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Old 05-14-2007, 10:52 AM   #1
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Propane usage while boondocking

As my summer adventures draw near I have started to wonder how much propane I should expect to use. On the 2 Trade Wind tanks I will run the refer , stove, and water heater (if I can get it working). My secondary tanks will run the generator (mostly battery recharging) and outdoor lamp. Any wild guesses as to how much propane I would go through in a week?
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:57 AM   #2
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Depends on how cold it will be. Most of my propane usage goes to heat. When it is cold I can go through a 30 pound tank in two days. That is the reason I upgraded to 40s.
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Old 05-14-2007, 10:59 AM   #3
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If not using the furnace, two 30# tanks will just about cover a summer's worth of weekends and the occasional week of vacation. I'd guess something less than one tank per week of fulltiming. Feed from only one tank and there will be no doubt how long it lasts -- 'cept I always forget to write down when I started it!
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Old 05-14-2007, 11:32 AM   #4
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I felt like I was using about one 30# per week for refrig, water heater and cooking when we were traveling last summer. I also learned to just use one tank at a time - so I knew when it was time to get a refill. Bummer when you run out of both tanks.

Pat
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Old 05-14-2007, 02:32 PM   #5
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I've been able to run the fridge, furnace and water heater (sparingly) and get weeks of use out of one tank. If it is really cold out and it runs most of the day (24 hour period), then you may chew one tank up in a week.

I bought a 20lb tank to power my 1000 Yamaha. I ran it for hours and hours and barely ate 1/4 tank. FWIW......
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Old 05-14-2007, 03:36 PM   #6
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Typically I'll use one 30 lb. tank a season. I travel with the fridge on gas, switching to A/C at the campsite. Since I have a dual fuel hot water heater, I normally use electric at the campsite and turn on the gas switch as an additional resource when we shower. On heat I'll use the heat pump till we get to about 40-45, then we will go to gas.

The season for us goes April through October with a minimum of one weekend a month and about 3 times a year where we will go out one to two weeks. Last fall we went up to Sprinfield Illinois for about 4 days where it was down in the upper 30's with a 25 mph wind blowing. During that period we burned through 2/3's of a tank.

Like some others do, I run with only one tank on preferring to know when I run out of gas (even though I have a monitor). I'm not perfectly sure if in a dual tank mode if the switch over occurs prior to exhausting the operational tank. In my neck of the woods, propane is priced based on tank size and not the amout of liquid they put in. Due to that, I always like to go for the refill, knowing that the tank is really empty.

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Old 05-14-2007, 03:42 PM   #7
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I guess the big user for me will be the refer since it will be on propane almost all the time. Last summer I went a long way on a little propane, but I was near electric most of the time since I didnt have a generator at that point. I wonder what accounts for Pat using a 30# tank a week for the refer and Twink getting "weeks" out of a tank?
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
I have a dual fuel hot water heater,

Jack
No wonder you don't use a lot of LP Jack.......the water is already hot before you turn the water heater on!

BTW Rodney, the fridge takes very little. I could go a month long season with 2 30lb tanks and still have LOTS of LP left. Maybe there is a leak somewhere, small enough to not activate the LPG valve? The biggest pig is the furnace. That thing can eat a tank purdy quick if the furnace ran even 1/4 as much as the fridge.....
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvertwinkie
No wonder you don't use a lot of LP Jack.......the water is already hot before you turn the water heater on!

.....
Yeah, my SOB had one of these. The Safari didn't. Recovery is much faster when both the element and gas flame are cooking.

Jack
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Old 05-14-2007, 04:28 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
Yeah, my SOB had one of these. The Safari didn't. Recovery is much faster when both the element and gas flame are cooking.

Jack
That's one of the reasons that I installed the RV-500. You get as much hot water as you can use on a minimum of LP. I camped for 3 months in Hood River, OR last summer and only used one 30# tank for hot water AND grilling.
It's great when you don't have to heat all of that water constantly.
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Old 05-14-2007, 07:59 PM   #11
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I have the two original 5 gallon (20#, I think??) tanks on my TW. Using the gas only fridge, gas only (ailing and inefficient) water heater, stove burners daily, and at least 5 baking sessions with the oven, the two tanks lasted through about 3 weeks of solid camping time.

I've got to look into Lewster's RV-500 water heater.
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugarfoot
I've got to look into Lewster's RV-500 water heater.
Thats a nearly $1,000 option.
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Old 05-14-2007, 08:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Thats a nearly $1,000 option.
Hmmm . . .
Well, Plan B - continue with the old original Bowen until it breathes its last.
Then Plan C - evaluate a few other options.
Or, Plan D - cold showers.

Good luck with your summer adventures, Rodney!
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Old 05-15-2007, 09:24 AM   #14
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I did a little test last week to get a better understanding of the auto-change over valve. One tank was showing “red” (indicates near empty/empty) the other is full. Closed the full tank and ran the “red” tank until appliances shut off due to no more gas. This proved the tank was completely empty. I then opened the full tank, without switching the valve position. I gave it a few minutes for pressure to stabilize, then re-lit appliances. Everything worked fine. Then closed the full tank and switched back to empty, few minutes later, appliances shut-down. Switched back to full tank-life is good! This proved, to me, that the auto-change over does work as advertised. It will drain your tank completely before switching (some one else commented you get ~ 80% of pressure until you manually move the valve?). Any way I am fully confident that this system works and there is no need to run with one tank shut off (risking a cold shower!), if you have the auto-change over valve. BTW, I ran all last season on (1) 30# tank; hot water heater is always on when we are camping, fridge on gas quite a few times when towing, and used the heat once or twice. This is our third camper, and I am always surprised how long propane lasts…if you are going through LOTS of propane, I would do a leak test.
Bill
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