Mounting propane cylinder underneath

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Mounting propane cylinder underneath

Postby pcampbell » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:34 pm

I'm a bit of noobie with building campers so be gentle :)

I am working on a design that is more TTT than teardrop for off road use. The design is going well and I'll share it soon for feedback.

One thing I have not been able to find a good answer on is the reasonableness of mounting the propane cylinder actually inside an outer access door in the body...as opposed to the tongue. The trailer has a space underneath that is closed off from the living area and mounting the bottle there would get it closer to the axle and help distribute the side to side weight better as well. I am concerned with safety though and realize the tongue mount is probably the safest. I would vent the compartment to the atmosphere but it is still under the bed. Do not want to be sleeping on a time bomb :?

Do larger campers mount their bottles underneath? I see several that claim to have propane but the bottle is hidden. Any thoughts?

Thanks

Paul
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Postby madjack » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:00 pm

Paul, many(if not all) motor homes have their propane tank(s) mounted underneath...some in a protected and vented compartment, many out in the open...the thing to realize is the valve MUST be on top, otherwise you are allowing liquid propane instead of the gaseous form to enter the system...this can be VERY DANGEROUS...most of these units are horizontal style tanks with the fill/use valve mounted on the side of the body of the tank and that valve mounted in the upright position...since you are talking about an off road tear, care must be taken to prevent the tank from coming into contact with rocks and such you may traveling over............
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Postby pcampbell » Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:17 pm

Thanks. I guess I am paranoid.

Here is where I'd like to put it...

Image

I have the box on the front but would prefer it be underneath. It offsets the engel fridge which is on the other side and brings it closer to the axle.
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Postby jimqpublic » Mon Dec 08, 2008 4:33 pm

Propane is heavier than air, so seal the sides of the compartment and put a vent in the floor.
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Postby 48Rob » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:54 pm

I agree with Jim's thoughts.
I see no reason it wouldn't work in that location with the proper precautions.
No doubt you plan to secure it well... being an off road trailer.
The use of a high strength flexible gas line, such as are used on fork lifts might be good also, as a measure against jarring and vibration.

I like the profile. :thumbsup:


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Postby mikeschn » Mon Dec 08, 2008 7:09 pm

pcampbell wrote:Thanks. I guess I am paranoid.

Here is where I'd like to put it...

Image

I have the box on the front but would prefer it be underneath. It offsets the engel fridge which is on the other side and brings it closer to the axle.


What's that on top?

Oh, and welcome to the forum! :)

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Postby pcampbell » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:31 pm

mikeschn wrote:
What's that on top?

Oh, and welcome to the forum! :)

Mike...


Pop up...though I'm torn between a full length pop up and a swing up style that only lifts at the back.

I'm still messing with the design. Had about 4 distinct variation so far and I'm still not settled. The current one is coming closest to my specifications. I'll post up a full overview soon for some positive criticism. :)
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Postby pcampbell » Mon Dec 08, 2008 8:34 pm

48Rob wrote:I agree with Jim's thoughts.
I see no reason it wouldn't work in that location with the proper precautions.
No doubt you plan to secure it well... being an off road trailer.
The use of a high strength flexible gas line, such as are used on fork lifts might be good also, as a measure against jarring and vibration.

I like the profile. :thumbsup:


Rob


Definitely concerned with vibration causing leaks and the gas collecting in the compartment. Good idea on the forklift line. I'll have to work on a good design for venting it. Sealing the compartment from all the rest of the trailer will be a concern since a water crossing will flood it. It would have to be able to drain back out easily and easy to hose debris out of. Of course that is a factor of how I finish out the surface more than anything I suppose.
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Postby Miriam C. » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:32 pm

First Image to the playground. Nice design so we will want a full photo log of this one. 8)

Sealing the chamber shouldn't be an issue. You can use epoxy and then some shower pan liner (pvc) or fiberglass it. All should keep it good for water and gas. You can also make sure your hatch door seals really well and that will help. :thumbsup: ;)
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Postby jdarkoregon » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:32 am

Paul,

Nice to have you around, and thats a nice offroad, it will look good behind that toyota you have in your website.

Give us some more to look at with that topper you are thinking about.

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Postby brian_bp » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:07 pm

That looks like an excellent mounting location to me. :thumbsup:

In addition to all the motorhomes with horizontal tanks mounted permanently underneath, almost every modern fifth-wheel trailer (and a number of conventional travel trailers) have ordinary portable vertical cylinder propane tanks (20 lb and 30 lb) mounted in outside-access compartments like this; I believe that slide-in truck campers are arranged the same way.

These compartments routinely have no floor at all (other than the bracket and other other supporting frame), and the cabinet door is never lockable (it needs to be accessible in an emergency). The same plumbing is used as if it were on the tongue, but often the mount is a slide-out (for units with two tanks one further in than the other) and in that case the regulator slides out with the tanks. There appears to be no need to vent the door, as long as the bottom is wide open.
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Postby pcampbell » Tue Dec 09, 2008 2:59 pm

Thanks everyone. That's some good info and just what I needed. Should be no problem to mount and vent it in that location.

I'll start a thread soon on the design. It's overkill in places and I'm starting to go back and clean it up. It'll be ready for public review soon.

Paul
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Postby pricecw » Tue Dec 09, 2008 5:45 pm

I have a slide in truck camper with that system. Door to the outside, vent in the bottom of door, underneath one of the bench seats/bed around the table.

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