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Propane generators?

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  • Propane generators?

    Was reading on one of the RV parts sites (I seem to frequent those alot lately ;-)) about propane powered generators. Apparently, any gasoline gen can be converted to use propane as a fuel source, and you can buy them already made to take propane. Supposedly much lower carbon monoxide emissions. I have no idea what the price of propane is, so I don't know if it's more cost-effective or not. I've never heard a propane powered gen mentioned here.............. just wondering why?

  • #2
    I've had a 5500 Onan LP Generator for 4 years now. It has 5000 hours on it and hasn't caused me any problems ( knock on wood, lol )

    Propane generators run much cleaner than the gasoline types. My spark plugs almost always look brand new as does my air filter. I almost feel like I don't need to change them because they stay so clean. Also, much less carbon build up inside the engine.

    When I used my generator only (now I run on an inverter with generator only 30 minutes per day), I would fill up 4 tanks at a time so I wouldn't have to keep visiting the propane refill station as often.

    I'm not sure what your propane prices are where you live, but propane is less per gallon here than gasoline. ($2.69 for propane compared to $3.35 for gasoline). I used about 3-4 tanks per week or 21-25 gallons per week.

    You can sometimes make a deal with the owners to get a better rate per gallon because they know you'll be buying so much per week. I actually only pay $2.25 per gallon after making a better deal.
    Last edited by marieski; 06-02-07, 08:04 AM.


    • #3
      Thanks, Marieski! It sounds like the better way to go if you have a gen- wonder why more mobile groomers don't have them? Well, thanks for the info! :-)


      • #4
        I think I researched a grooming van company that used propane tanks? correct me if Im wrong?? but I think so.


        • #5
          Originally posted by RoosMom View Post
          Thanks, Marieski! It sounds like the better way to go if you have a gen- wonder why more mobile groomers don't have them? Well, thanks for the info! :-)

          You're welcome RoosMom

          I just realized, I think more groomers don't use LP because it would be difficult to make room for the propane tanks in the van type units... (don't the van generators usually run off of the same gasoline fuel tank as the van itself?)

          I see a many of the trailer conversions using LP generators probably because they can put 2 LP tanks on the tongue and maybe a couple more in the truck bed if needed.

          But someone correct me if I'm wrong if you have an LP generator in your van and there is no problem with carrying the LP tanks.
          Last edited by marieski; 06-02-07, 08:17 PM.


          • #6
            isn't there a high risk for explosion? just curious.


            • #7
              I have a propane fueled gene

              In my converted rv I have propane fueled gene. Runs very well. I have two 30 gallon tanks and one reserve that I have in my garage in case I think I might run low. I usually don't carry a reserve with me, it makes me nervous. We were having a hard time trying to figure out how long the propane lasts, then the guy at the fill station told us that a 30 lb tank that is full usually weighs 50 lbs, if its empty its 25. He had a scale right there and showed us.Said we could use our bathroom scale at home too to weigh them. So we do that when we're really not sure.The strips that the rv places sell to show the levels on the outside of the tanks don't seem to work for us. The price to fill each tank is $18.00 where we are located. Some places $22.00.


              • #8
                ruthie lee, your 30lb tanks are just like mine which each hold 7 gallons of propane, so your cost is around $2.57 per gallon on the low end and $3.14 on the high end.

                Each of my tanks lasts me about 10-11 hours when I'm averaging about 2000-3500 watt loads per hour or less ... so about .70 gallons per hour.

                I could always tell how full mine were by the condensation on the outside of the tanks while I was using them ... but I think they make gauges now that you can attach, but I don't know how accurate they are
                Last edited by marieski; 06-03-07, 11:51 AM.


                • #9
                  Lots of great info, guys, thanks! Anything else about running a propane gen that I should know about? I was gung ho on going completely inverter run, but the heat here is a very serious concern, since inverters will shut down if they get too warm. If I lived next door to Doug for whenever I had problems, then it might be a different story....... of course if that were the case, I probably wouldn't need to worry about it getting too hot to run the

                  The used RV I bought has a really big (don't know how many lbs) propane tank underneath it, so I would just need the propane gen.


                  • #10
                    Why not the propane genny for your air only?

                    I would then run an inverter for everything else. I think that would be the most economical way to go!


                    • #11
                      I'm with Barknpurr, run an inverter for everything else, the money you invest in the inverter will be returned in savings from not having to fill your propane tanks as often or replace your generator after a few years.

                      (I'll be putting an inverter for sale in the classified ads this week, I switched to a different model, but either model is equally awesome for grooming power!)
                      Last edited by marieski; 06-03-07, 02:54 PM.


                      • #12
                        I was told that you can't go under tunnels with propane because the pressure under the water can cause the tank to explode. Can anyone tell me yes or no?


                        • #13

                          No, but you still can not take a propane bottle tank in them with fuel in it for a number of other reasons.


                          • #14
                            I think that you are right.

                            I am pretty sure I read that somewhere too.


                            • #15
                              I don't know, we took our motor home through the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel. It has a large propane tank mounted underneath of it. We looked into it before we decided to go that way. I think that because it was permanantly mounted it was no problem.
                              I would not use propane on a grooming van. It scares me.