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Old 01-20-2014, 06:50 PM   #1
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cleburne TX
Posts: 609
Chassis: 2001 International RE
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 78
Thinking about maybe picking this up good or bad idea?

I have seen this on CL and the price has come down to a reasonable price and planning on offering maybe 50 for it. But I would like a have a larger propane tank due to the fact I will be running a onan 7k genny on propane? I wont use a stove but will have a heater at some point in time?

Let me know what you think if it will work or not?

There are not a lot of parts RVs in my area so if you guys think it will work let me know. If not I was going to use (4) 20 lb bottles
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:31 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Adirondack Mountains NY
Posts: 1,099
Re: Thinking about maybe picking this up good or bad idea?

It's a good idea if it works for you. The tank in the picture looks as good as new. There are pluses and minuses with either choice. Be sure that the tank is set up for vapor withdrawal if you are going to run a heater. The last photo in the pickup does not show any hoses at the top, the pickup may have been set to burn liquid. A genny can be set up to burn liquid or to burn vapor, depending on the carb. Most burn vapor.

If you use a fixed tank, you will have to drive to the fill station, unless you have the tanker coming to your house and ask them to top off the bus while they are there. Many people prefer to use the 20 lb/4 gallon BBQ bottles, because they can toss them into a dingy or beg a ride into town to get them filled without moving the bus.

You can even do a swap at a big box store in an emergency, but know you will get the exchange tanks only 3/4 full, that's how they make their money. It is much cheaper to have your tanks refilled.

The advantage to the fixed tank when running the genny on vapor is that there is more liquid surface area in a horizontal tank. This allows the vapor to rapidly boil off of the liquid under a heavy load. For fixed generators in places we can't get a tanker to drive to, we usually use a manifold of at least three 100 lb/22 gallon bottles for an 8 kW genny, and 5 bottles for a 12 kW genny. Before I became educated about propane, I thought it was just for added run time, I didn't know about the surface area factor. 100 lb and 20 lb tanks have about the same diameter and surface area, unless you cheat and tilt a tall tank.

Lacking further information, figure the 48 gallon tank rating is specified as "water gallons," so the 80% propane fill might be about 38 gallons. If you are lucky, it will actually be a 60 water gallon tank that takes 48 gallons of propane.

We use about a gallon per hour on a 12 kw genny lightly loaded. You should be able to figure your run time from your genny specs to help you decide if the tank is big enough.
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
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Old 01-20-2014, 07:49 PM   #3
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cleburne TX
Posts: 609
Chassis: 2001 International RE
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Thinking about maybe picking this up good or bad idea?

I can go either way. I guess Ill have to see if this guys knows what what the tank was setup... either liquid or vap.

I knew horizontal tanks had more surface area. This is why 250 gallon tanks are used in the country.

I know my onan is setup on vapor so hopefully I can get it to work out that way.

I have no preference to be honest when it comes to 20lb tanks of this one. The propane dealer I use has a killer deal on Fridays.... its half price on all bottles less than a 100 lbs. So if I take bottles up or drive the bus up its no big deal

Thanks for your input. Its been a great help.
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