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Old 11-14-2019, 09:54 PM   #1
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Default Propane tank replacement

After smelling propane on w/e trip then finding a leak AND a rusted tank on our 2014 RT 190 Popular we are having the tank replaced. Manchester brand for our model $1100 and 7-9 weeks for delivery! (then labor..). Hoping to get it done by time we leave Maryland for Florida end of Jan.
I've seen some discussions re new tank certification and must be less then 10 years old?? But I've not seen any discussions/complaints about cost of tank replacement.
Does everyone get new tank every 10y?
Thanks,
Cindy & Mike
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Old 11-14-2019, 10:42 PM   #2
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After smelling propane on w/e trip then finding a leak AND a rusted tank on our 2014 RT 190 Popular we are having the tank replaced. Manchester brand for our model $1100 and 7-9 weeks for delivery! (then labor..). Hoping to get it done by time we leave Maryland for Florida end of Jan.
I've seen some discussions re new tank certification and must be less then 10 years old?? But I've not seen any discussions/complaints about cost of tank replacement.
Does everyone get new tank every 10y?
Thanks,
Cindy & Mike
The idea that ASME propane tanks need "recertification" is an Internet myth. It is nonsense. In the US, at least, only small, portable DOT-type tanks require recertification.

Are you sure your tank really needs to be replaced? Surface rust in common and easily remedied via a good cleaning and a paint job. I would be very surprised if a tank that was installed in 2014 has reached the end of its service life.
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Old 11-14-2019, 11:05 PM   #3
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First have someone check your regulator. That may be where you have a leak. It is a simple replacement as it is on the outside of the tank. I had one that leaked a faint odor.

I don't have propane in my van now.
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Old 11-15-2019, 02:47 AM   #4
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Not by any means an expert, but couldn't you put a manometer on the tank preceding the regulator and do a 24-hour leak down test to check for actual tank leakage?
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Old 11-15-2019, 10:46 AM   #5
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Have you contacted Manchester? I have heard they repair them for free.
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Old 11-15-2019, 03:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by cdahle View Post
After smelling propane on w/e trip then finding a leak AND a rusted tank on our 2014 RT 190 Popular we are having the tank replaced. Manchester brand for our model $1100 and 7-9 weeks for delivery! (then labor..). Hoping to get it done by time we leave Maryland for Florida end of Jan.
I've seen some discussions re new tank certification and must be less then 10 years old?? But I've not seen any discussions/complaints about cost of tank replacement.
Does everyone get new tank every 10y?
Thanks,
Cindy & Mike
When you say you found a leak, how did you find the leak and how did you ascertain that it was from the tank itself and not from relating pipes/fittings and regulator.

Do you know for a fact that the leak is in the tank itself

It seems unlikely the tank would be the source of the leak unless perhaps it had a bad weld, although I would have expected that would normally be detected at manufacture.

To the best of my knowledge these tanks do not require recertification on a time basis.

I think the regulator is a common source of leakage, especially if the internal diaphragm is compromised.

Brian.
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:02 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by cdahle View Post
After smelling propane on w/e trip then finding a leak AND a rusted tank on our 2014 RT 190 Popular we are having the tank replaced. Manchester brand for our model $1100 and 7-9 weeks for delivery! (then labor..). Hoping to get it done by time we leave Maryland for Florida end of Jan.
I've seen some discussions re new tank certification and must be less then 10 years old?? But I've not seen any discussions/complaints about cost of tank replacement.
Does everyone get new tank every 10y?
Thanks,
Cindy & Mike
I'm really surprised you would need to replace a tank on a 2014 vehicle! I have a 1999 RT 190 Popular (my 3rd 1990's Class B), and I'm on a Facebook group for older Roadtreks, and I haven't heard of anyone having to replace their propane tank.

I was buying my propane at U-Haul, but 2 or 3 years ago or so, they said they couldn't fill them unless I had the tank recertified due to the age. So, I've been going to an RV dealer and a hardware store ever since. They don't have that requirement.

Pam
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:03 PM   #8
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We have a 1995 RT 190 Popular. The only time we have had a concern regarding propane was when we had it filled at a small campground by a person who did not seem to know much about the process. She overfilled it and we smelled propane to such a degree that we went as directly as possible to a propane dealer, who assured us that the smell resulted from proper functioning of the overflow valve as it bled off the excess. He did what was necessary to release the remaining excess and we have had no further issues. Might something like that explain your problem? It seems unlikely to me that your much newer setup would have a problem with its hardware.
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Old 11-21-2019, 05:56 PM   #9
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We have a 1995 RT 190 Popular. The only time we have had a concern regarding propane was when we had it filled at a small campground by a person who did not seem to know much about the process. She overfilled it and we smelled propane to such a degree that we went as directly as possible to a propane dealer, who assured us that the smell resulted from proper functioning of the overflow valve as it bled off the excess. He did what was necessary to release the remaining excess and we have had no further issues. Might something like that explain your problem? It seems unlikely to me that your much newer setup would have a problem with its hardware.
I agree. I have a 1997 PW and have only detected odors 2 times. One was the overfill situation you have described. I also used to fill at UHaul and now fill at a propane dealer (without any issues of its age). On one fillup they discovered that the on/off valve leaked when turning on and off (it didn't leak when fully open or closed). And at the same time they found that the short soft hose from the regulator to the hard line had a leak at one of its fittings. They replaced both. Bottom line: there are other places that can cause the odor the OP is experiencing.

I have an annual process that I go through at a RV service place where I have them do a visual inspection of the tank for rust/degradation and do a test where they connect a manometer, note the pressure, let it sit for 6 hours and note the pressure again. This is done post regulator with the propane valve on to detect leaks anywhere in the system.
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Old 11-21-2019, 10:33 PM   #10
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I have a 2006 190P. I was changing the generator oil last spring and when I crawled under the van, I noticed that the propane tank had a large amount of rust and big pieces of paint flaking off. I took a brass brush and scraped all the flaking paint then got a brass brush to put on my drill and took the rust off. It was all surface rust. Then I put several coats of white gloss paint on it. Not a perfect match but good enough. I also discovered the gas grill extension hose that had never been used. I had read about it, but never saw it until I was underneath the back of the van inspecting the propane tank.
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Old 11-22-2019, 03:03 AM   #11
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Permanently installed propane tanks do not require recertification. Your odor is more likely from an overfilling situation or a damaged or deteriorated hose, but your RV is so new, I tend to lean on overfilling. We have a 2006 RT and have never had any propane odor issues.
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Old 11-22-2019, 01:26 PM   #12
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YES, aged propane tanks need to be replaced.

Or, conversely, even if they could be repaired, it's so labor-intensive that replacement simply makes better financial sense, especially given that reputable outlets will not fill older tanks.

FOCUS PRIMARILY ON THE CONDITION OF THE FITTING THREADS WHEN MAKING THIS DETERMINATION.

Although the coatings (paint) need to be maintained properly, these tanks are of such heavy gauge steel that it might take longer than any of us have in our remaining lives for them to rust through to the point where the endcaps or sidewalls became structurally compromised.

However, the threaded line ports are fragile (anyone who has studied materials science could tell you why, but I'll skip the explanation for brevity). If the THREADS rust out, then there's no way to stop leaks aside from either re-threading (= a repair) or replacing the tank.

I replaced our OEM Manchester #68162 tank (a model that is no longer mass-produced) with a compatible Manchester #6813 tank because of rusted threads. You can read about that adventure here:

REPLACING A LEAKING LP TANK ON AN AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE

The Manchester #6813 can be purchased online for about $400, and then there's the installation charge.

I also replaced all of our propane flex lines, and the details on that retrofit are described here:

REPLACING THE LP FLEX LINES IN AN AIRSTREAM INTERSTATE

I did this because I saw too many owners developing potentially catastrophic propane leaks, and because the flex lines installed on Class B and other RV models have a manufacturer-stated service life of just 5 years.

The fact that this 5-year trigger is apparently not formally disclosed to RV buyers has been the subject of many forum threads. It has inspired a lot of ostrich maneuvering on the part of owners who cling to the belief that, if they haven't been told to do it, it must not be necessary.

Of course, there is abundant evidence to the contrary. For example, in this recent sub-thread, a long-time owner concedes that, even though she knew that her lines needed to be replaced due to age, she did not do it, and lo and behold, her inaction resulted in an uncontrolled propane leak. That is not a gamble that I personally would ever take - I value my life more than the few hundred bucks it takes to have new lines fabricated.

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Old 11-22-2019, 01:55 PM   #13
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First have someone check your regulator. That may be where you have a leak. It is a simple replacement as it is on the outside of the tank.
I replaced the regulator on my 2004 Roadtrek 190P and it was a PITA! Dropping the tank required lots of muscle. Luckily I had my strong son to help me with it. The actual swap of the regulator is no big deal. It's just getting to it. My 2 cents.
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Old 11-28-2019, 03:24 PM   #14
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I had some work done, propane valve, by a 40 year experience tech. I asked him how long the tank last, he said "Forever". Bottom line, it's surface rust and IMHO you're wasting $1,100. Hope it's not too late!
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Old 11-28-2019, 09:08 PM   #15
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I have a 2005 Plateau and after my last trip I could smell propane outside. The shut off valve had started to leak, I had to burn off the last of the propane so the valve could be replaced. The tank looks good, no rust.
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Old 11-28-2019, 10:49 PM   #16
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Recently, I noticed the smell of Propane at the rear of the Van (2005 RT210). Went to the local Propane Vendor and the Tech, at my request, pressurized the Tank and Tested for leaks. Found a leak at the Auxiliary Regulator. Went back to the House, dropped the Tank, returned to have Regulator replaced. Bench Tested. All good .

Next day, scrapped off flaking paint, removed surface Rust, painted Tank and remounted. Total cost $52, including a $10 tip
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:12 AM   #17
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I'm not advising anyone on this issue but from what research I've done, ASME tanks are certified at the factory for life, unlike DOT tanks. Some propane vendors have placed the 10 or 12 year rule that specifically applies to DOT tanks on ASME as well. Uhaul is an example of that and I always filled at Uhaul until they implemented the rule on all tanks.

BUT I now go to either Amerigas or ArizonaPropane to have my tank filled. They have no issues with ASME tanks. LP is their specialty and not a side. Each time I have my tank filled, they soap the entire tank and all valves and the regulator looking for any leaks. These ARE reputable businesses.
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Old 11-30-2019, 01:33 PM   #18
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.....ASME tanks are certified at the factory for life, unlike DOT tanks. ....
If true, I predict that the standard will change just as soon as the first relevant lawsuit unfolds. As I noted above, all of us might be dead of old age by the time one of these tank bodies rusts through to the point of structural compromise. But the threads are a different story entirely.

The fitting threads. It boggles my mind that some people cannot parse this logically (comment not limited to this thread and Iím not intending to target Gallen - this issue has come up repeatedly in the 5 years that Iíve owned a Class B). The tank is heavy gauge steel and almost indestructible. But the threads IN the tank are sub-millimeter sized structures that are far more fragile.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The weakest link here appears to be the threads.
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Old 11-30-2019, 02:59 PM   #19
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As far as I can see, there is no "if" about it. These standards have been in place for many years. I have to assume that the lawsuits are baked in. As far as I have ever seen, none of the ASME tanks I have owned even HAVE date codes of the kind meant for inspectors. They are not considered expendable the way that DOT tanks are.

I am no expert, and you may be right about the threads, but I am a little skeptical. Gas fittings are a very old and very mature technology--gas lights were around long before electric lights, and gas distribution systems live in all sorts of harsh environments. I honestly am skeptical that these fittings are not up to the task. Cheap, asian-made regulators and poorly-chosen hoses and fittings are another matter, but my belief is that the tanks themselves are very robust and long-lived.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:34 PM   #20
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As far as I can see, there is no "if" about it. These standards have been in place for many years. I have to assume that the lawsuits are baked in. As far as I have ever seen, none of the ASME tanks I have owned even HAVE date codes of the kind meant for inspectors. They are not considered expendable the way that DOT tanks are.

I am no expert, and you may be right about the threads, but I am a little skeptical. Gas fittings are a very old and very mature technology--gas lights were around long before electric lights, and gas distribution systems live in all sorts of harsh environments. I honestly am skeptical that these fittings are not up to the task. Cheap, asian-made regulators and poorly-chosen hoses and fittings are another matter, but my belief is that the tanks themselves are very robust and long-lived.
It also seems like there would be a Warning just like the regulators. Prior to giving up big time like a SCUBA tank that can be deadly, the threads would leak - again, like the regulators. At that time, the issue would be dealt with appropriately.
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