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Old 07-07-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
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Propane tank exchange

Finally have to get a propane tank refilled on our new RV, I can just take it out and exchange it at Ace Hardware (or Home Depot etc.) correct? I guess propane is propane?
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:49 AM   #2
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Not if you have a permanent installed tank. Then you have to go to a campground, truck stop, or propane dealer.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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If you have 30lb propane tanks on your TT, you will have to take them to be filled. Any place that sells propane from a large tank will be able to fill them for you. I found the best local price, was at the Flying J truck stop.
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:09 AM   #4
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After needing to replace twenty-pound tanks for our our new-to-us 1999, I did some reading on the matter.

I opted to buy new tanks (Costco has lots of 'em) rather than get into an "exchange" program.

I took the new tanks to my local U-Haul outlet and watched as the guy first "purged" (needs to be done), and then filled, my new tanks to the "vent valve". I got a total of 9.4 gallons of propane, and priced by the gallon. A gallon of propane weighs about 4.2 pounds.

Both Blue Rhino and AmeriGas refill their twenty-pound cylinders to only fifteen "for your safety". Huh? The tanks are Federally-certified to be safe to twenty, not fifteen. So, where's this "safety" thing come into play?

In my opinion, the safety is for the "bottom line profitability" of the gas companies involved, and nothing else. They get to flat-rate charge us for less fuel each time. Pretty-sweet deal, dont'cha' think?

Run the numbers for yourself and see the difference it makes, and not just in the long-term.

And... you'll be running to the "exchange" outlet more often since you are getting less fuel each buy (only 75 percent).

Bottom line: I'd find a place that will refill yours. I wouldn't exchange them.

Pop
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Old 07-07-2012, 11:53 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringerPop
After needing to replace twenty-pound tanks for our our new-to-us 1999, I did some reading on the matter.

I opted to buy new tanks (Costco has lots of 'em) rather than get into an "exchange" program.

I took the new tanks to my local U-Haul outlet and watched as the guy first "purged" (needs to be done), and then filled, my new tanks to the "vent valve". I got a total of 9.4 gallons of propane, and priced by the gallon. A gallon of propane weighs about 4.2 pounds.

Both Blue Rhino and AmeriGas refill their twenty-pound cylinders to only fifteen "for your safety". Huh? The tanks are Federally-certified to be safe to twenty, not fifteen. So, where's this "safety" thing come into play?

In my opinion, the safety is for the "bottom line profitability" of the gas companies involved, and nothing else. They get to flat-rate charge us for less fuel each time. Pretty-sweet deal, dont'cha' think?

Run the numbers for yourself and see the difference it makes, and not just in the long-term.

And... you'll be running to the "exchange" outlet more often since you are getting less fuel each buy (only 75 percent).

Bottom line: I'd find a place that will refill yours. I wouldn't exchange them.

Pop
Interesting. Does all U-Haul places fill tanks? What's the price per gallon?

BTW, we have two small tanks side by side on the front of the trailer, their the same size as the Blue Rhino exchange.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:11 PM   #6
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Pop, they are filled to 80% capacity to allow for expansion. Any more than that you would have the safety valve popping off on a hot day.
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Old 07-07-2012, 12:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringerPop View Post
After needing to replace twenty-pound tanks for our our new-to-us 1999, I did some reading on the matter.

I opted to buy new tanks (Costco has lots of 'em) rather than get into an "exchange" program.

I took the new tanks to my local U-Haul outlet and watched as the guy first "purged" (needs to be done), and then filled, my new tanks to the "vent valve". I got a total of 9.4 gallons of propane, and priced by the gallon. A gallon of propane weighs about 4.2 pounds.

Both Blue Rhino and AmeriGas refill their twenty-pound cylinders to only fifteen "for your safety". Huh? The tanks are Federally-certified to be safe to twenty, not fifteen. So, where's this "safety" thing come into play?

In my opinion, the safety is for the "bottom line profitability" of the gas companies involved, and nothing else. They get to flat-rate charge us for less fuel each time. Pretty-sweet deal, dont'cha' think?

Run the numbers for yourself and see the difference it makes, and not just in the long-term.

And... you'll be running to the "exchange" outlet more often since you are getting less fuel each buy (only 75 percent).

Bottom line: I'd find a place that will refill yours. I wouldn't exchange them.

Pop
Times two...twenty pound cylinders safely hold more than the fifteen pounds that the exchange tanks come filled with.
(See Propane Cylinder and LPG Bottle Information )

It's exactly the same marketing trick as "downsizing", say, an eight ounce container of yogurt to a 6 oz. container.

"Don't raise the price, reduce the product amount and hope the consumer doesn't notice."

And most consumers don't.


Read more about it at this link:Propane tank refill vs exchange - eLivermore.com
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:02 PM   #8
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Yes, but my question is what is the price per gal.? If it's filled to three gal. and I'm only paying for three gal. that I can live with. If its filled with three and I'm paying for four, that's a different story. We pay $19.99 on average for an exchange.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:08 PM   #9
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A Propane Company here was found guilty of cheating customers on the exchange program. They were required to reimburse folks. The only good point to using them is if your tank certification has expired.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefGeek View Post
Interesting. Does all U-Haul places fill tanks? What's the price per gallon?

BTW, we have two small tanks side by side on the front of the trailer, their the same size as the Blue Rhino exchange.

Yes, Most U-haul company owned stores sell propane and fill tanks, Some can even re-certify older tanks (not many).. Some gas stations also sell propane, many truck stops sell propane. As do many RV dealers and campgrounds.

Myself, I like to check out the dealers (I mean the folks with the big tanks and the big trucks who deliver propane to the places listed above).

This spring, I overnighted in Coldwater, MI. called ahead to a wholesaler I know in Teknosha, MI (about 12-15 miles and about 100 yards out of my way if I took an alternate route to my next stop, Battle Creek, Mi.) Turns out they could fill my tank for 2.69/gallon,

A few days later I happened to be at a truck stop getting fuel. 3.49/gallon.

Now I will admit, the wholsaler in Tekonsha is a tad hard to find if you have never been there before.... But I lived there from 1954 to 1972.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ChiefGeek View Post
Yes, but my question is what is the price per gal.? If it's filled to three gal. and I'm only paying for three gal. that I can live with. If its filled with three and I'm paying for four, that's a different story. We pay $19.99 on average for an exchange.
The price per gallon is probably all over the map- depends on the market, just like any other commodity.

Since bulk propane is sold by the gallon, you'll have to do the math yourself:
-Check your local prices for bulk.
-The "prefilled" cylinder has fifteen pounds of propane in it. A gallon of propane weighs about 4.2 pounds.
-15 divided by 4.2= 3.57 gallons.

You say the prefilled is $19.99, right?

$19.99 divided by 3.57= $5.59. That's the cost-per-gallon of your prefilled cylinder.

I think you'll find that your local "full" prefilled propane cylinder will cost you at least twenty-five percent more per gallon than if you had filled a self-owned cylinder at a bulk station.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:31 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ChiefGeek View Post
Interesting. Does all U-Haul places fill tanks? What's the price per gallon?

BTW, we have two small tanks side by side on the front of the trailer, their the same size as the Blue Rhino exchange.

Yes, Most U-haul company owned stores sell propane and fill tanks, Some can even re-certify older tanks (not many).. Some gas stations also sell propane, many truck stops sell propane. As do many RV dealers and campgrounds.

Myself, I like to check out the dealers (I mean the folks with the big tanks and the big trucks who deliver propane to the places listed above).

This spring, I overnighted in Coldwater, MI. called ahead to a wholesaler I know in Teknosha, MI (about 12-15 miles and about 100 yards out of my way if I took an alternate route to my next stop, Battle Creek, Mi.) Turns out they could fill my tank for 2.69/gallon,

A few days later I happened to be at a truck stop getting fuel. 3.49/gallon.

Now I will admit, the wholesaler in Tekonsha is a tad hard to find if you have never been there before.... But I lived there from 1954 to 1972.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:49 PM   #13
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Just had a 20lb cylinder filled yesterday. 4.5 gallons was $20 so I guess it comes to $4.44 here in our part of SE MI.
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Old 07-07-2012, 01:59 PM   #14
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I choose to have my bottles refilled for the 20# tanks. The 30 and 40# bottles are not on an exchange program.

Some of the druggie types are using the propane bottles to steal ammonia for manufacturing crack cocaine. The ammonia attacks the brass valves. If you do get an exchange be sure to check the valve over for any signs of discoloration or corrosion.


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