Retrofitting Propane tank for "overfill protection device"


Dr. Beth

New member
New York State has new laws about not refilling propane tanks unless they are fitted with "overflow protectors." Can this be done easily on a Westfalia? Or am I in for big bucks . . . does anyone know? (Is the new law nationwide or just NY? If the latter, I can just drive to a different state . . . )
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
You might as well start checking out the retrofit. The law is Federal and implementation by states is spreading rapidly. Later model VW's had it built in; early models have an overflow valve but it won't pass as 'automatic' since you open before filling & close when full.

It's my understanding -- haven't checked out having it done to a Westy yet -- that it involves changing the fill valve and isn't that expensive. It should be little different than changing the millions of BBQ LP tanks going on every day. And since it's cost effective to change them, it should be cost effective to retrofit the VW tank. As frequently stated elsewhere on this site, the Westy tank is a generic US MADE LP tank by a company (Manchester) still in business. Go to an LP specialist like your regional distributor, not the local Quickie-Mart. Or call Manchester.
 
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Dr. Beth

New member
Thanks a million. (Including editing out my flubbed post). My husband asks me why we didn't think of looking for this site a long time ago. We've been "winging" it alone with our Westfalia for six years, now.
 

jerepowers

New member
I brought in my 84 Westfalia to a real propane place in the Twin Cities last September to have them convert the tank and fill it. The guy took one look and said it didn't need any conversion. According to him, permanently mounted propane tanks on RVs have had the better system for years. The new federal law mostly was aimed at the cheap tanks that have become popular with gas grills, yard lights and those turkey cookers.

I thanked him and told him I'd give him all his business. He said: "Don't bother. Filling these belly tanks isn't worth the trouble."

I just looked up propane in the yellow pages.
 

icarus

Moderator
Originally posted by Dr. Beth:
New York State has new laws about not refilling propane tanks unless they are fitted with "overflow protectors." Can this be done easily on a Westfalia? Or am I in for big bucks . . . does anyone know? (Is the new law nationwide or just NY? If the latter, I can just drive to a different state . . . )
I checked with my propane supplier. It seems that onboard tanks are DOT rated not ASTME rated and therefore do NOT need to have OPD's installed. (I may have these two ideas reversed, DOT, ASTME if anyone knows better please add, I will try to check it out further) If anyone says that you need to replace the tank find a different vendor. DOT standards are federal and I think they override any state regs. In a pinch you can always add an "extend a stay" fitting and carry a small barbque tank and never bother to fill the onboard tank. I carry a 3 gallon (small) barbque tank as well as the 3 gallon on board. With the heater, water heat fridge etc. I never worry about running out.
Icarus
 
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freddyray

New member
Just went through the same thing. Pulled the tank off to have it recertified and an OPD put in and was told I didn't have to do it. Had to put the tank on and take it back to be refilled. I think the regulator is bad though as I don't seem to be getting gas to the stove, but I will find that out on Monday. Fred
 
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Dmari

New member
Ok, I called Manchester Tanks the OEM supplier, and they stated that the tanks used on the Vanagons were Manchester's ASME tanks and they have conform to all FED safety standards from the late 1980s on. Because they are ASME tanks and NOT D.O.T. cylinders they do not need the OOPD's installed, as they already have a 80% max fill system in place. Check with Manchester on any older tanks to determine if a upgrade is needed. http://www.mantank.com/
Hope this help
 
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Capt. Mike

Moderator
Copied from another topic.

Mike Robinson Member posted July 12, 2003 11:00 AM

CANADA ONLY

I talked to 'Superior Propane' about getting my tank recertified today. There is no recertification for permanently mounted tanks on vehicles. The westy tank is NOT the same as your BBQ tank. They said you should get it pressure tested every year but this is up to you. The other advice was to keep the rust off it and the paint on it.

Hope this helps the Canadians out there.

Mike
 

dishhack

New member
propane tank

I just redid my propane tank taking off the faulty auto valve. Now it is time to sandblast and paint there are parts available for these tanks on the web and it is an easy job to do. Hardest part is to find the proper sealent for the threads and if you look at $100 compared to the $350-400 places are charging, it is a good deal
 
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bobthebuilder

New member
Well I just bought a bunch of stuff to start rebuilding my 84 westy,wish i had read this earlier I am from Canada and could have rebuilt my tank(and will) but I now also have the extra large version (was on sale at bus depot $199.)Perhaps I will install both although I am not sure about the extra weight.Before I buy much else I will be checking here and asking q's.
Cheers Bob
 

Capt. Mike

Moderator
See TIPS forum, "Vehicle weights" topic. Liquified propane (the type that stores in your tank) weighs 4.2 pounds per gallon. Add weight of tank & fittings.
 

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