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Old 06-25-2019, 07:25 AM   #1
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Propane Operation

I may be an idiot but how does the dual propane tank system work? How do I know when one tank is empty and then do I have to do something to switch it over to the second tank?
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:42 AM   #2
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There are different systems that can tell you when the propane is running low. There are also different systems that can automatically switch the tank as well.

I think we'd really need to know more about what you have there. Could you pull the cover off and take a photo?
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Old 06-25-2019, 07:44 AM   #3
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I may be an idiot but how does the dual propane tank system work? How do I know when one tank is empty and then do I have to do something to switch it over to the second tank?
Post a picture of change over regulator for more feedback, as there is many different types.

See post #7

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Old 06-25-2019, 08:02 AM   #4
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Automatic change over valves have been nearly standard even in low end trailers for close to 20 years.

Open both valves and point the valve (mine is shaped like an arrow) to the cylinder you want to be primary. The indicator on the top will show green and the valve will switch to the other cylinder when the primary runs dry and change the indicator to red. The indicator indicates the condition of the selected cylinder and does not influence gas flow from the secondary (assuming there's LP in it and the valve is open).

Switch the valve to the cylinder with gas and take the tank to the refill station.

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Old 06-25-2019, 08:07 AM   #5
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My experience is that systems that measure just tell you when you are low (or OUT)

Also the auto switch systems could do their job and then one day .... what do you know... I AM OUT. Both tanks!!!

I want to know when my first is empty and do the switch to the second myself. That way I know I have an empty that needs to be refilled within the next week or so + .

Try to start with two full tanks.
I Open one tank.
Arrow on 2 way valve/tank selector points to open tank.
Indicator shows Green if pressure is in line from that selected tank.
Use Gas!

If tank runs out, you will notice. Either By:
Check light on fridge comes ON
Trying to use gas at stove or furnace and its not there.
Indicator on 2 way tank selector valve turns RED... Indicating empty.
Donts sweat runniing out. Not hurting anything.

When this happpens:

Open other tank.
Trun selector valve pointer to second tank.
Indicator turns Green
You have Gas for the next 5,,6-15 days depending on usage.
Make note to refill tank 1 when convenient.

Gas lasts a long time for us.
We run fridge on gas about 20 hours per day (auto mode)
Only run hot water an hour or two per day.
Usually boondocking but this method works either way. Pretty easy and not really any inconvenience if you run a tank empty.

Some open both tanks and I think it auto changes when one is empty. I want to KNOW when one is empty to plan refill.
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:20 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by gbaldwin View Post
My experience is that systems that measure just tell you when you are low (or OUT)

Also the auto switch systems could do their job and then one day .... what do you know... I AM OUT. Both tanks!!!

I want to know when my first is empty and do the switch to the second myself. That way I know I have an empty that needs to be refilled within the next week or so + .

Try to start with two full tanks.
I Open one tank.
Arrow on 2 way valve/tank selector points to open tank.
Indicator shows Green if pressure is in line from that selected tank.
Use Gas!

If tank runs out, you will notice. Either By:
Check light on fridge comes ON
Trying to use gas at stove or furnace and not there.
Indicator on 2 way tank selector valve turns RED... Indicating empty.

When this happpens:

Open other tank.
Trun selector valve pointer to second tank.
Indicator turns Green
You have Gas for the next 5,,6-15 days depending on usage.
Make note to refill tank 1 when convenient.

Gas lasts a long time for us.
We run fridge on gas about 20 hours per day (auto mode)
Only run hot water an hour or two per day.
Usually boondocking but this method works either way. Pretty easy and not really any inconvenience if you run a tank empty.

Some open both tanks and I think it auto changes when one is empty. I want to KNOW when one is empty to plan refill.
X2... I use one at a time and switch tanks manually when one goes empty. "I want to KNOW when one is empty to plan refill."
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:30 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by schaidt View Post
I may be an idiot but how does the dual propane tank system work? How do I know when one tank is empty and then do I have to do something to switch it over to the second tank?
This thread may help, as one of the links does explain the propane cylinders automatic changeover regulator (and operation thereof)...if equipped on your RV.

New to RV's helpful hints

It also has many other links to more of the common questions that new RV owners may have.

Hope it helps.
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Old 06-25-2019, 09:57 AM   #8
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X2... I use one at a time and switch tanks manually when one goes empty. "I want to KNOW when one is empty to plan refill."
That's all good until your heater stops working at 3am
Auto switch over systems have been reliable for a long time. I would use it until it proves it doesn't work, then I would replace it. Auto systems are made to make your life easier, so I take advantage of them.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:05 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mr. Dan View Post
X2... I use one at a time and switch tanks manually when one goes empty. "I want to KNOW when one is empty to plan refill."
Same here. I've had both and prefer the manual.
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Old 06-25-2019, 10:09 AM   #10
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That's all good until your heater stops working at 3am
Auto switch over systems have been reliable for a long time. I would use it until it proves it doesn't work, then I would replace it. Auto systems are made to make your life easier, so I take advantage of them.
Heater? Whassat?


Yeah... it happened to me once and I switched tanks only to learn my offside regulator was leaking. I had to swap sides with my tanks. In this ONE case, I'm very glad my main regulator did not auto-switch. I don't know how much propane would have escaped and to what end.
BTW (rabbit trail), my XtraRide extended service contract paid another $1820 last week!
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