Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-12-2021, 08:38 AM   #1
Junior Member
 
DMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 7
Is there a trick to check a propane tank's level

Sorry for the newbie question. My rv has two thirty gallon tanks for propane. I have a meter for liquids but I don’t see one for propane. It would be nice to refill one while running off the other. Not sure if they feed evenly or not.
DMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 08:49 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 14,708
I bought the Mopeka monitor for two propane tanks. A monitor mounted inside my TT and an app for my phone. Uses sensors attached to bottom of tanks with magnets.

Has worked flawlessly and eliminated all guessing.

AP Products 1212.13 024-1000 Tank Check LP with Monitor Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C5RQI74...QA12ZA1Z4YFSN0
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will." (Japanese Proverb)

"You only grow old when you run out of new things to do"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 08:52 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
I bought the Mopeka monitor for two propane tanks. A monitor mounted inside my TT and an app for my phone. Uses sensors attached to bottom of tanks with magnets.

Has worked flawlessly and eliminated all guessing.

AP Products 1212.13 024-1000 Tank Check LP with Monitor Kit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C5RQI74...QA12ZA1Z4YFSN0


X2
We just got the same and wished we had done it years ago! (Lost a fridge full of food at the beginning of a trip when we ran out of propane sometime during the drive)
Daxinarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:00 AM   #4
Part-Time Campground Host
 
cboss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 2,187
Looks like a new toy is on my list!
We usually turn the selector to just one tank. When that runs out we select the other and then fill the empty one. Problem is it always runs out at night when the temps are in the 30s. Switching over in my undies gets cold.
__________________
Craig & Cath
2018 2902WS Rockwood Ultra Lite (with tons of Mods)
2022 F250 Lariat Super Cab, 7.3 gas w/10 Spd Xmsn
Equalizer Hitch w/4-Point Sway Control

Days camped since 2015(retirement): 1264
cboss is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:08 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 7,972
Lots of ways to check propane w/o buying sensors that are iffy at best. My gadget buddy has been through about half a dozen propane sensors and none of them were very accurate. But he likes to play with that stuff.
I can usually feel the temp difference on the tank where the propane level is. Weight is good way also, I just loosen up the one hold down and lift.
You should have an automatic changover regulator that will have an indicator that tells you when one bottle is empty and it has switched to the other bottle. The indicator usually goes from green to red and the manual switchover handle will point to the empty bottle. Changing the manual handle to the other tank will turn the indicator to green and you refill the empty bottle.
If you use the auto switch over valve as intended, leaving both bottles on, you should never have to change your bottles over in the middle of the night. Of course that means you have to check the indicator occasionally
After a little experience, you get a feel for when you need to check and refill.
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:09 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
asr524's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Michigan
Posts: 372
if you pour hot water over the tank then you can run your hand down the side. Where it transitions from warm to cool is the propane level inside the tank.
__________________
2021 Wolfpack 315Pack12
2014 Ford F350 6.7L Diesel
2019 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse
asr524 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:09 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Rhumblefish's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: Right in the Middle
Posts: 605
Might check your tanks, DMan, I suspect they are (2) 20lb tanks (each holding 4.6 gal of propane), for a total of 40lbs, or 9.2 gallons total.

Regardless, most of these rigs don't ship with propane meters (especially travel trailers with the portable/refillable/exchangeable 20lb tanks).

They don't feed evenly, they draw in series. There's a regulator between the two tanks, that identify which of your two tanks is the primary (and which is reserve), and - when the primary runs dry - automatically switches from one tank to the other. You manually identify which tank you want to be primary by turning the regulator to "point" at the primary tank. The regulator has some clear windows in the handle that display green when they see pressure in the tank. When the primary tank runs dry, the regulator turns from green to red, and then switches to your 'reserve' tank.

Here's a little vid showing the setup:


So, while you don't have a propane level meter, you do have a way to see when you're out on one side (and are ready for a refill/replacement).

Hope this helps.
__________________
2022 Rockwood Roo 235S
2017 Audi Q7 3.0 Prestige w/air (yes, it actually tows that)
WeighSafe hitch - no WD or anti-sway
Rhumblefish is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:21 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 7,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rhumblefish View Post
Might check your tanks, DMan, I suspect they are (2) 20lb tanks (each holding 4.6 gal of propane), for a total of 40lbs, or 9.2 gallons total.

Most fifth wheels of any size come with 2 - 30lb tanks as the specs on his confirm.
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:29 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: North of Seattle, WA
Posts: 14,708
Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
Lots of ways to check propane w/o buying sensors that are iffy at best. My gadget buddy has been through about half a dozen propane sensors and none of them were very accurate. But he likes to play with that stuff.
I can usually feel the temp difference on the tank where the propane level is. Weight is good way also, I just loosen up the one hold down and lift.
You should have an automatic changover regulator that will have an indicator that tells you when one bottle is empty and it has switched to the other bottle. The indicator usually goes from green to red and the manual switchover handle will point to the empty bottle. Changing the manual handle to the other tank will turn the indicator to green and you refill the empty bottle.
If you use the auto switch over valve as intended, leaving both bottles on, you should never have to change your bottles over in the middle of the night. Of course that means you have to check the indicator occasionally
After a little experience, you get a feel for when you need to check and refill.
I agree that a lot of older attempts to monitor lpg tank levels fell short.

The Mopeka system is the first I've found reliable. Their system is also used on LPG bulk tanks.

Mopeka just recently released sensors for water tanks that are merely glued to the bottom of the tank.

Times and technology change.
__________________
"A wise man can change his mind. A fool never will." (Japanese Proverb)

"You only grow old when you run out of new things to do"

2018 Flagstaff Micro Lite 25BDS
2004 Nissan Titan
TitanMike is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:34 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
asr524's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Michigan
Posts: 372
Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
Most fifth wheels of any size come with 2 - 30lb tanks as the specs on his confirm.
My 2021 came with twin 20's. I'm told this is the standard now since its easier to swap them at a propane exchange...or at least that was the dealer's story.

I fitted twin 30's with little to no effort.
__________________
2021 Wolfpack 315Pack12
2014 Ford F350 6.7L Diesel
2019 Indian Chieftain Dark Horse
asr524 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:39 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 7,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by TitanMike View Post
I agree that a lot of older attempts to monitor lpg tank levels fell short.

The Mopeka system is the first I've found reliable. Their system is also used on LPG bulk tanks.

Mopeka just recently released sensors for water tanks that are merely glued to the bottom of the tank.

Times and technology change.
I agree about tech constantly changing, sometimes for the better, sometimes not.
The current sensors my buddy has are the Mopeka. He had one tank that would never register even close. The tank itself must have had a defect or something in the bottom of the tank as when he replaced the actual tank, the sensor then worked fine. He does complain about battery life and having to remove the tank to replace them, but that is small stuff.
I guess I'm just simple, but any RV propane sensor has little, if any, value for me. It is one of those solutions looking for a problem
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:43 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
NMWildcat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Southern NM
Posts: 7,972
Quote:
Originally Posted by asr524 View Post
My 2021 came with twin 20's. I'm told this is the standard now since its easier to swap them at a propane exchange...or at least that was the dealer's story.



I fitted twin 30's with little to no effort.
You know, I have seen that on a few new fifth wheels, but the ones I saw had 3 - 20lb tanks. I can see the reasoning for exchange purposes.
Now I'm wondering how the auto-switchover is handled for 3 tanks? I will have to go back and look.
__________________
Scott and Liz - Southern NM
2012 Wildcat Sterling 32RL - w/level up (best option ever)
2007 Chevy 2500HD 4dr short bed Duramax w/allison
Reese Fifth Airborne air ride king pin coupler with Sidewinder
NMWildcat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 09:58 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Posts: 245
Quote:
Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
You know, I have seen that on a few new fifth wheels, but the ones I saw had 3 - 20lb tanks. I can see the reasoning for exchange purposes.
Now I'm wondering how the auto-switchover is handled for 3 tanks? I will have to go back and look.
Our previous rig before we downsized was an Arctic Fox fifth wheel, it cam with 2-30 gal tanks. I was glad we have a propane supplier that didn’t need to have them pulled out of where they were mounted as filled, those buggers are not the most fun to lift. I’m not so sure I would want to add the weight by putting them on the tongue of a trailer.
Rolland is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 10:31 AM   #14
Junior Member
 
DMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 7
Thanks for the great feedback. You guys don’t just throw the empty tank in the bed of your pickup, do you? I’m talking about taking the empty for refilling. It’s a big tank. Maybe better in the cab?
DMan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 10:33 AM   #15
Part-Time Campground Host
 
cboss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 2,187
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMan View Post
Thanks for the great feedback. You guys don’t just throw the empty tank in the bed of your pickup, do you? I’m talking about taking the empty for refilling. It’s a big tank. Maybe better in the cab?
I strap it upright in the bed with a cargo strap. Cut one of my straps to length just for this job.
__________________
Craig & Cath
2018 2902WS Rockwood Ultra Lite (with tons of Mods)
2022 F250 Lariat Super Cab, 7.3 gas w/10 Spd Xmsn
Equalizer Hitch w/4-Point Sway Control

Days camped since 2015(retirement): 1264
cboss is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 10:34 AM   #16
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMan View Post
Thanks for the great feedback. You guys don’t just throw the empty tank in the bed of your pickup, do you? I’m talking about taking the empty for refilling. It’s a big tank. Maybe better in the cab?


If there is a leak, where would you prefer the leak to occur?
Isn’t the point of the bed of the truck to haul “big stuff”? Otherwise I would just use the DW’s mini-van
Put it in the bed, and strap it in place so it doesn’t roll around.
Daxinarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 10:36 AM   #17
Part-Time Campground Host
 
cboss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 2,187
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daxinarian View Post
If there is a leak, where would you prefer the leak to occur?
Isn’t the point of the bed of the truck to haul “big stuff”? Otherwise I would just use the DW’s mini-van
Put it in the bed, and strap it in place so it doesn’t roll around.
It is dangerous to travel with a tank on its side, so it's extremely important to keep the propane tank in a vertical position during transport. ALWAYS place the cylinder in a well-ventilated area of the vehicle. ALWAYS close the cylinder valve. Seal it with a plug if required—even if the cylinder is empty.
__________________
Craig & Cath
2018 2902WS Rockwood Ultra Lite (with tons of Mods)
2022 F250 Lariat Super Cab, 7.3 gas w/10 Spd Xmsn
Equalizer Hitch w/4-Point Sway Control

Days camped since 2015(retirement): 1264
cboss is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 10:39 AM   #18
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 119
Is there a trick to check a tanks level

Quote:
Originally Posted by cboss View Post
It is dangerous to travel with a tank on its side, so it's extremely important to keep the propane tank in a vertical position during transport. ALWAYS place the cylinder in a well-ventilated area of the vehicle. ALWAYS close the cylinder valve. Seal it with a plug if required—even if the cylinder is empty.


You are right, I should have specified upright. And strap it in place so that it doesn’t fall over and roll around. Also to prevent it from flying through the air and smacking you in the back of the head should you get in an accident.
Daxinarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 10:40 AM   #19
D W
Senior Member
 
D W's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: ALASKA (World's Biggest Campground)
Posts: 5,312
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMan View Post
Thanks for the great feedback. You guys don’t just throw the empty tank in the bed of your pickup, do you? I’m talking about taking the empty for refilling. It’s a big tank. Maybe better in the cab?
"throw it in the bed of the truck"? No, place in the bed of the truck and secure it. Go get it filled, strap it back down and go home. Why would you put a propane cylinder in the cab of your truck?
__________________
'07 K3500 Silverado LT Crew Duramax (LBZ)
2016 Salem 27RKSS
1984 CHEV SCOTTSDALE K20 2GCGK24J0E1XXXXXX (Chevrolet Legends-Class of 2019)
"...exhaust fluid? We don't need no stinkin' exhaust fluid"
D W is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-12-2021, 10:56 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMan View Post
Thanks for the great feedback. You guys don’t just throw the empty tank in the bed of your pickup, do you? I’m talking about taking the empty for refilling. It’s a big tank. Maybe better in the cab?


Things that belong in the Cab: spouse, well behaving children, buddies, eggs, snacks and drinks for the driver.
Things that belong in the bed of the truck:
Anything hazardous like propane, fuel cans, or mother-in-laws
anything dirty (exceptions may be made for children), lumber, firewood, buddies who are drunk and might puke in the cab…
Poorly behaved children (just kidding)
Daxinarian is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
check, tank

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Forest River, Inc. or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:51 PM.