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Thread: Propane Attachments

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
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    Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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    Has anyone tried or heard of teeing off the LP tank to run a barbeque.

    Thanks
    Jay

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  3. #2
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    Gibsons, BC, Canada
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    Any luck with doing this? I use my BBQ all the time, and would like to attach it to the tank on my '84 Westy.

  4. #3
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    Raleigh, NC USA
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    Transferred to consolidate same general topic.

    Adding propane portable heater

    gkasparek Junior Member # 2785 posted 11-20-2001 01:50 PM

    Is it possible to connect a Coleman portable heater to the built-in 3-gallon propane tank?

  5. #4
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    I won't comment on the technical side due to safety concerns. LP is not an area in which I have much expertise.

    However, I ask all of you to do the math! The Vanagon tank is 3 gallons and must feed the stove and fridge; the older Type II tank was even smaller.

    There are approximately 4 lb. per gallon of LP. There are 21,548 Btu/lb.

    A typical small grill for the RV crowd is 12,000 Btu. A typical portable space heater is 5,000 Btu.

    Btu's are an energy measurement based on temperature change so don't equate directly to hours of use, but I find a 14 oz. cartridge of LP in my 5,000 Btu Coleman will give me a bit over 4 hours burn-time so it seems to equate. [Any thermal engineers out there care to comment?] Does that means a 12,000 Btu grill would get <2 hours per lb.?

    You're asking a lot from a little 3 gallon tank that has no gauge, is pain in the neck to fill, and hard to find stations for. The cartridges are available almost everywhere. Is this a solution or just a different problem?

  6. #5
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    SE Ohio
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    This thread brings up an important point--the difficulty and availability of filling th LP tank. I have been denied in many, many places where they didn't think it was worth it or didn't want to bother for some reason.

    Once in the middle of nowhere in Montana and another time near Seneca rocks, WV, I was told by the only game in town that they wouldn't fill a VW tank.

    Would it be possible to put together a list of places that WILL fill our tanks? Or maybe just one that addresses more remote areas?

    Just a thought.
    '86 Westy and '73 Thing

  7. #6
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    I think, right now, such a list would be unwieldy and be hard to verify. It would also be very hard to differentiate between companies or chains that won't fill a VW tank, and those instances where you've just run into a clerks or even shift managers who do it on their own because of ignorance or not wanting to be bothered. Right now, I think your best recourse is to "take names & kick ass". Although it might not have any effect on a totally private station, MOST are parts of large franchises or chains. Take those clerk names, along with time & date, and complain to the corporate headquarters. Yes, it's a pain to get the addresses and write the letter, but they often get results.

    Often, the "only game in town" is the little LP dealer more attuned to exchanging LP tanks for the grill. He may legitimately only have one guy that comes in to do the refilling and none of the other clerks are trained or authorized. That is often interpreted by the clerks as "we don't do," but I also venture it is their easy cop-out when they don't feel like it. What's a lie to a traveler passing through?

    Second, the "only game in town" is often not. Almost every area has propane dealers that service the home-owners, farms and large accounts. Although not the little crossroads communities, chances are there is a distributor at the nearest major town and it's in his best interest to either fill a customer tank himself or tell you who among his customers will. Again, he's probably part of an even larger company or franchise.

    Finally, I guess this emphasizes the importance of keeping track of your propane usage and establishing a consumption pattern. For instance, I can get 2 weeks of full-time camping under OUR usage pattern, per tank and that refill will typically take about 2½ gallons, meaning I theoretically had ½ gallon left. Thus I can schedule refills in the larger towns. I also 'top off' when I head into the boonies for an extended period of time. There are some 'heat strip' tank level indicators that, though a pain to install or use, can give you a heads up, but I've only actually run out once in about a quarter-million miles of Westy use and some serious extended boonie trips.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
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    Quetico Ontario, Bellingham, Wa
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    Default Adding propane portable heater

    Is it possible to connect a Coleman portable heater to the built-in 3-gallon propane tank?
    I added a propane outlet in my syncro. A simple flair tee installed on the gas line to the stove, connected to a rubber (l.p. gas approved) line out the side of the cabinet behind the drivers seat. On the end sticking out I installed a "click fit" (line an air hose fitting, but again gas grade") connector. I then can plug in my OLYMPIAN Catalitic heater running on another rubber hose around the drivers seat. The heater sits between the front seats pointing backwards. I have a click fit on the heater as well. I also have a marine type barbque that uses the same hose and fittings.I just run the hose out the open door when the weather is good to barbie. All this is quite easy to do and does away with the hassle of throw away propane bottles.The click fit fittings shut off gas tight when the male fitting is disconneted so you don't neek a lot of shut off valves Be sure to pressure test any new fittings however. Use a soap bubble solution in a spray bottle to test every joint. Flaring the copper pipe is very easy if you know how. If you don't know what you are doing have someone do it for you, or buy some copper to practice on. The entire heater along with it's legs and the 5' gas hose store neatly in a small box under the back seat. 'ICARUS" Ps. I once saw someone who had a fitting that screwed into the filler of the propane tank called and "extendastay" fitting. It allow you to plug a 20# bbq tank into the onboard tank to give a 8 gallon capacity. Does anyone have any idea where/how to get one? Also I'm looking for a low oxygen alarm to install, since my heater burns oxygen. The only one I ahv found is medical grade and over $500 us. Any body ever heard of such a thing? Let me know. Icaus
    Last edited by Capt. Mike; 09-06-2008 at 11:19 AM.

  9. #8
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    Marshall brass (www.marshallbrass.com) makes both an extenda-stay and a extenda-flow fitting. The extenda-stay (marshall pn537-00)allows you to use a small portable tank to augment your on board supply. It installs before the regulator on the high pressure side. It is about 11/2" long and works with the existing gas piping

    The extenda-flow fitting (Marhsall pn535-00)(I haven't seen one in person) installs on the low pressure side, after the regulator. I'm not sure there is room to install both without modifing the copper lines.

    I have an extenda-stay on my '86 syncro. Since I have teed off the l/p gas line in the car (see post above or in the heater thread) I have no need for the extenda-flow. Marshall Brass products are available at most l/p places as well as home depot etc.

    Icarus

  10. #9
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    I think that I misspoke in the above post regarding the extenda flow fitting. Marhsall brass now makes a combination extenda-stay and extenda flow in one fitting. It allows you to add on an external tank to run fridge stove etc without using up the onboard propane. It also has a built in additional tee to allow you to get hig pressure l/p from either your on board or portable tank. I'm note sure if it will fi on the westy set up because of the second tee, you may have to modify the stone guard. Mine does not have the second tee feature.

    It is VERY IMPORTANT to remember that most l/p gas appliances run either on low pressure (11-13" w.c. or aobut 1/2 lbs psi) or tank pressure.

    Tank pressure is much higher. I don't know how high (I suspect 75-100 psi but do your own checking) Putting unregulated pressure to low pressure appliances is VERY DANGEROUS. Not only is there a risk of explosion, but you can fataly damage seals, valves diaphrams etc. (I inadvertantly hooked tank pressure to a demand water heater that was meant to run 11" and blew out all the seals in about 1 second!) I also have been a victum of a propane gas explosion of my own makng. (not westy related, I was building a burner and forgot the safty rule of unburned gas collecting in a small container. 75 stitches and some plastic surgury and I ahve my nose back,,, long story)

    Most portable l/p appliances that run on disposable bottles run on tank pressure and will run fine on a portable or on board tank. The stove and fridge need to run on regulated pressure. Most barbques run on regulated pressure so you would have to install a tee like I have writter about in the add on heater thread.

    If you have any doubts, consult someone who know. I have little faith in the propane sales outlet to know what they are doing, on the other hand a good gas appliance or hvac contractor should be able to keep you straight. Propane is perfectly safe if you understand how to use and repair it, but can be deadly if you get careless.

    Sorry for any confusion

    Icarus

    PS. To clarify the info above, I have gound that Propane at 80f runs about 128psi in the tank. The pressure drops to 0 psi at -40f. as the propane stops "boiling" in the tank. Regulator presure is 12" w/c (about 1/2psi)


    Icarus

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Canada
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    2

    Default Propane Attachments

    Force 10 Compact Propane gimbled 2 burner oven stainless steel Stove with oven 200 obo/got to make room for a 3 burner like right now.o

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