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Post Info TOPIC: Propane Usage and Auto Regulator


RV-Dreams Family Member

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Propane Usage and Auto Regulator


Couple of questions since we're still relatively new to this fulltiming thing.

First, the lever on the auto regulator points to the 'in use' tank and the green/yellow/red indicator on the regulator is for the 'in use' tank, right? Our New Horizons came with the lever pointing towards the outboard tank (which is easier to remove for filling) but wanted to make sure. I can't tell based on usage as you can see from the second question.

Second; how long should I expect a 40 pound tank to last. We've got 2 40 pound tanks and both still indicate Full by the gauge on the tank (with the inboard being slightly less Full) even though we've been living full time in the rig since July 1. We've used the furnaces maybe an hour total as it got cooler the past week or two but other than that have just been cooking on the stove (it's a Verona residential model if that makes any difference on propane usage).

I figured that we would have burned through at least one tank by now but since both still say Full either a tank lasts a lot longer than I think or else the gauge says Full and then drops to Empty in just a couple of days of usage. It's not a big concern since propane is easy to find when needed but I was surprised that we still say Full on both tanks.

Thanks.



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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My 40 lb tanks don't have level indicators, but by your description yours do. I would expect that if all you are doing is cooking, a 40 lb tank should last at least 2 to 3 months. Using the furnace will suck up propane at an alarming rate. Also, are you using propane for water heating? I woud bet not.

Our tanks have been in full time use all summer (and I last filled one of them in February). and we still have fuel in the tanks.

A lot of folks leave the spare tank isolated so they know when one empties. Of course, they always run out in cold weather and at 2 AM. I normally leave both tanks open and check on the switching indicator every few days. I have found the depleted tank will show red on the indicator until turned to access the full tank. I am sure you know this.

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Ken and Fran 2006 Sunnybrook F250 SD CC PSD


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Neil/Connie,  Typically (I don't know your rig or your set up, so I just have to go on a typical set up) the indicator is set to point at the tank in use, when that tank has any usable amount of propane in it the indicator will show up as green.  When that tank becomes empty the indicator will go to red--the auto regulator will start using propane out of the second tank, however the indicator arrow will not "flip over" it will still be pointing to the empty tank and indicate Red--it will be up to you to flip the indicator arrow over to the tank with the gas in it that is now being used.  At this point one can disconnect the empty tank and get it refilled, set it back in place and hook it up. It has now become the back up tank the indicator will remain pointing at the tank you are continuing to use the propane out of and when it runs empty repeat the process. Of course how long one tank will last, with some general assumptions,summer usage (cooking stove only) - 1 year. Cold winter usage furnace running almost all of the time - 2 to 3 days. Both of those are assuming all things are normal and in general. Used properly the auto switchover works great and should never leave one without a tank propane to be living with.

 

Flyone



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks all for verifying the lever pointing directio and comments on usage. After another couple of days of having to run the furnaces at night the in use tank did start coming down…I failed to notice before that it isn't a linear gauge; it shows full, half, quarter, and eighth in equal increments. I let it get down to a little less than 1/4 and pulled it for filling. 

According to the gauge it should still have had about 2 gallons in it but filling it actually showed that it had a bit over 3.5 gallons left so the gauges obviously read a little low. I'm guessing that's probably on purpose to hopefully get the procrastinators to fill before actually running it dry.

I wasn't really concerned other than wondering why they both read full after fulltiming since July 1…but then we only started the furnaces a week or so ago and mostly they're running a couple of hours in the morning when we get up then get turned off again until the next morning…our New Horizons is insulated well enough so that it stays at 60 or above by the morning and we're snug under the down comforter while asleep.



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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Neil, the gauges are not totally accurate - use them for "estimating" purposes only. You should be able to get approximately 9.3 gallons out of a 40 lb tank. That can vary a little depending on the temperature.

In really cold weather, say in the teens, you will go through a tank in about 5 days or so, depending on wind, sun, etc. In the summer you can go the entire summer on a tank, assuming the hot water is on electric.

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Jack & Danielle Mayer

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2009 Volvo 780 HDT, 2015 New Horizons 45'Custom 5th, smart car
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RV-Dreams Family Member

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Thanks Jack; as I said I wasn't all that concerned other than I thought we would be using more. It's good to know how accurate this particular set of gauges is for planning purposes.

As for temps being in the teens; I hope to never be in weather that cold again. I'm a shorts and t-shirts kind of guy.



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