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Old 08-11-2014, 08:48 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by RV Wizard View Post
I will admit, I did this in my very early days. After being trained and certified as a professional technician, where I am liable in the safety standards of this fuel source and application, I would not even consider do such a thing today.
I would highly suggest that those practicing this procedure really think about what they are doing and at least research as to why it says on the label "Non Refillable".
It is not only dangerous and illegal - no Overfill Protection Device
If it leaks or pops off (vents due to high pressure) and an ignition source starts a fire, you better hope you do not have the adapter in the coach or the fire marshall finds it. Your insurance company may just not want to cover your loss and someone could loose their life.

Very well said but unfortunately there will always be folks who want to do it their way without consideration for others or safety.
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Old 08-11-2014, 09:25 AM   #16
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Very well said but unfortunately there will always be folks who want to do it their way without consideration for others or safety.
Apples and oranges, IMO. RVWizard is a professional and answers to a higher calling inasmuch as liability, because he works on other people's equipment.

Factories that say, "non-refillable", do so for several reasons, not the least being profit motive. By not placing an overfill device on the small canisters, they save money and introduce the potential for people to balloon their refills.

Product liability rests with the end user if, "Do not refill", is placed on a label.
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Old 08-11-2014, 10:38 AM   #17
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I just bought a 4lb refillable bottle at Home Depot, been using it for years and it takes very little room.
THIS is what I've been looking for and didn't even know it! Wal-Mart carries these also. I might carry a 1 lb bottle as a backup now, but have always thought they were a waste of resources and a recycle issue. Will look for the 4.5 pounder at first opportunity.
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Old 08-11-2014, 11:06 AM   #18
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I tried refilling awhile back 2 out of 6 leaked.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:28 PM   #19
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Not good .Cheaper to buy then risk any problems ! As the risks are to expensive .
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Old 08-11-2014, 02:31 PM   #20
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OK, here goes.

This is simply my opinion & what I have done. I assume no responsibility for the actions of others or what they decide to do with this information.

If you use this information. It is by your own decision that you choose to do so and without any influence from me.

First & Foremost do this in a well ventilated area. Not inside your Garage.

Here is a list of tools I use:

Propane Refill Adapter, anywhere from $8-20 *Ebay, Amazon or Harbor Freight
Postal Scale, about $10-12, *Ebay or Harbor Freight
Radiator Hose Pick, *Harbor Freight $2.99 ( File the tip just a bit, so it's not too sharp & put a small rubber tip on the end )
Sharpie permanent marker - Office Supply Etc.
Gloves - Harbor Freight ( the canisters become very cold while emptying them )
A large propane tank for filling the canisters
*The cheapest place to purchase, although Harbor Freight has all these items in one place.


First and foremost, be safe. Always refill in a well ventilated area. ( no open flames, cigarettes etc. )

The first step is to inspect the empty bottle you intend on filling for signs of rust, dents etc. If you feel uncomfortable about any single bottle, dispose of it properly.

Next, after selecting a few bottles for refill, empty them completely of any remaining gas, use gloves & depress the valve body until nothing comes out using the Radiator Hose Pick Tool. ( I put a small rubber tip on the end of the probe ). I point the bottle away from my body & depress the valve body emptying the canister completely.

Check the label on the bottle to confirm what the "net weight" is for that bottle. Once you know what the "net weight" is, use a postal scale & weigh the empty bottle, not all bottles are the same. Write the total of these two weights on the side of the empty bottle with the Sharpie. The combined total of these two weights will be your maximum weight for a filled bottle. After filling, if you've exceeded this total, simple release some gas from the canister & re-check weight.
The entire purpose (safety) of this is to allow for the expansion of the gas as the ambient temperature increases. DO NOT OVER-FILL from what it weighed new.

The next thing is to place the empty one pound bottle in the freezer for 30-45 minutes before filling. The purpose of this is to facilitate the transfer of gas from the big tank ( @ outside ambient temp. ) to the smaller one. They must be colder than the tank being used to fill from.

Next, screw the adapter (left-hand thread ) onto the main tank & turn it "up side down" & stabilize somehow, still allowing easy access to the main tank control valve.

With the main tank valve still closed, screw the one pound canister onto the adapter. Once that connection is made, open the main tank valve & start filling the smaller bottle.

The time it takes to fill the smaller bottles varies. I normally time it for 60 seconds then close the main tank valve, unscrew the bottle & check it's weight. If you're close to or at the previously recorded total weight for that bottle, you're done. If there is still room for more propane in the bottle, just repeat the fill steps for a shorter period of time & re-check weight. Mark the bottles numerically & Make Note of the final weight you decide on for each bottle that has been filled & mark it accordingly. Bottle #1 @ xxx. Bottle #2 @ xxx etc. DOT NOT OVER-FILL

Check all the bottles filled the next day or so by weighing each one again to see if any have decreased in weight & developed a leak. If "any" have, dispose of them properly.

After using a refilled bottle 2-3 times, I suggest disposing of it and getting more empty ones. A good place to look for empty bottles are in the campground garbage cans. My initial try at this, I purchased 4 new bottles, used them, & went from there.

If you want pics, send me a private email & I'll send them to you.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:18 PM   #21
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Thanks Dakota. That's pretty much my procedure except I don't make sure all the old fuel is completely gone. I also haven't had much luck adding more propane if it doesn't fill all the way the first time. Maybe I should chill them again. Some bottles seem to develop an aversion to being filled more than 25% or so. They get tossed. This happens far more than leaking- maybe air gets in??? The propane fill guys keep wanting to vent the air out of my grill size tanks while filling.

Recently I saw a thread somewhere about using a separate valve, fittings, and a hose to make things easier and fill all the way. It seemed like a lot of work for a tiny gain. He suggested opening the factory fill fitting to allow more liquid to enter and mentioned overfilling was possible using his method.

Frankly I fill each tank far more often than you and I seldom have leaks. I do keep a couple of propane torch bodies around when I fill. If there is a leak, I just screw the torch body on the leaker and mark the tank so as not to refill.

Anyway, thanks again. Don't worry, these threads always go this way. Rich folks do what they can afford, while the rest of us do what we need to do. And I'll bet you dollars to donuts we're the happier ones.

mangy dog

ps: I guess the only real question is: "Why can't I use my hair dryer in the tub?"
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Old 08-12-2014, 10:31 AM   #22
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Another bit of information

I'm not a full timer, but do camp often. I have two propane stoves, two lanterns & a BBQ all of which use the one pound bottles. Since it would be pretty difficult to hook up to say a single large tank or two & run everything, the bottles are my best option.

I going to do a cost comparison to show my reasoning.

A typical 20# BBQ tank will cost about $14.50 to fill. That same tank full, equates to 19 one pound bottles. If you were to use an average of $3.00 per canister that = $57.00. Go Figure !!!

Here are a few pics of the set-up. The Stool makes for a very stable platform & ease of purpose, here I'm using a 30# tank.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakota98 View Post
I'm not a full timer, but do camp often. I have two propane stoves, two lanterns & a BBQ all of which use the one pound bottles. Since it would be pretty difficult to hook up to say a single large tank or two & run everything, the bottles are my best option.

I going to do a cost comparison to show my reasoning.

A typical 20# BBQ tank will cost about $14.50 to fill. That same tank full, equates to 19 one pound bottles. If you were to use an average of $3.00 per canister that = $57.00. Go Figure !!!

Here are a few pics of the set-up. The Stool makes for a very stable platform & ease of purpose, here I'm using a 30# tank.
Check this out Distribution Post - 2 Piece - 30" - 3 Outlet - Propane Accessories - All
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:09 AM   #24
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Never refill the bottles all the way. Why do you think the big tanks are only filled to 80%?
Too easy to screw this up.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:39 AM   #25
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I used one of those adapters for years. We carried the 20lb tank along with us but the BBQ only used the small 1lb. When one was empty, into the freezer it went then outside to the picnic table where I put the 20lb upside down. I just let it rip. When it slowed down to almost stop I turned it off and done. I'm not sure if they were full and don't recall any leaking. Most of the time when we were in a state CG I would find new empties next to the dumpster and swap out the old one.

Now we have an adapter hose to connect the 20lb right to the grill. Much less work. I still have the adapter though and keep a 1lb full in case the 20 runs out in the middle of cooking.

BTW I like the bar stool for a filling station. Could also be handy for hemorrhoids.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:07 AM   #26
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Old Radios,

I believe @ 16.4 oz net, it's safe to say that amount would be about 80%

The manufacturer has already allowed for expansion.

I always keep my refills @ or just below that mark.
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Old 08-13-2014, 07:22 AM   #27
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mangy dog,

You make a very good point regarding the "leakers" I hadn't considered that, but putting a torch on it does seal it & besides as someone that camps often, if I take that bottle with me, it can be used to start my CAMP FIRES. What a concept !!!

PS: If you use the hair dryer in the bathtub, you will damage it.
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Old 08-13-2014, 08:16 AM   #28
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RV Wizard,

Thanks,

Sometime ago I considered the distribution post, but honestly it's not practical for my applications. The two stoves & BBQ could be connected to it, but then I'm left with what to do for the lanterns. The lanterns are always a distance apart & get moved often. I'd still need to use the canisters for them, which leaves me with hauling a larger tank, 3-hoses for the two stoves & BBQ & one pound bottles for the lanterns.

Initial set up cost: Distribution post, 3-hoses & small tank @ $150 + I still need the small bottles.

Having space for everything is also an issue. My 22' TT is already loaded with "stuff"
& by the time I load the ATV, wife, two dogs,& a cat ( wife won't leave home without it ) & three gallons of Vodka, I'm at weight
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