Composite propane tanks - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 08-05-2013, 09:47 PM   #15
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My interest has nothing to do with weight, my truck can handle any all molded towable. But I thought KNOWING how much propane in the tank was cool. And YES, I've read/seen all the "kinda/sorta" solutions. But viewable rules.

I'll still wait. YMMV
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Old 08-05-2013, 10:10 PM   #16
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I agree with Donna!
(of course! )


Just to have an idea of how much propane is left is well worth it. I have a hanging scale to weight the 20lb tanks but prefer to just take a looksee and know if I need to refill or Im good for the weekend.
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Old 08-05-2013, 11:05 PM   #17
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According to the web site, the 31 lb composite weighs 18 lbs empty which is the same as the 20 lb steel. So you get 50% more fuel for the same tank weight.

And just for the record, I did not say I would add another battery for the weight difference, simply that whatever lightens the tongue is a good thing if I am trying to add another battery to the tongue.

Heck with my Anderson WD hitch I should be able to redistribute a few hundred lbs around the axles!

Whether it works for you only you can decide.

They are pricey.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:13 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Donna D. View Post
My interest has nothing to do with weight, my truck can handle any all molded towable. But I thought KNOWING how much propane in the tank was cool. And YES, I've read/seen all the "kinda/sorta" solutions. But viewable rules.

I'll still wait. YMMV
This is my line of thinking. I like the idea, not sold on how it does with rock chips, etc.

I have 2 30# tanks though (I actually wanted more weight), it will be a cold day in hell when I run out of propane, so my biggest thing would be no rust.
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Old 08-06-2013, 12:28 AM   #19
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I like the lighter weight and visible fuel level, but I had a problem a few months ago while on a camping trip near Newport Beach CA finding a propane filling place. I searched for over an hour and drove way too many miles trying to locate one. I finally had to trade in my brand new empty cylinder for a rusty exchange tank. If I had one of the FG ones I couldn't have traded. I'll stick to the heavy steel ones due to that experience.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:29 PM   #20
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... I had a problem a few months ago while on a camping trip near Newport Beach CA finding a propane filling place... I finally had to trade in my brand new empty cylinder for a rusty exchange tank. If I had one of the FG ones I couldn't have traded
This is definitely an issue, and to fully address it, the only option is not just steel, but 20 pound steel, since I've never seen the any other size in an exchange cage.

On the other hand, motorhomes essentially always have permanently mounted tanks, so they can't do exchange either. If this is a problem for trailer owners with composite tanks, it should be for motorhomes as well, although perhaps that's one reason for high capacity in the motorhomes' fixed tanks. My motorhome has about 100 pound capacity, and it has not been an issue yet to find a filling station.

With dual propane tanks, you have the entire endurance of the second tank to get the first tank filled; with a single tank, you need a refill as soon as you run out, and (in case you think you'll refill early to avoid this) with common 20-pound tanks around here you'll pay the same to top up a half-full tank as to fill it from empty.

Also... who is selling rusty refilled tanks? All the companies I've seen clean and commonly repaint the tanks before they are (partially) filled and sent back out.
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Old 08-06-2013, 03:42 PM   #21
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This is definitely an issue, and to fully address it, the only option is not just steel, but 20 pound steel, since I've never seen the any other size in an exchange cage.
Yep, good point. Mine are 30, so I can't exchange anyway. Going to fiberglass wouldn't change anything in that aspect.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:09 AM   #22
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Also... who is selling rusty refilled tanks? All the companies I've seen clean and commonly repaint the tanks before they are (partially) filled and sent back out.
Yep, rusty, and most have plastic shrink sleeve around them which fills with moisture and keeps the rust going. You have to cherry pick to get a decent looking one. They're usually found in the far back corner! I picked up a tank from Home Depot, took it home, hooked it to the barbeque, and it spewed propane out of the valve stem. I took it back to Home Depot and told the guy about the dangerous situation with the tank. He just shrugged and put it right back with the other bottles without tagging it!
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:27 PM   #23
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... most have plastic shrink sleeve around them which fills with moisture and keeps the rust going
Those sleeves need to come off for this reason, although they reduce scratching while still in a box with other tanks. Of course, they're not supposed to have rust before the sleeve is put on...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruscal View Post
I picked up a tank from Home Depot, took it home, hooked it to the barbeque, and it spewed propane out of the valve stem. I took it back to Home Depot and told the guy about the dangerous situation with the tank. He just shrugged and put it right back with the other bottles without tagging it!
I wish I could say this was really surprising... but it is certainly scary. I assume the leak from the valve stem was large, or continued even when the valve was fully opened - I gather these valves don't seal well in anything but fully open or fully closed positions, so a bit of leakage while turning it is apparently not uncommon and might be acceptable (although I haven't noticed it).

The composite tanks presumably use the same valves. Russ's experience might be an argument for keeping your own tank (of any material) rather than trusting the exchange stuff.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:25 PM   #24
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Russ's experience might be an argument for keeping your own tank (of any material) rather than trusting the exchange stuff.

Good point. Nothing gets driven harder than a rental car...probably the same situation with exchange tanks.
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