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Propane Gauge - recommendations, pls

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Hi, about two years ago I was looking for husband-type Christmas gift suggestions and I believe someone (Dartmouth?) suggested a propane gauge.  I found the thread, can't find the suggestion.  Bought a lot of great gifts from y'all's recommendations - the AE diagnostics for the truck came in useful repeatedly, Progressive power surge protector, Hitchmate step works wonderfully, water regulator, etc.   Can anyone suggest/comment on the propane gauge?  Looked on line and I'm finding not much beyond a $12 Camco or Chinese gauge - and I'm guessing that's not it, but don't really know.   Any help appreciated.   TIA

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Go to an Ace Hardware or their website. I was just in one the other day looking at propane gages. I would imangine that any store that sells BBQ supplies would have some. True Value, Harbor Freight or the big box stores Home Depot, Lowe’s, WalMart and Target. Check out their web sites too. 

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The level gauges that connect to the POL or ACME port on DOT cylinders are relatively useless. They're basically just pressure gauges, and by the time the propane pressure drops significantly, the cylinder is just about empty anyway. There is an electronic gauge that magnetically attaches to the bottom of the cylinder and reports the level via Bluetooth to a phone app that's said to be much more accurate. Here it is on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/AP-Products-024-1001-Propane-Indicator/dp/B01C5RQJHS/

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48 minutes ago, Barbaraok said:

Poor hot water down side of tank then feel for point at which it turns cold, that’s the level of the propane 

We once had a stick on indicator that looked kind of like a thermometer where you did this and it made the propane level visible by changing color where the water turned cold.

Linda Sand

Similar to this:

https://www.homebrewing.org/Magnetic-Removable-Propane-Tank-Gauge_p_875.html

Edited by sandsys

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This is the level indicator that I use.  I like it because I can use it on any tank.  Most towable RV’s have more than one propane cylinder and this allows you to check either/all of them as needed.  It will also work on bbq cylinders or any other propane cylinder/tank you may have.  It works very well and is very accurate.  I recommend it to anyone who has a desire to know their propane levels.  You can hunt around on various sites for the best price.  I won’t be without it now that I have had it and used it for a couple of years.

 

https://www.truma.com/int/en/products/truma-caravan-rv-gas-fittings/truma-levelcheck.html

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2 hours ago, Chad Heiser said:

This is the level indicator that I use.  I like it because I can use it on any tank.  Most towable RV’s have more than one propane cylinder and this allows you to check either/all of them as needed.  It will also work on bbq cylinders or any other propane cylinder/tank you may have.  It works very well and is very accurate.  I recommend it to anyone who has a desire to know their propane levels.  You can hunt around on various sites for the best price.  I won’t be without it now that I have had it and used it for a couple of years.

 

https://www.truma.com/int/en/products/truma-caravan-rv-gas-fittings/truma-levelcheck.html

This is a bullet statement  from your link: " Not suitable for plastic gas cylinders, refillable gas cylinders, gas tanks or butane cylinders (Campingaz) ". Rather  confusing to me.

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Ray,IN - see what you mean about confusion of application; sure looks like they are using the ultrasound on refillable tanks in the video and the array shown at the end in succession.   Hmmm.   Quite a span in the pricing when doing this product search, also.   Chad H probably using his on a refillable tank, maybe a glitch in the German-to-English translation?!

 

Thanks again to all who have chimed in here to give me products to research.

 

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15 hours ago, Barbaraok said:

Poor hot water down side of tank then feel for point at which it turns cold, that’s the level of the propane 

Gotta admit I really like this - just plain old logic applied - with hot water!

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I agree the hot water method is certainly the cheapest and oldest one around. But when it's late at night, cold and raining, I'd probably find that $20 remote reading gadget my preference for deciding if I need to go outside and switch cylinders to keep the furnace running through the night or not. ;)

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10 minutes ago, Jennifer Ministries said:

You can measure propone by the few ways like buy a gauge, cook time, weight or with hot water and its a effective technique. 

let's try and solve your problem. 

Oh, I think you all have -- weight is what we were doing - a pain.  Hot water is obviously one of the cheapest and maybe one of the more accurate.  Looking at the ultrasound made in Germany, as long as we go with the concept it is calibrated for a 20 pounder and go from them; the little stick on gauges are easy and cheap enough as a starter..... so will probably pick a  couple of these options to use.   Thanks, Everyone for guiding me on my options!!!!

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I just ordered one of the magnetic stick ons. We don't seem to go thru that much propane and I get an empty cylinder filled long before the full one is depleted. But we have not had to use the furnace while out on the road yet. Even if you have a remote indicating sensor you still have to go out into the dark and rain to swap cylinders. It's like the people bragging about electric black/gray valves. You still have to go out and disconnect the lines when you leave.

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10 minutes ago, agesilaus said:

Even if you have a remote indicating sensor you still have to go out into the dark and rain to swap cylinders. It's like the people bragging about electric black/gray valves. You still have to go out and disconnect the lines when you leave.

That's what raincoats are for. And the extra extension bar near the back of shower is for hanging that raincoat when you are done.

Linda Sand

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What is this talk about going out in the dark and rain to swap cylinders?  With the automatic changeover regulator they swap themselves.

I use my sensor (in the daylight) to give me an idea when the "primary" tank is getting low so that I know to keep an eye on the regulator over the next couple of days, depending on usage. When the red indicator shows that the regulator has switched to the secondary tank I take the empty tank in to get filled. This is all very controllable, and I've never been outside in the dark of night messing with tanks...

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I have a friend who does this as well.  Ends up outside at 2:00 a.m. on a freezing cold night because the furnace has stopped working and the trailer is cold.  Makes absolutely no sense to me, but different strokes...

 

Edited by mptjelgin

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2 hours ago, agesilaus said:

I just ordered one of the magnetic stick ons. We don't seem to go thru that much propane and I get an empty cylinder filled long before the full one is depleted. But we have not had to use the furnace while out on the road yet. Even if you have a remote indicating sensor you still have to go out into the dark and rain to swap cylinders. It's like the people bragging about electric black/gray valves. You still have to go out and disconnect the lines when you leave.

No going out at night to switch cylinders, just use the auto-changeover feature of the gas valve. Check LP supply level indicator before leaving the CG next morning and refill the empty.(if one is empty)

Edited by Ray,IN

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We carry a 30 lb cylinder in our Class A that we use as an external supply connected to an Extend-A-Stay adapter for longer term stays. When that supply is empty, we switch to the onboard tank until the portable cylinder can be refilled. It's obviously much easier to haul the 30 lb'er to a refill station rather than taking the whole rig to refill the main tank. Having a low cost remote reading level gauge for the cylinder would be more convenient than using hot water or a direct reading probe to see if the cylinder will keep the furnace running through the night versus switching over before bedtime. I think I'll order the $20 weight based Bluetooth device and find out...

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7 hours ago, Jennifer Ministries said:

I think float gauge in a propane tank consists of moving parts situated both inside the tank and outside. At the end of the stem is the float (pictured below) that rises and falls with the level of the propane in the tank.

Okay, thanks, Jennifer.

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