Propane cylinder transported on its side?

Discussion in 'Camping and Outdoor Gear' started by Vitesse_6, Feb 24, 2009.

  1. Vitesse_6

    Vitesse_6

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    What or the rules regarding propane cylinder being transported on their side?
    I was thinking about making a bracket for my roof rack to carry a small propane cylinder for camping, I know Equipt carry's upright mounts but it might sit too high.
    Anyone have any thoughts?
    Thanks

    Here is where it would be going...
    [​IMG]
     
  2. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    well, I've seen plenty of forklifts with them sideways, but of course maybe those were designed for that.

    I'd look into the issue of the pressure valve no longer being on top for the regular ones. The new ones also have some sort of arm actuation inside IIRC. IOW, make sure it can still vent properly, especially being on the roof in the sun, and agitated all the time...
     
  3. Vitesse_6

    Vitesse_6

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    Ok, Doing a bit more research on this topic, I found that you need to have the safety valve above the level of the liquid propane, Which just wont work for a general purpose cylinder, Like e9999 mentioned Fork Lifts have them and their valve is at the top or outer edge, Most consumer cylinders have the pressure valve in the center adapted to the shut off valve, The Fork Lift cylinder is a specific style and much larger than I was wanting to deal with, I was looking for a #5-#10 tank.
     
  4. Topoguide

    Topoguide

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    Yes you are correct that the safety valve must be above the liquid level, however, your regular valve needs to be above the liquid level as well. The system works off of the vapor, you do not want liquid getting into parts that are expecting vapor.

    There were som old 250+ gal tanks (known as red heads) that had the fill valve below the liquid level. These were very dangerous and are no longer legal to make this way, meaning that all valves are above the liquid level now.

    Anyway, back from that tangent... do a search for 10 lb horizontal tank. They are out there, but expect to pay around $200 for an aluminum tank of this style/size. :cheers:
     
  5. Vitesse_6

    Vitesse_6

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  6. Dr Gonzo

    Dr Gonzo

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    I have seen a short, squat propane tank at REI that they sell. It might meet your needs. Couldn't find it on line but I have seen them in the store.
     
  7. AdventureBuddies

    AdventureBuddies

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    I did a bunch of research on this topic and the very clear consensus was that a propane tank has to be stored upright unless it's one that's specifically made to lay on its side like a forklift tank. I bought a narrow/tall tank from REI that has half the capacticy of a standard 20lb tank. I mounted it on my swingout next to the jerry cans and it's been great - no more little green bottles.
     
  8. Vitesse_6

    Vitesse_6

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    Thanks for the comments guy's, Paul the Purveyor of Equipt will have a mount for me in his 100 series and bring it by this afternoon :cheers:
    Agreed on the o more green bottles, I have an adapter for them to a regular propane tank, So I will be done with that as well.
     
  9. Atoyot1031

    Atoyot1031

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    Brian,

    I carry a 20lber with me for camping. I swapped all my gear to LP gear. I use a two burner Camp Chef stove with a three way latern tower on the bottle itself. Then I use a Big Buddy heater to keep the kiddos warm in the big top. I thought about switching to an 11lber, but they cost ~$10 more than a 20 lber, and on longer trips my consumption is too great.

    See ya at CM09.:) We're actually headed to Arches next weekend...

    Nick

    P.S. You got a PM as well.
     
  10. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    IIRC, a 20 lber would last me something like 2 or 3 weeks on a camping trip, including stove, fridge, and lanterns.
     
  11. Atoyot1031

    Atoyot1031

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    Obviously, you don't burn enough gas!:flipoff2:

    • Mr. Heater Big Buddy can do a 20 lber in 25 hours. (Or upto 110 hours)
    • Camp Chef Explorer 2 can do a 20 lber in 15 hours. (Of course it can also boil a three gallon pot of water in a couple minutes!:eek:)
    • Lanterns really don't use any gas.
    Cold weekend with a bunch of cooking = 20lber to be safe for me.

    If you don't have a 1 year old and three year old yer trying keep warm in a 150 sq ft tent, a small tank makes plenty of sense. I'd just rather have too much and not need it than vice versa. Also, the 20 lber sits nicely in the corner of my roof rack.:D
     
  12. Topoguide

    Topoguide

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    Vitesse,

    That mount you found should do the trick, and much cheaper than the horizontal tanks.

    Also, keep in mind that the best color for a tank is white. It does not look as good, but it is the best to keep the tank cool. Darker colors specifically absorb heat in the sun and can make the propane inside have a higher pressure that could pop off if full (meaning spew propane out the relief valve).

    FYI. I did not look this info up, in a previous career I worked with propane and was certified to work on commercial pumps (among other things). :cheers:
     
  13. Vitesse_6

    Vitesse_6

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    Thanks.
    I will get some pic's up in the coming days, I need to put the RTT on the 80, We are preparing for the Cruise Moab over nighter pre-run.
    I was planning on leaving the tank white, No need on my part to paint it, The tank Im getting from my dad is almost brand new.
     
  14. Topoguide

    Topoguide

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    Look forward to seeing them!
     
  15. Mark W

    Mark W

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    Store it on it's side on your roof rack.
    Turn it upright to use it.
    Can't get much simpler.


    Mark...
     
  16. Topoguide

    Topoguide

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    This is a bad idea unless the cylinder is designed to be used on its side. When the cylinder is stored (traveling in the sun) is when it is most likely to release pressure. Liquid propane expands 270 times when it turns to vapor, so if liquid is at the release valve large amounts of vapor will be released. Combine this with the fact that propane is heavier than air, and that your truck engine after running is more than enough heat to ignite propane you could have problems.

    Now imagine that the release valve gets stuck open because it is not designed to handle liquid (yes this can happen). I wouldn't want to be inside that truck in that scenario.

    Look, I'm not trying to scare anyone. Just point out that you need to be smart and safe when handling propane.
     
  17. Vitesse_6

    Vitesse_6

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    Ive got it mounted, I think I may stick with the larger tank that I own rather than trade for my dads, The larger tank fits much better and it only sticks up a few inches more than my Scepter cans.
    I will get some pic's up ASAP
     
  18. Mark W

    Mark W

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    Valid points at first blush. but...

    For starters I doubt that there would be any reason to store the tank there except when in use... which means that the rig will not be sitting in some unusual environment creating absurd levels of heat on the tank. It will normally be moving... air flow reducing any effects of sunlight heating the tank... and dissipating any leaking gases. Outside of the vehicle and blowing away, not gathering under it. If the rig was sitting, parked in some odd situation cooking the tank... it is doubtful that anyone would be sitting in it with the engine running.
    Nothing to prevent you from moving the tanks or shielding it from the sun if you ARE in some extreme death valley situation either... That just seems like common sense to me.

    BTW, I know from experience that a exhaust manifold (hottest part of the engine) will not ignite gaseous propane. Never tried it with a cat that is overheating, but I would not be surprised if that would do it though.

    If you are camping in 120+ degree heat... chances are the tank is off the rack anyway.. if not... move it.

    With all of the federally mandated safety regulations, the chances of the tank over pressurizing and venting in any but very unusual situations is remote. Propane is used by millions of people constantly with zero safety training or even awareness in most cases. If it was that simple to run into catastrophic problems, it would be happening every week in the summertime in the US alone.

    I am not completely discounting your points... but I do not feel that this is a matter for serious concern so long as any modicum of common sense is used. :)





    Does Propane really expand 270 times in phase change from liquid to gaseous? I did not realize it was on that order at all. Maybe I should change from CO2 for inflating my tires to propane! ;)


    Mark...
     
  19. Bigbeast

    Bigbeast

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    "Does Propane really expand 270 times in phase change from liquid to gaseous? I did not realize it was on that order at all. Maybe I should change from CO2 for inflating my tires to propane!"

    Yes and no, it depends on what temperature you are at before the phase change. It also depends on the pressure during expansion ( I ignored the pressure in the below calculations)

    At 96 C there is no expansion
    at 25 C there is 22 times expansion
    at -40 C there is 235 times expansion
     
  20. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    umm... are you sure you haven't taken these numbers out of context? I don't know for sure but I'd be surprised if liquid propane at 25C in equilibrium with its vapor (about 10 atm) as it is in the tank would expand only 20 x to STP. The -40C is the boiling temp at 1 atm I imagine, and that seems like a reasonable expansion number. I'm guessing the real expansion ratio is indeed about 300x at room temp.

    Practically speaking, at 20x, it would not exactly take very long to empty a 20 lbs tank (about 1 cuft), would it? 20cuft of gas isn't much.

    As I'm sure you know, and contrary to what many people think, apparently, the liquid propane in the tank is not at a very low temperature. It is indeed at room temperature.

    Then again, I always stand ready to be corrected... :)
     

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