Tri-Fuel YAMAHA Generator

Yamaha EF2400i
Yamaha EF2400iS converted to run on liquid propane (LP), natural gas (NG), or gasoline

We do enough boondocking, and have enough people, to drain our battery bank pretty quickly.  Any ‘micro’ sized generator would work to recharge the batts, but figured if I was making the investment, might as well get a unit that would power the trailers appliances.  Heck, just because we’re boondocking, doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a few occasional luxuries like air conditioning.

Screen shot 2014-12-20 at 7.42.23 AMThe YAMAHA EF2400is fit the bill.  Small enough to tote around, big enough to fire up the 13,500Btu A/C unit (barely.. depending on the weather).

Optional chronometer/tachometer installed
Optional chronometer/tachometer installed

The thought of putting gasoline containers and a smelly generator in the rear of the Suburban had me a little uncomfortable.  It doesn’t matter what type of OSHA approved container you use, you’re going to get noxious fumes in the cabin.  I wouldn’t bring a gas can in my house, so storing it in the trailer was not an option either.

Enter LP converted generator.  Safe, secure, and portable fuel source with no fumes.

IMG_7049After removing the carburetor from engine (very simple operation), I shipped to , where they ported for LP feed, and returned along with all the necessary conversion components- fuel line, connectors, low pressure pancake regulator, mounting hardware.

YAMAHA recommends breaking in the unit, unloaded, on 1 gallon of gas.  After that, I proceeded with some AMP testing.  You know how manufacturer “ratings” go… besides, LP has a lower Btu rating than gasoline, and I wondered if that might somehow affect power output.  I used my handy RadioScrap ampmeter, a slightly modified extension cord, and (2)1000W halogen shop lights along with a RIGID shop vacuum to provide load.

Maximum ampere load with both halogen lamps on high, and the shop-vac switched on. 24A (2880Watts).  YAMAHA EF2400is ran/powered items for ~10 sec before tripping ‘overload’.

IMG_7076Running one lamp on high, one on low, along with shop-vac provided 20.5A(2460Watts) load (this is 3.5A more than rating continuous output).  EF2400is ran at 3220 RPM.  I think its safe to assume the output is not compromised while running on LP.  YAMAHA obviously strained under load at ~3300 rpm, but provided power for 10 minutes, before I shut-down.  Can’t tell for certain what the fuel consumption rate is, but I put 20 hours on a 20# LP tank, and there’s still some left in the tank.

I commented that this ran our A/C.  Let me clarify.  My 13.5k BTU did start and run on this generator under the following conditions:

  • It was around 80° (higher temps would increase load)
  • There were no other appliances running (fridge) and I disconnected the Charger/Converter in the trailer, so there was no additional draw other than the A/C (like battery charging)

The real benefits with this generator are: portable, quiet, and no gasoline smell; no gumming up the carb, no need to winterize (when only run on LP).  The only real drawback for this configuration is operating cost, where LP is quite a bit more expensive than gasoline- at the moment.

See You Down the Road!

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2 thoughts on “Tri-Fuel YAMAHA Generator

  1. Great article on the Yamaha generator conversion.

    I assume this generator (with a propane fuel source) isn’t available off the shelf?

    Am one of five kids, so somebody had to be the “non-handy, non-mechanically inclined kid!”

    Thanks again for the idea.

    We just sold our 2014.5 Interstate and purchased a 25FC – we enjoyed the camping / park stuff more than we expected, and needed a bit more room than the Interstate extended could provide.

    1. Thanks.
      I’ve not seen a ‘ready-to-go’ LP fueled generator.
      With all the benefits, I’m surprised the big names don’t offer one.

      Congrats on the 25FC. I agree… Interstate’s are amazing but, always seemed to me a great ‘road trip’ vehicle; not so much ‘camping’.

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