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Old 12-10-2018, 08:08 PM   #1
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Default Propane Question

Went to the UHaul where I always get LP tank filled up and they said because of a lawsuit having to do with an explosion at one of their fill stations in FL they could no longer fill RV tanks that are as old as mine (1997). Didn't completely understand the rationale (the guy in FL had a pilot on). None the less: have any of you with "vintage" RVs experienced this problem? Is this something other vendors are doing?

And, perhaps more important, it made me start to wonder if there is a life to a LP tank. Should these be replaced periodically?

I always have my LP filled at this particular UHaul since it lies between my storage facility and my home. Does anyone know of a good website that lists RV fill stations nationwide?

Thanks!
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Old 12-10-2018, 10:34 PM   #2
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Interesting question and I will be watching the thread!

I don't know much about filling fixed tanks as opposed to 20# 30# removable tanks that we always had on our travel trailers and I am a bit nervous as to how easy it is to find a place that can fill fixed tanks installed in motorhomes. So far I have only found one gas station set up to do it in teh town (pop 180,000!) where I live.

So I am wondering how difficult it will be on the road.

I am guessing that any dedicated propane business "should" be able to do it, and I believe "Flying J" truck stops likely can but beyond that I don't know.

I do know that our local Costco where I get my BBQ and beer-brewing propane tanks filled cannot.

"Allstays" is one RV App that lists propane sources but I don't know that they differentiate between removable tanks that re filed by weight and fixed tanks that are filled by volume.

I need to learn more about this before we hit the road with our new "B" !

Can U-Haul places normally deal with fixed tanks?


Brian.
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Old 12-11-2018, 02:53 AM   #3
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I go to local propane suppliers. I went to a uhaul once and had a bad experience...
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Old 12-11-2018, 11:51 AM   #4
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I've heard it said that these tanks need to be re-certified every 10 years. Ours rusted out in about that amount of time, so I replaced it (details here).

I had a strong suspicion that new rules were going to start coming into force for RV propane tanks, which was one of the reasons I went ahead with replacement. I'm good for another decade. I carry a selfie stick just in case anyone wants to verify the age of the tank without crawling underneath. They can put their phone or my phone on the stick, and shove it under the van to see the tank plate. I can't take credit for that idea - another van owner suggested it to me.

What's happening now at Texas U-Hauls is that the employees must take a photograph of the fill port and upload it to some internet location before their "system" will let them ring up the propane purchase. I wondered what prompted that change - perhaps the Florida thing was it. I asked but they just said "new rule".
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:31 PM   #5
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I often get my 2012 RT 190P filled at Tractor Supply stores. They seem to have low prices.
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:41 PM   #6
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I went looking for this U Haul story... found this below, a propane tank explosion in the northeast, two fatalities, litigation settled earlier this year for $160 million.

That explosion happened some time after the filling - was not a fill-related event but apparently U Haul was the filler. The tank was reportedly manufactured in 1948!! Who in their right mind would use that kind of apparatus?

There were also incidents involving U Haul in Orlando (which was an RV event), Colorado, and a few others where people were either filling or transporting loose tanks which failed and exploded the vehicles.

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Old 12-11-2018, 01:03 PM   #7
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In answer to availability, larger RV parks generally have LP, though it will usually not be the cheapest place to get it.

The Allstays app is your friend for this and can be quite helpful. Google search also works but will include a lot of places that swap out the tanks only.

If you are in an agricultural area rural co-ops can be an excellent source of low cost LP. Think Cenex. I'm sure there are others. Hardware stores and farm/fleet stores are also a source, though again, maybe not the cheapest.

If you see a propane local delivery truck parked somewhere, direct from the truck may work.
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Old 12-11-2018, 01:56 PM   #8
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The propane supply chain is odd. Sources are actually all over the place. it is just that they are amazingly hard to find. I think the problem is that none of the major search engines differentiate what we need from the huge number of places that simply swap cylinders, so RV-capable places tend to get lost in the clutter.

I also am a big Tractor Supply fan.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avanti View Post
The propane supply chain is odd. Sources are actually all over the place. it is just that they are amazingly hard to find. I think the problem is that none of the major search engines differentiate what we need from the huge number of places that simply swap cylinders, so RV-capable places tend to get lost in the clutter.

I also am a big Tractor Supply fan.
Thanks Avanti - You have confirmed my suspicions that at times it might take a bit of digging to find a place capable of filling fixed tanks. Easy to get lists of propane locations on several TRV apps, but they don't differentiate and I'm guessing that teh vast majority can only fill or swap BBQ bottles.

I have yet to try to get ours refilled - will likely go through a lot of propane on our snowbird trip south in Feb so I wanted to try to get a better handle on the situation before we head out!

TSC seems like a good option, there are quite a few of those around.

I am guessing that Flying J's (where we always used to stop for diesel with our travel trailers) most likely can fill fixed tanks as they usually have separate RV fuel stations.

Other than that, I suppose a local search for an actual propane distributor will be the best bet.

Brian.
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Old 12-11-2018, 05:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Other than that, I suppose a local search for an actual propane distributor will be the best bet.
I've found that most of the distributors in smaller/mid size towns are not regularly staffed. The drivers come in, reload, then head out. If you can catch a driver or somehow get a hold of somebody to schedule an appointment time at the distributor you may have some luck.

I've found it not worth the hassle.
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