Propane Conversion

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shearhawk

Active member
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Posts
39
Anybody had their gasoline RV converted to run on Propane.  I had read in a motorhome mag that some early model RV's use to be able to switch from one tank to the other with a flip of a switch.  Did not catch on, but I am entertaining the thought.  Anybody make the switch and how?
Thanks,
Randy
 

caltex

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Joined
Feb 14, 2005
Posts
731
Location
North Texas/Northern California
I had a '74 Chevy pickup that I converted to propane back in the late 70s. The conversion kit consisted of a regulator and a propane "carb" that set on top of the regulator carburetor. A solenoid switch shut off the gas and turned on the propane. The truck ran fine on either fuel. I originally did the conversion in order to increase the fuel capacity.  I could get to the ski slopes in Tahoe on the gas tankage, but if I was unable to find fuel there I would be stuck. With the 84 gallon propane tank as backup I could get there and back without concern. Since I ran mostly on propane, which contained no lead, and the '74 valve seats were not the hardened variety, I had to do a valve job at about 100,000 miles. Otherwise everything was great.
 

Clay L

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Joined
May 28, 2005
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1,725
Location
X Full Timer Now Palisade CO
In the 60s  I converted a 1957 Ford V8 to butane. As I recall butane is a higher octane than gasoline. I know it has  lower energy content. Propane will have even less energy content than butane.
The engine had less power when running on butane. The miles per gallon were also lower than on gasoline
With today's computer controlled engines, settings are based on parameters associated with gasoline, not propane. I would be concerned about how the computer might react.
In addition, I just had my motorhome tank filled this morning and the cost per gallon was $3.85 per gallon.
Looking at the cost of propane, possible engine control problems, cost of the conversion ,and I think lower miles per gallon, I am not sure it's a good idea.
I could be wrong however.

Clay
 

John From Detroit

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Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
25,092
Location
Davison Michigan
The big difference is how the fuel and air are mixed.  Older engines used carbarators, Now there are different carbs for liquid fuel which I'll use the British name for "Petrol" and real Gas (propane).  However nothing in the rules say you can't have a dual carb setup one in front of the other

With today's modern engines the Petrol is not carbarated (Mixed with the air) but injected.  Now, again, no reason you can't put a propane carb in the line ahead of the throttle plate, but I'm not sure how well it would work.

Next, there are dangers and concerns in converting, Diesel fuel can be dangerous, but you have to seriously annoy it before it gets all riles up and flairs in anger (Burns)

Gasoline (petrol) is much more easily annoyed

Propane is very easily annoyed and is stored under pressure, quite a bit of pressure, so you need a very strong tank to hold it, just incase some idiot decides to park his sports car under your fuel tank

Disel can be made to burn, if you work at it, Petrol very easily, but it does not often explode unless the fuel/air mix is real close, it may "implode" (The "Whomp" of a puddle of petrol ignighting is caused by air rushing in to the fire, not out)

But Propane sprays out in a cloud and can shatter windows for quite some distance when some idiot strikes a match so he can light his last ciggeratte (his very last, since it will be the one he's holding as he dies in agony)
 
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