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Old 11-20-2019, 02:12 PM   #1
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30 lb propane bottle

Is it safe to transport a 30 lb propane bottle on its' side after refilling? It is to tall to carry in the trunk from the refilling station back to the trailer?
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:17 PM   #2
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I suppose you'll get various 'opinions' on "safe."

I do it all the time.
As long as the valve is closed and you are not using it so that liquid could go into a system, I see no harm transporting on the side. Just don't let it roll around and become a projectile.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:20 PM   #3
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I was told once there is some form of oil or similar in the bottom of the tanks. Might be actual petroleum since that's where it comes from and that it can damage stuff if it gets into the system. But just for transport that would not be an issue. I've never confirmed if this is true so don't hold me to it but there'd be no reason for him to make it up. That was a LONG time ago though, prior to the OPD's that we have now.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:28 PM   #4
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I'm sure it would be ok to transport on its side to go get filled but on a general note the safety relief valve has to be above the liquid level of the tank. Below is an example of a 20lb tank that is 50% full and the liquid is above the valve
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:45 PM   #5
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I have done that on their side for a couple decades now with no dire consequence.
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Old 11-20-2019, 02:55 PM   #6
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I only recently noticed the sticker on the tank indicating not to transport on it's side. It was a new 20# tank i bought for the fire pit. Anyway, I've always seat belted my 20# tanks standing up in a seat.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adony View Post
Is it safe to transport a 30 lb propane bottle on its' side after refilling? It is to tall to carry in the trunk from the refilling station back to the trailer?
We've always transported them upright in a plastic milk crate and secured that to the cargo hooks on the truck box. No tonneau cover, so a 30lb tank isn't too tall, but will be visible above the box rails.

I personally wouldn't transport a full/empty tank in the passenger area of a vehicle, car or SUV or truck. But some people don't have trucks, so have no other option. (The 5gal/18.9L plastic water jugs I do secure with a seatbelt tho!)

As for what's legal/safe according to your local DOT....can't help you there.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:11 PM   #8
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I recently had a tank filled at a local farm supply store (similar to Tractor Supply). They have a sign which says you are prohibited from leaving with a tank on its side. It must leave heir lot in the upright position.

Interesting.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:12 PM   #9
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I think that relief valve is set at 375 psi.


I doubt that you could have one on its side in the truck bed, in the Arizona sun in August all day, and get it hot enough to build up 375 psi.


The key words above are think and doubt.


Throw one in the fire ring and it would be one hell of a show when that relief valve lets loose.



I have hauled them on their side many times.


If you launch yourself into LEO don't blame me.

Some folks get really uptight just saying propane.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:36 PM   #10
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I would think if you are just up the street at the gas station, it would be ok to put it on it's side but if you are hours away, maybe not such a good idea.
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:56 PM   #11
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Carry them the short ride home on the side all the time. Let me check....... yes I still have a pulse.
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Old 11-20-2019, 05:04 PM   #12
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DOT regulations require them to be transported upright. They also have regs on the amount of cylinders and weights you can carry in an enclosed vehicle vs an open pickup.

I'll pull the actual regs when I get to a real computer this evening.
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:34 PM   #13
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I have a feeling why DOT made those rules, saying no lying down on it's side.
There is a chance if not secured that it could swing around and hit something and break off the valve. So Dot made this rule to be on the safe side, as not everyone would secure it.
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:44 PM   #14
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I have a feeling why DOT made those rules, saying no lying down on it's side.
There is a chance if not secured that it could swing around and hit something and break off the valve. So Dot made this rule to be on the safe side, as not everyone would secure it.
Also the tanks are to be transported upright because if there is a failure of the valve or a fire that causes the valve to fail, the energy will be directed upward which should be the direction which causes the least damage to surrounding people or things.
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:49 PM   #15
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I use these https://www.milkcratesdirect.com/sup...AmUfEALw_wcB** they are larger than regular milk crates
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Old 11-20-2019, 06:50 PM   #16
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OSHA Requirement:
1926.350(a)(4) When cylinders are transported by powered vehicles, they shall be secured in a vertical position
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Old 11-20-2019, 07:50 PM   #17
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Back in 2018 we uploaded to the FRF library a training manual on refilling propane cylinders.

It can be found here:

Forest River Forums - Downloads - Propane Dispensing Training Manual

As per the manual, on page 31 (emboldened in red my me):

Prior to returning the cylinder to the customer, be sure the cylinder valves and fittings are protected against damage while being transported. Cylinders greater than 4.2 lbs. propane capacity must be positioned so that each cylinderís pressure-relief valve is in communication with the vapor space at all
times. Cylinders must also be fastened securely in a position to minimize the possibility of movement, tipping, or physical damage while in transit.



It is important to recognize the difference between horizontal and vertical cylinders. They are typically marked to indicate which position they are to be stored and used in. In the event that the relief valve needs to vent while having liquid in the valve and the cylinder is not positioned properly, the situation can become hazardous.

Closed-bodied vehicles, such as passenger cars and vans, are limited to a maximum of 90-lbs. propane capacity with no single container having a capacity of more than 45 lbs. Verify this with your state and local codes, as they may be different.

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Old 11-20-2019, 07:57 PM   #18
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Page 4 of the same manual quoted above, explains the characteristics of propane and exactly why you do not want your cylinder in a position for "liquid" propane to ever come out the pressure relief valve while transporting.


Like water, liquid propane will expand when heated.However, liquid propane will increase in volume nearly 17 times greater than water will. To allow for this expansion, propane containers are filed typically to only 80% of their capacity.
If liquid propane is released into the air, the lack of pressure quickly causes it to vaporize
and expand to 270 times its original volume. Therefore, liquid propane leaks can be more
hazardous than vapor leaks.


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Old 11-20-2019, 09:47 PM   #19
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Good info wmtire but why do I still have the feeling that those who carry their tanks on the side will just continue doing so?
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Old 11-21-2019, 02:32 AM   #20
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Good info wmtire but why do I still have the feeling that those who carry their tanks on the side will just continue doing so?
Lol, I'm just trying to pass along the info of why it may not be safe. It's up to each individual to decide on what is acceptable risk for themselves.

U-haul has more info on this along with a video explaining the rules on how to transport cylinders at this link

https://www.uhaul.com/Articles/Tips/...Propane-Tanks/
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