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Old 04-30-2014, 02:27 AM   #1
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17# Composite Propane Cylinders

I just discovered that my AS has two-10# propane cylinders instead of the two-20# ones that it originally came equipped with.

I was flushed with excitement because this was the opportunity that I had been waiting for to upgrade to aluminum cylinders. Unfortunately, the inside height of the aluminum bottle shield will accept 20# steel cylinders, but is too short to handle 20# aluminum cylinders. It seems that AS needed to rivet the top part of the cover a couple of inches higher to allow the aluminum cylinders to fit.

So I decided to throw out the playbook and go for two 17# composite cylinders from Viking Cylinders. These babies only weigh 10 lbs. each vs. about 18 lbs. each for steel. For you with the big AS trailers this might not seem like a big deal, but for us 16-footers it will add some much needed cargo capacity, or help to offset the weight of a larger battery.

Can I cost-justify the decision? Nope. Is it the most economical solution? Nope. Will I be able to see the liquid levels in my tanks? Yep!

I'm interested in your feedback, comments and criticisms regarding my decision.
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Old 04-30-2014, 04:23 AM   #2
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Composite vs aluminum cylinders

I am intrigued by your use of the composite LP cylinders due to the weight savings and most importantly the ability to monitor the amount of LP left in the tanks. Please let us know how this works out. As far as the inability of the aluminum tanks to fit under the AS provided shroud is concerned, isn't the main point of the aluminum tanks aesthetic? In which case I would think that one would not want to cover them!
Bob
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:10 AM   #3
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I would throughly research the topic. Last May the New Jersey and US DOT issued a recall notice for composite tanks manufactured by "Lite Cylinder." I to was looking to purchase tanks. As a mechanical engineer, once I read up on the recall I decided to save my money and keep using 20# steel cylinders until I can afford new aluminum ones.

I don't remember if this effected Viking cylinders or not, so again I recommend doing your own research on this important safety issue.

Google "composite propane cylinders recall" and make your own decision.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:31 AM   #4
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If you use aluminum cylinders, you can leave the cover off.
You could conceivably remove the rivets holding the top of the cover in place, and re-rivet the cover higher to accommodate the taller aluminum cylinders, if you still wanted to use the cover.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:52 AM   #5
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I think the composite cylinders are really cool. I'd also recommend doing your homework to make sure you got one that wasn't unsafe. It is neat to be able to look at them and see the gas level!

I have a pair of 40lb aluminum Worthington's on the 34. Haven't run out of gas yet
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:57 AM   #6
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It looks like it was just that one brand that was recalled, and Viking's cylinders weren't affected. They are very cool looking. My only concern would be that some filling stations would be under the same misconception and refuse to fill them, but that might be addressed by carrying around the recall notice (linked on that FAQ page).
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:03 AM   #7
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I agree, pretty cool looking. I have concerns about long term exposure to UV light and ozone degredation.
I also agree... aluminum cylinders look great polished and naked on the A-frame. I'd rather have function over fashion.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:56 AM   #8
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I worry about the long term safety of composite cylinders and the potential for them to get bruised from impacts.

Perry
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:13 PM   #9
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Caution & Question

There was at least one OLD thread about these tanks. They were NOT approved for use on vehicles. Great for backyard grills, etc., but not yet approved for RV use.

Now this could be out of date. If so, I'll try to find out when this type of cylinder was approved.

I do remember from the original thread that they'd been very thoroughly tested for puncture and flamability and had passed with flying colors.... Why they weren't good for an RV I don't know other than that the approval process either hadn't been started or was still underway.

On to do research. Paula
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:50 PM   #10
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http://www.airforums.com/forums/f287...nks-27788.html

OK here is the old thread. See post 29. Talk about "government speak".

Has the DOT approved these or not?

Paula
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Old 04-30-2014, 01:13 PM   #11
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They are DOT approved.

The main thing to watch is that they are limited to a 15 year service life, after which they can no longer be filled.
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Old 04-30-2014, 05:24 PM   #12
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Thank you all for the feedback. I'll post some pictures once I get the cylinders, and have them filled. As of now I intend to leave these under the nice cover that AS provided, but I might pull the cover when I feel the need for a little bit of bling-bling. With the cover on I can help to minimize the effects of UV and bruising/scrapes/bumps.

I'm not affiliated with these guys, but if you're interested here is where I found the best price:

Viking Cylinders LPG Propane Gas Cylinder - 17 lbs

My price was $272.78 shipped to my door for two of the 17 lb. cylinders making them much more expensive than steel, and a bit less than aluminum.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:00 PM   #13
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Conclusion:

This plan was a major fail. The designers of these cylinders failed to include standardized features found on other tanks. The bottom of the composite cylinders was much too large, and would not fit into the oval-shaped pan/tray that AS mounts to the trailer frame. Furthermore the top of the cylinders is not designed to be used with the top-mounted factory hold-down assembly. My take-away is that the weight savings realized by the lighter cylinders would be nearly offset by the larger pan and mounting hardware that are needed to accommodate them.

Aesthetically the cylinders look cool from a distance, but really look like cheap plastic up close. I'm guessing that many AS owners would not like the look.

I apologize for not taking any pics to share. In my defense I was so disappointed that I boxed up and returned the tanks before I remembered to take any.

On a happier note, I have some nice aluminum cylinders in my future.
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Old 05-19-2014, 02:52 PM   #14
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Yup, the Worthington cylinders are really nice. You'll never regret spending the money! They look great..... the best part is they can remain useful virtually forever.
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