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Old 05-09-2016, 08:04 AM   #1
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How long does 30 lbs of propane last?

So my AS has two 30 lb propane tanks and no gauges. I am assuming that this is setup so that when one runs out, you use the 2nd one while you refill the first.

How do you know you ran out of propane? I assume when you have no more hot water?

If I use propane to run the fridge only, for example, how long will a 30 lb tank run? Are we talking 1 day? 1 week? 1 month?
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:28 AM   #2
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It has been our experience that one 30# LP tank lasts quite a while with our camping style. We usually stay overnight with shore power. We most often heat water with the electric function. On our last long trip (82 days) we only filled one tank. About the only LP that we used was to run the refrigerator while underway and occasionally on the gas function of the water heater.

We have always found it relatively easy to keep track of Lucy's propane. I have made it part of my routine to take a look at the LP tanks every morning while on the road. Once I see red on the gauge, I switch the gauge to the other tank, and fill the empty tank that day.

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Old 05-09-2016, 08:35 AM   #3
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If you are not camping in the winter (and using the furnace) you could find a single 30 pound tank will last for several weeks to a month or more of continuous camping (I'm assuming you have the fridge and hot water heater on propane here.) I suggest that you just check the regulator every week or so to see if it's has flipped over to the second tank (as indicated by the red flag in the display.) If you see red, then you have a few days (or even more) to refill the empty tank. These days you are rarely more than a few miles from a propane filling facility.

If you are camping in the winter and using the furnace, then check the regulator more frequently.

If you include electrical hookup campsites in your mix (and run the fridge and hot water heater on shore power) you could go the entire summer on a single tank.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:41 AM   #4
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As a full timer we get 2 weeks on a single tank. We rarely run the heater and only use the water heater once a day. Mostly cooking and fridge.
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Old 05-09-2016, 08:49 AM   #5
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You have the automatic switch over. When one tank runs dry it switches over the other tank assuming you have it turned on.

Doesn't the Micropulse monitor panel show LP level on yours? I have the aluminum tanks which also have sight gauge plus the connection to the Micropulse.

I have to run the water heater on propane due to only 30amp. If I'm running the AC and have the water heater on 120v and the water is cold and then use the microwave for more than a couple of minutes the 30amp breaker trips. You have 50amp so will not have this issue.

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Old 05-09-2016, 08:55 AM   #6
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We spent 3 months in the south this winter, I don't have a gauge on my cylinders either. I always have the switch set to one or the other, never in the center position. Our 30 lb. cylinders were about half full, I had asked the U-Haul attendant not to fill them to save on hitch weight for the trip down. We always had electric wherever we stayed but if the temp got down to the low 40s we switched to propane or space heater instead of the heat pump. We don't use the AS shower, relying on CG facilities. We use the stove but BBQ and use a Coleman stove outside from time to time. We had the fridge on during the entire trip. In camp it was on AC, traveling, it was on propane.

When cylinder 1 went empty (the water heater light comes on, stays on) I switched to cylinder 2 and took cylinder 1 to get it refilled. Eventually cylinder 2 emptied and I switched back to cylinder 1, filled cylinder 2. At the end of our trip I was back on cylinder 2 for a couple of weeks, cylinder 1 is empty.

So over 3 months we used about 3.2 cylinders of propane in the central Florida, north central Texas climate. I run the cylinders empty, then switch to the other one and refill the empty one. On the way home we had an empty cylinder and about 80% of the other one so tongue weight was about the same as when we started out.
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Old 05-09-2016, 09:40 AM   #7
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Any answer you get will be valueless because there are far too many variables in the question.

I will say that a 30 lbs tank last more than the summer camping season in the northeast and about a day and a half in the same area in the dead if winter.
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Old 05-09-2016, 10:43 AM   #8
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You can always turn off one of the propane tanks manually, and let the other tank run out, if you don't need constant furnace use, and can run the water heater and fridge on electric. Some people do this as a way of forcing themselves to keep track of propane usage. Also suggest keeping a log book of propane used (and cost if interested). I have my old log book from the 1990's and propane has doubled since then. Also keep track of trailer miles in the same book.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:14 AM   #9
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LP is pretty heavy and when a tank is full you can feel it by lifting the tank. Over time you get pretty good at being able to tell when a tank is getting empty simply by lifting it right in place and checking on approximate weight. My 1969 had a visual prism style level read at the switch over valve but when we had to replace it a couple of years ago that went away. I've tried the inline gauges but they seem to interrupt flow in some cases. So that leaves me with this approach. The other replies are correct of course the time a full tank lasts depends on usage in the trailer with water heater and furnace being top users of LP
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:31 AM   #10
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With a dual power water heater, camping with electric sites and having a heat pump, we find that our use of gas mainly is for cooking and running the fridge when traveling. When we shower I turn on the gas to the water heater with the electric on at the same time to boost the performance. it takes about a year for me to use one 30 lb tank.

However, I remember one cold late October trip up in Springfield Illinois. It was a weekend only and it was extremely cold and windy. Too cold for heat pump usage and I remember that we almost went through an entire tank on a 3 night stay. The furnace is going to be the major consumer of gas. You can really minimize gas usage if you have the gas/electric water heater and heat pump.

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Old 05-09-2016, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera View Post
With a dual power water heater, camping with electric sites and having a heat pump, we find that our use of gas mainly is for cooking and running the fridge when traveling. When we shower I turn on the gas to the water heater with the electric on at the same time to boost the performance. it takes about a year for me to use one 30 lb tank.

However, I remember one cold late October trip up in Springfield Illinois. It was a weekend only and it was extremely cold and windy. Too cold for heat pump usage and I remember that we almost went through an entire tank on a 3 night stay. The furnace is going to be the major consumer of gas. You can really minimize gas usage if you have the gas/electric water heater and heat pump.

Jack
Thank you, this reply was very helpful.
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Old 05-09-2016, 11:45 AM   #12
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We went 95 days continuosly last spring & sunmer on 1-1/4 tanks in moderate temperatures (upper 30's- 72 or so). We did lose an entire tank due to a leak at the connector valve on our newly delivered AS. I found this after using leak detection flyid and applying thread sealant.

We used the heat pump most of the time when heat was needed. We cooked dinner using range and oven about 50 days. Microwave uses only shore power. We used it for eggs and egg beaters in a special dish for that purpose. Use electricity for hot water since you are paying for it anyway. Occasional propane for refrigerator while traveling, but mostbof the time just leaving ref doir closed maintains acceptable temp for driving time in moderate temps.

As others have said, there are many variables and you will determine your usage needs.
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Old 05-09-2016, 12:18 PM   #13
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For more accurate tracking without a gauge, you may want to consider purchasing an inexpensive hand held luggage scale. Get one which has a second sweep hand which retains the measured weight, so you don't have to look at the scale when you are lifting. Note, you will have to be able to lift 56 lbs.

Here is a simple chart:

Full - 56 lb
3/4 - 48 lb
2/3 - 46 lb
1/2 - 41 lb
1/3 - 36 lb
1/4 - 33 lb
Empty - 26 lb


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Old 05-09-2016, 12:24 PM   #14
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In the winter with the furnace running every night - 1 tank lasts us 7 days with fridge running, cooking, furnace and hot water.

During the summer both tanks would generally last the whole month.
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