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Old 06-07-2005, 08:33 AM   #15
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content"> Gypsy John
Posted June 05, 2005 04:10 PM

The DMV in at least 14 states will disagree with you. I can only guess that you have NEVER seen a propane fire/explosion. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just what is your source of information? The fact is that there are no such laws. Propane systems for RVs were designed for use while traveling. Just how do you think that RVs used in winter are kept from arriving with all water systems frozen? The answer is, the furnace and it uses propane. And I will give a source for my information. At a seminar on propane use given at the Great American RV Rally in Louisville, KY in June of 2003, the leader made the statement that there is not one verifiable case of a major fire or explosion caused by propane use while traveling in an RV. The person who made that statement is the second generation in the propane accident investigation business for the insurance industry. He stated that the vast majority of RV propane problems are caused by removal of an appliance and second is the slow build-up of propane in a stored RV. The problem comes when the owner ignites something inside.

It is slightly more safe to run with the propane turned off, but only slightly. By far the most explosive thing in most RVs is the gasoline tank! Perhaps we should all drive with our gasoline turned off too? There is nothing wrong with running with the propane shut off if you feel more safe in so doing. But it is not aginst the law or unsafe to operate with it on if you feel comfortable doing so and that is how the system was designed. All RV propane tanks now have a "stop flow valve" that will shut off in the event the back pressure in the line dropps suddenly. And they have had that for about 30 years.

Good travelin! ......Kirk
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Old 06-07-2005, 06:49 PM   #16
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gypsy John, Please don't overstate what you believe. I spent 20 years in fire service, the last 4 with fire and building safety. A situation you describe only happens if a large gas tank is ruptured, a broken line will only burn like a large propane torch if you have the old style valves. The OPD valves are designed to close if excessive flow(ruptured line) is detected. Please list those states you refer to in your post. I will contact the proper authorities and ask them to fax me a copy of thier DMV regulation so I may cooridinate with my state(Indiana) DMV. It could be my state is behind the times.

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Old 06-07-2005, 07:12 PM   #17
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Glad to have an expert confirm what this dumb engineer has tried to tell folks for years...A propane tank will not explode unless it is ruptured. A line break wil burn like a torch IF the Excess flow check valves do not catch it.

In my opinion, a certified 30# propane tank is much safer than a 30 gallon sheetmetal tank full of gasoline.

Just my opinion....

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Old 06-08-2005, 05:58 AM   #18
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Unlike Ray I am not an expert in the field but have had some training on the subject as a fire fighter. I think you explained it very well. If you have a line break like as you discribed with a torch like flame directly on the tank you could have a "BLEVE" which can level a city block with a 5 gal. tank. If I remember my training correctly "BLEVE" means "boiling liquid evaportive vapor explosion". Now that was a mouthfull. If something like this happened every paper, TV and radio station in the country would be reporting it. We just don't have that happen much. In our training film they showed a big storage tank that BLEVEed and the tank ended up about a 1/2 mile away. I agree with what you said about a sheetmetal gas tank. A ruptured gas tank will make a h--L of a fire but not an explosion.

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Old 06-08-2005, 08:25 AM   #19
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Cliff, a propane tank involved in a fire is another story. The tanks have a pressure relief device to relieve the excess pressure which will occur when in a fire. The heat of the fire causes the temperature of the liquid to increase and it will go as high as the saturation pressure can go before the pressure exceeds the presssure relief setting. This will release the pressure and maintain the tank no higher than the relief device unless it is such an intense fire that the propane is boiling off faster than it can relieve. In this case, you can rupture the tank and a sudden release of propane will ignite and create an explosion.

Another possibility is to impact the tank and have it rupture. Either the fire case or the impact case will cause the sudden release of propane and it will not matter whether the tank valves are open or closed.

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Old 06-23-2005, 04:51 PM   #20
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Just as a point of information a 16 oz can of propane, the size commonly used for camp lanterns and stoves will make a nice 30 foot fire ball but not an explosion. Of course what is the difference between a controlled fireball and explosion. I am a California Pyrotechnics Operator and have used these for that purpose under controled conditions for studios. They are actually quite safe. Now if you want to multiply the small amount to make a 30 foot fire ball you can have one heck of an effect. I run with mine on and feel entirely safe with this. Safety factors are primary in these modern systems. What I am saying is you have to pretty much force an occurance. But I'm not saying that it can't happen it just has not.
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Old 06-24-2005, 10:25 AM   #21
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In my last MH with a two way fridge, I ran with the LP on except when refuiling. As already mentioned, the issue there is having a spark around gasoline fumes since it is easy to get to the LEL (lower explosive limit) in a gas station.

My current MH has a residential refer that I run on the inverter while travelling. My propane is still "on" at the tank though.

As mentioned already also, the chance of an explosion or fire due to travelling with the propane on is minimal. The fact that it is on or off will have little to no effect on the potential for a BLEVE in the event of a fire, and these happen very infrequently for small containers. All first responders are taught to look for the location of tanks and ensure that they are cooled with water to prevent a BLEVE including us ERT folks.
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:03 AM   #22
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a 5 gallon LPG tank that BLEVEs will level a city block? puhleeeeeeeze!!!

14 states do not allow......not 13 or 15 puhleeeeeeeze!!!

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