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Old 02-22-2014, 09:08 PM   #1
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Fuel capacity

I just purchased a 24 foot 1987 Travelmaster motorhome built on a Ford Econoline 350 cab and chassis. Travelmaster has long been out of business. Does anyone know if the fuel tank is what Ford puts on or is it likely that Travelmaster installed a larger fuel tank. The reason I as is that the tank takes 23 gallons when it says empty. That seems like a very small tank for a camping vehicle that gets between 8 and 9 gpm. Maybe my guage is wrong. But I hesitate running out of gas and getting the muck that's sure to be in the tank into the fuel lines.
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Old 02-23-2014, 06:32 AM   #2
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As far as the muck goes all fuel tanks take the fuel from off of the bottom of the tank so running it down to empty would not make any difference.

The the 1988 cutaways could have three different size tanks, they were 16, 22 and 38 gallon tanks.
The 16 being a Midship tank if they had two fuel tanks and the 38 gallon with only one tank.
The fuel tanks were put on by Ford and not by the home builder.
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:46 AM   #3
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This is bang on sailsam and the exact reason I sold my class c. Such a small tank for a high consumption engine. It became a royal pain, I changed my pump float and it seemed like the gauge lasted a little longer in the empty to quarter range but regardless, it's a little tank
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:07 AM   #4
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I bought a brand NEW 60 gallon tank for mine to replace my old (it was free)
50 gallon round tank. (I'll then have a total 110 gallon cap)
What i bought was a blue bird bus tank.
Blue Bird Bus 60 Gallon Fuel Tanks | eBay

mine should be delivered tomorrow.
You must some blank room for one like this though
its 53L x 20.5 W x 14.07H

I have seen people put a aux tank complete with a electric transfer pump on the front of their trailer in front of the vehilce on the trailer.
While driving when you get down to 1/4 tank you turn it on and fill your OEM tank.
You would need a good quality quick connect(that won't leak) like the ones used on Hydraulic hoses at your hitch and you T into your OEM tanks fill tube.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:58 AM   #5
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My story....

1977 Holiday Rambler Class C on a Ford chassis. Holiday Rambler put their own gas tank in. It was supposed to be about 38 gallons as I recall. Big, square, rusty steel box. Could only use about 35 gallons, any fuller and it leaked out the top.

My solution.

Newer Ford Cutaways ('96 and up I believe) have a 55 gallon tank. A trip to Michigan Truck Parts got me a brand new one with the mounting straps (brought it home in a Festiva, it BARELY fit). I revised the vent (cut it off inside the tank) before I put it in. Frame rails on mine were slightly different, but a few holes and bolts later I had a 62 gallon tank.

Loved it. 400 plus miles easy, instead of 250 or so.
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Old 02-25-2014, 05:00 PM   #6
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I crawled under the RV and measured the tank. The measurements were a little rough because the tank edges are rounded. But calculated from those measurements the capacity is 48 gallons. This is further explained in my posts to the "Class C Motorhome Discussions" forum.
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Old 02-26-2014, 08:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailsam View Post
I crawled under the RV and measured the tank. The measurements were a little rough because the tank edges are rounded. But calculated from those measurements the capacity is 48 gallons. This is further explained in my posts to the "Class C Motorhome Discussions" forum.
I read in your first post about it taking only 23 gallons to fill on empty.
In the past when a OEM would have 2 fuel tank capacity. one std and one optional
And SOMETIMES what they would do is use 1 tank for both and 2 different filler tubes and 2 different gauge sending units.
The difference in the filler tube was that one was shorter than the other.
If your vehicle is one of those you could just remove the filler tube and cut it shorter like the other one for the "bigger tank"
OR
You could just have a bad gauge sending unit.
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailsam View Post
I crawled under the RV and measured the tank. The measurements were a little rough because the tank edges are rounded. But calculated from those measurements the capacity is 48 gallons. This is further explained in my posts to the "Class C Motorhome Discussions" forum.
There is also some built in air space. The fuel tank typically does not get filled up to the top. Usually there is a few inchs of expansion/slosh space.
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Old 06-21-2014, 03:53 PM   #9
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Since my last post I have determined that the tank capacity is 40 gallons and the sending unit was defective. It took a while, but eventually a sending unit was found that would work on this old RV and we have just completed a 1600 mile trip without running out of gas.
I have another question: We used LP for running the refrigerator all 21 days, cooking often, heating water for washing dishes, etc. The gage still says the LP is full. I wonder? Does anyone know if the LP gage works by pressure? If it does, the pressure will remain approximately the same as long as there's any liquid in the tank. Then the LP gage will only register less than full when the tank is empty of any liquid and you'd be "cooking with fumes".
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:09 PM   #10
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The LP gauge should work on a float sender.

This PDF shows the floats:
http://www.gasequipment.com/newgas/c...228_gauges.pdf

/
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Old 06-21-2014, 05:09 PM   #11
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We have camped for 4 years on a single fill up of LP. That included the fridge being ran a few hours on LP, some cooking, and hot water. There should also be a gauge on the tank itself. You may also have to just fill it up just to see what kind of consumption you do.
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Old 06-21-2014, 11:56 PM   #12
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Just be mindfull that the coach builder may have put in a smaller tank because the coach body put too much weight on the chassis to carry that and 80 gallons of fuel.

Liquids are roughly 8 lbs per gallon which (not counting the weight of the tank) adds up to:

Gals Lbs
30 - 240
40 - 320
60 - 480
80 - 640

On a E-350 based motorhome you probably do not have capacity to add 300 to 400 lbs of additional weight to the back of the coach.
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Old 06-22-2014, 12:07 AM   #13
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Just be mindfull that the coach builder may have put in a smaller tank because the coach body put too much weight on the chassis to carry that and 80 gallons of fuel.

Liquids are roughly 8 lbs per gallon which (not counting the weight of the tank) adds up to:

Gals Lbs
30 - 240
40 - 320
60 - 480
80 - 640

On a E-350 based motorhome you probably do not have capacity to add 300 to 400 lbs of additional weight to the back of the coach.
Gasoline only weighs 6 pounds per gallon. Diesel is right at 7.1 for #1 and 7.6 for #2 pounds per gallon. Water is 8.34 pounds per gallon at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Old 06-22-2014, 01:17 AM   #14
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Subford - Thanks for the reply AND the pdf. I think that my gage system is much older than what is shown in the pdf. There is no dial gage, either in the RV or on the tank. The LP gage is combined with the battery state of charge. Press the toggle switch up and battery is shown by a vertical line moving across the gage showing the battery state of charge. Press the toggle switch down and the same vertical line moves to show the LP amount (supposedly). The battery state of charge seems to work as it increases or decreases as the battery is charged or discharged. But the LP is always completely full - and the LP tank hasn't been filled, except by the dealer or previous owner before I purchased the RV in December last year. - and we have used the RV for at least 30 days since then.
And James - Although I am new to land based RVing I have had a marine RV (a 39 foot sailboat) since 1978, have made a few passages, including to and from Hawaii, most of 4 years in the Sea of Cortez, and multiple times up and down the Pacific coast of California and Baja. We used LP for cooking only. We refilled the 20# tank 3 times in that 4 years. That is why I wondered why it shows NO use. Maybe we don't cook enough in the RV.
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