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Old 12-15-2019, 02:48 PM   #1
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Propane ran bus

I found a bus I really love, but just found it runs off propane. Is that really a viable way to travel? What types of places could I fill up at?
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Old 12-15-2019, 02:55 PM   #2
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I found a bus I really love, but just found it runs off propane. Is that really a viable way to travel? What types of places could I fill up at?
We have two places to buy propane in the county I live in. Both charge $3.29 a gallon. Fuel mileage will be notably lower than a comparable bus with a diesel engine. I would not consider a propane bus if you plan extensive travel.
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Old 12-15-2019, 03:01 PM   #3
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But great if you establish a pig farm and fuel supplies get cut off when SHTF
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:22 PM   #4
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If you can convert it back to diesel (?) or gas (?) you'd be OK. The bus is worth about 50% of its original used value with propane as the fuel.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:17 PM   #5
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They’re only asking $1200. It runs. It’s a 1984 bus.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:22 PM   #6
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Offer $500.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:25 PM   #7
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You could convert it back to gasoline
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Old 12-16-2019, 08:48 AM   #8
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Propane buses sell for less than half of their diesel-equipped variants. They're not very good for anything unless you have (A) stations near you that sell propane for vehicles and (B) you don't take long trips to areas where they're scarce or (C) the bus is stationary 100% of the time.

They get extremely bad gas mileage (think like 3-5 mpg). My company has been buying a lot of the Bluebird Visions with the V10 Ford motor converted to run on propane. They're good for route buses with predictable driving schedules but I just don't see it working well in a skoolie application at all. Plus they're gutless pigs so don't plan on towing anything or being able to get up to highway speeds quickly.

The tanks also expire at a certain point at which most people sell as the value of the bus isn't even close to replacement cost.
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:01 AM   #9
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I have a bus that runs on propane. You get about the sam MpG as you would gas. The cost is pretty much the same wherever you travel. I pay about $2.50 a gallon I fill up at tons of places tractor supply, propane refills, RV parks,uhual, just make sure that you you tell them propane gas and know how big your tanks is.
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:02 AM   #10
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https://northwestpropane.com/propane-conversion/
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Old 01-01-2020, 05:43 PM   #11
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Also not hard to convert to dual fuel. As one fella mentioned, Lotsa places to fill propane. RV parks, Agway, propane supply, a lot of u-haul dealers..etc.
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Old 01-02-2020, 04:32 AM   #12
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Difference in mileage is because propane today us direct injected. They get about the same mileage as gas with more power.
Propane can be had consistently around the country but you have to plan it out. Drove several LP vehicles a distance cross country and the big issue is convenience.



The downside is servicing the systems. The ECM and injection system on these is proprietary and its difficult to get any support unless you a subscribed fleet owner. In my view I would stick with diesel.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:59 AM   #13
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I owned a propane powered truck and a full size van. They’re cheaper to run than gasoline. The engines typically last longer and oil change intervals can be longer too. Yes less power and it can be a pain filling up at times. The filling reason alone I wouldn’t get a propane bus unless it could easily be converted to dual fuel gasoline/propane. There is no diesel/propane. Make sure the propane system is certified or get it inspected. If it was dual and I wanted a short bus I’d totally go for it and just use the gasoline as backup supply.

You can also get a hose to fill the tanks from a regular 20 or 30 pound cylinder, I still have mine but I never did use it. Doing that might save you extra taxes but would be lots of work.
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Old 04-18-2020, 05:41 AM   #14
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Hey everyone , I'm currently looking into purchasing a propane powered bus ( originally gas) and have been warned it's gutless on hills.
I'm less concerned with power/speed and more concerned with cost as we plan to be stationary for the most part.
I have absolutely zero experience with a propane vehicle .
Could anyone tell me how propane compares cost wise to run... I see a lot of conflicting information out there.
If I buy it , I'm looking at a 4 hour drive back home with it , up and down hills . Trying to figure out what this alone will cost me ....
Thanks for any help!
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Old 04-18-2020, 06:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by LoveLostLadyBug View Post
Hey everyone , I'm currently looking into purchasing a propane powered bus ( originally gas) and have been warned it's gutless on hills.
I'm less concerned with power/speed and more concerned with cost as we plan to be stationary for the most part.
I have absolutely zero experience with a propane vehicle .
Could anyone tell me how propane compares cost wise to run... I see a lot of conflicting information out there.
If I buy it , I'm looking at a 4 hour drive back home with it , up and down hills . Trying to figure out what this alone will cost me ....
Thanks for any help!

If its carburated forget it. It will be a dog and use a ton of fuel.

If its injected go for it. They produce more torque than equivalent gasoline motors and get decent mileage.



Biggest issue with lp is getting it at a reasonable price. Propane distributors far more cut throat than gasoline. Doesn't make sense as LP infrastructure far cheaper than gas/diesel.
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Old 04-18-2020, 05:42 PM   #16
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It all depends what you have to pay for propane since the prices from place to place can vary a lot! Call around to some propane stations along your route home and compare the cost liter to liter for gasoline. The propane should be much cheaper. If you’re getting close to or even more for a liter of propane than gasoline then your costs are going to be very high. (Unfortunately Costco won’t fill up vehicles; neither will a lot of other propane stations).

Also when getting the cost of propane be sure to get the taxes added on that they’ll add if it’s a vehicle; taxes that they don’t add to a propane bbq cylinder.
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Old 04-18-2020, 05:54 PM   #17
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Availability of official autogas outlets varies a **lot** by geography.

Fortunately it's easy, just tedious to self transfer from BBQ bottles.

But a big RV tank used for non-propulsion purposes, would be much more widely and easily filled anyplace in the US.

Just know the "revenooers" if they catch you avoiding the road taxes will likely not be very lenient.

The more important caveat is if your engine breaks down, replacement parts and skilled labour for the LP-specific components may be very hard to find.
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:45 PM   #18
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Does this happen to be the bus you’re looking at?

2 gmc blue bird school busses on Kijiji https://www.kijiji.ca/v-cars-trucks/...utm_source=sms
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Old 04-18-2020, 08:51 PM   #19
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I wouldnít do it. For some reason they auction propane buses when they have 100K on them. I donít know why. Maybe they experience excessive wear? Does propane eat seals?

Also be cautious of propane cylinder certification dates.
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:15 PM   #20
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I wouldnít do it. For some reason they auction propane buses when they have 100K on them. I donít know why. Maybe they experience excessive wear? Does propane eat seals?

Also be cautious of propane cylinder certification dates.
I think due to their very low range they're typically used on city routes that involve very little miles every day.

My company has been ordering propane Bluebird Visions for a couple years now but they always try to use them on the shortest routes possible. They make it easy to run them since a massive propane filling station is installed at each company location that runs the propane buses.

As for power, the older Bluebird All Americans will have propane motors that were actually manufactured by John Deere. Newer propane buses will generally have Ford V10 Tritons that were modified to run propane..

I generally don't think anyone should buy propane buses, even if they plan on mostly being stationary. The resale value on them is absolute trash and I would hate for anyone to start a conversion on one and be unable to get their money back.
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