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Old 01-14-2016, 12:40 PM   #1
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Underbody Propane ideas needed

Pictures wanted of frame mount propane tank installations

My camper has a vertical 5 gallon, upright propane tank mounted inside the van, under the sink. Commercially built interior, not sure why they put it there.

The positive side is I can just exchange the common 5gal tank anywhere for a full one. Buuuut I don't like it inside the van, for several reasons, and want to relocate it to the frame rails like every sensible conversion van. It's probably a DOT rule, as well. I'm less worried about some DOT rule, more concerned about my safety. The last time out, I smelled propane with the furnace running... I think it's the tank's valve.

I picked up a craigslist 8 gallon, frame mount unit salvaged from a 1979 class C Dodge motorhome. It measures 12" diameter x about 32" long, has frame mounting brackets welded to it. If I mount it to my frame, I'll have to cut into the lower body to make room, as the bracket pushes the tank out from the frame 3 inches, making it interfere with the lower valance's inner body panel.

I think I want to put it outside the frame rails on the driver's side, like your typical SMB, but need a door of some sort, to make the instal clean looking and gain access to the fill valve, while keeping the tank high in the chassis.

Anyone have ideas?
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Old 01-14-2016, 12:47 PM   #2
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Add some photos of the new tank sitting near the proposed location. boywonder and I both recently installed propane tanks, though a bit smaller.

Will modifying the existing brackets help?
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Old 01-14-2016, 01:31 PM   #3
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Don't the tanks need to be certified to be able to fill them...and don't the certifications expire after a certain amount of years? Just suggesting you should make sure that you could get it filled because I've read that some people have had a hard time getting their tanks filled because of it being expired or something.
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Old 01-14-2016, 04:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikracer View Post
Don't the tanks need to be certified to be able to fill them...and don't the certifications expire after a certain amount of years? Just suggesting you should make sure that you could get it filled because I've read that some people have had a hard time getting their tanks filled because of it being expired or something.
That is correct. Has to be re-certified every 12 years. Any propane supplier (the actual supplier, not the service station) or industrial gas supplier can do it, so can some specialty stove and BBQ stores, Fire Safety stores, and even some dive shops.

http://www.phmsa.dot.gov/pv_obj_cach..._cylinders.pdf
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:23 PM   #5
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Ooooh... good point you guys, great info, that's why I come here!

This tank is an ASME tank, in great "no-rust California" condition. Old paint and no (external at least) rust or corrosion pits. From what I've read, a DOT tank is thin-wall steel and treated as a different animal.

From what I've read, ASME tanks that come on class A and some class C motorhomes, differ from DOT tanks in that regard. It looks like DOT tanks need to be re-certified every 12yrs, where as ASME tanks, (so long as they appear in good condition, not welded on or modified, nameplate is in tact), have no such requirement.

ASME tanks:
http://phmsa.dot.gov/pv_obj_cache/pv...gas-chapt3.pdf

Before I put any work into it, I will check the valves and replace as needed, maybe bring it in to my local Amerigas outlet and have them take a look, since this tank is 36yrs old.
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Old 01-14-2016, 05:42 PM   #6
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You can get a propane door from Sportsmobile. They have plastic and metal. Parts - Sportsmobile Store

If it stops raining I will try to get a photo of my factory installed tank tomorrow.
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Old 01-14-2016, 11:04 PM   #7
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New(er) tanks have additional safety features, like overfill protection....not sure if this makes old tanks obsolete or not....

Here is my tank mount...it raises and lowers....about halfway down the page..

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-10808-19.html


Here it is mounted. I have a go westy 5 gallon Manchester tank.

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...-10808-24.html
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Old 01-15-2016, 12:30 AM   #8
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Overfill prevention isn't absolutely necessary on a fixed cylinder, just requires one of those temp-level gauges, and a competent filler.
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Old 01-15-2016, 09:24 AM   #9
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It appears that I have an extra port on my tank for (perhaps!) one of those gauges....that would be handy.......
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Old 01-15-2016, 10:28 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie View Post
You can get a propane door from Sportsmobile. They have plastic and metal. Parts - Sportsmobile Store

If it stops raining I will try to get a photo of my factory installed tank tomorrow.
A couple pics of how SMB installs their tanks, the door, a measurement of the tank diameter, etc would be fantastic.

At $57, if it comes complete with the door surround, the plastic SMB propane door would be a bargain if I can make it work for me.
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