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Old 10-27-2021, 11:29 AM   #1
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Propane minimum purchase?

I have an on board 13 gal ASME propane tank. My inside panel showed 66% so I thought I'd top it off for the next trip. Little did I know our local propane dealer has a minimum, even though it only took 2 gallons I paid just under $15. Is this the norm? In the past I have always had portable tanks so never bought such a small amount before.
(I do realize that my 13 gallon tank really only can hold 10.4 gallons)
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:35 AM   #2
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Do you have any other options? I use a local hardware store that has a bulk tank. Priced by the gallon - no minimum.

Edit - Usually minimums are for delivery. Did they come to you?
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigb56 View Post
I have an on board 13 gal ASME propane tank. My inside panel showed 66% so I thought I'd top it off for the next trip. Little did I know our local propane dealer has a minimum, even though it only took 2 gallons I paid just under $15. Is this the norm? In the past I have always had portable tanks so never bought such a small amount before.
(I do realize that my 13 gallon tank really only can hold 10.4 gallons)
I had the same experience many years ago when I had a small portable tank I wanted filled. The dealer mentioned that there would be a minimum charge for such a small tank.


Sounds like a dealer's decision to justify the time/effort for a tech to dispense the fuel. Can't think of any other reason except than whenever propane is dispensed, there will be some loss through the bleeder valve and this justifies a minimum sale.
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Old 10-27-2021, 11:50 AM   #4
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They didn't come to me, I drove there. I realize there are costs for the supplier and I don't begrudge the minimum charge, I am only curious because if this is the norm I will be more careful in the future to let it deplete more before filling.
Yes I could have gone to U-Haul but I had an argument with them once when I had my Lance truck camper because they insisted it was OK to fill a horizontal tank while it was sitting vertical so I started only going to the pros after that. I could just go to U-Haul next time, they can hardly screw up filling a permanently mounted tank.

It occurred to me that maybe the minimum was put into place to help curb hoarding and constant topping off after the news about an expected propane shortage this season.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:11 PM   #5
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At our parks we went to a minimum charge after we discovered people liked to top off their tanks whenever the weather was the worst. When it is 38 degrees and raining it just isn’t profitable to crawl under a VW camper van to put in three fifths of a gallon of propane. Our minimum was the equivalent to filling an empty 20 lb cylinder.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:21 PM   #6
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Propane minimum

Not all places are like that. Mostly when it comes to 5 gal tanks there might be one. Uhaul and Tractor supply donít where I have gone. TS just opens their gate and you can back in which is convenient. Travato John
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:22 PM   #7
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I think that you may be correct about the minimum being instituted as a curb on "topping off." I had forgotten about the propane supply situation and the impending cold weather.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:25 PM   #8
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Have come across places that have a minimum charge or charge by actual gallons.....and with portable cylinders charged by weight

It's a 'free' market..............



As for 'horizontal' cylinders.
Some must be filled horizontally
Some must be filled vertically
All depends on the 'horizontal' cylinder design
*Usually a Red Sticker stating "Use, transport and fill this tank in the proper horizontal position".
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:27 PM   #9
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Yeah, they just don't want to do it.
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Old 10-27-2021, 12:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old-Biscuit View Post
Have come across places that have a minimum charge or charge by actual gallons.....and with portable cylinders charged by weight

It's a 'free' market..............



As for 'horizontal' cylinders.
Some must be filled horizontally
Some must be filled vertically
All depends on the 'horizontal' cylinder design
*Usually a Red Sticker stating "Use, transport and fill this tank in the proper horizontal position".
Mine had a sticker saying to fill while horizontal and the very young kid at U-Haul said he fills them standing up all the time. I made him lay it down after I was told by a pro that filling it vertical could result in an overfill and a frozen regulator. Believe it or not a couple filled their propane at that same U-Haul then went into the Fry's grocery store a block away, while they were in the grocery store buying their food the fridge caught on fire and they lost the whole rig out there in the Fry's parking lot. I don't know if it was from an overfill but it was awfully coincidental and why I like to go to the pros.
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