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ReneeG

Meridian, Idaho

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Posted: 07/28/22 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For those of you that have dual or tri-fuel generators, what has been your experience between gasoline and propane and/or natural gas regarding power and running time length? I read an article today that summarized that running a generator on gasoline provides more power whereas running on propane is cleaner (understandably). Was it worth the extra expense investing in a multi-fuel generator? Thinking of converting our gasoline to propane or tri-fuel using the Hutch Mountain conversion kits for Honda eu2000i.


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agesilaus

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Posted: 07/28/22 06:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Propane use is much greater, considering costs, than gasoline. A 20 lb tank of propane is 20$ while a 5 gal can of gas will last much longer

It's just physics, propane has a much lower thermal content than an equal weight of gasoline.


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afidel

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Posted: 07/28/22 07:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Propane right now is $3/gallon near me or just over 30k BTU/$.
Gasoline is $3.90/gallon or just over 30k BTU/$

So not a lot of difference in cost at the moment, a month ago gasoline was 25% worse.


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Skibane

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Posted: 07/28/22 08:18pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ReneeG wrote:

Was it worth the extra expense investing in a multi-fuel generator?


During an extended power outage, being able to run your generator on an almost limitless supply of natural gas is priceless.

During the Texas "rolling blackouts" in February of last year, I was without power for around a week. It didn't even faze the local natural gas supply, so I stayed warm while most of my neighbors froze - They couldn't run their NG furnaces without electricity.

ktmrfs

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Posted: 07/28/22 08:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ReneeG wrote:

For those of you that have dual or tri-fuel generators, what has been your experience between gasoline and propane and/or natural gas regarding power and running time length? I read an article today that summarized that running a generator on gasoline provides more power whereas running on propane is cleaner (understandably). Was it worth the extra expense investing in a multi-fuel generator? Thinking of converting our gasoline to propane or tri-fuel using the Hutch Mountain conversion kits for Honda eu2000i.


with the engine designed to run on gasoline max power output in order
1) gasoline
2) propane
3) NG

as far a clen burning and oil contamination
1) propane or NG
2) gasoline


I've converted my honda 2200 and 2000 to tri fuel from hutch mountain.
Why??

In the case of power outage assuming NG is still at the house I can run forever on NG, and I usually have 25 gallons of propane for various house stuff (firepit, heater, etc.) along with 30 gallons of propane for the trailer, but usually only about 5 gallons of easily available gasoline. (yes I could syphon from the cars)

BTW I never use propane out camping, seldom need more than a full tank of fuel in the generator so that's enough for the campout.

the only reason I did the conversion is for use as backup power for the house.

* This post was edited 07/29/22 10:37pm by ktmrfs *


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MNRon

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Posted: 07/28/22 08:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Propane burns cleaner, but isn’t as powerful as gas. More importantly for me camping, it isn’t nearly as accessible. I purchased a dual fuel Westinghouse i4500 a little over a year ago. I’ve used it between 50-100hrs so far, at altitudes up to 9400ft. I’ve only used gas (frankly , would have bought gas only unit for $100 less if I could have found one when I needed it). I get about 1/2hr per gallon of gas running heavy loads. Finding LP and hauling tanks would be much more difficult for me than carrying a couple 2.5gal Jerry cans.


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valhalla360

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Posted: 07/29/22 06:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ReneeG wrote:

Thinking of converting our gasoline to propane or tri-fuel using the Hutch Mountain conversion kits for Honda eu2000i.


If you are trying to get away with a generator that is marginal, the power loss will matter, so a 2000w honda derated for propane may no longer handle air/con.

If you are just charging batteries and other light loads or you buy a mores substantial generator suited to the heavier loads, it's a non-issue.

Fuel cost seems to be pretty much a wash. A gallon of gasoline will run longer but costs more. Slight hassle getting fuel as actual fill stations are less common than they used to be but we only run on generator 3-4 times a month.

We picked up a champion 4500w unit for $800 earlier this summer. Other than a bit of a fiasco having amazon deliver it, we have been quite satisfied. It barely comes off idle running the air/con and as a quick test, I ran the air/con plus a small space heater and it handled it easily (not that I would suggest doing it regularly).

The real reason in my mind to get a propane unit is to avoid gummed up carbs. If it wasn't for that, gasoline would be the way to go.


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ReneeG

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Posted: 07/29/22 07:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ktmrfs wrote:

ReneeG wrote:

For those of you that have dual or tri-fuel generators, what has been your experience between gasoline and propane and/or natural gas regarding power and running time length? I read an article today that summarized that running a generator on gasoline provides more power whereas running on propane is cleaner (understandably). Was it worth the extra expense investing in a multi-fuel generator? Thinking of converting our gasoline to propane or tri-fuel using the Hutch Mountain conversion kits for Honda eu2000i.


with the engine designed to run on gasoline max power output in order
1) gasoline
2) propane
3) NG

as far a clen burning and oil contamination
1) propane or NG
2) gasoline


I've converted my honda 2200 and 2000 to tri fuel from hutch mountain.
Why??

In the case of power outage assuming NG is still at the house I can run forever on NG, and I usually have 25 gallons of propane for various house stuff (firepit, heater, etc.) along with 30 gallons of propane for the trailer, but usually only about 5 gallons of easily available gasoline. (yes I could syphon from the cars)

BTW I never use propane out camping, seldom need more than a full tank of fuel in the generator so that's enough for the campout.


Thanks for your feedback. This is input we are looking for.

bgum

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Posted: 07/29/22 07:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We have owned both propane and gasoline fueled generators. The propane generator gulped the fuel and when needed all sources of fuel were out. The gasoline fueled generators provide more power and fuel is readily available even if you have to drive a few miles to get it.

The only downside to gasoline fueled is the need to exercise regularly to reduce carburetor issues.

ReneeG

Meridian, Idaho

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Posted: 07/29/22 07:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

valhalla360 wrote:

ReneeG wrote:

Thinking of converting our gasoline to propane or tri-fuel using the Hutch Mountain conversion kits for Honda eu2000i.


If you are trying to get away with a generator that is marginal, the power loss will matter, so a 2000w honda derated for propane may no longer handle air/con.

If you are just charging batteries and other light loads or you buy a mores substantial generator suited to the heavier loads, it's a non-issue.

Fuel cost seems to be pretty much a wash. A gallon of gasoline will run longer but costs more. Slight hassle getting fuel as actual fill stations are less common than they used to be but we only run on generator 3-4 times a month.

We picked up a champion 4500w unit for $800 earlier this summer. Other than a bit of a fiasco having amazon deliver it, we have been quite satisfied. It barely comes off idle running the air/con and as a quick test, I ran the air/con plus a small space heater and it handled it easily (not that I would suggest doing it regularly).

The real reason in my mind to get a propane unit is to avoid gummed up carbs. If it wasn't for that, gasoline would be the way to go.


Thanks! We have two eu2000i we parallel for AC mainly. I read that gasoline provides more power than propane, and even though we will be installing a SoftStartUp, your comment is one to consider regarding. We've always had one Honda 2000 mainly for backup, but have never had to use it with our solar setup. The goal of two was for the AC in the rare instance that we really need it at lower elevations. We had one instance dry camping near Jackson, WY over the Labor Day weekend that it was so hot we were miserable. It's nice to know that with the two, should we ever need it for backup for the house, we can.

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