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Old 02-24-2018, 06:43 PM   #1
ExPatNW
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Thumbs up Propane monitoring

We have had a trailer or fifth wheel for more than 10 years now, and I have always been uncomfortable not knowing how much propane I have left in my tanks. I learnt early on to not open both and allow it to auto-switch over. I did buy a number of years ago a magnetic strip that you attach to the side of the tank and then pour water on (I think that was how it worked). I was not impressed.

This last weekend we camped and for Western Washington it got pretty cold. We were getting through the Propane. So I searched the web and found a product that seemed like it might help me.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/AP-Products...72.m2749.l2649

These are magnetic and attach to the bottom of the tanks. I may add some duct tape too because I am nervous about losing them. They use an ultrasonic pulse/reflection to measure the level of gas in the tank. I tried it today and it worked well. It measured that one of my tanks was full (90%) and the other very low (15%).

The version I bought (for $72) is just 2 measuring devices, you read the level with a free app you install on your smart phone. They have another version that is a little more money with its only monitor display, that you could mount in your rig - its all Bluetooth btw - so no wires are necessary.

So far I am very happy with it and wanted to share with this group.
Happy Camping
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:47 PM   #2
smokeater32
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Have used the Mopeka LPG Tank Check for a year and a half...and I love it. Pretty accurate and the app is super easy to use.
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Old 02-24-2018, 06:52 PM   #3
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My wife says I have expensive friends on this forum LOL
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Old 02-24-2018, 08:07 PM   #4
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My wife says I have expensive friends on this forum LOL
Seems to be the consensus with our better halves. I've spent more money on things I didn't know I needed since I joined this forum. She "understands"...but it has taken its toll on our savings.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:19 PM   #5
AZ Traveler
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I only run one tank at a time and refill when it runs out. As I can run a few days on a single tank even in cold weather running the heater I am comfortable without a gauge. I also carry a spare smaller tank for my grill which could be used if required.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:18 PM   #6
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I only run one tank at a time and refill when it runs out. As I can run a few days on a single tank even in cold weather running the heater I am comfortable without a gauge. I also carry a spare smaller tank for my grill which could be used if required.
That's what I decided - a couple of grill tanks as spares - have them sitting around house anyway for grills, outdoor shower, & fireplace. Simply stack the leveling stackers under the tank and lock with top ring. Works great if you cannot get to a refill station in really cold weather.
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:36 PM   #7
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Its pretty simple as others have stated. Only use one tank at a time. As soon as it is empty go get it filled ASAP while using the other. You will never run out.
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Old 02-28-2018, 07:47 PM   #8
JohnandJoyce
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Sometimes the simplest answer is the best. I aggree, I have the gauges on each tank and when one runs out, and i know it's going to happen soon by monitoring the gauges, i switch them over and refill tank. Never run dry!!. A full 30 gal tank will take some time to run dry!. Lesson learned is you have to stay on top of it and always monitor the tanks.
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Old 02-24-2018, 09:33 PM   #9
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We have never felt the need for a gauge either.
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:18 PM   #10
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I never had the need for a gauge and I leave both open and I have for the BBQ if need to.

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Old 02-24-2018, 11:23 PM   #11
JohnandJoyce
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I went to Lowes and purchased a tank monitoring gage that screws right into your LP line, between the tank and the supply hose. It's made for your home LP Barbecue. No fuss, no muss. Just screw it on. I have one for each tank. Works great!!
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Old 02-24-2018, 11:35 PM   #12
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I went to Lowes and purchased a tank monitoring gage that screws right into your LP line, between the tank and the supply hose. It's made for your home LP Barbecue. No fuss, no muss. Just screw it on. I have one for each tank. Works great!!
I wonder how that works? Seems like the only thing it could measure would be pressure and I thought (maybe wrong) pressure remained constant until the tank was really low.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:43 AM   #13
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I too, use the Mopeka tank gauge. Did I need it? Nope. Is it nice to have? Yep! I can walk by the camper with my phone out and tap the app and it tells me exactly what is in each tank. That way I don't have to take off the tank straps and pick them up to know how much is in them before each trip.
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Old 02-25-2018, 06:41 AM   #14
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I do the one tank open at a time routine. It never ceases to amaze me that I have to go out and do the manual switch over in the middle of a cold night.
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:17 AM   #15
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Speaking of propane monitoring, with the dual auto switch over, am I correct in assuming that one tank will be totally depleted before the switch occurs if both tank valves are open? My last rig had a manual switch.
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Old 02-25-2018, 07:43 AM   #16
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In 50 years of owning an RV, I can only recall running completely out of propane one time and that was on the first trip with our 2006 SOB. The dealer said the tanks had been filled and I believed him. Oops, lesson learned about RV stealerships. I too only keep one tank on at a time, even with the auto changeover function. If one tank 'kicks' then I will then go out and turn the other one on even with the potential penalty of getting cold and wet at O-Dark-Thirty(which has happened). I've had more failed auto regulators, including the current one which failed on the last trip of last season, then empty tanks.

The Mopeka(sp?) is a nice gadget if you feel you need one though
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Old 02-25-2018, 08:57 AM   #17
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We have always run the tanks on auto changeover 4 TT's and 2 5th wheels over 25 years or so.We have never run completely out of propane.We have learned after years of Rv'ing how long a tank of propane will last in various weather conditions. We open the compartment and check accordingly. We have tried about every kind of tank gauge over the years and none of them work as well as auto changeover and looking. Strangely enough we have never had a regulator fail.
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Old 02-25-2018, 09:28 AM   #18
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Another option

Here’s another option for checking the propane level in your tanks. Its not as slick as a Bluetooth link on your phone, but works on the same principal and can be used on multiple tanks/rigs. Its less than half the cost of the Mopeka.

https://www.amazon.com/Dometic-LPGC1...70_&dpSrc=srch

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Old 02-25-2018, 03:21 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Starmaster View Post
Here’s another option for checking the propane level in your tanks. Its not as slick as a Bluetooth link on your phone, but works on the same principal and can be used on multiple tanks/rigs. Its less than half the cost of the Mopeka.

https://www.amazon.com/Dometic-LPGC1...70_&dpSrc=srch

Dave
Was wondering if that thing really works?? Hey Dave, where do you folks observe? I see your avatar is a telescope. Do you build them? Starmasters that is?
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Old 02-25-2018, 11:06 PM   #20
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Was wondering if that thing really works?? Hey Dave, where do you folks observe? I see your avatar is a telescope. Do you build them? Starmasters that is?
The thing works great, very accurate. Just press it up against the tank at various level from top to bottom. When the light turns from red to green, you’ve identified the propane level in the tank.

My avatar is a generic graphic, but I have several scopes, some like the refractor in the graphic, and also several reflectors. The pic in my sig was taken on top of Sandra Peak in Albuquerque. It was 70* at the base and 46* at the peak, darn cold in a T-shirt. Guess who’s wearing my sweatshirt!

I observe all over the US. I’ve logged observations in FL, MS, OK, NM, WI, MI, KS, TX, and MO to name a few. My main scope is a 14”, I always carry an 8” when we travel.

I have designed/built/modified several dobs of various sizes, but I don’t manufacuture any. Starmaster scopes were made by Rick Singmaster in Arcadia KS. Rick retired a couple of years ago, he was tired and had some health issues, its been about 6 months since I’ve talked to him.

Dave
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