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Propane gas powered bus milage? Richard 2-27-05  
I just read a note on this forum and someone mentioned in passing that their bus got 2mpg and that average. That seems quite low. I have an 85 GMC 366 propane conversion (standard 5spd) that I just purchased and those numbers scare the bejesus out of me. Any factual info on this I would love. Thanks - Richard
Re: Propane gas powered bus milage? Phil Feinstein 2-28-05  
MPG is based on state of tune and weight of foot. The average I've seen runs about 5 to 10 MPG for heavy diesel motors and 15 to 20 MPG for light duty diesels (Although cars have gotten as much as 40 MPG). EFI engines for gas in motorhomes get as much as 15 to 20 MPG.

Your bus is an interesting animal as Propane has half as much chemical energy as gasoline; This means for every half gallon gasoline you would consume a gallon (equivalent) of Propane. It's hard to do an apples to apples comparison, since a gallon of propane weighs *A LOT LESS* than a gallon of gas and 8 pounds of propane is *MUCH* bigger than a gallon of gas.

A good state of tune, a light foot and a tail wind and you have high mileage. Out of tune, a heavy foot and a headwind and you use more fuel than your progress would indicate.

My experiance with propane generators says that a propane motor is not very thirsty with a constant load. A widely varied load and you use a lot of fuel.

Hope that helps!
Re: Propane gas powered bus milage? F.M. Taylor 1-20-06  
I just drove a 40' 1989 B-700 bluebird 429 propane powered, packed to the roof front to back with furniture and boxes 2000 miles. First, the gas vs propane use factor is 1.3:1 (13 gals of propane eq 10 gals of gas). Second, I got an average of 5-7 mpg with this load. I figure it would do a little better without the extra 5 tons of junk in it. Keep in mind that this trip was from portland, oregon thru southern california, to terre haute indiana. Not exactly a flat road.
Re: Propane gas powered bus milage? Michael Gnapp 11-18-08  
It's not a bus, but I'm converting a '77 Chevy/Olson stepvan. It was a Frito delivery van, and was converted to propane. It's got a rebuilt Goodwrench 350. I've had it for a year, live in it fulltime, and have driven it from the Sacramento area to Las Vegas, and also to the Black Rock Desert for Burning Man. I get 6 mpg in town, and up to 9 mpg on the highway, depending on the load. Going to Burning Man, the van was packed floor to ceiling with sound and lighting equipment, seven tents, a full tent-kitchen setup, bicycles, costumes, etc. It was way heavy, and I got about 6 mph, in heavy traffic and over the Sierras at Donner Pass. The thing is a work in progress. I've added solar panels on the hood to keep my main and auxillary batteries up, and lots of solar lighting is installed. I also use the remote solar panels from lighting to charge rechargeable AA batteries for other stuff. Next step is to install a coil of black landscape hose on the top to solar heat water for a 15-gallon landscape sprayer with a 12-volt pump as a shower mounted on the outside of the van. The interior is equipped with a raised queen-size bed, dresser and low closet under that, metal cabinetry, shelving, a 12-volt cooler, and LED lighting. I normally carry all my carpentry and painting equipment and tools, and as a musician I always have a couple amps and guitars and a PA system. Point being, it ain't light, and because I live off the grid, I don't mind the mileage, especially when I get my propane for $2.30 a gallon. Good luck, and BTW, propane engines stay way cleaner than other motive forces and keep our air cleaner in the process.
Re: Propane gas powered bus milage? Steve Yorks 12-3-10  
In over 30 years in school bus fleet experience and transit fleet, propane buses have a low mpg fuel economy vs their gasoline counterpart. 4 to 5 mpg city driving compared to 6 to 8 mpg for gasoline. Propane can be hard to start in colder climates. Positive is that propane is cleaner burn.
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