Oliver | Luxury Fiberglass Travel Trailers, Campers & RVs › Forums › OLIVER CAMPERS › Mechanical & Technical Tips › How to monitor amount left in propane tanks?
- January 11, 2009 at 1:07 am #12074
No doubt we are the last Oliver people who haven’t figured this out yet, but does anyone have good ways to monitor the level of propane left in your tanks? In our prior truck camper, this measure was included on the panel which showed remaining levels of battery power, water, etc.
Thanks.January 11, 2009 at 2:07 am #15975
I’ve read numerous ideas on propane level checks, from a stick on decal "thingy" to pouring a special fluid down the side and watching it change colors, and the good old standby "tap test". In your post, you mentioned tanks, meaning I suppose, that you have two. If this is the case, I’m sure you also have the automatic crossover valve. In this case you’re all set.
With both tanks connected to the auto-switchover valve, operate with both propane tanks to the full open setting (full counterclockwise on the tanks).
There is a lever on the crossover valve. Place it full to the side towards one of the tanks and this will become your initial primary tank. It should last a long time, depending on use. I have 30 lb tanks and one lasted five weeks of continuous camping. (For one guy and his dog – no furnace used)
Go camping and have lots and lots of fun, occasionally lifting the cover to your tanks and checking the GREEN stripe in the view window of the crossover valve. When it turns to RED, your initial primary tank has gone totally empty and you’re now running on the back-up tank.
Swap the lever over so it points at the back-up tank. It now becomes your primary. Close the valve on the empty tank and get it filled at your leisure, being sure to not tarry toooooo long. When you fill it up and put it on your trailer and open its valve full open, it is now the back-up.
By using this method, you really don’t need to know the exact level because you always have a full back-up waiting to take over.
Pete & "Bosker". TV - '18 F150 Super-cab Fx4; RV - "The Wonder Egg"; '08 Elite, Hull Number 014.
Travel blog of 1st 10 years' wanderings - http://www.peteandthewonderegg.blogspot.comJanuary 11, 2009 at 3:35 am #15976
Another school of thought…We don’t use the auto switch, because we dry camp, a lot. We leave one tank off.If the primary tank feels light on our occasional or daily (as we get close) test, we switch over, and know that it’s time to fill the first. There are a lot of guages available, most don’t work any better than manually picking up the tank and guessing what it weighs when you think you’re low. Our 20 lb. tanks last a really long time… If you’re not wasteful. (Blankets are great… so are the propane stops like tractor supply where you can fill on meter, instead of exchanging.) Using water heater, two burner stove and refrigerator on gas, and only occasional furnace (summer in the mountains), a tank probably lasts two to three weeks. We’ve never actually run out… We use the "extra" tank for the grill and keep an eye on it, too.
If we knew we were close and were winter camping, we’d use the auto feature so that we wouldn’t run out during the night. Otherwise, one tank is good for quite a long time.
2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4
2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12January 11, 2009 at 7:09 pm #15977
We also don’t use the auto-switch because we dry camp a lot too. We want to be very aware of our usage and not get caught off guard with our back-up tank getting depleted. We’ve also found that our regular full time usage, we get a good 3 weeks out of a 20lb tank (we’re using more now, because of winter). We’ve yet to have to fully deplete our back-up tank (which is a 30lb) before we found a fill station. But figure we have a good 6-8 weeks of gas on board between the two.
As far as figuring out our levels, a lot of it is actually general awareness of our usage. Same as with our water and tank levels (since the level indicators really aren’t all that accurate).
– CherieMay 12, 2009 at 7:25 pm #16866
I was going through some old unread posts that I had missed, and somehow I hadn’t seen this thread.
We use the changeover indicator on ours, but I added the remote indicator, it blinks a yellow LED whenever the first propane tank is out. We don’t do many long trips, so when it starts blinking we just switch the tank selector so it stops blinking and refill the empty tank at the next opportunity.
http://oliver.hewus.com/Mods/Remote_Pro … _Indicator
(We usually never run it out while camping though, usually we run out the BBQ at home and then go steal a tank from the trailer and then refill just before we leave)May 21, 2009 at 1:24 am #16880
Cool little device. I ordered one and set it up just like Andrew, but left it on batteries instead of 12 volt. I like the idea of being able to leave the tank switch over on automatic, but having the ablity to know when the current tank runs dry.May 21, 2009 at 4:01 am #16881
Check this out: http://www.vintagetrailersupply.com/30_ … ts-169.htm
This 30lb aluminum tank costs $159, plus $70 for the gauge feature.
This should be lighter than a regular tank – this one weighs 18lbs.
I think the gauge on this tank is compatible with the SeeLevel in our Olivers – I found the link to it on the SeeLevel website.
This might be the ideal gauge solution, the a bit pricey.
– ChrisNovember 10, 2018 at 8:56 am #153662
The hot water trick works very well. Boil some water and run it down the side of the tank and then feel for where the warm turns cool. That’s where your level is. We also use the one tank strategy and when it goes dry switch over and look for a fill station.
Gregg & Donna Scott and Piper the Westie - The Flying Sea Turtle - Hull # 145 Western NCNovember 10, 2018 at 8:05 pm #153676
Mike and CarolModerator@mike-and-carol
Nice to read through these old threads! Most folks don’t know that Chris and Cherie (Technomadia) were early Oliver owners.
I used to worry about monitoring my propane levels. Now, I just use one tank and when it goes empty (or close) I switch to the full tank and fill the empty when I can. They last so long it really isn’t a big issue. Mike
Mike and Carol Thompson | Fair Oaks Ranch, TX
The Lone Star Oliver #135 | 2016 Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4X4 5.7L Hemi
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