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Old 12-16-2006, 03:00 PM   #1
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Question LP Tanks Orientation

I have seen some LP tanks mounted horizontally VERSUS the more prevalent vertical positioning. Is there an advantage/disadvantage to either mounting orientation?
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Old 12-16-2006, 03:13 PM   #2
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Many motorhomes and propane tractor types have HORIZONTAL tanks mostly for space saving. But those tanks are designed to be used horizontally. Do NOT place an upright tank on it's side even to transport in a car trunk or pickup bed. I am sure some of our fellow forum experts can give you the reason better than I.
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Old 12-16-2006, 04:14 PM   #3
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COST

7 gallon verticle tank for bar-b-que $40.00

7 gallon horizontal tank for forklift $160.00

Supply and demand, the more standard an item, usually lower cost.
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Old 12-16-2006, 08:43 PM   #4
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Odd, I've transported 20lb tanks that are vertical tanks, stored and transported horizontally and have not had any issues in many years. Anyone tell me why it's a bad idea to do this?
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Old 12-16-2006, 09:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
Odd, I've transported 20lb tanks that are vertical tanks, stored and transported horizontally and have not had any issues in many years. Anyone tell me why it's a bad idea to do this?
I agree. Aside from the obvious (OPD device won't work in an horizontal orientation) if the valve is tightly closed I'm not understanding what the big deal is in transporting disconnected tanks. My horizontal tanks, which were recertified this summer have regular valves (except that their orientation is such for horizontal use).
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Old 12-16-2006, 10:12 PM   #6
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Don't know why...

The warning label on my propane tank says to transport the tank only in an upright postion. I checked a few propane company websites and they say the same. Nobody says WHY.

The AS tanks are fixed so I don't have to worry about them. I always keep my spare tank upright and transport it in an empty milk crate so it doesn't tip over. I use bungee cords to tie the crate to the pick up truck tiedowns
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Old 12-16-2006, 10:53 PM   #7
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In the vertical position, if the tank gets too warm and builds up excessive pressure, it will vent off excess gas from the top of the tank. If it was in the horizontal position, it will vent off liquid which would give you a much higher weight of vented material to explode. Any explosion is bad but a big explosion is worse than a smaller explosion. Do not transport full propane tanks in a closed vehicle. It needs room to breath if it ever vents. If you must put it in the back of a truck with a cap leave the back window open or if it is in the trunk leave the trunk lid open.
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Old 12-17-2006, 12:29 AM   #8
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A propane tank contains propane in two states - liquid and vapor. The vapor space is at the top of the tank, the liquid on the bottom. You burn the vapor or gas in your appliances, not the liquid form. It's my understanding that if you turn a tank on it's side that is not designed to be operated that way, you will get liquid out the valve. This is not a good (safe) thing.
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Old 12-17-2006, 01:30 AM   #9
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propane tanks

We have a friend in the propane business that I asked about this tonight. He gave me the same response or similar one to what dwight stated. In addition, cylinders of 100# and above must be transported vertically, by law. Apparently, smaller cylinders can be transported at your own risk, horizontally.
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:11 AM   #10
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Sounds like some of the fancier upscale larger Airstreams are rolling disasters waiting to happen. Unless of course Airstream knows something we all don't know.
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:17 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streamer1
Sounds like some of the fancier upscale larger Airstreams are rolling disasters waiting to happen. Unless of course Airstream knows something we all don't know.
Good info to know. I suppose if you transport it in say the back of a Suburban, that you make sure it's climate controlled in the cabin.

As for the upper crust Airstreams in danger, I am sure the Airstreams that I saw that have horiz tanks are designed that way.
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:39 AM   #12
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No Rockets!

I think the real reason with propane tanks is that if you knock the valve off and it's horizontal, you've now got a rocket on your hands.

If they're mounted vertically and are sitting on the tongue, you knock the valve off and the thrust will just push it into the tongue. If it's horizontal, chances are the securing straps aren't going to provide the resistance horizontally that the tongue does vertically, so the tank could shoot back through the trailer (if mounted in front like on a square stream) or out of the bed of your truck if they're laying on their sides with the valve toward the front and into some poor guy behind you...or through the cab ofy our truck if it's pointed the other way. You get the picture.

With acetylene tanks, you have to be careful about having them on their side adn then operating them right after transport. Acetone is placed in the tanks with the acetylene to help stabilize the gas. On their side, the acetone will get up by the nozzle end of the tank. If you open the valve and the acetone runs out through your regulators, it will mess them all up. At least that's what my welding prof said. he said to NEVER transport cylinders horizontally. Reality is that you can do it, but you must stand them vertical for at least a half hour before you use them.

However, that only prevents the acetone from eroding the regs. That does nothing to prevent the tank from becoming a rocket. That's the real reason you always see welding supply trucks hauling the cylinders vertically.
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:41 AM   #13
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Good point. I'll practice better saftey when transporting my 20lb tanks as a result of this thread.
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Old 12-17-2006, 10:05 AM   #14
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I think I'll go purchase one of those new see thru tanks and flip it around, roll it around , bounce it around and so forth so I can give all a report on my visual findings.
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