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Old 08-03-2014, 05:47 PM   #1
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2013 23' Flying Cloud
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Changing original steel propane tanks to aluminum 23D

I'd like to change out my original 30 pound steel propane cylinders on my 2013 23D to Worthington (or other) aluminum tanks. At the moment the only thing that concerns me is how to fit the existing hold down bar into the new style aluminum tank top (there is a circular cutout rather than a horizontal surface for the bar's notches to lay over).

I've spent a lot of time searching so I apologize if this has been addressed elsewhere.

Does anyone have experience doing this? Or know of any issues?

I'm just not able to manhandle the heavier steel tanks.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:12 PM   #2
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I'm in the process of switching out my old tanks too. What did you end up doing? I wanted to go with the next size bigger but I too want to keep my existing hardware.
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:56 PM   #3
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I changed the 30# steel propane tanks on my 2014 FC 20' to some 30# Worthington Aluminum ones that I had.

The Aluminum ones are taller than the steel ones, but fit fine under the AS cover. You will have to add length to the hold down post. I bought a piece of All Thread and a coupler in the same size as the original. The coupler threads into the original so it holds down the cover strap. The new all thread screws into the coupler with a jamb nut to keep it together. I then fabricated a tank hold down bar from a piece of scrap aluminum tube that I had, grinding notches into it to hold the tanks in place. The tightening bar system is one from an old Airstream, solid cast aluminum, but the cheapo steel one supplied now by AS will work just as well, but not as pretty.

It is dark outside now, or I would go and take a photo. Maybe tomorrow....

To change or fill the tanks, you unscrew the tightening bar, remove the hold down bar, unscrew the extension with the coupler still attached, then lift the cover off. The only additional step over original is the need to remove the coupler and extension, otherwise the number of parts is the same.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:08 PM   #4
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Here are some photos of my change to aluminum tanks under the cover of my 2014 FC 20 which had steel tanks to begin with. I had a set of 30# aluminum tanks.

Note the needed extension on the hold down rod, made with a coupler and a piece of all thread. It allows the higher tanks, but keeps the original cover hold down bracket. I also can put my security cable over the bracket, so the cover cannot be removed without breaching the cable.

The new hold down for the tanks was made from a piece of scrap aluminum tubing. I ground flats on it so the tanks would be held better. The tightening bar is an old Airstream cast aluminum one which was standard in years past. Probably not available now.

The last photo shows how the tank cover should be positioned under the lip of the hitch jack so it stands up straight, not tipped backwards as you will see many out there.
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Old 09-17-2014, 08:32 AM   #5
1964 overlander
 
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Thanks for the pictures
Looks good. I believe I will be going back with steel tanks though. Don't have the time to change right now.
Thanks again
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Old 09-17-2014, 10:16 AM   #6
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I really appreciate the pictures! That makes all the difference for me!
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:12 PM   #7
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Aluminum LP Tanks vs. Steel

How much less does an aluminum 30# LP tank weigh as compared to the same size steel tank?

Are there other reasons to change other than the weight?
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post
How much less does an aluminum 30# LP tank weigh as compared to the same size steel tank?

Are there other reasons to change other than the weight?
I am not sure, probably 10# savings for each tank, but I have not checked to see the exact data.

The aluminum tanks never rust, and if exposed with no cover look nicer (in my opinion). But there is not huge reason to change them out. I had an extra set I installed on my 2014 FC 20'.
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Old 02-22-2015, 06:52 PM   #9
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LP Tank Tare Weight

Worthington Industries lists a 30# steel tank at 23.3 lbs tare weight (empty) and a 30# aluminum tank at 16.5 lbs Tare weight.
6.8 lb difference x 2 tanks = 13.6 lbs
If you don't keep your tanks completely full you can make up the difference.

However, aluminum is less prone to creating a spark where steel can because of the iron content so, there is a safety factor to consider.

I'll add this to my future projects for consideration file.

Cheers
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Old 02-23-2015, 06:04 AM   #10
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Aluminum tanks are well worth it. Were I to buy a TT without I would replace with them.
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Old 06-10-2016, 06:32 PM   #11
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Aluminum tanks are well worth it. Were I to buy a TT without I would replace with them.
They are relatively expensive. What makes them "well worth it?" I'm not sure I'll go to aluminum tanks but I'm always looking for good ideas, especially if they reduce tongue weight.
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Old 06-10-2016, 08:21 PM   #12
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They last forever. Was still using German made ones from WWII in the 1970s.

Light. Those big tanks get heavy when filled.
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Old 06-11-2016, 12:15 PM   #13
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The Worthington tanks for my 2013 23D are about 10 pounds lighter than the steel ones I have, not a really significant tongue weight reduction. They won't fit into the existing cover and the hold-down won't fit without some modification. The are expensive! I've got them for my boat, but I just don't see what's wrong with the steel ones I have. I think I'll use the steel ones until they don't pass the inspection, then consider my options then.
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Old 06-12-2016, 09:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warmrain View Post
The Worthington tanks for my 2013 23D are about 10 pounds lighter than the steel ones I have, not a really significant tongue weight reduction. They won't fit into the existing cover and the hold-down won't fit without some modification. The are expensive! I've got them for my boat, but I just don't see what's wrong with the steel ones I have. I think I'll use the steel ones until they don't pass the inspection, then consider my options then.
This is pretty much the same conclusion to which I have come. I have other more pressing issues even though this would be a "nice to have" change.
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