Propane levels - Escape Trailer Owners Community
Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×

Go Back   Escape Trailer Owners Community > Escape Tech > Problem Solving | Owners helping each other
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-14-2024, 03:25 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Location: Los Osos, California
Trailer: 2023 21'Ne F2 (on order)
Posts: 126
Propane levels

Any recommendations for propane tank level gauges? I found there wasn’t enough room for the screw-on type. Thoughts about the Mopeka magnetic sensor?
Thanks
Crows Nest is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2024, 04:42 PM   #2
SRS
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Grand Junction, Colorado
Trailer: 2022 Escape 17A, 2021 F-150 3.5L Ecoboost
Posts: 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crows Nest View Post
Any recommendations for propane tank level gauges? I found there wasn’t enough room for the screw-on type. Thoughts about the Mopeka magnetic sensor?
Thanks
I installed the Mopeka system last year and so far it seems to work very well. Tank levels can vary some due to outside are temperature but that's pretty Minor. I got the kit with two magnetic tank sensors, the LED display and two tank Halo's to raise the base to accommodate the senors. The kit came with aluminum standoffs for the tank base but they look pretty flimsy and I didn't think they would hold up traveling on dirt roads since I usually boondock. Amazon now has a kit with all those items for two tanks.

Tank gauges only measure the vapor pressure of the gas at the top of the tank. Even with a tank that's 1/4 full, the gas at the top is pretty much the same pressure until the liquid gas is almost gone. Based on my experience, the Mopeka sensors are pretty accurate.

Others of course may have a different experience.


https://www.amazon.com/Mopeka-Pro-Ch.../dp/B0C5G9Q4FT
SRS is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2024, 09:55 PM   #3
Site Team
 
MrLynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: Framingham, Massachusetts
Trailer: 2019 Escape 21C, NTU April 2022
Posts: 1,035
When I start out on a trip, I pull the tanks out and weigh them, subtract the TARE weight, and that's how much is in each tank—usually just one tank, as the first may be almost empty, but the second hasn't been touched. The one that's out, I take to be filled.

November we used a lot of propane in the furnace, so I had to get two tanks filled. I recommend Tractor Supply; charged by the pound, and not by the tank.
__________________
• "The Molded Fiberglass Obsession," https://walkingcreekworld.wordpress....ass-obsession/
MrLynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2024, 10:51 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
CharlesinGA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: 50 miles S of Atlanta, Georgia
Trailer: 2008 BigfootRV 25B21RB
Posts: 289
I have the Mopeka system and it works well. The screw on gauges tell you nothing, as they are pressure gauges and pressure is relatively constant until the tanks are empty.

If you get the Mopeka system get the pro sensors, the original ones are crap, and get water in them easily. I suggested Mopeka apply conformal coating to the circuit boards and they never replied to me, however they sent me two pro sensors to replace the originals.

If you are using 20 lb cylinders I suggest the Flame King cylinders with the gauges on the collar.

https://www.amazon.com/Flame-King-YS...08XYH6TND?th=1

Costco also sells these cylinders. the gauge operates magnetically from a piece inside as explained in this video.

https://youtu.be/qRk93DSYuro?si=eqTJOH5zHUX79Qlk

Not trusting the magnets on the Mopeka sensors to keep the sensors in place and since they are 30 lb cylinders which will remain with me and not get traded off, I used the plastic cage to retain them, and the rubber halo rings to space them up. The Halos were on sale so I bought an extra set. The cages are intended to retain the sensors on aluminum tanks but worked well for me.

Click the app screen thumbnails to see them clearly.

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
Mopeka Pro 1 sensors and mounting.jpg   Mopeka Pro 3 sensor installed.jpg   Mopeka Pro 6 opening app screen with delete shown.jpg   Mopeka Pro 7 tank 1 info screenshot.jpg   Mopeka Pro 8 tank 1 settings screenshot.jpg  

Mopeka Pro 2 bottom of tank with location of sensor mounting marked.jpg  
__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD, 5.9HO PacBrake six speed std cab long bed Leer top and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB.. Previously, 2008 Thor Freedom Spirit 180, SOLD! 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome, SOLD!
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2024, 12:38 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Bellevue, Washington
Trailer: Escape 17B 2021
Posts: 142
My gauge is a sticky mirror tape so I could see the red/green indicator without taking the cover off. I usually take a look when coming home from a trip and shutting down valves on both tanks for storage.
If red, switch the tanks with a switch, replace the empty one with a full one ASAP.
All in all, with at least one tank always full at the start of the trip, no need for any gauge.
dosby is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2024, 12:56 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
CharlesinGA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: 50 miles S of Atlanta, Georgia
Trailer: 2008 BigfootRV 25B21RB
Posts: 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLynn View Post
November we used a lot of propane in the furnace, so I had to get two tanks filled. I recommend Tractor Supply; charged by the pound, and not by the tank.
Just to note, LP is charged by the gallon. The Tractor Supply stores I have filled at have a typical mechanical meter with dials like that of an old mechanical gas pump. A diligent attendant will use the scale to verify the process.

Charles
__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD, 5.9HO PacBrake six speed std cab long bed Leer top and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB.. Previously, 2008 Thor Freedom Spirit 180, SOLD! 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome, SOLD!
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2024, 01:53 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Centex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East of Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 SuperCab
Posts: 2,896
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesinGA View Post
.... If you are using 20 lb cylinders I suggest the Flame King cylinders with the gauges on the collar.

https://www.amazon.com/Flame-King-YS...08XYH6TND?th=1

Costco also sells these cylinders. the gauge operates magnetically from a piece inside as explained in this video ....
Charles, a note of thanks for that info, I wasn't aware of those and I like the internal liquid-level float gauge concept.

I'd researched tanks by Manchester offering an internal float gauge in the past, but those are quite expensive with a special 'bung' on the tank for the gauge. Flame King's magnetic 'transducer' in the valve-head is an elegant and KISS solution, IMO.

The need to look at the gauge on the tank lacking a fancy remote display / app doesn't bother me at all. I much prefer the inherent simplicity, no batteries, and lack of any concern about something possibly susceptible to physical damage or ill-effects of moisture on the bottom of the tank.

I already have long tank pigtails which will allow orientation of both tanks to put the gauge at the 'front' in my 5.0 propane compartment, easily visible at a glance.

I find that Flame King YSN230b can be had at my convenient Home Depot for $59, which makes it competitive with the most basic Mopeka unit. I'll likely go this route when I approach empty on my current bottles, Tractor Supply for the fill is only a few blocks from my local HD .
__________________
Alan E.
2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 Lariat SuperCab 6.5' box / Centex's 2021 5.0 Modifications
Centex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2024, 03:05 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
Iowa Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 8,249
Propane

Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesinGA View Post
Just to note, LP is charged by the gallon. The Tractor Supply stores I have filled at have a typical mechanical meter with dials like that of an old mechanical gas pump. A diligent attendant will use the scale to verify the process.

Charles
When I fill my 500 gallon propane tank at our home I get the propane at a “summer fill rate.
I only use about 175 gallons a year for my water heater, kitchen range and gas fireplace. It’s charged to me by the gallon and last year was about $1.70 per gallon.

When I go to my local hardware store I have the 11 pound and 20 pound tanks filled by the attendant there. Current price is$1.40 per pound or about $28 to completely fill (20 lbs) the tank. He puts in 20 lbs on the scale so my total tank weight is about 37 lbs ( tare weight plus propane). If I were to trade the tank out at most places it’s $23 for the trade and you get 16 lbs. as they only fill to 80%. So that’s a $1.43 a pound. Not much different but at least I know the history on every one of my tanks. I am careful not to beat them around and they are not dirty or rusty. I could do a little better trading out tanks at the propane dealer but he’s not open after 5 or on the weekends and it’s more miles driving into where he’s located.

I’ve had tanks filled on the road where it’s been considerably cheaper especially in the west and south. Not recently though. That’s my experience. “Iowa, great place to visit but not to buy cheap propane”. That’s my suggestion to replace my current slogan which is my take off on a former official slogan “Iowa a place to grow”. My improvement; “Iowa. A place to grow ….OLD.”
Iowa Dave
__________________
Ain’t no trouble jacking a double Burma Shave
Dave
Iowa Dave is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2024, 07:42 PM   #9
Site Team
 
MrLynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: Framingham, Massachusetts
Trailer: 2019 Escape 21C, NTU April 2022
Posts: 1,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesinGA View Post
Just to note, LP is charged by the gallon. The Tractor Supply stores I have filled at have a typical mechanical meter with dials like that of an old mechanical gas pump. A diligent attendant will use the scale to verify the process.

Charles
My mistake; thanks for the correction.
__________________
• "The Molded Fiberglass Obsession," https://walkingcreekworld.wordpress....ass-obsession/
MrLynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 08:49 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
TTMartin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Venice, Florida
Trailer: 2020 Escape 19
Posts: 1,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crows Nest View Post
Any recommendations for propane tank level gauges? I found there wasn’t enough room for the screw-on type. Thoughts about the Mopeka magnetic sensor?
Thanks
With two tanks and the automatic switch over regulator, simply leave both tanks open and when one tank is empty (red indicator). Switch the lever over to the other tank and refill or exchange the empty. I really don't see the need for a gauge.
TTMartin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 09:02 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Trailer: 2021 Escape E5.0; 2021 F150 PowerBoost
Posts: 1,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTMartin View Post
With two tanks and the automatic switch over regulator, simply leave both tanks open and when one tank is empty (red indicator). Switch the lever over to the other tank and refill or exchange the empty. I really don't see the need for a gauge.
That’s where we are. A single tank lasts us a long time. When one gets empty, we switch to the other one and get the empty tank filled/replaced. But, there isn’t any panic involved as the time to running out the second container is long. I could imagine us being interested in the gauge if we were going on, say, a multi-month the Alaska trip. But, in regular camping - I am not keen to look at another gauge that doesn’t tell me much of interest.

I have had tanks filled but the last time we had one empty, we went to Wal-Mart which said they had gas. It turns out they take your empty tank and give you a full one. I think they called it Blue Rhino tank exchange. Seemed OK to us - even though we are still months away from using gas from it as we are now switched to the other side.
kavm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 11:42 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Trailer: 2015 5.0TA, Toyota Tundra CrewMax
Posts: 604
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTMartin View Post
With two tanks and the automatic switch over regulator, simply leave both tanks open and when one tank is empty (red indicator). Switch the lever over to the other tank and refill or exchange the empty. I really don't see the need for a gauge.
Me, too. The system works well as designed.
__________________
Lyle
iamunique127 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 11:57 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
Centex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East of Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 SuperCab
Posts: 2,896
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTMartin View Post
With two tanks and the automatic switch over regulator, simply leave both tanks open and when one tank is empty (red indicator). Switch the lever over to the other tank and refill or exchange the empty. I really don't see the need for a gauge.
I can certainly understand that, it's how I've rolled for many years, the auto switch-over regulator has never failed me and I've never been surprised by lack of LP.

The time I think I'd find a reasonably accurate gauge handy is when prepping for a long trip where I expect to use lots of LP. Knowing I have one full tank, I'd still like to see my 'in use' tank level without pulling the tank out of the compartment to check the weight, maybe consider a top-up before the trip. Heaven knows I can't remember / guestimate how much I've used since the last fill unless it was very recent.

LP tank level is certainly not anything I seek to monitor on a daily basis.
__________________
Alan E.
2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 Lariat SuperCab 6.5' box / Centex's 2021 5.0 Modifications
Centex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 01:51 PM   #14
Site Team
 
MrLynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: Framingham, Massachusetts
Trailer: 2019 Escape 21C, NTU April 2022
Posts: 1,035
Quote:
Originally Posted by TTMartin View Post
With two tanks and the automatic switch over regulator, simply leave both tanks open and when one tank is empty (red indicator). Switch the lever over to the other tank and refill or exchange the empty. I really don't see the need for a gauge.
If you leave both tanks open, when the one on the left is empty, it'll switch over to the one on the right automatically.
__________________
• "The Molded Fiberglass Obsession," https://walkingcreekworld.wordpress....ass-obsession/
MrLynn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 02:00 PM   #15
Senior Member
 
TTMartin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Venice, Florida
Trailer: 2020 Escape 19
Posts: 1,265
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrLynn View Post
If you leave both tanks open, when the one on the left is empty, it'll switch over to the one on the right automatically.
Correct, but, you should flip the lever over to the new tank, before disconnecting and replacing the other tank.
TTMartin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 02:51 PM   #16
Senior Member
 
7Gentex's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: CenTex, Texas
Trailer: 2022 E19
Posts: 606
Quote:
Originally Posted by kavm View Post
..............
I have had tanks filled but the last time we had one empty, we went to Wal-Mart which said they had gas. It turns out they take your empty tank and give you a full one. I think they called it Blue Rhino tank exchange.................
Most exchange places only fill to 15# instead of the allowed 20#.
Handy and quick, but you pay a premium for such.

An 80% fill (the legal limit) on most "20#" tanks equates to about 20# of propane.
7Gentex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 03:32 PM   #17
Senior Member
 
Centex's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East of Austin, Texas
Trailer: 2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 SuperCab
Posts: 2,896
I don't exchange tanks with Blue Rhino (or anyone), but having found no local LP dealers or disposal / recycling facility willing to take custody of old unwanted tanks, I have taken advantage of this recycling invitation found on their website:
Attached Thumbnails
Blue Rhino Recycle Propane Tanks.jpg  
__________________
Alan E.
2021 Escape 5.0 / 2022 F150 Lariat SuperCab 6.5' box / Centex's 2021 5.0 Modifications
Centex is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 07:55 PM   #18
Senior Member
 
Iowa Dave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Benton County, Iowa
Trailer: 2013 Escape 21 Classic Number 6, pulled by 2018 Toyota Highlander
Posts: 8,249
We own multiple tanks so if I’m going on a trip where I anticipate using lots of propane, I put on two full tanks and use the partial up on a non critical project like our weed burner, sweet corn boiling stove etc. we also have a third tank 11 lb capacity in the front box for the Weber Q, camp stove and propane campfire . Checking the propane is just one of several simple tasks we perform before we leave. They are on the list.
Iowa Dave
__________________
Ain’t no trouble jacking a double Burma Shave
Dave
Iowa Dave is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2024, 11:58 PM   #19
Senior Member
 
CharlesinGA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: 50 miles S of Atlanta, Georgia
Trailer: 2008 BigfootRV 25B21RB
Posts: 289
Quote:
Originally Posted by Centex View Post
Charles, a note of thanks for that info, I wasn't aware of those and I like the internal liquid-level float gauge concept.

I'd researched tanks by Manchester offering an internal float gauge in the past, but those are quite expensive with a special 'bung' on the tank for the gauge. Flame King's magnetic 'transducer' in the valve-head is an elegant and KISS solution, IMO.

The need to look at the gauge on the tank lacking a fancy remote display / app doesn't bother me at all. I much prefer the inherent simplicity, no batteries, and lack of any concern about something possibly susceptible to physical damage or ill-effects of moisture on the bottom of the tank.

I already have long tank pigtails which will allow orientation of both tanks to put the gauge at the 'front' in my 5.0 propane compartment, easily visible at a glance.

I find that Flame King YSN230b can be had at my convenient Home Depot for $59, which makes it competitive with the most basic Mopeka unit. I'll likely go this route when I approach empty on my current bottles, Tractor Supply for the fill is only a few blocks from my local HD .
Costco had these in the store, I mean stacks of them for $42.99 back in December. I picked up one and turned it over and watched the gauge go full (empty cylinders, so I was using gravity to make the float move). It uses the same float that the OPD valve uses, if you watched the video you know.

Sadly 30lb cylinders use the same float and valve, so the float does not go to the bottom of the cylinder, just about 2/3 of the way, so they don't install the gauge type valve on 30 lb ones.

Its nice to be able to check the gauge and know if you are going to run out soon, especially if you are using a gas cooker outside and lp fire pit, etc. People just say let the auto change over do its thing, but you still gotta check the tanks and then you may be miles from no where in BFEgypt and would like to know if you have enough to run the generator, etc or conserve.

I have 30lb cylinders and a Onan 2500LP generator underneath so I can burn thru a lot of LP fast if I'm not careful.

Charles
Attached Thumbnails
20231209_145141.jpg  
__________________
'03 Ram 2500 CTD, 5.9HO PacBrake six speed std cab long bed Leer top and 2008 Bigfoot 25B21RB.. Previously, 2008 Thor Freedom Spirit 180, SOLD! 2007 Winnebago View 23H Motorhome, SOLD!
CharlesinGA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-17-2024, 08:58 AM   #20
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kent, Ohio
Trailer: 2017 21c Sold, 2023 Bigfoot 25RQ
Posts: 1,390
I’ve been using the mopeka sensors in both my trailers, first the standard one then the pro. The aluminum standoffs are crap but the plastic standoff rings work very well. These pair with my Cerbo S Victron management interface so I can see all my systems on one display. Since my trailer is located in a fenced lot and I have internet access I can see my trailer’s internal temperature, the state of solar charging, the batteries charge, and the amount of propane (with a bit of temperature related inaccuracy) from my devices. Of course I also have tpms and a levelmate pro. All these systems have worked flawlessly on our last 3 month trip.
In my old escape it was just the levelmate and mopeka sensors which also worked very well.
oldwave 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

Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Escape Trailer Industries or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:24 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright 2023 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.