If you have come here for how-to tips, you are treading on thin ice. Our law firm, Weir, Gonnaugh, Gettum, Good advises us not to post advice of any kind. Nonetheless, this post is about converting to a single fuel source for our traveling purposes: propane. And more specifically, our last step – converting our gas generator to propane.
Back in time, it was normal for us to travel with diesel for the truck, firewood for creature comfort, charcoal for the grill, gas for the generator, and of course propane for the trailer. Now we still use diesel for the truck, but with a 60-gallon Transfer Flow fuel tank, we have no need to carry a spare can of diesel.
With concern for carrying tree-destroying beetles, we no longer carry fire wood when we travel. We do sometimes take with us a propane-fueled firepit, which has the benefit of saving forests, and using our same propane fuel source without the concerns and carrying space of fire wood. You can turn it on and off at will, and is generally allowed even when there are fire restrictions.
We eliminated charcoal ever since we transitioned to a propane-fueled Blackstone griddle. If you are not familiar, the Blackstone griddle is amazing! We don’t bring a grill with us anymore, because we can cook 95% of the foods we would normally cook on a grill right on the griddle. And we can cook much more! If you haven’t experimented with a griddle, give it a whirl – fabulous!
While we do have solar capabilities, we still need to carry a generator for when we are boondocking without shore power and have needs that exceed our solar capabilities. Historically we traveled with a gas-powered Honda EU3000. This is a great generator, but it is a heavy beast, takes up a fair amount of real estate in the back of the truck, and required the carrying of a gasoline fuel can.
We just purchased a Honda EU2200i generator, but did it with the intention of converting to propane using the GRENERGY Propane Conversion Kit for Honda EU Series Generators (grenergy-us.com). Fabulous!
First, there are a few things you need to know about me. I am the least handy person you will ever meet, am prone to ignoring instructions, and when reading instructions, you can literally see a light sweat glisten on my face and a glaze come across my eyes. Queue scene from the Exorcist. When I say I converted our generator to propane, this is no small thing.
I will also tell you this is not a 10-minute job. The conversion took me all afternoon, but a normal person could do it in a fraction of that time. The conversion does include a fair number of tools (masking tape, black marker, super glue, flashlight, razor blade, 5/8-inch wrench, crescent wrench, pliers, side cutters, nippers, 2 1/8 inch hole saw, step drill bit, 8 and 10mm ¼ inch socket drive, 3/8 inch drive spark plug socket, flat head and Philips head screwdrivers, glue gun, electric drill, carburetor cleaner, compressed air duster, a digital caliper, and ideally a spark plug gapper). Am I making my point?
It is nothing less than a miracle that I did this, but the best thing I did for this conversion was read through the directions first (several times I might add), think through the installation, identify what tools I was missing, and get them before starting. I have to say, the directions were really pretty good – most steps illustrated with an actual picture of the step being performed. And when I was stumped, I sent emails to the company and received almost immediate replies! In today’s world, that is a miracle!! You go, GRENERGY!
I won’t give a blow-by-blow description of my steps (undoubtedly there are Youtube videos that already exist that do this). And you wouldn’t want to see mine. But I can tell you that even a German Shephard could follow these instructions if patient. My task was made simpler because I was converting a new generator, so there would have been a few more steps needed if you were converting a used generator to propane. But not a big deal. The GRENERGY kit really comes through with everything you need, short of the tools.
In the end, it worked magically. Even to a non-engineer like myself, every step was thought through, there were a number of steps that actually improved reliability of the generator itself, and I felt like I was being remotely guided by expert resources at GRENERGY who clearly understood their stuff.
Looking forward to getting off the grid and using our new propane generator!