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Old 08-21-2010, 09:35 AM   #1
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painting an LP tank

I was crawling around underneath the MH the other day and noticed the LP tank in need of some intention. It is starting to blister and rust just bad enough that I feel the need to do something about it. I guess I'm just wondering if any of you have any tips / insight on refinishing an LP tank that you would care to share, such as preparation, type of paint etc. When I was looking at MHs on the internet, I saw a lot of LP tanks that were painted mostly black and was wondering if this was a special coating of sorts? Possibly the rubberized tar undercoating? Any thoughts would be welcome.
Rod
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Old 08-21-2010, 09:52 AM   #2
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You asked for thoughts, not expertize!
I remember back when I used LP in my house and they always filled the tank at 80% because of the heat from the sun, which is the reason they are always painted white. I realize that on the MH they are enclosed away from the sun so the color would make no difference. I suspect that cleaning off the rust and painting with a good rustoleum type of product will be better that what you have now and some type of tar coating makes some sense. The Marine industry has a paint for steel boats that might just be the ticket.
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Old 08-21-2010, 10:06 AM   #3
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Do MH chassis-mount tanks have a service date for re-certification? Some LP fill stations are real picky about tank dates (portable tanks for sure), and I had one complain about rust on a tank, even thought it was obviously surface rust.
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Old 08-21-2010, 11:02 AM   #4
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At the first sign of rust I paint my tank with a high grade industrial aluminum paint. It reflects road heat and is very tough and long lasting. Just be careful not to paint over any vents, lines or anything but the tank.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:05 PM   #5
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My favorite anti-rust is Acme Quality Rust control.. Or Sherman Williams Rust Control

Uses a different rust preventer than Rust-o-leum a better one I think

That said.. I could be wrong.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:28 PM   #6
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Horizontal tanks do NOT need certification, only the portables. This is something that after all these years it's amazing how many fill stations have no clue on this. In '96 I had an argument with my local RV parts supplier when he wouldn't fill the tank unless he re-certified it (I was getting a little ugly). I called the LP distributor, and the guy confirmed that they do not need certification. He said he had tried to reason this with him but he just wouldn't listen to reason, even from the distributor.

In '97 I removed the tank on my old '85 Pace, brushed, primed, and finished with a super-hard appliance grade Epoxy White. That was 13 years ago, and when I looked at it from it's new master in Q last year it looked like the day I painted it sans dirt. Personally I wouldn't paint it any color but White, you might scare off the fill station guys, but a nice rubberized undercoat is a good idea and not on my ToDo list.
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Old 08-23-2010, 09:26 AM   #7
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I have a 2000 33' Pace Arrow with over 109,000 miles on the chassis and I noticed that my LP tank was ''blistering'' and had a couple of 'ugly places' on it. I turned off the main gas valve, opened a beer, and with great diligence and where with all I crawled under the coach, without raising it on the jacks, and took a wire brush on my little edge grinder and ''wire brushed the crap out of the bad paint places''. They were mostly on the bottom and the back side of the tank. I went to my local hard ware store and bought primer and Battle ship gray paint in spray cans and opened another beer, and with great diligence and purpose sprayed the complete tank after taping off the gauge that shows how much LP you dont got in the tank, and the 'certification tag thingie' that is stuck to the tank. I opened another beer and admired my great work because the ten year old tank looked new now.
My advise is this..........
First, GET A 6 PACK......TURN OFF THE VALVE FROM THE TANK AND then get a grinder with a wire brush on it and clean the rust and bad paint off the tank, tape over the important stuff you dont want painted and then paint it with primer and then 'color' paint and then admire your work.

If you use this valuable information you must pay me ten cents the next time you see me because good information aint cheap.
On the other hand....... If this dont work for you...... I NEVER KNEW YOU....
Lets all remember our troops in our prayers and pray for their safe return to us because we love them and we want them home real soon........
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:34 PM   #8
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I'm assuming you meant to say a 6 pack of beer in glass bottles and not cans as the metal could possibly conduct electricity, and a spark near the lp tank and cause serious problems with finishing up the tank and the beer!
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:52 PM   #9
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I used a POR paint just remove loose rust then paint any color you need
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Old 08-23-2010, 10:20 PM   #10
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Mobile RV tech advice

We wire brushed and repainted ours white with rustoleum. Our mobile RV tech said to only paint it white to help protect against heat absorption. Even when white he indicated the LP will still expand due to the heat. He also mentioned that the tank had a release valve to let some escape when needed so in high heat you may smell some occasionally. If the LP is very old it loses it's odor so he recommended keeping it fresh so you could smell leaks.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:12 AM   #11
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painting propain tank

at a decent auto parts store buy a can of por 15 rust preventive paint. Its expensive, comes in pints and a number of colors. this stuff works very well and lasts and lasts. prior to applying of course remove loose paint and or heavy rust with a paint scraper or sand paper, wipe area and paint using a disposible sponge applicator.
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Old 08-25-2010, 08:59 AM   #12
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Get a spray can (or two) of Zinc Chromate Primer. Wire brush/clean as much of the tank that you can. Prime it and paint it-.

This stuff is great. I've been using it for many years on all types of metal projects.
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Old 08-26-2010, 06:18 AM   #13
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Thanks everybody for all your great suggestions (as usual). Now all I need is the time to do it!
Rod
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:24 PM   #14
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No special coating that I know of though I would recommend a good rust control paint such as Acme Quality Paints rust control (Division of Sherman Williams)

I'm not a big fan of Rust-o-lem due to the rust control element they use,, but that works too.

(Acme uses Zinc,, or they did when I last could find them.. R-0-L Fish oil)
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