Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
Is the under-body propane tank a hazard?
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
zippyslug31
Samba Member


Joined: July 20, 2007
Posts: 792
Location: Portland, OR area
zippyslug31 is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:08 pm    Post subject: Is the under-body propane tank a hazard? Reply with quote

Having a syncro westy in rocky terrain has always made me wonder how safe that propane tank under the vehicle is. Maybe I'm just paranoid but a tank of explosive gas hanging under a car driven off-road seems to be a recipe for disaster. The guard around the valve/regulator wouldn't take much to deform; a direct hit would likely sheer off the valve allowing a sudden release of propane.

Searched around and only really found some comments in this thread:
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=443751

It's one thing to over-think this sort of thing, and another to dismiss this hazard.... has anybody ever had a real world experience of clobbering this tank with no problems afterward? Anybody have any technical data on exactly what sort of forces it would take to cause a rupture?
_________________
previous: '80 westy
current: '90 syncro westy featuring 2.5 subi, front & rear lockers, decoupler, 16" wheels, and an empty bank account. Also added an '84 sunroof van, all original and unmolested except running a 2.1L motor.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Ahwahnee
Samba Member


Joined: June 05, 2010
Posts: 8280
Location: Mt Lemmon, AZ
Ahwahnee is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That tank is pretty stout, plus (as I understand it) the explosive power of propane, though considerable, is greatest when it is a gas in a confined space. A leak into the open air (e.g. from a damaged tank) while not harmless is not necessarily an imminent disaster.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
skivan
Samba Member


Joined: October 05, 2008
Posts: 120
Location: Boise, ID
skivan is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mine was off when i bought the van and now i'm going to put one on the back and replumb for a heater and the stove. i don't like it underneath as a skid plate. on a rear swing-a-way it will work well also for a zodi shower and to hook up the bbq.
_________________
'87 subaru westy syncro
'04 TDI passat wagon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Ahwahnee
Samba Member


Joined: June 05, 2010
Posts: 8280
Location: Mt Lemmon, AZ
Ahwahnee is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

skivan wrote:
... i don't like it underneath as a skid plate. on a rear swing-a-way it will work well...


Just an observation -- I don't think I have ever seen a vehicle hit from beneath, but have seen a great many rear-ended.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
joseph928
Samba Member


Joined: September 22, 2011
Posts: 2114
Location: flagstaff az.
joseph928 is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:42 pm    Post subject: propane tank Reply with quote

Blue Bay Bus I thought about this a lot. Decided to take it out. Put in a TF49 only had a stove to deal with. So went with a 1LB propane bottle in sink cabinet works well . In Moab I would of bashed the old tank, glad I did this! Now my side rock bars will protect both sides, now that the tank is gone.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Very Happy
_________________
1987 syncro westy tin top sun roof , GW2.3, rear locker, decoupler, Gary Lee tire rack & winch mount, lift, south african grill, big brakes , rhein alloy ,15 BFG AT, Fiamma 10 foot awning ,140 watt rear 85 watt front solar , mppt, truckfridge, automatic fire extinguishing system, tencent oil cooler, And a RMW SS exhaust! - 1971 bug convertible 1776 engine- 2010 Subaru turbo - 1993 Toyota 4x4 truck - 1999 Harley 95 CI, big bore, Andrews cams . Also 80-84- vans. Stock 65 sunroof bug.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
NorCalbuggy
Samba Member


Joined: March 06, 2006
Posts: 118
Location: Tracy, California
NorCalbuggy is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahwahnee wrote:

Just an observation -- I don't think I have ever seen a vehicle hit from beneath, but have seen a great many rear-ended.


I would agree - I'm not a fan of gas cans or propane on the rear of a vehicle...
_________________
"Steam seems to have killed all gratitude in the hearts of sailors"

1987 Westfalia Vanagon - "Clifford"
Max & Andrew
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
PDXWesty
Samba Member


Joined: April 11, 2006
Posts: 5717
Location: Portland OR
PDXWesty is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think there's a reason to over think this one. I've never heard of a van catching fire due to a propane tank being ruptured from an impact, rocks or otherwise. The valving is protected with the skid plate. 25 years of road use and many millions of miles should be enough to ease your concerns.
_________________
89 Westy 2.1 Auto
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
bluebus86
Samba Member


Joined: September 02, 2010
Posts: 10072

bluebus86 is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Think FORD PINTO!

remember the gasoline tank is also under the van. same issue, yet we live with it. I'd not worry too much about it, Of course you could add some extra steel under and around the propane tank for extra security.

Tank on the rear is not a good idea in my opinion. I have been in three pretty bad car crashes, all three of the cars i was driving were totaled, all caused by someone rear ending me.

I have never even dented my under floor gasoline tank, ever.

If I had a flammable gas tank on the rear of either of the three cars that were totaled in a rear end crash, there likely would have been a big fuel leak.

If looks mean anything a rear bumper mounted tank is ugly in my opinon. and is more likely theft prone.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Racerrojo
Samba Member


Joined: August 01, 2006
Posts: 823
Location: ALBUQUERQUE 87120
Racerrojo is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the idea of the 1lb bottle, but mostly for convenience, filling the tank can be a hassle specially if the hardware its not upgraded, that and I never cook in the van, now if you run a propex or such, its more convenient, then again a 20lbs BBQ that can be exchange at a service station or Seven Eleven makes more sense to me.
BTW I have seen a van with a gaping hole in the tank but the van was in the junk yard and it could had been intencional
_________________
Tight is tight... too tight is expensive!!!!


Too many vans and mostly all projects Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Crankey
Samba Member


Joined: July 11, 2004
Posts: 2043

Crankey is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

while I worked in a blacksmith shop we ran our forge on propane

I was told if we had a leak the gas would flow onto the floor and if it caught on fire it would catch everything else on the floor on fire if it would burn.

we used a big bottle about 4 ft tall. if we ran the forge for a long time it would freeze up on the bottom so we would put our hot parts around the base...agents the ring that is the foot of the bottle to help thaw it out.

it made me a little nervous but I trusted my boss and nothing ever happened. it wasn't like we had huge piles of stuff up agents the bottle...just a few parts.

having said that I'd still be concerned with it. if I had a camper I might be compelled to make an extra guard around the valve.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Classifieds Feedback
rfoubi
Samba Member


Joined: March 21, 2004
Posts: 204
Location: Rossland BC
rfoubi is offline 

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are there other smaller, narrower or different shaped tanks that would tuck up along the frame rails out of the way? In particular, to add to a non-westy van? Im thinking of a propex at some point in the future and would prefer something that was less of a dangler than the tanks ive seen on westies.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
skivan
Samba Member


Joined: October 05, 2008
Posts: 120
Location: Boise, ID
skivan is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

NorCalbuggy wrote:
Ahwahnee wrote:

Just an observation -- I don't think I have ever seen a vehicle hit from beneath, but have seen a great many rear-ended.


I would agree - I'm not a fan of gas cans or propane on the rear of a vehicle...


thanks for the input.

i have annoying green bottles plumbed inside now, but haven't installed the heater yet, and no tank on the bottom since i bought it. i'm not buying a new tank to install underneath a syncro and further decrease my clearance, Clarence. Yes, i am that cool that i worry about offroading in my syncro westy.

the good thing is that both my soon to be big propane tank and gas tanks on the back swing away are removable, and carried when necessary.
_________________
'87 subaru westy syncro
'04 TDI passat wagon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Phishman068
Samba Member


Joined: February 19, 2007
Posts: 1601
Location: Pittsburgh PA (ish)
Phishman068 is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

the gas tank on the bottom of the van only exists on a 2wd, which generally don't get offroaded to the same extreme as a syncro. The syncro tank is tucked away nicely!
I removed the tank when I did my westy swap and also used 1lb cylinders. I like them. They last a long time.
_________________
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=559766&highlight=winter+rust
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=482402&highlight=sunroof+syncro
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=569774
http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=6864936#6864936

"Along with the ability to go fast, one looses the desire to hurry."
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Classifieds Feedback
noganav
Samba Member


Joined: January 06, 2006
Posts: 1236
Location: San Diego CA
noganav is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You could push the propane tank right through the bottom of the van without rupturing it. They are very stout.

The only real worry is tearing the copper lines open while off roading. The lines aren't protected by the skid plate.The safest bet would be just to turn off the propane before going rock crawling.

Definitely having it underneath is safer than putting a tank on the back I'd think.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
indytriple
Samba Member


Joined: April 27, 2009
Posts: 710
Location: Brownsburg, Indiana
indytriple is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time to rethink?

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=546624

As The Dude would say..."New sh*t has come to light".
_________________
"See The Glass As Already Broken."

87 Vanagon Westy Auto Bostig

www.bluegrassbicyclecompany.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Classifieds Feedback
dixoncj
Samba Member


Joined: June 17, 2004
Posts: 1066
Location: Charleston, SC
dixoncj is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree. The TF49 fridge and small propane bottles are in my future. Too risky.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
r39o
Samba Polizei


Joined: May 18, 2005
Posts: 9548
Location: San Diego
r39o is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree an all electric modern frig of some kind is way better than the stock Dometic.

BUT, not all applications can get away with 1lb of propane at a time.

We use a combination of (cheap) butane stoves and Jetboils to heat stuff.

BUT, to heat our butts at night you need a serious amount of propane, which I doubt a 1 lb can will do for the duration required by the Propex heater, for example.

How to handle the needs of a heater?????
_________________
"Use the SEARCH, Luke" But first visit the Vanagon FAQ!
1990 Multivan EJ 22 running well...

Click to see my ads for Cup holders, Subaru clutch fix and CLK wheels (no wheels currently)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
syncrodoka
Samba Member


Joined: December 27, 2005
Posts: 11167
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
syncrodoka is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

r39o wrote:
How to handle the needs of a heater?????

eberspacher/espar or webasto gas heater.
VW installed them all the way back to the days of bugs, busses, ghias, fastback etc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
skivan
Samba Member


Joined: October 05, 2008
Posts: 120
Location: Boise, ID
skivan is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

remind me why a refillable internal (larger) tank is bad or illegalish...

would it be so bad to have a 5# tank inside, closed at the valve when not in use or when driving? that would be more convenient than the green bottles for me, and have the capacity for a heater.
_________________
'87 subaru westy syncro
'04 TDI passat wagon
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Ahwahnee
Samba Member


Joined: June 05, 2010
Posts: 8280
Location: Mt Lemmon, AZ
Ahwahnee is offline 

PostPosted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

skivan wrote:
remind me why a refillable internal (larger) tank is bad or illegalish... would it be so bad to have a 5# tank inside...


Propane leak in a confined space
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2018, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB