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Old 08-11-2008, 10:29 PM   #1
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alum. forklift propane tank for airstream

Does anyone know if an 18" tall, 10"dia. aluminum forklift propane tank will replace an original steel tank?
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:21 PM   #2
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Valve is not the same. Forklift engines draw propane in as a liquid. Forklift tank will be bad news unless valve and drawtube inside tank can be replaced. They probably make the threads in top of tank different to stop us from doing that. Nice easy way to get aluminum tanks if it works
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Old 08-12-2008, 12:15 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doityourself View Post
Does anyone know if an 18" tall, 10"dia. aluminum forklift propane tank will replace an original steel tank?
A fork lift LP tank is NOT RATED for use in any RV, trailers or motorhomes. Unfortunately, you will have to limit your choices to either ASME (horizontal) tanks or the more familiar DOT (barbecue grill) tanks.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:10 AM   #4
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I need data ... ;-)

I have never heard about propane tanks being specially RV rated.

The Worthington forklift tanks at the local propane dealer all had multiple ports so they could be used for either liquid (nice for a genset) or gas take-off. My recollection was that they were a bit taller than the usual Airstream tanks due to a larger collar but otherwise usable.

They were DOT rated vertical service propane tanks.

now I have to go do some research and see what I missed on my last propane go-around.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:21 AM   #5
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I had a old "White" forklift, flathead 4, capacity of 2000 lbs. Nice little unit.It operated on propane. When the aluminum tank walked off I used a barbie unit- screwed right on. Operated fine for 10 years this way- Recently sold the thing, miss it already'
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #6
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It's a pretty complex thing, but here goes:

RV appliances (refrigerator, stove), grills, and the like all operate on gaseous propane. And so do motors on forklifts, LPG-cars, etc.

So what's the difference? The difference is essentially the point at which the conversion takes place from liquid to gaseous state. In your RV, the conversion to gaseous state takes place right inside the propane cylinder. By contrast, in the forklift (and like motors) the propane is delivered under pressure as a liquid from the tank to the motor, at which point the conversion to gaseous state takes place in (or very close to) the motor's intake sytem. (Of course, there's lots and lots of complex technology involved, and these will make a difference in the end, too.)

Bottom line: No, you can't just use a tank from an LPG-powered motor in the RV or your grill.

Second bottom line: If you've followed so far, you'll also recognize the danger of attempting to use an RV bottle in its incorrect position: A horizontal cylinder must be horizontal, and a vertical bottle must be vertical. Failure to do this will permit liquid propane into your RVs propane vapor distribution system, a very, very bad idea.

In fact, it's kind of hard to locate good info on this stuff, but one place to look is at the Wikipedia under the term "autogas."


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Old 04-18-2009, 08:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doityourself View Post
Does anyone know if an 18" tall, 10"dia. aluminum forklift propane tank will replace an original steel tank?
Were any Airstream OEM tanks steel? I thought they all were aluminum.
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Old 04-18-2009, 08:44 AM   #8
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The original tanks on my 75 were steel. They had a manufacture date of 1974 stamped into the handle.
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Old 04-18-2009, 11:15 AM   #9
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It might work IF there is a vapor valve on it. Some have it, some don't. I have a little floor buffer aluminum tank I use on occasion. It is vapor only and requires an adaptor.
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