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Discussion Starter #1
I've been wanting to get a smaller lighter propane tank but they are kinda hard to find in anything but steel. Curious if anyone has an aluminum or fiberglass one that they wanna let go. I think I'd prefer Aluminum but would go for a fiberglass one too. Need to be within their certification date.

Let me know.

Josh
 

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Not sure what your purposes are but you might also consider a 5 lb tank. I was skeptical but a friend convinced me and and I sized down. They are sufficient for all but the longest trips with big groups. And small.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Called AAA and they said they don't stock Aluminum tanks due to them being crazy expensive.

I mostly use it for my Woodland Power Stove....I suspect a 5 pounder might be enough for a 4-7 day trip but I'm not sure. Might have to do that. Looks like the 5 and 10 pounders are about a 9" around but the 5 is a foot tall and the 10 is about 17" tall. I go back and forth on whether the extra 5" of and a few extra pounds is worth worrying about whether it will run out before the end of the trip.
 

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I got the 10 lb from AAA, though it is steel. I love how it fits well in a 5 gallon bucket. It is a bit taller than the bucket, but makes it easy to strap down. I store it right next to the captain's seat in a drop bag. We did an 8 day on Deso Gray with 8 people and I think we used ~1.6 gallons of the 2.4 using a 4-burner partner and a large 1-burner Coleman with a griddle. We used it from every breakfast (coffee, eggs, meat, tortillas) and dinner. I do like the peace of mind knowing that I'm not going to run out.
 

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propane usage

I have on occasion calculated propane usage on a lb/per person/per day basis since no one ever wants to run out of propane. These calculations assume that the tanks are fully filled and not partially filled as can sometimes be the case with trade-in tanks (?).

If I recall correctly, usage varies from 0.15-0.25 #/pp/pd across large, small, summer and winter trips, and with/without a blaster of some type.

On a 13-person 25-day Grand Canyon trip this past January, we used the upper value of ~0.25 #/pp/pd, which is probably a good max-usage value.

Assuming 0.25#/pp/pd, these are the approximate user days for different sized tanks.

20# - 80 user days
10# - 40 user days
5# - 20 user days

Take these values for what what they are - very approximate estimations.
 

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Good job Ever_Cat.

I'd say your calculations are "safe"; i.e, to make sure you do not run out. On a Grand trip with 16 people on a 16 day (when blaster is required) I'd go mostly completely through two 20lb'ers. By your calculation and 16 people a 20lb'er is good for 5 days. Which means, to be safe, take three 20lb'ers for a Grand trip (in winter (two likely will suffice in June but why risk it)). Having an extra tank also can account for screw-ups like not shutting down a tank at the valve overnight when it might have a leak in the system.

I have two aluminum 20lb and two aluminum 10lb. They were not cheap when I bought them about 25 years ago. I'd hate to think what they'd cost now. Fortunately, they passed a recent inspection and have a sticker for I think good for 10 more years. I recommend the aluminum tanks. I know of issues with the fiberglass but perhaps their problems are history. I suggest paying the price for aluminum and for-get-about-it. Just be happy when a friend says "wow, nice" which hopefully will defray the pain of the cost.
 

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Yes GeoRon, these are "safe" and very conservative estimates. I prefer to come home with propane left in the tank(s).

Propane consumption is highly variable depending on group habits and weather. I did a 7-person 14-day Grand trip in April and didn't even burn through an 11# tank (98 user days).

I just wanted to throw out some rough generalized numbers.
 

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I'm on my second 5lb. The date expired on the first and it just wasn't worth the price for re-certification so I bought a new one. I love a 5lb'er for extended week-ending(now that I'm retired, mid-weeking).

I still use 1lb'ers and just got through home refilling 6 tanks. That adventure should be saved for a dedicated thread.
 

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Ever_Cat,

In my opinion you are right on with your numbers and your thinking. In this case, what does it take to put on a trip in terms of pounds of propane. Your calculations are "safe". Which is as it should be if you are a TL. If you are not "safe" as a TL you are not fulfilling your obligation and commitment to your team.

You speak of group habits and weather. A big consideration. During cooler weather and considering trip attendance, I take my eco-sauna; aka, propane powered sweat lodge. I can blow through some BTU/lbs pretty quickly but it equates to a measurable cheer/lb value worth every nickle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ended up buying an 11 pounder from Murdochs for $50 something bucks filled. Not a bad deal and definitely manageable weight and size wise. Definitely the cheapest place in the front range that stocks them. Called a few propane places and they all wanted $75-95 empty if they had them in stock.

Definitely a nice form factor and the 11 pounder isn't that much bigger then the 5 pound one. Obviously weighs more but still very manageable. This one will get primarily used with the power stove for an upcoming trip, so we'll see how she does. There will be other tanks on the trip so we should be fine.

Lady at AAA said the Aluminum ones she could get were super expensive. Most of the ones I see are being sold for Marine use and mostly on sail boats... and the feeling I get from stuff made for sailing is similar to stuff made for rafting but even more extreme....double or triple the price it should be. I think the cheapest aluminum one I saw online was just under $300 and they go up from there.

I think the major problem with the current breed of Composite/Fiberglass cylinders you can buy right now is they seem to make them in large batches every few years and most of the new ones you can purchase are a few years into their certification. They need a re-cert after 5 years from manufacture date and I suspect it might be hard to get them recertified at the normal places. Still...they are nice and light and I do like that you can see the level through the side. Seems like the problems that caused the recall of the Lite Composites ones have been solved too.
 

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I think the major problem with the current breed of Composite/Fiberglass cylinders you can buy right now is they seem to make them in large batches every few years and most of the new ones you can purchase are a few years into their certification. They need a re-cert after 5 years from manufacture date and I suspect it might be hard to get them recertified at the normal places. Still...they are nice and light and I do like that you can see the level through the side. Seems like the problems that caused the recall of the Lite Composites ones have been solved too.
Viking provides a list of places that re-certify their tanks on their website.
 

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I mostly use it for my Woodland Power Stove....I suspect a 5 pounder might be enough for a 4-7 day trip but I'm not sure. Might have to do that. Looks like the 5 and 10 pounders are about a 9" around but the 5 is a foot tall and the 10 is about 17" tall. I go back and forth on whether the extra 5" of and a few extra pounds is worth worrying about whether it will run out before the end of the trip.
IMHO the 5" and +5# is worth it. I have two 10# cylinders and really like them. They're much easier to carry than a 20# tank.


I have on occasion calculated propane usage on a lb/per person/per day basis since no one ever wants to run out of propane. These calculations assume that the tanks are fully filled and not partially filled as can sometimes be the case with trade-in tanks (?).

If I recall correctly, usage varies from 0.15-0.25 #/pp/pd across large, small, summer and winter trips, and with/without a blaster of some type.

On a 13-person 25-day Grand Canyon trip this past January, we used the upper value of ~0.25 #/pp/pd, which is probably a good max-usage value.

Assuming 0.25#/pp/pd, these are the approximate user days for different sized tanks.

20# - 80 user days
10# - 40 user days
5# - 20 user days

Take these values for what what they are - very approximate estimations.

We ran a 4-burner Partner and a blaster for 7 of 8 days on the Main Salmon with 15 people on a 20# tank, which would be about 105 user-days on 0.19#/pp/pd doing a lot of boil-in-bag meals.


Yes GeoRon, these are "safe" and very conservative estimates. I prefer to come home with propane left in the tank(s).

Propane consumption is highly variable depending on group habits and weather. I did a 7-person 14-day Grand trip in April and didn't even burn through an 11# tank (98 user days).

I just wanted to throw out some rough generalized numbers.

Fascinating conversation.

I agree that group habits and cooking style makes a bigger difference than number of people. 20 people use more propane than 10, but not 2x as much. You almost always heat 2-3 chickies of water whether you have 5-7 in your group or 16-20, but if you're making pancakes, the stove is on 2x as long for 2x as many people.



Style of cooking makes a difference...lots of prep/cooking/frying, or just heat and eat?
 
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