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Open Roads Forum  >  Truck Campers

 > 30 lb LP Tank - How Long Does It Last?????

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Grandma Bette

Kentucky

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Posted: 10/15/08 07:16pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We're getting ready to set off on our first trip and plan on boon-docking along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Tempertures are predicted to dip near 30 most nights and only reach the mid-60s during the day. Our rig has a single 30lb LP tank and I'm wondering if it will be enough to last during a 5-6 day outing. Do any of you experienced truck campers have any idea? We have another tank we can haul along in the truck cab but that seems like such a hassle (and additional weight) if we're not going to need it. Then again, I'd hate to run out of LP in the middle of the night. Thanks for any advice you can provide.

Bette

littlebigbar

Victoria, BC, Canada

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Posted: 10/15/08 07:21pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grandma Bette wrote:

I'd hate to run out of LP in the middle of the night.
Bette


Bring the extra tank AND and extra battery or generator. Your 30lb tank would last that long IF it is full, but are you sure it's full. Plus how much cooking etc. will you be doing?. Secondly, how warm do you like your rig? Furnace on full time? I'd worry alot more about battery power than propane consumption.


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TMBLSN

Washington State

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Posted: 10/15/08 07:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If you'll have power available, use a space heater to keep the camper warm, at least some of the time.


Lee

kcabpilot

CA

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Posted: 10/15/08 07:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It completely depends on how much propane you are going to use for heating, hot water, cooking and reefer. We normally set the thermostat to 50 at night and use blankets and rarely, if ever use it during the day except in the morning. I don't leave the hot water heater running all the time but I'm not sure if that is economical or not because when you do want hot water you've got to heat up the whole tank from scratch again. We normally BBQ outside, stove gets used mostly for boiling water. I run the reefer on DC when we are traveling and the truck is running.

We have two 30 lb tanks and have always gotten through an entire season with them so I fill up about once a year. This year we did about 21 days total and it just switched to the second tank on about day 18 but I'm pretty sure the first tank wasn't completely full.


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Eycom

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Posted: 10/15/08 07:55pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just for comparison. A couple of years ago during the 'October Surprise' in Buffalo, NY. Heavy wet snow brought down trees and the power lines along with them. The area I was in was without power for 5 days. Night time temps hovered around 30 and daytime temps in the upper 40's.

3 people living in the camper for 5 days. Normal cooking and dish washing, heat set at a comfortable setting, approximately 68° during the day, 55° at night. We used 12v mattress pad warmers at night and watched our favorite tv shows, on air and satellite. We also had broadband internet and spent an hour online daily. Onboard propane generator ran 2-3 hours a day to recharge 2 GRP 27 batteries.

In other words, we didn't make many sacrifices as far as energy usage. We burned a 30# tank in those five days. We wouldn't have been able to be so comfortable without 2 batteries and a genny.


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Itchey Feet

Wyoming

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Posted: 10/15/08 08:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just got back from 3 weeks on the road, 6 states and 1/2 the time we had no hookups @ all. Ran the frig, (water heater which is gas only) and furnace on gas almost all the time. There was at least one week that when we got up in the mornings the outside temp in Yellowstone was 23 and rose to the low 60's in the day, (spent over a week there with no hookups.) There were some nights, when we were in the Black Hills that it got down to the 60's @ night and in the high 80's daytime. We have two 20 lb bottles with the auto switch over. It never did switch and when we got home the first thing I did was fill the empty bottle to see how much it took, (just a little over 4.1 gallons). We ran the thermostat on 55 @ night and used an extra blanket, we do not like it hot @ night anyway and when we got up just a cup of coffee and a light breakfast and out to take pictures. So 30 lbs would last us about 6 weeks. (BUT) propane usage is like gas mileage everyone drive differently and some go faster than others.


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Terryallan

Foothills NC

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Posted: 10/15/08 08:34pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Grandma Bette wrote:

We're getting ready to set off on our first trip and plan on boon-docking along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Tempertures are predicted to dip near 30 most nights and only reach the mid-60s during the day. Our rig has a single 30lb LP tank and I'm wondering if it will be enough to last during a 5-6 day outing. Do any of you experienced truck campers have any idea? We have another tank we can haul along in the truck cab but that seems like such a hassle (and additional weight) if we're not going to need it. Then again, I'd hate to run out of LP in the middle of the night. Thanks for any advice you can provide.

Bette


Curious. Cause it sounds good. We camp the BRP CGs all the time.
Where are you going to boon dock on the BRP? Unless you get off every night, and find a WalMart. Not an easy trick in the Blue Ridge Mountains. and You can't lawfully overnight in the BRP overlooks, or on any side roads. Rangers will see to that.
There are primitive NP CGs on the BRP, Those would be your best bet. but that isn't boondocking, is it? They do have water, and dump stations.
There are also a few private full hookup CGs on the Parkway. But at least one of them closes the end of OCT.

Not flaming. Just want to know.


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bka0721

Republic of Colorado

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Posted: 10/15/08 08:52pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

~ Gramma Bette ~ We have another tank we can haul along in the truck cab but that seems like such a hassle (and additional weight) if we're not going to need it.>>> Doesn't anyone see a problem with taking a full Propane Tank in the cab of a occupied truck????? I have seen a 20lb Propane Tank blow up and no one would live through the shrapnel in that truck cab. In addition, a quick check on the www.nps.gov web site would alert you which campgrounds would be still open during this season on the BRP. It was not mentioned, but maybe if the tank gets low, you could get it refilled. That part of the country has a number or gas stations that refill Propane tanks. Be safe.


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kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 10/15/08 09:08pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Please don't carry the tank in the cab. While you shouldn't have an issue, I sure would hate to read about you on the forums in a thread "Truck explodes".

I was looking at the 815 which only has a 20# tank. Was worried about the furnace running the tank out on a single trip so did some calculation. Based on an 18,000 btu furnace, the 20# tank would let the furnice run 23+ hours continuously. With frig, figured that would relate to an easy 3 day weekend in the mountains without worry. Also, you should be able to easily drop off the parkway and get the tanks filled. Except for the section from Asheville south, civilazation is just a few miles away.

For true boondocking, go down to Pisgah NF south of Asheville on the east side of the parkway, mainly between Hwy 276 and Hwy 215. They still allow roadside camping off the forest roads in marked spots. Some of these spots are nothing more than places you can pull over out of traffic, some have small clearings where you can back off the road.

Would also check with the ranger as I believe you can still camp in the gravel parking lot at Cold Mountain just south of Pisgah campground. Growing up we spent many a nights backed up off the edge of the lot into the tree line in our old Franklin.


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tom_kat

way upstate new york/lake george area

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Posted: 10/15/08 09:24pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

get a mr buddy and a few small tanks of propane just in case you run out during the night you could keep warm till you get the main tank filled.


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