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Author Topic: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup  (Read 3611 times)

rice40

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Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« on: May 04, 2015, 04:26:42 PM »
I currently have a single propane tank mounted on the tongue of my 2006 Fleetwood Santa Fe and am getting ready to install a second.  I have seen the dual regulator kits with auto switching but was looking into doing it differently.  Rather than spending $40 on this kit, is there any reason why I can't buy a 1/4 NPT brass tee for $2.49 from Home Depot and an extra Pigtail?  I'm not worried about being able to fill one while using the other or about running out of propane on a trip.  I prefer to have them work together as a single tank.  Since I haven't seen anyone mention this way of installing a second tank, can anyone tell me if there is a reason why it won't work?

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2015, 04:46:08 PM »
No problem with a simple Tee, but most people like the convenience of the auto-changeover (they don't wake up freezing on a cold night!) and the ability to get one filled while the other is in use. They make manual changeover Tees as well. Two pigtails and a Tee with a manual lever to switch from Tank 31 to #2. About $50.  I'm not sure that a Tee, fittings and another pigtail will be a whole lot less, maybe $30-$35?

Or buy just an auto-changeover valve (about $30) and add the second pigtail.
http://www.amazon.com/Camco-59005-Double-Stage-Auto-Changeover-Regulator/dp/B0024ECBCA
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Rene T

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2015, 06:08:26 PM »
And how about being in the middle of cooking a meal for a bunch of hungry animals and you run out. You'll have no way of monitoring the levels.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

blw2

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2015, 10:55:45 AM »
I never had the need for a second tank on my popup, since we didn't use that much LP
 but for under $30 I would just go for the auto valve most likely....

What I did was keep multiple tanks around for the grille and such.  Keep an eye on the tank and before heading out I'd make sure I had the fullest tank on the pup.... keeps from hauling around all that extra weight unnecessarily...

The upshot would be completely emptying the tank to avoid short fills.....

Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

vanjr

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2015, 09:20:50 AM »
We are all different, but I removed the 2nd propane tank from my pop-up after I finally checked my levels (after several trips) and had barely used part of 1 tank. We only use it for cooking. Not sure if our refrig works (on propane or electricity-we just store dishes in it and use a yeti) and I have no idea how to even turn on the furnace (we live in S Tx). I think I could go several years with one tank at this rate!

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2015, 10:01:49 AM »
The downside of an auto-changeover is that you never notice when one tank is empty and keep right on going until both are emptied. The manual changeover forces you to become aware! And it only delays dinner about two minutes.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

rice40

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2015, 02:58:36 PM »
Thank you for all the insight.  I'm new to this forum so hopefully the picture of the tee I'm using was attached properly.  I live in Southern California so I doubt we'll be using the heater much and probably don't even need a 2nd tank.  I'm just lazy and don't want to worry about filling it often and since the pup came with extra j brackets, I figured why not?  We're just using it for the stove, bbq, and 3 way fridge and the heater occationally.  Two tanks will probably last me a year so I'm not worried about waking up in the middle of the night without heat.  The tank I'm adding has a built in gauge so I really want them to work as a single tank which I'm hoping the tee will do.  Plus the $2.49 price of this tee is nice.  Not being an expert on propane adapters, I just want to make sure this will work and that there isn't some reason why I need a changeover device.

blw2

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2015, 03:36:29 PM »
Unless you are a very heavy user for some reason, I think you'll find a single 15# tank will last you a long long time....
I'd say a tank would last me a couple seasons in North Florida of light recreational weekend camping.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
’13 Thor Chateau 31L Class C on Ford E-450
'06 Silverado
'05 Rockwood Freedom 1910 (5-1/2 years)
former tent campers

rice40

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2015, 04:00:21 PM »
I don't think I'll be a heavy user, just seems nice to have so I don't have to think about it.  $25 for a tank and $20 for the tee and an extra hose, why not?  You never know when we'll get into some cold weather and need to use the furnace. 

vanjr

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2015, 08:45:58 AM »
I don't think I'll be a heavy user, just seems nice to have so I don't have to think about it.  $25 for a tank and $20 for the tee and an extra hose, why not?  You never know when we'll get into some cold weather and need to use the furnace.

Certainly you can do it if you like. The reason for me to remove one of the two on my popup was just weight. I had used my camper for several years and thought I better go get my tanks filled cause I am sure at least one had to be empty, but when they checked my levels one was full and the other was 2/3s full. Here was another 30-50 lbs of weight I was lugging around when I would never, ever use it. At my consumption rate I could check once a year and not even use half of one tank. But if it gives you peace of mind or you enjoy the project go for it. I am not a particular "weight weenie" about how much I carry but would rather bring 50 lbs of firewood or other stuff that I know I need camping than a propane tank I will not use.

Rene T

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2015, 10:29:05 AM »
I am not a particular "weight weenie" about how much I carry but would rather bring 50 lbs of firewood or other stuff that I know I need camping than a propane tank I will not use.

Or a couple cases of beer.   ;D  For me, I'd rather have the extra tank. It's no different than my grill at home. I have an extra tank in case I run out. I was a Boy Scout and the motto was "Be prepared".
« Last Edit: May 07, 2015, 10:31:01 AM by Rene T »
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

rice40

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2015, 04:23:48 PM »
I have a cargo carrier on the back of the trailer for firewood, small generator, etc that should offset some of the weight on the tongue so I'm really not worried about tongue weight.  I've already made the decision to add the extra tank, just want to make sure the tee will work and if so will the built in gauge work for both?

Alfa38User

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Re: Adding a second propane tank to my Fleetwood Popup
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2015, 09:26:43 AM »
If the guage is one of those that fit on the tank output, no it will not work for both unless you arrange the fittings properly. I have one like that on a tank and do not find it to be very accurate. Yes, it tells me when the tank is empty alright but usually only confirms it after I find out the hard way. The best (or perhaps, the most accurate way!) way to know how much gas you have left is to weigh the tank. The empty weight is stamped into the tank neck guard. For a 20 or 30 lb tank a simple fish scale should be accurate enough. ( For example: a 30 lb tank weighs about 56 lbs when full and 26 lbs when empty...) FWIW, YMMV.....
« Last Edit: May 08, 2015, 09:28:48 AM by Alfa38User »
Stu
Montréal, Canada 🍁
Snowbird, Naples Florida
Alfa Gold 38 (2000) 5ver (parked!)

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