Propane tank Level? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-19-2005, 12:06 AM   #1
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I looked at methods of determining propane level. So far I haven't found anything that appears to work very well. So how do you tell what the propane level is in your tank?
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:26 AM   #2
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Hi Bryon Nice new avatar

My folks got tired of running out of propane on their gas barbeque...ya know one of those where it only happens when you've got a gang coming over for dinner? They had a scale the tank sat on..that didn't work well then bought a strip that was laid vertically on the tank and hot water was poured over it...the level was indicated by the color change on the strip...that didn't work well. Finally bought a real gauge like this one: Flame King Gauge
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:40 AM   #3
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We've found the hot water/strip method satisfactory. However, we use propane so slowly that we just do an occasional fill-up - like, every few weeks in high season. You pay for propane by the pound, so it costs nothing extra to top it up once in a while. And that way you needn't worry about running out. I suspect our tank has never been more than half-empty.
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:12 AM   #4
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They now also have clear propane bottles! I do not know how well they hold up but they are selling them at the RV store here.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:00 AM   #5
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There are some new bottles at the RV store that have fuel gages on them also, there is a retrofit thing you can put on the bottle that is a fuel gage.

I weigh my bottles when they are empty then do it again when they are full and I can remove the bottle and weigh it to determine how much I have.
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Old 12-19-2005, 10:28 AM   #6
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Hi Bryon Nice new avatar

Thanks.
This a modernization of a logo I've used for that last 25 years, with the Mountain Egg added.
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Old 12-19-2005, 03:53 PM   #7
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Gary, are the almost-clear tanks which you have seen the Lite Cylinder product? I had not heard of such a thing, but that is what I found via a Google search for "clear propane tank".

The only add-on gauges which I have been able to find only indicate pressure (although they are labelled as if it is level), so they really don't say how much is in the tank, only whether or not it is about to be completely empty. I believe that Canadian Tire previously carried tanks with real level gauges, but I can no longer find them, presumably because the gauge is incompatible with the Overfill Prevention Device (OPD); now they have only the pressure-type indicators.

The nearest source of bulk propane to my home charges a standard amount to fill a "20 lb" cylinder, regardless of how much propane is actually supplied, so topping up a part-full tank is not so favourable economically at that station. I don't know about other bulk vendors, and most propane sources in the area seem to do only exchanges.
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Old 12-19-2005, 05:20 PM   #8
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Just tap gently on the side of the tank. You can tell where the gas/liquid line is by the change in tone as you go up and down.
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:23 PM   #9
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A carpenters stud finder will also tell you where the level is.
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Old 12-19-2005, 06:37 PM   #10
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Yes, those are the ones I have have seen.
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:40 PM   #11
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Traveling from coast to coast, US and Canada, we've never had a problem finding stations selling propane by the pound. Most often in rural areas and truck stops. The propane cylinder exchanges are real ripoffs.
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Old 12-19-2005, 07:49 PM   #12
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Now that's a cool innovation! Clear propane tanks... whoda thunk it... a little pricey, however at $74/tank as I've bought a number of 20lb bottles from Sam's for $21 each. I spent a little extra (about $60) and just went with a two-tank setup on the Burro. I know when to get my tank filled 'cause it's empty, but with the auto-switch regulator, I'm never out... a significant benefit in cold country.

When I'm really curious, I use the tap-on-the-side-of-the-tank method too. Most Co-ops, propane dealers, and truck stops that sell propane sell it by the pound. I'd probably pass on an all-or-nothing place. That's just not reasonable. I sure wouldn't gas up if all I needed was 5 gallons, but they insisted on charging me for the full 44 gallons my Excursion holds. I'd be annoyed enough even on a 20lb propane tank that I'd probably leave.

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Old 12-19-2005, 07:51 PM   #13
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Traveling from coast to coast, US and Canada, we've never had a problem finding stations selling propane by the pound. Most often in rural areas and truck stops. The propane cylinder exchanges are real ripoffs.
Hi, In Winnipeg, the refillers are getting few and far between...like Brian said, the exchangers have taken over a fair amount ....the refiller that I go to to charges a standard fee to fill a bottle, no matter how much he puts in, and it`s almost as much as the exchange cages...suppose there may be some places that charge by the amount but it may cost more to get to them in fuel than it`s worth......I`ll also have to try the stud finder thing....sounds good if it works.....Benny
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Old 12-19-2005, 08:21 PM   #14
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The nearest source of bulk propane to my home charges a standard amount to fill a "20 lb" cylinder, regardless of how much propane is actually supplied, so topping up a part-full tank is not so favourable economically at that station.
The nearest vendor to me does the same thing. But Greater San Diego KOA charges per gallon, not per pound. They have a filling station type gallon meter and do not use the scale. They figure a 20# bottle to be about 5 gallons. They also have a volume discount. If you buy more than 9 gallons in one transaction, the per gallon price is lower.
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