that actually answered your question with a pro/con list is correct, and another added that propane does have a cleaner burn and cleaner exhaust.

He also forgot that propane can store a very very long time, but gas has a shelf life.

That's about it for pros unless you are parked on your land with a big underground propane tank or would be using natural gas from the grid. The varnish build up from gas is a minimal one as that can be negated. Worried about replacing spark plugs? Stop, you can't afford propane to begin with.

The big con is the availability of getting propane quick and easy. Gas is easy and everywhere and unless I drive into the big rig section at the back of the travel center gas station there is always a gas hose just inches away. Doing a BBQ tank swap at the gas station or store is not a quick transaction either. The things people come up with just to make a comment...

An e way....


Thanks. I'm the OP.

No natural gas at home, on propane at home too. My I have several 20# bottles. I figure it is easier to carry a couple propane bottles than a couple of 5 gal gas cans. I can plug into the RV grill gas port if I need to. I have 2x7 gal bottles there. I have never had any problem getting my 7 gal bottles filled on the road. 5 gal bottles should be easier. Plus, I am in California. Propane is cheaper than the cheapest gas.
My real question (which I should have addressed in my original question) was how long does a 20# propane bottle last compared to 5 gal gas? Is it any quieter on propane than gas (they are getting old and are not as quiet as they once were, although still pretty quiet), and is starting the same whether really hot or cold weather. Like I said they are now 15(?) years old and, like me, can be slow to start on cold mornings.


to answer your questions
1) no difference in sound level I could notice between NG, Propane or Gasoline.
2) Run time. A 20lb propane tank holds about 4.5 gallons of propane. Propane has IIRC about 80% of the BTU/gallon vs. gas. So, I suspect you will get about the same run time on a 20lb propane bottle as about 3.5-4 gallons of gas. But you won't need to fill it up as often as on gas, unless on gas you have an extended run tank system.
3) starting on propane at low temps seems easier than gas. At high temps not much difference.
4) My conversion from hutch mountain works great, I converted a 2000 and a new 2200. but if you go this route check carefully on your SN, below a certain SN their kit doesn't work. I don't know if other systems have similar issues with early honda 2000.
5) Honda of course doesn't spec max output on propane or NG, but if is like most other dual/tri fuel generators, max output on propane will likely be less on propane, especially on the 2000. It's engine is pretty much maxed out with the 2000 engine. The 2200 with only 200more watts, has a 25% larger engine. And it will still put out near or full output even at 7000ft altitude, so it may not have as much restriction on max power as the 2000.


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