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Old 11-30-2010, 02:08 PM   #1
KE5ZRT
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Default Portable LP Tanks

I have an onboard LP tank (23 gallons I think) and it is getting expensive to get it filled every two weeks. The delivery charge is $10 on top of the fuel price. I am going to upgrade to a catalytic heater next payday, and that will reduce my fuel consumption significantly. But I think I can get a better deal from the propane cylinder exchange from my local grocery store. Then we wouldn't have to pay the delivery fee, and we wouldn't have to wait around all afternoon for the delivery guy to show up. I don't want to commit to a large 200-300 gallon tank.

Is it possible to plumb in these exchangeable cylinders? What concerns might there be?

Here is a photo of my existing tank:

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Old 11-30-2010, 03:12 PM   #2
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There is such a thing as an 80 pound tank. You can get them at Home Depot or Tractor Supply stores. When on the road, you could rent a storage locker for those and other things you don't want to drag around. And I bet the LP truck would come and fill that big of a tank without a problem.
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Old 12-01-2010, 07:31 PM   #3
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Default Propane adapters

Camping World has them. They are called Stay-a-while. Tee's into your propane line. You can use portable tanks that way.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:55 AM   #4
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Why not get a 2nd tank, or even two smaller tanks, and haul them to the refill station yourslf.. Generally this eliminates the delivery charge (your 23 gallon tank is what, about 100 pounds of Propane plus 80 pounds of tank.. Kind of heavy....... but I've lugged those so I know it can be done.. A 50 pounder would be easier to lug though).
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:43 AM   #5
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Default Lp tanks

I made up a "T" valve arrangement (sort of) , Isolation valve on the MH tank side and another on the "AUXILIARY" tank side so that I can isolate either or both tank's as desired .
Coming off the auxiliary valve I have a 6 foot length of rubber pressure hose terminating to a regular common gas grill regulator and fitting.
We carry a extra 20 pound bottle (or two) and use them when long terming at my son's or daughters.
May not be as cost efficient in some way's but is a whole lot easier to D/X at the locale "stop & rob" , and a whole lot easier on my back.

73, John
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Old 12-03-2010, 09:53 AM   #6
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I use a Marshall Brass "Extend-a-Stay" the Camping world Stay-a-while seems to be a decent "Knock off" I do recommend getting a quality adapter for reasons I'll explain.. I've seen some that scare me.

The Extend-a-stay contains check valves,, It has an inlet (Mine is POL male fitting) an outlet (POL-Female) a "Quick Disconnect" outlet (Like the Extend-a-flow this looks like the top of a 1 pound throw away grill bottle more in a sec) and finally it has an "inlet" this is a special small (Roughly 1/4 inch threaded) fitting.

All inlets have check valves to insure gas does not flow from either tank to the other tank. This also insures no gas (Well only a tiny amount) escapes when you disconnect the external (luggable) tank. My only complaint is the hose is too short... This is easily fixed by a propane distributor or... Use a short tank.

I believe there is also an excess flow valve in the adapter but can not prove that .. This valve closes should you blow a gas line down "stream" of the valve.

I promised more on the quick disocnnect.
Kit comes with a 10' Extension hose (male and female QD fittings) so you can run your Gas Grill off the main tank.> Works great.. I also got a 2nd 10 foot hose cause 10' is not always.. Enough.

On the scary ones

I've seen some that were nothing more than a T-fitting with a manual valve in the line or sometimes not even that.. You disconnect the external tank w/o turning off both tanks and gas jets out.. That simple, Very dangerous....

Where as the Extend-a-stay IMPROVES safety.. The el-cheapo, was dangerous.

I'm very happy with my Extend-a-stay.. have used it a few times in the "Emergency out of gas" mode... Normally use it to fire the external Coleman Grill though.
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Old 12-03-2010, 10:28 AM   #7
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Thanks for all of the advice and input! That's exactly what I was looking for.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:33 PM   #8
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The valve system I put in is pretty simple, I did use "BALL TYPE" valves and brass fittings made by "Swage-Lok" (makes it very hard not to see which tank is valved in and which is not).
Also takes advantage of the pressure relief (blow back) on both regulators, simple rule is that "If You Smell Gas for More Than A Few Seconds" after switching then you'd better be checking to see what ain't right !
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:12 AM   #9
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The problem with any MANUAL valve arrangement is the chance, Low that it may be, of leaving both valves open with no external tank.

The Extend-A-Stay and the Stay-A-While both use automatic check valves to prevent just that from happeing.

This is why home made systems frankly scare me. I don't wish to be parked within 100 yards of a home made system. But I've no problem with the Extend-A-Stay. Use one myself.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:40 AM   #10
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Not trying to start an argument or be a "wise A$$" here BUT, having retired from power production after 25 years I have seen many "automatic" "fool-proof"valves (both high and low pressure) fail.
Give me a good "ball type" valve with a handle that one can SEE what position it's in any day.
One thing I have come to miss trust under any conditions is a "QUICK COUPLER" of any kind, they all leak through at some point and a low pressure situation is the worst .
The real point in switching pressure systems of any kind is "presence of mind" , if you are in any way distracted or otherwise impaired , you most likely should not be doing the job in the first place.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:35 AM   #11
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Oh, I agree an automatic valve can fail.. (And Marshall Brass supplies a solution to that problem for the Portable INLET valve.. The main tank valve does it for the MAIN inlet)

But still.. I"ve seen many a HUMAN fail too.. Many a Human.

The best configuration would be both automatic AND manual valves in series.. That way if one fails, you have a "Back up" as it were.
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Old 04-22-2012, 05:00 PM   #12
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I see no reason not to have both -- a manual ball valve, and an automatic check valve, in the feed from each tank (portable tank and permanently-mounted tank).

Now that I'm ancient, and down to my last 17 remaining neurons, I need all the safety backups I can get.
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