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Old 08-18-2021, 11:43 PM   #1
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Upgrading 20lb tanks to 30lb tanks...

So I am getting ready to upgrade my tanks but will have to obviously change some components. I already know I will be needing a new cover. But I am looking at thoughts about the rod used to secure the tanks. I can't check right now because my trailer is 60 miles away. I have seen 2 different threaded rods mentioned. One uses 3/8" threads and the other uses 1/2" threads. I am not sure which one I have yet. I am guessing that the length now is probably going to be 18" long which works for 20lb tanks but won't work for 30lb tanks. It looks like the 30lb setup requires 24" long. I know I could order an RV specific replacement rod but checking at the local Menards, I can buy a 24" zinc threaded rod in either 3/8 or 1/2". But another solution that looks promising is buying a coupler nut and then a 6" long threaded zinc rod which would give me the 24" length needed. I would most likely use thread locker to secure the nut coupler. And since it will be covered, I can't see any reason that zinc rods wouldn't be acceptable as exposure will be limited.

Bottom line is buying either the replacement threaded rod in 24" or coupler nut and smaller threaded rod is going to be significantly cheaper than buying the RV specific replacement as well as being able to get it right away. Is there any reason why I should be buying the RV specific replacement or can I just use either of the DIY choices instead? And does anyone know if the 3/8" or 1/2" is going to be the correct one that would be used on my Wildwood FSX?
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Old 08-19-2021, 12:20 AM   #2
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I would wait until you actually need the threaded rod... take the old one out and take to any hardware store... or measure what you need. I think that many places can sell you the appropriate sized rod and NO I would not purchase from an RV dealer. Another option is to purchase several options and return what is not needed.

Thread locker and/or a couple of opposing nuts on either side of the coupler would be adequate IMO.

You could always wipe on a little oil onto the rod if you think that corrosion would be a problem.
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Old 08-19-2021, 06:47 AM   #3
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If you are going to do this once you have the new tanks- filled and ready to install- you could buy both rods and use the one that fits and return the other one.
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Old 08-19-2021, 08:36 AM   #4
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Thank you both and that seems like a reasonable solution. Even buy buying both sizes, it's still way cheaper than buying the the specific RV one. I ordered the new 30lb tanks online from Costco ($59.99) and they should be here soon. I have a propane dealer less than a mile away so I can get them filled as soon as they get here. Hopefully I can get this done by next week and get in one more trip before my little guy goes back to school.
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Old 08-19-2021, 09:39 AM   #5
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When you get them filled, make sue to tell them this is the first time they have been filled.
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Old 08-19-2021, 09:44 AM   #6
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Any hardware store will have a piece of all thread. I would not "couple" together, I would just by a new piece. One less weak point.
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Old 08-19-2021, 10:04 AM   #7
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When you get them filled, make sue to tell them this is the first time they have been filled.
Absolutely. I am aware that some new tanks require the purging. I was recently at the propane supplier place getting the BBQ tank refilled and asked the guy if he is able to purge new tanks and he said he can so I should be good. Thanks for the reminder.
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Old 08-19-2021, 10:23 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by KKonyha View Post
Any hardware store will have a piece of all thread. I would not "couple" together, I would just by a new piece. One less weak point.
X2. A coupled joint will be inherently weaker than a solid piece. It will be much more susceptible to flexing/bending with the bouncing and swaying of a moving trailer. I have seen coupled all-thread joints fail.
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Old 08-19-2021, 10:28 AM   #9
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That makes sense. So a new rod it is then. I was just thinking, probably the best way for me would be to pull that oversized wing nut that secures the top bracket off and bring it with. This will help figure out whether it is the 3/8" or 1/2" and get it done on the first trip to store.
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Old 08-19-2021, 10:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
I was just thinking, probably the best way for me would be to pull that oversized wing nut that secures the top bracket off and bring it with. This will help figure out whether it is the 3/8" or 1/2" and get it done on the first trip to store.
yup that will certainly work...
get a couple of nuts and lock washers to LOCK that threaded rod in at the bottom of the rack so it will not turn on you...
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Old 08-19-2021, 05:09 PM   #11
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We have an older Wildwood, with 30 lb. propane tanks.



I recently "redid" the propane setup...new tanks, new regulator, fuel monitoring system, and repainted rusty parts.


The rod is 1/2" solid rod that is threaded on both ends, but I would not hesitate to use threaded rod..plenty stout enough.



The diameter of the rod is dictated by the nuts welded to the bottom plate, and the top clamp bar "wingnut". The rod is 24" long.




















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Old 08-20-2021, 07:24 AM   #12
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I don't think you need an RV specific rod. Everything for boats and RV's is priced for rich folks. They assume if you can afford an RV, you are rich. Reading this forum, I believe they are mostly right.

When I worked for the bus company in college, we'd order parts from GM. They would charge $3 for a $0.10 washer. I guess if you can afford a car or bus, you're also rich. Just being in America makes us in the top 90% in the world. Life is Good!
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Old 08-25-2021, 12:22 PM   #13
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I did the install last weekend. The 1/2" x24" turned put to be the correct one and both tanks are now mounted. I also had to buy a new cover as the old one was meant for only the 20lb tanks. The only minor issue I ran into was the length if the propane line. At first, it was a bit short and wouldn't let me push the cover on all the way. I looked under the trailer and discovered that the propane line went through the frame plate just behind battery, ran over to frame rail, then had a jog of about a foot or so attached by zip tie, and then back over to frame rail where it continued to the rear. I'm assuming the little jog was there to take up slack so that there wasn't to much of the propane line sticking out the front with the 20lb tanks. I snipped that zip tie, then began pulling more propane line out the front. With that little jog gone, the propane line is now fully along frame rail underneath and enough came out the front to reattach the regulator and connect both tanks as well as allow the new propane tank cover to fully go down. This worked out very well.
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Old 08-25-2021, 12:59 PM   #14
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Well done! Did you get the tank cover with the lid on top?
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Old 08-25-2021, 02:46 PM   #15
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Well done! Did you get the tank cover with the lid on top?
Yes. The original one had one so I wanted the same style to easily reach the regulator.
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