Propane Tank Puzzlement - Escape Trailer Owners Community

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Escape Systems | Water, Waste, Charging & Propane
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-19-2017, 11:08 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
NW Cat Owner's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Seatac, Washington
Trailer: "The Trailer", 2nd Gen 21' & a 2017 Tundra CrewMax in Blazing Blue Pearl
Posts: 2,646
Propane Tank Puzzlement

On my recent outing I used the furnace multiple times (boy, that thing really heats up the trailer quick - much better than my small electric heater I usually use), as well as the stovetop twice a day (one burner each time). I didn't think I was using that much propane.

Today we pulled the cover and checked the propane levels. Both tanks were closed. The gauge was red and the lever was flipped to one side. I flipped it to the other side and the gauge turned green. Okay, great.

So, we're thinking I went through one entire tank since it was originally showing red. Holy Cow! That furnace really sucks propane.

Then I flipped the lever back to where it was originally and the gauge turned green. What the heck? It was red before.

Now we're really puzzled. What the heck is going on? Did I really empty one tank? I can't remember if I turned the tank open or not when checking. Too many hours ago to remember.

Thanks in advance for your advice/suggestions/comments/what not.
__________________

__________________
Laura, Dirk and Spike & Sam (the cats)
www.UnderKittySupervision.com
NW Cat Owner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 12:10 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 1979 Boler B1700
Posts: 9,667
The auto-changeover device in the regulator responds to pressure. If the tank valves are closed, the indication on this device is meaningless.

I suggest not worrying about the red you saw, since you don't know whether or not it was a valid indication. If you want to know how much is in each tank (and I would be curious if it were me), there are several ways to determine the actual level in each tank. The most accurate (but not convenient) way is to remove the tanks and put each on a scale - everything beyond the empty tank weight (marked on the tank, and likely about 18 pounds each) is propane. Some tanks even have gauges built-in, but I doubt the trailer comes with those (because they cost more and not everyone would appreciate them).
__________________

Brian B-P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 01:05 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
rbryan4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Trailer: 2015 19 "Past Tents", 2015 F150 Ecoboost
Posts: 8,338
Laura, just a little explanation about auto changeover, the indicator, and how it works.

You have a service tank and a reserve tank. Once the service tank is empty, the system will automatically switch over to the reserve tank and the indicator will turn red. If you switch the manual lever toward the reserve side, the indicator will turn green, since that tank is still full. Refill the original service tank, hook it up and open the valve. Once the tank you're currently running on us empty, the indicator will turn red and the system will once again automatically switch over to the other tank. The process just repeats.

The thing to remember is that the system automatically switches to the other tank when the current one is empty. The red just indicates it's time to refill the tank that the lever is pointed toward. As Brian mentioned, it's pretty easy to tell if a tank is empty. I can tell pretty quickly just by weight.
__________________
"You can't buy happiness, but you can buy an RV. And that is pretty close."
rbryan4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 07:23 AM   #4
Site Team
 
Donna D.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Portland, Oregon
Trailer: 2014 Escape 5.0 TA
Posts: 7,161
Has anyone found any built-in gauge to be accurate? At any price? Getting the tanks in and out on Ten Forward is a bit of a PITA. I'd buy a gauge(s) if I thought they worked well....
__________________
Donna D.
Ten Forward
2014 Escape 5.0TA
Donna D. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 07:26 AM   #5
Site Team
 
cpaharley2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Trailer: 2016 2ndGen Escape 19' PRAIRIE SCHOONER pulled by 2014 Ram Hemi/8sp
Posts: 14,508
Do not forget that your water heater and refrigerator both use propane while unhooked from electric.
__________________
Jim
The two most important days in your life are the day you were born and the day you find out why………..Mark Twain
cpaharley2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 07:46 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: none, Yukon
Trailer: None
Posts: 1,316
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
On my recent outing I used the furnace multiple times (boy, that thing really heats up the trailer quick - much better than my small electric heater I usually use), as well as the stovetop twice a day (one burner each time). I didn't think I was using that much propane.

Today we pulled the cover and checked the propane levels. Both tanks were closed. The gauge was red and the lever was flipped to one side. I flipped it to the other side and the gauge turned green. Okay, great.

So, we're thinking I went through one entire tank since it was originally showing red. Holy Cow! That furnace really sucks propane.

Then I flipped the lever back to where it was originally and the gauge turned green. What the heck? It was red before.

Now we're really puzzled. What the heck is going on? Did I really empty one tank? I can't remember if I turned the tank open or not when checking. Too many hours ago to remember.

Thanks in advance for your advice/suggestions/comments/what not.
I guess it depends on the length of your outing and how you define multiple times.

1 lb of propane = 21,500 btu
20 lb tank of propane = 430,000 btu
Furnace = 12,000 btu imput
430,000 ÷ 12000 = 35.8 hours to consume one 20 lb tank propane

Plus as Jim stated - refrigerator - water heater - cooktop - also consume propane..
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 08:27 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Dave Walter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Trailer: 2013 19' & 2013 15B
Posts: 1,954
Just a couple of clarifications.

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
I guess it depends on the length of your outing and how you define multiple times.

1 lb of propane = 21,500 btu
20 lb tank of propane = 430,000 btu
Furnace = 12,000 btu imput
430,000 ÷ 12000 = 35.8 hours to consume one 20 lb tank propane...
Keep in mind that 35.8 hrs would be continuous usage with furnace running. With normal duty cycle and depending on ambient temperature, your furnace should run much less than full-time, maybe in the 30-50 percent range. And typically when we are away during the day (and when the temps are warmer), the furnace is turned off or down and runs even less.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Laura, just a little explanation about auto changeover, the indicator, and how it works.

You have a service tank and a reserve tank. Once the service tank is empty, the system will automatically switch over to the reserve tank and the indicator will turn red. If you switch the manual lever toward the reserve side, the indicator will turn green, since that tank is still full. Refill the original service tank, hook it up and open the valve. Once the tank you're currently running on us empty, the indicator will turn red and the system will once again automatically switch over to the other tank. The process just repeats.

The thing to remember is that the system automatically switches to the other tank when the current one is empty. The red just indicates it's time to refill the tank that the lever is pointed toward. As Brian mentioned, it's pretty easy to tell if a tank is empty. I can tell pretty quickly just by weight.
The system will automatically switch to the other tank when current one is empty, IF the valves on both tanks are open. If the valve on the spare tank is not open, the switchover will not occur.
__________________
2013 19' \ 2013 15B, 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser

"It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool, than to talk and remove all doubt of it." - 1907, Maurice Switzer
Dave Walter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 09:07 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Red Dog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Retired from Dallas Full-Timing, Texas
Trailer: 2014 Casita SD (Sold) 2017 21' Escape on Jan. 16th
Posts: 755
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
Laura, just a little explanation about auto changeover, the indicator, and how it work.


Excellent explanation!

After over 2 years of full-timing, I finally got a crystal clear explanation of how that auto changeover works.

Thanks Robert!
__________________
Fred M.

"Whoever said retirement was overrated...
...never had an Escape"
Red Dog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 09:09 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: none, Yukon
Trailer: None
Posts: 1,316
Yes it would take running the furnace on a continuos basis to consume one 20 lb tank of propane in approx 36 hours
If we assume a 30% furnace duty cycle or 7.2 hours a day , it would take 120 hours or 5 days to consume one 20 lb tank of propane.
We live in Northern Wisconsin and camp in late Spring where the highs are in the 50's and lows in the 30's to 40's.
Running our furnace , cooktop and refrigerator on propane, we have never used a full tank of propane and that's for over 15 days of camping
Two full tanks of propane last us from late April to late September.
Burning up one full tank of propane in a single outing seems excessive unless it was extremely cold or the OP was cooking for an army or a short outing is 30 days.
steve dunham is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2017, 10:10 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: ,, Oklahoma
Trailer: 17
Posts: 787
" If you switch the manual lever toward the reserve side, the indicator will turn green, since that tank is still full."

It Might have just been this, the youtube escape oriention video has this explained . Keep us posted.
__________________

gocamp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off






» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:44 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.