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Old 01-19-2010, 08:03 PM   #1
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Who likes the 40# Aluminum Propane Tanks?

I was wondering how many have the larger propane bottles on their Airstreams and how they like them? Are they difficult or near impossible to take down and off to refill? I know I had trouble with the 30# tanks by myself. I am wondering if it is worthwhile to downsize the tanks or if they are in fact worth their weight in...well...propane. Convenient or inconvenient, that is the question and as far as hitch weight how has the extra weight made a difference. Also our tv is a Suburban and the tanks ride inside to be refilled, will these fit? Thanks.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:07 PM   #2
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I personally think that 40# tanks are overkill and detract from the appearance of the trailer. We have 30# Worthington aluminum tanks, which keep us going for about 3 weeks, if we use the heater, stove and oven regularly. If we are boondocking, then the water heater comes into play and that uses up about an extra couple of days.

40# tanks will fit in the back of a 1967-72 Suburban, but I cannot speak for newer models.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:21 PM   #3
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I use two 40# tanks on my Sovereign and love them. I take them off and refill a couple times a summer. The fit nicely in the back of my 2004 Chevy Suburban.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:25 PM   #4
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I don't think either my husband or I would have opted for the larger tanks but the Airstream has them already. I think it is an expensive proposition to get two tanks and a cover, anyone know just how much? I was thinking we would give them a try and perhaps trade with someone should they want the larger tanks. Too soon to tell if they are a hinderance or an asset. I do like it warm and in the cold we can go through propane faster than some others might, sometimes in a matter of days for a single tank. The Airstream came from the Ontario dealer so I am thinking it is equipped for cold weather. It also has a rear rock guard over the rear bedroom window, which I have not seen before. With no vista views or sky lights, I think it will hold the temperature better.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:43 PM   #5
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I'll be getting the 40# tanks on my new 'stream. I don't expect to remove them for filling but instead have them filled in place. The idea of having a propane tank of any size inside the passenger compartment of a car gives me the creeps.

Part of the reason for the 40# tanks is that they work better in cold weather. Smaller tanks are more prone to frosting up and failing to vaporize the propane.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:47 PM   #6
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hi C'

can't imagine NOT having the 40s.

i like them a lot.

empty, they are extremely light so REMOVAL is easy, that is the UPside of aluminum tanks.

and the 2-3 gallons of extra lp PER tank comes in very handy in cold weather or boondocking.

IF lifting a full tank (40 lbs + the empty weight) is an issue...

just don't FILL THEM.

u can ask that whoever is filling, STOP at 5-6 gallons which is ~ the same as a FULL 30 pounder.

i'd use them awhile before opting for new or trading for smaller...

the 40s are popular and easy to sell.

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Old 01-19-2010, 09:08 PM   #7
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Thanks. All these comments are encouraging and informative. A tip to lighten the load if need be and why big tanks fend off frosting up and advice on transporting tanks. All good to know. Thank you all for your replies. Ahhh and to you fortunate Southerners, I have heard about the land where propane lasts a season, someday I hope to join you there and bask in the warmth.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:21 PM   #8
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Dibs. And if you want I'll trade you my 30lb'ers and cover for your 40 lb'ers.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:17 AM   #9
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The 30-pound cylinders will last you quite a long time if you're not camping in very cold areas. The trade-off is, as you surmise, the weight: A single 30-pound cylinder weighs in at 20-some-odd pounds when it's empty, and over 50 when filled; a single 40-pound is going to be over 60-some-odd pounds when full. (This is rough because the exact weight of the metal in cylinders varies quite a lot.) That much weight will make your arms really long if you try to carry them very far.

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Old 01-20-2010, 09:34 AM   #10
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the tare weight for an ALUMINUM 40 is ~20lbs.

and only 2-3 lbs more than an ALUMINUM 30.

steel is a different issue.

for example a STEEL 30 weighs 4-6 lbs MORE than an ALUMINUM 40, empty.
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so there is almost NO penalty for carrying aluminum 40s, ON the trailer.

the cover is a few inches longer and the threaded tie down rod is longer...

but compare the 4-6 lbs of extra tank weight for 2x alum 40s to the mass of larger batteries or extra water...

and clearly the lp tank (and fuel) is a much bigger bang for the pounds.

for transport issues to/from the fill station use a 2 wheel folding aluminum dolly, ~ 30$ from many vendors.

then the only issue is lifting on/off the A frame...

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Old 01-20-2010, 10:28 AM   #11
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then the only issue is lifting on/off the A frame...
If lifting 60 pounds two feet is an issue for you, fix it so you can mount a come-a-long on your flagpole to assist.

A simple ramp to go from the tongue to your vehicle could also reduce any need for lifting.

Then there's the pole with a guy on each end to help share the load. Use a longer pole and you could have 4 folks sharing the load.

It is always nice to be able to take along a bit more energy as long as it doesn't impinge on weight or space. Going from 30# to 40# tanks means going from 14 to 20 gallons or 20 extra pounds for two tanks. Figure a pound of propane is 21,622 BTU while batteries run about 50 BTU per pound. That's a ratio of more than 400:1 (which is why you use propane rather than battery for heat!). Taking some extra propane is a lot more feasible from an energy density standpoint than many other options.
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Old 01-20-2010, 11:24 AM   #12
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The only issue I have with my 40lb-er's is the height of the cover makes opening the front window rockguard kinda tight. Being aluminum, they seem easier to manuver that to 30lb steel ones on may last trailer.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:21 PM   #13
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4 folks sharing the load on poles is ideal. The Airstream will sleep 4 and I could save gasoline and energy (mine) with a couple of teams to jockey me about like the Queen of the Nile when they aren't on propane duty.

I had surgery last January for a hernia I got just the summer before right before the Bozeman rally from either the gas tank or from moving the receiver under the Airstream. Both were more than I could really manage. My resolution this year is to strength train as soon as the box of doughnuts is gone.

The energy advantage verses the small increase in weight seems prudent and advantageous. I am so sold on the rationale that I am seriously considering earning extra income by selling 40# aluminum propane tanks!

Thanks guys, you done good by me.
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:59 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wheel interested View Post
...
My resolution this year is to strength train as soon as the box of doughnuts is gone.

...
As soon as they're gone? Get with the program, Carol! Instead of one doughnut, lift two at a time. When you are no longer getting sore, increase to three. You get the idea.

Even here in Little Rock, I am glad to have 40lb bottles. I have a couple of aluminum 30, but I also have a pair of steel 40s. The extra time between refills is worth it to me. Add me to the list of people who want to trade my old 30lb aluminum bottles for your new 40lb ones.

I do approve of your Queen of the Nile idea.
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