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Old 10-25-2019, 11:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mr.Anderson View Post
Pardon the noob question but is the general consensus that the valve has to be closed while driving? And if so why? I get it there's all this concern about propane tanks exploding ect ect, but every vehicle on the road already has a massive tank of explosive liquid (the gas tank) underneath it already.
The likelihood of a propane tank exploding is very low. DOT tanks, verses the BBQ type tanks are very heavy duty to reduce the possibility of rupturing the tank in an accident. In addition, the atmosphere inside the tank is so rich, (above the UEL, or upper explosive limit) that it won't burn without adding enough oxygen to get it below the UEL. BUT, once you get below the UEL, because, say you were in an accident and fractured a feed line or broke off a fitting, the surrounding area will become highly flammable and / or explosive. If the valve is closed, there will be a minimal amount of propane in the lines to leak out. With the valve open, you have a huge supply of propane feeding the fire. So, it's always wise to close the valve anytime your on the road.
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Old 10-31-2019, 11:56 AM   #12
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Hi everybody,
While on this subject, I thought I’d add a couple of questions that I desperately need answered.
First, my van once had a propane system with a heater! Sadly, the previous owner had the entire setup
removed!!! I’m not certain if the hoses, pipes, whatever...were also removed, but the stove is gone as well. So I have lovely pre-made spaces for all of these things, including the tank.
Can someone give me a ballpark figure ( or idea) of
what it would cost me to have all of this reinstalled?
Next question- someone mentioned swivels ( seats I assume?), so the question is best guess on whether
it would be best to take the van ( 2005 Chevy Express
eB) to a Chevy dealer to have one installed, or hunt around for someone else to do it, plus finding the right one). I had intended to do at least some of this
myself...however health, age, and a really screwed up
back have prevented that altogether.
Part of the problem is that nothing is closer to me than 50 miles...in any direction! Sure wish some of you “ handy” folk lived nearby!
Meanwhile, answers and suggestions would be a huge help!
Thanks in advance to everyone,
ConnieKat
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Old 10-31-2019, 12:13 PM   #13
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Hi ConnieKat,



Having just done a bunch of research on heater systems, I will say that a good propane heater system will probably be about $1000 plus or minus $200 for parts - labor is anyone's guess $0 if you DIY $? for installer.



I don't know how your build is setup but it sounds like you already have the spaces for a propane heater system so I would probably try to either find out what was previously used, or find your favorite propane heater on the market and see if that will fit with the existing spaces.



Re - swivel seats. look up "1der" on the forum he is the best source of swivel seats around, at least for Fords ... I bought swivel seats from him for my 2008 Ford e350
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:14 PM   #14
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Not sure if the rest of your van set up. Here’s where I placed my propane tank. There is enough room on the alumniness box just above the passenger swing arm. I chose the 1/2 size propane tank. The big one was overkill for me. Hope that helps.
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Old 10-31-2019, 02:33 PM   #15
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My Propex 2211 install is here from post 237 to post 241

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...tml#post159997


I would highly recommend a horizontal DOT propane tank for many many reasons, including your personal liability in the event of an accident.


I don't see having the heater inlet near the fridge as a problem, perhaps a good thing since the air behind the fridge is already pre-heated a little.


I frequently drive with the tank valve open, although not on purpose....I try to close it when done camping.


I plumbed hard copper the entire way from the tank to the heater.


There are a couple of regulators around for these, one may be better than the other. I bought the regulator from gowesty, and had some issues early on, but not lately. I can't remember, perhaps I rotated it a little to address the issue, which was a flashing red LED on the propex controller which means no propane getting to the heater. I also recall having to whack the regulator with a screwdriver handle to get it to flow...but lately it's been working great.


WestyVentures sells the heaters as well as regulators, and Karl at WV is extremely knowledgeable and helpful for all things propex.



I ended up buying another metal duct for the inlet since the cardboard one self-destructs quite easily.


I have the 2211 with a pop-top and it's keeps the van plenty warm and is a fuel-sipper..... When is in the 30's or colder I usually pull the top down to help keep the heat in.
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:56 PM   #16
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My Propex 2211 install is here from post 237 to post 241

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/for...tml#post159997


I would highly recommend a horizontal DOT propane tank for many many reasons, including your personal liability in the event of an accident.


I don't see having the heater inlet near the fridge as a problem, perhaps a good thing since the air behind the fridge is already pre-heated a little.



I have the 2211 with a pop-top and it's keeps the van plenty warm and is a fuel-sipper..... When is in the 30's or colder I usually pull the top down to help keep the heat in.

Thanks for the tips! Your propane tank mount looks very rad! I have access to a machine shop with end mills and welders, etc. so seeing what you did plus having access to this shop gives me inspiration for how I'll be mounting my tank.



I did end up going with a 20lb DOT rated horizontal manchester tank which I think will work out well.



I noticed you mounted your 2211 inside your van - I was planning on doing an external underbody mount of the unit because they can be / designed to allow that mounting so maybe saving some space, although I need to do a better job drafting the interior design before I commit. having it on top of one of the wheel wells is probably a good enough spot because that's relatively unusable space anyway. Is there any reason not to mount it externally under the body?



I do want to put on rock sliders for my van down the road so right now i'm keeping the side of the van free (kind of just thinking out loud here ..)



Anyway, yeah my van is a low top cargo w/o windows and well insulated so I think this system will be plenty of heat during the winter.



Oh speaking of designing the interior and insulation - one concern i have is with my prospective kitchen sink setup - I was thinking of doing a 6 gallon gray wafer and drinking water tank - do people have problems with these freezing during the winter? I guess with the propane heater thermostat I could keep the interior to stay above 32 degrees or something while I'm not in the van
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Old 10-31-2019, 03:57 PM   #17
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I've been running a Propex HS2211 for several years. I had a local propane provider install it (pass side) because they were doing a lot of county vehicle conversions and had it down. They used the same Manchester tank that everybody talks about and built custom brackets. I'll DIY all day long, but not a propane tank, regulator and line. I installed the heater on the driver side in that cavernous area between the frame and body. I got a nice Milwaukee hole saw and put the outlet duct at the base of the B-pillar and the inlet ahead of the rear tire (I wanted some separation). I think Karl M. at Westy Ventures had some nice grommets for the body, that are also available at Grainger. The flues are touchy. I put my inlet flue up near the floor, out of harms way but the exhaust flue has to turn a tight corner and the controller does not like non-laminar air flow. I had some random problems until I got a high-temp silicon elbow from Karl. He is the man.. probably the most knowledgeable Propex guy this side of the Atlantic. I wrapped the underbody ducts with Reflectix pipe wrap and they're still intact after all the miles and slush and whatnot. Every now and then it will throw a code but if you go through the little routine on the controller it goes away.. it has never left us cold. We even spent a night up around 11,000' in Leadville, CO. A good test for any heater ignition.
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:01 PM   #18
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Is there any reason not to mount it externally under the body?

Propex outside=two big holes in the floor.....for the cabin air inlet and outlet.....



Propex inside=two small holes in floor (for combustion air)+propane line.


...take your pick.....
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Old 10-31-2019, 05:22 PM   #19
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Call me crazy, but I obsess over every cubic inch inside.. plus it's a little quieter at night with it underneath. Besides it's a great use of all that real estate next to the frame rail.
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Old 11-02-2019, 09:17 AM   #20
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I also have the SMB stock heater and tank. YES makes fillups easy for the propane guy. YES you want to be able to fill up at an RV propane station without removing or disconnecting the tank.
I just did 20/10* at Dutch John Utah....lowered the top and heater did a great job.....it did run most of the night but was very comfortable. I then just pull up to propane tank and 5 minutes I'm full and off for more adventures.
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