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2010 RC Toyota Tundra Propane Conversion

I thought Id post some pics of my Tundra propane conversion for anyone that might be interested. I've had it on the truck now for just over a week and used my first tank of propane. The tank is an 80 gallon tank and supposed to hold 80% of its volume. I ran it down to empty and it took 55.1 gallons to fill. I got right on 700 miles from the tank and it cost me $107.20 to fill. I paid $1.54 plus tax per gallon for the propane here in MN
The tank is manufactured by Manchester tanks and the propane system is a VSI Prins system which stands for Vapour Sequentiial Injection . The truck drives pretty much exactly like it does on gas. If anything Id say its a little smoother at idle on propane. In the mornings it will start on gas until it reaches roughly 110F and then automatically switches to propane. This takes about 4 minutes if standing still with an outside temp of 55F. If you turn it off and its still warm it will still start on gas for a split second before switching to propane. You can switch from one fuel to the other at any time by pressing the the button that is part of the propane fuel guage - switch.
The tank cost $1900 odd including tax fitted with all the lines and filler. I pulled the tank after it was fitted painted the tank, made the box around it and covered it with the same material as the Bed Rug I have in my bed. The tank was fitted by Carburetion and Turbo Systems Inc in Shakopee MN. They fit Technocarb Propane sytems but do not fit Prins
Fitting of the prins system came to just over $1900 as well. The Prins system was fitted by Acme Alternate Fuel Systems in Mankato MN. I dont have the cost of the Prins system as it was given to me by my brother. I do know a Technocarb sytem fitted with the tank would have run around $6K.
Last year I had a 2011 DC and I put on near 30K miles. I figure if I keep running up miles like I did last year It will only be a few years before it pays for itself. I plan on keeping my truck for a long time. Both my Tundras got or get around mid 14 to low 15MPG around town. On this tank of propane Im at around 12.7. Thats about right for propane as it doesnt have as much energy as an equal amount of gasoline.
In MN gasoline pricing is currently around $3.60 - $3.70. At $3.60 it would have cost me $168 to run the same miles.
Im thinking of using the truck to do courier work so I expect to run more than 30K miles in a year.

If anyone has any questions Id be happy to answer them.



Tundra LPG pics 4.jpg Tundra LPG pics 3.jpg Tundra LPG pics 2.jpg Tundra LPG pics.jpg Tundra LPG pics 5.jpg
 

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Can you pop the engine cover off and take a picture of what the fuel rails look like?

I used to work on Impco LPG carbureted vehicles in the early 90's, but only saw the Prins stuff while over in Europe, and got to drive a converted Hyundai across Turkey. It was pretty cool - gasoline start prevents the cold-starting issues that LPG engines have in northern climates too.
 

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Re: 2010 RC Toyota Tundra Propane Conversion

Can you pop the engine cover off and take a picture of what the fuel rails look like?

I used to work on Impco LPG carbureted vehicles in the early 90's, but only saw the Prins stuff while over in Europe, and got to drive a converted Hyundai across Turkey. It was pretty cool - gasoline start prevents the cold-starting issues that LPG engines have in northern climates too.
Hope this helps.....

Tundra LPG pics 6.jpg

Tundra LPG pics 7.jpg

Tundra LPG pics 8.jpg
 

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Very cool. Nice to hear from another MN tundra owner. I dated a girl that had an LP ford ranger. She got almost 1000 miles per fill. Was crazy. It's a great idea for a courier vehicle for the mileage. I did see a hummer (old style) courier vehicle. Hope he gets a subsidy from the company for that.


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Re: 2010 RC Toyota Tundra Propane Conversion

Very cool. Nice to hear from another MN tundra owner. I dated a girl that had an LP ford ranger. She got almost 1000 miles per fill. Was crazy. It's a great idea for a courier vehicle for the mileage. I did see a hummer (old style) courier vehicle. Hope he gets a subsidy from the company for that.

I must admit I wish my tank went closer to its 80% capacity, as Id get almost another 100 miles. I think Im going to have the float removed when I run out of LPG again and see if it cant be modified to allow it to get closer to its theoretical fill limit.
I dont understand why its not more prevelant. I get the initial outlay is steep, but courier work or not, if you keep a pickup that uses this much fuel for a reasonable amount of time or if you put on 100K + miles on your Tundras or any other gas guzzler for that matter it makes good financial sense.
I think the main reason most people shy away from it is because they think propane is priced closer to gas, as in when they fill the propane barbecue bottles or RV bottles. Alot of places charge a small fortune for propane.
 

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I worked and retired from a major utility company. They used propane powered vehicles and equipment from the 60's well into the 80's. I think that they stopped due to the tax advantages were phased out. But, the vehicles ran well, and ran on propane only, there was no gas to start it. There was a button on the dash to prime the system before starting. We used to have a great time shutting off the ignition while driving, pumping the throttle a few times, then turning the key back on. This would cause a pretty good explosion in the exhaust system, and was quite loud. We probably blew out a few mufflers too. I am not recommending that anyone do this. Just stating what some young and ignorant guys once did.

One of the other great advantages of using propane is the reduced maintenance. The propane burns so clean that there is no buildup of deposits in the engine. Longer oil change intervals are possible, and I never remember any mechanical issues in these trucks and vans. Enjoy your converted ride!
 

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Interesting conversion. I did the quick math for my area and it would only yield a 4 cents per mile driven savings. It would take me 95K miles before breaking even.
 

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did i read it right when the total cost was 1900 for the tank, 1900 for install and the system was free to you from your brother?
 

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Yep, it costs me $20 to fill up my 5 gallon barbeque grill tank. Not even a feasible option for this area.
 

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Re: 2010 RC Toyota Tundra Propane Conversion

Yep, it costs me $20 to fill up my 5 gallon barbeque grill tank. Not even a feasible option for this area.
Its the same in MN to fill your BBQ bottle. They charge $3.50 odd per gallon. U Haul charges $2.77 per gallon for propane vehicles.
The key is to find a company that will give you a good deal on the propane. Most propane suppliers will fill home heating propane tanks for around $1.30 to $1.60 per gallon at the moment. If they realize that you will be using more than just a BBQ bottle once in a while, you can get a break. You just need to find the right person within the supply company to talk to.
 

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Re: 2010 RC Toyota Tundra Propane Conversion

did i read it right when the total cost was 1900 for the tank, 1900 for install and the system was free to you from your brother?
Supply of the tank with lines and installation was $1900. Installation of the under hood Prins sytem was $1900 as well. The under hood Prins system is what my brother gave me.
 

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Interesting conversion. I did the quick math for my area and it would only yield a 4 cents per mile driven savings. It would take me 95K miles before breaking even.
Interesting.

The current residential price of propane in Delaware is $3.03 a gallon. Here in the twin cities its currently $1.64. Maybe the taxes on propane are higher in your area. Propane has never been that expensive in MN

Here are the historical charts for both states
Delaware

Weekly Delaware Propane Residential Price (Dollars per Gallon)

Minnesota

Weekly Minnesota Propane Residential Price (Dollars per Gallon)
 

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Interesting.

The current residential price of propane in Delaware is $3.03 a gallon. Here in the twin cities its currently $1.64. Maybe the taxes on propane are higher in your area. Propane has never been that expensive in MN

Here are the historical charts for both states
Delaware

Weekly Delaware Propane Residential Price (Dollars per Gallon)

Minnesota

Weekly Minnesota Propane Residential Price (Dollars per Gallon)
My rough math was done on $1.54. At $3.03, I can can forget about even entertaining it.

Not knocking what you have done as I like the idea but obviously the math is not going to be the same for everybody.

I do like the idea of the extended range though.
 

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Re: 2010 RC Toyota Tundra Propane Conversion

My rough math was done on $1.54. At $3.03, I can can forget about even entertaining it.

Not knocking what you have done as I like the idea but obviously the math is not going to be the same for everybody.

I do like the idea of the extended range though.
I must be making a foopah in my math somewhere. It cost me $107.23 to run 700 miles on propane. To run the same miles around town using my average gas mpg which is 15MPG it would have taken me 46.6 gallons of gas at $3.60. That comes to $168, or a saving in round figures of $60 for every 700 miles I run on propane as compared to gas at todays pricing. Propane does seem to loosly follow gas prices here. So the way I figure it, it will pay for itself in roughly 70000 - 75000 miles give or take, or over 100 tank fills of propane at a saving of $60 per tank as compared to what it would have cost me in gas to run the same miles. Even at a saving of $50 per tank it would pay for itself over 84000 miles.


Have I left something out or is gas cheaper in your neck of the woods?
 

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I must be making a foopah in my math somewhere. It cost me $107.23 to run 700 miles on propane. To run the same miles around town using my average gas mpg which is 15MPG it would have taken me 46.6 gallons of gas at $3.60. That comes to $168, or a saving in round figures of $60 for every 700 miles I run on propane as compared to gas at todays pricing. Propane does seem to loosly follow gas prices here. So the way I figure it, it will pay for itself in roughly 70000 - 75000 miles give or take, or over 100 tank fills of propane at a saving of $60 per tank as compared to what it would have cost me in gas to run the same miles. Even at a saving of $50 per tank it would pay for itself over 84000 miles.


Have I left something out or is gas cheaper in your neck of the woods?
$107.23 divided by 700 miles = $0.15 cost per mile.

Gas run $3.34 here. So $3.34 divided 16.8 MPG = $0.20 cost per mile. ($0.05 difference)

With your stated cost of $1900 + $1900 = $3800 (which is not entirely accurate as you had some free costs of the install given to you).

So $3800 divided by $0.05 = 76,000 miles to recoup cost (my 95,000 estimate earlier was not taken into account rounding and at $0.04)

Since propane is double here at $3.03, lets says cost per mile is $0.30. It is now costing me over $0.10 per mile over gas and I would be losing money on propane with no way of every recovering the $3800 cost. In fact, at 76,000 miles, it would have cost me $7600 more and coupled with the original $3800 install costs, I am $11,400 in the hole.

In summary, unless propane is half the cost of gas per gallon and coupled with the 1/3 lower MPG of gas, it is not cost effective. Like I said, I am not knocking you as the math is more in your favor but still there is a high mileage factor to break even before gaining savings.
 

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Supply of the tank with lines and installation was $1900. Installation of the Prins sytem was $1900 as well. The Prins system is what my brother gave me.
ok just wanted to make sure i read that right, since any one else would probably be paying easily over $5k for it all, and probably over $6k. it sounds like a great score for you though if you are putting a lot of miles on the truck quickly.
 

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Re: 2010 RC Toyota Tundra Propane Conversion

ok just wanted to make sure i read that right, since any one else would probably be paying easily over $5k for it all, and probably over $6k. it sounds like a great score for you though if you are putting a lot of miles on the truck quickly.

I agree. To have paid for it all would have been 6K plus. It costs me one way or another. You know what they say, nothing is ever trully free.......
 

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Re:2010 RC Toyota Tundra Propane Conversion

$107.23 divided by 700 miles = $0.15 cost per mile.

Gas run $3.34 here. So $3.34 divided 16.8 MPG = $0.20 cost per mile. ($0.05 difference)

With your stated cost of $1900 + $1900 = $3800 (which is not entirely accurate as you had some free costs of the install given to you).

So $3800 divided by $0.05 = 76,000 miles to recoup cost (my 95,000 estimate earlier was not taken into account rounding and at $0.04)

Since propane is double here at $3.03, lets says cost per mile is $0.30. It is now costing me over $0.10 per mile over gas and I would be losing money on propane with no way of every recovering the $3800 cost. In fact, at 76,000 miles, it would have cost me $7600 more and coupled with the original $3800 install costs, I am $11,400 in the hole.

In summary, unless propane is half the cost of gas per gallon and coupled with the 1/3 lower MPG of gas, it is not cost effective. Like I said, I am not knocking you as the math is more in your favor but still there is a high mileage factor to break even before gaining savings.
I see.
Not only is gasoline cheaper where you are, but your average MPG is greater than mine. Both the Tundras I have owned have never had that good a mileage around town here. 15 is the average I have seen with my 2011 DC as well as the current 2010 RC. Im not sure if my RC weighs more with the topper and the propane tank loaded but I have seen more 14MPG gasoline tanks with this truck than I had with the DC whilst I was waiting for the propane install. The low diff ratio of the regurlar cab may also attribute to that.

Your better MPG on gasoline should however translate into a equivalent increase in propane MPG. I can only use my truck as an example though and the propane gets almost 85% of the MPG I get on gas - 12.7MPG Propane VS 15 MPG gasoline. Thats about what the manufacturers claim. Most claim propane to be within 90% of gasoline, but its not in my case, or at least not yet. But no matter how you look at it with propane at $3, your right its a mute point.

Id be curious to see what people near you are paying for propane if they use it at home for heating or cooking. Even though the charts I found say that the current price is over $1.60 odd here, I am buying it slightly cheaper than that and Im pretty sure residential propane is cheaper again.
 

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..................

Id be curious to see what people near you are paying for propane if they use it at home for heating or cooking. Even though the charts I found say that the current price is over $1.60 odd here, I am buying it slightly cheaper than that and Im pretty sure residential propane is cheaper again.
I have no clue on why the published price of Propane is $3.03 a gallon here? Quite frankly, it is an enigma as I live within 20 miles radius of three large petro refineries and Propane is actually just a byproduct of that processing.
 
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