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RVing message boards => General Discussion => Topic started by: Gary RV_Wizard on November 26, 2012, 07:58:34 AM

Title: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on November 26, 2012, 07:58:34 AM
I came across a really excellent article on propane basics as they apply to RVs and written in layman's terms.   It covers all the practical aspects of propane valves, differences in fixed ASME tanks vs DOT portable cylinders, fire safety, and such without a lot of technobabble. Written by Derek Gore, aka RV Roadie, I highly recommend it to all RVers.

http://home.earthlink.net/~derekgore/rvroadiervfulltimingwhatisitreallylike/id44.html
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Ned on November 26, 2012, 08:18:21 AM
Excellent article.  It dispels some common misconceptions and reinforces much of the advice we've been giving for years.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: n7qvu on November 26, 2012, 08:22:26 AM
Great article. Recommend for ALL RVers.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Hfx_Cdn on November 26, 2012, 09:03:12 AM
    Thanks Gary, it is a good article, and as promised it is in language that is easily understood.  It answered some questions I had as to why the different requirements between cylinders and the RV Tank.

Ed
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: garyb1st on November 26, 2012, 09:10:24 AM
Great find.  Addressed several of my concerns.

A quick read of the link on the left margin "Technical Articles" suggests more than 400 articles and posts he has already included or plans to include on the site.  If they are written as well, it will make a great resource for many newbies.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: cdat on November 26, 2012, 09:37:36 AM
Great article for folks like me with no real knowledge of propane equipment.  I think this would make a nice sticky, or at least the link be included in the "article" section. 
Thanks for posting this Gary, much appreciated.

JT
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: PatrioticStabilist on February 05, 2013, 05:47:12 PM
My motorhome is old a 1992.  It has an oddball connector that very few propane people have seen, so it causes me problems getting it filled.

You turn off the supply valve, then open the valve at the top then when you hook up the connection to the propane and push up a red button under the valve.  This allows it to vent and I guess expels air so it can take propane.  Wonder if I could have the valve changed or do I just live with it.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on February 05, 2013, 07:47:12 PM
Most tank vents unscrew, but I guess yours has a red push button to open it?  I've not seen one like that, but as long as you can tell the tech who is filling the tank where/how to open the vent, it shouldn't be a problem.  The tank must have a vent open in order to pump in more liquid LPG when filling. It is venting LPG vapor, not air.

Surely you don't have to fill with LPG that often, do you?
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: PatrioticStabilist on February 08, 2013, 07:46:45 PM
I've only filled it about 3 times, but I have 2 furnaces and a propane water heater and fridge.  A 10 gallon water heater.

Again when Tom gets time, those famous words for us, he is going to replace the hot rodd.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Shadow Catcher on March 06, 2013, 05:35:38 PM
A very in depth, RVIA standards document http://www.bustropolis.com/files/download/RV%20LP%20tank%20information.pdf This helped me decide I did not have to stick with "black iron" gas pipe when I wanted to replace, I used copper.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Lizza1975 on March 10, 2013, 12:14:33 AM
This newbie learned! Thank-you! :D
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: PatrioticStabilist on March 28, 2013, 01:52:57 AM
I got the valve replaced in Florida thought I would add it here.  The shop was familiar with it and they also knew how to change it out so now I have one like the other motorhomes.  Oh happy day!
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Maddie on March 28, 2013, 06:15:43 AM
Thanks, Gary.

That reminds me of a friend who wanted her house propane service to fill up her MH.  They hemmed and hawed and finally told her they weren't allowed to do that unless the MH was off the ground with no tires touching!  She used another service. Has anyone ever heard of this?
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: John From Detroit on March 29, 2013, 10:26:25 AM
Have read a lot of articles and such on Propane in Motor homes.. Usually I can find several faults with the article,

Here is the list of faults I found on the first read in this article:

(Null List)

Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: herdav on February 22, 2014, 08:10:05 AM
Great article Gary!! Thanks for the link!
Herm
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: John T on March 15, 2014, 10:46:28 AM
Maddie,

My home service filled my MH tank this year. Saved me about $3.00 a gallon, as it was simply added to the home delivery.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: murphysranch on March 16, 2014, 02:46:07 PM
Interesting. The author mentions running the propane refer while motoring along. I thought it was illegal for the propane refer to be on in our TT in Calif.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: John From Detroit on March 16, 2014, 04:30:44 PM
My motorhome is old a 1992.  It has an oddball connector that very few propane people have seen, so it causes me problems getting it filled.

You turn off the supply valve, then open the valve at the top then when you hook up the connection to the propane and push up a red button under the valve.  This allows it to vent and I guess expels air so it can take propane.  Wonder if I could have the valve changed or do I just live with it.

I often hear this "Expells air so it can take on propane" thing

That is the visual overfill indicator valve,  Often called the spitter valve cause it "Spits" liquid propane which forms a dense white cloud when the tank is full.. There is no air in your tank and has not been any air in it since the first purge and fill however many years ago you bought it.

But (You did not say this) I have heard "You have to let the air out because you can't compress air so if you don't let the air out no propane can get in".. Uh,, How come I have an AIR COMPRESSOR in my basement if you can not compress air.. I mean that's elementary school physics.. But you did not post that one at least.

On most motor home tanks it is a triangular thing,, THink three letter C's around a shaft, 

On portable tanks it is a screw.


Grew up with 100 pound cylinders,  Used to have to refill one on occasion at the local propane store.  We used scales back then.  Remember that.

Good article..

Oh, and for the person who mentioned something like "He seems to advocate running firdge on road".

I did not see that, I saw him address the issue for those who do, but I did not see him recommend doing it.. Just acknowledging many (myself included) do.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: MN Blue Skies on March 16, 2014, 07:43:27 PM
Excellent article.  Bookmarked it for future reference.  Thanks for sharing.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: cymro on April 12, 2014, 11:57:07 AM
Hi there, I'm not sure if this is the correct place to ask this question ......

I see that you can buy adaptor valves to refill 1 lb disposable propane bottles from larger refillable bottles. Does anyone have experience with these and are they considered safe?
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: millartist on April 12, 2014, 03:57:34 PM
great article, I feel better about leaving my propane appliances running now. I always thought daddy was crazy to leave them on I guess I was wrong.
reply to Cymro, I have not used them I have seen them for sale and wondered about the safety aspect. I found a small 5lb (? I think) tank at the Habitat store and purchased it for my grill it has a flat bottom so it sets on the ground or picnic table very well.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Marty45 on October 29, 2014, 04:47:02 PM
New to forum and learning a lot. Just ran across this one and had a question. Some where I thought I read that tanks have to be inspected/certified every so many years. Is that true and if so how often and by who? Thanks!
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Hfx_Cdn on October 29, 2014, 05:52:11 PM
    Hi Marty, welcome to the forum.  I'm sure those who know the exact rules will chime in, but it is only the smaller tanks that need to be refreshed every 10 years, I think it has something to do with the connection on the top of the tank, which is very different from the fill and use connections on a Motor Home.

Ed
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Marty45 on October 29, 2014, 06:29:47 PM
Thank you. I have done all levels of camping and traveled many ways. Even rented RV's a couple of times. Now I am aiming for full timing now that I can. Learning all I can. Thanks again.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: NY_Dutch on November 05, 2014, 08:51:51 AM
The portable DOT cylinders used on most travel trailers require periodic recertification. The ASME permanently installed tanks typically used on motorhomes do not require recertification in the US. I seem to recall that Canada does require some sort of periodic inspection for those, but I could be mistaken.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Alfa38User on November 05, 2014, 09:06:55 AM
DOT cylinders in Canada follow similar rules (7 years, I think) but I have yet to find a place to re-certify an already owned cylinder. All the propane suppliers around here want to sell a 'new' one (which may end up being a re-certified unit although it looks new and is completely re-painted). I do know of one  'wholesaler' that supposedly does the re-furbishing but I have not used him myself.

I don't know for sure about ASME certified tanks but I have never heard of an inspection being required here.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: bestyett on October 19, 2015, 05:21:32 PM
Great article, thanks. As a newbie, I'm curious as to best way to transport a 40 lbbcylinder to use for grilling?

Thanks

Bestyett
2015 36' Holiday Rambler Vacationer
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on October 19, 2015, 09:21:54 PM
You already asked that question in another topic, so let's keep all the answers in one place.

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,88990.0/topicseen.html
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Papachazz on October 19, 2015, 09:29:11 PM
Great article Gary. Thanks for posting it.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: MusicIsMotion on November 02, 2015, 08:36:52 PM
Sorry, another newbie here.  That's quite a bit of reading and I appreciate the article - I will read it through when I've some more time.  Quick question if it's okay to inquire here.  Is it safe to connect an extension hose to the RV tank fill valve to feed a Magellan two-head outdoor propane heater?  I'd like to use my big tank to fuel it during these cooler months while I sit outside under the awning.  I realize this is probably a silly question but some quality feedback to ease my mind about it would be appreciated.  Thanks so much!
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on November 02, 2015, 09:15:53 PM
There are both high and low pressure LP hoses. If the extension is after the regulator, then the gas pressure is very low and no problem. If you run a hose from tank to a remote regulator, you need either gas pipe or high pressure hose because the line is basically operating at tank pressure. I've used low pressure extensions as long as 20 ft.

If you are talking about a fixed LP tank in a motorhome (as opposed to DOT portable LP bottles), you cannot connect anything to the "RV tank fill valve" (fill port). There is a separate outlet port of an fixed (ASME) LP tank to make connections. Normally that outlet is piped to a regulator and any further connections are made after the regulator.

Sorry I could not give a simple answer, but I did not want to risk a simple yes or no when the question is somewhat vague.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: malexander on March 01, 2016, 08:30:57 PM
The fill valve on the large tanks should only let the gas go one direction. Now I know there's only one valve on the 25, 30, 100# tanks, but the larger ones, strapped to the frame(s) of MHs, atleast all the ones I've seen, basically have a check valve in the fill "hole".
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: fortsmithman on March 16, 2016, 01:40:18 PM
I used to work at a store here in Canada that did propane cylinder exchanges, and we could not accept a cylinder that was 10 years or older, unless it was re certified.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: justhavefun on March 19, 2016, 07:43:19 AM
Hello everyone I'm new to this site but not to camping. We have been camping from tents to pop-up camping since our first in 2012 with over 20 more days more of planned camping trips this year and with 6 nights already camped this year. We are fixing to up grade to a new Laredo 330rl TT. And I am just doing my homework on how to transport food we now use a cooler or shop close to campsite just because its difficult to find the time to open camper and get frig cold before leaving (unless we are going on a long distance camping trip) our camper is a 3 way but just a pain to turn it on. After everything I have read on running with propane on and re frig running. I am going to travel with re frig running (except while at gas station) the propane lines and flames are not inside campers but outside and I will always be running with a roof vent open to keep it cooler and don't believe that the propane could get to dangerous levels to fear an explosion. I have come across a good article that explains camper propane systems and safety I put a link below


http://home.earthlink.net/~derekgore/rvroadiervfulltimingwhatisitreallylike/id44.html



http://home.earthlink.net/~derekgore/rvroadiervfulltimingwhatisitreallylike/id44.html :)
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: suza on May 22, 2016, 09:54:56 PM
There are both high and low pressure LP hoses. If the extension is after the regulator, then the gas pressure is very low and no problem. If you run a hose from tank to a remote regulator, you need either gas pipe or high pressure hose because the line is basically operating at tank pressure. I've used low pressure extensions as long as 20 ft.

If you are talking about a fixed LP tank in a motorhome (as opposed to DOT portable LP bottles), you cannot connect anything to the "RV tank fill valve" (fill port). There is a separate outlet port of an fixed (ASME) LP tank to make connections. Normally that outlet is piped to a regulator and any further connections are made after the regulator.

Sorry I could not give a simple answer, but I did not want to risk a simple yes or no when the question is somewhat vague.

Our old RV had an exterior propane valve for hooking up a gas grill.  We never used it as we have a Baby Webber charcoal BBQ.  We were confused as to what you can actually hook up to the connection which I understand is regulated.  Some grills have built in regulators and some don't?  Hooking up an already regulated grill would result in too low of pressure to operate?

Our new RV (MH) also has the outdoor port.  We intend to still use the Webber BBQ, but wondering if a propane camp stove that operates off a disposable cylinder can be connected to it with a quick connect hose, or does the camp stove have its own regulator?  It is confusing.

Here is the stove we have: http://www.sears.com/texsport-propane-stove-super-high-output/p-00644413000P?sid=IDx01192011x000001&gclid=CjwKEAjwsYW6BRCTzvu5y8DPhi0SJABnGLlHIkSR0S0MNBp5HgtPNH8_tiqpLTyLIE8ajCXecDZLsxoCgpHw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds (http://www.sears.com/texsport-propane-stove-super-high-output/p-00644413000P?sid=IDx01192011x000001&gclid=CjwKEAjwsYW6BRCTzvu5y8DPhi0SJABnGLlHIkSR0S0MNBp5HgtPNH8_tiqpLTyLIE8ajCXecDZLsxoCgpHw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds)


Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: pnkdmnd on April 04, 2017, 03:41:49 PM
Thank you for the article! I am new at the RV life and I have been very uncomfortable at using the gas but this makes me feel a little better.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: NomadDonna on April 06, 2017, 07:02:32 PM
Anyone know why my frig works fine on 110/generator but not on propane?(it gets. 'Behind' in hot weather....had cleaned 3 separate times/places
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: John From Detroit on April 07, 2017, 08:21:50 AM
Mine is the other way around... Suspects include the burner orifice (Clogged) burner adjustment (Clean blue flame, no red or yellow please, no smoke) Clogged flu, bird's nest upper end, mud daubbers, et-al.   Beyond that all i can suggest is the addition of fans both outside and in.. Fans inside tend to reduce ice build up on the fins and circulate cold better

Fans outside help with the cooling.. I have 2 of each.   All are standard computer type fans (like the power supply fan on your desktop)
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: NomadDonna on April 13, 2017, 06:37:34 PM
OK thnx..... but shouldn t cleaning have uncovered this? I paid them about $70 ....3 times....shouldn t it have been covered?   
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: denmarc on April 14, 2017, 02:43:28 AM
OK thnx..... but shouldn t cleaning have uncovered this? I paid them about $70 ....3 times....shouldn t it have been covered?

It depends. You mentioned that the fridge lacks in cooling during hot weather. How hot are we talking? Descriptions of temperature can be described in a variety of relative terms. That all depends on where you are and what you're accustom to.

My suggestion...
Put a fridge thermometer inside for a few days on 110v/genny and record the temps. under normal use. Then switch over to LP and do the same. That should give you a good average interior temp using both power sources.
Post your findings.

Lets find out just what the temp difference is between the two and go from there.
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: NomadDonna on April 17, 2017, 10:44:00 AM
Items....I keep a thermometer in fridge now and because I LIVE in my RV, I m able to monitor constantly: here s some notes: I live in Southern cal, during the winter, it's fine but when the temp climbs to 80 ish is when I watch food; when it gets to 90+, I ve been moving a couple items to the freezer(the temp climbs to 70 in-- i m careful to keep all meat frozen)..... I did check while plugged in (rare) and the temp went up 20 degrees in 3 hours....... So pretty sure I m on track there. I ordered an orifice from Dometic now, will have that replaced next..... What do you think will come of that?
Title: Re: Propane 101 - an excellent article for laymen & Rvers
Post by: H5-Phil on May 28, 2017, 11:38:20 AM
We tow a 2004 Alumascape TT (Holiday Rambler).  We have NEVER traveled with the refrigerator running.  In fact, we turn off the propane at the tanks.  We've been on the road for 12+ hours in hot weather and items in the freezer are still frozen and still cold in the fridge (and I'm a stickler for a cold beer after a long drive ;).  This might seem like overkill but it eliminates having to turn off the propane during fueling and gives us peace of mind on the road.


Phil & Karen