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Old 11-05-2005, 07:22 PM   #1
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Steel vs. Aluminum

Hi Everybody,

I'm fixing up a '77 Excella. The place I bought it from stripped a lot of stuff off it, and one of the things taken were the LP bottles.

I'd like to get aluminum bottles, but the prices for them are pretty high. The best prices I've found anywhere were at the airstreamdreams website. I think they were in the $150 range. The best I could do locally on the same tanks (Worthingtons...I haven't seen any other brand of aluminum tanks) was $240.

I've seen steel tanks for $79 (I'm looking at 40 pound tanks).

So the question is: Steel tanks for $79 and paint them with chrome paint, or bit the bullet and get the aluminum ones.

Other than appearance, is the aluminum so much better that they're worth double the money?
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:30 PM   #2
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Jim,
Aluminum tanks are substantially lighter in weight when full, and you don't have to worry about constant touch up painting. I have had both and much prefer the aluminum. IMHO they are basically maintenance free.

Aaron
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Old 11-05-2005, 07:55 PM   #3
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As an owner of a '77 Excella 500 with 40 lb. aluminum tanks, I'd have to say go aluminum. They are so much easier to handle full as compared to the steel 40 lb. tanks. The tongue weight is over 1000 lbs. on my trailer so the aluminum tanks come in handy. In 4 years I have yet to clean the tanks. Rain just washes them off.
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Old 11-05-2005, 10:20 PM   #4
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Jim;

Steel tanks have to be re-certified every 12 years (not sure that's an issue), aluminum tanks do not....and they weigh alot less full and feather weight empty!

Greg
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Old 11-05-2005, 10:47 PM   #5
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Another vote for aluminum here...

I travel alone sometimes...not sure I could lift a full 40lb steel tank...we have 2-20's and even they are heavy when full.

Shari
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Old 11-05-2005, 11:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoomZoom
Jim;

Steel tanks have to be re-certified every 12 years (not sure that's an issue), aluminum tanks do not....and they weigh alot less full and feather weight empty!

Greg
Just a quick FYI, steel tanks have to be recertified after 12 years, then every 6 years thereafter.
And aluminum is so shiny when you polish it!
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Old 11-06-2005, 12:08 AM   #7
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Okay, they say a picture is worth a thousand words:

Left - Old Steel (painted silver)
Middle - New Unplolished Aluminum
Right - New Polished Aluminum

Shari
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Old 11-06-2005, 02:23 AM   #8
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another way to think about it.....

except for cost factors is there EVER a reason to choose steel instead of aluminum?

.........hum.........maybe if one planned to paint the tanks some wild colors/artsy fartsy design or have them chrome'd........

any other reasons to favor steel?

cheers
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Old 11-06-2005, 06:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
except for cost factors is there EVER a reason to choose steel instead of aluminum?
yup,

aluminum tanks don't spark after falling off and hitting the pavement at speed!

i use steel tanks because they are cheap and plentiful. also, i have a tank cover on my trailer so i can't see them.

john
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Old 11-06-2005, 10:11 AM   #10
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Okay so there's one...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2airishuman
another way to think about it.....

except for cost factors is there EVER a reason to choose steel instead of aluminum?<snip>
any other reasons to favor steel?'
Quote:
Originally Posted by john hd
...i have a tank cover on my trailer so i can't see them.
But they are still heavier to manipulate when full.

Shari
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Old 11-06-2005, 10:15 AM   #11
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Aluminum It Shall Be...

OK, I'm convinced. Aluminum it shall be.

Thanks!
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Old 11-15-2005, 01:18 PM   #12
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So aluminum tanks never need certification? I did not know that. Why would they be different than steel? I would assume both expand and contract. Or is it the rust thing?

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Old 11-15-2005, 01:27 PM   #13
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So aluminum tanks never need certification? I did not know that.

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That is not what I've heard...as far as I can find ALL vertical vapor feed tanks need to be recertified every 12 years. With no exceptions. Another interesting item is that the OPD's are CODE not LAW however local enities...ie; states can make the code law....

Aaron
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Old 11-15-2005, 03:08 PM   #14
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Regarding OPD's, I know I may be flying against the rules on that one. However I am convinced that the places I fill my tanks at are extremely skilled. And I am willing to bet my saftey on that, and, well, ..... I do.

However the above statements on al. tanks lead me to believe that they do not require recertification. Just looking for clarification. Cause my steel tanks will be coming up in several years and I will switch to the al. tanks if they do not need inspecting. (I am all for getting less complex) And the al tanks look better too.

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