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Old 03-30-2021, 06:28 PM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 30
Year: 1993
Chassis: GMC Vandura
Engine: GM 3500
20lb propane tank mounted horizontally under bus?

Hey friends,

I recently purchased a shortie conversion with a completed build, and am finding some issues with the way things were originally set up.

The bus has an oven/stove and tankless water heater running on propane. Currently, there is a standard portable 20lb propane tank mounted horizontally under the bus on the right side near the door.

Am I correct in my understanding that that is not an effective or safe setup?

I can't find anything online that says that it's okay to use those tanks any way other than vertically.

Edited to add: Any fellow shorty owners out there willing to share a photo of how and where you have your propane tank mounted? We do not have any of the underbody storage compartments.

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Old 03-30-2021, 06:35 PM   #2
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Location: Virginia
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Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Yes needs to be vertical. You will get liquid propane if on its side and is full. For the appliances you need vapor, and vapor is drawn off the top.

Forklift tanks have a tube inside so they may be on their side.
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Old 03-30-2021, 06:53 PM   #3
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the BBQ tanks need to be upright to collect all the vapor.
i have a similar platform with a chevy 3500 platform and will build a cage just behind the underskirt A/C condensor .
well this one is my wifes shortie .
so we decided to put the kitchen stove there as well.
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Old 03-30-2021, 07:46 PM   #4
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 30
Year: 1993
Chassis: GMC Vandura
Engine: GM 3500
Thanks, y'all! That's what I thought. Just wanted to make sure there wasn't some skoolie magic that made that work.
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:03 PM   #5
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Year: 2007
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Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Here’s what I did
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Old 03-30-2021, 11:39 PM   #6
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Location: Rapid City, SD
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Year: 2001
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Engine: ISC 8.3 L 260 hp
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Here’s what I did
I love that door!

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Old 03-31-2021, 12:24 AM   #7
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Location: Bly Oregon
Posts: 452
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Cummins 350 big cam
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There are propane tanks manufactured to be mounted horizontally. My "old Crown" started out with a ten gallon horizontal propane tank. The tank has mounts welded to the side to facilitate horizontal mounting. Later I put a larger tank in that also had mounts to facilitate horizontal mounting. The larger tank I moved from the "old Crown" to the "new Crown" The larger tank is manufactured so that the mounts allow the tank to be hung from the floor of the bus. This has worked well in the old bus. The installation was inspected and the tank re-certified by the local RV shop.

The simple answer is: If the tank is manufactured with mounts to facilitate horizontal mounting then you can mount it that way. My first motor home had factory installed horizontally mounted propane tanks. Use any propane tank the way it is made to be used. Tanks made for horizontal mount have different inside plumbing than tanks made to be mounted vertically. All the above said matches posts made already.

(sorry about upside down pictures)
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Old 03-31-2021, 12:22 PM   #8
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Year: 1999
Yep, can't put a portable BBQ tank on its side. And yes they sell fixed tanks that sit on the side. They are rather expensive. What I learnt also, is the permanent tanks don't expire, but the portable ones do and need their date checked before refilling, so they need to be removed or easy to see the date on them.
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Old 03-31-2021, 12:45 PM   #9
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Propane can be used as a gas or a liquid. The mounting orientation decides which is used, you don't want liquid in a gas unit. There was another thread about the 20lb tank that was actually a horizontal mount, but had to be filled vertically.
I Thank God That He Gifted Me with Common Sense
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build out, propane, propane appliances, safety

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