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Old 03-16-2010, 11:02 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

Care to convince me not to?

I'll put my actual question at the top here and give my reasoning below:
Has anyone, ever, had the overpressure relief valve on a propane tank open in any situation not involving fire or during filling?

Here's my reasoning- I've read a lot about propane use and storage indoors versus outdoors and I've just seen a lot of parroting of useless info like "Just don't do it!" and "Kaboom!", as well as pure departures from common sense: "If the tank leaks the propane will build up and then create an explosive danger!" - well yes, but even with the tank outside, your inside-the-area propane appliance could develop a leak too and now you've got the same problem again now don't you? With the tank inside within easy reach I can also employ a dual-valve strategy. (meaning, I can easily turn the tank *and* the appliance off/on every time I use it, so a failure of either one of the valves will not result in a leak)

I'm going to be drilling a bunch of holes in the door/step area of my bus anyway (the lowest part) to be used as a grey water drain and I like keeping all the windows and vents open so any minor propane leakage will naturally flow out there.
My only concern is with the pressure relief valve.
Sure I can see a scenario where if it lets loose in that confined area It won't be able to dissipate quick enough, but I think it should only start venting in the case of a fire directly heating the tank and causing the overpressure.
Has anyone ever heard of a propane tank venting because it was just left in a car in the sun or something?
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Old 03-16-2010, 01:12 PM   #2
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Re: I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

Quote:
Originally Posted by scosol
...Has anyone, ever, had the overpressure relief valve on a propane tank open in any situation not involving fire or during filling?...Has anyone ever heard of a propane tank venting because it was just left in a car in the sun or something?
YES!! I've had several BBQ sized LP tanks vent slightly... enough for me to smell the gas additive. Both inside vehicles (I now haul them on my hitchhaul) and while on my RV's. Always on a very hot day. All my tanks are kept in good shape and have good white paint on them.
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Old 03-16-2010, 04:15 PM   #3
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Re: I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

Smitty- you missed the part where I'm creating a big vent/shower drain by drilling a bunch of holes in the floor of the stepwell
(the windows are all at ceiling height)

Reading more, it seems that pressure relief venting *can* happen on a hot day right after a fill (lots of liquid, not much gas).
So with that knowledge, I am thinking that I'll be extremely safe if I get an oversized tank and just fill it to 50%

The model I'm looking at is one like this:
http://www.protanksupply.com/camping-pr ... sp?ID=1020

40lb horizontal, mounted on a rack or on the floor, and the relief valve will be aimed right at the stepwell (bottom vent).
To be filled, I have to take it out (it has to be filled vertically).
Anyone see any other problems with this setup?
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Old 03-16-2010, 05:03 PM   #4
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Re: I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pied Typer
My question is what benifit do you expect to get from putting your tank inside?

Also, if you're going to buy a horizontal mount tank with brackets, why not just go ahead and mount it underbody like is intended?
There's no room- the bus runs on CNG, so *all* the underbody space is taken up by the CNG tanks.
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Old 03-16-2010, 06:45 PM   #5
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Re: I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

Just mount your tanks on the back of the bus. Build something that looks like a cargo carrier or a toolbox that mounts to the back of the bus. Use expanded metal for the floor or otherwise vent the box and keep your propane tanks inside. That way they are secure, away from tampering hoodlums, and vented properly in case of pressure relief. Most of all, you wont risk asphyxiation from leaking propane tanks while you are sleeping. Besides, a propane explosion could make for a bad situation with your CNG tanks....major boom!
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Old 03-16-2010, 07:27 PM   #6
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Re: I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

The tank you are talking about using is the same size as the one on our current RV. We had it filled before we left NM. Lots of hissing and very smelly. The tank is mounted under the rear of our Class C. Crawl under and see if you can't find a better place to hang it. Don't put it inside. Alternative... we have had our RV since spring 2006. Last October was the first time we had the permanent tank filled. We installed a home made "extend-a-stay" setup with a LP gas quick connect. We normally run off a 20 lb BBQ tank. It was cheaper to swap an empty tank for a full one at the local Home Depot (like 1/2 the price). It was an unusual situation but we liked the convenience. We carry 2 BBQ tanks with us (I strap one on the hitch haul and and one rides in the hot dog cart). We only cook (LP range, LP grill) with the gas mostly. We do have an LP furnace (usually use the electric heaters in campgrounds) and LP/AC water heater (again we use the campground electric). To give you an idea of how little we use LP... We filled our permanent tank (with 9 gallons LP) the first week of November 2009. Left NM for TX. We are in Corpus. We still are using that LP. Even using the LP to heat with in NE TN... we used 1 20 lb BBQ tank every 2 weeks.... plus cooking.
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Old 03-17-2010, 03:42 PM   #7
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Re: I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

A few months ago, I had my 40lb'rs filled up. It was done with the outside temps around 12 degrees and the wind blowing. I took them home and put them in my small heated shop. (was to lazy to take them the rest of the way out back) Went back in the shop a few hours later and had a very strong smell of propane. They might have been a little over filled and the big rise in temp. in the shop, made the overpressure bleed off.
But hey, It's your party

Just a thought: could you tap in to your NG tanks and just use NG for whatever your using on the inside. Most of the time it's only a difference of orifice size.

Besides, there is enough of that sulfer I.E. EggFart smell when I drive anyway.

AND, are you showering in the door step area?
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Old 03-18-2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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Re: I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Papabear
A few months ago, I had my 40lb'rs filled up. It was done with the outside temps around 12 degrees and the wind blowing. I took them home and put them in my small heated shop. (was to lazy to take them the rest of the way out back) Went back in the shop a few hours later and had a very strong smell of propane. They might have been a little over filled and the big rise in temp. in the shop, made the overpressure bleed off.
But hey, It's your party

Just a thought: could you tap in to your NG tanks and just use NG for whatever your using on the inside. Most of the time it's only a difference of orifice size.

Besides, there is enough of that sulfer I.E. EggFart smell when I drive anyway.

AND, are you showering in the door step area?
Yes, showering in the door area- there is only one door on the bus, I'm a tall guy, it's naturally lower than the floor- all I have to do is drill a bunch of holes in it and fill it with rock.
The alternative is to build a self contained shower on a rear hitch-receiver cargo-carrier kind of thing.

Re the CNG- that's a possibility, but it's @3000psi off the tank- and at some other pressure off the regulator for the engine- and Id like to not mess with that whole system as much as possible...
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:56 PM   #9
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Re: I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

My rig has had a horizontal tank inside for many years, probably since 1970 {based on the date stamped on the tank].I didnt do it, the builder probably did. No room for undercarriage mounting.

Mine must be an oddball, it is a 37.5lb tank.

My routine when filling; accompany the filler guy to the scale, tell him I want exactly thirty SIX pounds, and tell him why...
When I reinstall the tank, I check the gas coupling and tank valve with cheap window cleaner, looking for bubbles.

I like the idea of the "shower drain", might have to copy it!
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Old 03-21-2010, 01:01 AM   #10
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Re: I'm mounting a large propane tank inside!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
I'm more concerned about the public watching gray water pour out of a skoolie onto the ground. Many (most) campgrounds don't allow gray water dumping, what will you do when you're somewhere it's illegal?

Smitty
I'll do it anyway- if that's what I'm punished for in the afterlife so be it
Of course for something long-term I would make some arrangement so as not to create a little gully under the drain on soft soil, but you're going to have to work very hard to convince me that I'm doing something really wrong to nature by putting some water and the little dirt on my body on to more naturally-occurring dirt and water.
Letting shower water drain is bad but running around naked outside with a bar of soap while it's raining is OK? Of course, the laws are there to prevent mass dumping, but that's not what I'll be doing.

PS: I'm also going to pee in the bushes!
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