We've been struggling with this question for quite a while. I'm referring to switching to using butane to fuel our pickup truck. We love our 8 cylinder, 2000 Toyota Tundra, but it's a gas guzzler. Here in Belize gas has run up and down from $10.47bz to nearly $12 per gallon. In US dollars that's from $5.50 to $6. Ick! $200bz won't even fill the tank. We use the Trooper some, but it's not much better considering it's age. We haven't really travelled much around the country because of the expense. Between the vehicles and weedeaters we feel we're supporting the gas station on Bullet Tree Rd, all by ourselves.
A few years ago, oil was discovered here in Belize. There are several wells in Spanish Lookout, with more scattered around the country. BNE (Belize Natural Energy) seems to be quite prosperous, but we understand that most of the $$s leave the country, as the oil is processed out of Belize and the company itself is Canadian. Anyway, I digress!
A byproduct of this oil is butane gas. Now my knowledge about all this is extremely limited and I was under the impression that butane and propane weren't interchangeable, but apparently I was mistaken. Anyway, at this point, we are focusing on our immediate problem. Imported butane sells for around $4.50 - $6/ gallon, with the local butane from BNE selling for $4/gallon. We've met several folks lately who have converted their vehicles and they couldn't be happier, so off we trudged to Spanish Lookout to check out conversion possibilities. (I still find it weird that the best mechanics are Mennonites. Kind of an oxymoron to my way of thinking). Folks who've had the conversion done claimed to have spent from $1k to $1,400. Of course, when we checked it has now gone up to closer to $2k for the complete conversion, plus a 30 gallon tank as well as some butane. One consideration is that we'll probably get one or two miles per gallon less with butane. Even at that price, with butane being only $4/gallon, we can save enough in a year to pay for the conversion. It's tough to spend money on something so unexciting, but fiscal survival makes it a smart decision, so Tuesday, early, we head off for Spanish Lookout. Here's hoping we'll find ourselves among those smug, satisfied customers. Later,