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Old 06-01-2018, 08:27 PM   #1
2 Rivet Member
1977 Argosy 24
Apison , Tennessee
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 31
rusty 30lb tanks?

my 77 has two rusty 30lb propane tanks on it. they are both full. what are my options? is there a way to swap them out? would like to stay with 30lb.
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Old 06-01-2018, 08:31 PM   #2
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1994 34' Excella
Warren , Manitoba
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 814
Paint them and use them. When they need to be refilled you will probably have to have the valves updated and the tanks certified.
ACI #7394
2012 GMC 2500 HD Duramax Denali
1976 31' Gone but fondly remembered
1976 22' Argosy
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:36 PM   #3
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2000 25' Safari
1999 34' Excella
Davidson County , NC Highlands County, FL
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 4,336
I would use the propane, then get new 30lb tanks.
When a valve went bad on mine, I found new cost only $60 each.
A new valve and certification was 75% of that.
2014 Silverado LTZ 1500 Crew Cab 5.3L maximum trailering package
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Old 06-01-2018, 09:54 PM   #4
2 Rivet Member
1970 27' Overlander
Poteau , Oklahoma
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 30
easy to paint but the prep is the killer. I just redid my entire LP system. But of course it helps to have a propane buddy that just happened to have over a 100 OBD valves and got them cheap. When I started the old Fischer regulator was leaking and I figured parts were non existant so I replaced it with a Marshall I had stashed back. Had to modify the bracket a tad. AND, get this. It was hooked up with a flexible stove line like you put on a gas heater in the house and was even complete with a section of rubber hose and 3 pipe clamps connecting it to the copper. NO WAY. Some people are just plain nuts.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:47 AM   #5
2 Rivet Member
1977 Argosy 24
Apison , Tennessee
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 31
Its going to be awhile before I could use the propane. only thing in it that works on propane currently is the stove. can't get the fridge to light, and I have to replace the heater.

can't make myself paint over rust, and not sure its safe to wirewheel a propane tank. just hate looking at the rust!
I have to fix alot of stuff before its usuable. it was rear-ended and someone jerry rigged it.
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:03 PM   #6
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1987 25' Sovereign
Fort Collins , Colorado
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 499
Naval jelly?

We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:28 PM   #7
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1971 25' Tradewind
1993 34' Excella
Currently Looking...
Estancia , New Mexico
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 7,587
Images: 16
Blog Entries: 1
Ditto on the naval jelly. Or rattle can rust stabilizer.

Or bite the bullet and get a couple new Worthington aluminum tanks. You won't regret it
Sail on silver girl. Sail on by. Your time has come to shine.
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Old 06-03-2018, 12:47 PM   #8
2016 25' International
Deerfield , Massachusetts
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 921
Evaporust? That stuff is amazing.

Some (hopefully useful) Airstream videos here:
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Old 06-03-2018, 02:12 PM   #9
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2003 28' Safari S/O
Atlanta Burbs , Georgia
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 1,629
Images: 3
I agree with A_W_Warn after having faced the same question. The big box retailers, among others, carry tanks at a very reasonable cost.

Although it may cost less to re-certify your tanks, that minimum step only includes replacement of the valves and a pressure test. It does not include the cost or time/labor to recondition the exterior surface.

Another consideration is the re-certification only extends the 'valid' period for a few years (typically 5 yrs; dependent on re-certification level performed) and a new tank is certified for 12 years.
"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement."

Sir Tristan
Air #48582, S/SO #003, WBCCI #4584
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:12 PM   #10
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1972 31' Sovereign
1975 31' Excella 500
Currently Looking...
Benton , Arkansas
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 5,868
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I painted the tanks and bought the OPD valves from Amazon. After that I used them for over four years without having them certified. I guess they looked pretty good. A few places wont fill them because theyre red though.
The fact that I am opinionated does not presuppose that I am wrong......

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Old 06-03-2018, 05:48 PM   #11
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2016 Interstate Grand Tour Ext
Bosque Farms , New Mexico
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,767
It depends on the depth of the rust. If the metal is pitted to any visible depth, even in small areas, then you should really replace the cylinders. (The same obtains if there is any other damage to the cylinders, including especially bends in the supporting collar underneath or the upper collar that result in any cracks to the weld that hold them to the cylinder.) But if the rust is superficial only, then remove any flakiness and repaint with a cream color.

Of course, you need OPD valves; you can tell them by their triangle-shaped handles (see images below). And any necessary recertification.


WBCCI 21043
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