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Open Roads Forum  >  Beginning RVing

 > Filling large propane tank on the road

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time2roll

Southern California

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Posted: 01/15/21 11:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I think most U-Haul also will fill your RV tank.

No reason to be cold for lack of propane. +1 for collecting one or more 30# cylinders if the on-board tank is inconvenient or inadequate. Get the fire on already.


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doxiemom11

Victoria TX

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Posted: 01/18/21 08:24pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We put an extend a stay valve on our onboard tank and have a 20# tank that we run off from, when it runs out, we switch the valve back to the big tank and we go fill the 20# tank. Saves us driving to get propane. Tractor Supply has great prices( not all locations have propane) When we are traveling, we then stop and fill the onboard tank. We also use electric heaters to supplement the furnace. Other than first thing in the morning, the furnace usually doesn't run during the day as the electric heaters keep us warm enough.

MrMark52

North Texas

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Posted: 01/26/21 07:01am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

FWIW - We’re in Dallas, and the Tractor Supply’s around here will not fill permanent tanks in a motorhome. I’m not sure any of the, will - YMMV, but I would recommend calling first.

We have found the Pilot station in Waco to have the best price on propane. Pilot does somewhat cater to the motorhome’er’s, but as previously stated, not,all Pilot stations carry propane.

There is a propane dealer in Forney, Tx, right on the Hwy 80 west bound service road, who services motorhomes.

A lot but not all motorhome/rv dealers sell propane.

But a key thing to remember - you have to ask or make it clear that you have a permanent tank in your motorhome unless you do as suggested and have the modification done where you can connect one of the bbq grill style bottles (but keep in mind, I am pretty certain it is unlawful to carry one of those bottles inside the coach when underway).

Land Yachters

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Posted: 01/26/21 04:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK, update. I did get the tank filled at CG yesterday on our way out. Figured 24 gal tank and gauge showed 41% and needed to get to 85%, so my limited math skills said I needed about 12 gal. +/- or so. In a hurry blocking exit to CG and guy filled it with 17 gal saying I must have been on empty....didn't look at gauge until I got to next stop, and sure enough, gauge shows 96% full. To get rid of some propane, I am using propane hot water heater, but don't think that will "bleed" off excess propane anytime soon.
Should I worry about 96% fill on tank?


Land Yachters
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DrewE

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Posted: 01/26/21 05:03pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I would be somewhat concerned.

The headspace is required due to thermal expansion (liquid propane has a pretty high coefficient of thermal expansion). If you're heading from warm weather to cold weather, it's less of a concern than if you're heading from cold to warmer weather, or sitting unused in a cold place that will get warmer over time.

Please also contact the campground and advise them that they overfilled your propane tank so that hopefully they can provide better guidance to the employee who did that and prevent problems in the future. If they're unconcerned, it may be worth notifying the state; this is potentially a serious safety issue. If the propane expands enough to use up all the headspace, the pressure relief valve on the tank will vent liquid propane, which is a fire hazard; and if the relief valve fails to operate for some reason, there's a very good chance that the tank could rupture, which is an even bigger hazard.





ItsyRV

Desert SW

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Posted: 01/26/21 10:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Land Yachters wrote:

Should I worry about 96% fill on tank?

Depends, how accurate is your gauge? On my RV when it's 80% capacity the gauge on the tank shows full and the gauge inside shows full (although it's just a guestimate bar display).


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JaxDad

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Posted: 01/27/21 05:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

DrewE wrote:

I would be somewhat concerned.

The headspace is required due to thermal expansion (liquid propane has a pretty high coefficient of thermal expansion). If you're heading from warm weather to cold weather, it's less of a concern than if you're heading from cold to warmer weather, or sitting unused in a cold place that will get warmer over time.

Please also contact the campground and advise them that they overfilled your propane tank so that hopefully they can provide better guidance to the employee who did that and prevent problems in the future. If they're unconcerned, it may be worth notifying the state; this is potentially a serious safety issue. If the propane expands enough to use up all the headspace, the pressure relief valve on the tank will vent liquid propane, which is a fire hazard; and if the relief valve fails to operate for some reason, there's a very good chance that the tank could rupture, which is an even bigger hazard.


Most tank gauges are calibrated such that when the gauge reads ‘100%k or ‘full’ the liquid level in the tank is at the proper 80% of capacity level. Cars & trucks are the same, when your gauge reads “full” there is still an empty head space above the gasoline or diesel.

Yours is likely working the same way.

Remote reading gauges are also notoriously inaccurate.

MrMark52

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Posted: 01/27/21 09:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Land Yachters wrote:

OK, update. I did get the tank filled at CG yesterday on our way out. Figured 24 gal tank and gauge showed 41% and needed to get to 85%, so my limited math skills said I needed about 12 gal. +/- or so. In a hurry blocking exit to CG and guy filled it with 17 gal saying I must have been on empty....didn't look at gauge until I got to next stop, and sure enough, gauge shows 96% full. To get rid of some propane, I am using propane hot water heater, but don't think that will "bleed" off excess propane anytime soon.
Should I worry about 96% fill on tank?



.8 x 24 = 19.2 gallons.

If he put 17 in, you must have 2.2 gallons in the tank.

There is a valve in the tank that prevents filling above 80% (unless you have an ancient tank).

The monitor inside your coach 99% of the time is driven off the tank gauge. So if one is wrong, the other is likely wrong unless there is a calibration setup that allows the monitor to read full at 80% fill (which is a true reading of tank capacity).

time2roll

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Posted: 01/27/21 09:40am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Land Yachters wrote:

Should I worry about 96% fill on tank?
No. Why would you worry?

cross21114

Baltimore, MD, USA

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Posted: 02/01/21 01:10pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bucky wrote:

Most ACE hardware stores also sell propane.


In my area, I have found out that the cost of propane at Tractor Supply is half of Ace, which I had previously been using.

I took my RV down to our goose club so I would not have to eat and sleep in the clubhouse. I used a 20# bottle connected to an extended stay. This worked out well. Tractor Supply was close by which is how I learned of my mistake. Was shocked at the difference in price. Needless to say, I filled up the RV Saturday when I brought the RV home.

I refilled my 20# bottle about 4 times during the season and would be able to get about 3 nights in cold weather. If I were ataying full time, I would have 2 bottles.

Note: Tractor Supply has a corporate policy that they will not fill Blue Rhino bottles.


Chris
2018 Nexus Ghost 36DS
360 Cummins, 3000 Allison
2016 Ford Expedition


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