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Is it truly and seriously a bad idea to store a propane tank sideways or diagonal, rather than vertical?

I was going to mount this 11lb propane tank under my promaster (sideways) and use a bracket/mount that I already have built. My I've heard perhaps its a horrible idea to mount sideways.


Other suggestions or mounting ideas?

Thanks
 

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It's a truly horrible idea to even consider propane these days! The alternatives are so much better now - propane is a thing of the past - dangerous, old school technology. Why even consider it???
 

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Yes, It's seriously a bad idea. Using a vertical tank in a horizontal position will lead to liquid propane exiting the tank and a burst of gas when it expands. At best it won't work, at worst it will lead to a fire. I'd say either skip propane altogether as suggested above or spend the extra money and get a horizontal tank.
 

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Keeponvaning-I'm doing a partial build with no solar but (2) 6 volts in series. I really don't want to deal with propane but the only thing that I need it for is a furnace. Are there heaters available that don't run on propane and won't completely drain my power?


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That is true for hot watter if you are having water storage tanks under the van and a shower built in. For cooking the Butane stoves are cheaper and very convenient and could be set up to have a permanent place though I store mine. For dishes and small amounts of hot water heating it in a teakettle, or an electric on-demand could be cheaper and better and there are products that say they will work for a shower although most people using them see the shower as a temporary set up. Those on-demand heaters with a 1 lb cylinder are available to set up a temporary shower (perhaps between the opened rear doors?) I use the tea kettle and butane stove system, and rely on campsites for showers. Wifey washes her hair in the galley sink with warm water from the kettle. Total cost- $15, + $2/week when camping for butane now how cheap am I?
BTW our former neighborhood had a family of 4 die when their propane heater in the garage malfunctioned, I had a boss who's house was literally blown from his foundation, and I use propane for heating, a nice fireplace, clothes dryer, stove, and hot water in my home now, so I am not biased. I won't ever have it in my camper, too many ways for failure in a movable tiny house!
 

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How does one heat a camper for 3 seasons without propane? We installed a Propex heater in our VW camper years ago and that took it from cold and uncomfortable nights to very pleasant camping for the family. Are there other options?
 

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Warm blankets work for me but if you must at least diesel is safer.

It's all what makes you feel good. I wouldn't have propane but I also never wear my seat belt ;)
 

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Espar (eberspaecher) Diesel heater, I have an Airtronic D2 and it is great.
https://www.eberspaecher-na.com/products/fuel-operated-heaters.html
They are about $850 from some retailers. I bought mine from a Canadian seller for a bit less than that. I installed it in an afternoon. See my post for more info page 6 post 55 http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=37177&page=6
The Promaster has a stub in the fuel tank ready to connect it to.
If you think about installing a proper propane tank, buying the propane heater, plumbing it with expensive copper it isn't such a bad price, and it's safer. There are small tanks for those who have gas vans. 1 gallon will run a heater for MANY nights!
 

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To add, you can get the gasoline (petrol) version of the Webasto Air top 2000 st. It's a couple hundred $ more expensive, but then you don't need a spare tank if you have a gasser. I have it, works well.
 

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Ah yes, fuel powered heaters. Perfect. I have an electric heater in my van for the immediate passengers, but that is only while the van is running. It would drain the battery fast if used while parked.
 

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Back to the propane tank. In the tank propane is a liquid with the vapor gas at the top. A vertical tank draws the gas out the top. Using the same tank in the horizontal position is a disaster as previously mentioned. Some tanks can be converted for horizontal use by replacing the top end valve with an assembly that has a tube in the tank that bends 90 degrees to the side. When the tank is horizontal and rolled to the proper position the tube is then above the liquid level and draws out gas. There are many recent regulations such as valves that allow filling to only 80% for safety reasons. You should consult a propane company to see if conversion is possible, but the best is to purchase a tank designed for both use and filling in the horizontal position.

As to heaters I have used Espar diesel heaters on boats and vans since 1975. My current PM is a gasser with an Espar heater using a small separate diesel tank. For safety reasons I do not use a gasoline heater.
 

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Gee -- I feel like a have to put in a good word for propane :)

Energy Density
Compared to batteries propane has an amazing energy density.
My 5 gallon propane tank (when full with 4 gallons) holds 108 KWH of stored energy all for about 32 lbs (including the tank).

My two golf cart batteries at 6 volts and 220 AH store a usable 2.2 KWH and weigh about 100 lbs.

They both take up about the same amount of space.
So, compared to batteries, propane is about 50 times more volume efficient and about 150 times more weight efficient at storing energy.

Cost
$30 for a new 5 gallon propane tank. A few bucks for 10 ft or so 3/8 ths copper and a few fittings and you are in business.

A good propane furnace that operates just like your home furnace with combustion products vented outside and air for combustion drawn from outside, and all kinds of safety features like sail switches to detect airflow and flame detectors to insure successful lightoff included for about $400.
Likewise, propane water heaters a just a few hundred dollars with many to choose from.
And, no altitude issues -- my Atwood has been used at the Everest base camp.

Maintenance
Propane burns clean and propane appliances don't require the periodic clean out of soot etc that some other gasoline and diesel do.


Does a lot of things:
You can get space heating, water heating, and cooking all from the same propane tank.
For space and water heating, the energy demand is so high that its tough to do with electricity -- especially if you want to be able to do any sort of cold weather camping. On a 20F night, my well insulated van can use up toward 0.4 gallons of propane or about 11 KWH -- it would take 10 golf cart batteries to supply this with an electric heater, and they would have to be recharged the next day.


Lots of Safety Built In
In the last few years, propane tanks have added overfill protection (so there is always expansion space) and flow limiters that don't allow a line break or the like to result in high flows. The tanks are very tough-- watch the Mythbusters episode where they try to get get a propane tank to explode by shooting it in various ways.

While I'd guess that a well designed diesel fuel system might be a bit safer than propane, I'd have to see evidence that gasoline powered applicances would be as safe as propane is. Has anyone seen actual data comparing the incidence of accidents for the various fuels?

If you want to be extra safe, you can shut the tank valve off when the propane is not being used.
----

I've had 4 RVs over the years including my new ProMaster conversion and all used propane with no issues. Of course, everyone should have CO, Propane, and fire detectors in the camper.

Not saying that there is anything at all wrong with using other approaches, but propane has its good points too.

Gary
 

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How does one heat a camper for 3 seasons without propane? We installed a Propex heater in our VW camper years ago and that took it from cold and uncomfortable nights to very pleasant camping for the family. Are there other options?
I use a webasto gasoline powered heater, like propex except I already have to carry gasoline in my vehicle and it isn't stored under pressure.

But, I rarely use it, and instead rely mostly on clothes, blankets, and a nice glass of whiskey most of the time. And a very well insulated van.
 

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I hope this helps someone.
I wouldn't recommend half the stuff you did on that tank install.
If you had a build thread and were here for conversation and exchange of ideas, you may have had some help.
But, I get the impression that your intent is to bomb a bunch of threads with a video on occasion, looking for views or hits or whatever you guys call it. Not so much to help anyone.
 

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Gee -- I feel like a have to put in a good word for propane :)

Energy Density
Compared to batteries propane has an amazing energy density.
My 5 gallon propane tank (when full with 4 gallons) holds 108 KWH of stored energy all for about 32 lbs (including the tank).
You know what has a higher energy density than propane? Gasoline and Diesel. 😁

However, propane is pretty darn convenient for all heating uses in a campervan. If I planned to have a built in stove, I probably would have ended up with propane for most of my heating (except hot water, I could not find a propane water heater than did not vent out the side of the vehicle.

Its hard to beat propane in many ways. I just didn't want to have another fuel to make sure I kept track of and didn't run out, find refills, etc. I have gasoline and battery already so that's how I went.
 

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Maybe I'm just getting old, but, by and far, I don't trust or click on videos. Especially ones reviving multiple old threads to promote themselves. My general feeling is people will write information worth sharing, and videos are people wanting attention
 
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