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Old 11-01-2010, 12:31 PM   #1
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Propane Gauge Question

When we picked up our new motorhome a few weeks ago, we were told that the propane tank was filled up. Great, since we were done camping for the season and needed it full for our Feb. Disney trip. After getting the motorhome home and parked, I noticed that the gauge on the tank was unsnapped from the tank fitting. The gauge read full. When I snapped the gauge back on the tank, the gauge reading did not change. Is my tank full? Will the gauge read correctly if it is snapped on upside down? How do these gauges work anyways?

This is a silly dilema, but the motorhome is parked and ready for our February trip, so I'd rather not go and top off the propane tank...

Thanks.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:41 PM   #2
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Doesn't your coach havean inside monitor as well? If so does it agree?
I may be on your holding tank panel... My inside reads a little off from the tank.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:50 PM   #3
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Doesn't your coach havean inside monitor as well? If so does it agree?
I may be on your holding tank panel... My inside reads a little off from the tank.
I'm pretty sure the inside gauge reads from the same sending unit as the tank gauge.
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Old 11-01-2010, 03:26 PM   #4
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I'm pretty sure the inside gauge reads from the same sending unit as the tank gauge.
Well, there ya go...I'm not familar with you system, but I'm pretty sure all three of our LPG guages work off the same sending unit as well. One on the outside water service panel, one on the LPG tank and one on the inside EM panel...all read the same. I suspect if the other guages are reading at the same level as the one on the tank, you can pretty much believe it. Bob

Oh, yeah, enjoy the Disney trip!
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Old 11-02-2010, 10:00 AM   #5
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You said the guage was "Unsnaped"

Do you mean the plastic cover was off? On most rigs I know of the guage itself is hard connected (Like plumbed) it is not a snap on device. THe plastic cover, however, does snap on and off.

It is just a cover, nothing more.

Suggestion: Watch the guage as you use Propane.. It takes a while but it should go down.

Suggestion 2: You can get magnetic LCD crystal thingies at Camping World or other RV stores.. Get 3 or 4 of them.. When the guage is down a bit (say 1/3 to 2/3) lay these over a good portion of the tank.. Go inside and heat up a good size (10QT about 3/4 full) cook pot of water on the Propane stove.

Pour the hot water over the tank and notice the spot where the color of the crystals changes... Odds are the guage will be pointing right about there.

NOTE: The guage, like most fuel guages has a fault.

The tank is round.. When it says 1/3 or 2/3 it means 1/3 or 2/3 the way from the bottom to the top.. The middle third is bigger than the top or bottom third of the tank.
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Old 11-02-2010, 12:32 PM   #6
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You said the guage was "Unsnaped"

Do you mean the plastic cover was off? On most rigs I know of the guage itself is hard connected (Like plumbed) it is not a snap on device. THe plastic cover, however, does snap on and off.

It is just a cover, nothing more.

Suggestion: Watch the guage as you use Propane.. It takes a while but it should go down.

Suggestion 2: You can get magnetic LCD crystal thingies at Camping World or other RV stores.. Get 3 or 4 of them.. When the guage is down a bit (say 1/3 to 2/3) lay these over a good portion of the tank.. Go inside and heat up a good size (10QT about 3/4 full) cook pot of water on the Propane stove.

Pour the hot water over the tank and notice the spot where the color of the crystals changes... Odds are the guage will be pointing right about there.

NOTE: The guage, like most fuel guages has a fault.

The tank is round.. When it says 1/3 or 2/3 it means 1/3 or 2/3 the way from the bottom to the top.. The middle third is bigger than the top or bottom third of the tank.
The plastic cover is the gauge. When it was snapped off, it was hanging by the wires that go into the coach. The sending unit is threaded into the tank. Still not sure how the sending unit makes the gauge work.... It's not voltage or resistance....
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:24 PM   #7
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If you snap the guage back on in the upright position, 1/2 being on top, it should work correctly although very inacurate as they all are. I believe the are activated by a magnet and therfore there is no through the tank connection to the actual dial. If it's a 38 gal tank, it will take only 30 gal to fill it. Just note where the guage is when you fill it, mark the spot on the guage and see hw much it takes to fill it. You will then get a much more acurate picyure as to how much is in the tank.
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