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Old 01-17-2018, 12:05 PM   #1
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Vertical Propane tank inside the van (removable)?

I have been thinking about adding a Propex furnace to my van.

However, I do not at this time want to incur the additional expense of adding an external propane tank bolted onto the bottom of the vehicle.

I will have a sectional one piece removable storage box that is half of the removable bed base (think gaucho) that runs along the drivers side rear wall by the rear ac... (with the two back bench seats removed of course). I was thinking of taking one section of that storage box closest to the remaining bench seat and make that an airtight caulked and gasket on top sealed box with a vent hole into the floor to store the regular BBQ style propane tank for when parked and camping in it in winter. This way for the winter camping trips I can bring a Propane tank from the bbq and connect that to the existing copper tubing connection on the outside of the box that I have in the van that goes directly to the Propex Furnace... Then, when it is summer, i can remove the tank and use that box for storage.

When traveling I would keep the propane tank in the Aluminess box on the rear bumper to not have it in the vehicle when underway.

Let me know why this is a bad or maybe even a good or just plain dumb idea. I have not committed to anything yet... as my van is currently in Colorado at CCV getting a new top and I am just thinking about the next project as we all are...
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Old 01-17-2018, 02:07 PM   #2
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These folks did just what you are talking about:
Propex HS2000 Heater Installation | FarOutRide
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:10 PM   #3
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I think you'll be fine. People will tell you not to. I've had a connected propane tank in my present van (for the stove) hooked up and used daily for the last few months. No worries. If you smell propane......worry!
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Old 01-17-2018, 04:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 86Scotty View Post
I think you'll be fine. People will tell you not to. I've had a connected propane tank in my present van (for the stove) hooked up and used daily for the last few months. No worries. If you smell propane......worry!
I'm no expert, but I agree. Propane is so smelly, that I think you'd notice pretty quickly.
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Old 01-17-2018, 05:03 PM   #5
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It wou Or probably be good to have a propane detector in the van. They need to be located close to the floor because propane is heavier than air.
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Old 01-18-2018, 10:45 AM   #6
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My initial reaction is that it's probably not a good idea. I've had BBQ tanks that leak a tiny bit, and it doesn't take much, but I"m sure your smarter than this guy: Darwin award here for sure.

URBANA ó A man staying in a recreational vehicle in Urbana was taken to a Springfield hospital for severe burns following an early-morning fire in the camper Saturday.An Urbana police report said the victim told officers that he had been sleeping in the RV, which was parked on Anderson just north of Green, and awoke cold. He tried to start the propane heater but it would not come on.
Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger said the man was filling a small propane tank from a larger one and needed light to see what he was doing. He lit a candle and that caused the inside of the RV to burst into flames, burning his arms and hands.

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Old 01-18-2018, 02:12 PM   #7
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I think the link Rockbender sent is just the ticket I was thinking of with a vent down into the floor to keep any excess venting out of the cabin... Im a bit of time away from this project..Gotta put in the floor and L track sitting in the garage, once I settle on what will be the top flooring. Looks like Raised Coin G Floor from Home depot...is in the lead.
thanks everyone.
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Old 01-18-2018, 04:54 PM   #8
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This is one thing that I would not do.....

As discussed in another thread here somewhere, years ago I had a sales rep that called on me who had a BBQ cyl in his car....going to fill it for company picnic..tank fell over around a corner knocking the valve open and when he hit the brake pedal it ignited from the switch arcing causing severe burns. I knew him years after the accident but it was obvious that he was burned over a large part of his body.

From that day I have a very different view about BBQ tanks inside vehicles. When I take mine to get them filled I hang on to them the entire trip, fill them, drive them home and immediately remove them from the vehicle.

The way I look at it is that my van hobby is not worth dying over. Before the van obsession I designed and built vacuum tube amps......same thing there I used multimeter clip leads 100% of the time to test live amps (400-500VDC) hands-off...tube amp hobby is also not worth dying over. Some people routinely test live amps with a probe in each hand...very bad idea...500VDC across the chest wall.....

It's also very likely not legal in any state to mount one of these inside a vehicle (no DOT rating is another issue)....although I'm making an assumption about that.

There are many failure modes to consider here, for example you forget to turn off the valve, lock the van and go hiking for the day....you come back and the van is full of propane vapors when you unlock it...on and on...

Some folks consider properly plumbing an RV rated under body propane tank to an appliance (heater/stove) too risky.....That project was within my comfort zone....everyone is different.

If you decide to do this......consider installing a propane detector or a combo propane/CO detector.
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Old 01-18-2018, 06:30 PM   #9
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If you install the tank in a tightly sealed and vented box, it will prevent any vapors that escape, from accumulating inside the van.
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Old 01-19-2018, 05:32 AM   #10
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So why even put the tank inside? Why not use quick release propane fittings? You can leave the tank outside or even in your box. Plug in the quick connect fittings with a hose and you got heat. You save the storage space, donít have to make a sealed exterior vented compartment in your van, and it gives you the ability to only bring tanks when you want heat.

Seems like a win win to me.

https://www.amazon.com/Camco-59903-Propane-Quick-Connect-Fitting/dp/B007HG7WUQ

Donít get me wrong I have used buddy heaters with bbq tanks in my van and trailer before. But I never feel 100% comfortable with it.

Cheers
Rob
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