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Old 02-02-2014, 11:55 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
I just checked another Blue Rhino FAQ, and they still report a completely false and fraudulent statement in their section regarding the effect of temperature on pressure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenH View Post
Which part of that section is false? The sentence "It is worth noting..."?
They quote some numbers from NFPA, which are correct and lend credibility to the rest of the message, just like spam claiming to be from someone authoritative.
The statement that the pressures quoted are for 20 pounds of propane are misleading -although not actually false - because those pressures are in fact entirely dependent on pressure and have nothing to do with the amount of propane.

Immediately after "It is worth noting...", this statement
Quote:
... tanks equipped with OPDs hold only about 17 pounds of fuel
is false and part of their underfilling fraud; they claim (using this false statement) that their previous 17-pound fill was all that would fit in a 20-pound tank, because of the OPD. Even members of forums like this readily learn that this is not true, so this cannot be a genuine mistake on Blue Rhino's part.

The following statement
Quote:
... hold only about 17 pounds of fuel, which results in lower pressures at the above temperatures.
is explicitly false, completing the false implication of the opening part. Again, the pressure of propane liquid and vapour in equilibrium is dependent only on temperature, not on the mass of propane or the volume of the containing space.

Of course "It is worth noting..." is also false, because everything they are noting is false and thus worthless.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:59 AM   #42
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At the U-Haul where I get mine refilled - they used to do it by weight, but now charge by the gallon, with on inline meter - (the same method the LP truck that delivers to our 500 gallon tank uses.) .
Excellent! That's the ideal situation; unfortunately I've never found anyone who does this.

The trucks I've seen which deliver to customers do meter the product, but here they do not carry scales and thus will not fill small cylinders... and of course they won't come to your house to fill a couple of 20-pounders!
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:01 PM   #43
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As in all things, the price is the price. If you need the gas you pay the price.
The price is probably quite a bit lower at a bulk fill station than by tank exchange. That's not always readily available.

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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
The galling thing is this: would anybody start out on a big trip with a gasoline tank that's not topped off?
I agree. Just one reason that I would not use a tank exchange, given a choice.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:07 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
Excellent! That's the ideal situation; unfortunately I've never found anyone who does this.

The trucks I've seen which deliver to customers do meter the product, but here they do not carry scales and thus will not fill small cylinders... and of course they won't come to your house to fill a couple of 20-pounders!
The truck meters are also temperature compensated to be accurate at all times of year. I've tried to get them to fill my small ones while they are here, but they say that they aren't allowed to. At the price of the bulk (ordinarily - not this winter) my 20# tank would get filled for less than $10.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:09 PM   #45
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Never used a tank exchange, so I'm wondering.
When my tank has less than a year left before it has to be re-certified, can I exchange it for a full tank with a lot more time to go? I suppose not.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:12 PM   #46
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Never used a tank exchange, so I'm wondering.
When my tank has less than a year left before it has to be re-certified, can I exchange it for a full tank with a lot more time to go? I suppose not.
I've never seen anyone check the expiration dates when I used to do the exchanges. But unless you get lucky, the one they hand you might be as close to expiring as yours is. Maybe a friendly service person would let you sort through them?
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:25 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
When my tank has less than a year left before it has to be re-certified, can I exchange it for a full tank with a lot more time to go?
Quote:
Originally Posted by thoer View Post
I've never seen anyone check the expiration dates when I used to do the exchanges. But unless you get lucky, the one they hand you might be as close to expiring as yours is. Maybe a friendly service person would let you sort through them?
You'll get one with random remaining life, anywhere from almost none (whatever minimum the exchange company has as their minimum standard) to a full decade. I doubt customers are supposed to be allowed access to the stock, but to me this seems like sorting through lumber at a building supply store: with cooperative staff, you might be allowed to take a better one and leave the less desirable for other customers.

I suppose a practical approach would be to use bulk refill when the tank has lots legal life left, and exchange when it gets close... but if you leave it too late and the attendant actually checks the date, your tank will be refused for exchange.

This brings up another issue of the exchanges. If there is anything special about your tank, you'll lose it. I have tanks with float gauges - the replacements would not have them. Years ago OPDs were optional here so some of us paid a premium to get them, and the exchange tanks generally did not have them. The system is based on the 20-pound "barbecue" tank as an anonymous and interchangeable commodity.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:31 PM   #48
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I've been told that if I bring my tanks to my propane supplier in nearby Lynden they would fill them at the same bulk price as I get delivered at my cabin.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:33 PM   #49
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I've been told that if I bring my tanks to my propane supplier in nearby Lynden they would fill them at the same bulk price as I get delivered at my cabin.
That's a really good deal Karen. I even asked mine about doing that and they said no to small tanks - just referred me to the local place that refills the small ones.
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Old 02-02-2014, 12:40 PM   #50
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Never used a tank exchange, so I'm wondering.
When my tank has less than a year left before it has to be re-certified, can I exchange it for a full tank with a lot more time to go? I suppose not.
I got lucky. I asked my local (usually expensive) RV place about it and they said they had just gotten a batch of brand new exchange tanks. They took my old (expired) one and for $18 I had a brand new tank 3/4 full. I took the exchange sleeve off and I am good to go for another 12 years.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:34 PM   #51
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Educating yourself as a consumer is the good policy whether it's purchasing propane or food products. Leaving the sole responsibility to our government or some other entity is irresponsible on our own parts. Buyer beware has been around for long time.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:51 PM   #52
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I took the exchange sleeve off and I am good to go for another 12 years.
Taking that plastic label sleeve off is a good idea anyway. Although it protects the tanks from paint damage during handling in the exchange process, it can hold water against the tank in use and accelerate unseen corrosion.

Even if you want to exchange again, some exchange systems (including Blue Rhino) do not require that the old tank be one of theirs, so it the label is not needed. Individual exchange system practices may vary, and there may be a cost benefit if the tank turned in is identifiable as one of theirs.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:42 PM   #53
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I went out to my propane supplier today on an unrelated mission but took the time to ask about the under filling of the 5-gallon propane tanks. He said that filling them only to fifteen pounds is just a bunch of hooey and that they’re rated to twenty pounds regardless of temperature. So my opinion is that full exchange tanks have gone the way of a quart of mayo (now 30 ounces) and a half-gallon of ice cream (now 1.75 quarts).
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Old 02-06-2014, 05:48 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by ADKzookeeper View Post
Educating yourself as a consumer is the good policy...
I'll second that emotion.

Took my 20 pounder into town to get refilled at a propane station. Wanted that topped-off, full twenty pounds. The one I found, part of a gasoline station, has fenced off propane area, fairly big storage tank, and a scale for weighing the tank. Looked good to me. Just for drill, I asked, how much to fill my 20 pounder. Nearly swallowed my gum when she said, "sixty-one bucks!"

I recovered quickly... "Ah, thanks ma'am, but maybe some other time" and got out of there fast.

Just got home after a detour to nearby WaLMart. Exchanged that 20 pounder with their on-site, caged 20 pounder yes, containing 15 pounds. Cost: $20.41.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:42 PM   #55
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We are currently charging $19.95 for a 20# tank. one month ago the price was $11.95. We currently have 10,000 gal bought and are lucky to get 1,000 gal delived in a weeks time. Our company feels like they should take care of the home owner first until this weather turns around.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:44 PM   #56
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... I asked, how much to fill my 20 pounder. Nearly swallowed my gum when she said, "sixty-one bucks!"...
Yes, knowing what's reasonable is valuable. Currently, around here, sixty bucks will get you a 3/4-filled tank from an exchange place... without providing an empty tank (in other words, an outright purchase of the propane plus the tank, not an exchange). A fill at Costco (consistently the cheapest flat-rate fill location, but only one of about half a dozen area Costco locations has propane) has been $12 to more than $20 over the last couple of years... I'm not sure what it is today. Yes, Costco puts the whole 20 pounds (9 kg) in the tank, while area exchangers put in 7.7 kg (17 pounds) or less, currently for about $25.

For rough checks of reasonableness, there are online price-tracking sources, such as as the U.S. Energy Information Administration and similar Canadian sources.

I sometimes use Gas Buddy (via their BlackBerry, Android, or iOS app) to check gasoline pricing; unfortunately, I am not aware of a good equivalent for propane.
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Old 02-06-2014, 06:54 PM   #57
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Propane is extremely tight right now. The tanks at my cabin were just filled at $2.80 per gallon; last October it was $1.80 per gallon. For two 500-gallon tanks, that's quite a hit.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:00 PM   #58
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Just got a bill for filling my home tank. $5.99/gal here in RI.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:27 PM   #59
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Just for fun, here are the recent prices mentioned in this thread (linked to the source posts):
US$18 for 15lb exchange
US$18 for 15 lb exchange
US$20.41 for 15 lb exchange
CDN$25 for 7.7 kg (17 lb) exchange
US$2.80/USgal (about US$0.68/lb) in bulk, delivered
US$5.99/USgal (about US$1.46/lb) in bulk, delivered

Other than Karen's cheap propane in Washington, is there really enough price difference - even between the extreme low of bulk and the extreme high of exchange tanks - to matter much in travel trailer use? Is even the highest really that much of a concern? "Normal" prices are not that much lower - less than US$0.50 per pound in bulk, delivered. Obviously, that's a personal judgement.
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Old 02-06-2014, 08:22 PM   #60
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There are people in our area that gravity fill there 20# tanks off their home tanks. Not that hard to do if you have the know how. The going price to fill motor home is $4.50 gal in our area.
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