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Old 06-09-2020, 02:14 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Propane Tank Size and Location

Looking for some input from others on size of propane tank and mounting locations that people have used successfully. As of right now, propane needed will be for Stove/Oven and Tankless Hot Water Heater. Let's hear what you done !!! Thanks !!!
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Old 06-09-2020, 05:56 PM   #2
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Iíd go with a BBQ tank. Available and swappable almost anywhere.

Whats your bus? My Thomas has a skirt thatís just the height of a bbq tank. I made the door and installed the gas line. Just need the box for the tank
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Old 06-09-2020, 06:32 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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2007 IC CE300 bus, I was thinking about 2 bbq propane tanks like you suggested but wasnt sure how long they would last....what do you run with propane and how long does your tanks last?
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Old 06-10-2020, 12:17 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Stoshtan View Post
2007 IC CE300 bus, I was thinking about 2 bbq propane tanks like you suggested but wasnt sure how long they would last....what do you run with propane and how long does your tanks last?
I havenít yet. I have a shorty and I plan on running a 6 gallon water heater, stove, catalytic heater. I bet a bbq tank lasts me 10 days. Thereís a lot of factors to consider.

How long will you be out - as in boondocking. If youíre on the road, you can swap tanks virtually anywhere; gas stations, hardware, grocery, convenience stores. So if you start to run out just pick up another. But if youíre truly away from everything maybe you need more.

Are you in cold weather a lot?

How big is your stove?

Do you want a 20 minute shower?

Are you going to bake a 14 pound turkey regularly?

I was sort of aiming for the maximum side of minimal.
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Old 06-10-2020, 12:20 AM   #5
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You should go find NFPA 1192 and read the propane section. Lots of good stuff in there. It’s free to read online if you sign up. And NFPA doesn’t seem to have sold my info. I only seem to get industry stuff from them every couple months, so don’t be fraid!
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Old 06-10-2020, 07:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Iíd go with a BBQ tank. Available and swappable almost anywhere.

Whats your bus? My Thomas has a skirt thatís just the height of a bbq tank. I made the door and installed the gas line. Just need the box for the tank
Aren't you at all worried about a tire blowout causing damage to the tanks? That seems a bit too close for comfort to me.

I am running my household oven off of a BBQ tank. It's the only appliance left in my house that's gas, for now. We cook regularly, roasts, cookies, cakes, rolls. It will usually last 5-6 weeks. I have camped in my tent trailer on nights cold enough to run the furnace all night long, as well as cooking and hot water and not even noticed the level in one tank drop. If you run 2 tanks with an automatic changeover valve, you will know when one tank is empty and be able to change that tank. Two normal sized tanks should easily last you a month with standard use.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IZCNOS0...v_ov_lig_dp_it
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Old 06-10-2020, 08:54 AM   #7
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Aren't you at all worried about a tire blowout causing damage to the tanks? That seems a bit too close for comfort to me.

I am running my household oven off of a BBQ tank. It's the only appliance left in my house that's gas, for now. We cook regularly, roasts, cookies, cakes, rolls. It will usually last 5-6 weeks. I have camped in my tent trailer on nights cold enough to run the furnace all night long, as well as cooking and hot water and not even noticed the level in one tank drop. If you run 2 tanks with an automatic changeover valve, you will know when one tank is empty and be able to change that tank. Two normal sized tanks should easily last you a month with standard use.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IZCNOS0...v_ov_lig_dp_it
Iím building a box out of 1/4Ē plate. It would be a serious road hazard to crush the box and rupture the tank
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Old 06-10-2020, 10:55 AM   #8
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Iím building a box out of 1/4Ē plate. It would be a serious road hazard to crush the box and rupture the tank
1/4" should definitely do it. I'm less concerned about the structural integrity of the tanks overall than I am about the hose/line attachment points. The tanks are over built for strength. That's how RV's have gotten away with saddle-bag mounted permanent tanks for so many years. Schwan's trucks were propane powered for a good many years with that big 'ol tank mounted right there under the door as a step. In fact, when I was in school, our district had bunch of propane powered busses because propane doesn't gel up in the cold. Find one of those old busses and get the tank from it. You could carry a few months worth of propane with one fill up that way!
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:19 AM   #9
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Just remember to have a expanded metal floor so that the heavier than air propane can dissipate in case of leak.
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Old 06-10-2020, 11:23 AM   #10
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I piped 1/2 black pipe. There’s a flexible connector from tank to regulator and 3/8” copper tubing with flares at the appliances.

I too am concerned with exploding tanks. The installation conforms to NFPA.
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:44 PM   #11
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Remember that there is a big difference between horizontal and vertical tanks. Dont mount a vertical tank where it should be horizontal.
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JackE View Post
Aren't you at all worried about a tire blowout causing damage to the tanks? That seems a bit too close for comfort to me.

I am running my household oven off of a BBQ tank. It's the only appliance left in my house that's gas, for now. We cook regularly, roasts, cookies, cakes, rolls. It will usually last 5-6 weeks. I have camped in my tent trailer on nights cold enough to run the furnace all night long, as well as cooking and hot water and not even noticed the level in one tank drop. If you run 2 tanks with an automatic changeover valve, you will know when one tank is empty and be able to change that tank. Two normal sized tanks should easily last you a month with standard use.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IZCNOS0...v_ov_lig_dp_it

im guessing the oven being a cvlosed box is pretty efficient.. I can kill a BBQ tank in a day with my 60,000 BTU salamander garage heater heating my newer-home extended 2 car garage.



a BBQ tank with a spare on deck seems might be a simple way to go unless someone is boondocking out for an extended amount of time where 100 gallons or more is necessary.. or are camping an an extreme cold location.
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Old 09-23-2020, 08:22 AM   #13
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Is a BBQ style tank sufficent if one is only using propane for the hot water heater and cooktop? I may get a setup that uses 2 tanks on a valve that switches between them.

Also wondering if it is safe to mount propane tanks in the underbelly storage on buses? I have the rather unique situation where the entire underside of my bus is belly storage so if the tank needs to be exposed to the outside that presents a challenge.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:54 AM   #14
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You'll be fine with the 20# tank setup. Even with every day use, I would bet you can go about a month per tank. With the right switchover valve, there is a green indicator that flips to red when the first tank is empty and it switched to the second tank.

If your basement storage is anything like mine, putting them down there shouldn't be a problem. I'm not counting on my basement being air tight, so there will be some ventilation underneath there.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Iíd go with a BBQ tank. Available and swappable almost anywhere.

Whats your bus? My Thomas has a skirt thatís just the height of a bbq tank. I made the door and installed the gas line. Just need the box for the tank
Is your water heater the self igniting type, or does it have a pilot light?
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:20 AM   #16
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Is your water heater the self igniting type, or does it have a pilot light?
It’s has direct spark ignition

It’s the Suburban SW6D

I installed it below deck so I made a steel box for it that’s sealed up with urethane sealant and supported with unistrut.
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Old 09-23-2020, 01:10 PM   #17
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Itís has direct spark ignition

Itís the Suburban SW6D

I installed it below deck so I made a steel box for it thatís sealed up with urethane sealant and supported with unistrut.
That's a nice clean install. I'm debating on the water heater. I have a new, never used, 6 gallon heater that was given to me, but it's pilot driven. Not sure that pilot light would stay lit driving down the road. I would rather have an on demand heater, but free is always better. I don't really have a convenient place to put it below floor level either, I don't want it above floor level.
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