converting inverter generator to propane

Discussion in 'Power - Site Power/Batteries/Generators/Solar' started by lc69hunter, Jan 11, 2021.

  1. lc69hunter

    lc69hunter New Member

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    I had a Harbor Freight 2000 inverter generator, that got stolen. It had to work hard when I had the heater on anyway.

    I just purchased the Harbor Freight 3500 inverter generator, and have decided to convert it to multi-fuel (gas, Propane, or LP). Amazon has the kit for that for approx $135, and it has good reviews. There is also a YouTube video on the conversion.

    My reason? I hate carrying gasoline to the field with me, as I usually camp off-grid somewhere. And I always have a spare propane tank or two with me.

    Any thoughts, or experience?
     
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  2. Anthony Hitchings

    Anthony Hitchings Well-Known Member Silver Supporting Member

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    Safeway uses propane powered internal engined floor scrubbers in their stores. You see them if you get there early in the morning.
     
  3. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    I have a Sportsman 2200 inverter generator that is gasoline / propane.....I've never put gas in it in the two years I've owned it, only propane. Sits in a shed all winter, fires right up in the spring, don't have to worry about gummed up carburetors.
     
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  4. NMroamer

    NMroamer Well-Known Member

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    I had a Dodge pickup that was converted to propane. I had a mechanic tell me I unless a motor is built to run on propane they lack power and don't last long.
    Mine burnt lots of oil.
    my two cents .
     
  5. A-Ranger12

    A-Ranger12 Active Member

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    I have a dual fuel Champion inverter generator. It needs a bit of choke to run on propane. Fine aside from that. Not having the campsite reek of small engine operation or risk spilling gas everywhere is really nice.

    Do be aware that power is reduced 10% on propane vs gas. And, plan on shelling out another $35 for a 12 foot extension hose. Or having to drag the tank to the generator.
     
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  6. cyclop5

    cyclop5 Active Member Silver Supporting Member

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    I, too, have the Sportsmen 2200 dual fuel genny. Other than having to remember that the lines are full of air at first, it works just fine. We lost power at the house last year for about 2 days, and it ran beautifully for hours. I can't tell you how long on a full 20# tank, since I didn't have any full ones (used the one from my grill, and it wasn't full to begin with). I like that I don't have to worry about carrying gasoline in my truck when camping, or worrying about spilling. And anywhere I can get gas, I can (usually) get propane too.
     
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  7. Family Travels

    Family Travels Member Gold Supporting Member

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    How long will the generator run on a 20lb tank of propane?
     
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  8. SteveP

    SteveP Well-Known Member Platinum Supporting Member

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    I had to replace the carburetor on my old Yamaha a couple of years ago. If it fails again I may just convert it over to propane as I always carry an extra cylinder anyway.
     
  9. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    I've never actually ran a full tank out on our Sportsman, but IIRC, the manual said ~18 hours.
     
  10. mandinga

    mandinga Active Member

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    I have two firman dual fuel generators. One is a 10kw I use for home backup. The other is a 3.2kw inverter for my trailer. Propane is great. Burns clean, and smells better. The exhausts on both have no soot since I have never put gas in. The best part is never having to deal with fuel stabilizer, or old gas, etc. I put a dual tank auto change over valve on my home one. With two 30lb tanks, I get about 24 hours powering my home. I do admit hauling the tank around is just one more thing, but not a major deal. I think a 20lb tank will get 8-10 hours on the inverter generator if not running gatherings A/C.

    I know it doesn't help you converting your, but just figured I'd share my experience with LPG generators.
     
  11. carbonunit

    carbonunit New Member

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    I have no experience on conversion kits but I can vouch for propane generators. I have a 6 kW Champion duel fuel on my back deck plumbed to my home propane and use it for home power outages, which we have about 4 a year where I live. We recently ran it for 24 hours during a nasty wind storm. It barely made a dent on the gauge of my torpedo tank. I will never go back to gas generators again. I can start it easily, mid-winter as it has a cold start feature, usually on the second pull. If I purchase a smaller camp generator it would be propane fuelled.
     
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  12. Canvas Cur

    Canvas Cur New Member

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    Just had to chime in on this. After sitting in a box for over a year, I fired up my Sportsman 3500 dual fuel for the first time last Summer. Was trying to get prepped in case of hurricanes, and I thought...I haven't even had it out of the box yet. Hmmm, maybe better check?. After adding the correct amount of oil (don't forget!!), 3 pulls, connected to propane tank, it fired right up and ran so smooth. I checked all of the outlets and they were putting out the juice stated on the box. My suggestion...if you have not yet started the genny, return it and find a dual fuel unit. The conversion amount is probably about the same as the purchase price for the genny and the conversion kit. Your warranty will be void if you alter the one you have, and it may not run as well as a unit with a factory supplied propane ready carburetor. And...the regulator they include allows just the right amount of fuel/air mixture. I read on mine (3500 watt) to expect about 10 hours run time at 50% demand. If you have already started it, think of selling it since it is still brand new and adding to it to buy the dual fuel unit. When running, it is amazing not to have gas smells. I bought an extra 20# tank for a back up. I had it filled since propane does not degrade in the tank while stored..unlike gasoline. Well, that is my 2 cents on this subject.
    Just want to say a big THANKS to all the folks who take a minute to help out our fellow campers. The wealth of knowledge here, and the easy-going advice makes it a pleasure to read and research for problems and help with our campers. BTW...I keep looking but HF still does not offer dual fuel units. Maybe for next season??
     
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  13. Eric Webber

    Eric Webber Well-Known Member Gold Supporting Member

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    I converted a Honda generator and it was a great choice. I can run gas or propane, connect direct to tank or to my camper’s low pressure port, and since I have two 40lb on the tongue of my camper, that will get me through just about anything
     

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