thinking about installing a second propane tank

Discussion in 'My Favorite Mods, Tips, Tricks (and Blunders!)' started by Fred1diver, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. Fred1diver

    Fred1diver Active Member

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    hey everyone, after coming back from my trip in les escoumins where I encountered night temps of 2°c running out of gas I'm thinking about installing a second tank, how difficult is it to do an how expensive is it to do?, I can get a tank for a good price, but what about the rack and hoses-fittings?
     
  2. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    We installed a dual tank setup with auto changeover on our pup. IIRC, the kit wasn’t expensive, we bought it on eBay or Amazon. Took a bit of fiddling with the setup, but not bad.
    I like having the auto changeover, I was convinced the LP would run out in the middle of a frigid night and require crouching under the bunk on ice to change the tank. (First cold trip we didn’t have the auto changeover yet, though had the extra tank, it hit the teens F and there was a lake of ice under most of the camper.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2018
  3. generok

    generok Well-Known Member

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    e-trailer.com sells a dual tank mounting kit I would highly suggest versus fabricating your own mount. If you do that, you can also purchase a dual tank LP cover if you want. You don't HAVE to do a dual inlet regulator, as long as you understand you will need to change the hose from one tank to the other when it runs out. It ALWAYS runs out in the night when it is cold simply because that's when you're using the most gas. I ran with a single inlet regulator on my PUP for years, but the TT has a dual, which is nice.
     
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  4. emoney

    emoney Well-Known Member

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    I’ve learned it’s worth whatever the cost. Within reason of course lol
     
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  5. GrueMaster

    GrueMaster Active Member

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    I have dual tanks, but also carry more in my pickup if I'm going to be out for a week. Haven't installed a dual regulator yet (and there have been times where I regretted it). I have to have extra tanks though, mainly for my cooking gear. My dual burner Camp Chef can eat a tank in 3 days of cooking.
     
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  6. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    I put a second tank on my pop because last season taught me how much the furnace eats. Luckily on my pup the tongue was already designed for a second tank so all I had to do is buy a second set of J brackets that most Coleman/Fleetwoods use. Because I have an outside stove hookup that uses high pressure and the interior stove that uses uses low I decided to just keep the same regulator and I will just switch it over if I have to because I don't want to lose my outside stove port. From what I read they don't make the regulator I need to keep both my high and low pressure ports if it was to switch over to the second tank. Or something like that. Im not familiar with the process to fully understand why. Anyway for you, you just need to determine If you have room on the tongue for a second tank, or if you have to modify the tongue area to make room. Good luck.
     
  7. friartuck

    friartuck Well-Known Member

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    If there is enough room on the tongue it's just a couple of J hooks and you're in business!
    I went the other way and had my repair shop install a high pressure switchover. I wasn't cheap, the high pressure switchover is only available to 'licensed propane dealers' (at least in Michigan) so some shenanigans were involved, but I can run the outside stove from either tank.
     
  8. Stacy PErvis

    Stacy PErvis New Member

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    Our Niagra (bought used) had a single tank but a frame for 2 tanks. Had high pressure regulator and low pressure attached in-line. I wanted 2 tanks. Researched auto changeover regulators and found that all of them I looked at had mostly negative reviews for not switching after several uses. I had a high pressure supply to the outside with a high pressure outdoor stove. Stove wasnt to my liking. My current Camp Chef big stove is low pressure. The old hoses were stiff and brittle.
    Removed the old hoses, regulators and fittings. Bought new 1/2” steel pipe and brass fittings. Installed new low pressure regulator centered of the 2 tanks. Installed a T below that I attached my existing low pressure back to. Made a new 14” long stub out with low pressure quick disconnect and connected to the other side of the T. Made sure it came out for easy access but not where it hits my shin when I walk around. Welded the steel pipe to the tongue in a couple of places to secure it. Pressure tested and its all good. Attached a new 20” hose to the top of the regulator and I can switch tanks in a few minutes when needed. 12’ hose with QD attached to the Camp Chef and we are cooking!! Cost about $75 and 1 hour of my time.
     
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  9. GrueMaster

    GrueMaster Active Member

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    I bought a 2 tank mounting plate at a local RV parts store (now out of business). It fit onto the welded tank holder rail on my trailer with a little persuasion (thick paint made it tight). Drilled a couple of holes to mount it more permanently and it works great. Only issue is when one tank runs out at 3am in 36 degree rain. Guess I need a gauge next. :p
     
  10. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    @GrueMaster - having an auto changeover is wonderful - no worrying that the LP will run out in the middle of the night. We installed an auto changeover on the Cobalt pup, and have one on our TT. Never had an issue with either one.
     
  11. Stacy PErvis

    Stacy PErvis New Member

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    I started to put a gauge in but they looked cheap and figure Ill just deal with the switch over. Still looking for a better way but going camping until I find a better way.
     
  12. Stacy PErvis

    Stacy PErvis New Member

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    What brand regulator did you buy?
     
  13. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I want to say it was maybe Marshall, but that's going from memory of 7 years ago when we put it on. It's too long ago for it to be in our purchase history on eBay. I can't find a pic of the one on the Cobalt. The one on the TT was installed by the dealer, and I don't remember maker's markings. (It's covered up at the moment.)
    I doubt this pic will help, since I took it to show someone the new hoses, etc. On our pup, we installed the window facing front, which made it easier to see when it had switched over. The one on the TT is installed with the window facing the trailer, so I have to use a mirror to check if it's switched. Some think installing it with the window and lever facing the trailer gives a little protection from thrown rocks on dirt roads.
     

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  14. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

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    I have dual tanks on mine. Mine has the T-stand instead of J-hooks which makes it easier to swap out tanks.
    [​IMG]

    I abandoned the high pressure line for the outdoor stove as I never use it and hooked up an auto-switchover I got at an RV shop.

    [​IMG]

    I also put one of these gauges in each line between the tank and the auto switchover, so I know the next morning if I have switched over and need to replace the first tank. They're not extremely accurate in terms of percentage of gas used, but nice for knowing if one's empty without crawling under the bunk and trying to lift it to judge its weight.

    [​IMG]

    The whole setup wasn't horribly expensive and works great.
     
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  15. GrueMaster

    GrueMaster Active Member

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    The dual tank mount is exactly the same as mine (except mine was white). I had to replace the rod a few years back when someone borrowed the camper and didn't seat it properly on the hitch before driving off. Easy enough to get threaded rod from local hardware store.
     
  16. Dan Wilson

    Dan Wilson Active Member

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    I put a gauge on my tank, brand new, the tank is full and it shows as empty. Do any of these things give an accurate reading?
     
  17. xvz12

    xvz12 Well-Known Member

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    Those gauges that screw onto the outlet of the tank actually guesstimate the remaining fuel by the pressure in the tank, not the volume....they're essentially worthless, IMO. I bought a couple of tanks with built in fuel gauges that work on a float inside the tank, like the gas gauge on a car, <CLICK HERE> for a link to one, if you're patient, they go on sale for considerably less than the one advertised. YMMV
     
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  18. Rusty2192

    Rusty2192 Well-Known Member

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    I can second the linked tank. I picked the same one up at Costco for about $25-$30 and the gauge is great.
     
  19. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    I'm old-school on testing LP level - I just use the hot water method. Seems like it's more accurate than the simple gauges. When we're home, Courtenay will remove the tanks and weigh them. Doing that has also given us a little more idea of how much LP we use under varying conditions.
     
  20. Dback2k4

    Dback2k4 Active Member

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    They're never extremely accurate, they just measure the pressure being put out. So anywhere from full to about 1/8 or 1/4 of a tank will show full, down below that you start getting more accurate readings. They're good enough for me in combination with my auto-switchover to know when a tank goes empty without having to weigh it or run the risk of running the second tank empty and not knowing the first was also empty.

    You should however be getting a full reading with a new tank and the valve opened, you might have a defective gauge.
     

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