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Old 07-21-2016, 12:24 PM   #15
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He could get a dual fuel portable generator and if he got in a pinch and ran out of propane, I'm sure it would be much easier to find nearby 24 hr gas than propane. I saw one at Costco and they're known to have a generous return policy in case it didn't work out. Also sold many other places.

http://m.costco.com/generators.html
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Old 07-21-2016, 11:20 PM   #16
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The right rear of my 2005 rear galley Tin Interstate was designed for holding the spare tire. We removed the spare to the outer left hand door and find the use of the new found storage space a Godsend. Perhaps a propane tank could be fitted into this area if your configuration is the same as ours. AEW
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Old 07-22-2016, 06:05 AM   #17
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glfpro
The right rear of my 2005 rear galley Tin Interstate was designed for holding the spare tire. We removed the spare to the outer left hand door and find the use of the new found storage space a Godsend. Perhaps a propane tank could be fitted into this area if your configuration is the same as ours. AEW
There is a reason why propane cylinders are always carried outside the living spaces of an RV. That reason is: collision. You may never have one, but if you do, the very last thing you want is a propane cylinder venting inside the van. Even if it doesn't turn your van into a bomb, that much propane being vented into the air inside the van will asphyxiate you.

The Centers for Disease Control consider propane to be an asphyxiant because it displaces oxygen, and just 2% propane in the air you breathe will send you to the hospital even if it doesn't ignite; that is the Immediately Dangerous to Life and Health (IDLH) concentration.
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:20 PM   #18
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Has anyone done anything to carry extra propane for situations like this? Thoughts and suggestions welcome.
I would suggest:

1) Installing an Extend-A-Stay propane T on your existing tank. I don't have an Interstate but they fit nearly all RVs. https://www.amazon.com/Marshall-Gas-.../dp/B002UC4T6C

2) Carrying one or more portable cylinders using a safe method, such as a hitch rack with proper tiedowns, or a roof rack. Alternatively,

2a) having the local propane distributor deliver a 100# propane cylinder (20 gallon) to the site.

The hose is removed from the extend-a-stay T except when needed. When it's needed, it is installed and connects to a portable cylinder, and the appliances draw propane from that.

This solution is widely used by people fulltiming in motorhomes who do not want to have to move their rigs just to refill propane.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:20 PM   #19
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How about renting a 100 lb tank?

When staying at an RV Park in Golden Colorado we rented a 100 lb tank from a local propane distributor. They would deliver the tank and refill it when we called them. When we were ready to leave they came and picked it up.
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Old 07-22-2016, 11:36 PM   #20
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When staying at an RV Park in Golden Colorado we rented a 100 lb tank from a local propane distributor. They would deliver the tank and refill it when we called them. When we were ready to leave they came and picked it up.
Meaning no offense, but that doesn't solve the problem of how to connect it to an Airstream Interstate. The OP would still need to modify their Interstate to use an Extend-a Stay system or something similar, as suggested by Jammer, in order to use any external tank or cylinder. And with an Extend-a-Stay, a 20- or 30-pound portable cylinder— in addition to the on-board tank— is all that would be needed for the amount of time the OP would be parked in one place.
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Old 07-23-2016, 05:18 AM   #21
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I'm curious about this Extend a Stay option so I dove into a couple of threads on other forums... it looks like it MIGHT be possible, but I would not assume such without examining the specific propane tank configuration of the OP's vehicle. Several threads say things like "all you need is a couple of inches of space..." Heh heh. Never assume that an Interstate will have even a couple of inches where you need them. Especially a T1N.

Anyway, this IRV2 thread has pics showing the tank adaptation. The tank in the photos appears similar to what we have on our T1N Interstate but is not identical - it appears to be larger, which is potentially important.

Even if the adapter can be added, a means of securing the tank would still be needed in a populated area, or else it might sprout legs. Either that or it would call attention to the boondocking, which might run afoul of facility policies. Probably a hitch platform similar to our configuration, as someone else noted above. That way a fitted tarp could be placed over the tank to disguise it.

If the connector could be made to work, this might not be a bad option. And not that expensive either.
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Old 07-23-2016, 10:39 AM   #22
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My research indicates that any arrangement involving the transport of propane on a hitch platform is probably illegal and certainly unwise. Refer to NEPA 1192, the National Fire Protection Association standard for recreational vehicle propane use.
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Old 07-23-2016, 11:56 AM   #23
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My research indicates that any arrangement involving the transport of propane on a hitch platform is probably illegal and certainly unwise. Refer to NEPA 1192, the National Fire Protection Association standard for recreational vehicle propane use.
I was wondering about getting rear-ended and the thing blowing up!
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:47 PM   #24
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I was wondering about getting rear-ended and the thing blowing up!
It is said that the NFPA restrictions were prompted by a family getting toasted in their RV, when someone rear-ended the DOT propane tank on their hitch carrier.

Section 5.2.3.3 of NFPA 1192 seems to limit the location of propane tanks on a Class B to a recess or vented compartment isolated from the passenger compartment, mounted to the chassis or floor, behind the front wheels and higher than the axles. Section 5.2.3.4 states explicitly "Containers shall not be mounted on the exterior of the rear wall or the rear bumper of the vehicle".

I was hoping that it might be possible to mount a low-profile ASME tank on the roof, but that is prohibited by Section 5.2.3.3.

That diesel generator trailer is looking better . . .
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Old 07-23-2016, 04:16 PM   #25
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I didn't read the reference, but a lot of those types of regulations refer to PERMANENT installations. If a person rents a tank for on-site use, it's not permanent any more than plopping an aux tank on the ground next to the vehicle would be permanent.

For years on the Texas coast, some waterfront business operators had six-inch gaps at the bottom of the walls of their waterfront buildings. It's not a "permanent" building if the walls don't go all the way to the ground. Therefore certain building codes aren't interpreted to apply.

I'm not saying either strategy would necessarily be smart in all scenarios. I'm just relating stories about what sometimes gets done in the real world.

I would be OK with having an extra tank staged temporarily on my hitch carrier if the Interstate were staying in once place, especially since (as my husband will attest) I never go nose-in anywhere unless forced. I'm a back-in driver, so the only thing likely to impact my rear end is a Burford holly or Yaupon shrub.
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Old 07-23-2016, 07:59 PM   #26
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I like the hitch mounted tank. Just use the spare tank first and fill up near your destination so you're traveling with an empty tank.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:22 PM   #27
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I like the hitch mounted tank. Just use the spare tank first and fill up near your destination so you're traveling with an empty tank.
Unless you are carrying a never-used tank, which is even permitted inside the vehicle under NFPA 1192 section 5.2.3.2, there is always residual propane, typically about 20% of the fill.

The NFPA refers to both permanent installations of ASME tanks and non-permanent use of DOT tanks. Carrying propane in a hitch-mounted carrier is contrary to the NFPA's express proscription, and without doubt unsafe.
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Old 07-23-2016, 08:49 PM   #28
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I like the hitch mounted tank. Just use the spare tank first and fill up near your destination so you're traveling with an empty tank.
There is no such thing as an "empty" propane cylinder. They still contain propane vapor at normal atmospheric pressure and are still a fire/explosion hazard in a collision.

Empty cylinders ARE safer than full or partially-full ones because when heated they won't become torches when the boiling liquid vaporizes, spews out the pressure relief valve, and ignites (there's no liquid to boil)— and it's a lot harder to make them explode— but that does not mean they're completely safe to transport on a hitch-mounted carrier.

But it must be said that transport on a hitch-mounted carrier is still better than transport inside an enclosed vehicle.

Placing a propane cylinder inside a plastic milk crate will keep it upright and minimize the potential for cylinder damage during transport, but will not keep it from being crushed in a collision or heated enough to explode in a fire.

To be clear, I'm not the safety police and I will not tell anyone not to do it— that option went away when I retired and someone else took over my collateral duty as safety coordinator at work. I'm just saying that, if you're going to do it, make sure you know the risks beforehand so you can make an informed decision.
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