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Author Topic: Propane tank location? Ideas!!!!!  (Read 2711 times)
grantgoold
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« on: May 10, 2011, 08:20:32 PM »

Looking for some ideas for the location of our new propane tank. 12.5 gallon tank. MCI 9 with the front bays off limits with house batteries, and full electrical panels. Left rear bay full with genset.

Pros and Cons.

Thanks
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2011, 10:24:48 PM »

The old AC condenser bay works well since it is already nicely vented.
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« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2011, 06:01:11 AM »

Here is what we did, http://singinglandcruiser.blogspot.com/search/label/Propane%20Compartment
Hope it helps. M&C Grin
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« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2011, 06:45:55 AM »

Thanks for the pictures!
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2011, 09:12:39 AM »

  Im thinking of stacking two fork lift type horizontal tanks with the same type of clamp mount , hopefully in the rear bay with the other tankage. Those can be filled anywhere without paying tank exchange rates. But definetly want double removeable quick fill tanks rather than a single hard mounted tank.
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« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2011, 01:11:23 PM »

propane being heavier than air their should be a 3 square inch hole per gallon of propane at the lowest point of the compartment and no ignition source present. in other words don't put it in with batteries that might spark in a accident or arc to a upset tank. Please ck the hole size per gallon it's been awhile since I have use propane as I do all electric coaches now.  Bob
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2011, 03:25:58 PM »

There is a suggestion to put the propane tank on the passenger side in the rear side engine door area. Obviously there is plenty of ventilation and we could build a platform that would hold the tank tightly in place and be insulated very well.

We would obviously be concerned with an engine fire but think the ventilation down the road or sitting still would be more than adequate verse a very large hole in the floor of a luggage bay. Ideas, concerns?
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2011, 03:48:12 PM »

I lost two friends to being immolated by a propane explosion in a RV.  They were impacted by a car and the tanks exploded into the engine bay.  If you can, I would place them in the center of a bay where they are far removed from any impact area and mount them like the powerful bomb that they are.  I wonder that we don't see more tragedy with this situation than we do and thank God for that.

With the heat of an engine bay proximity you will have more automatic venting of your tanks.  There is a code that all permanent tanks have their pop-off pressure relief port plumbed to the rear of the bus where they vent to the atmosphere at a height of 6 feet or some such.  That keeps vented gas from puddling under your coach or accumulating in any depression.  Being high it gets a chance to mix and dilute on exiting the vent tube.  I have never seen this done but the reg has been confirmed to me before.  Permanent tanks, now.


John
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« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2011, 04:00:51 PM »

John, thanks for those words of advise. We will begin to look else where!

Grant
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2011, 04:11:48 PM »

if propane is heavier then air, how in the world is it supposed to vent to the roof?
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« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2011, 04:15:58 PM »

It is heavier than air and it does sink and puddle and collect in depressions.   Who mentioned "roof"?  This is critical stuff to get straight and if you are developing questions I assume others that aren't posting are as well.

Thanks T

John
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« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2011, 04:27:26 PM »

if propane is heavier then air, how in the world is it supposed to vent to the roof?

It is under pressure when the vent activates
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« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2011, 04:27:44 PM »

Quote
There is a code that all permanent tanks have their pop-off pressure relief port plumbed to the rear of the bus where they vent to the atmosphere at a height of 6 feet or some such


Okay, then I misunderstood this statement...... could you elaborate?
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« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2011, 04:30:50 PM »

That keeps vented gas from puddling under your coach or accumulating in any depression.  Being high it gets a chance to mix and dilute on exiting the vent tube

I think this sums it up!
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Chopper Scott
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« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2011, 04:32:00 PM »

I have an 85 gallon tank, obviously permantly mounted, in the first bay on the street side. It has a relief line attached to it that exits the side of the bus. I sure feel more comfortable with such a tank as it is a lot more durable than say a forklift tank or a couple of 40 lb or 20 lb bottles. It's also handy because I can go a long time between fills. If I had my druthers I sure wouldn't even think about portable bottles. My gen is propane powered also so that really comes into play. Just what I have and would do it that way  if I was building one short of all diesel powered. The hard part would be finding such a tank.
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« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2011, 06:12:53 PM »

Don't most of the gas appliances in a conversion run off the propane "vapor"?? I was under the impression that just about all forklift ran off "Liquid" propane.. I know when I checked with a tank supplier about using forklift style tanks, I was informed that they would have to be converted over to vapor which would cost as much or more than buying a suitable vapor tank in the first place. Don't know if this is true or not... anyone know for sure??

Jimmy
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« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2011, 06:19:47 PM »

After all these years of watching "King of the Hill" I must have missed that one Jimmy!

http://www.stricklandpropane.net/
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« Reply #17 on: May 17, 2011, 06:26:14 PM »

If engine heat is a problem for Propane why do the forklift makers mount the tanks on top of the engine on the hood ? mine was mounted close to the engine compartment and never vented and I live in AZ also,you guys never saw a farm tractor with a 100 gal propane made into the hood setting on top of the engine ?
 FWIW that is the reasoning behind the 80% fill on propane tanks to prevent the venting from heat 

good luck
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 07:45:06 PM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: May 17, 2011, 06:42:22 PM »

I don't have any horses in this race because I decided long ago propane wasn't worth the risk after a friend had a bad accident with it in a collision. A personal choice! not to force on anyone else! Opinion it should be in a area with as much protection from a impact as possible(inside frame rail) etc.  Be where a mechanical leak can vent thru bottom(lowest spot)Be away from source of ignition (battery compartment etc.) Be careful and do it your way.  If I repeated my self just be careful.  Bob
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« Reply #19 on: May 17, 2011, 07:09:48 PM »

One has to probably assume that more house fires are caused by electrical problems more so than issues with propane  Bob. It's just a matter of choice. People get killed hanging Christmas lights that could have been saved if only they had been grilling burgers on their propane Weber's instead. One never knows.
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« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2011, 07:30:24 PM »

I agree Scott. Just a personal choice. Guess I'm lazy. Smooth cook top stove. Elect hot water heater. elect heat.  Roll Eyes Actually have found my total electric coach to be more cost effective than my friends combo (lp/elect)s&s by far while wintering in Florida.   Bob
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« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2011, 07:41:45 PM »

I read in the FMCA book only a small percentage of RV fires are caused by propane and they were from poor maintenance even the fridge fires most are caused by electricity 12 v or 110 they have it electrical as # 1 cause for fires 2 was under inflated tires propane was the last on the list and are very preventable with proper maintenance same with the tires

good luck
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« Reply #22 on: May 18, 2011, 06:04:46 AM »

Propane, like electric, is dangerous. It all is, even driving a bus is dangerous because of the crumple zone. We use what we use and take the needed precautions. I like cooking on a gas stove so I will be using propane, I have a suburban heater and water heater and probably will be getting a 3 way refer. Propane is a choice, like everything else. The placement is the issue. On my Jamboree class C they had it on the passenger side in the compartment behind the front tires. Im not sure propane or batteries, should be placed near the exit door of our coaches, nor in the front nose, nor in the engine compartment..... even behind the tires I question. But where is the safest place? Im not sure....
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« Reply #23 on: May 18, 2011, 12:16:09 PM »

" People get killed hanging Christmas lights"

Scott,

 Good thing those lights weren't powered by propane or they would be double trouble.

Mike
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« Reply #24 on: May 19, 2011, 09:23:49 PM »

We have ours 23.5 gallons fixed across about 1.5 feet in with a 3/4 ply box around it screwed and glued with a removable top in the wet bay. right in front and between the wheel-wells in back with the letters "LPG" on the door side of access  to it with the filler fixed in the outside siding.
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« Reply #25 on: May 19, 2011, 11:59:48 PM »

If engine heat is a problem for Propane why do the forklift makers mount the tanks on top of the engine on the hood ? mine was mounted close to the engine compartment and never vented and I live in AZ also,you guys never saw a farm tractor with a 100 gal propane made into the hood setting on top of the engine ?
 FWIW that is the reasoning behind the 80% fill on propane tanks to prevent the venting from heat 

good luck

All of that is true.   All tanks have void that is dedicated to expansion.  They also have a overpressure vent and my vents are threaded so that I could attach a hose.  As a general rule of thump, propane tanks "should" not be mounted near a heat source and be away from batteries.

Fork lifts are a different animal.  While we us propane as gas, a forklift uses it as a liquid.  Even our tanks get cold and can even get a frost layer.  The forklifts, in heavy service, can freeze everything.  They use hot engine coolant to heat the propane in the carb and the pipes.  Their tankl also gets really cold so mounting it "near" the heat source is advisable in that case.  Didfferent situations, uses and rules.

I think the logic of the reg about running the vent to the rear is that if it vents and you are underway then an ignition of the venting gas will pose little threat at the rear.  I am groping for the logic in that.

I have seen a RV destroyed by a propane line rupture.  According to my friend, he was standing in the living room of a old 26 foot S&S.  He heard a whooump and turned to see flames coming from under the sink.  The sink was across from the door and he said he dashed out the door after taking no more than three steps.  Flames singed his back and hair as he jumped out.  He was certain that if he had been a mere few feet further from the door he would not have made it.  he said that after running maybe 29 feet away he turned and saw to his horror that the interior was an inferno.  it took seconds. Propane is extremely dangerous.  There are a lot of regs and they are pretty anal about every little detail.  it is because of this fear and respect that we have so few tragedies with the stuff.  Be careful.  Find out what the rules are and follow them....to the letter.  It isn't really relevant if you don't understand why a reg is there or how many folks you have seen get away with doing it another way.  None of that matters cause we tote some precious cargo around and we need to make sure we give them the very best our efforts can provide.

I have propane "everything" and I wish I had had a propane fueled generator.

My very best wishes for your safety,

John
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« Reply #26 on: May 20, 2011, 06:39:41 AM »

Propane is a liquid in all tanks JohnEd you stand a forklift tank upright it becomes a vapor tank  

good luck
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« Reply #27 on: May 20, 2011, 07:29:34 AM »



I did some reading online from the NFPA and found interesting details like the restraint must be 8 times the weight of the tank. Something to that effect. They want the tank secure in the event of impact. Another interesting point was no propane forward of the front axle. That makes a lot of Olympian heaters non-conforming. Had a lot of detail about venting the compartment too.

There is no intent on being judgemental, I use propane. Just points that may help others.
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« Reply #28 on: May 20, 2011, 08:58:41 AM »

  Just toured Colaws RV Salvage yard in Carthage MO.. After walking around and through many the wrecks, and seeing the various forms of damage, the last thing I would be afraid of is propane. Saw a Big Newell with obvious rear end collision damage, looked like the engine caught fire and set the whole rear end ablase. Many others also appeared to have both collision and fire damage, so if your building a conversion think about that.

   I watched a brand new class A catch fire and burn to the ground, and it was due to an electrical fire. It was parked on a lot and lit off all by itself with no one around. There is no safest way, or best way with these things, there is only the idea to follow common sense and good engineering practices and following codes as close as practical, but even in the best built homes, accidents can happen. The safest RV would have no electrical or gas system, and no engine. And it would be utterly useless. So regardless of what you use, or how its built, always have a fast way out.

 
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