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Old 02-01-2007, 12:16 PM   #1
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2007 25' Safari FB SE
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When are Propane Tanks Empty?

Is there some method or gauge to determine the amount of propane in each tank? We are not very inexperienced with propane and after our heating system stopped working we concluded that the tank was empty and simply switched to another. The operator of the RV park removed the emty tank and replaced it. He indicated that there is some method of looking at a color code but I was unable to see it. I would love a simple gauge on each tank.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodedareas
Is there some method or gauge to determine the amount of propane in each tank? We are not very inexperienced with propane and after our heating system stopped working we concluded that the tank was empty and simply switched to another. The operator of the RV park removed the emty tank and replaced it. He indicated that there is some method of looking at a color code but I was unable to see it. I would love a simple gauge on each tank.
Most RV stores have a vertical stick on tape type LPG gauge, that is cheap.

It works best when your using some of the LPG.

You simply throw hot water on that gauge and look for a color change. That tells you the LPG level. Cost? 3-4 dollars.

Or, when again, your using some LPG, you can simply place your hand on the side of the bottle and slide your hand up and down, looking for a temperature change. The point at which the temperature changes, is the level of the LPG.

As LP, a liquid, changes to LPG, a vapor or gas, there is a huge cooling effect that takes place as you consume the vapor and some of the liquid changes to a gas.

Cost? Free.

Enjoy. Not too many things you can do with your Airstream thats free, but this is one of them.

Only one problem. If you have a LPG tank cover, then doing the above becomes an effort.

Andy
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:33 PM   #3
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The tare weight (empty weight) is stamped on each tank. Anything above that is Propane. If you do not have a scale handy, I usually shake them. Propane in the tank is mostly liquid. If you feel something swich around the tank still has some propane in it. They also sell a pressure gauge which fits on the top of the tank but they do not work very well. Another thing they sell is a temperature decal which you splash hot water on. The presence of liquid propane cools the liquid faster than the gas and indicates the level of propane liquid still in the tank. Works but is a two step process. You can also tell by holding your hand on the side of the tank the liquid area feels cooler. Little hard to tell most times. Another trick is to knock on the tank. Really hard to tell this way but some say it works.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:37 PM   #4
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I could be a smarty and say "When the burner won't light!" Hee Hee but I will say the way we do it is to pour some WARM water down the side of the tank and then feel it with your hand and you will feel where the warm meets the cold ,the cold being the level of gas in the tank, that should give you a good idea. I've never used a gauge. I can tell within 3 days when I'm going to run out.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:41 PM   #5
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There are several ways to determine when a tank is empty. With a single tank, you're empty when the gas quits flowing, obviously. Dual tank installations make it easier when they are equipped with an automatic cross-over regulator, as many ASs are. Starting with two full tanks, turn the arrow on the control knob of the regulator toward the tank of your choice and open valves on BOTH tanks. The red flag in the changeover window will disappear and gas will flow from the selected tank. When the first (selected) tank is empty, the red flag will reappear to tell you that the tank that the arrow is pointing to is empty, meanwhile the regualtor will have changed over the supply to the other tank which is full. Now you can remove the empty tank and have it filled. When you reinstall it, change the regulator knob to point to the other tank (the flag will disappear again) and start the process again. If a tank is empty, turning the regulator knob toward it will cause the red flag to show. If there is gas, turning the regulator knob toward it will casue the flag to go away. If you don't have an automatic changeover regulator, get one!

Additionaly, tanks can be purchased with level guage or a place for sensors, but they cost more. You can weigh a known empty tank and deduce the amount of propane by weighing. The amount of propane is figured by the excess weight above the empty weight at @ 5lbs./gal.
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:56 PM   #6
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Adding to Excella's very excellent description, the gauge that comes with the AS has a little black cap, or at least it does on my 2005 Safari. There is no need to remove that cap, as the visible area below the cap provides the red/green indication. Removing the cap only confuses things, or me, I should say.
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Old 02-01-2007, 10:50 PM   #7
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I keep one full one at all times...it's out when the flames stop and then I go out and flip tanks, then refill the empty one....seems to work well for me..maybe you too?
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:12 PM   #8
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An RV park owner told me that you should always open the tank where the regulator knob is pointing first. He indicated that you should do this in order to use your gas more efficiently. The pressure bearings (I guess that's what they're called) block off the full tank, so that you aren't feeding off both and wasting gas. Is there truth to this?
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:26 PM   #9
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I'm with Silvertwinkie on using one at a time. It is too easy to find yourself empty in both tanks otherwise.

Pat
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