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Author Topic: Found a source for propane tanks at a good price  (Read 6731 times)
belfert
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« on: April 29, 2006, 06:12:16 PM »

I was at Jakes RV Surplus/Salvage in Fairmont, Minnesota today.  They had a bunch of brand new propane tanks of the non-removable style.  They have a web site at www.jakesrvsalvage.com.

I paid $185 for a tank that holds 17 gallons.  (I've never used up two 30 pounders in the past that hold about 14 gallons together.)  They had another bigger 27 gallon tank for $200, but no brackets welded on that one or I would have taken it.  They also had a bunch of longer skinny tanks for either $200 or $250, but I couldn't fit one in my bay.

I've seen used tanks sell for a lot more.  Maybe these really are not good prices, but every tank I have seen is much more expensive.

Brian Elfert
« Last Edit: April 30, 2006, 07:55:25 AM by belfert » Logged
gumpy
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« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2006, 06:30:09 PM »

Have you found a place locally where you can get you bus in to to get that thing filled, or one that will actually fill it? The local distributor out here has a sign on the door that says they can no longer fill permanently mounted tanks due to insurance.

For about $110 you could have bought two brand new 40 pound portable tanks (11 gallons each) from Menard's. When one runs out, you can switch to the other one, remove the full one and take it to the local dealer in your car. Much more convenient, and utilize space in the bay more efficiently. Also, you can remove one of the tanks and use it on a campstove or grill away from the bus, if desired.

My opinion only. I know many have the permanently mounted tanks and are happy with them. Didn't fit my needs, though.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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DrivingMissLazy
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« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2006, 07:24:46 PM »

I always refilled my permanent tanks at Flying J. Usually dumped my holding tanks at same time.
Richard
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belfert
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2006, 05:03:56 AM »

For about $110 you could have bought two brand new 40 pound portable tanks (11 gallons each) from Menard's. When one runs out, you can switch to the other one, remove the full one and take it to the local dealer in your car. Much more convenient, and utilize space in the bay more efficiently. Also, you can remove one of the tanks and use it on a campstove or grill away from the bus, if desired.

I didn't know that some places won't fill the built-in tanks.  There must be plenty of places that do or manufacturers wouldn't include them on new motorhomes.  As someone else mentioned, I am pretty sure Flying J will still fill them.

I'm going to try the built-in tank and if it doesn't work out I can probably get most or all of money out of it.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2006, 08:34:12 AM »

Obviously, there are still places that will, but I'm hearing more and more that insurance is limiting companies (or they are using it as an excuse) in what kinds of tanks they can fill. I use a local distributor close to me, and noticed the sign on their door when I first bought the tanks for my bus.

One other problem I've heard from some bus owners is that when they are parked and run out, they have to break camp and drive the bus to whereever the distributor is. Then, there have been times where they could not manuver the bus in to where they distributor could get to the tank. I would think this would probably be unusual, though, as most of these places have their propane delivered by tractor-trailor tankers and also have large tank trucks themselves. I've seen the delivery truck at the local distributor, and I admire his skill at being able to get into the yard where the storage tank is located, and back out. It's a tight squeeze, and I don't envy him. I wouldn't want to try getting my bus in and out of that yard.

craig
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Craig Shepard
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Dallas
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2006, 08:38:54 AM »

Obviously, there are still places that will, but I'm hearing more and more that insurance is limiting companies (or they are using it as an excuse) in what kinds of tanks they can fill. I use a local distributor close to me, and noticed the sign on their door when I first bought the tanks for my bus.

One other problem I've heard from some bus owners is that when they are parked and run out, they have to break camp and drive the bus to whereever the distributor is. Then, there have been times where they could not manuver the bus in to where they distributor could get to the tank. I would think this would probably be unusual, though, as most of these places have their propane delivered by tractor-trailor tankers and also have large tank trucks themselves. I've seen the delivery truck at the local distributor, and I admire his skill at being able to get into the yard where the storage tank is located, and back out. It's a tight squeeze, and I don't envy him. I wouldn't want to try getting my bus in and out of that yard.

craig

Craig,
Around here, the Propane company will come to your RV and fill it if you call them and start an account. They want to fill at least 50 gallons though, and only do it if there are other tanks within a mile or two to be filled.
Luckily, we have our own filling station here so I can fill anyone I want.
Dallas
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2006, 09:06:55 AM »

I have an 'almost' all-electric coach-- roof airs with heat pumps, and a Webasto for when it really gets cold.  The water heater is propane or electric with an engine heat exchanger.  I rarely use the propane feature on the water heater, so the only thing I need propane for is the two-burner cooktop.  I only use a 20lb/5 gallon BBQ propane tank for the bus, with another 20lb bottle as backup and for outdoor propane barbequeing.  I've been using the same propane bottle for a few years now and it is still pretty much full, and if I need to change it out I can easily get it filled without having to move the bus.

--Geoff
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Geoff
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belfert
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2006, 09:52:24 AM »

For the type of camping I do, I doubt I will ever run out of propane while camping unless I forgot to fill up the previous trip.  When I had the travel trailer, I usually stopped and topped off the tanks at Flying J every trip after I learned the hard way.  I didn't fill my propane tanks for around a year and ran both dry once. 

Brian Elfert
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TomCat
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« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2006, 02:49:21 PM »

I have an 86 gallon Manchester LP tank permanently mounted to my coach. I found it used at the local distributor, and had them install it and plumb it to my genny, water heater and cooktop for me on one of their slow days. Total cost: $250.
In more than 12,000 miles over the last 6 months, I haven't found any LP dealer from Florida to Washington state who wouldn't fill my LP tank. Flying J is a great place to plan on getting LP, but in unfamiliar territory I've used a few independants as well.
Now that I'm mostly parked in Colorado for a while, I opened an account with the local distributor to come and fill my tank from their bobtail once a month. The driver was here on Thursday, and didn't seem to mind that he only pumped 20 gallons.
Trying to always be one to plan ahead, in the event that I do run out of LP, and am unable to get any delivered, I installed an "Extend-A-Stay" tee in my system, that allows me to connect to a 20lb BBQ bottle until I can work something else out. My water heater can make 940 gallons of hot water from a 20lb bottle, so it should hold me over under most circumstances.
It might not work for everyone, but it works for me.

Jay
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« Last Edit: April 30, 2006, 03:07:26 PM by TomCat » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2006, 02:57:10 PM »

I put 2 removable LP tanks in my bus, I had a permanent tank in my Motorhome and was unhappy with it. I was staying in a small park in Tucson AZ that was hard to get into and out of and there was not a LP dealer close by that had easy access  What I did do  was buy an  "extend a stay" kit from camping world. It hooks a portable LP tank (5 lb/100lbs) to your permanent system. For me it was a good investment and worked well.
                                                                                  Work?/Play safely Jim
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« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2006, 06:32:46 PM »

Geoff Tell me More About the Water Heater?

 I still have to work out my heat/hot water situation, tell me more about the one you have?

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« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2006, 08:33:45 PM »

I did kind of the opposite of the extend-a-stay. I put a quick disconnect on the propane line in my middle bay and use it to run my camping stove. I have a long hose I can connect to the stove which is setup up along side the bus (no awning yet, but that's where it will be). Works well as the bus system is regulated at the tanks.

I also have a regulator with a quick disconnect fitting on it so I can take a tank out and use it on the stove away from the bus (like in the screen tent, which we did several times in AK to keep away from the mosquitoes). 

Other than that, the only thing I use the propane for is the kitchen range. 8 weeks in the bas last year and I didn't use a full 40# tank, though at times I was using both tanks (one inside the coach, one outside).

I just need to get some more fittings so I can run my propane lanterns off the bus system, also. For now, I have a fitting that I use to refil the disposable lantern bottles off the main 40# tank. Not the easiest to do, but works fine.

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Craig Shepard
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2006, 06:36:57 AM »

Geoff Tell me More About the Water Heater?

 I still have to work out my heat/hot water situation, tell me more about the one you have?



What I have is a 10 gallon Attwood RV water heater that works off propane (electronic iginition), a 1500 watt heating element, and has a heat exchanger to tie into the engine cooling system (driver's heater lines).  When I am driving it heats the water up to 180 degrees in a couple of hours, and it stays warm for a hot shower or two in the morning.  If I am camped I usually use the electric heater, or I can use propane, or if I am in a hurry for hot water I can use both at the same time.  If I am running the Webasto it also heats the water. This particular heater is pretty pricey if you had to buy it retail, but I got it from Ronthebusnut (surplus) for $300.

--Geoff
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Geoff
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2006, 05:42:06 AM »

On "Temp Bus", we have a 10 gl electric unit with the webasto/engine loop, which means we don't have to vent it, so am thinking we will do the same on the big bus.  Checked Ronthebusnut but he didn't have any that big. I think the engine loop is just the cat's meow, as we can take showers at night (long ones) and then still wash dishes in the morning with hot water! 

I'm still wavering on taking out the big propane tank we had installed on "Big Bus" and going with smaller bottles. . . tell me about filling with propane at Flying J's.  We normally have our local propane company fill the bus/motorhome when they fill our household tanks, but we've made the house and office so darn energy efficient that we're down to filling only once a year, and I'm not sure "Temp bus" will make it through till fall on what we've got left.  I know we can't get into the local propane store, but every time we've been to Flying J, we've filled at the truck pumps, so haven't seen the propane filling areas yet.  Are they easy to get into?  THX  Christy
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2006, 06:11:21 AM »

I have filled at several Flying J's across the country and the propane fill has always been between the regular pumps and the truck pump;s. Plenty of room to pull thru after filling> Pull thru has always been beside the regular pumps.
Richard
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