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Old 03-31-2022, 07:40 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by mmoore6856 View Post
a lot of truckstops are offering propane as we have quite a few propane class 8 trucks on the road. ill be using a fork truck tanks so it can be mounted horizontal and have a liquid port so i can refill my reusable 1 pounders that i use for a small portable grill. if im set up i can take them in my car (toad) and refill if i dont want to tear down. i dont care for the smell of diesel heat (or stove) around my bus as it seems to rift into my truck as im otr. i never stay at truckstops even in my semi because of the stink. so that was a big factor in my choise of propane. use what you want tho as it is a free nation for a bit longer (just dont park too close to me)

if you buy propane at a truck stop are you paying road Tax? when kerosene heaters were all the rage back in the 70s and 80s, there were stations that sold K1 with road tax as it was customary for people to use a few gallons of K1 mixed with #2 in diesel cars / pickups to prevent gelling.. it seemed like Gelling was a much bigger issue then than it is now.. (likely better winterizing tech now).. but you had to specifically find places without road tax and pump into a kerosene can if buying it for heaters vs going in your truck.. (it was clear so many people just poured a gallon or two in their car at home and wouldnt be caught)..



how does that work with truck stop propane vs say a Uhaul where people buy it for RVs, Grills and other Non-road use?

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Old 03-31-2022, 09:33 AM   #42
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Road gas you pay the tax.

Using 20# bottles, you don't
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Old 03-31-2022, 09:37 AM   #43
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Road gas you pay the tax.

Using 20# bottles, you don't
Plus you can carry 20 lb bottles in anyplace and get filled.. big thing is securing them for transit properly.
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Old 03-31-2022, 09:42 AM   #44
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Road gas you pay the tax.

Using 20# bottles, you don't
How much tax (generally speaking) are we talking about?
We've got a small ASME tank that will be permanently mounted.
Plan is to have one or two 20# tanks as well to do two things: feed the generator, & provide a way to get propane from the source to the bus when we don't feel like moving it (toad/quad/whatever).
Would it be worth the time/effort to fill the 20#s just to fill the main tank to avoid this tax?
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Old 03-31-2022, 09:47 AM   #45
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how do you transfer it? do you invert the 20 lb bottle and hope its higher pressure than the main tank?
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Old 03-31-2022, 10:07 AM   #46
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how do you transfer it? do you invert the 20 lb bottle and hope its higher pressure than the main tank?
Nevermind. I misspoke. It's been so long since I had my head in our (planned) propane system I literally forgot what I had planned

Looks like I have the capability to tie in a portable to the output from the main. So I can keep the propane appliances running while stationary by filling 20# bottles if the main goes dry. But I never planned (and don't know if it's even possible) to fill one tank from the other. And even if there is, I guess there's not really any point in doing so - at least in our case.

I'm gonna go back to my coffee now, which I should have finished before picking up anything capable of broadcasting muddy thoughts over the interwebz.
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Old 04-01-2022, 10:17 AM   #47
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We had a propane bucket truck a Ford 350 that ran a dual system. We had to log the propane miles if used on the road and send in the tax at the end of the quarter. However while we used the bucket we ran it on propane and did not have to report those miles. I filled grill bottles at truck stop and never paid road tax. Road tax is different in every state
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Old 04-01-2022, 10:20 AM   #48
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how do you transfer it? do you invert the 20 lb bottle and hope its higher pressure than the main tank?
Pressure doesn't really factor in if you invert the tank and open the valve liquid will come out. I use 1 pound refillable bottles and fill them myself as it is easier. I refill disposable bottles also.
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Old 04-01-2022, 10:21 AM   #49
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Check out you tube as to how to refill them
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Old 04-01-2022, 11:56 PM   #50
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Warming the source bottle, cooling the target helps.

Usually the former is larger.

Using the overflow valve helps prevent over-filling the target, should not go over 80%

but ideally by weighing them.
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Old 04-01-2022, 11:56 PM   #51
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Self-serve autogas stations might be fine for filling repurposed forklift tanks directly

but I'd bet lots of places where an attendant does it for you would refuse if they could see the situation. In the US anyway.
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Old 04-02-2022, 08:32 AM   #52
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Warming the source bottle, cooling the target helps.

Usually the former is larger.

Using the overflow valve helps prevent over-filling the target, should not go over 80%

but ideally by weighing them.
I do throw the 1 pounders in the deep freeze and since I invert the 20 so the 1pounders are horizontal and seems to trap some vapor in it. I haven't been able to get a full pound in them either which doesn't matter I'm only getting 80% at best
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Old 04-02-2022, 08:38 AM   #53
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Self-serve autogas stations might be fine for filling repurposed forklift tanks directly

but I'd bet lots of places where an attendant does it for you would refuse if they could see the situation. In the US anyway.
I never seen a self serv for propane is that a thing? I used to fill my fork truck tank myself as all the other drivers did but we were required to be trained first
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Old 04-02-2022, 09:13 AM   #54
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Yes, self-service autogas is a thing, all around the world, where self-service petrol and diesel are allowed.

My point is the attendants at non-self-service places can and will refuse to fill non-standard bottles.

Their management may have explicit rules too, but usually up to the discretion of the attendant.

In the places where you travel, for you personally, maybe not a problem.

But def something to be aware of so you can plan-B for contingencies.
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Old 04-02-2022, 11:30 AM   #55
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Ok. And as far as the diesel options I have my family with me so I am focused on Webasto or Espar which seems like they are low on stock and/or very expensive. I don’t feel comfortable buying a cheap Chinese model. Nervous about fire/fumes… Looks like I’m going to spend $2k on a unit. Any thoughts on that? Seems outrageous for what it is…



You can get brand new forced air propane heaters, 30K BTU, outside vented, forced air, designed to heat RV's on EBAY for less than $500. 4" circular insulated ducting and grill finish available to put the heat anywhere you want it. Thermostat controlled, work on 12 Volt.


You could probably find a takeout for half that.




This is off thread a bit, but there was some question as to voltage of your solar/battery/inverter system. I would stick with 12 V. I have 48V at my farm, but it's a stationary installation, and there is no other 12 V requirements.


I've seen some chunky 12 alternators. I did a pretrip in wheel chair bus yesterday where they replaced the alternator. I didn't have to a lot of time to spend, but that thing has to be 400 amps. I only had enough time to swipe the oil dipstick, check to see I had fuel and walk round the bus pretending I was checking brakes and lights


I'll get a picture of the data plate on Monday and post it.


Having everything one voltage will really simplify things. Panel voltage doesn't mater, it runs through a mppt controller. A wide selection of inverters are available for 12V.

The only downside to 12 V is the size and cost of the cabling in the batteries and the inverter, and from your mppt controller to the battery. But,, you are converting to 110V with the inverter anyway, so it's not that much cable.



Remember too,, if you are daisy chaining batteries, the cables between the batteries have to be the same size as the cables to your inverter. The amperage loops through everything. >>>> BIG cables if you are talking 5KW.



A hydraulic lug crimper is available on EBAY for less than $100. You will need it.



I used #10 stranded THHN from the panel strings to a bus bar, and then brought #2 down to the MPPT controller. #2 from the controller to the battery bus bar. Bus bars designed for marine work are available on EBAY.
But remember, I have a 48V system on the farm. You will need bigger cabling for 12V.
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Old 04-02-2022, 04:26 PM   #56
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Yes, self-service autogas is a thing, all around the world, where self-service petrol and diesel are allowed.

My point is the attendants at non-self-service places can and will refuse to fill non-standard bottles.

Their management may have explicit rules too, but usually up to the discretion of the attendant.

In the places where you travel, for you personally, maybe not a problem.

But def something to be aware of so you can plan-B for contingencies.

Self serve gas/diesel doesn't allow self service propane. Perhaps in some remote parts of the world but in the US in general that's simply not a thing.
And why would it matter if a tank is repurposed from a fork lift other than perhaps requiring it to be removed from the vehicle? Are you thinking DOT certification or something?
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Old 04-02-2022, 06:58 PM   #57
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Self serve gas/diesel doesn't allow self service propane. Perhaps in some remote parts of the world but in the US in general that's simply not a thing.
And why would it matter if a tank is repurposed from a fork lift other than perhaps requiring it to be removed from the vehicle? Are you thinking DOT certification or something?



You will find someone to fill your tank. Costco refuses to fill tanks with out of date codes stamped on them, and some attendants insist that you have a rubber cap over your connection !!


I wish that I could go all diesel. It would simplify life. But we use a inline water heater on the farm,, and we cook with gas. We will continue to do that with the bus,, so,, propane is probably in our future.



As for heating,, as long as we stay in temperate climates, the mini split will heat too. Driver heater for the front, electric mattress heater for the bed. My minisplit does very well in Arizona winters, but we rarely see freezing temperatures, and then only briefly. The bus will be better insulated than where I live now.


I have a small resistance heater in the bathroom,, and one by my computer station. They were both $15 from Walmart. We only pay 10 cents a KWH for our juice,, after a $13 "customer charge". My electric bill in March was $35



An electrically heated throw warms you while watching TV. I've never been uncomfortable.


I can't say enough good about the mini splits. You have heat and cold in one unit. Quiet, both evaporator and condenser.



Again, I live in a moderate climate. My experience may not hold true for someone in South Dakota
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Old 04-02-2022, 10:15 PM   #58
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I never seen a self serv for propane is that a thing? I used to fill my fork truck tank myself as all the other drivers did but we were required to be trained first

the Uhaul where i get my propane for garage heaters has self -Serve.. they showed me how to do it once and after that they just have it open and theres a credit card reader to unlock the pump. apparently with cash they have to do it as it cant have a pre-pay set for cash..



theirs is strictly off-road.. they have the attachments for filling 20 pounders and RV onboard tanks..
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