Originally Posted by Diesel Dan
... Lorna you make a good arguement for the larger refillable propane tank (in terms of cost of fuel). So I assume with a large tank you would turn off the propane at the tank when not it use? Am I correct that I need to unscrew the 1 lb cylinders when not in use? So if I'm camping for two nights, I would have to unscrew them during the day in between if I'm not using it during the day?
I can't tell you about the big 2 tank heaters... Don't remove the disposables until they are empty. They do not always seal closed (crappy needle valve). We do not shut the tank off unless we are moving the food cart. We also operate an LP single burner to heat up the meat and rolls for our hot deli sandwiches. The 20 lb tank should be set out side. The valve on the heater will shut it down. We have run the heater overnight but I have always had a CO/smoke detector in operation with the heater when used in a home setting. And my homes weren't terribly air tight. My RV REALLY isn't airtight plus we keep the roof top vents open slightly even during the winter. So I would run the heater at night if
we lost power... otherwise we're liable to freeze to death here. Our electric is included in our lot rent so we run an electric heater with the RV gas furnace as a back up (it does kick on at night a few times times). You only need to crack a window open about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. If you have the roof vents, then you only need to open them slightly.
We are currently running off the portable 20 LB tanks on the RV (it's a PITA to refill the permanent mount 40 LB tank and we've only filled it once). We built our own "extend a stay (with a quick-connect GAS fitting... don't use air fittings) for a lot less than the commercially available unit. We did that back in 2006.
LP gas shut off valve between the quick connect and the "T" into the RV main gas line... we close down the quick connect when we remove the hose. The 40 LB tank is closed when running the BBQ tanks.
(one gas shut off goes to the RV hose and the other goes to our portable LP gas grill) We shut down all the valves when we swap tanks.
This set up would also allow us to run a 100 lb tank as well. Just have to get a fitting that will work on the 100lb tank fitting, if different. Heating eats up LP. If you are going to run LP heaters in cold weather, Set up your LP lines to allow to to add a"T" into it and hook up a larger tank. We probably won't ever run a 100 lb tank again unless we buy a piece of land to put the bus on as a "home base". We sold our one of our 100 lb tanks and left the other on my mom's cabin (it was a newer tank than what she had) because we have no way to transport the things. I recently found out that NM will not let you transport a tank laying down. So 20lb works for us.
For our bus, we will use two BBQ tanks with a automatic changeover (because the tank always runs out when it's raining, cold and/or in the middle of the night). We will have it set up to allow us to hook up a large 100 lb tank (because you never know what will happen in the future and I have the gas fittings anyway unless we have to add another "T" on the food cart). We like to operate our little cheapie wal-mart gas grill off the big 20 lb tanks. We generally burn up a grill every year from use. That would be a pile of tiny throw away tanks! We've been running LP gas for a long time and we know pretty much how we use it and how much we go thru it. Both for short/long term camping (tent 2 pop-up 2 RV) and for use in a house.
I looked at the 2 pack disposable tanks when I was last in Wal-Mart. They were almost $6. We filled the 20Lb tank (4.7 gallons) just last week for 2.75/gal... with tax that came to 13.84. I've burned up a disposable tank on our heater in one 24 hour day. We will run the 20 lb tank for a couple weeks on the RV... we also cook with LP. $$ wise, it would be better for you to set up a 20 lb tank and pipe it inside. For safety, I would also say to do that as well. I think those little tanks are a tad dangerous. I have had the little needle valve tear up and all the gas leak out (very quickly) in the past. We always remove the tanks while outside. I just don't trust those little throw away tanks.