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Old 06-30-2004, 12:22 PM   #1
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Propane Tank Mystery

There are 2 steel propane tanks that came with our 64 Overlander. I thought that one of them still had some propane in it because it's 8 pounds heavier than the other, but I can't get any gas out of it. I tried it connected to the regulator and by opening the valve with the tank disconnected, but nothing.

The two tanks appear to be the same in appearance and markings and I'm pretty sure they are original to the trailer.

Any ideas on this one? Am I missing something obvious?

Thanks,

Grant Davidson
Milton, ON, Canada
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Old 06-30-2004, 12:37 PM   #2
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If one of your tanks has propane in it, you should be able to feel it slosh around.

If your tanks have the new OPD style valves installed, you will not be able to get gas out of it by merely opening the valve. And, with the OPD valve, if you open it too quick, the "protection" will not let any gas out even when you are hooked to a regulator.

Good luck!
Tom
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:50 PM   #3
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Or, maybe one of the tanks is steel painted silver, and the other is aluminum whiich is silver? Wouldn't that explain the weight difference?
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Old 06-30-2004, 05:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by dscluchfc
Or, maybe one of the tanks is steel painted silver, and the other is aluminum whiich is silver? Wouldn't that explain the weight difference?
A magnet will reveal the truth.

Tom
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Old 06-30-2004, 07:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcwilliams
A magnet will reveal the truth.

Tom
Already tried the magnet, they're both steel. I can't hear anything sloshing around, and they don't have OPDs.

Thanks,

Grant
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Old 06-30-2004, 07:40 PM   #6
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I would probably buy new aluminum matching LP tanks. I know they are pricy, but it is only money that you can't take to the grave with you. Besides, if you were really concerned about cash, you wouldn't have a trailer anyway. There is hardly any way to economically justify owning one.
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Old 06-30-2004, 10:50 PM   #7
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airstreamdreams.com sells new aluminum tanks. The price is good.
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Old 07-01-2004, 12:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dscluchfc
I would probably buy new aluminum matching LP tanks. I know they are pricy, but it is only money that you can't take to the grave with you. Besides, if you were really concerned about cash, you wouldn't have a trailer anyway. There is hardly any way to economically justify owning one.
Hey hey hey! I spent months convincing my husband it was the most economical way to vacation before he would let me buy ours - don't let him hear you say that!

TCWilliams, I never heard about the protection and opening the valves too quick.
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:15 AM   #9
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Steph...let's assume that you paid $5000 for your trailer.....then there is maintenence, and tags, and insurance, and maintenence, and this and that's for it....how many motel rooms a year would that buy invested properly?
You can't put a price on having your home following you is the point of owning an Airstream, I think.
....just my 2 cents....
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Old 07-01-2004, 02:10 AM   #10
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Oh no, I agree with you, I'm just saying don't spread it around - it's our little secret

Of course, after vacationing in my Airstream, you'd have to PAY me to stay in a hotel room, not the other way around...
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Old 07-01-2004, 05:01 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
TCWilliams, I never heard about the protection and opening the valves too quick.
I have not personally experienced it, but read about it in another post. Some people appararently also have problems when the tank is less than full.

That being said, I do not know how widespread the problems are, but it is something to keep in mind if your tank does not deliver gas when you want it to.

Tom
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Old 07-01-2004, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcwilliams
I have not personally experienced it, but read about it in another post. Some people appararently also have problems when the tank is less than full.

That being said, I do not know how widespread the problems are, but it is something to keep in mind if your tank does not deliver gas when you want it to.

Tom
My dad has had the Dometic refrigerator out of his SOB 4 times in the last month. Every time he bench tested it, it worked fine but when he put it back in his unit it would not work. In desperation he changed the regulator on the LP system and has not had a problem since.
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Old 07-01-2004, 07:53 PM   #13
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TCWilliams, I never heard about the protection and opening the valves too quick.
Many modern propane systems use a safety device called an excess-flow POL. This is the fitting that attaches to the tank, usually right at the input to the regulator. It will typically have a very small hole in the end, as well as a spring-loaded plunger inside. The purpose of this device is to limit the maximum flow rate of propane from the tank.

If you open the propane tank valve too quickly, the plunger will cut the gas flow to a trickle. This limited flow will be maintained until the pressure equalizes up- and downstream of the POL and the plunger resets. If you have a major failure - say a gas line breaks off - the POL will keep the propane from gushing out and becoming a huge fire hazard.

Excess-flow POLs are sized in BTUs. If all the propane devices in your trailer add up to, say, 55,000 BTU, you might have a POL rated at 75,000 BTU.

This is a great safety device, although not all RV shops know about them. I once had a parts salesman tell me that there was no such thing. Coincidentally, he only carried a non-limited POL with about a 1/4" hole in it!

Useless trivia: the POL got its name from one of the early makers of gas-fired appliances, Prest-O-Lite.

Bob McKeown
Nashville
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Old 07-01-2004, 08:06 PM   #14
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Bob,
Great information!
Thanks.
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