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Old 09-11-2011, 11:13 AM   #1
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Large underbody propane tank- Rusting

I was just under our coach (2005 Itasca Horizon) running some wire for toad brake. I noticed a great amount of rust on the bottom half of the propane tank. At what point do these need to be inspected and replaced. I live in Florida and do not drive on salted roads although we do have some salt air. My coach is only 6 1/2 years old, what about coaches that are 10, 15, or 20 years old. Do these tanks rust to a point that they are ready to BLOW while on the road. Scary thought, and wondered if I am the only one thinking about this ?
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Old 09-11-2011, 11:17 AM   #2
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My 1984 still had the original tank had some surface rust light sanding and little spray paint. Looked good as new.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:00 PM   #3
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Every state or province would have there own rules with regard to inspection/replacement. I know that here in B.C. as well as inspecting the build/inspection date on tanks and bottles, there are rules in place as to what color they can be re-painted; white or cream are the only colors alowed. Not sure if you could re-paint in white gravel guard, because of the insulation factor. Your local fill station may know where to get all the info you need, or Government web site.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:39 PM   #4
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How much rust is "a great amount"? If its flaking, this yes, there is a problem. If just surface rust, then you can sand, hit with a rust convertor paint, prime and top coat.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:21 PM   #5
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If it is surface rust, wire brush and a good coat of Rustoleum paint.

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:40 PM   #6
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Large underbody propane tank- Rusting

I have also recently noticed very large flakes of rust peeling from (mostly) the underside of my propane tank.
I have power wire-brushed with my drill and spray-primed the tank as a beginning. I don't feel that I have removed all that should be removed. I think sandblasting is the alternative.
I have not yet discussed this with Winnebago.
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:52 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lwasouth View Post
I was just under our coach (2005 Itasca Horizon) running some wire for toad brake. I noticed a great amount of rust on the bottom half of the propane tank. At what point do these need to be inspected and replaced. I live in Florida and do not drive on salted roads although we do have some salt air. My coach is only 6 1/2 years old, what about coaches that are 10, 15, or 20 years old. Do these tanks rust to a point that they are ready to BLOW while on the road. Scary thought, and wondered if I am the only one thinking about this ?
I just had my Horizon serviced and the shop informed me I have rust on my air tanks. They told me I could just let it go and replace the tanks when thy start to leak or be proactive and remove them, treat the rust and repaint. I have had several areas I have worked on the rust. I will take a look at the LP tank.

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Old 09-11-2011, 08:53 PM   #8
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The DOT requirement per NFPA is 12 year inspection.
http://www.propanesafety.com/uploade...Low%20Rez).pdf
Page 12
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Old 09-11-2011, 09:53 PM   #9
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The federal DOT inspection requirement applies only to DOT-spec tanks, i.e. the portable bottles in 5, 10, 20, 30, 40, 100 7 300 lb sizes. The fixed tanks in a motorhome are ASME spec and do not require periodic inspection.
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Old 09-12-2011, 01:56 AM   #10
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Ditto on what Gary said.

Ken
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:46 AM   #11
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Just give a good wirebrushing, sanding prep and paint. I doubt it is rusted to the point you need to worry about leaks.
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Old 09-12-2011, 06:52 AM   #12
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Yup, I missed.
I would still have it cleaned and painted. We had 2 that we had used to preheat the #6 fuel we use to use and we had to have them removed, it always smelled like propane in the area. They were not cared for.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:05 PM   #13
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I had an experience with a tank that rusted through - it developed a pinhole and a tiny leak which you could smell but nearly impossible to find. That's a far more likely result of corrosion than an explosive blow-out. Of course, in either case you could have a gas flame or maybe even an explosion if a spark or flame was near. L:eaky gas tanks or lines are always a risk.
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Old 09-12-2011, 03:41 PM   #14
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You might look into some products from POR-15. Their "Metal Ready" will turn light rust (wire brush off all flakes) back into metal and their top coats are darn near indestructible and will prevent future rust.

I've used it on several different applications and it always exceeded my expectations. No affiliation other than a satisfied user.
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