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Old 10-13-2015, 05:25 PM   #1
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Propane Level

We have our AS out for our first extended trip (5 nights). It is cold at night here in western PA and while we keep the thermostat low at night we are still using the furnace often. I have one full tank of propane (I know this because I filled it up) and one with an undetermined amount from when I bought our AS this summer. I'm not worried about running out of propane but was thinking it sure would be nice to know how much remains in the partially used tank. Especially since I don't want to get up in the middle of the night to switch.

So my question, is there a way to measure/see how much propane is in each tank? What do you experts use?


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Old 10-13-2015, 05:33 PM   #2
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Pull the tank and weigh it.

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Old 10-13-2015, 05:39 PM   #3
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Very simple. Set the control to auto switch, when it switches to the full tank the other one is empty, just check it daily so you know.
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Old 10-13-2015, 05:55 PM   #4
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If you want to know how much propane is in the tank, simply pour warm water over the cylinder and then feel the side of the tank. You can feel the change in warm metal to cold. The cold is where the propane is. This is how I gauged how much propane was left in a cylinder when I lived in my trailer one winter. Also, if it's cold enough for frost to form on the cylinder, you'll see a line in the frost indicating the propane level. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-13-2015, 05:59 PM   #5
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If your cylinders are the standard 30-pound size (so-called seven gallon), then look at the number following the letters "TW" on the collar of the cylinder. This figure is the weight of the cylinder's metal (steel, aluminum) alone with no propane.
  • A completely full cylinder will be TW + 30.
  • A completely empty will be TW.
If you do not know the size of your cylinders yet, then check the number after the letters "WC" on the collar. This indicates the capacity of the tank in pounds for water when the cylinder is filled to the standard 80% level. Multiply WC by .42 to find out the weight of the propane that your cylinder can contain with it is full.
  • WC X .42 = propane capacity of your cylinder.

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Old 10-19-2015, 12:35 PM   #6
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I'm wondering the same thing. Doing some research online I ran across this:

We have a similar level indicator for our '16 FC but it doesn't include the LP gauge. I wonder why AS didn't include it?? I also wonder how hard it would be to add it?

Here is an easier to use after market gauge, prolly what I'll end up getting:

Propane Tank Gauge | World Market


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Old 10-19-2015, 12:58 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by gabugman View Post

I'm wondering the same thing. Doing some research online I ran across this:
I actually have this gauge. While it works, it doesn't fit inside the propane cover. I keep it on my tank for our grille.

Most of the new Airstreams have the auto switch over. If you know which tank is full, I would simply set the source tank to the half empty tank. When it's empty it will switch over to the full tank and the indicator will turn red. Now you know it's empty, go fill it.
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Old 10-19-2015, 05:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Hans627 View Post

So my question, is there a way to measure/see how much propane is in each tank? What do you experts use?

Two separate things going on here.

Your trailer should have a dual-tank regulator that uses the propane from one tank, then switches to the other while at the same time showing a red flag to let you know that you have an empty tank. They aren't perfect but work well, other than some limitations in extremely cold (below 20 degrees) weather. That should eliminate the need to switch tanks, and should ensure that one tank empties first so you can take the empty tank to be refilled.

There are three ways to measure the level of propane in a tank.

1) You can weigh the tank, which is a nuisance because you have to remove it, and you have to have a scale. This will give accurate results and works on any removable tank that is small enough to lift.

2) You can run hot water down the side and try to feel for the difference in temperature. This doesn't always work as well as you might like.

3) You can get tanks with float gauges. Two ways to go on this, you can get tanks that are manufactured with a separate threaded port for the float gauge, which are expensive (but worth it). Or you can have a propane dealer replace the tank valve with one that has a float indicator on it.

The add-on gauges that thread onto your existing tank valve only measure pressure and will only tell you when the tank is empty or nearly so. Avoid them.

I have tanks with the float gauge in a separate threaded port on my Airstream. On my Cayo I have to use nonstandard tanks for which no float gauges are available so I just run one until the flag on the regulator turns red.
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Old 10-19-2015, 06:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
The add-on gauges that thread onto your existing tank valve only measure pressure and will only tell you when the tank is empty or nearly so. Avoid them.

You can also thump the tank with your knuckles. The fuller tank will have a higher pitch. (or is it the other way around?)
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:54 PM   #10
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Pick it up and shake it. Works every time
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:37 PM   #11
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Buy a Propane tank sonic measuring device like the one from Truma or the MosCap Red GasCheck Propane Tank Liquid Level Indicator. They work well. MosCap can be found direct or at Amazon.

On the question from bug on the SeeLevel system the LPG bit only works with tanks that have a separate level indicator that uses a float. There is an electronic piece that fits on the face of the gauge. This is standard on the 2015+ Classic. Not sure about earlier classics.

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