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Old 07-15-2004, 02:56 AM   #1
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Securing Aluminum Tanks

When aluminum tanks went on sale at Airstream Dreams I figured that was my cue to break down and buy a pair. They arrived the other day and I'm in the process of polishing them. How are folks securing their new, freshly polished tanks to the trailer to keep them where they belong? I'd sure hate to lose them..

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Old 07-15-2004, 05:19 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfshr
When aluminum tanks went on sale at Airstream Dreams I figured that was my cue to break down and buy a pair. They arrived the other day and I'm in the process of polishing them. How are folks securing their new, freshly polished tanks to the trailer to keep them where they belong? I'd sure hate to lose them..

FF
After having had my tanks come loose and dragging one for a few miles , I promptly bought four 19" black stretch cords, two for each tank. You can bet that tank security is one of the "pre-flight" checks I now routinely make. That includes the condition of the stretch cords. Not pretty, but effective.
Eugenie
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Old 07-15-2004, 05:42 AM   #3
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brad

you may be able to use the holes in the base ring to fashion a locking pin arrangement. it could pass through the ring on the tounge and the base ring on the tank.

would make a good out of sight anti theft device!

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Old 07-15-2004, 06:55 AM   #4
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Brad,

You will need to verify the thread size but, when we full timed I used a Yakima threaded bolt lock. It was threaded on the hold down shaft and acted like a jam nut to the spinner handle. Once in place and locked it was going to be very difficult to remove it, or the bottles since I had pressure on them with the hold down. It was one extra key, but I did not have to worry that my 30 LB Aluminum tanks were going to get legs.....
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Old 07-15-2004, 08:35 AM   #5
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Brett,

That sounds like the solution I had in mind. Do you have a picture of this device in action on your trailer? An aluminum tank with legs would be a terrible sight...

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Old 07-15-2004, 10:14 AM   #6
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On my 74 Argosy (22ft) there is a long shaft inbetween the tanks and a "T" bracket that is held down with a Nut. I have a threaded nut with a cover that when on and the locking key is removed allows the cover to turn free, and no access to the holding nut. I have seen several times , Marks on the edges of my tanks, but I still have them.
Believe it or not on my towing vehicle we had an old car cover, ....someone stole it. Blessings upon them because it was destined for the garbage.
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Old 07-15-2004, 10:51 AM   #7
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Flyfshr,
When I replaced the old metal tanks on my 64 overlander with new polished alumimum tanks, I was also worried about the possibility of losing them. I had two concerns; the first was me failing to tighten the lock down bar after a propane refill and the second was a failure of the threaded rod that the lock down bar mounts to. I wanted a backup method that worked independently from the primary lock down hardware. The solution I came up with was found in the electrical section of Home Depot. It consists of a cad plated crows foot clamp and bolt that grips the cylinder mounting ring on the trailer frame with the crows foot and the bolt screws down and locks on the heavy aluminum ring that makes up the base of the tank. This arrangement locks the cylinder to the trailer mounting ring and gives a nice tidy backup solution. The clamp can be seen just below the cylinder in the following picture.
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Old 07-15-2004, 11:28 PM   #8
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Mark,
Can you take a close-up of the device you described. There's a Home Depot right up the street

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Old 07-16-2004, 12:18 AM   #9
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Flyfshr,
I will blow up the picture I previously posted. I do not have a picture available of the clamp from a side view, but it is shaped like a "u" when viewed from the side and has a square headed bolt that threads in from the back side. You would actually tighten the bolt from under the cylinder.
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Old 07-16-2004, 11:11 AM   #10
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A word of caution for old trailer owners:
The hold down rod on my 1963 Overlander snapped right off at the base when I tried to undo the winged screw on teh top of the rod. Id did not look bad, and there was no evidence of corrosion near the bottom, just on the top where the winged nut got rusty on the treads.
My advice would be to replace this rod soon if you have not already done so.
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Old 07-16-2004, 11:52 AM   #11
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Securing Aluminum Tanks

Greetings Uwe!

Quote:
Originally Posted by uwe
A word of caution for old trailer owners:
The hold down rod on my 1963 Overlander snapped right off at the base when I tried to undo the winged screw on teh top of the rod. Id did not look bad, and there was no evidence of corrosion near the bottom, just on the top where the winged nut got rusty on the treads.
My advice would be to replace this rod soon if you have not already done so.
I second the advice - - I had the same experience with both my '64 Overlander and '78 Minuet. The Minuet was well behaved, and this repair was required when removing tanks for filling while parked in my home driveway - - the one on the Overlander failed while in the wilds of South Dakota. Checking these brackets is now on my regular maintenance check-list.

Kevin
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Old 07-18-2004, 01:51 PM   #12
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I use a 6' Kryptonite vinyl covered steel cable with a loop on each end. I run one end of the cable through the collars and then run that end through the loop on the other end. I then lock it to the connection the chains are attached to with a large stainless steel Master padlock. So far so good.
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Old 07-18-2004, 02:17 PM   #13
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It's unfortunate that the manufacturer of the aluminum tanks couldn't just put a ring at the bottom of the tank that has say 4 round holes in it so securing the tanks would be easy for anyone. I suppose one could have such a ring added to the bottom if you know a good welding shop.



On another note my local propane supplier has informed me that he is able to get steel tanks that are chromed. The cost is around $120 for a 30 pounder.



Anyone else have an outlet for these and do you think a chrome tank would be just as good as a polished aluminum tank?
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Old 07-18-2004, 02:25 PM   #14
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I have always heard that chroming or nickle plating certain auto parts will actually weaken them but they have nickle plated and hard chromed semi-auto pistol frames/slides for years to resist the weather as well as sweat from hands without ill effects. The bad part about chroming is that a single imperfection or nick will set up rust at the site and then you are done for. I would be more inclined to just re-polish from time to time to keep them looking good although my aluminum tanks are still in the buff.
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