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Old 06-15-2012, 12:56 AM   #1
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Propane level

Did a search and was unsuccessful...is there a relatively accurate way to determine the fuel level on the TT? If camping for sometime, I don't want to run the tanks dry and be caught off guard.
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crushor
Did a search and was unsuccessful...is there a relatively accurate way to determine the fuel level on the TT? If camping for sometime, I don't want to run the tanks dry and be caught off guard.
The only real accurate way is to weigh tank empty then full.
Then weigh it during use.
Up grade to 30 lb tanks if your worried.
Or top them off before each long extented stay
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:53 AM   #3
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If you have the auto changeover regulator, most do, you aim it at one tank, but can open both. Then every day or so you check the indicator, if green, still on the same tank. If black, that tank it is empty and the regulator has switched tanks. Move the pointer to the the now "current" tank, remove the empty and have it filled, and replace. No real gauge to tell that I know of. Lot of "gimmicks", not no real way to tell short of removing the tank and weighing it. It has the weights stamped on the top ring.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:02 AM   #4
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Boil a cup of water, pour down the outside of tank. Because propane gas is cooler than the air in tank. condensation will form on outside of tank to reveal gas level.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:06 AM   #5
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The water trick will only work if gas is being used. Best done with the the water heater on, and or furnace running. Won't work if no gas has been used in a while.
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:10 AM   #6
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I have used these
they stick to the tanks
accurate to a point at least

************************************************** ****************






this one should work well

GasWatch TVL212 Propane Level Indicator and Safety Gauge
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Old 06-15-2012, 07:33 AM   #7
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These gimmicks don't work as well as they promise.

The gauge one gives about 5 minutes from green to red even in BBQ use.
As stated, the tape on side one requires large propane use to show a reading as it uses a similar process as the water on tank technique.

I use the "manage till empty" technique Windrider uses.
Simple but effective and have always had heat at night.
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:09 AM   #8
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I turn on (1) tank at a time. When I run out I turn on the other tank. I am (Never) completely out of propane. Youroo!!
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Old 06-15-2012, 10:19 AM   #9
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I turn on (1) tank at a time. When I run out I turn on the other tank. I am (Never) completely out of propane. Youroo!!
X2 I don't trust myself to remember to check the automatic changeover.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:18 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. I do have 30's and auto regulator. Our maiden voyage is 9 days long so I should be able to get acclimated to the system.
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Old 06-15-2012, 02:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crushor
Thanks guys. I do have 30's and auto regulator. Our maiden voyage is 9 days long so I should be able to get acclimated to the system.
My 30 lb tanks last me atleast a years worth of camping!
I fill them both when I put it away in the fall.
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:36 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crushor View Post
Thanks guys. I do have 30's and auto regulator. Our maiden voyage is 9 days long so I should be able to get acclimated to the system.
You are getting the voices of experience in all the posts above. All of us "newbies" have posed similar concerns. I have learned to keep the water heater on electric and shut-off the propane w/h switch unless we are using the shower. And if hooked to shore power the refrig will be on electric as well. The normal cooking does not seem to draw that much. The furnace seems to be the biggest propane hog and that can be offset by using electric heaters if you have shore power. I follow the procedure that YouRoo described so I know when I have a tank go empty.

Just remember to refill the empty so the DW does not get a cold shower and you will be fine!
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:43 PM   #13
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X2 I don't trust myself to remember to check the automatic changeover.
Since there is almost no warning when the "one tank on" propane runs out; it can get VERY cold at 3 AM if you are running heat at night. (like we needed in Key West 2 years ago)
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Old 06-15-2012, 06:54 PM   #14
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We've had twin 30's for the last 6 yrs and run everything on propane and seldom use 20# a yr. We use a EdenPure elec. htr in the winters we've spent in FL. 2 yrs ago it got a real workout and had to use the furnace one or two nights. We leave the wh an refrig. on gas & elec and use the RBQ just about every night.

We do like most and only turn on one tank at a time, but we've never run out. Usually fill the tank we've been using before we go to FL and turn on the other tank that is a year old.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:21 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by herk7769

Since there is almost no warning when the "one tank on" propane runs out; it can get VERY cold at 3 AM if you are running heat at night. (like we needed in Key West 2 years ago)
We went camping in Jan and it was the coldest nights we ever experienced camping. I think it got down to about 45F, lol. Anyway, we used a ceramic heater and the furnace didn't run much at all. If I was camping in truly cold weather I'd leave tanks on auto so I wouldn't experience what you described.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:42 PM   #16
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If both tanks are full a 30lb tank will last 6 to 7 days in cold weather running the furnace 24 hours a day plus water heater. In the summer we can usually go one month on a 30lb tank. We leave the water heater on all the time plus cooking.
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Old 07-29-2012, 09:17 AM   #17
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If you think through the physics, you'll agree that weighing is the most accurate way to determine what's left; albeit not the most convenient method.

Propane is a liquid that vaporizes into a gas when exposed to a sufficiently low pressure, such as atmospheric pressure. At a given temperature, the pressure produced by the liquid propane is a fixed value - regardless of the amount of liquid in the tank. This is called its 'vapor pressure'.

When the tank valve is closed, liquid propane evaporates until the pressure inside the tank equals the vapor pressure value (for a given temperature) at which point it stops evaporating When the valve is open and you're using fuel, the pressure inside the tank drops and liquid starts to evaporate.

For any liquid to evaporate, it must absorb heat (just like when you're boiling water). Propane absorbs heat from the environment making it colder than its surroundings (which is why the liquid part of the tank feels cool).


This is what leads to the weaknesses in the "gauges" available on the market today.
The 'pressure' gauge only changes meaningfully when the liquid is virtually gone.
The 'temperature' gauge only changes when the gas is being used, and at a rate fast enough to noticeably change the liquid temperature.


There's some good advice here, and it's what I use:
Have two tanks with the automatic switch showing when one tank has gone empty. If you can go at least one day on a single tank, then a daily check is sufficient to see if one's empty and you're now on 'reserve'.
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Old 07-29-2012, 03:26 PM   #18
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I bought a luggage scale, electronic one. I weigh the bottles at the beginnings of long trips. I have a simple chart that is divided into 10% increments. on the ring on the top of the tank is a number with the letters tw. that # is the empty weight. you can get the full weight after a refill. divide the difference by 10. anyway, as other's have said, experience will dictate how long your propane will last. our two 30# tanks last almost a season of camping. mostly dry. we never use the shower, but use the heater a lot. and the fridge is nearly always on propane.
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