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Old 10-06-2011, 08:31 PM   #1
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Is propane pressure affected by cold weather?

We are taking our 2011 model 1007 camping for the first time in cold weather over weekend of Oct. 22 (or at least potentially cold). Last weekend we were tent camping with our Coleman propane tabletop stove, and at temps in the 40s the flame was pretty puny, and frost quickly formed on the gas tank. Took a long time to boil water. Will our 20 lb. tank on the pup act similarly? i.e. will we have weak flame on our pup stove? The tank is about 3/4 full.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:08 PM   #2
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Don't know about very cold weather impacting propane but very hot weather can cause a vapor lock. To cure, cool the tank down in ice water.
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Old 10-06-2011, 09:10 PM   #3
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We've camped almost 20 years in 3 different pups and never had a problem with the propane stove, water heater or furnace in cold weather. We have camped when it got down in the mid 30's. (I know, some folks will say that's not cold).
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:46 AM   #4
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Cold weather can affect you... but since you do not say where you live or last filled your tank at... another consideration is if you had your tank filled with Butane. it is sometimes sold as propane in the S and NOT good in cold weather.
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Old 10-07-2011, 11:13 AM   #5
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Here is a possible explanation. The small throwaway cylinders were being used in an application that demanded a larger volume of gas. Due to the small surface area of the liquid in the cylinder and the cold temperature, the liquid could not vaporize fast enough to build up any amount of pressure in the cylinder. Evaporation is a cooling process so that is why the outside of the tank gets cold and sometimes frosts up.

Your 20lb cylinder has a much larger surface area of liquid propane so it won't have to "flash" so quickly to maintain a given output of vapor. The outside will still get cooler than ambient but probably not by much.

Vapor lock on a propane tank? I've heard of this condition on gasoline engines where the liquid fuel will turn to vapor in the line which can't be moved by the fuel pump. If anything, high ambient temperatures would accelerate the production of propane vapors and raise the pressure inside the tank, the high pressure regulator would maintain the proper line pressure.

Look up BLEVE on google. It stands for Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion. You tube would probably have some pretty cool vids of some.

I don't think I'd cancel the trip or anything.
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:08 PM   #6
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I've had no problem with running my furnace and water heater in my 26BH (with external propane tanks) with the temp was in the 28-30 degree Fahrenheit temperature range.

If you go to the following link (geared toward hot-air-ballonists, but applicable here) you'll see how temperature affects the pressure of propane in a tank.

http://www.balloonlife.com/publicati...repair9812.htm

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Old 10-09-2011, 08:38 PM   #7
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Thanks all, my mind is at ease. I should have said, we're in Minnesota and though we will be camping in the southern part of the state, on Oct. 22 snow would certainly not be unheard of. On the other hand, neither would 80s, which we've had for over a week now! That's Minnesota...
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Old 10-10-2011, 07:26 AM   #8
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You wont have any trouble in MinniSNOWta with the propane... when it gets really cold (-30) you would want to put a 15 watt light bulb in the tank area (with the cover over it) to slightly heat the tanks up..
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Old 11-03-2011, 01:46 PM   #9
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Propane actually boils at -44F / -42C that is how you get the vapor to run the appliances. Liquid Propane (LPG) is compressed into the tank and is at a constant boil which released the propane vapor that everything in the RV runs off of. So cold temperatures will really not affect the gas supply
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