Let's talk about ASME propane tank installations (vans)

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Hi,
I'm at the point with my van build where an ASME propane tank is needed. I've found a 10 x 42 inch ASME tank from a salvage Ford 1-ton motorhome (for $150.00) and it will fit in the space I have. The math leads me to expect that this tank will be hold about 10 gallons and give me around 8 gallons of propane. This should run my Propex heater and cook stove for a whole summer unless I use a propane fireplace during burn restrictions.

So, I'm wondering about clearances for an RV propane tank. My muffler is within 24 inches of the intended tank location and that bothers me. Some searching for clearance specs turns up stuff for giant propane tanks. Not much about RV installations. Also, I plan to install my Propex under the chassis by either building a cold-rolled steel protective box or replacing it with the new 2211 model. This would probably lead to some clearance issues too (combustion exhaust and propane lines running near van exhaust).

I could just run propane lines inside the van (and mount the Propex inside) but I like the idea of keeping all that crap out of the living space. It would also be easier to tinker with the Propex under the van because I have about 20 inches of clearance below. If it is inside I wouldn't have much space for maintenance and troubleshooting.

I can't be the first dude to tackle this? Can anyone provide any tips from experience? I'd appreciate it!
 

Mwilliamshs

Explorer
OE installs typically place underbody propane tanks just aft of the driver's door (LHD). Most OE van exhaust systems are next to the passenger framerail with passenger side outlet(s). No interference in that case. Likely why specs are scarce, no need.
 

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
OE installs typically place underbody propane tanks just aft of the driver's door (LHD). Most OE van exhaust systems are next to the passenger framerail with passenger side outlet(s). No interference in that case. Likely why specs are scarce, no need.
I went out in two feet of snow and crawled under it today. You are right. The exhaust is on the passenger side. So, that just became easy. The salvage RV also has a mid-eighties 1-ton frame and I'm hoping that the mounting brackets are more or less compatible with mine.

I'm going to run a Partner Steel stove and a Propex. The Internets indicate that the Partner Steel needs 17 psi (or high-pressure propane) and the Propex needs "11 bar" (or low-pressure propane). I've found a two-stage regulator that matches specs for the Propex but I'm not sure what to do with the stove connection. I suppose I'll need a manifold of some sort?

If I can have a third high-pressure quick-release available for a propane fire place (during burn restrictions only) that would be very good. So, I suppose you'd run a high-pressure line from the tank to a manifold, then tap off with a low-pressure regulator for the heater, a high-pressure regulator for the stove , and whatever regulator that ships with a fire place? It sounds like this stuff will take a bit of room and I'm not sure if having all that underneath the rig full time is a good idea.

Thoughts?
 

Recommended books for Overlanding

Drive Nacho Drive: A Journey from the American Dream to t...
by Brad Van Orden, Sheena Van Orden
From $15.95
The Total Approach of Getting Unstuck Off Road: 4WD Self-...
by Robert Wohlers
From $59.95
Crossing the Congo: Over Land and Water in a Hard Place
by Mike Martin, Chloe Baker, Charlie Hatch-Barnwell
From $29.19
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide route and planning guide...
by Chris Scott
From $21.04
Overlanders' Handbook: Worldwide Route & Planning Guide: ...
by Chris Scott
From $29.95

Mwilliamshs

Explorer
Partner stoves run 27 psi regulators, not 17. Propex runs on 11" water column, not BAR. 11" WC is like .02 BAR. 11 BAR would be over ten times greater than the atmospheric air pressure on Earth at sea level.

Just run hardline from the tank through a tee and then to the partner regulator then the stove. From a different branch of the same tee to the propex regulator then to the furnace. Never seen a propane fireplace in a van and no idea how a burn ban would affect an indoor appliance. I suspect the venting requirements of a fireplace would be substantial.
 
Last edited:

jacobconroy

Hillbilly of Leisure
Thanks, that arrangement was my thinking too.

I didn't express the fireplace part too clearly. This would be something outside like a "Campfire-in-a-can" type. I had one before and they are better than nothing in July.
 

Mwilliamshs

Explorer
Portable campfires like that I've seen use an adjustable regulator like fish cookers. That would just need a full pressure line from the tank to the regulator. Look at the extend-a-stay tee adapters.
 
Top