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Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk Common features found in Sprinter RV's and Conversions.


View Poll Results: Do you use a vented propane locker?
Yes! It is the safe and reasonable thing to do. 22 68.75%
No. As long as you turn off your valves you're fine. 10 31.25%
Voters: 32. You may not vote on this poll | Withdraw Vote

 
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Old 10-10-2019, 10:34 AM   #21
sparkplug
 
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

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Originally Posted by NBB View Post
That's not true. I have been to propane fillers where their equipment did not trigger on the pressure increase when the float closed the valve - and just kept filling until the tank was 100% liquid. The tank's float was in working order and worked elsewhere before and after. You really need to pay attention to a scale and/or the gallons filled.
Interesting...

I looked up on the Gas-It knowledgebase and it seems that you are correct.

The good news is that I will mainly be filling this up myself from the LPG pumps at gas stations in Europe so I'll make a point of checking my fuel gauge before filling up and calculating how many litres should be going into the tank.

Fortunately I bought a much larger tank than I'm going to need for any single trip so I can afford to be a bit conservative when filling up to avoid the overfill.

I've learned something - so, thank you!
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Old 10-10-2019, 03:58 PM   #22
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

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Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
Occasional transport of a LPG tank inside the vehicle is generally an acceptable risk IF the tank is properly secured, and the valve closed. The amount of time/miles the tank spends in the vehicle is generally minuscule compared to the permanent installs. Plus you won't be turning the tank on/off inside the vehicle, and as such there is no risk of a failed line or regulator to worry about.
You still have to make sure they did not overfill it. My "incident" was exactly that. They had overfilled it and the slightly warmer car set off the vent. I now fill my grill cylinder a block from my house and only go when it is cooler. I do secure the tank in the back of an SUV, but I cringe every time I have one in the back of the vehicle.

I do not know if the OPD device in under vehicle Horizontal ASME tanks works better or not. One did fail in the shut off position one time. There is a float that sticks into the tank and closes off the filler when the level gets high. When it failed, it would not fill any place that tried. It was replaced under warranty at a real propane dealer / repair place.

Regards,

Mark
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Old 10-10-2019, 06:41 PM   #23
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

I have used propane for cooking in boats and vans for over 40 years, I am comfortable using it but I am also very careful. My sprinter has a vented propane locker inside the van, I also always close off the bottle after each use. A under the van tank is safer but not if you can't shut the valve easily. Your tank might be under the van but the appliances are inside along with the hoses and valves. A leak can happen any place on the system. All electric sounds great but is very expensive and very definitely not immune to fires.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:35 PM   #24
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

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Originally Posted by marklg View Post
You still have to make sure they did not overfill it. My "incident" was exactly that. They had overfilled it and the slightly warmer car set off the vent. I now fill my grill cylinder a block from my house and only go when it is cooler. I do secure the tank in the back of an SUV, but I cringe every time I have one in the back of the vehicle.
A close relative of mine, now no longer with us, had a story about loading propane from a big storage facility located in a major northeast harbor city into a semi-truck trailer for transport. He arrived at the loading dock past midnight, hooked up, and started filling the tank. He was tired, though, and fell asleep. He woke up about an hour before sunrise with the pumps straining and his trailer full. Unfortunately, he was only supposed to fill to 80% in order to allow for expansion. You know, like occurs when the sun rises and warms things up.

The facility had to be cleared out, the fire department mustered, and the excess contents offloaded. Very carefully, with time a factor.

Then there was the time he jackknifed then rolled a propane tanker driving in winter weather on a major highway... good times.
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Old 10-11-2019, 06:54 PM   #25
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

A minimum for me would be a vented locker and LP gas detector on a circuit that cannot be accidentally turned off or has a battery backup.
The gas detector regardless of whether the tank is mounted inside or out.

A LP gas detector will go off long before gas levels reach combustable or asphyxiation levels. Even before you smell the odorant.

LP has been standard on RV's for decades. Like electrical it can be incredible safe if installed correctly, and has consequences if it isn't.
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Old 10-12-2019, 05:06 AM   #26
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

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Originally Posted by Island Jim View Post
I have used propane for cooking in boats and vans for over 40 years, I am comfortable using it but I am also very careful. My sprinter has a vented propane locker inside the van, I also always close off the bottle after each use. A under the van tank is safer but not if you can't shut the valve easily. Your tank might be under the van but the appliances are inside along with the hoses and valves. A leak can happen any place on the system. All electric sounds great but is very expensive and very definitely not immune to fires.

I think it is easier to build in multiple fail safes on an electrical system. Fuses, circuit breakers, gfci, over current protection on BMS equiped batteries, and over current protection on inverters.
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Old 10-13-2019, 05:13 AM   #27
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

I will admit to being one of the complete fools who voted no, so here is an alternative view. I have a 20 pound tank inside that I've been both cooking and using to heat my daily shower water to 105F with for over a year now, haven't even had to refill it yet. Incredible power density and power per dollar. I also have 200AH of batteries but average 118AH of discharge per day as is, running other things. About a quarter of the days, 660 watts of solar panels do not bring the charge back up to 100%, be it from snow on the roof, clouds, parking under at tree, etc. I'm really happy to have propane.

For safety, I have a propane detector mounted where it should be. If I leave a burner open without lighting it, detector goes off. I've also had it go off when using a MAP gas torch to heat something during the build, it's very sensitive. The tank is mounted in a "sealed" container with a bottom vent through the floor, but no make-up air. It would have been ugly and inconvenient to add a makeup air vent, and in my judgement, it's not needed. If the tank leaks, it may fill the compartment before pushing out to the atmosphere, but a spark within the compartment is highly unlikely. My regulator is outside the compartment (because it was much easier to package), as are all the hoses, the stove, the water heater (which is explicitly prohibited from being used in a mobile application). If any of those components start leaking, the detector is going to go off and/or I'm going to smell it. Now and then I look at the hoses to make sure they're not slowly chafing. For the first few weeks, I shut off the tank valve when not in use, but eventually stopped doing that.

If propane tanks are so dangerous, I'd expect to read about RV's and vans exploding more often. Lots of things can kill but it's about the statistics. If anyone has the numbers I'd be interested, but my vote is to do what makes you feel safe rather than following every regulation to a T, as a lot of the result will come down to installation details, workmanship, understanding of the risk. I'm personally a lot more worried about getting hit by a texting driver than my van blowing up.
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:09 AM   #28
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

A very close call that I posted previously...

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=77473

Keith.

PS Two errors here - No sealed locker and Tank mounted upside down.
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Old 10-13-2019, 04:35 PM   #29
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

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Originally Posted by markxengineering View Post
...

If propane tanks are so dangerous, I'd expect to read about RV's and vans exploding more often. ...
Being that most all commercial RV's (and vans for that matter) that I have seen have externally mounted propane tanks I don't think that your example is valid.

I agree that a texting driver or highway accident is a bigger concern. That does nothing to mitigate the real dangers of propane systems that are mounted in the interior space of a van conversion.

Carry on.

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Old 10-13-2019, 04:48 PM   #30
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Default Re: Vented Propane Locker - a Must? Yes/No Poll

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Originally Posted by markxengineering View Post
If propane tanks are so dangerous, I'd expect to read about RV's and vans exploding more often. Lots of things can kill but it's about the statistics. If anyone has the numbers I'd be interested, but my vote is to do what makes you feel safe rather than following every regulation to a T, as a lot of the result will come down to installation details, workmanship, understanding of the risk. I'm personally a lot more worried about getting hit by a texting driver than my van blowing up.
The only statistics I can find are that there are between 3,000 and 20,000 RV fires every year, depending on who is counting. I could not find breakdowns of the causes except that Propane fires, especially in the Fridge are a significant cause. You have to realize that individual events just don't get publicized like events that affect large numbers of people do. The news goes for sensationalistic stories. If there is no video it didn't happen.

Just because you don't read it on the internet doesn't mean it didn't happen. It certainly appears that no one is really counting.

You may certainly be right that texting and driving causes more accidents. Maybe seek out someone who is a firefighter and ask them. You may not like what they say though.

I've participated in Aviation industry safety groups and you should not discount the work of folks like these. The people I've worked with are some of the sharpest, most knowledgeable about the real world and genuinely interested in saving lives I've ever met. I'm sure that is also true with the people who work on the requirements for RVs.

Regards,

Mark
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