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Old 11-06-2016, 08:58 AM   #1
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Both bottles at once or singularly?

Family and I are sitting here at 7:30 am. It's a balmy 50' outside and 65' in the camper.

All of a sudden the WH won't light and the furnace only blows cold air. Guess I'm out of propane.

I've got dual bottles and both valves have always been open. Sure would be nice if I could run outside and open the second bottle for some heat.

So, let's hear it. Do y'all run both bottles at once, or manually switch to the second when one runs out, and get the empty filled while running the second so that you've always got propane?

The downside of doing it that way is the inconvenience of running outside, perhaps in the middle of the cold night, when one runs dry. Of course it's also inconvenient sitting here adding layers as the camper cools down and really wanting a shower.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:02 AM   #2
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You'll find some campers do it one way or the other, for the reasons you already stated.

Depending how far you are away from a propane refilling station, this thread may help:

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...day-76719.html
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:03 AM   #3
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Have a small electric heater as backup and switch your water heater to electric so you can shower

We only open one at a time to avoid running both out at the worst time


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Old 11-06-2016, 09:05 AM   #4
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One at a time, all 5 trailers I owned the same way.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:07 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gspot01 View Post
Family and I are sitting here at 7:30 am. It's a balmy 50' outside and 65' in the camper.

All of a sudden the WH won't light and the furnace only blows cold air. Guess I'm out of propane.

I've got dual bottles and both valves have always been open. Sure would be nice if I could run outside and open the second bottle for some heat.

So, let's hear it. Do y'all run both bottles at once, or manually switch to the second when one runs out, and get the empty filled while running the second so that you've always got propane?

The downside of doing it that way is the inconvenience of running outside, perhaps in the middle of the cold night, when one runs dry. Of course it's also inconvenient sitting here adding layers as the camper cools down and really wanting a shower.
I run one bottle at a time. It only takes a few minutes to change over to the other bottle. The furnace recovers pretty quickly and I know that I need to get a re-fill when I return.

Beats being SOL until you can find an open dealer to re-fill. Depending on location and many other issues having to wait may be a loser.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:08 AM   #6
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We keep both open and when one switches to another then I just keep that info in the back of my mind. unless I just refilled cause then I know we are not emptying one. That would have been a lot of propane to go through. Might want to check your hoses for a possible leak or change your tank checking schedule.


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Old 11-06-2016, 09:08 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by heavynlori View Post
Have a small electric heater as backup and switch your water heater to electric so you can shower

We only open one at a time to avoid running both out at the worst time


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If you do have a water heater with an electric heating element, you can use that to heat your water.....as long as you are also connected to a form of 120 volt AC shore power (which is unknown at this point if you can use the electric heating element or an electric heater)

This thread may help if you have the Suburban

http://www.forestriverforums.com/for...tml#post327988
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:12 AM   #8
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I run one at a time but for some reason, one tank ALWAYS runs out in the middle of the night and I have to go out and switch it over at 3AM.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:18 AM   #9
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I look at this the same as having a main and reserve fuel tank on at the same time, be it truck or aircraft, and run out of fuel! In your RV you can walk around and turn on the other, Good luck on the other 2! Youroo! !
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:20 AM   #10
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We keep both open and when one switches to another then I just keep that info in the back of my mind. unless I just refilled cause then I know we are not emptying one. That would have been a lot of propane to go through. Might want to check your hoses for a possible leak or change your tank checking schedule.


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How do you know when it switches over to the second tank?

Just to fill in missing information, I have the Suburban gas-only model. I started with new propane tanks (presumably full) in April and have made it this long before running out. I am currently on full hookups so could run an electric heater if I had one. Guess I'll add that to the shopping list.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:24 AM   #11
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I use one at a time. Having to switch at 3am beats running out and having nothing to switch to.

Singular use always allows you to run completely empty without an inconvenience. Running dual, you run the risk of running empty with no backup or "guessing" when they're empty and refilling when they still had some in them.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:39 AM   #12
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Another one-at-a-time user. This is the first camper I have had that had the auto-switch over capability. As a result, I don't fully trust it.

In reality, it takes us more than a year to run through a tank with our little A-frame. Gives plenty of time to take the empty off and get it refilled. And it gives plenty of time between 3AM trips to do the manual switch over.

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Old 11-06-2016, 09:40 AM   #13
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I run one tank at a time, but truth be told since I bought a small space heater I never run my propane heater. The rare case being to get the camper quickly up to temperature then let the space heater maintain. The space heater has more than paid for itself in propane savings.
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Old 11-06-2016, 09:54 AM   #14
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Never run out again. Just get a gauge for the tanks. This one is wireless.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:39 AM   #15
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If we're running the furnace overnight then for sure we have both bottles on, otherwise we may only have the one we are currently using on (we keep track by a placing a magnet on the in use bottle as an indicator).

Whenever we have both bottles on (and mostly even when we don't), I have a daily routine to check the switchover regulator for an indication that the bottle in use is empty. The indicator changes from green to red whenever the bottle in use (selected by the switch position) is empty.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:58 AM   #16
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We usually ran both on the old tt. The fiver we manually switch on our own. If you have an electric fireplace in your tt, you can use that for some heat. Most campgrounds also sell propane on site or can direct you to where you can get some. Worst case scenario go to a local grocery store or Wal-Mart and pick up a 20 lb grill propane bottle to get you through.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:13 PM   #17
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...So, let's hear it. Do y'all run both bottles at once, or manually switch to the second when one runs out, and get the empty filled while running the second so that you've always got propane?...

I think you answered your own question.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:47 PM   #18
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I used to run two and have run out of gas twice. I'm thinking of putting a small piece of clear plastic on my opaque tank covers to monitor the auto change over.

I now only run one. It's a lot easier to have something to switch over to than having to find someplace to refill the tanks.

I have also gone to a 1500w heater. It keeps the TT a comfortable temp. I save on propane and use the CG's electricity. I would guess 60% of my propane is used for HW, 20% refrigerator and 20% for cooking.
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Old 11-06-2016, 12:51 PM   #19
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I run one at a time. This way I always have gas available as when I have to switch over, I make a note on our shopping list to get a tank filled. So I always try to have a full tank onboard.
I also use electric space heaters to supliment the furnace. And my Weber grill uses the small propane bottles so I always have something to cook with.
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Old 11-06-2016, 01:43 PM   #20
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How do you know when it switches over to the second tank?

Just to fill in missing information, I have the Suburban gas-only model. I started with new propane tanks (presumably full) in April and have made it this long before running out. I am currently on full hookups so could run an electric heater if I had one. Guess I'll add that to the shopping list.
You don't unless you check your auto switch over indicator on occasion. If I'm in an environment where I know I'm going to be using high volumes of propane I check often. If just normal fridge or occasional hot water I check less. It does require some amount of vigilance but so do most things with an RV..

For me, it's both on and be vigilant abount checking the auto switch over valve indicator..
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