External Propane Tanks - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 10-06-2015, 06:18 PM   #1
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External Propane Tanks

I am currently looking into a 100 gallon tank for propane service and auto refill from the propane company this winter. With that being said, I am having a hard time trying to wrap my hand around the way the two different gas companies want to connect to the trailer.

I thought it would be as easy as connecting the tank to the trailer with a hose that had a fitting that was like a 30lb tank...both companies are wanting to cut into the trailer's propane system and install the line, with the notion that we don't do a whole lot of traveling.

Do you guys have any ideas or do have any experience with this? I hate breaking the integrity of a known good system.

Cale
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Old 10-06-2015, 06:31 PM   #2
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If I recall correctly, you will need two regulators - one high pressure (some times called a step down regulator) at the tank and then the low pressure at the RV (kind of like the one you have now) that may be why they want to do that install - some gas suppliers will not fill the tank if at has not had a certified installation...
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:04 PM   #3
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I have always used 100# tanks for longer stays, with a 40# for backup.

They will attach right to your current hoses. I stood mine on the ground and strapped them to the A-frame.

With the big tanks they have a regulator on the tank (step down) and then you would had to run through the RV regulator too.

Aaron
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Old 10-06-2015, 10:52 PM   #4
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I by passed my defective two stage regulator, the one on the curb side that regulates both tanks. After the by pass I simply added a single stage regulator with a slightly longer hose and connected it to my 100 pounder standing next to the OEM tank door.
Been that way for a year now without drilling holes anywhere. I can use the same single stage and hose if I want to throw a 30 pounder in the tank closet.
The tank truck guys don't want to disconnect your tank to fill it, that's probably why they want their own in line connection.
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Old 10-07-2015, 10:44 AM   #5
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I walked around last night and checked some of the seasonal folks....they all have a block added into their systems, right at the point the soft line turns to a hard line...looking under the Voltage...soft line everywhere. I may look into an a Stay A While kit, though not sure how that will play with their 100 gallon tank.

The way these are set up, they are not good for someone like me who wants to disconnect for travel...they are all screwed in, which requires me to leak check each time it is pulled apart.

I have thought about the 100 pound cylinders, but the problem is getting it filled, plus propane is $4 per gallon here. The delivery special with the 100 gallon tank is capped at $2.09...

Cale
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:29 AM   #6
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Cale,
Can't you put some kind of quick disconnect in line? I think they make them for hooking up grills and out door kitchens.
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:30 AM   #7
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Has rated quick disconnect an option? I piped one in for my grill on camper and on house...
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Old 10-07-2015, 11:31 AM   #8
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Thom - posted before I saw your post. Great minds think alike?
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:43 PM   #9
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I asked one company about that, they were very stand offish, the other said it should be fine. I had one on my Outback for my grill, but I am unsure of the pressures that occur in propane systems.

For whatever reason, I am stupid when it comes to propane....I can fly planes, tear engines apart, mod the crap out of anything, but propane eludes me...I need to learn about tank pressures and operating pressures of appliances.

I know a propane grill has a regulator at the tank...where is ours? Is it the tank selector switch? If they use their own regulators, then I can have them install after the tank selector? However, I am assuming that if I were to use my own 100lb tank, I would need to ensure it is regulated, I would put it before the tank switch? I wonder if there is a three tank selector, that would fix my problems...just have a quick disconnect as the third tank.

Thanks guys...sorry, bear with me here.

Cale
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Old 10-07-2015, 01:45 PM   #10
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I removed my grill regulator in order to use on my RV propane system
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:13 PM   #11
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Cale, you probably have two propane regulators. One, a single stage will be in the driver's side tank compartment. It's job is to maintain 11"wc to the two stage regulator.
The two stage regulator is the automatic switch over regulator. Again, 11"wc comes out of it to feed the gas appliances.


Our regulators aren't adjustable because the gov'ment don't want us hurting ourselves. Many years ago we could adjust them and we could even rebuild them but since we are deemed too stupid to do anything correctly our keepers took all that away.


No three way regulators but I don't see why a valve arrangement couldn't be fashioned to allow the delivery guys to service the tank.


4 bucks is crazy, less than 2 bucks the last time I filled up at Tractor Supply. I did pay 4 bucks last year when the supply train was interrupted by the snowy stuff.
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:31 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundancer 87 View Post
Cale, you probably have two propane regulators. One, a single stage will be in the driver's side tank compartment. It's job is to maintain 11"wc to the two stage regulator.
The two stage regulator is the automatic switch over regulator. Again, 11"wc comes out of it to feed the gas appliances.


Our regulators aren't adjustable because the gov'ment don't want us hurting ourselves. Many years ago we could adjust them and we could even rebuild them but since we are deemed too stupid to do anything correctly our keepers took all that away.


No three way regulators but I don't see why a valve arrangement couldn't be fashioned to allow the delivery guys to service the tank.


4 bucks is crazy, less than 2 bucks the last time I filled up at Tractor Supply. I did pay 4 bucks last year when the supply train was interrupted by the snowy stuff.
I just got off the phone with the gas folks, he did say install a regulator to drop to 11" wc and then a second to go to 8" wc... I asked him if he was familiar with the Stay A While from Mr Heater, he looked it up and became interested...the big deal with the home delivery type stuff, they are "required" to do an eyes on check anytime there is an interruption in service (turning off, disconnect, tank replacement, etc...), however he said there is a disconnect in service every time I have a tank filled...

I will need to look in the Driver's compartment, as I do not recall a regulator, though I have never really looked. He did say they like to have a solid line, but from the looks of it, we have only rubber hoses, so another thing they will need to overcome.

I was shocked by the propane price as well. Paid $2.99/gallon in CA for the past two years, came here and was shocked...$30 for an empty 30lb cylinder, about $4.20/gallon. The first fill on this 100 gallon tank is $1.69/gallon and capped at $2.09/gallon with auto refill. I am all over that...I wonder if I could figure out a way to fill the house tanks off the big tank too...

Cale
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Old 10-07-2015, 02:59 PM   #13
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...I wonder if I could figure out a way to fill the house tanks off the big tank too...




You could but can you imagine the angst you would cause in the park???
I had a hose made so I could transfer gas from the big tank to the little tank. Gas pressure will match gas pressure so you can't (normally) overfill a small tank because the pressures will balance.
The trick was to put the little tank in the shade and the big guy in the sun. Made filling really quick!!!


I don't see anything working well off 8 inches wc if that's the final pressure to the appliances. The stove won't suffer but I bet your furnace will.
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:20 AM   #14
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Check with some of the industrial gas supply houses. AirGas is one that I have used to fill my LP cylinders on job sites. Look under welding gas suppliers, give them a call and see what they charge for a 100# fill. I am going to be filling my 750 gallon home tanks later this week. If I remember I will report back what the per gallon was. Last time I filled 20# tanks it was in the $2.50 a gallon range.

Aaron
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