Gas vs. LP Generators

Post
Revel
Junior Burger
2013/04/10 15:50:47
I'm looking to purchase a new generator, and only have experience with gas. After filtering through older threads I've learned quite a bit about both gas and propane generators, but one thing I wasn't able to find was a strong consensus either way.
 
My question is; What type of generator do you prefer, gas or propane?
 
I'm intrigued by the thought of convenience when it comes to propane, but I'm not sure if the extra usage would become annoying. On the other hand a gas generator would require an entirely different fuel from both the truck and the equipment. 
 
All opinions are appreciated, I have found a great amount of help thus far from all of you.
 
Thanks!
SantacruzTacoCo
Hamburger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/10 16:25:59
Like you mention, for me it would be convenience but also noise.
but do you want to run another propane line to the gen? can you fill up gas when you refill the truck which I'm assuming is diesel(usually pumps dispense gas & diesel just different nozzle), I guess it just comes down to personal preference and electric requirements.
Uncle Groucho
Cheeseburger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/10 17:09:23
I use a propane powered welder/generator when I work or weld in food plants. I like them, here are my reasons-
1. If you spill gasoline you have a mess and an odor that lingers, If you leak propane the smell disperses pretty quickly.
2. Your oil and spark plug will last longer with propane.
3. Since propane is under pressure, you shouldnt have much trouble starting the engine in different weather or altitude changes.
4. propane gives off Carbon Dioxide and gasoline gives off Carbon Monoxide.
5.Propane engine isnt as efficient as Gasoline, not much of a difference but over time it will be a big difference.
There are a few other differences, but dont get me wrong, A Gasoline powered Honda generator will last a long time with regular maintenance.
Good luck, ask Google , It knows a lot more than I do.
cue
Hamburger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/10 22:06:22
I checked into the same thing.  I looked into a 10,800 watt generator.  The salesman told me that in would require a 150 gallon propane tank at 60 degree ambient temperature to suffice the pressure needed by the generator.  Now on the back of my food truck I planned on only having 1- 100 lb propane tank.  1- 100lb propane tank only holds about 24 gallons of propane.  So even if I put 2- 100 lb propane tanks I wouldnt be able to suffice the gallons required by the generator.  This generator also used 2.2 gallons of propane/hr.  So in a 5 hr shift the generator alone would use 11 gallons of propane at about $2.40/gallon= $26.40.  A good gas generator will use 1.125 gal of gas/hr.  So with some math=  5hr*1.125= 5.625 gallons of gas in the same 5 hr shift.  Here gas is about 3.46/gal *5.625gal= $19.46.  So it would cost about $7.00 more per 5 hr shift.  5 days a week, 30 weeks a year==  $1050 more in fuel cost per season.  These numbers are in my area and how often I will run my food truck.  Now you still have to suffice the gallon requirement.  You need 150 gallons at 60 degrees, which means about 6-100 lb tanks! Just for the generator!  I still have my cooking equipment to run.  The colder it gets the more you need.  At 30 degrees I would have needed 250 gallons.
 
Now this is the research I did based on my needs.  All of this was a little out of my element. And I hope I researched it appropriately and I didnt just blow a bunch of smoke up you know where.  Hopefully someone with more expertise in this will confirm what I have said.
fishscale28
Cheeseburger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/10 23:22:31
Diesel is the way to go.  Especially if you have a diesel rig.  One made to turn at 1800 RPM will be perfect for efficiency and longevity.  I just went through the same whole process and went through all the different options.  Tons of times.  I ended up going with a haus of a diesel generator...a little bigger than I wanted but the life, efficiency and ease of use will go so, so far
 
 
daddywoofdawg
Cheeseburger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/11 00:53:45
I would go with a RV diesel gen.you can pick them up cheap at RV salvage places.
cue
Hamburger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/11 08:10:11
Fishscale.  I chose to go with a diesel as well, just have not picked out the right one.  Which brand did you go with?
a.mckenna
Hamburger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/11 12:05:40
If you only need 4 to 6 kw of power, propane is king. If you get above that number, gas or diesel is the way to go.
Revel
Junior Burger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/11 15:16:00
Wow, thanks everyone. Clearly all types/styles have their pros and cons, I appreciate the opinions. I've had my heart set on a Honda generator for a long time, but the more research I've done has me questioning myself.
 
Anyone have experience using generators with parallel capabilities (ie. Honda)? I really like the Honday EU3000iS, but 3000 Watts is really small. It may still be a nice one to have for the RV though.
fishscale28
Cheeseburger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/12 00:56:52
@cue - I went with a genny from Hardy Diesel in So Cal. It's a Perkins 3 cyclinder with a Mecc Alt alternator head. It's bigger than I would have liked but I couldn't be happier. Especially with the service life on these and their efficiency.

There's a lot off good options out there though.... Google Maine generators (I think it's generatorsales dot com) as they have some neat models and Hardy Solar had better prices than Hardy Diesel...their sister site. Let me know if you have any more questions!
daddywoofdawg
Cheeseburger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/12 01:51:39
the hondas are really good and the parallel works good too.I don't have one but know a few that really like them.their just out of my price range.
 
Revel
Junior Burger
Re:Gas vs. LP Generators 2013/04/12 09:07:07
I hear ya daddywofdawg. They're a little pricey, but i'm leaning that way.