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adding propane tank on off road van
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edgood1
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:54 am    Post subject: adding propane tank on off road van Reply with quote

I never installed the westy propane tank on my van. I rigged the stove top to use the small propane canisters and I run the fridge off 110v or 12v (rarely) which has worked great so far.

I'm considering installing a propex heater for cold camping, which will necessitate a bigger tank than the canisters.

I still have the stock propane tank in ok shape from my westy donor. I'm up in the air on using it though. I'll definitely replace all parts, or maybe just get a new one altogether.

Is the stock location really safe in off road conditions? My syncro has seen some rough locations.

Are there any other creative alternatives to mounting a propane tank on the outside of the van? maybe add more protection to it?
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pushkick
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:02 am    Post subject: ther are several options Reply with quote

first you could get a larger tank from busdepot i think it is a 10 gal vs a 3 gal. mount in the same place ($200)

get a 20lb tank at your local store for $30. but you have to find a place to mount. i have thought about mounting on roof in cargo carrier above
fron of camper van and lay on side. would be great to see some pics of existing mounting of this 20lb tank.
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edgood1
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject: Re: ther are several options Reply with quote

pushkick wrote:
first you could get a larger tank from busdepot i think it is a 10 gal vs a 3 gal. mount in the same place ($200)

get a 20lb tank at your local store for $30. but you have to find a place to mount. i have thought about mounting on roof in cargo carrier above
fron of camper van and lay on side. would be great to see some pics of existing mounting of this 20lb tank.


You lose a lot of ground clearance with the bus depot tank so its out.

I guess I want a tank that gives me more ground clearance, maybe one that tucks under there and sits above the skid bars.

maybe i'm dreaming...
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Californio
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my Syncro I have two standard Westfalia tanks mounted in the stock location and under the passenger sliding door. I was crawling some rocks a month ago, some high as your coffee table, and the skid bars under the drive shaft hit a couple times but never the propane tank skids. Obvious you could hit them, but it's never been a problem for me. I have 15" wheels so the ride height is a tiny bit larger.
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westyventures
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is little reason not to use the stock tank unless you are planning to drive over large boulders on a daily basis. I've had the stock tank installed for all of the 650,000km life of my van and have been some pretty extreme places off road, only once bent the guard. Just add a better protection plate and you'll be good to go.
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edgood1
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

interesting. thanks for the input guys. I may go with a stock tank then.
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pushkick
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 11:55 am    Post subject: manchester is the make of the stock tank Reply with quote

manchester is the make of the stock tank and they make alot of
styles of tanks. they make long skinny ones etc. look up their web site they will even quote a custom tank.

http://www.mantank.com/
or here

http://www.folandsales.com/index.asp?category=17194
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whynotvw
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i have a syncro weekender westy so it didn't come with propane tank. last winter i installed gowesty propane tank on the passenger side and installed propex at the same time.

the factory size propane tank holds plenty of propane for the propex heater and i didn't lose any ground clearance. the skid plate hangs lower then the propane tank. and i don't intend to go offroading on any time of boulders so i should be good.

good luck. Smile
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shepherdsond
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went through this exact thought process when I put a Westy interior into my 86 syncro. I thought the potential advantages of not using the Westy tank were:

1. less weight (especially with a composite tank)
2. cheaper (but not over a used tank)
3. easy to tell how much propane you have (shake it)
4. much easier to fill
5. carry a spare
6. more ground clearance

I was thinking along these lines:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=418414

In the end though I came back to the Westy tank (a used one with new fittings) when I realized how little ground clearance it really takes up. As the previous poster says the skid bars are lower than the tank. I can't remember having hit the tank on anything.

The Westy tank beats anything else in terms of convenience (except filling), safety, and not taking up inside space. It is also very easy to install and appears to provide plenty of propane for a few days of propex use.

As a side note my stove and fridge work much better than my previous van and I think it is because of the new double stage regulator.
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brab
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those that added the Westy propane tank (from VanCafe, BD or GW) to a Van that had never had it installed, did you need special brackets or did the tank install as is? I need to do this on my 7-passenger Syncro to get it ready for the camper kitchen. thx brab
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r39o
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a thread about putting that tank in.

The search should help you....although, it may be in the FAQ too.
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shepherdsond
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brab,
I dont remember exactly but I think the holes (maybe even the studs) were present for one bracket but I had to drill holes for the other. I just drilled the holes and fixed bolts in there with a nut and used it like a stud to bolt the tank to. I used a small piece of 1/8" aluminum (like a large square washer) on the inside to strengthen it and sealed it with RTV. Just take a look underneath to see what you have, very easy to do.
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