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Old 08-13-2015, 10:00 AM   #21
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As others have already said it is hard to say how long a tank will last, as each of us have our thoughts about gas usage.

A gallon of propane consist of 91,502 BTU/gal. A 20 pound tank holds 4.2 gallons (384KBtu). If you are using the furnace and no other gas appliance you can get 21 to 32 hours of continuous run time before running out of gas. I have found even when it is really cold out, our furnace cycles on and off, so I expect we could get most of a weekend off of a single tank.

For us one 20 pound tank lasts a full season. We camp about 40 nights a year. Primarily at sites with electric. In the early and late season we typically have an electric site. If we have electric and need heat, we use a small 1500 watt ceramic heater. During the day it sits on top of the stove. At night it is on the floor in front of the stove. The little electric heater does a good job, but the HTT might be cool in the morning. So we will turn on the furnace for a bit in the morning. So our gas usage is minimal.

Most RV furnaces are 12K to 18K BTUs. For most people this is the number one propane consumer. I was unable to determine the amount of gas a refrigerator uses, but from experience it is very little. A 6 gallon Atwood water heater is a 12K btu unit. Most of the gas consumption is during water usage, and just a little bit to maintain the water temperature between usages. We do not cook much inside our trailer. So most of our annual gas consumption is from the refrigerator running, at primitive campsites and while traveling.

If you are going out on a cool/cold weekend make sure your tanks are full for the first cool weather trip, and you will probably use only one tank. You can weight them before and after the trip and know how much fuel you used. Now if you were in a pop up, you will use a lot more fuel than even a hybrid.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:03 AM   #22
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We will be completing 40 nights( 2 yrs worth) this weekend on 2 30 lb tanks. They have been only used for the grill ( and the fridge when traveling don't tell anybody). Since I can get them filled and pay by the gallon (or pound) used I will fill in the spring when the new season starts. Larry ps I run both tanks at the same time and always carry a spare.
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:31 AM   #23
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I stand corrected they are 20 lb tanks Larry
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Old 08-18-2015, 08:49 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by 19H F250 View Post
We will be completing 40 nights( 2 yrs worth) this weekend on 2 30 lb tanks. They have been only used for the grill ( and the fridge when traveling don't tell anybody). Since I can get them filled and pay by the gallon (or pound) used I will fill in the spring when the new season starts. Larry ps I run both tanks at the same time and always carry a spare.
Where do you keep your spare and how do you secure it?
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Old 08-18-2015, 09:07 AM   #25
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Our spare was secured in the bed of the pickup.


It just needs to be handy, not connected at all times.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:51 AM   #26
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The exchange programs aren't really a great value from what I understand, but you sure can't beat the convenience!! You just have to find someone to drive down to wherever the exchange is who hasn't already had a few before the grilling started and you discovered you were out of fuel!! LOL!
I will agree that they aren't that great of a value. Yet when I have a tank that is getting old and needs to be re-inspected I will take the old tank and exchange it for a much newer tank. Would cost about $10.00 for a re-inspection or about $20.00 for an exchange tank that should have at least 10 good years before needing re-inspection. Rather than buying a new tank. Granted I may be getting a tank that is 3/4 filled but then it becomes very cost savings.
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Old 08-18-2015, 10:53 AM   #27
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I will agree that they aren't that great of a value. Yet when I have a tank that is getting old and needs to be re-inspected I will take the old tank and exchange it for a much newer tank. Would cost about $10.00 for a re-inspection or about $20.00 for an exchange tank that should have at least 10 good years before needing re-inspection. Rather than buying a new tank. Granted I may be getting a tank that is 3/4 filled but then it becomes very cost savings.
And that's exactly what I'll do when the time comes. Good idea IMO!
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Old 08-18-2015, 11:30 AM   #28
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I will agree that they aren't that great of a value. Yet when I have a tank that is getting old and needs to be re-inspected I will take the old tank and exchange it for a much newer tank. Would cost about $10.00 for a re-inspection or about $20.00 for an exchange tank that should have at least 10 good years before needing re-inspection. Rather than buying a new tank. Granted I may be getting a tank that is 3/4 filled but then it becomes very cost savings.
Be careful if you do a tank exchange. I have three friends that are in three different police force in the area. They all say the same thing, donít use tank exchanges. They state that most propane incidences they are called to involve tank exchange tanks catastrophically failing due to corrosion from the inside out. Some of the issues is with Meth manufacturing using the tanks with caustic chemicals.

By law after the initial 12 years, the tanks need to be inspected and recertified every 5 years. The inspectors are required to date the tank. The tank exchange vendors do not inspect the tanks, which means they are not marked, or verified they are safe. They just give them a quick coat of paint to look good, fill them and send them on there way. Never inspected.

I have used tank exchanges. I had an old tank, no time to get it inspected, so I did, went to the big box store by my house that does tank exchanges. I looked at a dozen or more tanks before I found one that was in date compliance. Then it took a few more tanks before I found one that was only 6 months old. I still have that tank.

Buying a new tank is cheap, and it is very cheap to have refilled. I just had 3 20 pound tanks filled a few weeks ago. Each tank cost about $12.50 to fill. Tank exchange was requesting $17.99 for a replacement tank. Just need to locate a dealer. Near my house, I know 6 places to fill tanks, only two of them are at gas stations, and only one of them is at a traditional gas station.
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