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Old 03-21-2019, 03:02 PM   #21
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Name: Mike
Trailer: Escape 21 & Jeep GC 5.7 (Previous 2012 Casita FD17 & 2010 Audi Q5)
Puget Sound, WA
Posts: 1,598
I use an inexpensive luggage scale to weigh the tanks. By deducting the tare weight stamped on the tanks, I can tell how much propane is left.

The advantage to this approach is that it's pretty accurate as compared to gauges or some other techniques. The disadvantage is that it requires taking the hose off of the tank in order to get an accurate weight.

I don't weigh them very often as we have a dual-cylinder setup and I have developed a sense for how much we are using on the road under different conditions. I generally weigh them before we depart on a trip. I always have the scale available in a little cardboard box of propane gear with an adaptor hose, a one-pound cylinder or two, and some threaded brass caps for the small cylinders.

Originally Posted by jgilliam1955 View Post
New to camping. Did a search, no luck.
How long does Propane last when heating?
And under normal use? My new Casita has two 20 pound bottles.

The most we have used was 2.5 lbs per day on a trip to the coast. My notes say "Boondocking Kalaloch; ran refrigerator including towing, some furnace, stovetop and oven, also water heater pretty continuously " We took showers in the trailer on that trip. The usage seems much higher than what I had expected, but it appears to have been pretty closely measured.

On another four night trip we used 0.66 lbs per day. "On electric site, but ran furnace, stovetop and oven on gas, towed with refrigerator on gas"

On a fifteen day trip to Yellowstone it was 1.7 lbs per day. "On electric sites, but ran furnace, stovetop and oven on gas, towed with refrigerator on gas" It was pretty cold on that trip, with nighttime lows well below freezing.

And, here's an older post from Carol H on her experience with her Scamp 16 which works out to somewhere around 0.6 lbs per day:
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Old 03-22-2019, 09:14 PM   #22
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Name: Elliott
Trailer: Bigfoot
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Definitely a "how long is a piece of string?" sort of question, but some things that may help:
Running just the refrigerator probably requires on the order of 5-10lbs of propane per week depending on weather and how much the door's opened. So, 2x20lbs will last something like a month or two under those conditions.
Running the water heater isn't too bad either. Probably similar, if you're only turning it on here and there as needed.
Running the furnace.. totally depends. If it's really cold weather (well below 0) and it's running 100% of the time, you can probably burn through a 20lb tank in day or two. If it's just running a few minutes here and there to supplement an electric space heater, a tank could last days or weeks.
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Old 03-23-2019, 07:42 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by jgilliam1955 View Post
New to camping. Did a search, no luck.
How long does Propane last when heating?
And under normal use? My new Casita has two 20 pound bottles.
Hi: jgilliam1955... Sounds like a "How much does a "Stein weigh" type of question!!!
Alf S. North shore of Lake Erie
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Old 03-23-2019, 02:10 PM   #24
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Name: Paul
Trailer: Casita and Hemisphere
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The answer is similar to how many gallons to take a shower.
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:28 AM   #25
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Name: Bill
Trailer: Casita
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My experience, I don't mind being wastful & I don't like being cold. Propane is close & the regulator automatically switches to the full tank when the one runs out. No fridge propane use, not much cooking.
-13 ft Casita, 16,000btu furnace, 2 20lb tanks
-temps hovering in the 30s dipping into the 20s.About 5 days per tank.
-temps in the 40s & 50s. 11 days per tank.

What's the cop out? "Your results may vary". Happy camping!
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Old 03-24-2019, 09:55 AM   #26
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Name: Fredrick
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Originally Posted by John in Santa Cruz View Post
at the hardware stores they have this cute gadget called a 'steak saver', that threads onto a regular sized propane regulator fitting and lets you use a 1 lb disposable cylinder to finish your steaks when the 20 lb bbq bottle runs out. hah!
Yeah..we use a free-standing 5 lb bottle for our outdoor grille but carry a 1 lb "green" bottle as a "steak saver" ;-)
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Old 03-25-2019, 10:06 PM   #27
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Name: Palmer
Trailer: 2014 16 ft Casita Freedom Deluxe / 2006 GMC Envoy L6 / 1964 Airstream Land Yacht Safari 22'
North Carolina
Posts: 192
I've been full-timing for about 15 years now, first aboard my 2005 Casita 16' Spirit Deluxe, bought new in Sept '04, and now aboard my 2014 16' Freedom Deluxe, bought new in Oct '13.

I'm from the Carolina foothills, with maternal blood from Central Georgia, so anything below about 75F is sweater weather. To give you an idea, I often run the furnace for a few minutes on a cooler summer evening. One time in Raleigh for a couple of days at 101F in a sunny spot, I didn't even turn on the air conditioner - just opened the windows and ran the Fantastic Fan.

On both trailers, the setup was/is the standard 2x20lb tanks with auto-changeover. I've never used that feature, as the tank cover obscures the view of the green/red indicator. I have just made it a practice to have the empty tank filled within 2 days or so after switching over. (One time, about 12 years ago, I ran out of gas about 9 pm during a light snow, and abruptly realized that I had not filled the other cylinder. I used a cylinder exchange at a local convenience store that night. I kept an eye on my nicer cylinder in the cage that week, and when the swapped one ran out, the store traded me back my original, empty-for-empty.)

Nowadays, I'm mostly on shore power, so I use a $20 ceramic cube heater most of the time, and run the refrigerator on 120V. That leaves heating a tank of water once per day and heating 1-2 kettles for coffee for the propane. At that rate, I'm only refilling a cylinder every couple of months.

I used to spend 3-4 days per week on the road, off-grid. 15/20 watts of solar (1st/2nd Casita) provided ample energy for lighting, water pump, exhaust fans, and furnace fan. The propane load included running the refrigerator 24/7, running the furnace from around 9pm-9am, heating a tank of water per day, and the aforementioned coffee making, with limited cooking. Under these conditions, one tank will last me around 10 days.

In warmer weather, taking the furnace out of the equation, the interval is more like 3-4 weeks, off-grid.

As stated above, your results may vary!
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