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Old 08-15-2002, 05:21 AM   #1
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1977 31' Sovereign
Join Date: Jul 2002
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believer in aluminum tanks!

Hey gang...
I had a rather harrowing experience on a trip last weekend that has made me a believer in aluminum lp tanks. I was cruising down the interstate at 70 mph, and heard a strange bumping and hissing noise. I checked my mirror, and to my horror, saw a white cloud of propane spewing out from under my trailer. I pulled off onto the edge of the road, got out and found both my original 1977 vintage 30 lb. aluminum tanks UNDER the front of the trailer, connected only by the rubber hoses to the regulator. They were still spewing propane from the holes that had been rubbed in them by the road surface. And of course, they were both full! Apparently, the pin that holds the bottom of the upright threaded rod that secures the tanks had broken, and the tanks decided to "take a walk"....I could have lost it all, I guess, but my theory is that the aluminum didn't make any sparks as it was dragged along the road. The only other damage was the copper gas line under the front of the trailer was smashed flat for a couple of feet by one of the dancing tanks, and I've noticed I have no trailer brakes now. Probably pulled a wire somewhere, maybe in the truck interconnect cable. I'm glad I had just replaced the rubber tank to regulator hoses, as if those had broken, I can only imagine the damage to the trailer had the tanks gone all the way under it. Not to mention the "surprised" motorists behind me!
"Hey Martha...did you see that?? That trailer just laid two eggs!"
I'm still shaking a little bit, so I haven't done any repairs yet...other than to order two more ALUMINUM tanks!!!
breathing a sigh of relief here...
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Old 08-15-2002, 07:28 AM   #2
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I have OLD aluminum tanks in good shape. Should I just have them refitted with the new innards?

From this, perhaps I should. I also like that they are lighter, right there on the tongue, which seems good for less tongue weight.

Discussion please.
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Old 08-15-2002, 11:14 AM   #3
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1973 23' Safari
North of Boston , Massachusetts
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definately have them re-fitted. much cheaper than buying new.

I was not aware that alluminum doesn't spark; I sort of wondered why "alluminum" when the steel tanks are so much cheaper.....thats certainly a good reason!
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Old 08-15-2002, 02:37 PM   #4
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Thanks Chuck
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Old 08-15-2002, 02:45 PM   #5
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Chuck ~

You can also polish the aluminum ones to match a shiny trailer...

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Old 08-15-2002, 05:04 PM   #6
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1986 25' Sovereign
Southern Middle , Tennessee
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Aluminum tanks are lighter and therefore lower your tongue weight. I measured the tongue wt. on my 31' Excella 500 and found it to be over 1,000 lbs. with full 40 lb. alum. tanks. When empty they are feather light which makes it easy to carry to the propane store, have filled and lift back into the truck for the ride home.

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Old 08-15-2002, 05:09 PM   #7
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Not having weighed my tongue, and assuming that my tongue weighs about the same as yours, perhaps the weight difference is not as great percentage-wise as I thought it would be.

I wonder if the weight difference in the tanks is really a factor???
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Old 08-15-2002, 05:49 PM   #8
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Austin (Hays County) , Texas
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Tongue weight

Tongue weight isn't all bad. As long as your tow vehicle can carry it, more tongue weight generally means more stability.

I doubt whether aluminum tanks make a perceptable difference.
John W. Irwin
2018 Interstate GT, "Sabre-Dog V"
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