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Old 01-28-2020, 09:28 PM   #1
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Where does my propane go in the winter?

I'm in my second winter with this MH. Last spring when I took the MH out of storage (my lot) I noticed the propane tank was empty. The propane valve was off but I didn't let it both me since there was only a 1/4 tank of propane. Well I checked my propane tank level today and it reads empty again. Before winterizing the MH this year I check the propane level and shut it off. I had over a 1/2 tank in October and now empty. Is the gauge on the tank temperature sensitive? I hope it's not leaking but I understand it could be a possibility. If it is leaking why in the winter and not during the warmer weather? Any ideas or thoughts on what's happening to my propane. Thanks!
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:39 PM   #2
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Gauges are not accurate. Weigh your tank for the most accurate way of figuring the level. I use a Mopeka but it isn't as accurate as weight.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:51 PM   #3
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Gauges are not accurate. Weigh your tank for the most accurate way of figuring the level. I use a Mopeka but it isn't as accurate as weight.
Thanks for the quick response. I don't think it is possible to weigh the tanks since they are securely mounted in the motorhome.
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Old 01-28-2020, 09:57 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick response. I don't think it is possible to weigh the tanks since they are securely mounted in the motorhome.
LOL...sorry. I didn't even look at what you have.
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Old 01-28-2020, 10:03 PM   #5
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Propane level can't be determined by pressure unless the tank is empty and then the gauge will read zero. Weight is the only method.

About 20% of the Amazon reviews of the Mopeka device give it One Star -- junk. Maybe it works. I just weigh mine and refill as needed.

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Old 01-28-2020, 10:36 PM   #6
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You can buy an inexpensive gas sniffer on Amazon for $30.00 or so. They work really well.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:45 AM   #7
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About 20% of the Amazon reviews of the Mopeka device give it One Star -- junk. Maybe it works. I just weigh mine and refill as needed.

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LOL..have you ever tried them? My guess is no! Have mine 2 years now. Works great.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:00 AM   #8
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The original poster has a tank securely bolted to the motorhome. Removal for weighing is not feasible.

In an attempt to learn more on this subject, I saw an article that explains how motorhomes have ASME tanks, as opposed to the DOT type tanks found on travel trailers. The ASME tanks likely have a gauge tied to a float inside the tank. See here: https://rvshare.com/blog/the-ultimat...ing-or-buying/

Can someone confirm this or elaborate on the subject of how motorhome tanks are built, and how their gauges work?
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:11 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by 125992 View Post
I'm in my second winter with this MH. Last spring when I took the MH out of storage (my lot) I noticed the propane tank was empty. The propane valve was off but I didn't let it both me since there was only a 1/4 tank of propane. Well I checked my propane tank level today and it reads empty again. Before winterizing the MH this year I check the propane level and shut it off. I had over a 1/2 tank in October and now empty. Is the gauge on the tank temperature sensitive? I hope it's not leaking but I understand it could be a possibility. If it is leaking why in the winter and not during the warmer weather? Any ideas or thoughts on what's happening to my propane. Thanks!

The gauge on your tank is activated by a magnet in the tank so the gauge just pops off no threads there. i would get a soap solution and spray all the fitting around the tank . like the bleeder valve and other threaded pieces on the tank
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:58 AM   #10
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Fyi
Float gauges in LP tanks are plus/minus 5%. That being said OP needs to do a serious soap down of the tank. It is possible thou rare that there is a pin hole in one of the welds. If the soap down does not find anything then i would also recommend a sniffer test. If that does not work it will be necessary to empty the tank and do a hydro test on it. Sense this is a fairly new unit I would do it soon as feasible.
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:02 AM   #11
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On your MH the propane tank has a vent valve for filling to indicate when the tank is at 80% i would check that valve to ensure it is secure by first opening it to get flow and then securely closing (it just has to be snug not over tightened) this may be the source of your disappearing propane. let us know what you find
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:09 PM   #12
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Thanks for the quick response. I don't think it is possible to weigh the tanks since they are securely mounted in the motorhome.
You happen to have pictures of your tanks? How big are they?
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:23 PM   #13
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You happen to have pictures of your tanks? How big are they?
Most class A motorhomes have one tank holding between 23-29 gal propane. I'm not sure how many gal the class C come with I would assume at least 23.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:36 PM   #14
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Most class A motorhomes have one tank holding between 23-29 gal propane. I'm not sure how many gal the class C come with I would assume at least 23.
That's why i asked. I believe Class C come in many flavors. Be nice to know what we are talking about here instead of just guessing. My crystal ball isn't working today.
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:52 PM   #15
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There are two potential issues: first, the gauge is giving you a false reading (i.e., you left it with 1/2 tank and the gauge now says empty, but in reality you still have a 1/2 tank); or second, the gauge is correct and you really have an empty tank, in which case you've got a leak somewhere in your system.
Here's a quick "farmer fix" so you can at least figure out which of the two issues you need to address - just get a pitcher of hot water and pour it down the outside of the tank, thereby warming the metal of the tank. Now, starting at the top of the tank, slowly run your hand down the warmed up tank. When you feel the metal turn cold, you've hit your propane level (the propane in the tank absorbs the heat from your hot water). I doubt you can discern between a 3/8 tank and a 1/2 tank, but you should certainly be able to tell whether or not you have the approximately 1/2 tank you had a couple months ago. If your tank is still approximately 1/2, then you've got a faulty gauge issue. If your tank is empty, then you'll need to address the "leak in the system" issue . . .
Good luck!
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Old 01-29-2020, 12:57 PM   #16
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That's why i asked. I believe Class C come in many flavors. Be nice to know what we are talking about here instead of just guessing. My crystal ball isn't working today.
I agree with you on the crystal ball a common problem many of us suffer from. I don't know what the size of the AMSE tank has to do with the OPs question, but would be educational to learn thanks for asking.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:01 PM   #17
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I agree with you on the crystal ball a common problem many of us suffer from. I don't know what the size of the AMSE tank has to do with the OPs question, but would be educational to learn thanks for asking.
How do you even know he has an ASME tank for sure? Some Class Cs have DOT tanks. My guess since it's newer it does have an ASME tank...of course that darn crystal ball.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:05 PM   #18
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Boy there ya go learned something new thanks I did not know Class C came with portable dot tanks.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:31 PM   #19
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Suggestion. I don't have gauges on my tt tanks but have a method I use that works fairly well.

First, since you are indicating anbl empty tank, tap on the tank now with a wrench and note the tone level produced by the tapping. Do that again just before you fill the tank. (Note the size of the tank in gallons.)

Second, fill the tank and when it is full, tap on the tank again. Note the tone difference. As the tank is used that tone, and the resonance, change. After doing that a few times it's eeasy to tell when the tank is getting low.

Third, what is the tank capacity and how much was put in when it was filled? (I.E. 25 gallon tank needed 24 gallons VS 25 gallon tank needed 15 gallons.) Noting that notes how "accurate" the gauge actually is.
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Old 01-29-2020, 01:31 PM   #20
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I'm just going to agree with the above and say that a bubble test is in order.

Given the fact that it only happens in cold weather leads me to think it's a seal shrinking so Seadog's suggestion of checking the vent as well as the fill fitting and around the gauge plate makes sense. I pay particular attention to those places.

P.S. Run the bubble test in the coldest weather you can.
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