Propane canister mount to outside of rear door?

Mwilliamshs

Explorer
For several reasons, the safest place for fuel storage of any kind on a van is under the driver's side between the frame rails. As near to the OE fuel tank as possible is a good idea so it concentrates the combustibles in a single danger zone making them easier to protect. Hence, my propane tank is under the driver's side, mounted to the frame, next to the OE midship fuel tank location. If that weren't possible, I would say a ventilated fuel cabinet (vapor-tight to the van's interior) just aft of the driver's seat inside the van with a well-secured portable tank inside would be second best as that's where combustibles are carried in DOT approved service bodies.

Mounting a portable tank outside of a cabinet on the exterior of the vehicle at about bumper height in a defenseless position like on the rear and on the passenger's side corner at that, is basically worst-case scenario.
 

Stevemo

Member
I would get a Manchester underslung ASME tank. They seem to be pretty popular and have all the attachments you'll need. If you get one of those DOT tanks you'll have to keep getting it retested plus it doesn't look like it would run a flame very long.
 

5spd97

Member
A neighboring camper, and mechanical enginner, was showing me his homemade Transit conversion. His propane tank was secured in a 5 gal bucket that had one ofthose gasketed screw on lids. He had a hole drilled through the bottom of the bucket snd the floor of the van with a hose through both. I forget how he had the the propane plumbed up but that wouldnt be hard to do.
 

Mwilliamshs

Explorer
A neighboring camper, and mechanical enginner, was showing me his homemade Transit conversion. His propane tank was secured in a 5 gal bucket that had one ofthose gasketed screw on lids. He had a hole drilled through the bottom of the bucket snd the floor of the van with a hose through both. I forget how he had the the propane plumbed up but that wouldnt be hard to do.
Well he's an idiot. Go check a 5 gallon plastic bucket for static electricity. Then google static fire.
 

5spd97

Member
Well he's an idiot. Go check a 5 gallon plastic bucket for static electricity. Then google static fire.
I suspect that he would be happy to compare IQs with you. Maybe you could school everyone on the scenario where this would be a problem because Im not seeing it.

I've seen countless camper conversions where people mount 20 lb. propane bottles inside their vehicle. It might not be ideal but it's done frequently. The big problem seems to be providing an accessible location that is both sealed and has an exterior low point vent. Static electricity is a tricky thing but people carry gas in non conductive plastic containers every day, in fact the fuel tanks on many vehicles themselves are plastic.
 

luthj

Engineer In Residence
Euro installs routinely use interior mounted portable tanks (both OEM and DIY). By law they use containment boxes that are fully sealed to the interior, and have adequate exterior vent area to prevent gas from building up in the enclosure. Similar lockers are used on boats. it can be done safely, but you need to read up on the requirements. Essentially the box needs to not leak to the interior under a low pressure situation, and the vents need to be capable of allowing a significant gas leak to escape without pressure building in the enclosure.

A well mounted exterior ASME tank is an option as well. These tanks are very heavy duty, and will generally last the life of the vehicle if cared for.
 

5spd97

Member
Well he's an idiot. Go check a 5 gallon plastic bucket for static electricity. Then google static fire.
Well he was clearly not an idiot nor am I. He is retired and is still in high demand around the world for his engineering expertize. He also has spent the last 20 plus years sailing the world in his own sailboats and is incredibly well versed in live aboard systems and safety. He is a highly intelligent and well educated individual. I am also a retired registered engineer who has spent a career in the design and construction in heavy industrial/chemical environments.

Portable gas containers are made from non conductive plastics as are fuel tanks in many many vehicles. Travel trailers frequently have their propane tanks mounted on the tongue of the trailer and covered by polyethelene enclosurers. His sealed, secured, exterior vented bucket provides a quick and inexpensive storage locker to those wanting to carry propane inside their vehicles.
 

Alloy

Well-known member
Well he was clearly not an idiot nor am I. He is retired and is still in high demand around the world for his engineering expertize. He also has spent the last 20 plus years sailing the world in his own sailboats and is incredibly well versed in live aboard systems and safety. He is a highly intelligent and well educated individual. I am also a retired registered engineer who has spent a career in the design and construction in heavy industrial/chemical environments.

Portable gas containers are made from non conductive plastics as are fuel tanks in many many vehicles. Travel trailers frequently have their propane tanks mounted on the tongue of the trailer and covered by polyethelene enclosurers. His sealed, secured, exterior vented bucket provides a quick and inexpensive storage locker to those wanting to carry propane inside their vehicles.
Regarding the bucket....

If it contains a 20lb propane tank it requires 2" (round) opening at the top and the extreme bottom.

If it contains a 20lb propane tank the mounting of the bucket needs to withstand a force of 300lbs in all directions

It needs to have free (no doors with locks) access to the shut off valve on the tank. If free access cannot be provided a normally closed electric valve has to be installed within 9" of the tank outlet.
 

AbleGuy

Officious Intermeddler
Well he's an idiot. Go check a 5 gallon plastic bucket for static electricity. Then google static fire.
Well he was clearly not an idiot nor am I.
Just a friendly reminder FWIW....you know that resorting to calling people idiots here in the forum doesn’t really help elevate our discussions, conversations or debates on any of these issues, right?
 
Last edited:

shenrie

^^^ hates cars
One of the members of the smb forum removed one of the rear door windows and had a steel or aluminum plug made for it then reinstalled it like it was the window. He then mounted his propane tank to it (among other items). That way he didn’t have to drill any holes in the body or modify his aluminess bumper. I thought it was a great idea. It’s also considerably higher up and more likely out of harms way during a collision.

 
Last edited:

Ceegee

New member
View attachment 536083

I'd originally responded while on mobile and couldn't easily post a photo of what I was talking about. Here's a propane tank and fuel can mounted to a rack on the rear door. The racks hang on the door hinges, so the weight is not on the "skin" of the door. The only penetration is inside of the doors where the tab ties the rack to the door (so the racks swing open with the door).
@Herbie Thank you for the picture! Can you tell me where to purchase a propane rack like this?
 

Herbie

Rendezvous Conspirator
@Herbie Thank you for the picture! Can you tell me where to purchase a propane rack like this?
Of my two door racks, one is customized from a part for another van: http://herbiesworld.blogspot.com/2014/10/astrolander-update-rear-door-mounted.html
The other is scratch-built: https://herbiesworld.blogspot.com/2017/07/retro-post-astrolander-rear-door-rack.html

Both use the same basic idea of an "over-hinge" - a C-shaped assembly that fits over the existing door hinges. I drive out the original door pins (harder than it sounds), then put the new hinge over the existing hinges and put a longer pin of the same diameter through the whole mess. The rest of the rack is welded to the over-hinges. EDIT: Here's a photo of me checking the fit on the over-hinge after tacking it up.

overhinge.jpg

The actual aluminum Propane and Jerry-can holders are from AT Overland: https://atoverland.com/
 
Last edited:

Pntyrmvr

Adventurer
There's always someone to rain on a parade, but when it comes to propane on the back of a vehicle...

See 5.2.3 listed below.

Lengthy but important. Quoting an old SMB forum reply of mine.

"Thanks to wadewaydo for the NFPA link.

I have spent a few eye watering hours going through the rules and have put a list together that reflects the regs I am interested in.

Feel free to use this list at your own risk.

NFPA 1192- 2018

The NFPA 1192 Standard on Recreational Vehicles 2018 is available for purchase or free online only viewing by signing up as a member and using the built in online viewer. Go here to start: https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and...and-standards/detail?code=1192 Click on “Free Access” and follow it from there.

There are also older versions posted online in PDF form.

Here are the sections that most interested me in looking at propane regulations in an RV:

3.2.3 Labeled. Appliance marked by symbol of authority having jurisdiction over the unit.

3.2.4 Listed. Appliance included on a list by an authority having jurisdiction over the unit.

3.3.3 Appliance. Note difference between “heating appliance” and “heat-producing appliance”.

3.3.47 Propane container. Difference between DOT cylinder and ASME tank.

5.2.1 Maximum propane container capacities. Maximum of three 105 lb water capacity cylinders. One or more tanks with a maximum water capacity total of 200 gallons. (0.8 m3).

5.2.3 Location of propane containers. Where cylinders or tanks can be mounted. Not on the rear exterior or the rear bumper.

5.2.5 Heat shielding of propane containers and piping. Containers 18” minimum to heat-producing anything. Needs air gap baffle otherwise. Piping and hose 4.5” minimum or needs air gap baffle.

5.2.15 Regulators. Two stage needed to match maximum input of all appliances.

5.2.19 Pressure relief valve discharge distances.

5.3.1.4 Two stages of pressure regulation to appliances.

5.3.2.5 Propane piping specifications for material. (7) Type K or L meeting listed specification.

5.3.4 Propane pipe sizing tables. Match length and Btu loads to diameter required.

5.3.5 Joints for propane pipe. No left and right nipples or couplings. Specs on other methods.

5.3.6.1 Joints for propane tubing. Flare ends. No ball sleeve or internal compression fittings.

5.3.7 Pipe joint materials. Approved for propane. Male threads only.

5.3.8.1 Routing and protection of tubing and hose. Not to be run inside any concealed construction.

5.3.8.2 Tight fitting grommets where tubing or hose pass through walls. Heat and weather resistant.

5.3.8.3,4,5 Tubing or hose to be protected and unconcealed.

5.3.12 Connections. Regulators are not allowed to be directly attached to the shutoff valve of a cylinder.

5.3.18 Propane piping support. Various distances for piping support requirements.

5.4.1 Appliance must be listed.

5.4.2 Appliances except ranges and ovens must be vented to the outside.

5.4.6.4 Rules on RV manufacturer ensuring propane fridge will still vent properly after removal and re-installation.

5.5.2.1 Flue gas outlet from fuel burning heating appliances minimum 3 feet to motor driven air intake for living space.

5.5.3.1 Air inlet or flue gas outlet from fuel burning heating appliances minimum 3 feet from gasoline fuel filler spout. Annex A5.5.3 describes exclusion of diesel filler spouts.

5.6.6.5 Protection clearances for ranges with various burner ratings.

5.8.1 Warning labels and operating instructions required.

6.3.1, 6.3.2, 6.3.3 Smoke, carbon monoxide, and propane detector requirements.

6.4.2 Fire extinguisher requirements.

6.4.5 Internal combustion generators.

Table B.1 and Figure B.1 show typical propane supply system requirements.

Annex C shows product standard requirements.

Index is on page 56.

Most interesting or unexpected rule is that only fuel burning heaters have a minimum exhaust distance from fuel fillers and then only when the filler is for gasoline. Fridge doesn't count.

Essentially straightforward enough.

Oh, and no compression fittings in the propane line.

Cheers,

G."

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
 

quickfarms

Adventurer
There's always someone to rain on a parade, but when it comes to propane on the back of a vehicle...

See 5.2.3 listed below.

Lengthy but important. Quoting an old SMB forum reply of mine.

"Thanks to wadewaydo for the NFPA link.

I have spent a few eye watering hours going through the rules and have put a list together that reflects the regs I am interested in.

Feel free to use this list at your own risk.

NFPA 1192- 2018

The NFPA 1192 Standard on Recreational Vehicles 2018 is available for purchase or free online only viewing by signing up as a member and using the built in online viewer. Go here to start: https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and...and-standards/detail?code=1192 Click on “Free Access” and follow it from there.

There are also older versions posted online in PDF form.

Here are the sections that most interested me in looking at propane regulations in an RV:

3.2.3 Labeled. Appliance marked by symbol of authority having jurisdiction over the unit.

3.2.4 Listed. Appliance included on a list by an authority having jurisdiction over the unit.

3.3.3 Appliance. Note difference between “heating appliance” and “heat-producing appliance”.

3.3.47 Propane container. Difference between DOT cylinder and ASME tank.

5.2.1 Maximum propane container capacities. Maximum of three 105 lb water capacity cylinders. One or more tanks with a maximum water capacity total of 200 gallons. (0.8 m3).

5.2.3 Location of propane containers. Where cylinders or tanks can be mounted. Not on the rear exterior or the rear bumper.

5.2.5 Heat shielding of propane containers and piping. Containers 18” minimum to heat-producing anything. Needs air gap baffle otherwise. Piping and hose 4.5” minimum or needs air gap baffle.

5.2.15 Regulators. Two stage needed to match maximum input of all appliances.

5.2.19 Pressure relief valve discharge distances.

5.3.1.4 Two stages of pressure regulation to appliances.

5.3.2.5 Propane piping specifications for material. (7) Type K or L meeting listed specification.

5.3.4 Propane pipe sizing tables. Match length and Btu loads to diameter required.

5.3.5 Joints for propane pipe. No left and right nipples or couplings. Specs on other methods.

5.3.6.1 Joints for propane tubing. Flare ends. No ball sleeve or internal compression fittings.

5.3.7 Pipe joint materials. Approved for propane. Male threads only.

5.3.8.1 Routing and protection of tubing and hose. Not to be run inside any concealed construction.

5.3.8.2 Tight fitting grommets where tubing or hose pass through walls. Heat and weather resistant.

5.3.8.3,4,5 Tubing or hose to be protected and unconcealed.

5.3.12 Connections. Regulators are not allowed to be directly attached to the shutoff valve of a cylinder.

5.3.18 Propane piping support. Various distances for piping support requirements.

5.4.1 Appliance must be listed.

5.4.2 Appliances except ranges and ovens must be vented to the outside.

5.4.6.4 Rules on RV manufacturer ensuring propane fridge will still vent properly after removal and re-installation.

5.5.2.1 Flue gas outlet from fuel burning heating appliances minimum 3 feet to motor driven air intake for living space.

5.5.3.1 Air inlet or flue gas outlet from fuel burning heating appliances minimum 3 feet from gasoline fuel filler spout. Annex A5.5.3 describes exclusion of diesel filler spouts.

5.6.6.5 Protection clearances for ranges with various burner ratings.

5.8.1 Warning labels and operating instructions required.

6.3.1, 6.3.2, 6.3.3 Smoke, carbon monoxide, and propane detector requirements.

6.4.2 Fire extinguisher requirements.

6.4.5 Internal combustion generators.

Table B.1 and Figure B.1 show typical propane supply system requirements.

Annex C shows product standard requirements.

Index is on page 56.

Most interesting or unexpected rule is that only fuel burning heaters have a minimum exhaust distance from fuel fillers and then only when the filler is for gasoline. Fridge doesn't count.

Essentially straightforward enough.

Oh, and no compression fittings in the propane line.

Cheers,

G."

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk

The NFPA can't make rules or laws that we have to obey; the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a citizen run organization. In the United States, the National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) fire codes are strange.
 

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