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Old 01-06-2014, 12:18 PM   #1
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Larger propane tanks

Hi all,

Thanks for comments on my towing request yesterday.

New one. Can you use 30lb propane tanks in place of 20lbs?

As a new member its been fun reading comments on all subjects. Looking forward to hitting the road later this year.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:39 PM   #2
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Two 20 lbs. last quite a long time, and if one of your 30 lb. tanks runs out, you will have to carry it to get it refilled. Will also add to tongue weight.
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:54 PM   #3
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I am also wondering about 30# tanks. Does escape carry larger covers for the 30's. we fill quite a few 30# tanks in michigan, mostly during hunting season.
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Old 01-06-2014, 06:18 PM   #4
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Empty 30 lb. steel tank weighs 25 to 28lbs or about 10 lbs. more than a 20 lb. tank. So, a pair of full tanks would add 40 lbs to your tongue.
Then there is the storage box on the tongue, if you have one, and where the batteries are located, if you don't.
All things to consider.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:30 PM   #5
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Common 20-pound and 30-pound tanks are the same diameter and have similar collars, so the same brackets work, although typically with a longer threaded rod. If a tank cover is used, a taller one would presumably be needed.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:01 PM   #6
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oooh 30# tanks are tall. ETI is building trailers with the most efficient propane appliances possible for the size of the trailer. I'd carry a spare 20# tank for those "special times" before I'd permanently add more weight permanently (and the cost of those 30# tanks!). YMMV
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:08 PM   #7
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Yes, 30-pound tanks are a lot more expensive than the very much more common 20-pound size. Also, if you don't have any special features in a 20-pound tank (such as a level gauge), it can be swapped for a full equivalent at a propane tank exchange, in case you can't find a bulk propane retailer.

I would rather have one tank, with a good gauge, which can be filled through a meter (paying for only the propane received) whenever desired - this would give the most useful capacity for the weight. This means a fixed-type tank (like motorhomes use) or a portable tank in the style used for forklifts; one FiberglassRV member set up his trailer with forklift tank, but I would not expect Escape to accommodate this as a customization, and the tank is expensive.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:09 PM   #8
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Donna,I like the way you think! Excellent alternative to replacing the original 20's with the 30's. Carrying an extra 20 is a way better idea the adding two heavy 30's. 30's are much more awkward to handle.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo View Post
Empty 30 lb. steel tank weighs 25 to 28lbs or about 10 lbs. more than a 20 lb. tank.
I think more typical weights are 18 lb (for the 20-pound capacity) and 25 lb (for the 30-pound capacity) - the larger tanks are more efficient containers - but we're only talking a couple of pounds here... the added weight is certainly a factor.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:11 PM   #10
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We picked up our 19 in July this year and have used the trailer for three trips, one trip for 3 weeks, and have ran all our appliances including the furnace on propane and did a fair amount of cooking in the trailer and have yet to switch over to the second 20 lb tank - I think it getting close. I am thinking no rush in refilling that empty tank.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:18 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by ADKzookeeper View Post
Carrying an extra 20 is a way better idea the adding two heavy 30's. 30's are much more awkward to handle.
On the other hand, two tanks are much more simple to manage than three. A filled 30-pound tank weighs 55 pounds; that is an issue for some people, but for many it is not.

If cost were no object, I would use a single 43.5-pound capacity aluminum forklift cylinder - 79 pounds full, but only one to handle. As it is, my Boler (like an Escape) as two 20-pound tanks, my fifth wheel has two 30-pound, and my motorhome has one large fixed tank... all the original equipment configurations.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:26 PM   #12
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My preference is to stay with Escape's 2- 20's, and augment with a third 20 if the situation warranted the necessity of caring more gas for camping. I am not a fan of handling the larger propane tanks.
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:51 PM   #13
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One of the members on FiberglassRV has a 13' Scamp and boondocks most of the time. He and the wife are currently in New Mexico, running the furnace about 24 hours a day and he has said on his blog, he just ran out of propane. Seems pretty efficient to me. Three weeks running almost non-stop on the furnace and cooking inside on one full 20# tank. For what it's worth...
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:56 AM   #14
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I have the 2 20's on my trailer, which is more than ample for our needs. So far, I've never dipped into the second tank, on this trailer or my previous one. Last summer we heard that ALL outdoor wood fires were banned in one or two of the Oregon counties we'd be visiting, so I picked up one of those portable gas fire pits, and outfitted it with a smaller 11 pound tank. Makes it much easier to move around, and obviates running a long hose to the front tank. These smaller tanks are almost double the cost of a 20 pounder, but boy are they convenient. Since we don't always need the 2 20's, I've toyed with idea of replacing them with 2 11's, especially for those trips where we won't need much propane.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:32 PM   #15
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The message I have been getting from previous posters is that their tanks seem to last for significant periods without needing to refill. My experience with pretty heavy propane appliance usage (furnace, refrigerator, hot water, stove, BBQ, and fire bowl) is somewhat different. On a three week long July trip in 2013 we used three 20 lb propane cylinders. For our circumstances, we are happy with our two 20 lb tanks, but would not want to go out with less.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:36 PM   #16
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Hadn't thought of the gas campfire/fire bowl's, they use more then the rest combined. High burn is 55-60k btu an hour. I was thinking the twin 20's would be enough but the gas campfire I got last year will drain one in something like 7-10 hours of use. They alone probably make 30's a good idea if one uses such, if not then 20's should be more then ample. Got a feeling 30's won't fit in a 5.0.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:10 PM   #17
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Dave , I suspect you will find that your fire bowl and bbq are the cause of your propan use. I have a 5lb refillable tank for the bbq and fire bowl and it goes pretty quick, we have basicaly identical trailers and we only used two 20 lbs all summer with out the bbq and fire bowl.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:59 PM   #18
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In a year, I will change my tanks once, or twice at the most. Much of the time we use no heat, and we only use the water heater for about 2 hours a day max when off the grid (usually no showers), so it is mainly used for cooking on a stove or the barby.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave macrae View Post
Dave , I suspect you will find that your fire bowl and bbq are the cause of your propan use. I have a 5lb refillable tank for the bbq and fire bowl and it goes pretty quick, we have basicaly identical trailers and we only used two 20 lbs all summer with out the bbq and fire bowl.
You are probably right Dave. We definitely had quite heavy use on the BBQ (twice a day) and the fridge was on propane 24hr/day for 3 weeks. The hot water heater was used sparingly, on and off once or twice per day, and the furnace was used for several nights. The oven saw relatively little use. The fire bowl was used about every third night for about an hour at a time.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:47 PM   #20
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Interesting comparison chart for propane fire pits:

Campfire Compare - Reviews Of Portable Propane Campfires & Fire Pits
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