How to check your propane levels - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-19-2015, 09:09 PM   #15
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Amazon.com sells a magnetic stick-on strip for the tank that changes color when the hot water is poured over it. ☺

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Old 08-20-2015, 06:27 AM   #16
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Amazon.com sells a magnetic stick-on strip for the tank that changes color when the hot water is poured over it. ☺

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Yes, Amazon sells THIS ONE and THIS ONE, and both get pretty bad reviews.
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Old 08-20-2015, 04:27 PM   #17
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My gauge is such:
When I pays the money, I know the tank is full. When the flames go out, it's time to pay mo' money. In between those two times, I really don't care, don't stress about it, and wouldn't bother heating water to find out. I always have a full back-up tank.


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Old 08-20-2015, 04:54 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by CPW View Post
.... I really don't care, don't stress about it.... I always have a full back-up tank..
If I had a second tank then I would feel the same, but not everyone carries a second tank.. and some of us with only one tank really don't want to be 40 miles from the nearest propane supply when it gets bone chilling cold or the expensive steaks in the fridge get too warm.

There really does seem to be an expanding thread in these threads.. "If it works for me, it should work for you."
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Old 08-20-2015, 05:20 PM   #19
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There really does seem to be an expanding thread in these threads.. "If it works for me, it should work for you."
I think there are several of us who have said "It doesn't work for me, and probably won't work for you"
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:23 PM   #20
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If I had a second tank then I would feel the same, but not everyone carries a second tank.. and some of us with only one tank really don't want to be 40 miles from the nearest propane supply when it gets bone chilling cold or the expensive steaks in the fridge get too warm.

There really does seem to be an expanding thread in these threads.. "If it works for me, it should work for you."
Precisely why I carry a second source of propane so I (note I said "I' meaning "ME") do not find myself 40 miles from the nearest source of propane when the tank runs out unexpectedly, because to ME that is "living on the edge." I also fill the tow vehicle's tank when the indicated range drops to 100 miles.

And I do not know how or why you would make the connection "If it works for me, it should work for you." I merely stated how I (that's ME) gauged the amount of propane in my tank.....I don't. I have a contingency. When the tank runs out, I switch to the second and get the empty refilled. I in no way inferred, implied, or suggested that anyone else should carry a second tank. In reality, I don't give a rat's hiney if you freeze or ruin your steaks because you ran out of propane. I'm more concerned that I don't run out, so I do what works for me and not what works for someone else. Simply put, if you only carry one tank and you run it dry somewhere out in the boonies, then you have no one to blame but yourself.
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:30 PM   #21
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But if one cannot reasonably safely carry a spare tank, then the method the OP posted for checking your level might work to prevent you from running out.
Of course if you DO carry a spare tank, you have little need to know the level in your first tank.
So perhaps we can return to the subject of the thread, to wit: How to check your propane levels
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Old 08-20-2015, 07:34 PM   #22
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One of the reasons I went for a 33.5 lb forklift tank is that it has both a float level gauge, and a quick fill port. I can get it filled, by the litre, (gallon) without taking it off my trailer. Just like a propane vehicle.

That and it looks cool, (to me).
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:27 PM   #23
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But if one cannot reasonably safely carry a spare tank, then the method the OP posted for checking your level might work to prevent you from running out.
Of course if you DO carry a spare tank, you have little need to know the level in your first tank.
So perhaps we can return to the subject of the thread, to wit: How to check your propane levels
Gordon, the problem I see here is that the best thing to do would be to check it at home before departing on a trip with a scale or hot water as has been detailed in this thread. And let's just suppose that you find the propane level iffy, i.e., at a point where you may run out. So what do you do with your partially filled single tank? Most propane dealers are going to charge you per fill, so you spend $18 (or whatever the going rate is) to fill a half full tank and you essentially pay double the cost for the propane you actually get. If you are adamant about taking only one tank and you have second tank at home that is full, then you take it on the camping trip, leaving the partially filled tank behind. And although I try not to assume, let's assume you have a gas grill at home that you can use to consume the rest of the partially filled tank. If it runs out on the home grill, you can take the other tank off the trailer to finish whatever you are grilling. But in that case, you now have a completely empty tank that can be filled and used on your next camping trip. Still inconvenient if you use a lot of propane and go on an extended trip because you could run a completely filled tank dry.
If I read your profile correctly, you have a Scamp 16 on order. Why would you not be able to safely carry a second tank, even a partially filled second tank in case of an unexpected flame out? And if you do have a gas grill at home, how do you safely transport the propane tanks when they need to be filled or exchanged?
From my point of view, if you are 40 miles from the nearest propane outlet and you realize your tank is about to run out even if there is no immediate crisis (freezing), you are still going to have to drive 80 miles round trip to refill the cylinder unless it is your plan to move along sometime soon. On the other hand, if you are in a campground you can probably get it filled immediately so there is no problem. And I cannot speak for everyone, but if you are camping next to me and we are far from civilization and you run out of propane, I am going to try to help you out if I am able.
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Old 08-20-2015, 09:46 PM   #24
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Well Carl, first, thanks for the offer.. I would surly like to be camping next to you if i ran out of propane.
Yes, best to check the level before you leave.. but if you are on an extended trip, then you have to check it while on the trip also. If its bolted on with hard to reach bolts (like it was on my pop-up), then its a pain to remove to weigh it. An easier method is preferred.
As for taking a second tank, having it on the tongue might exceed my tugs tongue weight limit. And in the VAN (tug) is not the safest thing to do.. Yes I do transport the tank in the interior of my van to fill it for the grill.. that’s about 5 miles round trip. I don't like it, but its a short distance. Carrying a tank inside my car (van) for 2000 miles is different.
If I am camping near civilization or at KOA s ( I hope not!) or the like, then I won’t worry since I can get gas pretty easy. The further in the boonies I am, the more I want to know roughly how much propane (and gasoline, and battery charge, and water, etc. ) I have left.
So the hot water check comes in handy on occasion.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:10 PM   #25
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You really should look into a Manchester 20 lb tank with a float gauge.

So far mine has worked pretty good. Mine does show empty when there's still almost a gallon left, which is no problem since I always fill at a place does metered filling. That's as close as my previous method was.
I've only had it for a few months. Filled it when I got it and filled it once after using it for few weeks camping.
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:30 PM   #26
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I use a travel weight scale that's made for weighing suitcases, the strap goes around the suitcase handle and works real well on propane bottles.
All you need to know is the weight of the empty bottle and full weight.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:21 AM   #27
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Don't need no silly gauge LOL. I just use the tank until it is empty and then switch to the 2nd tank (a full tank will typically last us about 1 week while camping and using furnace, hotwater heater, fridge, stove, BBQ, and fire bowl). If I am really curious about how much propane is left in a tank, I pick it up to check the weight. When empty, the tank is quite light. When full, it is quite heavy.
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Old 08-21-2015, 08:35 AM   #28
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... I just use the tank until it is empty and then switch to the 2nd tank....
Arugh!! At the risk of repeating myself..

1. Bolted on Tongue, hard to get to the bolts.
2. No good way to carry spare second tank.

Now what do you do, unbolt it and shake it all about.. thats a PAIN.

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