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Old 02-11-2016, 02:54 PM   #11
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Just a thought, but if you are concerned about it, you could put your propane tanks in a heated compartment.
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:04 PM   #12
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Remember that sometimes water gets into the propane system and that freezes at 30 degrees F.
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:05 PM   #13
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In some places they may add butane to the propane in warm weather areas. Butane boils at 33 degrees F. If you are unfortunate to get a mixture when it is warm it may not vaporize at very low temps. You can also get moisture in the tank which can freeze in the regulator causing no flow.
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:32 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=Wobbles;1100138]What temp causes propane to stop flowing properly? Just thinking about camping where it is really cold. Any worries about the furnace being able to perform? I am talking about a TT with the bottles out front.

[/quote

I FLY A HOT AIR BALLOON and at temps dropping towards zero it works fine but flow rate for our 12,000,000 btu burners is sometimes too low. Should not be a problem for a 30 000 btu burner.

I have heard of valve or regulator freezing up ,but am told that comes from moisture in a tank and the tank needs to be purged and flushed (I think they use alcohol for that). BUt as quick fix a hot towel or cautious use of a hair dryer will normally get it working again.
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:38 PM   #15
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If you are thinking about putting your propane container in a heated compartment -
Code prohibits propane containers in closed, non-ventilated spaces. Propane, being heavier than air will accumulate in the space - or any low spot.
Water in propane systems generally a result of leaving lines or empty tanks open to the atmosphere. Ever leave a cylinder valve open while it's "empty"? Ever leave a propane line open with the tank removed?
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Old 02-11-2016, 04:07 PM   #16
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The only thing I found out through ice fishing is that cold air is more dense than warm air. The propane performs just the same unless you get moisture that freezes up your regulator. My cook stove and burners will not light and quit working somewhere below -5 and definitely will not light at -40. Turns out that is due to the density of the cold air not the propane. I could actually get my little single burner cook top to light if I blocked the air flow at the little device under the burner that mixes the air with the propane. This results in burning pure propane with no air mix. Interesting though is my mr heater propane heater works great in my portable ice hut. I am not sure why or how it mixes air but it works great at those temps.

So how this applies to an rv I am not sure. I would say it is going to depend on the individual appliance. I would suspect the water heater would not work as it uses that same Venturi air mix thing. The furnace??

I found the following explanation on air density:

When air becomes hot it is because it is absorbing energy in the form of heat. The absorbed energy makes the molecules in air move and expand, therefore decreasing the airs density. The opposite is true for cold air. It is more dense because the molecules are closer together and they are closer together because the bonds are absorbing less energy and therefore do not move as much.
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Old 02-11-2016, 05:15 PM   #17
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Propane is only flammable when it is mixed with air to provide a propane/air mix between about 2% to 10%.
Pure propane will not burn.
The density of air only changes about 10% between a temperature of 60F and 0F.
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Old 02-11-2016, 05:34 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSQR View Post
Propane is only flammable when it is mixed with air to provide a propane/air mix between about 2% to 10%.
Pure propane will not burn.
The density of air only changes about 10% between a temperature of 60F and 0F.
Only stating what I have seen multiple times. The propane burner will not light at -40 unless the air intake is blocked. Ok maybe it's not pure propane likely still getting some air.

The density changes is enough to effect the operation of a portable burner/stove. The same is true with butane. A friend that winter camps in the bush uses white gas or alcohol burners for this reason.
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:25 AM   #19
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FYI
Your still getting secondary combustion air at the surface of the burner
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:41 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gasman6674 View Post
FYI
Your still getting secondary combustion air at the surface of the burner
Yes that would make sense.

Anyway I did some research and found this on ehow. My conclusion is that at the -40 I spoke of it may be more of a low pressure issue than air density.
Anyway who is going to use an rv at those temps. You will have bigger issues than propane to deal with. I don't even like to ice fish at that temp. Only happens when we have a trip planned and the weather turns on us. At -20 you can work with stuff. At -40 I do not want to try fixing anything like a skidoo that won't start.

From ehow:

Similarities Between Propane and Water
Liquid propane and water act similarly when temperature drops, but their boiling points differ. At sea level, propane begins to boil at a temperature of -44 degrees Fahrenheit and produces propane vapor, while water boils at 212 degrees F and produces water vapor. As the temperature drops below 212 degrees F, water stays in liquid form, it doesn't change to a vapor. Similarly, as the temperature outside the propane tank drops and approaches -44 degrees F, less propane boils inside the storage tank producing less vapor and a lower pressure.

Critical Temperature
As the pressure inside the propane tank drops, it eventually becomes too low to light a furnace or other appliance. At -44 degrees F or lower, propane stays as a liquid, there is little vapor and propane appliances won't function properly. Therefore, for appliances to work correctly, a propane tank must usually be kept in an area with a temperature greater than -44 degrees F.
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