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Old 04-20-2013, 09:25 AM   #1
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TT with no generator - question on LP gas usage

Am heading out of my maiden long journey next month and trying to get all my ducks in a row. My 30' trailer has no generator and 2 LP tanks -- couldn't tell you the size as it doesn't specify, on the tank, in terms I can relate. Anyway, my questions relate to usage and time between fills. Items using gas are the usual 3 way refrigerator, stove & hot water.

  1. Do I leave the gas on running down the highway and turn the 'frig to gas to keep it cool?
  2. Will be doing the Wal-Mart parking thing about once or twice a week and am assuming leaving the gas on will be ok (yes, I am NEW).
  3. Between my 2 tanks is a guage looking device with a large arrow on the outside. Once again assuming..... if I point the arrow toward one tank and leave it -- when the tank is empty the gas will stop flowing and I will know to shift the arrow to the 2nd tank?
My fear is running out of gas when I need it (and no convenient place to have the tanks filled). If #3 above is true then that will help a lot as I would know to fill a tank when possible.


Now, once more question. Without cooking much can anyone venture to guess how long a tank of LP will last (and I know this question is a shot in the dark)?


MANY thanks,


Patsy
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:59 AM   #2
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OK this start at the beginning. If your tanks are taller than what you would have for a regular BBQ then they are most likely 7lbs each. That is quite a bit of propane depending on how much cooking you do inside. Answers to questions:

1. Yes, go ahead and leave the frig on propane while traveling. That's what they are designed for. You won't use that much propane running on them.
2. You may want to install a 2nd battery as that will run down quicker than the propane. If dry camping a couple of nights a week you will need the 2nd battery because you will drain it quickly. If you don't have an inverter than you can't run A/C, microwave, tv or anything powered by 110v. Only 12v.
3. Yes the gauge will point to which tank is in use. You can buy an aftermarket level indicator that will show how much is in the tank and I believe you can also buy an automatic switch. To give you an example of how much propane you may use. In my last MH (87 Allegro) with a 30 gal tank I filled it when we first go it and it was still 1/2 full after 2 years of camping. We drycamped maybe 10 nights, used the furnace about the same amount of time, and did minimal cooking inside.

So unless you cook alot of meals inside and never hookup to power you will use more propane, but again I think you will find that your 2 tanks will last awhile. The batteries would be an item to invest in.

Good Luck
Arnold
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Old 04-20-2013, 12:26 PM   #3
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I had a 2008 Gulfstream Streamlite. It had 2 30lb propane tanks (30lb. equal approx. 7 gallon). The normal propane grill comes with a 20lb. tank. If your tanks are taller than a propane grill size then they are 30lb. tanks.

The refer running on propane does not use much propane at all. Either does the hot water heater but the furnace does. But in cool weather a 30lb. tank will last about 7 to 9 days. In cold weather it will last 5 to 6 days. If You are plugged in (like at s campground) use a electric heater to save propane plus an electric blanket.

As you tow your deep cycle trailer battery is being charged. But in a trailer the battery powers only the lights, water pump, furnace. Not the T V, A/C or micro wave.
On a cold night the battery may not run the furnace till morning. I usually keep the truck running turn on the furnace and get it nice and toasty. Then turn off the furnace and then the truck. I wake up in the morning kinda chilly but it is time to get back on the road anyway.

Your battery will be the weakest link. My new trailer I had a group 29 deep cycle battery swapped for the usual small group 24 battery. New the cost difference was only $25. IMHO trailers should come with a group 29 battery not a small group 24.
If You plan on boondocking much you should think about getting a generator.

Good luck
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Old 04-20-2013, 01:58 PM   #4
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[LIST=1][*]Do I leave the gas on running down the highway and turn the 'frig to gas to keep it cool? The refr has an auto mode. Leave it there. It uses 12V battery power to run a small circuit board that senses what heat source to use that will circulate your coolant. If it senses you are plugged into 110V show power, it will use that. If it does not sense it, it will automatically open up it's gas valve and spark until the LP lights. If it doesn't, it will warn you with a check light.
[*]Will be doing the Wal-Mart parking thing about once or twice a week and am assuming leaving the gas on will be ok (yes, I am NEW). Leaving the LP tanks on is supposed to be ok, as long as you have no leaks.
[*]Between my 2 tanks is a guage looking device with a large arrow on the outside. Once again assuming..... if I point the arrow toward one tank and leave it -- when the tank is empty the gas will stop flowing and I will know to shift the arrow to the 2nd tank? That is a two stage auto change over regulator. Whichever cylinder it's pointing at, LP will flow from that cylinder. After that cylinder is empty and as long as the other cylinder valve is open, then the regulator will internally start using LP from the cylinder it's not pointing to. Even then, if the cylinder being pointed at is empty, the bubble will show red letting you know that cylinder has no pressure.
Replies in red.
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Looked at my AutoCraft deep cell marine battery. It's part number is 24DC-1 and have 12/10 in the upper right stamped.

Does the 12/10 mean it was made in 2012 or 2010? Also, if I decide to get a new battery -- suggestions on good battery for my use?

Thanks,

Patsy
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Old 04-20-2013, 04:48 PM   #6
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It's a group 24, which is small. And it was manufactured in Dec. of '10.
How are you going to use the trailer? Mostly camping with power hookups? Cause I wouldn't rely on that little thing for more than a night.
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Old 04-20-2013, 05:21 PM   #7
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I hate being so green about getting to know my TT -- will be glad when we have bonded and I know how to best use it.

My plan is to leave next month for 5 or 6 months staying in full hookup campgrounds an average of 5 nights weekly then Wal-Marting it the other 2.

Went outside and checked to see where the battery meter is located and it's with the water tank control panel (with colorful lights). Pressed the button and the bottom light came on and that's all.

I will buy a new battery to start my road trip -- we have an AutoAdvance, Napa and O'Reilly auto stores here. Can someone tell me, if it were you, what would you purchase.

Also, on the charging deal..... how is that done? The only thing I plug into my truck is the electrical cable when I hitch up -- does that do more than the brake buddy and lights?

I'm so thankful to IRV2 buddies! Don't think I would attempt my first big trip without you coming with me

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It's a group 24, which is small. And it was manufactured in Dec. of '10. How are you going to use the trailer? Mostly camping with power hookups? Cause I wouldn't rely on that little thing for more than a night.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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The battery gets charged when hooked to the truck and the truck is running or when it is plugged in at a campground.

I would get a group 29 battery and a new battery box that fits group 29. It should cost $130 approx. plus box. A group 29 battery will be heavy. I would buy an Interstate battery given a choice.

Now - I have not done this but google Trojan 12v deep cycle batteries. These are supposed to be the best of the best. I think they will cost more too. I am going with an Interstate.

To make things more complicated the battery is charged thru the converter. I have read that most factory installed converters are single stage and are not good for the battery. That they can fry the battery. After reading this I am thinking about using a better multi-stage converter. They are supposed to be easy to change out. Look into that and decide for youself. I think s group 29 battery will be more diffucult to fry...but don't know for sure.
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:05 PM   #9
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There's a charging wire In your wiring harness. That allows your trucks alternator to charge the campers house batteries while in transit. I would recommend finding a shop that sells interstate batteries, and buying the best deep cycle you can afford possibly two!
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Old 04-20-2013, 09:28 PM   #10
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When hooked up to 110V shore power, your converter changes power to 12V and distributes it through the 12V system.
When connected to truck wiring, you have ground, two turn signals, running lights, brakes, backup light wire, and a charge line that ties your 12V systems together between the truck and trailer.

For batteries, 6volt batteries in series are best for power, but pricey and require a lot of maintenance. Two 12V batteries would be easiest, but still do require some care. But, it's a trailer. It requires a lot of work to begin with.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:19 AM   #11
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Looked online and there isn't a store locally that sell Interstate Batteries. Is this the battery I should purchase: Interstate Batteries Marine/RV SRM-29 Deep Cycle Battery [MARINE-INT-SRM-29] - $125.50 : Western New York Batteries battery store, for all your battery needs

Will look locally to see if I can find the heavy duty rubberized container the battery fits in behind the LP tanks. I did measure and there is no way I could get 2 batteries to fit on the hitch. Is that what you mean when I say I should buy 2 batteries?


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For batteries, 6volt batteries in series are best for power, but pricey and require a lot of maintenance. Two 12V batteries would be easiest, but still do require some care. But, it's a trailer. It requires a lot of work to begin with.
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Old 04-21-2013, 07:31 AM   #12
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Do you have any repair shops near by? Alot of vehicle repair shops sell interstate batteries and you won't know unless you stop in or just call them. As for room to fit a second battery that depends on the trailer I guess
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Old 04-21-2013, 10:24 AM   #13
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Yes, that would be a good battery. My 2008 Gulfstream did not have room to easily to have 2 batteries either. One group 29 will get you thru 1 night at a Walmart easy.
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Old 04-21-2013, 11:19 AM   #14
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Most likely you have room to fit two group 24s, but not two group 29s. Which would be fine too.
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