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Old 09-14-2022, 07:47 AM   #1
Jimisand
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Propane Tanks... what exactly are they used for

Hello,

I am totally new to the trailer life... so please forgive me I just bought a 2013 Springdale 2600TB It seems like a good trailer. It was being sold by a car dealership, not an RV place. My fiance and I looked through it and she has had previous experience (years ago) with trailers. Everything seems to be in order. The sales rep didn't really go through much, and we never thought to double-check, but the propane tanks are now outdated. I believe they are 30 lb tanks.

My question is... what actually runs on propane? We are just getting a campsite and won't be moving in until 2023. It will be hooked up to 30 amp service. Once it's hooked up, doesn't everything run on electricity?

Is it worth buying a new propane tank, especially that size? The electricity will be $0.182 kw/h - They said roughly someone living it full time would get a bill for about $220 CAD at the halfway point of the season. We will only be in it on weekends and maybe 2 weeks for the whole summer.


Thank you so much,
Jimisand
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Old 09-14-2022, 07:54 AM   #2
bsmith0404
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Congrats on your new to you rv. The water heater, refrigerator (LP backup), furnace, and stove will all use LP. The water heater most likely has an electric side as well, but the LP is faster and can also be used if the electric element goes out.

You should be able to take the tank to a LP supplier, they can inspect it and certify it for continued use. If itís bad, you can buy a new one or get the exchange tanks from just about any gas station.

If youíre going to set it up permanently, Iíd get a local LP supply company to set up a big tank 125 gallon or so that will last for months and they will come and fill when needed.
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Old 09-14-2022, 08:23 AM   #3
sourdough
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IMO opinion you need the LP tanks. Most things listed in the previous post are must haves IMO if you intend to use the trailer and have any kind of convenience.

Take the LP tanks to an LP distributor, not just someone who "sells" propane, ie; lumber yard, Ace hardware etc. Let them inspect the tanks and see what is required. If you need new ones you can purchase them at various locations then have them filled. If it's a 13 model IIRC new bottles are good for 12 years so they still may be "certified". There should be a date stamped on the handle (or somewhere nearby).
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Old 09-14-2022, 09:01 AM   #4
Jimisand
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Thank you for the info. I will have to check to see if we have a supplier that could inspect it. It's date is 04-12. So the panel on the wall by the sink has 2 toggle switches.. 1 lightening bolt and 1 flame. I take it you select which one you want to use?

I guess the true question is... how much propane does it actually use if running all these things you guys have mentioned? Again, for very basic use.

Thank you
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Old 09-14-2022, 09:08 AM   #5
sourdough
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My 14 Cougar had switches for electric or LP for the water heater. The lightning bolt and flame would probably signify the same things. Mine could run on either or both. I suspect yours will as well. You can get the model number off the water heater and google it. It will tell you if it is capable of using both functions together. Using both at the same time shortens the recovery time for water heating and really helps with showering IMO. Check with an LP company about those tanks but if good for 12 years you might have another year left. After that I think recertifications are for less time, maybe 5 years or possibly 10? You also need to know for sure if you have 20 or 30lb. tanks.
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Old 09-14-2022, 09:17 AM   #6
Jimisand
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Originally Posted by sourdough View Post
My 14 Cougar had switches for electric or LP for the water heater. The lightning bolt and flame would probably signify the same things. Mine could run on either or both. I suspect yours will as well. You can get the model number off the water heater and google it. It will tell you if it is capable of using both functions together. Using both at the same time shortens the recovery time for water heating and really helps with showering IMO. Check with an LP company about those tanks but if good for 12 years you might have another year left. After that I think recertifications are for less time, maybe 5 years or possibly 10? You also need to know for sure if you have 20 or 30lb. tanks.
Thank you for the great tip. I will look for a LP company. I have a 20lb for my home grill, and from what I googled, this would be considered a 30lb.

Thank you
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Old 09-14-2022, 09:47 AM   #7
sourdough
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Yes, home grills are usually 20lb. The 30lb. usually look pretty much like a 20lb. only taller.
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Old 09-14-2022, 10:21 AM   #8
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I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm over your new trailer, but I see that you list your location as Ontario ???

If you're planning to live in this trailer during the Ontario winters, you're going to use a tremendous amount of both propane and electricity, just trying to keep the trailer warm enough to stay comfortable. The ceiling, walls and floor of that trailer line in those years was in the R-7 to R-9 range with single pane windows, and leaking doors/access panels and lots of holes around every plumbing run, electrical run and propane run.

You're going to need to do some very serious work on that trailer to keep it suitable for extended sub freezing temperatures.

While your question is centered on expired propane tanks, you might want to consider that in the winter, you'll be going through a 30 pound tank of propane every 3-5 days. I just filled a 20 pound tank at Tractor Supply for $19.85 plus tax. That's around one dollar a pound, so roughly $30 for a 30 pound tank. That calculates out to somewhere between 6-10 tanks a month or around $180-300 a month for propane plus the hassle of getting those tanks filled every week or less along with the risk of running out of propane in the middle of the night.

You might consider contacting a propane supplier about installing a 50-100 gallon tank at the trailer site and obtaining a contract for them to keep it filled through the winter....

Honestly, whoever told you that you'll only spend $220 CAD for energy for "half the season" might have been talking about electricity for lights, but certainly not addressing the energy costs for heating that trailer through the Ontario winter !!!!!

Living in northern Michigan, which parallels the Ontario winter temps, I can assure you that heating my Cougar through a winter would cost as much or more than heating our 2500 sq ft home.....

I'd urge you to do some "due diligence" on what it's going to cost you for energy to live in that trailer through the winter before you suddenly find, in January, that your pipes are frozen, you can't heat the trailer and you're looking for some place warm to rent !!!!! Winter is no time to find out the limitations of a 3 season RV.
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Old 09-14-2022, 10:47 AM   #9
Jimisand
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
I don't want to dampen your enthusiasm over your new trailer, but I see that you list your location as Ontario ???

If you're planning to live in this trailer during the Ontario winters, you're going to use a tremendous amount of both propane and electricity, just trying to keep the trailer warm enough to stay comfortable. The ceiling, walls and floor of that trailer line in those years was in the R-7 to R-9 range with single pane windows, and leaking doors/access panels and lots of holes around every plumbing run, electrical run and propane run.

You're going to need to do some very serious work on that trailer to keep it suitable for extended sub freezing temperatures.

While your question is centered on expired propane tanks, you might want to consider that in the winter, you'll be going through a 30 pound tank of propane every 3-5 days. I just filled a 20 pound tank at Tractor Supply for $19.85 plus tax. That's around one dollar a pound, so roughly $30 for a 30 pound tank. That calculates out to somewhere between 6-10 tanks a month or around $180-300 a month for propane plus the hassle of getting those tanks filled every week or less along with the risk of running out of propane in the middle of the night.

You might consider contacting a propane supplier about installing a 50-100 gallon tank at the trailer site and obtaining a contract for them to keep it filled through the winter....

Honestly, whoever told you that you'll only spend $220 CAD for energy for "half the season" might have been talking about electricity for lights, but certainly not addressing the energy costs for heating that trailer through the Ontario winter !!!!!

Living in northern Michigan, which parallels the Ontario winter temps, I can assure you that heating my Cougar through a winter would cost as much or more than heating our 2500 sq ft home.....

I'd urge you to do some "due diligence" on what it's going to cost you for energy to live in that trailer through the winter before you suddenly find, in January, that your pipes are frozen, you can't heat the trailer and you're looking for some place warm to rent !!!!! Winter is no time to find out the limitations of a 3 season RV.

Thank you for thorough reply. I guess I never thought of it when posting, but our camping season is May 1st to October 10. I definitely would be in over my head trying to live in year-round. 😎
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Old 09-14-2022, 02:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Jimisand View Post
Thank you for the info. I will have to check to see if we have a supplier that could inspect it. It's date is 04-12. So the panel on the wall by the sink has 2 toggle switches.. 1 lightening bolt and 1 flame. I take it you select which one you want to use?

I guess the true question is... how much propane does it actually use if running all these things you guys have mentioned? Again, for very basic use.

Thank you
The truth is no one can accurately answer your true question. LP usage depends upon, well, how much you use the appliances that require propane. There are 2 appliances that use propane exclusively, the furnace and the range/oven. So the amount of LP you're going to use will depend on how often you cook ( the oven uses a lot more than a burner) and how much you use the furnace.

The water heater and fridge may have the option to use propane. Using the electric heating element along with the gas for the water heater will speed up the recovery time and allow you to take a longer shower. So the usage of LP for that would depend on if you use it on gas and how often.

Hope that helps.
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Old 09-14-2022, 05:04 PM   #11
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The furnace is definitely your big user. Outside temps vs how warm you keep your RV will determine how much you use. We can go pretty much the entire summer on two 30 lb tanks with just cooking. During the winter, we use around 150 gallons, thatís about 22 of the 30 lb tanks. About a tank every 5-6 days. I live in NM where our winter temps are 20/30 lows and 50/70 highs That probably pretty comparable to your summers. Definitely comparable to your spring and fall. Our usage would actually be more than that if we heated with the LP exclusively, but we also have an electric fireplace and a heat pump on the AC. Our 5er is also quite a bit bigger than your trailer, 40í with 4 slides and very high ceilings, so a lot more space to heat. So, as mentioned, itís almost impossible to say how long the tanks will last you, just too many variables.
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Old 09-14-2022, 06:06 PM   #12
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Learn how to winterize all of the plumbing and drain all of the holding tanks and the water heater. If you want to stay in it on weekends once freezing weather starts happening, you should dry camp and bring water in jugs and possibly use a composting toilet. You are heartier than me if that is what you plan.
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Old 09-14-2022, 07:03 PM   #13
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I'm pretty sure that propane cylinders like what are used in RV trailers are only good for 10 years in Canada, unlike 12 years in the USA.
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Old 09-15-2022, 08:01 AM   #14
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We use our camper on a few trips a yr and on weekends where it stays 99% of the time during the summer we use about 30 pounds mostly hot water occasionally stove and I always run fridge on gas it seems to work best on LP but most of our cooking whole camping is a gas grill or Blackstone yes they use propane too

I have 4 30 pound tanks I get refilled as necessary I use the exchange tanks from wherever for grilling
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Old 09-20-2022, 03:32 AM   #15
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We have a 2017 2600TB but there are 4 of us. We needed the bunkhouse because of our 2 kids under 12 yrs old. We bought it in 2019 and it was barely used. Other than typical maintenance and upgrades, we've had no "real" issues. We use it 5-10 trips per year. I have no regrets about buying and will continue to use it until our family outgrows it. Congrats on your purchase. I hope you enjoy it, and ask any question on the forum.
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Old 09-22-2022, 11:11 AM   #16
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Not addressing the issues hashed over but just the tanks age. At that age should be current tank fittings (see pic) and the price to re-certify is reasonable. A few years ago ours where $19 from our regular LP supplier which was Felgas. Appears like that has now jumped to $29 here.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:09 PM   #17
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I know you've already gotten a ton of answers, but here's mine.

In most trailers, the only appliances that run ONLY on propane are the stove and the furnace. Everything else will run off 120VAC if you have it available. (Some older or less expensive rigs have propane-only water heaters.)

DW barely uses the stove, as a major component of our vacationing is trying the local cuisines, and there's a microwave for when we absolutely must eat in. And we live in the south, so we rarely use the main furnace (a small 120VAC ceramic heater is usually all we need, when we need anything).

So the only time we really use propane is when we're literally on the highway, to run the refrigerator. We refill propane almost never.

Now, you're parking, and in some pretty cold country. Electric heaters to the extent you would need them will max out your power service and blow breakers. So, lots of furnace propane, plus whatever you are likely to use on the gas stove.

Pay some attention to simple insulation as well. A few months ago, we discovered that our outside shower (thin plastic cover) had supersized holes in the rear shell for hoses, all completely open to the inside of our under-sink cabinet. (Shocking revelation to see big daylight coming out from under the sink on a rare day the shower cover was open.)
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:12 PM   #18
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I forgot to add -- I have had cylinders "recertified" several times rather than purchase new ones. It's much cheaper, though you may have to travel farther to find a dealer who can recertify. There was a regulatory change to the connectors in the 2000s making it impossible to recertify cylinders with the old-style (left-hand thread) connector, but I'm pretty sure your trailer is new enough to already be on the right side of that change.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:31 PM   #19
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I'm not sure how "legal it is" but there are adapters available to modify the propane "left hand thread connectors" to the newer style. They are available several places, and as usual, Amazon tops the list: https://www.amazon.com/Hooshing-Prop...a-833008127270

There was also a 20% limiting valve that was added some time ago, and I'm not sure if or when that was grandfathered into recertifications, or if it ever was.
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Old 09-22-2022, 06:50 PM   #20
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I forgot how long cylinders go between certifications, but I'm assuming that all the left-handed thread ones are now all older than that, and no filling station will fill a tank without current certification, so I have no idea who's buying these propane adapters.
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