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Old 06-25-2022, 06:36 AM   #1
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Convert Onan 5.5 propane genny to gas. What do you think?

Hi guys, I was reading the other day someone converting a propane generator to gasoline. I never thought much about it but his point was. He’s and older guy and dealing with these heavy tanks was becoming too much for him. He also made the point he can always find gasoline but not so much with propane. Especially when you’re not exchanging tanks.

Have you guys made this conversion and what did it cost? Is the gasoline version louder than the propane?

And what are the good vs bad about this conversion I should think about?

Thanks guys
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Old 06-25-2022, 07:15 AM   #2
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Gas has its own set of issues. Not starting due to gas clogs in the carb, especially using any gas with ethanol added.
Maybe a small portable generator would give you both options...
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Old 06-25-2022, 07:28 AM   #3
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Hi wolfgolden, Most small generators are more noisy than a trip to Boise. And I’d rather not lose the room in the truck bed. Plus I’d still have propane tanks to deal with.

The things I read never mentioned trouble with gumming up the carb. But anything can happen for sure.
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Old 06-25-2022, 10:54 AM   #4
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As far as just exchanging tanks, I have not run across a place where you can exchange 30lb tanks. I have only seen where you can exchange the 20lb, grill tanks.

Also keep in mind how much propane you will use when running the generator.
You can find conversion kits from Onan for this.

https://www.cummins.com/generators/r...-rv-generators
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Old 06-26-2022, 05:28 PM   #5
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Using a good field additive will eliminate the gumming problem .
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Old 06-26-2022, 05:57 PM   #6
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Using a good field additive will eliminate the gumming problem .
yep and run it at least once every 3 months, once a month is ideal.
I use star tron, stabil is ok as well.

see if they make a dual fuel carb for it, than you can go either way if you need.
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Old 06-27-2022, 03:00 PM   #7
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Hi guys, I sent an email to Cummins-Onan last week asking them the parts I’d need and price for a conversion. I was surprised the get the following message.

“ We do not have any information on converting fuel types, since we do not do this type of work.”

I thought they’d give me the parts and price. Not they got nothin!
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Old 06-27-2022, 05:12 PM   #8
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You might be better off looking for a used generator or parts from a salvage yard . Some conversions left the gas carb on the engine , while others replaced it with a propane unit. The basic items you may need are a carb (complete with the choke assembly), linkages , fuel pump, possible air filter box and possibly wiring or a circuit board to control the choke. Sometimes they will change the ignition timing when switching fuels.
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Old 06-27-2022, 06:27 PM   #9
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Not that hard to convert if you can find the parts. But I was looking at converting in the other direction until our power needs changed. Now I need a bigger genset, and I'm going with propane.
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoFree View Post
Hi guys, I sent an email to Cummins-Onan last week asking them the parts I’d need and price for a conversion. I was surprised the get the following message.

“ We do not have any information on converting fuel types, since we do not do this type of work.”

I thought they’d give me the parts and price. Not they got nothin!
Look at this place and see if it has what you need:
https://centuryfuelproducts.com/supp...-small-engines
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Old 06-29-2022, 08:47 AM   #11
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Hi guys and great info as always. I decided to stay with the propane. Two primary reasons.
1. Onan doesn’t offer the parts.
2. It voids the Onan warrantee.
My daughter said “Come on Dad just suck it up buttercup”! Yes, I’ve never liked her.

The only time it really becomes an issue is long trips with 3 to 5 days of travel. And running the genny at Walmart, Cracker Barrel etc. Especially when a park is off the beaten path. But even there I’d still have to take the tanks out to be filled. I’ll make it work but sure enjoyed your input.
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Old 06-29-2022, 11:31 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by WyoFree View Post
Hi guys and great info as always. I decided to stay with the propane. Two primary reasons.
1. Onan doesn’t offer the parts.
2. It voids the Onan warrantee.
My daughter said “Come on Dad just suck it up buttercup”! Yes, I’ve never liked her.

The only time it really becomes an issue is long trips with 3 to 5 days of travel. And running the genny at Walmart, Cracker Barrel etc. Especially when a park is off the beaten path. But even there I’d still have to take the tanks out to be filled. I’ll make it work but sure enjoyed your input.
how long is left on the warranty?
My gen is just gas but I am thinking about going with a dual fuel carb just so I can be lazy and not have to run and get fuel. Run off gas until I'm out, switch to propane and than go get both filled at same time.
In meantime while you wait out the warranty,one may become available thru onan or aftermarket channels.

Onan does have duel fuel gensets so I guess it's possible they may add a kit down the road for that model?
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