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Winter preparation in progress

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6 minutes ago, Kirk W said:

True and our 200 gallon tank was limited to 160 gallons for the same reason. Actually, in the 8 years we used it, the most I ever had delivered was the first time it was filled when they put in 146 gallons. Since it was a previously used tank it was not empty when it arrived. Even a new one typically has some propane when installed because the company purges it of air as part of the installation process. 

I've used 200/160 gallon upright tanks, but not a horizontal. Different companies make a variety of shapes and sizes though, and I certainly haven't seen them all.

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The above ground and buried tanks are typically the same sizes with just the construction differences needed for the environment they'll be installed in. 

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We had several neighbors who had 100 gallon, vertical tanks that came from the same supplier as mine. They were actually more common than the horizontal tanks in our community because code allowed them to be next to the building, while anything larger had to be separated from the structure by at least 10'. They look like this...

20180509_102822_resized.jpg?format=1000w

Mine was an older, rebuilt tank and was the only 200 gallon tank I have been aware of, but I am sure that it wasn't made special for me. It may be that they don't make them now, but I really do not know. I called the supplier to see about a tank like the one in the picture and they indicated that they were currently out of them but had some on order. They then told me that the 100 gallon tanks lease for $100/year but if i would accept the reconditioned 200 gallon they would lease it to me for $72/year, so I said yes! It may be that they aren't normally available but I assure you that mine was a 200 gallon tank.  It looked like a 250 gallon, but was slightly smaller in diameter. 

p14925626505710630.JPG

 

Edited by Kirk W

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We're spending the winter on Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland. The propane companies won't/can't come on post to fill privately owned or rented tanks, so several of the folks in the FamCamp here have the 100 lb. vertical tanks (kinda tall and skinny). One of the guys assured me that "it's not too bad" getting the thing in and out of the truck to go refill (at 176 lbs. full). With three bad discs in my back, Laura wouldn't let me do that, so yesterday I picked up two extra 30 pounders at Tractor Supply and had them filled. With four of them, that gives me 120 lbs. total capacity and they're much easier to get in and out of the truck. I got some of those stabilizer bases for them and they strap in very nicely (and are stable on the concrete pad when not in use). 

Rob

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Second Chance, you did the correct thing in my opinion. Here in Yuma, there is a lot of what we call 100 pounders refilled at the pump joints. I watch them slide them out of the pickup bed and after being refilled "lift and shove" them back in the bed. Hopefully they are that "easy" to unload and place the tanks at the residence. Not for me, for sure!

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At our local LP refiller here in upstate NY I sometimes see folks pull in with 100 lb'ers strapped upright in the back of their trucks. The attendant just hops in the back with the hose and fills them in place. They still have to be unloaded back home though. I'm currently using two 30's and a 40 lb'er to feed our motorhome with an Extend-A-Stay while we're parked here, saving the full onboard 100 lb tank as a backup. As soon as I get the requisite "Roundtoit", I'll be running a line from the cottage 320 gallon tank to the motorhome. 

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I am sure glad we did not have to dig up the old butane tanks to install the propane tanks. We did dig down by hand near it to tie into the existing supply line. Sometimes that got entertaining as it always seemed to be a favorite spot for fire ants. One of our guys came out of his clothes quick trying  to get them off.  And of course yellow jacket wasps  really loved to next under the dome there in the east texas area. 

Leasing  a tank at that rate is a good deal but it locks you into one supplier. Most of the time it isn't a big issue but once or twice I saw it cause a problem with one supplier filling another suppliers tank.

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17 hours ago, bigjim said:

Leasing  a tank at that rate is a good deal but it locks you into one supplier.

Not really. I had two different propane suppliers fill our rente tank. Nothing was unique about the tanks so any properly equipped vendor could fill one. While I usually had mine filled by the vendor it was rented from, on a few occasions I would use the other if I happened to see them in our community. 

17 hours ago, bigjim said:

I am sure glad we did not have to dig up the old butane tanks to install the propane tanks.

Is there some difference in tanks for butane versus propane? I know that butane can and sometimes is put into a propane bottle so is there a difference because of the pressure difference?

Quote

When comparing propane and butane, the most important differences come down to the boiling point of the gases. Propane has a boiling temperature of -42°C, whilst butane has a higher boiling point at -2°C. ... When stored as a liquid in a tank, propane also exerts a greater pressure than butane at the same temperature.

 

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2 hours ago, Kirk W said:

Is there some difference in tanks for butane versus propane? I know that butane can and sometimes is put into a propane bottle so is there a difference because of the pressure difference?

Memory test for me and you probably.  Butane operated at a lower pressure so the tanks were not safe for propane. One reason for switching  to propane was the issue of operating in lower temps. One reason the tanks were buried was to insulate them.  Have you ever had to go out and pour warm water over the regulator of a butane tank in the winter? So I would surmise that butane's lower pressure would be safe in a propane tank but not propane in a butane tank.  I was just a poorly trained grunt so I just followed instructions of the certified tech I worked under.  I don't think you can legally put other gases in tanks not marked and designated these days which is a good thing.  I used to put propane in an acetylene tank at Bill Kelly's hog farm near Forney but  I did not like doing it. However I did like getting paid and feeding the kids.

On another thread TXiceman seems to be better at explaining the pressures and issues with propane than me so you might ask him for a better explanation.

Have you ever been near a propane tank in the Tx heat when a slightly weakened relief/safety valve vented/blew off. It will get your attention.

On the cross filling issue it can depend on how aggressive/competitive the companies you are dealing with are.  I believe your lease contract may preclude you doing it but of course they have to find out about it.   Penny's out of Kaufman, Tx and Consumers formally out of  Forney, used to have some issues with each other. 

Edited by bigjim

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LP =Liquid Petroleum. Propane and Butane are both LP. Butane and propane are regularly blended in warmer climates, in Northern areas butane is not blended with propane due to its characteristics. Butane is used at 100% in areas where the temperatures never drop below freezing.

This may help explain: https://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/propane-butane-mix-d_1043.html

 

Darryl and Rita might note pressures are in psig, you may want to notify that website of the correction.

Edited by Ray,IN

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17 minutes ago, Ray,IN said:

Darryl and Rita might note pressures are in psig, you may want to notify that website of the correction.

Edited 12 minutes ago by Ray,IN

I used Engineering Toolbox regularly when I was working in that area. They don't need correcting, as the numerical values and units used represent the same pressures used in the earlier post I commented on. In the earlier, now corrected post, the numerical values and units didn't represent a zero atmospheric pressure situation.

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When we had our last house, we had a gas stove and a 5 brick wall heater.  Main source of heat was a heat pump, but the wall heater took the chill of quickly.  We had a 200gl horizontal tank placed by the gas company. 

I work in Natural Gas gas and if there was a bunch of fire ants near that old Butane tank, the tank was leaking.  Fire ants love methane for some reason. 

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15 minutes ago, Alie&Jim's Carrilite said:

 if there was a bunch of fire ants near that old Butane tank, the tank was leaking.  Fire ants love methane for some reason. 

That's something I've never heard before . Thanks . ;)

Edited by Pat & Pete

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  Going back to my subject of winter preparation.    So we have seen two nights at about 0 degree and a lot of teens and twenties. Underbelly is sealed with 1 1/2” styrofoam boards to the ground.

 

    So the under rv heat does make a considerable difference in warmth on the floor of the slideouts. Since this is a experiment and had no reference to go on, it has taken adjusting to regulate propane usage.   It worked for awhile and then it quit. Too cold to step out that morning to test things.   So finally go out to see what was wrong????

 

 

  Dam propane bottle was empty.  Install another and it works now.

 

   So what I have discovered so far is to regulate when and at what temperature to use it.

   Another complex situation in our fifthwheel that I installed a Aquahot heating system several years ago. I have a heat exchanger at the rear of the fifthwheel under the floor and sealed the the under belly really tight. Also put a heat exchanger under the kitchen floor. Now the two under floor heat exchangers operate on there own thermostats.    So over using the under rv heater causes the Aquahot thermostats do not call for heat.

    I noticed that with running the under rv furnace used lots of propane. BBButt much less diesel for the Aquahot system.

 

    So this gives me something different to think about.

 

   More tech thoughts underway on this situation. Will report when info is available.

 

   Vern in a T-shirt 

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For those new to RVing this is to inform you that pink RV antifreeze liquid will definitely freeze solid.  Like others I pour a generous amount in my toilet bowel to keep the flush seal from drying out and during storage in Reno one winter the pink stuff froze hard. Just saying.

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On 11/4/2020 at 7:55 AM, Wrknrvr said:

  Going back to my subject of winter preparation.    So we have seen two nights at about 0 degree and a lot of teens and twenties. Underbelly is sealed with 1 1/2” styrofoam boards to the ground.

 

    So the under rv heat does make a considerable difference in warmth on the floor of the slideouts. Since this is a experiment and had no reference to go on, it has taken adjusting to regulate propane usage.   It worked for awhile and then it quit. Too cold to step out that morning to test things.   So finally go out to see what was wrong????

 

 

  Dam propane bottle was empty.  Install another and it works now.

 

   So what I have discovered so far is to regulate when and at what temperature to use it.

   Another complex situation in our fifthwheel that I installed a Aquahot heating system several years ago. I have a heat exchanger at the rear of the fifthwheel under the floor and sealed the the under belly really tight. Also put a heat exchanger under the kitchen floor. Now the two under floor heat exchangers operate on there own thermostats.    So over using the under rv heater causes the Aquahot thermostats do not call for heat.

    I noticed that with running the under rv furnace used lots of propane. BBButt much less diesel for the Aquahot system.

 

    So this gives me something different to think about.

 

   More tech thoughts underway on this situation. Will report when info is available.

 

   Vern in a T-shirt 

I certainly am not an expert, but keeping your underbelly much above freezing is a waste and may cause you to have significant humidity/condensation issues until things get dried   out. I'm not sure how  many burrowing creatures  you may find  in the spring by keeping  an area constantly significantly above freezing. I'd consider  putting a layer of insulation under the floor of the slide out that could be removed before closing the slide and see how that works  to keep  the floor warmer. Sealing the gap  caused by flat  floor  slides is also  very important. My trailer has raised floor slide outs and I have no "Cold" spots near the slide out, because it's all sealed. My prior trailer with the flat floor slide had HUGE gaps with only the gasket to keep out the wind which didn't work particularly well. I only used that trailer once in the sub zero cold. My current trailer does not have heat in the floor and the "Possum Belly" did not have any insulation installed during the build. A gas furnace was later added, but since getting my Mini Split system it has not been used. I am planning to remove it one day and had thought of using it to just heat the "Basement", but the current placement isn't where I want it. It is directly under one of my two slides right in the middle.  If I had a flat floor slide I probably wouldn't be around to write this. The exhaust would have come right up and in. 

Enough rambling. 

Rod

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4 hours ago, NamMedevac 70 said:

For those new to RVing this is to inform you that pink RV antifreeze liquid will definitely freeze solid.  Like others I pour a generous amount in my toilet bowel to keep the flush seal from drying out and during storage in Reno one winter the pink stuff froze hard. Just saying.

Pure Antifreeze will freeze more quickly than a proper Antifreeze/water mix. Make sure you are mixing or using a Mixed Antifreeze. 

Rod

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7 hours ago, Ray,IN said:

I just discovered this website about inflatable skirting: https://www.airskirts.com/

They are quite pricy and once you unpack, inflate and deploy most likely won't go back into the box they were shipped in. You will need to find a large place to store them and make sure there is nothing to rub a hole into them while heading to the next place. I do think they would work very well though. 

Rod

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2 hours ago, lappir said:

Pure Antifreeze will freeze more quickly than a proper Antifreeze/water mix. Make sure you are mixing or using a Mixed Antifreeze. 

Rod

Propylene Glycol based RV antifreeze is pre-mixed and used straight out of the bottle. It does freeze in cold enough conditions, but unlike straight water, it does not expand causing damage to fittings or pipes.

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On 11/14/2020 at 9:42 AM, Dutch_12078 said:

Propylene Glycol based RV antifreeze is pre-mixed and used straight out of the bottle. It does freeze in cold enough conditions, but unlike straight water, it does not expand causing damage to fittings or pipes.

Thank you for clarifying for this newbie!

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On 11/18/2020 at 8:50 PM, BeckyG said:

Thank you for clarifying for this newbie!

 

On 11/14/2020 at 8:42 AM, Dutch_12078 said:

Propylene Glycol based RV antifreeze is pre-mixed and used straight out of the bottle. It does freeze in cold enough conditions, but unlike straight water, it does not expand causing damage to fittings or pipes.

Or someone who has experience with RV's but has never used the Antifreeze during all the years.  

Thanks Dutch.

 

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