Transporting the Spare 20# Propane tank - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-04-2008, 12:07 AM   #1
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This is some what of an oddball problem but I think the creative minds might have some suggestions. I bring along a 20# propane tank to use with a propane tree to fuel my lantern and picnic table stove.

The tank is too tall to fit under the tonneau cover of my pick up bed, and it really should not be there because it is not supposed to be transported in an enclosed area. Right now, my only options are to leave the tonneau open which defeats the purpose, or to transport it inside the trailer. I do the latter, placing it on the floor near the door in a milk crate.

I'm thinking the best place for it would be to attach the tank to the step bumper. The aftermarket hitch/receiver sits below the bumper extending the ball below and beyond the bumper. This leaves the hole for the bumper hitch wide open and available. Has anybody seen a way of using this area to attach the 20 Lb tank to?
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Old 12-04-2008, 07:01 AM   #2
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You're going to put that tank directly, dead centre , on the back of your truck?
Where will you be tomorrow if that tail gater can't stop?
Better you should go with a 10# tank that will fit into the truck box. At least there it has some protection, or fit it onto the tongue of the trailer.
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:53 AM   #3
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Roy, I whole heartedly agree with James statement, .... that idea is just TOO dangerous. I also doubt very much that 'in the bed of your truck' covered with a tonneau cover falls under the guise of an 'enclosed space'. These things (pick-up beds covered with a tonneau cover) are FAR from being air tight any way.... and THAT I believe is the concern ....for when these things (tanks) 'vent'/burp!!!.

We keep ours in a milk crate too, but have a 'special' dedicated one.
It is color matched like this and has anti-shid stuff glued on the underside of the crate bottom (to help avoid it sliding on the floor) and the top lip/rim is lined with that foam this color water pipe insulation, just in case it happens to move towards a wall and vibrates against it, causing chaffing.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:13 PM   #4
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I was going to install a valve in one of the hoses to my front tanks so I could remove one tank and use it for the BBQ, propane tree etc. Its unlikely I would use one full 30# tank in a week. Has anyone tried this?
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:15 PM   #5
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Roy,
I agree with James and Doug. On most pick-ups, there is plenty of ventilation at the bottom of the tailgate where the hinging takes place. Since propane is heavier than air it would naturally vent there.
Do you actually require a 20# tank?
An interesting question for a propane dealer--- realizing it must be upright for use (so liquid propane doesn't reach the regulator), but could it be transported on it's side if contained in an open box of some sort? Maybe a heavy-duty home made lattice type wood box?

Interesting question...please keep us posted on your ultimate decision.
Kurt & Ann K.
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Old 12-04-2008, 12:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
I was going to install a valve in one of the hoses to my front tanks so I could remove one tank and use it for the BBQ, propane tree etc. Its unlikely I would use one full 30# tank in a week. Has anyone tried this?
If you have a cutover switch, just set the switch to the other tank and remove the tank you want to use.

Kurt, good call! Lay tank on side in a box in the box. I had horizontal tanks on Jayco 16' -- No big deal to carry on side -- Most pickups seem to have a big air gap at the bottom of the tailgate.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:47 AM   #7
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My propane guru says to never transport an tank on its side unless it is designed for side mounting or use. This is the guy that gets called in to investigate claims related to propane incidents by the insurance companies in Ontario.

Perhaps a side mount tank is what Pete had on his 16' Jayco.

I don't know about you guys, but even with all the special training the "certified" propane fillers are supposed to have, I've had about 1 in 3 tanks overfilled and vent off on the way home from filling. Once one vented off behind me while strapped into the jump seat. Lucky my window was open to allow me to quickly get rid of my lit cigarette.
Good adrenaline rush though

James and Doug,
Maybe I should have explained myself a bit better. I was referring to putting the 20 Lb tank on the bumper while towing the trailer. I don't see it as any more dangerous than the 2 x 11 Lb tanks already sitting on the tongue. I put it in the P/U bed upright on the way to and from filling.

Kurt,
The 20 Lb tank works best for holding the tree with a lantern on top, more stable with the size and weight. Especially when in the milk crate.

James,
I did consider a smaller tank but in addition to what I said to Kurt, the world seems to be moving to the 20 LB exchange. They are available almost everywhere. The 11 Lb low profile tanks I have, cost 3 X that of a 20 Lb. The filling stations are slowly disappearing. I imagine that after the propane storage facility & filling plant blew up in town last summer taking a few houses with it, the local politicians will crack down on the local filling stations as well.

Doug,
I like your no skid idea. I've MacGuyver'd some aircraft cable with rings along the inside of both P/U bed walls using eye bolts in the front and rear stake pockets. Great for securing loads including a propane tank.


You can now get filled exchange tanks from dispensing machines 24/7 at wally world and other places. No lineups, no waiting for someone to fill your tank, put in your credit card and out comes a filled tank. They even take empties for exchange.

I've decided to switch to exchange when each of my 20 Lb tanks hit their expiry. I've got one for the Q at home, one for camping and one in reserve. The 11 Lb tanks are worth recertifying given their initial cost.
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Old 12-05-2008, 06:36 AM   #8
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Hi: All...Just a word of warning on those "Exchange Tanks". If you find one on the rack and the fittings on top are a little green ...Don't buy it!!! Some connection to the drug trade using propane tanks to store chemicals other than propane...just something I read somewhere!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:36 AM   #9
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Hi: All...Just a word of warning on those "Exchange Tanks". If you find one on the rack and the fittings on top are a little green ...Don't buy it!!! Some connection to the drug trade using propane tanks to store chemicals other than propane...just something I read somewhere!!!
The public should be keeping an eye out for propane tanks and bottles that manifest blue or green residue around their valves
http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/methtank.asp
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
My propane guru says to never transport an tank on its side unless it is designed for side mounting or use. This is the guy that gets called in to investigate claims related to propane incidents by the insurance companies in Ontario.

Perhaps a side mount tank is what Pete had on his 16' Jayco.
Please ask him what's wrong with *transporting* a tank on its side as long as the tank is properly secured.

AFAIK, the only difference between a standard tank and a side-mounted tank is that the pickup tube inside the tank is bent to point up when the tank is on its side with the correct side down.

In fact, someone had replaced the side-mount tanks with standard tanks on my Jayco 16', but they would only work properly when partially empty.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:19 PM   #11
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I have one of those smaller tanks that we strap in an upright position, so that it cannot move, into the back of the truck, in a crate strapped down so that it can't move. So far it has lasted two camping seasons and supplied propane to both the coleman stove and the tabletop BBQ. BTW I padlock it to the bumper of the trailer while in camp so it doesn't decide to walk away on it's own. Makes a good alternative tank at home for the big BBQ in the backyard when it decides to quit just when the company comes for burgers and brown pop.
Jim
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:07 PM   #12
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Please ask him what's wrong with *transporting* a tank on its side as long as the tank is properly secured.
My propane guru is out of town and I don't plan on being up there for some time. But I did get this tidbit passed to me in a PM.

"if the tank is overfilled then warmed up, the relief vavle will spit out liquid, which is a hazard, rather than a problem for the valve"

Maybe I'll have some time to do a bit of searching over the weekend.
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Old 12-05-2008, 01:13 PM   #13
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Link to propane safety
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:35 PM   #14
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Here's the answer, sent by PM to me by the Phantom of the Opera:

"The relief valve of a propane tank must be on the top, to be in the vapour space, just like the service valve (of a vapour-service tank). If you turn a typical vertical tank on it's side, the relief valve (which is in the same screw-in body as the service valve) is only half way up... and it can release liquid.

I've heard of tanks which are filled in one position and operated in another; the relief valve must be placed to work for both."

I would surmise that the relief pickup is on a float so it can always be up in the vapor.
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