Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Dual Fuel Generators
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p220sigman

Tallahassee, FL, USA

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Posted: 01/24/20 08:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Starting the research phase of getting a "portable" dual fuel (LP/gas) generator for emergency back-up power for the S/B house. Any thoughts or experiences I should be considering? I say "portable" because I want the option of moving it around the yard or transporting (roll onto a trailer), but wouldn't be lifting it into a vehicle or taking camping. I want dual fuel because I have 5 portable propane tanks that can supplement the amount of run time I would have on just straight gas. Unfortunately, when there is an emergency here (usually hurricane), power can be out for a week or more and gas can be difficult to reliably get.

My plan right now is to get as powerful one as I can afford and put in a transfer switch to run most/all of the house with maybe the exception of the heat pump. We are on a well, so it is critical that I be able to run that. Looking to spend 800 to 1.2K on the generator.

I would love to just do a whole house automatic standby, but that just isn't in the budget. Plus, the "portable" can move with us.

romore

Okanagan valley British Columbia

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Posted: 01/24/20 09:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was a mechanic and had a lot of problems with a dual fuel setup in our forklift. The gas was used as backup to get back to the shop if they ran out of fuel but tended to go stale because of infrequent use. The propane also dried out the carburetor gaskets so gas leaked everywhere when switched over. I finally switched to straight propane, cost was about the same as fixing theold system.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/24/20 10:18am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would stick to gasoline. The five portable tanks would not last for a week, unless you start and stop for every use.

I think the budget is on the low side.

If the well pump is 120 volts, my choice would be either Harbor freight 3000 watt electric start, or Champion 3400 watt with remote electric start.


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp hours of AGM in two battery banks 12 volt batteries, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 01/24/20 10:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

there are honda conversions that are tri-fuel. I have my honda 2000 and honda 2200 converted to run on gasoline or natural gas. I have the jet to switch to propane if needed. Conversion is easy and I have a hose for the generators that plugs into the NG BBQ line outside the house. Conversion kit is from hutch mountain. At least with NG no worry about running out of fuel!

Generator runs fine on NG or propane. Coupled it with a transfer switch that lets me run 6 internal circuits in the house. Furnace, Fridge, lights in some rooms and kitchen and living room outlets.


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KLYoung

Illinois

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Posted: 01/24/20 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a Champion Dual Fuel. I run it mainly on gasoline but have never had an issue with propane.

p220sigman

Tallahassee, FL, USA

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Posted: 01/24/20 11:44am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the input so far. My intent would be to run on gas with propane only as a backup in the event I run out of gas and can't get more. I haven't ruled out a gas only.

As I said, I'm in the research phase. I plan to purchase in late spring. Typically in Florida, we have a tax-free week for emergency preparedness supplies and generators are usually allowed. The only issue might be the cost limit. I think it was $750 last year. But a lot of places put them on sale to try to drive business so you can still find deals even if it isn't tax free.

wanderingbob

monticeeo, fla

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Posted: 01/24/20 12:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I am down here in Crawfordville and have a Champion dual fuel , two years old. No problems at all .I run on propane and marine gas , non ethanol. I have been thru many canes with generators . Just run for several hours in morn and several hours in eve . Hooking into house system has never been necessary for me as all I try to run is reffer and freezer . My pump will hold pressure for enuf to get thru the day . Shower at nite when generator is running . Another advantage to not hooking in to house is if I like my neighbors I can run their refrig for a couple hours . It is not necessary to run more than 5 or 6 hours a day .

Yosemite Sam1

Under the pines.

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Posted: 01/24/20 12:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

p220sigman wrote:

Thanks for the input so far. My intent would be to run on gas with propane only as a backup in the event I run out of gas and can't get more. I haven't ruled out a gas only.


That's the most economical way to run it.

It's propane guzzler with lower power output.

p220sigman

Tallahassee, FL, USA

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Posted: 01/24/20 01:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Being able to help out the neighbors is one of the reasons I want it to be somewhat portable. I'm thinking one of the manual transfer switches that just has a plug for the generator to plug into. I know some will say you can backfeed through the dryer plug as long as you have the main breaker off, but I'd rather wire it right and not run the risk of energizing the line by accident should someone turn the breaker on.

I've looked a little at the Champion and the Firman just because I happened to see them in stores.

2003silverado

Michigan

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Posted: 01/24/20 01:55pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have a 15 year old briggs powered 4500 watt continuous generator that was originally only gas but we added a propane/natural gas conversion kit easily and cheaply that still allows it to be run on gasoline.

You might be better off to get a generator and adding a conversion kit to it that still allows you to use gasoline. That might limit you to machines with the big engine manufacturers (briggs Honda kohler etc). Many generators these days have Chinese engines on them that parts and aftermarket accessories aren't as readily available.

We got our kit off ebay. You search the kit by the engine model, not the generator model.

Just another option to think about.

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