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Old 05-20-2018, 07:11 PM   #1
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How long do your propane tanks last?

New to RV'ing and I have a 5th wheel (Grand Design Reflection 29RS) and we love this thing but I've already run out of propane having it sit in my backyard for 5-6 weeks which is when I picked it up from the RV dealer. I had only the furnace turned but to a low temp (14C/57F) and just the other day the furnace no longer works. Checked the stove, sure enough, no propane. Checked the valve where 2 tanks go into one, both indicators show empty. 60LBS of propane in 5-6 weeks? Does that even sound normal? I have a feeling my dealer never filled the propane tanks. Do RV manufacturers not fill them before transport or do they just put 1-2 LBS worth to test everything out?

Thanks!
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:23 PM   #2
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Propane cylinders (portable type used on trailers) on NOT filled by RV MFG....dealer does


If the propane cylinders were shipped with air pressure inside then Dealer did NOT properly purge them and you have been short changed and have air entrained in the propane.


Cylinders shipped with air pressure have to been purged with propane Vapor 4-5 volumes worth before being filled with Propane Liquid


(Some cylinders are shipped with a vacuum and do not need purged ----if so Dealer short changed you OR you have a pretty good leak.
We typically go 5- weeks on ONE 30# cylinder...using it for stove/oven, fridge, water heater.
Granted furnace IS a propane hog but TWO 30# in 5-6 weeks.......possible if day/night have been COLD
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:23 PM   #3
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At the factory ( assembly line probably indoors ) they wouldn't test with LP, for safety reasons. Air pressure would be used . Actual, propane fill & fire up of appliances would be the selling dealer's job during the PDI.

Although this could be excessive, or due to partially filled bottles , a lot depends on the outside temps. Because the furnace is the biggest LP user in the RV.

EDIT: I see Old Biscuit and I tied in our posts ; sorry for the duplication.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:25 PM   #4
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I have seen dealers advertise, as a perk, that they will fill the fuel tank and propane tank, if you buy one of their units. So I would imagine that the custom is they are not filled when you pick it up.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:32 PM   #5
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I've camped when it was high 30's at night and only 50's during the day in a 28ft travel trailer. I was going thru a 30lb propane tank every 5-6 days. You are much better off using electric space heaters.

A gallon of propane has about 90k BTUs. If you have a 15k BTU furnace, you can burn a gallon every 6 hours of run time.

A 30lb tank holds about 7 gallons of propane.

If you have a heat pump in the A/C unit, you could use that if temps are 40deg or above.
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Old 05-20-2018, 07:41 PM   #6
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Have them filled and check for leaks....it's the only way to know for sure. I found a leak at one of the feed hoses on the left tank on ours. It was at the factory seal joint where the acme knob is.

Another way is to have your dealer check it with gages and leak down test.
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Old 05-20-2018, 08:59 PM   #7
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Why so high a temp? Put temp setting in low 40s and open all the bottom cabinet doors. That should be enough. I do that during the winter here when I am getting ready to leave. That is not being winterized.
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Propane cylinders (portable type used on trailers) on NOT filled by RV MFG....dealer does


If the propane cylinders were shipped with air pressure inside then Dealer did NOT properly purge them and you have been short changed and have air entrained in the propane.


Cylinders shipped with air pressure have to been purged with propane Vapor 4-5 volumes worth before being filled with Propane Liquid


(Some cylinders are shipped with a vacuum and do not need purged ----if so Dealer short changed you OR you have a pretty good leak.
We typically go 5- weeks on ONE 30# cylinder...using it for stove/oven, fridge, water heater.
Granted furnace IS a propane hog but TWO 30# in 5-6 weeks.......possible if day/night have been COLD
Excellent information. So if the manufacturer doesn't test with LP and they don't add any LP to the tank, it seems likely the dealer never filled them up but they did add some LP because I know the furnace and water worked.

Thanks
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skip426 View Post
At the factory ( assembly line probably indoors ) they wouldn't test with LP, for safety reasons. Air pressure would be used . Actual, propane fill & fire up of appliances would be the selling dealer's job during the PDI.

Although this could be excessive, or due to partially filled bottles , a lot depends on the outside temps. Because the furnace is the biggest LP user in the RV.

EDIT: I see Old Biscuit and I tied in our posts ; sorry for the duplication.
You can never have too much information. He didn't mention a leak so I'll probably buy a LP leak detector. Thanks.
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:14 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by AudiDudi View Post
I've camped when it was high 30's at night and only 50's during the day in a 28ft travel trailer. I was going thru a 30lb propane tank every 5-6 days. You are much better off using electric space heaters.

A gallon of propane has about 90k BTUs. If you have a 15k BTU furnace, you can burn a gallon every 6 hours of run time.

A 30lb tank holds about 7 gallons of propane.

If you have a heat pump in the A/C unit, you could use that if temps are 40deg or above.
Thanks for the details. We don't have a heat pump, just AC. I may consider a space heater as it's likely more effective for a small space.
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:15 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by egwilly View Post
Have them filled and check for leaks....it's the only way to know for sure. I found a leak at one of the feed hoses on the left tank on ours. It was at the factory seal joint where the acme knob is.

Another way is to have your dealer check it with gages and leak down test.
I'll do a LP leak test. Thanks.
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:21 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by A32Deuce View Post
Why so high a temp? Put temp setting in low 40s and open all the bottom cabinet doors. That should be enough. I do that during the winter here when I am getting ready to leave. That is not being winterized.
The RV is in our backyard so sometimes we like to sleep in it. I shouldn't need to have it so high, that's true but I'm guessing the only time it would pump would be between 1a-6a when it gets the coldest. I will likely keep it around 5C/41F from now on because it shouldn't take long to warm it up and it'll likely never get that cold before bed time.

Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2018, 06:37 AM   #13
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In the winter when getting ready to leave, I keep it at 40. A tank will last 30 days as long as the temps are just below freezing. This is an on board 9 gallon tank in a 32 ft. long class c. Does not take too long to heat up.
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Old 05-21-2018, 09:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Propane cylinders (portable type used on trailers) on NOT filled by RV MFG....dealer does
Camping World fills cylinders and ASME tanks at their super centers as a matter of daily business.

If the propane cylinders were shipped with air pressure inside then Dealer did NOT properly purge them and you have been short changed and have air entrained in the propane.


Cylinders shipped with air pressure have to been purged with propane Vapor 4-5 volumes worth before being filled with Propane Liquid


(Some cylinders are shipped with a vacuum and do not need purged ----if so Dealer short changed you OR you have a pretty good leak.
We typically go 5- weeks on ONE 30# cylinder...using it for stove/oven, fridge, water heater.
Granted furnace IS a propane hog but TWO 30# in 5-6 weeks.......possible if day/night have been COLD
Yes, that's a minor point, but it's the truth.
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