Propane Generator -- Advice? Ideas? Concerns?

Does anyone use one? Or maybe a bi-fuel generator?

Thoughts:
1. Gas is arguably more volatile as compared to propane, but gas produces better results as to watts.
2. I think I would rather have a propane tank on my trailer than a gas can (filled or unfilled).
3. It seems a 20lb propane tank will run a 2000 watt generator for about 12 hours. The propane tank weighs about 32lbs. A five-gallon gas tank weighs about the same and would run about the same time (maybe), but I would have to fill it up and that would occur at night and in the dark (Murphy's Law). AKA less messy.
4. It seems that small engines hate alcohol (which is in our modern fuel, but for the no-alcohol stuff that is STUPID expensive. So arguably it would run better.
5. The size of both is about the same. (See DuroMax XP2000EH $539.00 v. Honda 2000 Watt)
6. I think I can get a "Y" and use the same tank for the stove and the generator in the TAG XL.
7. Cannot use propane to fill the car. :(
8. Can get propane and gas just about anywhere.
9. Maybe some high altitude problems with propane?

Any help, advice, ideas or concerns would be helpful. Thank you.

Comments

  • MichaelMichael Member Posts: 45
    edited February 2019

    Edit: The Sportsman unit I have is a 1800/2200 unit not a 2000 as I indicated below.

    ---------------------------------------------------------

    Well I have one, a Sportsman 2000 watt dual fuel along with a Ryobi 2300 gas bluetooth unit. Both are inverter units. I have not used the Sportsman except to break it in (1 hour no load, 1 hour light to moderate load). I do not plan on putting a single drop of gas in the sportsman. Only running it on propane. The sportsman had no problems with the moderate variable load in that second hour of break in. I'll probably do some dual feed off of the propane tank on the trailer also but I haven't engineered that part yet. I'm on the east coast and don't expect I'll have much of a altitude problem. (:

  • nbrandtnbrandt Member Posts: 31

    I have the Sportsman. Have never put gasoline in it. It doesn't start on the first pull, but it does start. Am building a carrier to sit in front of the trailer tub and working on ways to keep it secured. I am also planning on running an affixed heavy duty extension cord along the frame and it will cut down on wires on the ground.
    A Y connection on the propane tank (which is put on and removed with each stop) works nicely to supply fuel without long propane hoses. The power seems to suit our needs for recharging for the sake of the Fridge and running the appliances we "need" (am thankful that my wife's curling iron doesn't trip the breaker : ) and it also powers the small toaster oven that we use. It's just been a great little machine. Can't say I have tried to run the AC much. We live in the NW and have hardly ever fired up that AC. We were going to use it in South Dakota (hot - very hot) and then our cousin invited us to stay with him in his very nice house - but we would have had shore power there anyway.
    We are moving up to a [email protected] 400 and I plan on using much the same setup. At 47 lbs., it does add tongue weight. On the 400 that is a huge issue. The 400 model I have has moved the battery behind the rear axle of the trailer, so I think I am going to be OK, but that is one heavy tongue.
    NathanB

  • JamesDowJamesDow Member Posts: 504

    I recently purchased a Baja (BAi911LP) generator from Home Depot ($239), which runs on 1lb or 20lb propane. Runs AC and Nordcold just fine. Also good to top off battery with charger and run projector for movies. I refill my 1lb canisters with no problems (always weight to assure not over or under filled). FYI the Baja is identical to the Ryobi (RYi911LP) generator which Home Depot also sells for $299. The only difference is one has 2 year. verses 3 year warranty. Home Depot Protection plan (2 additional years) costs $35. Attached is a power usage chart if you are interested of the draw from various components. These are measured with a Poniie PN2000 Plug-in Kilowatt Electricity Usage Monitor Electrical Power Consumption Watt Meter Tester w/ Extension Cord (Amazon - $26.99)

  • evpeelingevpeeling Member Posts: 60

    @JamesDow said:
    I recently purchased a Baja (BAi911LP) generator from Home Depot ($239), which runs on 1lb or 20lb propane. Runs AC and Nordcold just fine. Also good to top off battery with charger and run projector for movies. I refill my 1lb canisters with no problems (always weight to assure not over or under filled). FYI the Baja is identical to the Ryobi (RYi911LP) generator which Home Depot also sells for $299. The only difference is one has 2 year. verses 3 year warranty. Home Depot Protection plan (2 additional years) costs $35. Attached is a power usage chart if you are interested of the draw from various components. These are measured with a Poniie PN2000 Plug-in Kilowatt Electricity Usage Monitor Electrical Power Consumption Watt Meter Tester w/ Extension Cord (Amazon - $26.99)

    Will the Baja run the AC on high, have you ever measure the wattage on high? I was looking back through some of your other comments about the baja and didn't see anything. Also, how loud is the generator? I have been considering getting this generator for over a year but can't seem to make a decision lol.

    2020 Tag BD 5W, 2018 RAV4 Adventure, PA

  • Hwy395_bumHwy395_bum Member Posts: 8

    We have a Yamaha 2400 inverter generator converted to tri-fuel but we only use propane - I hate carrying gasoline.
    Use a y connector for stove and generator
    The regulator has a fuel mixture adjustment for altitude/tuning
    Exhaust is CO2 and water - no smell or dangerous gases.
    Have a Lo-Pro locking unit mounted on the tongue to secure it so it doesn't walk away while we are out hiking or fishing.
    Really quiet, we boondock 90% of the time and rarely see other campers but several have stopped by to see the TAG and are amazed at how quiet it is.

  • Hwy395_bumHwy395_bum Member Posts: 8

    As a side note, most generators do not have a mixture adjustment - EPA doesn't like them, lots of people say their generators run great on gas at high altitude but I've heard people trying to start them..... Lots of bad words.

    my propane is a one pull and done start up

  • zgfiredudezgfiredude Member Posts: 152
    edited May 9

    @Hwy395_bum said:

    Exhaust is CO2 and water - no smell or dangerous gases.

    >

    Hmmm, somewhat correct but not entirely, there is still some precautions to take:
    Propane vapor is not toxic, but it is an asphyxiating gas. That means propane will displace the oxygen in your lungs, making it difficult or impossible to breathe if exposed to high concentrations.

    '21 [email protected] 5w Boondock, 2014 Jeep JKUR B)

  • JamesDowJamesDow Member Posts: 504
    edited May 15

    POWER USAGE TESTING
    Ran some power testing yesterday (5/14/22)
    2018 [email protected] 5-Wide (Danby Air Conditioner & Norcold NRF30)
    (Baja Propane Generator - BAi911LP - 700 Running / 900 Peak Watts)
    (Poniie PN2000 Plug-in Kilowatt Electric Usage Monitor)

    Purpose of the Test
       Measure power draw of my AC and assure they would function without issue.
    Results
       All ran fine without issue. 1lb. propane ran the AC on high for 2 hours 36 minutes.
    Note
       During testing I experienced two power spike anomalies while the AC was cycling back on (1,550 Watt & 1,545 Watt).
       These spikes did not trip the overload protection on the Baja generator. The spikes were very transient (Just a flash on my power meter).

    Bottom line is that for my usage, my 700/900-watt propane generator can run things fine. Of the limited times running my generator while camping, I have experienced just a few (2-3) overload trips. With a push of a button, the generator is reset without the need for restart. Those power overload trips were in desert camping situations (over 106 degrees). I do not recall exact power draw which may have caused the overload trips, but could have also been recharging phones, etc.

    The advantage to a small propane generator is weight (26 lbs.), noise and fuel type.
    I refill my 1lb. canisters, weigh and store with brass screw on tops. Never had any issues. Current refill cost <$1.20. I have an extension hose so I could hookup directly to my 20lb. [email protected] propane tank. I have never found the need to hook up to the large tank.

    I determined the power air conditioner difference between low and high was very minimal and really is only changing the fan speed from low to high (About a 25-watt difference).

    F.Y.I. My Baja generator is identical to Ryobi Model RY1911LP. My guess that current price is around $399. Finding either generator may be hard to find due to supply issues.

    Please let me know if you have any questions.





     


     

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