Testing Begins: ALP’s Overland-Ready Propane-Fired Generator
First look at an ongoing test product.
We're always on the lookout for cool new things, and we found a cool new thing at the 2020 Adventure Expo in Costa Mesa, California. It's the small, quiet, propane-fired ALP by ProPower LLC inverter generator.
The first thing that came to mind was how a generator of this size and fuel type would be great for overlanding. In today's world we all have electronics and electric gear that needs to be charged or powered. We've often taken our gas-powered generator on off-road and overlanding excursions, but our bulky, 110-pound unit (dry) isn't always the best traveling companion. And we have to bring along extra gasoline. This is why the ALP unit grabbed our attention. It's lightweight (28 pounds), its size is very compact, and it runs on propane. But there's more.
We got a tour of the ALP generator by the guru behind the product, Perry Rubin. He told us the history of the generator and how it came to be, and he outlined the features of the unit (including DC outlet, twin AC outlets, an economy energy switch, LED light, and dual USB ports). He gave us the lowdown on output (1,000 starting watts and 850 running watts) and on the generator's impressive runtime (60 to 70 hours nonstop on a 20-pound tank and 2.5 to 3.5 hours on a 16-ounce tank).
Another thing that was super impressive is that we had our lengthy conversation while standing right next to a running ALP generator. The generator is super quiet, generating only 52 dBA.
We were so impressed by the ALP generator, and we saw so many benefits for off-road camping and overlanding, we acquired one for a full test. It recently arrived, and our initial impression is very positive. We had the unit running in a matter of minutes by simply adding engine oil and connecting the generator to a 16-ounce propane tank.
The front of the unit is like the dashboard of your 4x4. The switches and ports are all clustered in one place for ease of use. A couple things to note: The control panel includes a DC Out 12V outlet, which allows you to charge an automotive 12V lead-acid battery, and there's an energy saving switch that can help increase runtime depending on load. The generator utilizes a SMART throttle system that allows the unit to run at a lower rpm when electrical equipment doesn't need instantaneous high power.
Starting the Generator
The primer button, choke switch, and engine starting handle are conveniently located on the same side of the generator. Starting the unit is as simple as pressing the purge button for 10 seconds, setting the choke, and pulling the engine starting handle.
Under the Hood
Under the hood (we call it that, ALP calls it a "maintenance cover plate") there's easy access to check the engine oil level and check the condition of the air filter. It's easily and quickly removed by removing two screws.
The other side of the generator is where the fuel inlet hose attaches. The unit comes with a hose to attach a small 16-ounce propane tank. A hose to attach a 20-pound propane tank can also be used for longer runtimes.
Over the next few weeks we're going to use the ALP generator in a variety of ways including on some backcountry camping/wheeling trips and as a power source for our travel trailer during some upcoming camping. We'll have a full review of the ALP by ProPower LLC generator in the future, so stay tuned. We're looking forward to sharing our experiences with the unique propane-powered generator. In the meantime, get more info on the generator at alpgenerators.com.