My MH's propane tank has some exterior rust and corrosion on it. It's half full now and everything works fine, but I'm concerned I might have trouble getting it filled. s that an expensive thing to replace if I had to?
This is one of those questions where I do not feel giving advice other than "SPEAK TO A PROFESSIONAL"
So, I'm going to tell you to check with propane tank certification places near you (Ask any propane dealer and they SHOULD be able to either 1: Point you to a re-cert center or 2: Loan you a copy of the local yellow pages)
Light rust and corrosion can, as I understand it (Note disclaimer) often be simply removed and re-painted with rust control paint.
Serious corrosion calls for replacement... Explainging the difference between minor and serious is not something I can do so it goes back to the top line. SEEK PROFESSIONAL ADVICE.
Rust on the tank shell is not a major problem - it's plenty thick. Wire brush or sand it down and re-paint. Corrosion around any valve or other fitting is potentially a major problem and could cause an alert technician to refuse to fill the tank. See a gas pro if in any doubt.
Some motorhome tanks are not terribly expensive to replace - depends on how common the size is and how it is attached, None of them are exactly cheap, though.
I must have ran through some very corrosive material last winter, because this past spring when I was going to get the propane tank refilled it was completely rusted. It was a Manchester 36 gallon tank that was powder coated and 90 percent of the coating was flaking off. I took the coach to Suburban Propane and had their guys look at it. They recommended taking it to an auto body shop, having it sand blasted and repainted. Tried three different places with the same results, "No way our we going to be liable if we repaint and it explodes in a week". So to the tune of $600.00, purchased a new tank. Installed it myself. Now the old tank is setting in my back yard, none of the local land fills will accept it.
Having inspected my propane tank, I think I'm going to have to replace it...there does seem to be heavier corrosion around the tank fittings. As money is a major issue for me does anyone have any advice on tank replacement?
There are places that will take a propane tank, however I don't know where they are so can't help you there. Ask your propane supplier.
Sand blasters are not expensive, and I'd not be surprised to find it's a dual bottle (but then I don't know)
The question to replace or repaint is not an easy one, It requires knowledge of things I just can not see long distance and can not properly describe for measurement. This is why Professional help is suggested.
It may be a simple clean and repaint is enough. And your propane supplier may well know someone who does that work. BUT. Most of those places won't work on it INSIDE the rig, you will have to remove it.
Provided the corrosion isn't too bad and you can safely shut off the large tank valve, you should be able to use the Extend-a-Stay. It installs between the main tank valve and the regulator, so everything should work o.k. from a portable tank. Installation can be a bit of a challenge if there is not enough slack in the flexible hose from the regulator. You may have to buy some gas fittings and/or gas tubing with fittings on them already to get everything to fit. The Extend-a-Stay will add about 4" between the main valve and the regulator.