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Old 06-19-2018, 01:16 AM   #1
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Propane Tanks (and Generator) Mounted Under Bus

Gentlemen and ladies,

I want to get propane tanks mounted underneath the bus. My current thought is to use 2-4 20lb tanks, mounted vertically, between the axles. The bottom of the tanks will be about 5" higher than the gas tank or bus skirt.

1. I was looking at these on Amazon - my expectation would be one set of two brackets per tank. I would bolt the brackets to the steel frame around the gas tank. Is this reasonable? Is there another option that is cheaper and relatively easy? 4x sets of brackets at $43 each (with Alaska shipping) is a little steep. (Rock Crawler Tank Bracket):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...76EGFNBS&psc=1

2. What do I need to protect this from rocks thrown up by my tires? I have no welding experience or equipment and would prefer to avoid a solution that requires it. This is Alaska, so they cover the roads with gravel all winter long for traction (and it doesn't go away in the summer).
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Old 06-19-2018, 01:58 AM   #2
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3. I was planning to set up a two-stage regulator close to the tanks. I was looking at something like this? 2x units to hook up to 4x tanks. (Two stage regulator with pigtail hoses:
https://www.amazon.com/2-Stage-Propa...ulator+propane

4. This would run the following:
A. Propane on-demand water heater (Eccotemp L12) - I've heard mixed reviews about this though - going to do some more research into it (maybe one with a small tank instead?)
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002Y0K6AI...v_ov_lig_dp_it

B. Propane Heater (Suburban NT-30SP Electronic Ignition Ducted Furnace 30k BTU) with Thermostat (Suburban Brand)
I have to figure out a way to duct this to get heat to every room in the bus - yet another thing to learn how to do.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002F6868...v_ov_lig_dp_it
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002F6868...v_ov_lig_dp_it

C. Propane Oven/Stove (Summit Pro 24G)
I made the mistake of purchasing this from openboxdirect.com as a "lightly" scratched or dented model. I just spent $120 on replacement parts and would have been far better off ordering something brand new... My concern now is I'm not sure if the 2-stage regulator referenced above gets this to the right pressure - need more research.

https://www.summitappliance.com/catalog/model/PRO24G
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Old 06-19-2018, 02:03 AM   #3
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D. Generator. Right now, I'm looking at this one (Westinghouse 3600 Dual Fuel Remote Start).It will run off either propane or gasoline - it's more efficient than many of them. It's a little loud also, which I am concerned about. The idea would be to mount it hanging near the propane tanks. This brings up several concerns:
1. How do I protect it from gravel and road debris?
2. Won't this potentially get covered in mud, etc. unless protected?
3. Can this handle the vibration of a bus?
4. How can I minimize the vibration while this is running? (some kind of rubber gaskets, etc.)
5. Will this be uncomfortably loud?
6. If I hang this from it's top, will I have a problem with routine maintenance, such as changing/adding oil?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Westingh...00DF/303950440
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Old 06-19-2018, 09:30 AM   #4
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I am thinking of using an open frame inverter generator and using the items in the first picture (from Amazon) to hang it from. I would attach those to the frame of the Genny. Then I would hang them from unistrur attached to the cross member underneath the bus.

Or

I will use the frame hanger in the second picture (from Home Depot) to mount a regular inverter generator, with some extra supports and vibration isolators of some sort.

I'm starting to lean heavily to the second option.

https://www.motorsnorkel.com makes propane adapters for most brands and types of gas generators.Screenshot_20180619-102255.jpegScreenshot_20180619-102626.jpegScreenshot_20180619-102954.jpeg
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Old 06-19-2018, 11:30 AM   #5
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At 69 dBA that is going to be real noisy. In the long run will be happier with a 59 or 60 dB Yamaha or Honda--even if you have to make payments to make it happen. Remember, each 3 dB increase in sound level is perceived by the human ear as "twice" as loud so that 69 dB unit you are considering will be a real cage rattler. Jack
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:22 PM   #6
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Biscuitjam, I did something similar to what you are looking at doing but what I did was had a local welding shop weld a platform behind my rear wheels that would accommodate both 2 x 20lbs tanks and my generator with about 10-12 inches between.
The platform is about 12-18inches from the ground and havenít had any issues with it dragging the ground or anything.

I had a 3kw- Briggs and Stratton P3000 which I run down there. So far, I havenít had any issues with either being down there. When I run the generator, itís no louder than the exhaust noise when Iím driving down the road between 60-70mph.

My only regret is not having a diesel generator that I can use the bus tank to fuel. Depending on how hard I run the generator, the gas last about 2 to 3 hours. The major issue with a diesel generator is the price but for the price, Iíll just keep stopping to fill it up from a fuel can.

My last disclaimer is Iíve only been on the road for about 2 months. Iím out in the desert now still heading west but from NC to NM, no issues with the setup. Just had to change the oil in generator last week which wasnít too bad. Will have to change the oil again maybe next week since every 50 hours, oil change is required for the Briggs and Stratton. Iíll try to do some pictures to show my setup.
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Old 06-20-2018, 08:27 PM   #7
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IMG_4170.JPGIMG_4171.JPGIMG_4172.JPGIMG_4173.JPG
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tarheel Travelers View Post
Biscuitjam, I did something similar to what you are looking at doing but what I did was had a local welding shop weld a platform behind my rear wheels that would accommodate both 2 x 20lbs tanks and my generator with about 10-12 inches between.
The platform is about 12-18inches from the ground and havenít had any issues with it dragging the ground or anything.

I had a 3kw- Briggs and Stratton P3000 which I run down there. So far, I havenít had any issues with either being down there. When I run the generator, itís no louder than the exhaust noise when Iím driving down the road between 60-70mph.

My only regret is not having a diesel generator that I can use the bus tank to fuel. Depending on how hard I run the generator, the gas last about 2 to 3 hours. The major issue with a diesel generator is the price but for the price, Iíll just keep stopping to fill it up from a fuel can.

My last disclaimer is Iíve only been on the road for about 2 months. Iím out in the desert now still heading west but from NC to NM, no issues with the setup. Just had to change the oil in generator last week which wasnít too bad. Will have to change the oil again maybe next week since every 50 hours, oil change is required for the Briggs and Stratton. Iíll try to do some pictures to show my setup.
About how much did the welding shop run you?

Are you happy with your doors and compartment they made?

Im assuming the 2-3 hours refers to one tank of propane with the generator running flat out to run AC?

I've also been eyeballing a used Onan Quiet Diesel 8000 that's listed on Craigslist, but the guy is asking $3500. It's been on there for a month now, so maybe he'd be willing to come down if I ask. It would still be around 70 decibels though I think.

So many choices...
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:08 AM   #9
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The HF 3500w Predator is supposed to be pretty darn quiet from the videos I've watched. Motorsnorkel makes a propane conversion for it.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:30 AM   #10
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The generator has rubber feet to cushion the vibration. If permanently mounting it rubber isolated feet are available.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
About how much did the welding shop run you?



Are you happy with your doors and compartment they made?



Im assuming the 2-3 hours refers to one tank of propane with the generator running flat out to run AC?



I've also been eyeballing a used Onan Quiet Diesel 8000 that's listed on Craigslist, but the guy is asking $3500. It's been on there for a month now, so maybe he'd be willing to come down if I ask. It would still be around 70 decibels though I think.



So many choices...


I donít know how much was for just the platform but I had him do a tow hitch too and together they were around $800.

I did the doors and skirting myself and Iím happy with it. I tried to do it so I can still access the entire area but from a far, not really notice them. I thought we will have an issue with vibrating when idling but donít have any issues.

As for the generator, it runs on regular gas. It has a gallon and a half tank. Unfortunately, I havenít found a way to add a larger tank to the generator.

That 8000 Onan generator seems like a great deal as long as it was maintained!!!
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:11 AM   #12
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The generator was 14 years old and has been sitting unused for the last 3 years. It was a 5 hour drive for me go look at it. When i tried to get him to come off the price, he decided to give it to his nephew instead.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:12 AM   #13
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Oh really? Thatís crazy!!
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Old 07-01-2018, 01:57 PM   #14
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recommend steel sliding racks and be very focused on how the generator will recieve a flow of cooling air and conscience of adjacent surfaces and devices, that they are not heated up by the genset operation. the generator will produce tons of heat.
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Old 07-25-2018, 05:23 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biscuitsjam View Post
The generator was 14 years old and has been sitting unused for the last 3 years. It was a 5 hour drive for me go look at it. When i tried to get him to come off the price, he decided to give it to his nephew instead.
ouch. that would have left me drivin home pretty disappointed and maybe a little hot lol
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Old 11-15-2018, 11:22 AM   #16
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Design complete and (almost) completely installed. I had one leak from a manufacturing defect on a pipe union. Other than that, no issues. I used galvanized steel pipe (I know - galvanized is not recommended, but I don't think it will be a problem) and CSST (Homeflex brand). Most of it is sized 3/4 inch, but a few sections are 1/2 inch. I avoided all rubber except for the hose on my propane conversion kit (it uses hose bib connections!) and the pigtails (I ordered stainless steel, but it's actually rubber hose with a stainless cover). It cost me a fair bit more than I hoped, but I'm happy with it.

Every connection has a valve at the manifold and at the appliance. I really like both the CSST and the heavy pipe - they are durable and hard to break.

Propane2.jpg
Propane1.png
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Old 11-15-2018, 03:47 PM   #17
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I have always been told that using galvanized pipe for propane or nat gas was a no-no due to the risk of flaking that can clog orifices.



Anyone else?
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Old 11-15-2018, 04:35 PM   #18
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Galvanized pipe is not allowed for underground gas piping in some states because of corrosion.

I've also read people talk about flaking - supposedly some natural gas can interact somehow with the zinc in galvanized pipe and make it flake off - I don't think it applies to propane and there's a lot of experts that doubt if that's actually a big problem. Maybe?

Galvanized pipe is allowed in a lot of places and there are commercial outfits that install it, along with anecdotal stories of systems that have been in place for 15+ years with no problem.

I'm not an expert. If i had it to do over again, I'd use black iron and paint it, but I don't think I have any reason to change things.
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