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Propane tanks, 20 or 30 pound


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I am just figuring out how to order my Oliver.   I have decided on the Truma,  lithium batteries and a street side awning.   I am leaning towards the 30 pound tanks.   I don't want to be limited by tank size.   Does anyone regret getting the larger tanks?   I figure with the Truma and lithium batteries I will save on total weight.   Thanks in advance. 

John and Debbie, Beaverton, Oregon,  2017 Ford Expedition EL 4x4 with heavy duty tow package. 

Present trailer, 2003 Coleman tent trailer

Oliver Elite II is on my wish list

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The "issue" with the 30 pounders is that they MUST be refilled at a facility that refills propane tanks while with the 20 pounders you have the additional flexibility of "swapping" these tanks for filled ones at many gas stations, WalMarts, grocery stores, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.  This ability to swap really comes into its own in places like Vail Valley, Colorado where they have prohibited "refill stations" throughout the entire Vail area.

On the other hand, if you are going to be doing a bunch of cold weather camping then the 30 pounders really come in handy.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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We, too, are evaluating upgrades and add-ons.  Our Elite II is in the queue.  The kind neighbor who showed us her Elite II advised that she went with the 20 lb. tanks because it was hard for her to lift full 30 lb. tanks over the tank enclosure.   As I have bilateral rotator cuff tears that limit my ability to lift heavy stuff above my waist, we are presently planning to stick with the 20s but carry a spare 20 for our dual fuel generator in the bed of our Tundra tow vehicle.

 The choice to haul a spare 20 also informs our present choice to forgo the extra propane outlets.  We plan to also use the spare 20 for a gas grill, as that will not require a long hose if the campsite table is not close to the parking pad, and will not use up the fuel in the trailer tanks.

I welcome input on these issues from the many Oliver veterans whose previous posts on numerous topics have proven so valuable to us!

Ralph Pond 

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Hull #?

Central Idaho

2019 Tundra Double Cab 4x4, 5.7L with tow package

 

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We have 30lb tanks.  A 30lb tank has 7 gallons of propane.  A 20lb tank has 5 gallons of propane.  Not a lot of difference.  The 30lb is heavier and difficult to lift over the tank enclosure when full.  I usually get on a step to help get it over the lip.  Bill’s points are valid about getting a 20lb tank filled or exchanged at many more locations than a 30lb.  We’ve never run out of propane.  I have had one tank go empty a few times and we switched to the full until we got home.  That’s for a 4 to 6 week trip in the winter.  I’m not sure I’d go with 30 pounders if I went back in time when we were ordering.  I’ve got a couple of 20lb tanks around I use for grills and fire pits.  When it comes time to replace the larger tanks I’ll probably go with 20lb tanks.  Mike

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Texas Hill Country | Elite II #135 | Ram 2500 6.7L

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30 # tanks empty weigh 10 to 15 pounds more than 20s, and are taller. We looked at that idea,,and stayed with 20# tanks. 

We can carry an extra 11# or  20#tank in the truck bed, secured in a milk crate, for long trips, but pretty much never do. One 20# tank lasts a really long time, unless we're camping in really cold temperatures, and run the furnace a lot. We refill when we have to change to the second tank..

Propane refills are not hard to find, but lifting a tall 55 pounds over the lip of the tank enclosure is not enticing, as Mike noted.

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Depends on the campsite as to where the tongue is. Thigh high to waist high on me, usually,  and I'm 5'4".

Try the 20# first, imo. Full, only 35 to 37 pound. Not so bad to manage, empty or full. You can always change up later, if you need to. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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There's also the issue of propane mix in changing climate/altitude  

With 20# tanks, we can refill the empty with local mix, at a trusted source like tractor supply, and feel comfortable that we have the right mix. Lugging big tanks around the country,  not needing refill, may actually be detrimental to performance of the fridge, and furnace, imo. (Note, we no longer have a gas fridge, but it was a concern for many years, for us.)

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I have 30# tanks.  Like Mike & Carol, I two have back and shoulder problems.  I have to use a 3-step ladder and I walk up the tank a step at a time until I get to the top of the ladder handle and then I can lift it over.  I never look forward to changing out tanks. As I run out next year I am drop back to 20#. I have 5 20# bottles around the house. The bigger tanks are nice for weed burning. 

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Early 1999 Ford F250 SD 7.3L Diesel 

2020 Elite II Twin -  Hull # 648

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Our Ollie came with two 20# tanks and I recently switched to two 30# tanks. I like the extra LP and have not had any issues with finding a place to refill. With 30# tanks we rarely think about LP and am happy I made the switch.
 

I guess I will top off LP if we ever go through Vail Valley. 😎

 

 

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2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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We have the two 20# tanks. They came with the trailer as ordered by the original owners but we would have opted for the 20# if we had completed the build sheet.  I had back surgery 1-1/2 years ago and would be hesitant to lift the 30#-ers. I can lift and replace the 20# tanks without need of a step stool / ladder (so I don't need to carry one). We have one foot in Michigan and the other in Colorado. I have multiple 20# tanks at each house for grills, smokers and heaters and I can easily swap out tanks. I also prefer the smaller tanks for tongue weight as we carry our generators in the front storage tray.

The only reason I would consider 30#-ers would be if we regularly did long trips off-grid in cold weather. 

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Scott & Sandy Johnson
Ann Arbor, Michigan and Fraser,  Colorado

2021 Oliver Legacy Elite II, Hull #760
TV 2017 Nissan Titan XD Diesel Pro-4X
 

 

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As we patiently wait for our March delivery I have also wondered which way to go on the tanks....my question is: Can you easily swap between 20# and 30# tanks or is there some sort of elevated holder/shelf that moves the 20# tank higher inside the propane box at the front which would prevent swapping them regularly?  Thanks for any help, great discussion.

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The hold down brackets are pretty much infinitely adjustable for height, there is a single long threaded rod. But both bottles need to be the same height, you could not have a 20 next to a 30, it would not work. Unless perhaps you made a raised floor under the shorter one.

FYI if you have the 30 pounders and want to decrease their weight without buying new smaller bottles, just have them partially filled. The gas that goes in is measured by gallons, instead of saying “Fill it up.” just ask for 5 gallons instead of 7….. This is not rocket science. I have 30 pound ones and will use them full until I am too feeble, then I will get partial fills. There are probably some refill stations that won’t do this, but I have never encountered one:

“Refilling propane tanks at your local Tractor Supply Company is convenient and light on your wallet! A proper Propane Refill at Tractor Supply ensures your tank is filled to the maximum legal limit. Sold by the gallon, a propane refill is great if your need a top-off on a weekend or in the evening. Only charging for the number of gallons filled, a Tractor Supply propane refill is the ultimate owner experience. Enjoy a top-notch propane refill today!

  • Propane refill sold by the gallon
  • Tractor Supply only charges for the fuel we put in your tank
  • Propane refill offers no hidden fees; No minimum amount; No flat fee; No purge fee”

https://www.emptygrilltank.com/tank-sizes-and-specifications/

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

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"Mouse":  2017 Legacy Elite II NARV (Not An RV) Two Beds, Hull Number 218, See my HOW TO threads: https://olivertraveltrailers.com/topic/john-e-davies-how-to-threads-and-tech-articles-links/

Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags, Safari snorkel.

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Thanks John for the quick reply...that makes total sense.  Cheers.

9 minutes ago, John E Davies said:

The hold down brackets are pretty much infinitely adjustable for height, there is a single long threaded rod. But both bottles need to be the same height, you could not have a 20 next to a 30, it would not work. Unless perhaps you made a raised floor under the shorter one.

FYI if you have the 30 pounders and want to decrease their weight without buying new smaller bottles, just have them partially filled. The gas that goes in is measured by gallons, instead of saying “Fill it up.” just ask for 5 gallons instead of 7….. This is not rocket science. I have 30 pound ones and will use them full until I am too feeble, then I will get partial fills.

https://www.emptygrilltank.com/tank-sizes-and-specifications/

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

 

Edited by Wolfepack
Learning how to use the forum, deleted the same sentence i put in there twice.
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As an old airline pilot once told me, “the only time you have too much fuel is when you’re on fire.”

30 pounders for us. 

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Steve, Tali and the dogs: Reacher, Lucy and Rocky plus our beloved Storm and Maggie (both waiting at the Rainbow Bridge)

2008 Legacy Elite I - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #026 | 2014 Legacy Elite II - Outlaw Oliver, Hull #050 | 2022 Silverado High Country 3500HD Diesel 4x4 

 

             801469912_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-I.jpg.26814499292ab76ee55b889b69ad3ef0.jpg1226003278_StatesVisitedTaliandSteve08-23-2021-H.jpg.dc46129cb4967a7fd2531b16699e9e45.jpg

 

 

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