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Open Roads Forum  >  Fifth-Wheels

 > Propane Tank Gauge,recomendations please

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Chuck ..

Salem, Oregon

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Posted: 11/11/19 09:34am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For my two propane tanks I can not tell how much gas is in each of the tanks. These are large/ heavy tanks, back inside a pull out tray on the side of the 5th wheel. Is this brand a good one, Astor Pressure Propane Tank Gauge? Don't want to have to unhook the tanks, pull them out and take them to be refilled if they a near full or run out in the middle of a trip.

* This post was edited 11/11/19 10:33am by Chuck .. *


Chuck

gkainz

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Posted: 11/11/19 09:58am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I've not heard any good recommendations for pressure gauges to accomplish what you want to see. Propane cylinders will keep up the pressure just about all the way to "almost empty" ... pressure doesn't vary much with the LP level.

2 methods that work for many of us are (singularly or combination of both):

1. Auto change over valve - standard (?) in nearly all the RVs now, I think. I use a grease pencil on the tanks to indicate fill date and selection date when I put a full cylinder in, and the date I point the change over valve handle at the selected cylinder. I then check it with some regularity (daily or whenever I think about it?) and note when the flag goes red, switch the regulator handle to the other cylinder, mark the date and know I now need to fill the now empty cylinder sometime within or well before the "usage window" that the first bottle gave me.

2. Pour a cup of hot water down the side of the cylinder and observe the frost line (or feel for the cold/hot demarcation line with my hand) to get an idea of how much LP remaining in that cylinder.


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Old-Biscuit

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Posted: 11/11/19 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Only one is going to go empty at a time.
When Indicator goes from GREEN to RED.....swap indicator lever to other cylinder
Then remove the empty one and go get it refilled.

TWO 30# cylinders (14 gallons) will last a long time

FTng we went 6 weeks on ONE 30#

Pressure inside cyliders doesn't change a lot until almost empty
Overthinking the issue.


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ford truck guy

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Posted: 11/11/19 10:00am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have a buddy that has one of these, AND LOVES IT - Trauma gauge and it seams to be pretty accurate....


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Devocamper

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Posted: 11/11/19 10:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ford truck guy wrote:

I have a buddy that has one of these, AND LOVES IT - Trauma gauge and it seams to be pretty accurate....


X2 this is what I have been using for a few years now works pretty well But you still have to check several times on the side of the tank to be accurate, the only reason I check my tanks is because I try to stay on the easier tank to remove and fill , they are back to back and no slide out tray so in order to fill the back one I have to remove them both , So I try to stay on the outer tank and used the inner as a backup , but back to the point the device works pretty well ,


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opnspaces

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Posted: 11/11/19 10:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To expand on what's stated above, the cheap screw on gauges are absolutely worthless. Propane is stored under pressure as a liquid and it boils off at -22f creating the pressurized gas at the top of the tank. That is why when you turn over a small propane bottle you feel liquid sloshing around inside.

Your appliances use the propane vapor at the top and not the liquid. So as the propane vapor is used to power the appliances the liquid boils up more gas. If you screw one of those cheap gauges on the valve it will read full right up until all the liquid is boiled off and then the gauge drops to empty. In order to get the true level you need a tank with a gauge that floats on the liquid propane. Aside form a float gauge you can use the hot water trick or one of the electronic devices as linked above.


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MFL

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Posted: 11/11/19 11:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

ford truck guy wrote:

I have a buddy that has one of these, AND LOVES IT - Trauma gauge and it seams to be pretty accurate....


kind of similar to the one I use.

[image]

Jerry





ford truck guy

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Posted: 11/11/19 11:12am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MFL wrote:

ford truck guy wrote:

I have a buddy that has one of these, AND LOVES IT - Trauma gauge and it seams to be pretty accurate....


kind of similar to the one I use.

[image]

Jerry


YUP, I use that one myself.. the one I showed seamed a bit more accurate to me, I really don't think it's an exact science

time2roll

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Posted: 11/11/19 11:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The existing automatic regulator should indicate the empty cylinder. There will be a pointer that indicates the primary cylinder. Check that the pointer is actually pointed at one or the other... not in the middle. When you remove and fill the indicated empty, switch the pointer to the opposite cylinder.

Repeat each time you see the red indicator. Check daily during heavy propane use.


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Roger10378

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Posted: 11/11/19 11:17am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The other one that works quite well is the Mopeka. The only problem that I have had with it is that the battery life is only about a year(or less in cold weather). It uses sonar to check for the height of the liquid/gas interface. I ended up making a remote battery system for mine so that the battery can be changed without removing the propane bottle.


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