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Old 03-19-2012, 07:10 AM   #1
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Does two propane tanks last a week?

Hello, I'm going out two weeks from now for the 1st time with my Aerolite Cub 16' Hybrid. If starting off with two full propane tanks, how long can a hot water pilot be left on? can it be left on the entire camping trip, lets say 7 days? I'm thinking that if I cook a little, run the furnace at night, take showers & leave the furnace pilot on will I make it through 7 days? I have not been able to test these conditions, so could some of you wonderful people give me a heads up on this matter. Thank you very much. JD
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:28 AM   #2
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The first question is how many gallons are the tanks? You are not at home
so the word is conserve and conserve can you do that? The two big users of propane
are the furnace at night and using the hot water, the pilot lights use very little propane.


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Old 03-19-2012, 08:05 AM   #3
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Showering, cooking and pilot light are no worries for a week. The big user will be heating and depending on your heating unit, time in use, ambient temp, and size of tanks, and how warm you like it, you may get by. Or if it gets chilly and you like it toasty, each tank may only last several days. That's one reason they come with two tanks, to give you plenty of time to get the empty one refilled or exchanged.
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Old 03-19-2012, 09:56 AM   #4
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I have an A with it's own propane tank. However, I keep a 20lb back up. I have went 3 weeks on this 1 tank. This is using it for HW, some cooking and frig.

As others have stated, the furnace is the big gas hog. In continous 30-50 degree weather, I would expect 3-4 days. On just cold nights, maybe 7-10 days. Since your rig is smaller, you would do better on 20lbs. Hope this helps a bit. Oh, if you have 120, a little space heater does wonders to save on propane.
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Old 03-19-2012, 10:13 AM   #5
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Just for information propane weights approx. 4.2 lbs per gallon

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Old 03-19-2012, 11:14 AM   #6
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Without some information about the tank size and the weather you will be using the RV, it is kind of like asking how high is up.

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Old 03-19-2012, 12:57 PM   #7
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Start out with only one tank turned on. Run all the things the way you want to and see how long the first tank lasts and then adjust your lifestyle accordingly before turning on the second tank.
Your tanks probably are connected to an automatic valve that will switch from the empty one to the full one without you knowing it.
So that's why I said to shut off one with the hand valve on the tank itself so you'll know the first one is empty.

The other factor here is...... are you boondocking with no hookups or will you have hookups at a campground in which case take an elcheapo electric heater along and use the electric setting for heating your water.

Let us know how you make out when you get back.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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We had a 05' Aerolite that had the DSI (Direct Spark Ignition) hot water heater, so there is no pilot light. It runs on gas or electric. In 05' that was an option. In your 04' are you sure you have just the standard HW heater that you have to light manually? Even with the small pilot light running for the whole week I would think it wouldn't use that much propane.

The furnace should be one where when you need heat it auto-lights itself. And then turns off completely...Doing cooking, running the furnace some and leaving the HW tank pilot on, you might go thru one propane tank after 15 20 days of camping. For most cooler nights we use a small electric heater, rather than our furnace. If it got down to the upper 30's then I would set the furnace at 60 degrees to cycle on and off to help the electric heater. In our 50-60 nights a season camping, at most I would have to fill to propane tanks. But we run the WH on electric and the spring and fall camping I would say we might use the furnace 5-6 nights...

You have the smaller 160 Aerolite, so that will be easier to heat. If it is cold during the day, we would close one or both bunkend curtains to only heat the main cabin, then in the evening open the curtains up to heat up the sleeping areas.

If you don't have one here is a link to a Aerolite 2004 brochure

As far as your fresh water. In 04' it was 30 gallons, in 05' they went to 46 gallons and in 12' they went to 52 gallons.

Also FYI... for the 04' Aerolite model year, the hybrids were 7.5' wide, in 05' they went to 8' wide....for the hybrids.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:32 PM   #9
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Wow, thank you everyone for your input, this forum is great. I got answers & suggestions I did not even think of. I did not think of trying one tank at a time to see how much is used & yes I will be plugged in so a electric heater is a great ideal. I'm thinking of a quick furnace heat up at night & morning & not run it through the night, but I will bring an electric heater just in case. There is a town close by, so great idea I could get more propane if needed. I think the furnace & water heater on the Aerolite Cub C160 runs only on propane, I did not see electric for these items. I even got the weight of propane 4.2 lbs per gallon, this place is better than going to the library. Thanks a lot, JD
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Old 03-19-2012, 08:27 PM   #10
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I generally set the furnace to come on a bit cooler than the temp we maintain with the electric heater....in case it cannot keep up with the heat needed.

Ken
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Old 03-19-2012, 11:38 PM   #11
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We'll run our furnace first thing in the morning. At night we'll leave the electric heater running on low.

We also have an electric blanket that helps out.

I think you'll do fine with what you have planned.
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:56 AM   #12
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Yes Jim, my hot water heater is the Suburban SW6P, propane only. The SW6PE is propane or electric. I have to lite the pilot, so that is why I want to just leave the pilot on. Nice to know from you & others that the pilot does not use much propane. As for my furnace it is also propane only & that is what the manual says. It is controlled by the inside thermostat, so it starts itself in simple terms when you turn on the inside thermostat. I see now that I would prefer both propane & electric instead of just propane.
Arch & someone else asked what size tanks, I have two 20lb tanks. I now think I will be ok after all of your suggestions, especially using an electric heater. I will let you know how it turned out. Thanks again, JD
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:10 AM   #13
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I agree with the "We need more info" folks. however that said I will give you a suggestion and a prediciton.

The suggestion: Open only one tank, keep the other one closed. This way you will KNOW when the first tank runs empty and you can pull it and take it to refills-are-us (Or a tank exchange or wherever) Google PROPANE {zipe code} to find refill places.

Now the prediciton: That 2nd tank will still be full when you get back home, you won't use it at all.
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Old 03-20-2012, 08:09 PM   #14
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Our 05' Aerolite had two tanks. If one tank ran out mid-trip, you just closed the empty tank and flip a little lever between the tanks and open the 2nd tank. I just make it a point to re-fill the empty tank when I got home. Never a problem....
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