Propane Tank Location - Fiberglass RV


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Old 03-28-2018, 11:35 PM   #1
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Name: Spencer
Trailer: Scamp
Utah
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Propane Tank Location

Hello,

This may be a silly questions, but is there a reason the majority of propane tanks on Scamps and other fiberglass trailers are located in front the battery when the battery is attached to the frame? My 84 Scamp has a dual tank set up and the tanks are behind the battery with the battery in front (right behind the tongue jack). I'm currently replacing the LP hoses and regulator on my Scamp and was wondering when putting it all back together if I should put the battery behind the tanks and move the tanks forward like most of the Scamps do that I see online. Could be a weight distribution thing? Or does it not matter how they go?

Thanks

Spencer
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:16 AM   #2
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Name: Gerry
Trailer: 1979 Boler 1300 / 1991 Casita Freedom Deluxe
Maine
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The Battery location on my 79 Boler, was under the dinette seat in rear, when I got it, and only thing on tongue was the propane bottle. I just have the single bottle and it was where it was, and only place I had room for my custom battery tray was in front of it. 2 years ago I put a hard shell cover for the propane bottle and I had to buy a longer hole to reach my regulator because the hose goes under this shell and there was no wriggle room.
Back on you question. in my opinion, the weight of the battery, if closer to the hitch and jack, puts less strain on the frame when traveling.
I know people have said that the further away from the axel the weight is the more strain on the frame, like a see-saw. But think of a span on a bridge. Where you have 2 support points the strongest points will be closer to the ends not closer to the center of the span. ie: the hitch to the axle.
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Old 03-29-2018, 02:51 AM   #3
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Trailer: Casita SD17 2006 "Missing Link"
California
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Interesting question Spencer. Never really given it any thought but it may just come down to being symmetrical to the A shape of the tongue. Dual tanks mounted at the wider point won't hang over the frame edges....same for the battery being forward. OTOH, it may just be the yahoo doing the install likes it better that way . I don't think it really makes any big difference except for looks.
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Old 03-29-2018, 06:55 AM   #4
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Trailer: 2008 Scamp 13 S1
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Propane Tank Location

I think it's because the battery is shorter and tucks under the curve of the shell a little.

Gerry's analysis holds some water, but the actual shift in the center of tongue weight mass is minimal, since they're both pretty heavy.

In the end I don't think it really matters as long as you can access both, they can be correctly set up with wiring and regulator/hoses, and they don't interfere with the tongue jack. Keeping everything contained within the A-frame is a bonus.

Do what you want, based on appearance and ease of connection and maintenance.
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Old 03-29-2018, 09:14 AM   #5
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Name: Dave W
Trailer: Trillium 4500 - 1977, 1978 (2), 1300 - 1977, 1973, and a 1972
Alberta
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My ideas are not for everyone, but I put my batteries forward of my propane tank. Since I use an aluminum forklift tank, it tucks nicely under the curve of the shell. But I have also mounted my spare over the batteries and tank. When I sold this trailer, I replaced the forklift tank with a single 20 lb propane tank. I think two tanks would have fit as well.
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Old 03-29-2018, 09:15 AM   #6
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Name: kenneth
Trailer: x
Georgia
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If your unit had enough space at it's rear to load up junk, you could imbalance the rig to the point of seriously causing problems while on the road. Putting the tanks and battery where they are, near the hitch, keeps the weight forward of the axle which keeps the trailer more stable. Anti-sway devices also help.
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Old 03-29-2018, 09:29 AM   #7
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Name: Daniel A.
Trailer: Bigfoot 17.0 1991 dlx
British Columbia
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Bigfoot has always had the propane tanks close to the body and battery closest the hitch. I suspect the reason is you want the break away switch as close to the end of the connection point as possible.

The break away cable that connects to the TV has a fairly straight line.
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Old 03-29-2018, 09:41 AM   #8
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Name: Tom
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Denver, CO
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I tend agree that exact placement is not critical. This is more food for thought.

Originally, I imagine the propane tanks and battery ended up there because neither was wanted inside the unit. I don't know exactly what industry codes or rules apply. They are also easier to refill. Both benefit from air flow and ventilation, although some batteries no longer need as much ventilation, AGM versus lead acid.

By the way, I preach the see-saw fulcrum theory, and I grant that in front, the hitch dampens the effect, unlike the back of trailers. I'd argue that the span isn't trailer axle to hitch, but trailer axle to vehicle axle. Even the back of trailers is dampened by the front coupling to the tow vehicle.

Why the hitch tongue? First, it's already there, well ventilated, & somewhat protected between vehicles. it would be far more dangerous to place them at the back of the trailer, where they would increase bounce, lighten the tongue, and be more prone in a rear-end accident.
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Old 03-29-2018, 10:09 AM   #9
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Name: bob
Trailer: Was A-Liner now 13f Scamp
Missouri
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exactly

why try to reinvent the wheel? just accept this is the best place.

put them to the front outside good ventilation good placement easy to get to check on many things!!

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Old 03-29-2018, 08:13 PM   #10
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Name: Spencer
Trailer: Scamp
Utah
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Thanks for all the info, everyone! I'll probably just put it back the way it is, with the battery in front of the tanks and call it good!

Spencer
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Old 03-30-2018, 05:38 AM   #11
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