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Old 06-06-2009, 10:05 PM   #1
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Default Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

I was at the Home and Park Ontario Roadtrek Rally this past week and the rally incuded a Roadtrek factory visit in it's agenda.

One of the questions posed to the Roadtrek folks was regarding the story that all chassis mounted propane tanks are now required to be inspected every 5 years!

The RT staff confirmed that all tanks now have to be inspected every 5 years and a sticker is required to be placed on the windshield to indicate that such an inspection has been carried out and the tank has passed.

This sticker apparently has to be displayed so that no propane supplier will fill any tanks that have not been inspected!

Apparently this is a 'knee jerk' Canadian government reaction to the propane company fire that occurred last year in Toronto. How RV gas tanks got into the act is not clear!

When I bought my RT I checked and was told that the tank would need to be tested after 20 years of use.

One person at the rally had heard that a RT had had it's tank tested after 5 years and failed. The cost to solve the problem was $2,800, which involved replacing the tank!

Has anyone heard anything about this, or run into any refill problems?
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

Found this link, and although it's from an outfit in Alberta, it sounds Nationally official......
http://www.tempheat.ca/proptankcertification.htm
which mentions vehicles which run off of propane requiring checking every 5 years.
I read the 2 paragraphs just after the amber print section that begins "As of January 1 2008....."
to mean propane powered vehicles need rechecking/recertifying, but permanently attached tanks just need
to be visualled at the time/place of filling.
Here's something from the MTO website. No mention of 5 year inspections.
http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/r ... art7.shtml
Some things from the west coast...
http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:yJu ... clnk&gl=ca
http://rvbasics.com/techtips/RV-propane ... -tips.html
So, I guess we'll find out next time we try to refill?

How're you doing btw?

Mike.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:41 AM   #3
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

In British Columbia, the BC Safety Authority brochure explains that there are 2 types of propane containers commonly used on a RV: Cylinders and Tanks.

It goes on to state that "Propane cylinders must be inspected and requalified every 10 years". Hmm, What about tanks?

It also states "The Motor Vehicle Sales Authority of British Columbia (VSA) requires all dealers to ensure that vehicles are safe before being sold, including that propane systems on used RVs have been recently re-certified".

One of Mike's links had this:

Quote:
"We want to ensure RV users have a safe summer on the road," said Wayne Lock, the gas safety manager for the BCSA. "Propane equipment should be checked and maintained at least once every two years and every time an RV is transferred to a new owner."
I bet this is something that is going to vary from state to state in the US and province to province in Canada.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

I also poked around in Google and was only able to find the Manitoba and Alberta postings but nothing for Ontario and nothing specific to RV tanks.

There is a fair amount out there about portable propane cylinders but nothing regarding ASME chassis mounted tanks. The consensus seems to be that if they look OK and are not rusty they are OK.

I did find that someone in California had been conned into believing that his chassis tank was a cylinder and he was charged for a bunch of tests.

As others have found, it is difficult to find anyone in government who is willing to confirm a negative requirement. That is, they are reluctant to say that there is no requirement to test chassis mounted tanks that appear to be in good condition.

Unless Roadtrek is using a tank of a different design I think they were wrong, or perhaps premature!

There were 54 rigs at the rally and the oldest was an '83 and that had never had it's tank inspected. Nor had anyone else! Naturally there was a bit of an uproar at the announcement and demands for more details. If I get them I will add to this.

Happy camping!

Doing good Mike! Are you keeping out of mischief?
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

Hi Deryck,
Your findings pretty much echo mine. The stuff I read seemed to be more towards
LPG/NG powered vehicles needing their engine supply tanks to be inspected. I couldn't
find much about other types of tanks (except the 10 year expiry on the 20 lb. BBQ tanks in
Ontario). I guess I'll take a wait and see attitude. Or, I'll be surprised when I get refused service
at my next fill up. Could the RT people have been referring to LPG powered vehicles when they
responded to the question?
If it does happen, it'll be just another provincial tax grab like this blended PST/GST McGuinty
and company have planned for us.

Me? I always avoid mischief. Whenever possible.
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

When I lived in Manitoba, I was told by a couple people that tanks needed to be checked every 10 or 20 years. I didn't concern myself unless I could not get the tank filled.

My RV just went through a safety check in Ontario and passed with no problem. Thing is, as far as I know, the tank is still the original one that was installed back in 1977. I've never had an problem getting it filled anywhere yet. I do plan on getting it checked but it does not look like a cheap thing to have done.
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Old 06-09-2009, 10:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

Hi again all,
This afternoon I went to my local propane supplier/refiller and had no problems
getting my tank topped up.
No mention of tank inspections. Just cool, pure, pressurized propane.
Actually, I was surprised that after all the furnace usage last November and
again in March, we only used $2.76 worth.

ttyl.
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Old 06-10-2009, 12:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

I never heard of it and just to add a comment we don't want some law like that crossing the boarder
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:35 PM   #9
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

OK, a bit of an update!

I was at the Roadtrek International Chapter meeting this week which involved a RT factory tour and a tech session with the RT folks and the question of the required inspection of the propane tanks every 5 years was raised. This was confirmed as a requirement and some of the folks attending had already had their tanks inspected.

The inspection was not as thorough as was first rumoured. This now seems to only involve checking the exterior of the tank for obvious rust and coating it with a soapy water to check for leaks. The same was done for all the propane pipe connections and valves. The cost was $79.95.

It was mentioned that in almost all the US States it was illegal to travel with the propane turned "on". This was news to me!
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Old 08-18-2009, 12:42 AM   #10
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

Hi Deryck,
Who does these inspections, and when, and were the "inspected" all from the States?
My propane supplier hasn't mentioned anything about inspections when I go for filling.
I can find the 10 years old inspection before filling rule at propane.ca,
http://www.propane.ca/CleanTruth/
and a blerb about annual inspections at this site,
http://www.npga.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=687
and this thread makes for interesting reading,
https://forums.trailerlifedirectory.com ... 735461.cfm
but that's all (relevant) I could find.
Any idea if anyone who had their tank checked failed and had to replace it? Cost?
BTW, I never travel with the propane on, as my RT has a built in auto-shutoff with an
audible alarm whenever I put the keys in the ignition (my wife).
It's like Ft Myers weather up here right now. I saw Coral Gables got hit with a tornado
just the other day. Looked nasty. How're you doing? It'll be snow bird time again pretty soon.

Mike.
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Old 08-18-2009, 08:30 PM   #11
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

Hi Mike,
Those who had already had their tanks inspected were all Canadians.

No one from the US wanted to hear about more regulations!

There was a speaker there from Suburban (Hot water tanks and space heaters.), he seemed fully briefed on the subject and he re-introduced it during his session. He seemed to think it originated with the Canadian Standards Association (CSA).

Like you, I am keeping my head down, as my tank is 20 years old this year!

I think the guy who had to change the propane tank, and was charged a small fortune, was 'scammed'. I am sure that there a bunch of fringe operators out there who will try and get as much from you as they can.

As to who was supposed to carry out these inspections, the best bet seemed to be your local RV serviceman with the appropriate Gas licence.

Apart from that how was your summer - the one that started last week?

Deryck
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Old 08-18-2009, 10:24 PM   #12
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

Hi Deryck,
OK, here's the verbatim text of what I got back in an email question to the Service Department at Roadtrek.
Anyone who's ever sent a note or question to service@roadtrek.com will have probably got their reply from the
same person who sent this to me, so you may know his name.

"Hi Mike,

Different States and Provinces have their own amendments to the federal Gas Codes for each country. For instance, in Ontario the ASME propane fuel tanks are required to be visually inspected every 5 years, but for the most part ASME tanks do not need to be recertified because they are built quite a bit better than the regular, vertical "DOT" portable BBQ cylinders that do need to be recertified. Depending where you are you would need to check with your local propane distributor or taxicab companies (many taxis have similar tanks and the companies would know what the local regulations are).

Regards,
Service,
Roadtrek Motorhomes Inc."

So, that's what Roadtrek Service has to say about it. Call a cab, and ask them.
I have no idea where the "Suburban" guy got the info from. Could he possibly be confusing ASME
tanks with the white 20 pounders?
Maybe his brother in law owns a propane tank sanding and painting business?
Who makes their stuff now, I can't find a company website for Suburban? GLP Canada? They have
locations in Calgary and Oakville. If he was from Oakville, THAT would explain it!!!! (I'm from Oakville)
I think there were some comments about this in the 3rd link I posted, being a "scam" in some places,
and some people had paid up to $3000 to have their tanks replaced, or lots of cash to have them
"recertified" which amounted to sanding and repainting them.

Kinda so so summer. We liked the cooler temps of a few weeks ago, without the humidity.
We just got back from a week out east in the Gaspe (which we loved, no hassles at all) NB, PEI (very
pretty too, but a bit pricey I fear) NS (Peggy's Cove was quite nice) and returned through Maine, NH,
MA, and NY. The US States (Cape Cod, Kennebunkport, etc.) were so overcrowded with the summer tourists,
we decided to bail, and cut the trip short.
We're planning to head back out end of September western and southern USA.
When are you back down south? October is it? Same place as last year, do you think?
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

Hi Mike,

I was just finishing off my response when my computer shut down with no warning and told me not to turn off the power as Microsoft wanted to download some updates! The Nerve!!!

OK, as I was saying: If he referred you to the local taxi company it would seem that the regulation might only refer to propane used in the propulsion of the vehicle. I could see that,especially for Toronto cabs who have to run around in that salty winter climate.

As for me I am going to keep my tank as clean and rust free as possible. I clean my tank off and then I spray it with a rubberised undercoat material which seems to prevent too much damage to the coating from gravel etc. Of course my vehicles have not seen salt for some 17 years!

Yes, we too avoid the East Coast at this time of year, we usually go to the Coast at Wells Beach/Kennebunkport area and then work our way up to Acadia National Park at Bar Harbor. This year we went in early June and last year we went in September. Both are good times to miss the crowds.

Yes, we will be heading South in early to mid-November, before the snow flies. We will be at our usual spot just South of Punta Gorda - assuming that no hurricane beats us to it! One never knows!

Take care

Deryck
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:34 PM   #14
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

Isn't that annoying when you're in the middle of something? It happens to me all the
time, but then I'm still using XP. The support for it was supposed to disappear a year ago,
but Microsoft made such a mess of the Vista intro, I guess they decided to continue
supporting XP?

My tank could probably use a sand and a coat of paint. At the least.
I believe I saw some references to LPG powered vehicles requiring more inspections
and some sort of sticker, or they won't fill them. Maybe that's where the story began.
I wonder if the "inspectees" were all from the same province, region, city, or maybe
all just go to the same RV service/propane provider?
Do you correspond with any of them ? There must be a reason they're being inspected,
and it might be something worth looking into, especially if it's not on the up and up.
To warn the rest of us to be wary of RV or propane service providers who might be taking
some of us "for a ride" (poor joke?).
Or, maybe they're just concerned about the propane safety, and ask to be inspected.

Thanks for the tip on the northeast. It was just a crush of humanity for the most part.
We may try again sometime, but probably not until next year. Bar Harbour looks nice.
We tried to "walk on the ocean floor" at the Hopewell Rocks, NB, but got there just after
the tide had come in. Rather than wait another 12-16 hours we decided to just plan our next
visit better and check the daily tide times. Too bad, but that's the way we travel sometimes.
Ad hoc/impromptu location visits doesn't always work out.

That's good about Punta Gorda in November. If there's another shuttle launch scheduled
around then we might head down to Titusville for a week. We like noisy, 3 minute long,
fireworks displays. Maybe we'll head over to the Gulf Coast this time, you never know.

Take care, and stop worrying about having (propane) gas.
Like some other stuff, it happens!
Mike.
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Old 08-20-2009, 09:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

Hi Mike, I was not listening too closely to the folks who had had their tanks inspected, I was more interested in the source of the info or the Government dept that originated it - but no one quoted chapter and verse.

I got the impression that they had either gone to their RV service shops and either asked about the gas inspections or it had been recommended by their service department when they were in getting a service before coming to the rally. (There is no way that I am going to mention the name of the dealer that was mentioned on this open forum!!!)

Those that had the inspections done were trying to give the impression that it was no big deal, it was only $79.95 every 5 years! Remember that all these guys are way past retirement age and do not get under the vehicle themselves. Anyway if you run an Roadtrek - obviously money is no object.

This was my first big rally, lots of activities and presentations and it is difficult to get to every one on time. Naturally this was the first question that came up and I just missed the beginning of the session!

We just lay low in the months of July and August and let the 'worker bees' enjoy their time off. We do all our traveling in June and September with some short trips in May and October. Much more relaxing!

Have fun!
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Old 08-21-2009, 02:01 AM   #16
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Default Re: Inspection of Chassis mounted propane tanks.

I hope it's just folks being responsible, but the Suburban guy adding fuel to the (propane) fire
just bothered me. If they can't "quote chapter and verse" as you say, maybe they shouldn't say
anything. Just my opinion. I'm getting grumpier with age, methinks.
(PM me the dealer's name if you don't mind. I'm curious. If you'd rather not, no worries. )

I think laying low during the prime time summer months IS the way to go.
From here on we stay home, or close to home in July and August.
The crowds aren't worth it.

You too,
Mike.
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