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.
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.
After removing the carburetor from engine (very simple operation), I shipped to http://www.uscarb.com/ , 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’.
Running 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!