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Zork 08-21-2021 10:21 AM

Before I do something stupid...
 
...I figure I had better ask.

I want to install a propane tank on my bus to power cooking, fridge, water heating and an LPG generator to supplement batteries/solar panels and shore power. I have both 20 lb and 100 lb vertical tanks, brand new. I want to use the 100 lb tank and I was thinking of mounting it in a cage on the rear of the bus, welded to the truck frame. The cage would hold the tank on the left and the generator on the right, fully enclosed to protect from theft and "accidents". The middle would be open for the emergency exit door, and a class 5 trailer hitch. I don't like the idea of mounting the tank underneath, and besides I'd have to get a horizontal tank for that.

Opinions? Comments? Better ideas?

Oscar1 08-21-2021 10:40 AM

Nooooo!
No big bombs mounted on the back of the bus. On travel trailers they are on the front A frame or in a fifth wheel they are boxed in under the front overhang, this is for protection from impact. In a motorhome they are required to be forward of the rear axle.
Several members here have done slide out trays underbody and utilized 20lb bbq bottles, I think that is the way to go cost wise and easy to refill a portable when you're stationary.
Good luck
Cheers

Zork 08-21-2021 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Oscar1 (Post 450291)
Nooooo!
No big bombs mounted on the back of the bus. On travel trailers they are on the front A frame or in a fifth wheel they are boxed in under the front overhang, this is for protection from impact. In a motorhome they are required to be forward of the rear axle.
Several members here have done slide out trays underbody and utilized 20lb bbq bottles, I think that is the way to go cost wise and easy to refill a portable when you're stationary.
Good luck
Cheers

Ok, but I have seen a ton of commercial vehicles, particular the food trucks, with the tanks on the rear in a cage, which is why I was thinking of doing this. The manufacturers of these setups recommend this as opposed to under-the-vehicle frame mounting, not so much for convenience but also for safety reasons. Front, side or rear, they are all vulnerable to being struck by another vehicle, but rear mounting makes them easier to inspect and fill. ??

https://www.mr-trailers.com/wp-conte...-Build-046.jpg

Rwnielsen 08-21-2021 04:08 PM

I've never seen anything like that before. That just looks dangerous

musigenesis 08-21-2021 04:18 PM

Quote:

ANSI A119.2/NFPA 1192 STANDARD ON RECREATIONAL VEHICLES (1999 Edition)

2-2.3 Location of LP-Gas Containers. LP-Gas containers shall be in accordance with the following:

(a) LP-Gas containers shall not be installed nor shall provisions be made for installing or storing any LP-Gas containers, even temporarily, inside any recreational vehicle. Containers shall not be mounted on the exterior of the rear wall or the rear bumper of the vehicle.

Exception: New LP-Gas cylinders that have never contained LP-Gas supplied as original equipment, shall be permitted to be transported inside the vehicle.

(b) LP-Gas containers with their control valves shall be installed in compliance with one of the following:
(1) In a recess or compartment other than the roof that is vaportight to the inside of the recreational vehicle.
(3) Tanks mounted on the chassis or to the floor of a motor home or chassis-mount camper, provided neither the tank or its support is located in front of the front axle. Tanks mounted between the front and rear axle shall be installed with as much road clearance as practical but not lower than the front axle height. Tanks mounted behind the rear axle of a motor home or chassis-mount camper shall be installed in such a manner that the bottom of the tank and any connection thereto shall not be lower than either the rear axle (excluding the differential) or any section of the frame immediately to the rear of the tank, whichever is higher. All clearances shall be determined from the bottom of the tank or from the lowest fitting, support, or attachment on the tank or tank housing, which ever is lower when all axles are loaded to their gross axles weight rating.
So mounted on the back like that is not OK, but they don't have to be in front of the rear axle.

DeMac 08-21-2021 05:37 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I looked around at National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and found an infographic containing an image of propane tanks mounted vertically, at the rear. Inferring, there may be an allowable method for Food Trucks.

The pic sux, so attached the two page pdf, as the text is more legible and complete.

Side Note: When I was looking for an NFPA ruling, I read:
"According to the NFPA, about 68 percent of food truck fires are related to propane, due to either leaks in the tank or a structural failure. Almost all of the incidents resulting in injuries and deaths..."
-Google

Not a stellar claim to emulate in a diy rv.

Zork 08-21-2021 08:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by musigenesis (Post 450320)
So mounted on the back like that is not OK, but they don't have to be in front of the rear axle.

I agree that mounting on the rear wall is a bad idea, but that picture shows them mounted on a custom-built shelf that is welded to the chassis frame. The ring around the tank is also mounted to a riser from the frame, you just can't see it in the picture. Good info, though. Thanks!

Zork 08-21-2021 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DeMac (Post 450324)
Side Note: When I was looking for an NFPA ruling, I read: "According to the NFPA, about 68 percent of food truck fires are related to propane, due to either leaks in the tank or a structural failure. Almost all of the incidents resulting in injuries and deaths..."
Not a stellar claim to emulate in a diy rv.

Yeah, I saw that too. I thought it was hilarious. You see, everyone on the web is parroting this exactly line, but for some mysterious reason, there is no source for the statistic to see how many incidents happened and what the investigation of the accidents turned up. Far as I can tell, the 68% number appears to be something someone pulled out of thin air.

It turns out, though, that deaths and injuries from food truck accidents related to propane are documented. From 2011-2015, for example, there were ten food truck fire events. That's it. Eight of those were propane tank explosions. Four had zero injuries. Only one resulted in two deaths. Consider as well that there are an estimated 24,000 food trucks in the US.

Two casualties in four years among 24,000 trucks is in my opinion a good sign that points to an industry doing a healthy job of maintaining their cooking fuel systems. And remember, every tank has to be inspected visually at every refill, and the people do that know that if they don't do their job all hell with break loose sooner or later.

musigenesis 08-21-2021 09:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zork (Post 450337)
I agree that mounting on the rear wall is a bad idea, but that picture shows them mounted on a custom-built shelf that is welded to the chassis frame. The ring around the tank is also mounted to a riser from the frame, you just can't see it in the picture. Good info, though. Thanks!

That shelf wouldn't mean anything when the bumper of a truck smacked directly into the tanks.

Zork 08-21-2021 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by musigenesis (Post 450342)
That shelf wouldn't mean anything when the bumper of a truck smacked directly into the tanks.

Neither would it mean anything if they were mounted in the front when you ran into something, or on the sides if you got t-boned. And god help you if you put them inside the skoolie. That is a truly bad idea.

That leaves choosing the least bad choice out of four bad choices. Given the food truck statistics, which in virtually all cases mount their propane in the back, and the low accident statistics, I'm inclined to go that route.

Contra Line Bus 08-28-2021 03:58 PM

Try using forklift tanks. They can mount horizontally.

BigPaul367 08-28-2021 04:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zork (Post 450287)
...I figure I had better ask.

I want to install a propane tank on my bus to power cooking, fridge, water heating and an LPG generator to supplement batteries/solar panels and shore power. I have both 20 lb and 100 lb vertical tanks, brand new. I want to use the 100 lb tank and I was thinking of mounting it in a cage on the rear of the bus, welded to the truck frame. The cage would hold the tank on the left and the generator on the right, fully enclosed to protect from theft and "accidents". The middle would be open for the emergency exit door, and a class 5 trailer hitch. I don't like the idea of mounting the tank underneath, and besides I'd have to get a horizontal tank for that.

Opinions? Comments? Better ideas?

if your bus is diesel powered, use diesel instead. Heaters, both water and interior, are drier when they are diesel. Propane is very moist and has a propensity to explode, diesel is much safer. Induction Cookers are cheap, clean and use electricity very efficiently. A wood fire place is also an excellent source of heating and cooking, especially when camping in the snow. If the bus is gasoline, use a huge solar system instead. I keep seeing 2500, 3500, 4000 watt inverters. WHY? ASd up the total wattage needed for your kitchen and but an inverter a little bigger than what you need. When you re done making/doing with your kitchen, SHUT IT OFF. Do the same with your bathroom, living room, etc. when you are done, shut off the entire room. Go for a hike, shut off EVERYTHING. Let the solar system recover completely. This way you can have a replacement inverter, onboard, at the ready, at all times. You'll never have a catastrophic failure and wind-up in the dark and freezing. A diesel or gasoline generator is better for emergencies than propane. Every place you go you can find replacement parts at the Big Box Stores. For propane you need to find an RV Outlet.:thumb:

Zork 08-28-2021 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Contra Line Bus (Post 450956)
Try using forklift tanks. They can mount horizontally.

That is a great idea! Thanks!

Zork 08-28-2021 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigPaul367 (Post 450957)
if your bus is diesel powered, use diesel instead. Heaters, both water and interior, are drier when they are diesel. Propane is very moist and has a propensity to explode, diesel is much safer. Induction Cookers are cheap, clean and use electricity very efficiently. A wood fire place is also an excellent source of heating and cooking, especially when camping in the snow. If the bus is gasoline, use a huge solar system instead. I keep seeing 2500, 3500, 4000 watt inverters. WHY? ASd up the total wattage needed for your kitchen and but an inverter a little bigger than what you need. When you re done making/doing with your kitchen, SHUT IT OFF. Do the same with your bathroom, living room, etc. when you are done, shut off the entire room. Go for a hike, shut off EVERYTHING. Let the solar system recover completely. This way you can have a replacement inverter, onboard, at the ready, at all times. You'll never have a catastrophic failure and wind-up in the dark and freezing. A diesel or gasoline generator is better for emergencies than propane. Every place you go you can find replacement parts at the Big Box Stores. For propane you need to find an RV Outlet.:thumb:

I won't be using propane or diesel for heating unless I am driving, in which case I use the bus' heater. When parked I have a small Sears coal stove that will be more than enough for the space. The propane is only for cooking, for the instant water heater and a small generator if I need to charge batteries. Large inverters are for people like me who live off IT and need to be able to connect to the web and operate portable stuff like laptops, etc. to make money while on the road.

Thanks for taking the time to share your opinion. Good ideas in there.

BigPaul367 08-28-2021 06:23 PM

I'm not doing this anymore!

Zork 08-28-2021 06:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigPaul367 (Post 450972)
I'm not doing this anymore!

Excuse me? Oh please, don't tell me you're one of those self-inflated egos who think anything that comes out of your facial orifice is to be taken as gospel and followed to the letter of the law. I asked for opinions. I decide which ones I will use and which ones I won't, not you. If you are expecting otherwise you're barking up the wrong tree.

kidharris 08-28-2021 08:12 PM

Just because it is not illegal does not mean it is a good idea. For instance, playing with rattle snakes is not illegal, but I'm not going to do it.

Is it illegal to shoot yourself or do your own brain surgery? Some things just don't make good sense.

But if you want to leave an easy way for some idiot to blow you up in your sleep, I think that it is an excellent idea.


Reminds me of a joke I read the other day. " I want to go peaceably in my sleep like my grandpa, not screaming in terror like his bus passengers."


I wonder how much it raises insurance cost if you can get insurance.

Zork 08-28-2021 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kidharris (Post 450985)
Just because it is not illegal does not mean it is a good idea. For instance, playing with rattle snakes is not illegal, but I'm not going to do it.

Is it illegal to shoot yourself or do your own brain surgery? Some things just don't make good sense.

I wonder how much it raises insurance cost if you can get insurance.

What is not a good idea for someone is not necessarily the same for others. I was once told it was not a good idea to join the military, that I should finish college among a gaggle of drunk kids who made drugs in chem lab and ran a prostitution ring from the girls dorm. I joined the Marines. Best decision I ever made. People who blow a gasket and have a shitfit when they run into others who don't think exactly like them should stay away from topics like this.

Ross 08-28-2021 10:40 PM

So, you asked.
And you even prefaced it with "before I do something stupid".
Then several people said things. Many, like myself, advised "don't put the tanks on the back".
And basically you replied with, "hey, I'll do what I want".
Ok.
Do what you want, then.
Best of luck to you.

Bon Voyage 08-28-2021 10:45 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Generally propane tanks are very safe and there are many factors here that can affect how safe it is. Such as how often are you going to be on the road, the less you are the safer it is to have them on the back. If you raise them up a little higher then it's going to be safer in terms of getting rear ended but maybe more dangerous to fill if they're higher to reach. If you did get rear ended would you be ok with the bus catching on fire? I might be a little nervous with my tanks on the back like that however I've never been rear ended in my life and I have done a lot of driving in my time.

Here's a couple photo's of my propane set up. I love it!! The tanks are behind the front wheel on the passenger side. Having a drawer would be better; but with this set up I can pull a tank out to refill without having to move the bus or pull into a tight filling station. I can take the tank to Costco or other cheap propane places for a fill and with 3 tanks I get 60 lbs of it. The third tank can easily come out and use it for my propane firepit without having to take one off the regulator.


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