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Lifting heavy propane cylinders

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We have a tall 5th wheel that has two 40 # propane tanks on the side of the trailer.

These tanks filled each weight approx 75 #.

It’s getting more difficult as the years go by to lift & position these tanks.

Does anyone have any solutions or ideas?

Thanks

David

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If you find something, please let the rest of us know.

Seriously, you might see if some sort of hoist mechanism could be installed. I suspect that height may be an issue, but maybe going to the 30# tanks would help. They aren't as tall, nor are they as heavy.

If you are at a lot that you own/lease (like at an Escapees co-op) you may be able to have the local propane company park a tank on your lot. They will keep it full, and all you will have is a hose that goes to your coach. We have a lot at The Ranch and that's what our neighbors just did.

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I have always thought a pulley system high up on the RV wall might work. You can always go to a propane company and have them filled there or see if the local propane truck will come by your campsite.

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40 pound propane tanks 

They are approximately 12 x 12 x 29 inches in size. They weigh approximately 30 pounds empty. They hold approximately 9 gallons of propane (which weighs approximately 38 pounds). They weigh approximately 68 pounds when filled with propane.

30 pound propane tanks 

They are approximately 12 x 12 x 24 inches in size. They weigh approximately 23 pounds empty. They hold approximately 7 gallons of propane (which weighs approximately 29 pounds). They weigh approximately 52 pounds when filled with propane.

 

20 pound propane tanks 

They are approximately 12 x 12 x 18 inches in size. They weigh approximately 14 pounds empty. They hold approximately 4 gallons of propane (which weighs approximately 17 pounds).

 

 

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Put a frame mounted tank behind the axles. I found a manifold tank 48 gallons that I am going to mount. Then keep the 40# for backup.

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We use the 30 pounders and they seem to get heavier every year. We can still get then up there...….so far.

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My previous DRV was a pain to put the back bottle in. Our Teton is a lot better. They still 40# but easier access. And yes, they are heavy

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I'm assuming you are mobile, so really can't help there. But a number of years ago we were in Johoba  Hills SKP Park in Cali. An elderly gentleman had a crane device fastened down to concrete beside his Teton. He could unload the 40's off his pickup, swing them around and put them in the compartment. It was a neat set-up. Personally, I wouldn't have 40's, the 30's are all I want to fool with.

And richfaa, here all the time I was thinking they were giving me more propane in my 30's! Know exactly what you mean. 

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Get a pair of 30 pound composite tanks. They weigh 17 pounds and hold 31 pounds of propane for a total of 48 pounds. They are the same size as the 40 pounders.

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37 minutes ago, GeorgiaHybrid said:

Get a pair of 30 pound composite tanks. They weigh 17 pounds and hold 31 pounds of propane for a total of 48 pounds. They are the same size as the 40 pounders.

That is a 4# savings according to Kirk's post

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6 hours ago, GlennWest said:

Fiberglass or alluminum tanks are lighter

I thought I remember reading fiberglass LP cylinders have been recalled,.

Edited by Ray,IN

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What about using a cheap HF hoist mounted to a 2" square tube to fit into your receiver hitch and use it to handle the weight.  As long as you can slide the tray out, the hoist should be able to lift them empty or full, into your truck bed.  Then when done, put it away.  Can also use a ropealong or a strap hoist.  If you have a winch on the truck used for other purposes, then a pulley mounted in the correct place, will do the job too.

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54 minutes ago, Ray,IN said:

I thought I remember reading fiberglass LP cylinders have been recalled,.

news to me. But really have not kept up with it.

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On 6/19/2020 at 4:47 PM, dswhite said:

We have a tall 5th wheel that has two 40 # propane tanks on the side of the trailer.

These tanks filled each weight approx 75 #.

It’s getting more difficult as the years go by to lift & position these tanks.

Does anyone have any solutions or ideas?

Thanks

David

Read thru the suggestions - didn't see this:

Pickup truck crane - numerous retailers including Harbor Freight, Northern Tool, etc.   Numerous videos on YouTube.  Various prices - starting at approx $100. - hydraulic or hand winch.

Use from the ground - OR - mounted on the side of the pickup bed.  Stows along side the wheel well, below the top of the bed.

The type for use on the ground (using 2" receiver) is operated from the side of the pickup - allows the tailgate to clear the winch to place items in the bed.  Breaks down into 3 parts.  Handy for moving/lifting lots of items (besides the propane tanks).

X'lnt YouTube video of the hand winch version (about 2 minutes) of a guy placing crane to lift a large gen from ground into truck bed.  Hand crank type - crane attached to 2" receiver. 

.

 

Edited by Pappy Yokum

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Quote

Just ask your younger neighbor to lift it in place for you.

I'm 71 years old and can still comfortably lift a 70lb tank (barely).  But I realize,  I probably won't be able to do so, in the future.

I too, have thought about mechanisms that could assist me.  But for many of us, I think rynosback's suggestion points the way to a superior approach.

Trade labor for capital.  Charm someone to help.  If charm isn't enough, a $5 to $20 bill will likely work.

Edited by DanZemke

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Lifting one isn't tht bad, The drv we had one really need to remove a bottle to put rear bottle in. I had to pick it up over the first and lower into place. That was hard. Wrenched my back a few times. Our Teton comes out farther and I have good room for putting in rear bottle. When I repace them, Certs is coming up again, may get fiberglass.

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The inner tank on my DRV is also hard to get at so now the valve remains closed until the outer tank is empty. Much like the days of the reserve tank on motorcycles, when you run out on the main tank you switch to reserve and start looking for a gas station.  I switch back to the outer tank once i refill and close the inner tank valve until i need it again. In the three years i have been doing this i have used about a third of the inner propane.

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Our HitchHiker has two sis by side 40# bottles as I get older, they are getting heavier.  It would be nice if the manufacturers would put in four 20# bottles so that the older folks could easily change the bottles.

Of course this would require more mounting hardware and piping and would cost them more to build. 

Ken

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