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Old 10-31-2016, 08:56 PM   #1
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Propane on the Cheap

Just getting around to posting this, finished the project a few weeks ago and left directly after for a week and a half of camping in S. Idaho.
I had been itching to install a propane set up on my van for a while. The price of horizontal lp tanks though...
Along came
I measured. Re measured, then re measured. "It should fit"
Repeated that process a few more times then decided to buy it. Despite the bad reviews about them coming scratched, mine came just as pictured and in perfect shape.

Picked up the propane door from sportsmobile store, painted it, looked at it, and tried to put off cutting a hole in a perfectly good van. But now I was committed. Taped up a template. Tried to base location off images I had seen from Dhally. (Thanks!)

Angle grinder away...

Outer wall was actually really easy to cut. Inner wall took a little more effort as I kept looking at the sparks bouncing off the fuel filler line. I wonder... na.
After the cutting was done, painted up the cut metal with some rust inhibitor.

Test fitted the door adjusted a few spots with the grinder and went to mounting the door. All surprisingly going quite smoothly.

Picked up four feet of 4" 3/16ths steel for mounting brackets. It was getting dark at this point so it's the following day to start in on making the brackets.

For those keeping track still under $300. Including mounting hardware, grinder wheels and steel. Mind you I was quoted $1500 for getting the tank installed with no lines run. From a fairly reputable installer.

End of day one. Just for effect I'm going to wait till tomorrow to post the install pics. Ha!
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Old 10-31-2016, 09:06 PM   #2
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Do you think the door is 100% needed?
I'm interested to see the available space in there.
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:23 PM   #3
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Looks good so far. How are you planning to close off the space between the outer and inner walls of the body?
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Old 10-31-2016, 10:55 PM   #4
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Looks good so far. How are you planning to close off the space between the outer and inner walls of the body?
Yep, that is the really fun part of installing anything "through" the two walls! Wide open into interior, so definitely needs to be closed off.

Nice looking install in the pictures!
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Old 11-01-2016, 06:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Brianjwilson View Post
Do you think the door is 100% needed?
I'm interested to see the available space in there.
Yes, the door is needed. Most propane places won't fill you up if they don't have straight on, easy access to your tank. I was turned down after I retrofitted the newer SMB plastic door (the one used here) on my older van that came with the smaller metal door. Due to the plastic inner frame being just a little bit in the way they refused me and I had to go home and trim it. Just to be clear they could've filled it but it wasn't 'clear enough' for them. I had a conversation with the propane guy and he commented that they can't/won't go far out of the way to fill one and he's usually a really helpful guy. Safety regs or something, who knows.

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Old 11-01-2016, 11:58 AM   #6
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Yup definitely need the door. This particular tank won't fit up in there without cutting the inner wall. There is roughly 3" in between the two walls and this tank with the regulator mounted to it will take up almost all of that.

As for the space between that needs sealing. Right now the plan is to cut and paint up some 1/2" ply to fit in there and seal it all up with silicone. Any thoughts on if that is the best way to do it?



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Old 11-01-2016, 12:06 PM   #7
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Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the brackets before it was all mounted. But here they are mounted up.
I chose to mount them to floor frame on the van rather than going through the floor, which would have been a lot easier but my floor is already finished so I didn't want to mess with that.
Basically 3 bends on each bracket and some high gloss white paint to match the tank. Hardest part was measuring the angles. I mocked it up with cardboard to get the spacing right and then started bending.
Here's is the tank all mounted with regulator and Extended stay T before it.
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Old 11-01-2016, 12:08 PM   #8
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You can also see that the rear air on the van was looped with a hose. (Left side of opening)
I'm assuming they don't come that way stock, but the van was this way when I got it. The tank cleared all that just fine.


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Old 11-01-2016, 05:38 PM   #9
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Awesome. Tank bookmarked. I'll be doing this. It's more than twice the size of the Gowesty tank and half the price!

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Old 11-01-2016, 06:15 PM   #10
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Did you keep all the measurements you used to position the tank? Did you keep the measurements on the brackets you made? If you did can you post them so that the rest of us have a starting point?
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