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Old 08-30-2011, 11:31 AM   #1
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How much propane to have on board?

I am still trying to get the Lp generator and going. I got to thinking about how much should I keep on board? The items to be used with propane is.....generator and maybe a water heater down the road.

I know the amount the generator will use is based upon load but I dont see anythign maxing it out?

Was curious as to how much people keep on board? I am thinking of a total of (4) 20lb tanks but have 2 of them hooked up at the same time?

Let me know your thoughts.


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Old 08-30-2011, 03:29 PM   #2
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Re: How much propane to have on board?

We fulltime in a Class C (22 ft). LP furnace, range. We use the micro a lot but not to cook meals. the water heater is an elec/LP unit and we haven't used LP since we bought it. If our electric is included in our site, we use electric. So far electric, even metered, has been cheaper than LP. So....


IF, IF, IF we use the furnace for heat... in snowy areas, we have gone thru 20# tank in roughly 10 days. This was an Eastern TN winter and a Southwestern NC winter (think Smoky Mountains). We usually refill the tanks (we rotate) about every month or so. We built an "extend-a-stay" so that we can tap into our Class C's LP system with an LP quick connect. We also use a tabletop gas grill to cook with and that is run off of the same 20# tank. The dual water heater gives us a great deal of flexibility in our costs. It was a tad pricy up front but we think we have saved a great deal of $$ by having it. More than the whole water heater cost us back in 2007.

You really won't know your usage until you have run the generator a few times. So you might want to park in your yard and simulate a "trip" with it. You can weigh a BBQ tank before you start and weigh it after your test. Just use a regular bathroom scale. Most folks own one (we don't).
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:08 PM   #3
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Re: How much propane to have on board?

in the winter 2 30lb tanks lasted just about 2 weeks of heating + cooking.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:07 PM   #4
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Re: How much propane to have on board?

thanks for the replies peeps. For some reason I think this thing is going to consume a lot for some odd reason? I dont mind feeding it but dont want to run our rolling down the road on a hot Texas day? I know the in the cooler times when we dont run the acs it will not use as much.

Again this is for tailgating for the most part and some weekend warrior stuff once we get it up and going.

So I dont think my 4 20lb tanks should be all that bad of a supply then?

Thanks for the replies.


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Old 08-31-2011, 10:45 AM   #5
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Re: How much propane to have on board?

id look for a frame mount RV tank or something. maybe make it with a tank hook up aswell incase you run out and need a back up etc.
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:42 PM   #6
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Re: How much propane to have on board?

I have one 30 gal frame mount i installed, 3 of the 5 gallon cans, and one 15 gallon can. I can use any of the cans to run the coleman travel barbecue (200 at camping world with discount)
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:51 PM   #7
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Re: How much propane to have on board?

Enough.........
That really depends on your use, what you're using it for and how long you plan on being out?

The motorhomes of past ad 2 x 20 lb bottles.....
The last one had two 30 lb bottles.........
Just make sure you have a back up for when you do run out. It's no fun driving around in the cold or on a dark night trying to find someplace to refill.....
Always have a small reserve... above and beyond your normal tanks......

corrections, they where 2 x 20 gallon tanks for the 5th wheel, newer model 5er's have 2 x 30 gallons........
the motorhome (40 ft diesel pusher) had 1- 40 gallon tank......
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Old 08-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #8
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Re: How much propane to have on board?

I tend to over do it when I do things. I just didnt want to go too far. I was planning on (4) 20 lb tanks but it seems I can do what I need to do with 2 of them. I would like a larger horizontal type motorhome tank but we will have to see what comes along. I think that change out would be easy to do, moving from up right tanks to horizontal.
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Old 08-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #9
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Re: How much propane to have on board?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyEagle
Enough.........
The motorhomes of past had 2 x 20 lb bottles.....
The last one had two 30 lb bottles.........
Just make sure you have a back up for when you do run out. It's no fun driving around in the cold or on a dark night trying to find someplace to refill.....
Always have a small reserve... above and beyond your normal tanks......
I don't think many here (or on RV forums) realize just what a Permanent Mount LP tank typically holds. The most common size of horizontal, permanent mount LP tank is 40 LBs or roughly 9 gallons. We had filled the LP tank on the Class exactly ONCE. We tend to fulltime "differently" than a lot of full-timers. We treat our bus as a home that just happens to have wheels. We park it in one location for months at a time with out moving. By months I mean anywhere from 3 months to 2 years. Moving just to refill LP is a PITA. Too many places are not laid out for 40 ft vehicles to easily park in and you always have the yo-yo who needs to park in the middle of the area you would need to park in to get tanks refilled. We have been in places with LP delivery in campgrounds. It is much easier for us to carry two 20 LB (BBQ) tanks. We can either refill (cheapest) or do a tank swap (for those times with the LP filling station is closed). The 20 lb tanks also allow us to take advantage to the yearly super cheap LP promotions that every distributor seems to engage in (typically referred to as the $6 tank fill) wherein they refill 20 LB tanks for $6. We have been very light on our cooking only LP usage in the summer heat. We cook mostly in the microwave and on the LP grill. I am seriously considering building a small portable solar cooker to use during the summertime rather than heat up the inside of the bus with the oven.

NOTE: we only use LP for cooking (30" gas range & a tabletop LP grill from Wal-mart) and for a small LP space heater.

Upside to an LP generator... it would use a fuel we tend to already have on hand, seems to require less maintenance based on what I have heard about them, and we could power off a 20LB tank that we can toss an extra into the jeep to get refilled. Since we go thru LP any way, the fuel wouldn't go bad due to age or need any stabilizers added to it like gasoline and diesel. We could simply run another LP line to the generator rather than go to the expense of adding a fuel tank and figuring where to put the fill valve.

Downside to an LP generator is the higher price compared to a similar sized gasoline version.

Would I consider an LP generator? Based on what I posted above... yes. And for those very same reasons. I am having problems squeezing all the stuff under the bus that we need to squeeze under the bus! I have the space to carry our two LP tank and with a little adjustment, I could carry two more. Not that we would need it based on the way we plan on using the bus.

For anyone who plans on using LP in their bus, particularly if you plan on using a permanent mount tank.... Add a simple LP quick connect that will allow you to sit extra LP tanks on the ground outside of your bus. This will allow you to either use an extra 20LB tank or you can use a 100 LB tank (rental or your own if you can transport one upright) for longer extended use (like over winter). Using one of our old 100 LB tanks saved us a lot of $$ over our last NC winter. Now all we have are 20 LB tanks as we do not have a good way to transport 100 LB tanks. You can swap out 20LB tank at more tank exchanges than you can 30 LB tanks.

THIS IS ANOTHER OF THOSE "NO ONE RIGHT OR WRONG WAY" THING. BUT A THING YOU NEED TO LOOK AT IN LIGHT OF HOW YOU PLAN TO USE YOUR BUS NOW AND IN THE NEAR FUTURE!
Discuss with your spouse/SO, if you have one, your plans for future use. If you are single... write down how you may use the bus in the future. Take into account as many different scenarios as you can including "worst case" things (you loose your home for whatever reason and have to move into the bus and travel to parts unknown looking for work). Doing this will allow you to add a few changes to "upgrade" later without a major rework. Doesn't hurt to plan for the future a little. sometimes it's cheaper and easier to plan for a future thing now than rip out and rebuild later (like toilets, electrical wiring hidden behind walls, etc).
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Old 08-15-2012, 03:12 AM   #10
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Re: How much propane to have on board?

there is a lot of difference between say a 30 lb tank, and a 30 gallon one.. in total i carry 60 or more gallons, depending on what i toss in the compartments.
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