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Old 01-21-2017, 09:46 AM   #21
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Ah, welding...

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Originally Posted by BrianW View Post
Any ideas for how to do this without welding would be great.
I am limited to primarily carpentry (with supporting electrical, some mechanics, along with a little metal work, etc) as I outfit this van. If I could learn how to weld, I could only imagine the possibilities that might open up.. I wonder what portion (5%, plus or minus?) of people here have done their own welding on projects.
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'08 E-150, std roof, wb, 2wd - basic cleanup done. Working on rough layout of 'furniture'.

Pretty much everyone will step on their 'willy' once in a while.
I usually make it a point to stop and put on my golf shoes first..
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Old 01-21-2017, 12:08 PM   #22
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BrianW,

I lack welding skills so use metal strut framing, https://www.bing.com/search?q=metal+...APIPA1&PC=APPD. It bolts together like an erector set. Comes galvanized, painted, and in aluminum. Others have used it as well on their rigs.
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Old 01-21-2017, 01:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrie View Post
BrianW,

I lack welding skills so use metal strut framing, https://www.bing.com/search?q=metal+...APIPA1&PC=APPD. It bolts together like an erector set. Comes galvanized, painted, and in aluminum. Others have used it as well on their rigs.
I have seen this, but have not used it (yet). I make a lot of my own brackets, but this could be useful. I will keep it in mind for upcoming projects.

As an intermediate step before welding, I have been told and have read that brazing is a little simpler (lower temps), but can still give a fairly solid attachment. I would love to find a welding / brazing / soldering class at a community college or vo-tech school. Another thing to add to the list for when I retire..
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'08 E-150, std roof, wb, 2wd - basic cleanup done. Working on rough layout of 'furniture'.

Pretty much everyone will step on their 'willy' once in a while.
I usually make it a point to stop and put on my golf shoes first..
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Old 01-21-2017, 04:33 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by E-rex View Post
... would love to find a welding / brazing / soldering class at a community college or vo-tech school. Another thing to add to the list for when I retire..

Another place for classes are maker spaces. Cheaper than a CC. We've got one around here that does welding, machining and blacksmith classes.

Here's a list of spaces in NJ that have welding tools. If they offer classes too, there's probably one for welding.

Makerspace Directory | NJ Makers Day
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:35 PM   #25
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Will look into this.. thank you!
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'08 E-150, std roof, wb, 2wd - basic cleanup done. Working on rough layout of 'furniture'.

Pretty much everyone will step on their 'willy' once in a while.
I usually make it a point to stop and put on my golf shoes first..
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Old 01-21-2017, 05:37 PM   #26
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I started refilling 16 oz cylinders a number of years ago, but found some liabilities. The cylinders only fill about 2/3 to 3/4. Chilling before filling them maximizes how much propane they will accept, but you will never get a complete fill.

I could deal with the incomplete fill, but the real problem was that I found the recycled cylinders to be very prone to leaking. The valves are really only designed for one time use. If there were a shut-off valve that would screw on like a collar, that would help, but having a half dozen cylinders on hand would require a half dozen of these valves (if they even exist).

The 20 lb cylinders are so cheap, and so common. If you are out on the road, a fill / replacement is easy. I only wish they did not take so much interior room, and I still do not know how safe they are inside (even with precautions).
https://youtu.be/fD1CmorB_qM
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Old 01-21-2017, 06:06 PM   #27
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Very interesting. In the past, I had tried using the newest, cleanest bottles to see if I could avoid leaks, with no real success. I already have all the parts; I would like to try this, to see if these tips help.

I had always been intrigued by the small 5 lb cylinders. Compared to a generic 20 lb cylinders, they are pricey ($55 at Ace). And of course the shut off valve on the 5 lb cylinder is a bonus. Most propane vendors near me prefer a swap of a standard bottle (IE: Rhino), but some will fill your cylinder. Around here, few will fill the 5 lb (without charging the same price at the standard 20 lb bottle). Tractor Supply sells by the gallon, but there are none close by.

I've got a place nearby that fills standard cylinders (with 20 lbs, not 15) on Fridays for $10. Now if I could find the hardware to fill a 5 lb cylinder from the 20 lb cylinder, that would be a very useful trick to have in my repertoire.
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'08 E-150, std roof, wb, 2wd - basic cleanup done. Working on rough layout of 'furniture'.

Pretty much everyone will step on their 'willy' once in a while.
I usually make it a point to stop and put on my golf shoes first..
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Old 01-21-2017, 06:58 PM   #28
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Just googling, and found this on MichiganSportsman.com:

Has anyone filled 5lb propane tank from a 20lb tank? | Michigan-Sportsman

Yes, I fill my out of date 5 lber all the time. First you need a 1lber adapter for filling the 1lbers and then 2nd you need a hose extension for hooking up a Mr. buddy heater or small grill to a full size tank. Hook them together And do what they said about filling the small tanks. 1 warm and 1 cold.
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'08 E-150, std roof, wb, 2wd - basic cleanup done. Working on rough layout of 'furniture'.

Pretty much everyone will step on their 'willy' once in a while.
I usually make it a point to stop and put on my golf shoes first..
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Old 01-21-2017, 07:35 PM   #29
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I've got northleftcoast underfloor storage, one starting battery, 4D house battery, propane tank, stock ~28 gas tank, transfer flow ~28 auxiliary tank. One of these days I'm going to rig up onboard air, but have been using an ExtremeAire portable toolbox compressor in the meantime (thanks PO!).

[off topic]As for costs of the builds, I started my camper van life my almost 10 years ago with a $15,000 used, almost 150k miles cargo van Quigley, then did a quick interior buildout with carpet and plywood shelves. That worked great for about 7 years until a friend found a SMB penthouse top at the junkyard, and one thing led to another and then I sold that van and moved up to the current one.

Do I go anywhere or do anything significantly different between the vans? Nope. But I am more comfortable doing it.[/off topic]





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Old 01-21-2017, 09:11 PM   #30
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What is the bigger risk of propane inside the cabin? Are you more concerned about fire or asphyxiation? I have read that there are some ways to mitigate risk of propane leaks for an inside tank (sealed and properly vented box).

Not trying to make an argument for (or against), just trying to best understand the risks.
I really make it a point to learn from other's mistakes.....seriously.....

So here is (hopefully) the short version of a propane story that ended very badly.....

Years ago I had a salesman call on me regularly (I think he sold valves or something)....and after I got to know him I noticed that he had crosshatched fabric-like scars all over his arms/legs and other places.

...so I asked him what happened....

A few years prior to meeting me he was getting a propane BBQ tank filled for his company picnic.....had it filled and sitting on the passenger footwell in his car. He turned a corner, the tank fell over and the valve was knocked open. He realized what was happening and when he stepped on the brake pedal the brake light switch arced enough to ignite the propane.....immediate large fireball inside the car.

He instantly opened the driver door and rolled out of the slow moving car but was still severely burned over much of his body. Long hospital stay in a burn unit, talked about compression stockings and suits (insurance paid for something like one a week and he used his own $$ to use a new one every day)...so he ended up looking pretty good....and considered himself fortunate.

So these days when I transport a filled BBQ tank inside of a vehicle I take someone with me to hang on to the bottle or I hang on to it myself while driving and drive straight back to the house to unload it.

All that being said, I carry a few small spray can sized butane canisters in the van, but no propane inside and I also have a propane detector since I'm using a Propex heater (the one that can be mounted outside or inside) mounted inside the van....and I also have a CO detector.

I haven't done the calculations, but I'm guessing that even if one of those small butane canisters were to leak inside the van, there's probably not enough butane to attain a stoiciometric mixture (air/fuel ratio) to allow combustion.

of further note, there are a number of tunnels in the greater NYC/NJ area that do not allow vehicles with underbody mounted propane tanks, forget about inside the van!

...so that's why no propane inside the van....
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