Single propane tank - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-24-2016, 08:28 PM   #1
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Single propane tank

Hey everyone,

We currently have room for 2 20lb propane tanks and 1 battery on the tongue on our 17' Bigfoot. We are thinking of switching to 2 batteries and 1 propane tank instead, since getting 2 6-volt batteries seems to give the best bang for the buck in terms of $/AH.

We are just wondering, for those of you who uses 1 propane tank, how do you check when to refill? Should we get one of those fancy tank with gauge? Or maybe just put an extra backup tank in the truck?

Just wanted to know if there are best practices for this kind of thing. Thanks!
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:01 PM   #2
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If we are camping for less than a week and won't need the furnace we go with one full tank. Longer than a week (or cold enough for the furnace) we take a spare and refill the empty before we forget. Hubby weighs tanks at home if in doubt.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:17 PM   #3
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" how do you check when to refill?"

Pour a stream of hot water down the side of the cylinder, then run your finger up the side, bottom to top. When you reach the hot, that's your propane level. If you can't make hot water it's too late to test.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:22 PM   #4
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Heck I can go for at least a couple of weeks sometimes more on one 20lb tank of propane and I use it to run the fridge, hot water tank, cook inside etc. If I am not running the fridge on propane and only using the furnace occasionally for short times I can for a number of weeks on one tank. I carried a 5lb tank I use on the outdoor stove and fire pit and would use it to connect to the trailer if I was not going to be moving it and need to fill the main tank.

None of the propane tank gages are great but I had one from Costco that worked well enough that it would let me know when the tank was starting to run low and give me time to get it refilled. Just needed to remember to start checking it after a couple of weeks of heavy propane usage.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:54 PM   #5
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Amazingly, we are still using propane that was in the tank when we bought the trailer. We haven't had to use the furnace, don't have a hot water heater, and so are only using for refer and some indoor cooking.

Does anyone here just do the swapout with those Blue Rhino tanks? What's the best way to go?
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Old 08-24-2016, 10:13 PM   #6
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Fortunately most major brand truck stops now sell propane by the gallon/pound so you don't have to turn in a partial tank and you pay only for what you have used. That way when you are in doubt you can top it off just like having only one tank on your TV.
A twenty pound tank weighs about 38 pounds full and about 18 pounds empty.
Another option is to buy a larger(30pound) tank with the same footprint, you will start with more propane. Either way it is easy to get used to one tank just by kinda paying attention to your use and your needs.

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Old 08-24-2016, 10:15 PM   #7
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Had those propane gauges from Costco. My buddy picked up a couple. We were using them on our BBQ tanks and concluded that they were interfering with the flow of propane, resulting in poor performance. We both tossed ours.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:24 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Had those propane gauges from Costco. My buddy picked up a couple. We were using them on our BBQ tanks and concluded that they were interfering with the flow of propane, resulting in poor performance. We both tossed ours.
Thats interesting. Same one I used on the Scamp with no problems. But I also had newish tanks from Costco as well..... hmmmmm.
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Old 08-25-2016, 12:55 AM   #9
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Could be that it depends on the appliance. Our Q's were on life-support.
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Old 08-25-2016, 02:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
Could be that it depends on the appliance. Our Q's were on life-support.
Could also be that the propane appliances in our trailers work on a much lower pressure than the BQ's do.
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Old 08-25-2016, 04:30 AM   #11
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I have a single 20 lbs tank on the trailer.
I also carry a smaller 10lbs for my portable grill and outdoor stove.
If the trailer tank runs out, I can plug in the 10lbs until I get the 20lbs refilled. This only happened a couple times in over 15 yrs of camping.
I must have about four or five 20lbs tanks at home, that I use for the trailer, grill, bring to the cabin, etc. I always have at least one that's full that I put on the trailer before going on a camping trip, so I rarely ran out of propane.
I don't use any gauge as they are mostly unreliable.
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:05 AM   #12
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Costco and Sam's both sell Worthington propane cylinders that have built in gauges that are very accurate. They work with a float that is within the body of the cylinder.
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Old 08-25-2016, 07:10 AM   #13
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Single propane tank

I've had very good luck with tanks that have float gauges. The primary purpose of the float is to prevent overfilling of the OPD valve equipped tanks, now required by safety requirements.


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Old 08-25-2016, 08:41 AM   #14
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Canadian Tire sells Manchester 20 lb tanks with a float level gauge. They are marginally more expensive then the ones without a gauge.
The tanks at my local Costco do not have a gauge.
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