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Old 09-23-2020, 09:06 AM   #1
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My first stupid question: Propane

I just signed up on this forum and made a promise on the New Members thread to the community that, as a newbie, I would bombard them with lots of stupid questions.

OK, I'll back off and try not to bombard. But I would be remiss if I didn't post at least one dumb question on my first day. It's about something I've been musing over since I'm considering doing a bit of dry camping in a Class B van this winter.

The propane tanks on these vans are pretty small, and I anticipate the furnace will use fuel prodigiously.

So, first of all, where do you get the propane tank filled up? It seems to me gas stations and hardware stores these days deal with propane by swapping out 20lb grill tanks, not filling up RV built-in tanks. I have no idea about how to go about obtaining LP.

Secondly, is it safe to carry extra propane in one of those 20 lb tanks? Where would you secure it in a van? If you had a MH with exterior storage compartments, would you dare put a propane tank in them?

And... if you do carry a spare propane tank, it is possible to hook it to the RV gas intake to cook and heat with?

That's it... no more stupid questions today!
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:29 AM   #2
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Thatís more than one.

You can find propane at most campgrounds, FlyingJ/Pilot locations, and Tractor Supply stores. Iím sure there are others that I have not mentioned that someone else will.

I carry extra 20 lb regularly. I usually put in a storage compartment and secure it in such a way that it cannot move around.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:43 AM   #3
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Many hardware stores fill propane tanks, as do most U-Haul rental centers. Depending on how your on-board tank is configured there are adapters which allow you to easily connect an external 20-lbs tank to it for extra capacity.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:53 AM   #4
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USMCRET has basically answered your questions. Additionally, the portable tank should not be stored inside a van where passengers are located, if possible. If it must be inside, it needs to be secured so it cannot move, in an upright position, and as far from passengers as can be found.

There are several devices, like the Extend-A-Stay, that can be plumbed into your current system that allow a portable tank to your current set up.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:54 AM   #5
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Yup, most larger campgrounds have propane filling stations. In addition, there's just about always a local propane company that will do the job for you!
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:56 AM   #6
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Thank you, folks, for those great answers-- All your comments were extremely helpful!
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:57 AM   #7
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I've stored spare tanks in exterior compartments. Just make sure you secure them from rolling around. Keep in mind that they're flammable and the RVs tend to make excellent kindling.

As answered, any RV park, some storage facilities, etc. Look for any business that advertises LP sold here and give them a call. It shouldn't be too hard to find.
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Old 09-23-2020, 09:59 AM   #8
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You can store them in a compartment but it is supposed to be vented. A slightly leaking tank in an unvented compartment could be bad under the right circumstances. Unlikely but possible.
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:01 AM   #9
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20# LP Cylinder ---- Milk Crate (Home Depot etc)
Great containment
Store in outside compartment etc
DO NOT Carry/Store INSIDE RV....should relief valve open vapor cloud under high pressure
DO NOT Carry/Store on it's side...should relief valve open LIQUID Propane spews out

Is your LP Tank service/vapor valve, fill valve, 'bleeder' valve etc right at side of RV?
do you have a 'remote' panel and tank is mounted inboard between frame rails?
Stay awhile/extend a stay propane adapters can be installed between service/vapor valve and Main Regulator which allow connecting an external propane vessel
Ease of install depends on LP Tank location
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Old 09-23-2020, 10:04 AM   #10
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The best propane prices/service is UHaul and Tractor supply. Note prices vary from location to location. We have two Tractor supply's near us and the price difference could/has been up to 15 cents/gallon.
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Old 09-23-2020, 03:07 PM   #11
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Local equipment rental yards may have propane in bulk for refilling.
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Old 09-23-2020, 03:26 PM   #12
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You can usually find propane at a Love's truck stop and many others have it. In rural areas, propane vendors are common but you will have to get it during normal business hours.

To connect that extra propane bottle, you will need a connection installed into the RV which you can get at most RV supply stores or from Amazon if you wish.
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:05 PM   #13
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Campgrounds were mentioned as being places to get propane refilled. Just to clarify, I've never come across a COE, National Forest, or State Park, at least here in Texas, that offered this service.

In my experience, most of the local propane service companies are good places to go because they typically have a person or two that routinely does the filling. In other words, hopefully they've done it enough to know what they're doing..

I'd definitely call ahead to make sure.
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Old 09-23-2020, 06:21 PM   #14
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Campground I'm currently at has a propane station. They know what they are doing. Some of these seasonal folk been here 40 years!
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