How much propane do I need?

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How much propane do I need?

Postby G-Mac » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:10 pm

Ok, it's a pretty straight-forward question, but I realize there are a lot of variables in giving an answer. So, here's some info and please feel free to ask questions if I miss something.

I have an InTech MAX Flyer TD. The ONLY propane accessory (at the moment) is the stove. It is a 2-burner stove and we use it for everything from cooking to heating water for dishes and coffee. I don't have any plans to add a grill, but I "may" decide I want an external demand water heater at some point. Currently, I don't even have on-demand water, just a pump siphoning from a 7-gallon jug. If I did an external water heater, it would be for showers. That said, I have a solar shower so the odds of adding it are remote.

I currently have a 25lb bottle on the tongue. I expect I won't have to fill it for a couple years... but I'm only guessing. I'd like to move the weight to the rear, and drop to a 5 lb or 10 lb refillable bottle, mounted on the side. (I have more tongue weight than I need. Moving/replacing the current bottle will only help the situation.)

So, for someone who camps an average of 2 nights per trip (4-5 meals prepared) and would like to go camping a dozen times between fill-ups, how much propane do you think I need?

Thanks in advance for the info!
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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby JaggedEdges » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:33 pm

I find plus or minus 20F on camping temps makes a huge diff in amount of fuel used, so I'd just go with as big as you can fit, with a gauge on it.
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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby John61CT » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:17 pm

The demand hot showers throws everything out the window.

For the stove use, 2-3 refillable 1# bottles from Manchester or Flame King will do ya, no need to mount anything.

The latter also has a kit to safely refill them from the BBQ bottle in back if a per-pound refill place isn't handy.

Get a second 20# or bigger bottle in the future if you do the HW service.
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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby G-Mac » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:47 pm

Wow, I had no idea the demand hot water heater took that much fuel! I think I'll nix that idea.
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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby tony.latham » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:36 pm

I would guess you're using about the same amount of gas that we do. We use the 1-pound disposable containers(–but I refill them). One will get us through two days. Coffee and cooking.

We use one of these for a shower, with a bucket of water. We have a thermometer and shower at 108ºF.

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So.... I think you can use 1/2 pound of propane per day. Without a shower.

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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby John61CT » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:14 pm

Just to be clear, the designed to be refilled 1# bottles I referenced above are NOT the disposable ones.

Tony, you carrying those around in your living space?

Spend a little for safety's sake, really no reason to take risks like that now there are legal DOT approved alternatives.
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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby tony.latham » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:31 pm

John61CT wrote:Just to be clear, the designed to be refilled 1# bottles I referenced above are NOT the disposable ones.

Tony, you carrying those around in your living space?

Spend a little for safety's sake, really no reason to take risks like that now there are legal DOT approved alternatives.


I do not carry them inside the cabin. I've been doing it for years without an issue. I have my own protocol and limit my refills to four.

The "legal" refillables were prohibatively expensive. I see they've come down, so perhaps I'll pick up three up for this season.

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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby lrrowe » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:55 am

John61CT wrote:Just to be clear, the designed to be refilled 1# bottles I referenced above are NOT the disposable ones.

Tony, you carrying those around in your living space?

Spend a little for safety's sake, really no reason to take risks like that now there are legal DOT approved alternatives.


I too have been doing this for years. And I hear some others point out this issue, but I have never heard of an actual incident being reported. Am I going around with my head in the sand?
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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby Gladtobehere » Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:20 am

As weight is the main concern I would start with a 5lb refillable tank plus 1 or 2 pound disposable 1lb bottles in reserve.

When I used the disposable 1lb for cooking they would last 2 maybe 3 days. So a 5lb refillable will give you many trips. If you find that a single 5 lb is not enough then get another.

I also like that a 5lb tank is easy for anyone to carry. The larger 20lb tanks on the tongue seem to get heavier as I get older.
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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby daveesl77 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:49 am

A 1# can of propane will run our Triton 5L on-demand water heater for about 18 minutes of continuous operation. At 1.5 gal/min, that comes out to a bunch of water.

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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby Dale M. » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:17 am

If you are going to be just using propane for cooking and dishes and nightly shower get refillable 2.4 gallon or (11 pound tank) we have used one for many years tent camping and have been out 7-8 days and not emptied it ...

As for hot water for showers if you have evening "campfires" heat your shower water over campfire in steel bucket and use a "camp shower" method discussed in other sections of board (either pressure type by metal sprayer rig or gravity type)...

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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby Socal Tom » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:57 am

I have a 1 gallon tank( 5lbs), using it on a camp chef stove/oven combo it usually lasts 4 to 5 weekends with cooking only duty. If I did it over, I'd get the 10lb bottle.
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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby G-Mac » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:52 pm

Thanks everyone. From the replies, I have decided to stick with the solar shower and get a 10 lb bottle. It's small and much lighter and should meet my 10-12 trips before re-fill requirement. It's also small enough to mount on the side without a lot of reinforcement.

Thanks again!!!
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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby Dale M. » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:11 am

G-Mac wrote:Thanks everyone. From the replies, I have decided to stick with the solar shower and get a 10 lb bottle. It's small and much lighter and should meet my 10-12 trips before re-fill requirement. It's also small enough to mount on the side without a lot of reinforcement.

Thanks again!!!


Good choice.....

What I would do as a backup is get a single 16 oz (disposable) cylinder and what is called a "steak saver" adapter and keep in reserve just encase late Saturday night you run out of propane and can't get to town until later next day to get 10 pound cylinder filled.... Steak saver adapts the 1x20 thread on disposable cylinder to POL regulator fitting that is normally used on 1 gallon (5 pound) and larger tanks...

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Re: How much propane do I need?

Postby G-Mac » Fri Mar 10, 2017 9:35 pm

Thanks Dale... GREAT idea!

I like the name too... very appropriate.
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