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Old 09-30-2006, 08:56 PM
Goodyear Travels
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Default Horizontal tank gauges

Our new 2720sl came equipped with horizontal propane tanks. Each gauge has (2) scales working off the same dial indicator. One scale is for reading tank pressure in the horizontal position and the other scale is for reading tank pressure in the vertical position. The gauges on both tanks indicated that the dealer had only filled them slightly more than 1/2 full when we picked up the trailer. Since we are getting ready for our first RV experience in the TM -- I pulled the tanks and took them to be topped off. But both were already full and spewed white liquid as soon as the attendent pressurized them (filling is performed only in the vertical position). I was wondering if these type of gauges are just inherently inaccurate or if they are actually defective. Can anyone enlighten me ?
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Old 10-01-2006, 07:45 AM
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Bill Bill is offline
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Mine do the same thing. It doesn't thrill me, but I've learned to make the mental adjustment.

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  #3  
Old 10-01-2006, 02:15 PM
countrygirl countrygirl is offline
 
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When we looked at new Trailmanors last month at J.D. Sanders in Alachua, Fl. we noiced the gas tanks were lying down instead of standing up. The salesman told us that they were filled in that position...is this correct?
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Old 10-01-2006, 03:58 PM
Goodyear Travels
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Default Filled in vertical position

The bottles on my '07, 2720sl say "fill in the vertical position only". They have to be removed from their cradles for filling which is a bit physically demanding.
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Old 10-01-2006, 04:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countrygirl View Post
When we looked at new Trailmanors last month at J.D. Sanders in Alachua, Fl. we noiced the gas tanks were lying down instead of standing up. The salesman told us that they were filled in that position...is this correct?
This was addressed quite recently, but since it is important, I'll say it again.

Each tank has a label on it. The label will say "Fill in vertical position only" or "Fill in horizontal position only". TM uses both kinds of tanks. You MUST follow the label instructions.

Even if your tanks say "Fill horizontal", you have to remove them from the cradle, since the cradle doesn't allow enough space to put the fill pipe on them. With the newer TMs, this is reasonably easy, since there is only one bolt per tank, and you can undo that bolt by hand. On older TMs, there were three bolts per tank, and you needed a wrench to remove them. On my 2002 TM, I simply clipped the proper wrench (I've forgotten the size) on the inside of the A-frame, to keep it handy.

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  #6  
Old 10-01-2006, 08:23 PM
RockyMtnRay RockyMtnRay is offline
 
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Default The gauges are accurate; the cause of incomplete filling is the OPD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Larson View Post
Our new 2720sl came equipped with horizontal propane tanks. Each gauge has (2) scales working off the same dial indicator. One scale is for reading tank pressure in the horizontal position and the other scale is for reading tank pressure in the vertical position. The gauges on both tanks indicated that the dealer had only filled them slightly more than 1/2 full when we picked up the trailer. Since we are getting ready for our first RV experience in the TM -- I pulled the tanks and took them to be topped off. But both were already full and spewed white liquid as soon as the attendent pressurized them (filling is performed only in the vertical position). I was wondering if these type of gauges are just inherently inaccurate or if they are actually defective. Can anyone enlighten me ?
Whether or not the horizontal tanks say to fill vertically or horizontally, the reason you did not...nor will not...be able to fill them more than much above the 1/2 full point on the gauges is the OPD (overfill protection device). An OPD is a float valve inside the tank that's specifically designed to prevent the tanks from being filled beyond the 80% point. The reason an OPD exists is to prevent overfill. If overfill does occur, there isn't enough expansion room on warm day, which in turn will cause the emergency overpressure vent valve to open. If that valve opens and the tank is inside a closed area (e.g a garage) then the area will fairly quickly fill with vented gas and even a tiny spark will ignite it (propane is heavier than air). Result: a huge explosion and fire. Like at the the Electric Mountain Lodge here in Colorado last winter

There was a problem with the OPD on one of the tanks on my TM when it was delivered...it actually would allow complete filling of that tank. That tank would indicate "F" after filling...the other tank would only indicate about 2/3 after filling. I thought the tank that would only fill to 2/3 had something wrong with the gauge.

And then one day, I heard and smelled gas escaping from the tank (the one that was indicating "F") after it had been in the afternoon sun for a couple of hours. Turning off the tank valve did not stop the escaping gas...it stopped only after the sun dropped enough that the tank was shaded. Thankfully the trailer was outside and there was a decent breeze to waft away the escaping propane...or I (or my TM) probably wouldn't be here today. A few weeks later, I received a recall notice from Manchester Tank (the manufacturer of the tanks on my TM) advising me that I may have defective OPDs and instructing me on how to get the OPDs replaced before next use. Manchester followed up by sending new OPDs for both tanks and paid for a local propane distributor to properly change them out. Now neither tank indicates above 2/3 when "filled" and I couldn't be happier about that.

If you look really, really close at the gauge you'll likely see the actual level when "full" is about 2/3. If the propane fill facility has very high pressure pumps, it might be 3/4. But if the OPD is working correctly...and in light of my experience, you better hope that it is...then you'll never see more than 3/4 on the gauge after a fillup.
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I use my TM as a base camp for hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and climbing Colorado's 14ers


The Trailer: 2002 TM Model 2720SL ( Mods: Solar Panels (170 Watts), Dual T-105 Batteries, Electric Tongue Jack, Side AC, Programmable Thermostat, Doran TP Monitor System)

The Tow Vehicle: 2003 Toyota Tundra V8 SR5 4X4 w/Tow Package (Towing & Performance Mods: JBA Headers, Gibson Muffler, 4.30 gears, Michelin LTX M/S Tires, Prodigy Brake Controller, Transmission Temperature Gauge)


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  #7  
Old 10-01-2006, 10:20 PM
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tucsoncarol tucsoncarol is offline
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Default Thank you, Ray.

I'm stunned that I have taken my tanks in to be filled and talked to "knowledgeable" people about the failure to fully fill yet no one mentioned it as a safety feature. I figured the gauges were just not very good. Looks like they are doing exactly what they should and I just didn't realize.
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  #8  
Old 10-01-2006, 10:41 PM
Goodyear Travels
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Default Glad you explained OPD's

Ray, Thank you for explaining the tank gauge mystery. 115 degress, full tanks, and full Phoenix sun sound like a dangerous combination. I can "live" with a 1/2 to 2/3 fill. Eric
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2006, 10:41 AM
Scopegeek
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Default Filling Propane Tanks

Being a new TM owner, I have only filled my tanks twice; at two different locations. One was a truck stop and the other a Propane Service Provider. Both refused to fill the tanks while on my TM regardless of the mounting configuration. They required the tanks to be sitting on the ground. Since the previous owner couldn't remember the combination to the lock cable on the tanks I had to cut the cable before I could fill the tanks. A recent propane explosion and fire here in Vegas has evidently reinforced this position. They sited needing to ensure the tanks were grounded and they absolutely would not refill the tanks until they were sitting on the ground.

I know some RVs have internal propane tanks so there are probably exceptions to this rule. For safety, I think I'll just dismount my tanks whenever I have them refilled, regardless of the service provider's position.
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  #10  
Old 11-12-2006, 11:26 AM
edweidig
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Default Filling propane tanks

Whenever I had my tanks filled they had to be removed from the unit and filled on a scale by weight rather than volume. A "full" tank has a specific weight, not to be exceeded exactly for the safety reasons stated above.
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