Propane tank size - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-03-2018, 09:57 PM   #1
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Propane tank size

Following the recent thread on electric trailers, I am considering how much propane I might need for occasional use when electricity is unavailable for whatever reason.
I am thinking about 2 options: just using the 1 lb cylinders or a smaller tank, possibly one of the squat 5 lb type.

Are these 2 interchangeable as far as hooking up to a Coleman stove and a portable propane heater? What adaptors, if any would be needed? If I go with a tank, could I have quick connect fittings both inside the trailer and outside (my preference with the stove).
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Old 07-03-2018, 11:31 PM   #2
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the one pound disposable Coleman style green cannisters have a completely different sort of fitting than the refillable 5-20-bigger propane bottles. you can get a hose adapter letting you connect a 5 or 20 or whatever lb bottle to one of those appliances made for the 1 lb disposables.

i have a Mr Heater that attaches to a 20 lb bottle, it can drain one in a few long evenings of sitting around it as a virtual campfire in cold weather. the baby mr heaters that use the 1 lb bottles don't put out much heat. but IMHO, I would never use ANY of these inside a trailer, that is flat out unsafe. and you really shouldn't use a propane stove inside a small confined space like a trailer unless you have a ventilation fan running overhead
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:41 AM   #3
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I bought a new 20 lb propane tank for $23 USD and a new 11 lb propane tank for $46 USD . It cost me $15 to fill the 20 Lb tank and $ 12 to fill the 11lb tank
The 1 lb tanks are $4 to $5 ea and are not “legally” refillable
From strictly an economic viewpoint , I would go with a single 20 lb propane tank . Plus if you do run out of propane the empty 20 can be swapped out for a full 20 at multiple locations
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:02 AM   #4
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20# is the standard. Going smaller will cost you more and be inconvenient as Steve points out.

+10 if you use indoors, I'd consider a real furnace. I would not consider it safe otherwise.


Another advantage of a propane tank to someone all electric is you can use it for a dual fuel generator. Then the generator powers your stuff inside the trailer. Champion makes a nice dual fuel 3100 generator that Costco sells for $849. Assuming you don't have an AC, you could get by with a smaller generator.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:00 AM   #5
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Sadly, I have never found a 1500W, or smaller propane generator.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I bought a new 20 lb propane tank for $23 USD and a new 11 lb propane tank for $46 USD . It cost me $15 to fill the 20 Lb tank and $ 12 to fill the 11lb tank
The 1 lb tanks are $4 to $5 ea and are not “legally” refillable
From strictly an economic viewpoint , I would go with a single 20 lb propane tank . Plus if you do run out of propane the empty 20 can be swapped out for a full 20 at multiple locations
Thanks for the economic points. I knew the 1 lb would be more expensive in the end but not the smaller tanks.
What about using large tanks with appliances meant for 1 lb bottles. Will i need special hoses/adaptors?
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:43 AM   #7
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https://www.amazon.com/GasOne-Propan...14542576&psc=1

Here's a link to one on Amazon.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:50 AM   #8
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I have had problems with some of the adapter hoses, the hose that adapts a 20 lb tank to a stove or grill that is made for the green one lb tanks. Something to do with the flow rate maybe. But then I had a hose that did work. Possibly bought at Walmart, but not sure.
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:55 AM   #9
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Mr Heater the makers of the Buddy portable heaters makes hoses that allow you to hook up portable propane appliances to a 5 or 11 or 20 lb propane tank
I have a 15 ft hose that I use with my portable heater ( deer hunting tree stand) , propane grill and propane stove . Supposedly the Mr Heater hose is made with a plastic that does not screw or plug up appliances
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Old 07-04-2018, 08:56 AM   #10
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I now have an 11 lb vertical tank with a Weber adapter hose which will run the Weber Q, camp chef Everest camp stove, suspended Coleman camp lantern etc.
I have run the campfire in a can with that tank too but it has its own hose with regulator. To me the only negative aside from the initial cost is the fact you have to have the tank filled, you can’t swap it anywhere. My hardware store propane guy charges for propane by the pound so cost to refill is parallel to the larger tanks. I took an old propane tank to a local bulk refiller propane company and they swapped me for a brand new , never used tank in April of this year. So if I keep track of that one and have it filled each time it’s good through April of 2030. I’m not nuts about trusting low oxygen shutoff heaters in enclosed spaces but have used them in an ice fishing tent but keep the zipper “cracked”.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Sadly, I have never found a 1500W, or smaller propane generator.
There's a 2200 watt max, 1800 watt running, dual fuel at Camping World right now for $499. It is rated 10% less on propane, that would put the Sportsman unit above at 1980 max, 1620 running.

No experience with this brand generator.


Want something even smaller? There is a Ryobi 900/700 propane generator out there. It is propane only. Incredible 60 hour run time at 25% load with a 20# propane tank.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:49 AM   #12
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Since I don't use AC, I was ready to run out and buy the Ryobi propane generator, but it's not available in Canada.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:55 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
Mr Heater the makers of the Buddy portable heaters makes hoses that allow you to hook up portable propane appliances to a 5 or 11 or 20 lb propane tank
I have a 15 ft hose that I use with my portable heater ( deer hunting tree stand) , propane grill and propane stove . Supposedly the Mr Heater hose is made with a plastic that does not screw or plug up appliances
I have that "special" hose, and it works well with my "Portable Buddy" heater. I use a standard adaptor hose for my propane Coleman stove and have no problems. I do carry a 1 lb. bottle* for emergencies, have not needed it yet though.

*My Mom bestowed quite a few of these 1 lb. bottles on me when she sold her house and moved to the retirement community. They were left over from her camping days. I wonder just what is the "shelf life" of a 1 lb. propane bottle?
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:20 AM   #14
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Because the 1 lb canisters are not easily re-usable or even recyclable, and involve a huge metal waste I avoid them as much as possible. I carry a 5 lb cylinder for all my cooking appliances and carry a couple of the 1 pounders as emergency backup, hoping to never need them.
The 5 lb cylinder is expensive, but it's a one time expense and I've had it now for about 7 years.

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Old 07-04-2018, 11:17 AM   #15
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Century Fuel has a propane conversion kit for a Honda 1000.

The smaller bulk tanks are more expensive, but a lot lighter in weight and easier to handle.

Lots of adapters and hoses out there. Just remember to turn off the valve at the stove. Then very slowly turn on the valve on the bulk tank. Then turn on the valve at the stove.

If you turn on the valve to quickly on the bulk tank the safety feature will kick and you will have to mess with it to get it to work.

Mess = do this over and over a few times.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:49 PM   #16
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And always remember to turn off the tank valve when you are done to avoid slow leakage.

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Old 07-04-2018, 12:53 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
....Plus if you do run out of propane the empty 20 can be swapped out for a full 20 at multiple locations

I dunno if this is true everywhere, but the local propane companies that run the swap cages at the minimarts and gas stations have slapped fine print stickers on the cages that state they are only filling the swaps with 12 lbs. the so-called 20 lb tank is really more like 17 lbs now days with the OFP valves, as when the old style tanks were filled with a full 20 lbs, they were prone to blowing off excess if left in the sun.

so caveat emptor. I already tended to avoid the swaps as half the time you get a pretty nasty looking tank, now I have another reason.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:03 PM   #18
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Because the 1 lb canisters are not easily re-usable or even recyclable, and involve a huge metal waste I avoid them as much as possible. I carry a 5 lb cylinder for all my cooking appliances and carry a couple of the 1 pounders as emergency backup, hoping to never need them.
The 5 lb cylinder is expensive, but it's a one time expense and I've had it now for about 7 years.

Walt
Like Walt we've ditched the disposables. We carry a standard 20# for all of the Scamp's propane needs but like to cook and eat outside as much as weather permits. The small 5# tank is perfect for the Coleman stove and portable gas grill and travels on the Scamp tongue next to the larger tank. It's easy to take off and put in the screen tent for cooking. We've been on trips of six weeks and never run out on either tank.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:23 PM   #19
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I've got a 10 lb. tank and used to have a 5lb.
Only problem I encountered was trying to get them filled in a small town. The propane operator had no clue what to do with anything but a 20 lb. tank. That was all she had been trained to do.
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Old 07-04-2018, 05:27 PM   #20
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I guess I don't understand. 5#, 10#, 20#, etc. The valves are all identical so filling them is no different. It can be difficult to find a place that can fill your tank, but the size shouldn't matter.

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