Adding 2nd Propane Tank - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-23-2003, 12:52 PM   #15
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My old Starcraft had two 20# tanks. It had the gamut of propane appliances, except for a water heater. Stove, oven and furnace. We took a two-week trip every year, plus weekends a couple times a year, and I found I could get 2-3 years out of a tank. The 2nd tank was just redundant. We had just a single line and regulator, and could manually switch over to the other bottle if needed. Happened once in the entire time we've owned the camper.

I prefer to do most of the cooking outside on the little propane BBQ. By the way, although the camper didn't have a water heater, we did heat all our dish & rinse water on the stove. Probably close to half our meals still involved use of the stove or oven, plus dish water three times a day.

I am now parting out that Starcraft, and if anyone wants a two-bottle mount for their camper, I've got one I'll sell.

My Scamp carries a single bottle, and I almost didn't re-install it during my renovation. Our water heater is electric only, and we don't have a furnace, so only the 2-burner cooktop and fridge are on propane. I could probably go a whole season on a couple of 1-lb bottles. But, I put it on.

If you go to add a second bottle, keep in mind that the 20# rating is the approximate weight of the bottle EMPTY. Add about four gallons of propane to that, which is approximately 20# more, and you are adding 40# to your tongue weight. Considering a Scamp 13 has an unloaded tongue weight of 95#, an additional 40# is quite considerable, particularly if you like to horse the trailer around by hand.

Refilling your present bottle is by far the most economical way of obtaining propane, and also the most hazardous. Consider: it was mentioned that you could get a bottle refilled "if you can ever get one of the cashier clerks to help". Most of the time (I speak from the experience of one of my previous lives here), these refill places have inadequately trained staff doing the refilling, with inadequate safety procedures in place. Locally, I've seen people smoking while refilling customers tanks. Meanwhile, 30 feet away, a car backfires at the gas pump... Personally, I'd prefer to be a couple miles away in this situation.

The tank exchange companies are better regulated, and run by people who do this for a living. Plus, in case of accident, they're a couple counties away! When you exchange, you get a tank that has been (supposedly) inspected and qualified. It will come with an OPD valve installed, as well, which is nice if you still have an old tank. By the way, I still have a couple old BBQ tanks around with the old valves, and I personally GUARANTEE I could get them refilled locally if I chose to do so. The cashier down at the gas station doesn't want to upset a customer, so she'll just figure, "What the hey, nobody'll know..."

No, I don't work for Blue Rhino, and I'm not trying to discourage refilling. Just be careful. If the person helping you doesn't seem completely competent, or if the refill station is close to likely ignition sources, or if you see them fudge the rules for the customer ahead of you, don't hesitate to say "No thank you" and go on to the next place. I like to save a few bucks as much as anyone else, but not at the expense of my life. And, as long as a 20# bottle lasts, the added cost of exchange just isn't that expensive per campout.
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Old 06-23-2003, 01:07 PM   #16
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gas up at u haul or local propane dealer

Most u haul places i have stoped at on the east coast can fill your propane tanks . local propane distributor like Suburban can also fill you up. Gas stations that fill your tanks seem be a diminishing item but number of gas places that exchange sam to be poping up all over. Dont forget to check Rv parks for fill or exchange.
enought about gas lol
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Old 06-23-2003, 01:23 PM   #17
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Propane Tanks

There are a couple of local propane distributors here--do you think that an actual propane distributor would be more knowledgeable and careful about the safety stuff than a gas station?
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Old 06-23-2003, 02:00 PM   #18
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Propane

Anybody thats not careful around propane isn't goimg to be around long;)
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Old 06-23-2003, 02:34 PM   #19
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EEEEEEeeeeeeek! Now you're scaring me to death. :omy I'm getting the message that exchanging tanks is safer than having them filled. I just wanted to know if a Propane distributer would know what they're doing, as opposed to the clerk at the gas station.... I think I'm convinced to stay with the 1 tank in favor of the extra 30-40# of cargo. Where do I get a 1# temporary replacement tank? And is that adaptor thing what I would need to hook up the gas line to the smaller tank?
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Old 06-23-2003, 03:53 PM   #20
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Hi!

Around here, in the last 40 years, at least, I never heard of an accident at any filling station for propane gaz. It is a safe procedure. And you don't need to be in the immediate vicinity when they are filling your tank (I never heard of a self serve station for propane gaz. I may be wrong.).

Having your tank refiled is a good idea. It is cheaper and personally, I prefer keeping my own tank than exchanging every time for another used tank that I don't know the condition and history. They are suppose to inspect them but I will always put more trust in my own tank.

Yes, the adaptor will permit you to hook up the gaz line to an easy to find disposable 1 lb bottle.


Alain
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Old 06-23-2003, 03:53 PM   #21
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Well, I wasn't trying to scare you! You can get the 1# bottles at K-Mart, Wally-World, or any sporting goods store. They are the same bottle that lanterns, stoves and portable BBQs use. And yes, you'll need that little adapter.

Where I live, in northern Indiana, we are a resort area, with many, many lakes. It seems that you can get propane refilled about anywhere. Exchange vendors are also extremely common.

To answer your question, I would presume that a bottled gas company (Ferrell Gas, Blue-Flame, ...) would be professional in their handling of propane, more than I'd assume that about a gas-station cashier. But, the same caution still applies. Sometimes people can get careless with familiarity. If you aren't comfortable with their handling of the process, leave. Or, if you prefer, drop the empty off with them, tell them you'll be back in an hour to get it, and go do some grocery shopping.

Again, my intent is not to scare anybody, but to point out that propane is scary stuff IF IT'S NOT HANDLED PROPERLY. However, handled properly, it's no more dangerous than a dozen other products we handle on a daily basis.
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:09 PM   #22
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I realize you weren't trying to scare anybody.... there are thousands of things in our environment with the potential of being deadly but which are handled every day by people who know about them. I make soap, using lye, which you cannot make it without. You'd be surprised at the number of people who equate working with lye to lighting up a cigarette while filling a propane tank! Drinking the lye solution or sticking my hand in it, would be equally stupid. But it is totally safe using reasonable safety precautions. Way off the subject, I know.... but anyway, I'm going to do some checking around with the propane companies to find out if and/or how they refill.... This whole discussion has given me a lot of info. and knowledge I didn't have before! Thanks everyone! Michele:flowers
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Old 06-23-2003, 05:48 PM   #23
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Yes, that's correct

Quote:
Orginally posted by Michele Tinettido you think that an actual propane distributor would be more knowledgeable and careful about the safety stuff than a gas station?
Yes Michele, they (propane distributors) probably would be more knowledgeable, simply because they do it frequently. As someone said, U-Haul is usually another good source. But if you find a local gas station who does this, and it's more convenient, don't worry about it. Hundreds of bottles are filled every day and I don't think you'll find much record of accidents--yea, it could happen, but lightning could strike while you're reading this too!

Get gassed and go camping!;)
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Old 06-23-2003, 06:40 PM   #24
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A Picture is Worth 1000 words

Here is what you need:

<img src=http://www.fiberglassrv.com/board/uploads/3ef78ed200f56rack.jpg/>

I found it at the parts and accessories link for http://www.hilltoptrailers.com/ on page 344.

If you want automatic changeover from the empty tank to the full tank, see the fancy automatic changeover regulator on page 348.

If you would like to see pictures of my dual-tank installation, contact me off-list at n0kfb@skypoint.com and I will post pictures of the dual tank installation to my web site.

-- Dan Meyer
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Old 06-23-2003, 09:29 PM   #25
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Michele:

Try a Farm Co-op. Pretty reasonable prices and they know what they are doing (at least around here they do). They dont even look at me funny and ask about the older Weber quick release connector on my tank (and they have the addaptor to refill me). Personally I would rather keep my tank than get an exchange. It would be pretty easy to bondo over a big dent and add a little paint to hid it, wouldnt it?

Although it sounds like nobody here would want to do this but FYI, you can fill an older non OPD tank. Just tell them it is for *wink, wink* a torch *wink, wink* and it is exempt from the OPD rules. The farmers that work at the co-ops know the OPD valves are a joke and seem to have no problem filling a larger number of torch tanks now...

HTH
Rich
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Old 06-23-2003, 10:04 PM   #26
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I've filled up at both gas station fillups and distributers. if they don't know what they are doing, they don't do it.
I have NEVER seen a do it your self propane fillup place.

The guy that smokes and fills up your tank with gas or propane should be told to stop.

every place I have gone to always ask first if everything thing is turned off inside for my and their safety. I don't like hanging around when they do the fillup mainly because it smells.
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Old 06-24-2003, 06:15 AM   #27
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Check your regulator

Hi!

A few weeks ago, I went to my favorite trailer store, with my trailer. I wanted the owner to have a look at the bike rack that I made and that is holded down by the ball that pull the trailer. I just wanted his opinion, in case he could see something wrong about that.

Everything is fine, he said after a good inspection, except, if I were you, I would change the regulator (for propane) that is installed on your trailer.

This regulator is an (old) one stage regulator. If it fail, the high pressure gaz from the tank will go inside the trailer. The newer regulator is two stage. If it fail, the high pressure gaz will stay outside.

Nothing to panic here, my regulator has been working fine for the last 26 years but I will change it this summer. It is a safety issue.

Alain
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Old 06-24-2003, 08:31 AM   #28
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My 16' Scamp has two propane bottles. I'm thinking of adding one of those white hard cases to cover them, then remove one bottle and use the now empty space for storage of extra gear. Since I tend to keep the bottles full this should result in a weight savings unless I get silly with the gear I store inside. I can always put the "spare" bottle back in if that long trip in winter ever happens. Are there flexible hoses available for the run from bottle to regulator? I like the idea of a one pound (rather than 45) emergency backup bottle.

Now, if I can just find some lawn chairs that will fit in the space of the absent propane bottle. ;-) Alternatively, I may build a case of my own with fewer size restrictions, but there goes the weight savings. Oh bother!

john
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