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Old 05-10-2012, 06:29 PM   #1
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Undermount propane tanks

Hi, I have a 1982 class C Transtar by champion on a chevy chassis. The undermount propane tank is looking pretty rough so I decided to get a quote on replacing it. After receiving a staggering estimate of $1500 i looked into how much a new tank would be and install it myself... still an absurd $800. Anyone have any good suggestions like maybe a salvage yard? Are these tanks hard to come by in a used state? Is converting to exchangeable smaller tanks a feasible option? Basically just looking for someone who went through the same issue or has some good affordable advice. Thx.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #2
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If the tank is still servicable I would remove it , sand it down and repaint.
If it needs to be replaced search the web for "RV horizontal propane tank", there are many resources, probably one near you.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
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Have you considered cleaning and re-painting with a good quality rust control paint? If the rust is what is called "Surface rust" and it's not pitted, you can do that easily.

If it is pitted you need someone who knows more about it than I do.
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:30 PM   #4
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The big question, and one I don't know the answer to, is "who knows, and how do they know, if all it needs a sanding and a coat of paint?"

That is a route I would also take, perhaps, but, heck, we are talking abour pressurized propane here...
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:42 PM   #5
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Not really that much pressure. At 85 deg F about 140 psi. Not really shrapnel causing pressures. Off course the stuff coming out is flammable in the right concentrations, ie between circa 2% to 10%. But it takes a flame of about 1000 deg F to ignite it so a simple tank failure/rupture is not likely to result in a fire or explosion. Just a big hiss

See HC-290 (PROPANE) PRESSURE - TEMPERATURE CHART
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:49 PM   #6
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Unless the structural integrity has been compromized....most cancerous rust can be scraped sanded and then apply a liberal coat of "OSPRO"(Google it, I have used this product for 20yrs, its infallable, inexpensive ) Next apply an appropriate primer and top coat. I applied undercoating to the lower section. Looking functional and sharp. Oh yes , my tank was still installed BUt devoid of propellant! Cheers.
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
"who knows, and how do they know, if all it needs a sanding and a coat of paint?"
Try sanding a patch, if the rust comes off easily and the metal underneath is relatively smooth,, Sand and repaint with a quality rust control such as ACME by Sherman Williams.

IF it is pitted like "Washboard road" replace the tank. Note if it's pitted simple sanding will NOT remove all the rust (That's how you can tell).

If you are not sure. have an expert take a peek at it.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:08 AM   #8
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Here's the part to your question[s] that I would like to hear about from someone: "Is converting to exchangeable smaller tanks a feasible option?" Is that possible? Could I remove my horizontal tank and replace it with one or two smaller tanks that could be pulled out to be filled?
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:48 AM   #9
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Having been there I removed the tank and took it to a propane company that checked the tank and replace a valve that had a problem. I then cleaned the outside and painted it with the best anti rust undercoat and two coats of good outside paint,
start to finish was under 200.00.
As too taking the tank out and replacing it with these little upright tanks it can be
done if you have room but you reduce the amount of propane you have and you
will always be messing with them.
As a side note: The age of the tank has nothing to do with it's ability for use.
Very deep rust and other damage that effects tank integrity are.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:01 AM   #10
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When I first got my motorhome, the propane tanks were really really bad looking. Hardly any of the original power coat paint was left and rust galore. I removed both of them, sanded, primed and painted then to perfection......well almost. My neighbor came over to approve my handwork, and he saw a small paint bubble. The bubble was located on a weld, and the soap test proved there was a leak at one of the welds. I contacted Manchester tanks for suggestions on how to repair the tank and they said "don't do anything, we will send a truck to your house, pick up the tank and repair it for free". Manchester tank has a lifetime warranty on their welds. When the tank was returned in two weeks, it looked brand new!

I was thinking, if it is a Manchester tank maybe you could contact them and ask if they can check it out, or maybe you could contact your local propane gas suppler and ask them who they use to test their tanks and get it tested? That way you will know it is safe and sound.
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:26 AM   #11
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I would try sanding the tank and using paint on bedliner from a parts store. This stuff is tough and will out last paint especially under a RV. I have used this on many other applications with good results.
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Old 08-22-2012, 12:27 PM   #12
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Try the following:

Google: Propane {zip code}

Where {zip code} is the one you are parked in.

Find a propane wholesaler, this is the kind of company who on their web page will show you a photo of a large proapne delivery truck.

Have them inspect the tank for you... Odds are you will just need to follow the advice of the voice from the clouds in the joke.

Repaint thinner, and thin no more.

(ask if you want the full joke).

Those tanks are rather well constructed.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 336muffin View Post
I would try sanding the tank and using paint on bedliner from a parts store. This stuff is tough and will out last paint especially under a RV. I have used this on many other applications with good results.
X2 !!!
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:01 PM   #14
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Does bed liner come in white color? I knew a guy who painted his tanks brown to match his TT and a propane filler refused to fill the tanks!
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