How Long Do Camping Protpane Tanks Last

How Long Do Camping Propane Tanks Last?

Propane tanks are a typical source of energy for camping stoves and tiny portable propane heaters. Even though they are lightweight, practical, and simple to use, these propane tanks regularly disappoint campers and hikers who are unable to keep track of how much propane is left in the container.

While the lifetime of a tank depends on various circumstances, a conventional propane tank can be estimated. On high heat, a regular 1-pound propane tank will last about 12 hours. A disposable propane tank with a capacity of 14 or 16 ounces will last 1.5 to 2 hours. Most barbecues should get 18-20 hours out of a regular 20-pound propane tank.

In this article, you will get more information on how long camping propane tanks usually take. In addition to that, this article includes some of the frequently asked questions and their answers. These answers will help you get a better understanding of propane tanks.

How Long Does One BTU (British thermal unit) of Propane Last?

Because the bigger one-gallon tank contains more BTUs and consequently more propane, it is not difficult to conclude that it will last longer than the small tank. So, what exactly is the relationship between BTUs and the burn period? Let’s see if we can figure out the most convenient approach to connect the two of them. What most people don’t realize is that the size of the grill has a significant impact on how long the gas bottle will last.

Fortunately, camp stoves do not consume propane gas as quickly as a huge grill. A medium-sized gas barbecue can burn up a 20-pound propane tank in as short as 10 hours, but it typically lasts 18-20 hours. A 20-pound tank of propane contains 4.73 liters of propane.

The Burn Rate for Different Propane Accessories

A backpacking stove, instead of a full-on gas grill, will result in a slower burn rate for your propane tank. The medium-sized grill may have a burning rate of 24,000 BTUs per hour; however, the smaller portable tank does not have such capability.

In comparison to a single-eye backpacking stove, even a larger camping stove will have a higher burn rate. Your ability to predict how long your tank will last will be determined by the way you use it. No, we are not required to calculate the burn rate of a given stove to the tenth of a percent accuracy.

Is It Possible for Propane to go bad?

If you’re concerned about using up the propane before it expires, there’s good news: propane doesn’t expire. If your tank has been stored somewhere dry and moderately warm over the winter, you should be able to use it anytime you like. Rather than that, the propane will most likely last significantly longer than that.

Stainless steel tanks are susceptible to corrosion, which allows propane to escape through the sides. Use caution when handling rusted tanks. Another possibility is that the tank is totally depleted owing to a leak; however, testing it could be hazardous if the tank is not completely depleted.

Even if your propane tank isn’t in use, the most crucial thing you can do to ensure that it continues to function properly is to utilize the protective cap that comes with the model while it is not being used. It is preferable if these tanks are stored outside and totally free from any water that might cause rust to form.

Why Does the Shelf-life Size Matter?

It is stated that because you have plenty of something does not imply that it will stay longer in your possession. It is based on the premise that the larger something is, the more difficult it is to fall. But in the realm of propane, size matters a great deal. Because of the sort of container in which the propane is stored, the smaller propane tank that you could use when camping may not last as long, that may be possible that the smaller ones leak easily. In the end, a lot of it comes down to the container.

Since the gas is kept, any problems may result in the propane being exposed to the elements. As a result, when you see “average shelf-life” in reference to propane, it should be taken to mean the shelf-life of the container rather than the propane itself. The propane itself, on the other hand, does not decay and will never go bad.

It appears that the larger containers are constructed better. A 50lb propane tank, for example, might endure for decades if you don’t open it or take care to seal it while it’s not in use properly. Those are typically between 10 and 30 years in length, at the very least. As a result, constantly remember that It is not the fuel that has to be considered. It always comes back to the container it was originally stored in.

How Can One Extend the Camping Propane Tank’s Lifetime?

The risk-on Empty Tanks

If you have a propane tank that is completely depleted, the worst thing that can happen to you is that you will be unable to heat water or cook full meals. The failure to close or close properly when the gas supply runs out can result in a leak when the propane source is re-established.

Due to the build-up of air and moisture in an empty tank, rust can develop; rust decreases the foul-smelling odor of propane, making it more difficult to identify a leak. The pilot lights on your vehicle will go out if you run out of gas, which may be highly dangerous if not properly handled.

Checking the Amount of Propane in Your Tank

There are several methods of checking the amount of propane in your tank.

Using Warm Water

A basic method for determining how long gas cylinders last and how much propane remains in a propane tank is straightforward. Just follow these simple step-by-step directions to complete your work:

·    Fill a small jug half-full with warm water for each person.

·    Using a funnel, funnel it downwards on the side of the gas cylinder.

·    Wait for five seconds.

·    Slide your hands down one side of the tank until they are completely submerged in water.

·    When you notice a difference in temperature (i.e., when it gets cooler), that is where the gas level is.

By Determining the Weight of the Propane Gas

If you have dealt with gas cylinders for a long time, simply taking up the tank will give you an idea of when it’s time to get it refilled. On the other hand, a scale will allow you to get a clearer sense of how much gas is left in the tank. There are a few numerals stamped on the handle of every propane tank, the most frequent of which are the WC (capacity of water) and the TW (the weight of your tank when it’s empty).

When empty, most gas cylinders for grilling weigh approximately 17 lbs (8 kilograms) and store approximately 20 pounds (9 kgs) of propane. To determine how many lbs. of propane are left in the tank, weigh it and deduct the tare weight from the total weight.

By Checking the Cook Time

This strategy is geared toward those who enjoy mathematics. Think about that 92,000 BTUs may be generated from a single gallon of propane (3.8 liters). That value is multiplied by your grill’s rating. Using the grill’s highest heat setting, you can calculate the number of minutes it will take to burn through one gallon of propane.

It’s time to figure out how many gallons are in the tank. It is possible to fill a 20-pound (9-kilogram) gas cylinder to the brim with 4.7 gallons of propane, or 17.8 liters. You should expect to get about 13.5 hours of cooking time from a regular propane tank if your grill’s output is 32,000 BTUH. If you’re only using two of the four burners, you should expect the cooking time to double.

By Buying a Gauge

A gauge will be the quickest and most convenient option if you are ready to spend a few dollars to eliminate all of the fuss of water and math.

Knowing When to Order More Gas

Even after all of the calculations have been completed, it is still necessary to know when to purchase a new gas cylinder or replenish your refillable propane tank. Propane has no expiration date. As a result, because of its long shelf life, you will only have to order more gas when running low on supplies.

Unless the propane courier service provider can monitor the fuel, level and deliver it to you periodically, you will have to read the propane tank gauge yourself. The most important number to pay attention to is the gasoline level if you are reading your gauge. It should never be over 80 percent full at any given time. Thermal expansion is the cause of this phenomenon.

Keeping the tank filled to less than 100 percent capacity guarantees that the fuel in the tank can expand without posing a threat to the tank or your safety. You should reorder propane when your gauge reaches 20 percent of its maximum capacity.

Considering the Maintenance Checklist for the Propane Tanks.

While you’re doing it, make sure to check for a few things other than the amount of petrol left in the tank. Start by reviewing the following useful checklist of items to look out for:

·    Verify that your underground tank’s anti-corrosion coating is intact.

·    Examine the connectors on the appliance.

·    Check the vents on your appliances.

·    Testing for leaks

·    Monitoring the quality of the fuel

·    Make certain that your gasoline tank is disconnected while it is not in use.

·    Check to see that the propane tank is constantly level with the surrounding ground.

How Does one Know whether the propane tank is empty or not?

Consider the following scenario: you purchased a camping propane tank and utilized it on your recent trip. How will you know if you’ll be able to take it with you on the next camping trip? What if it’s empty, in which case you’ll have to purchase another one, or whether you’ll be able to put it off until your next trip?

It is possible to determine whether or not the gas cylinder is empty using a straightforward procedure. You will require a few minutes, the tank, and a cup of water, which you will need to heat up beforehand before you begin. Follow the steps below to find out what you need to do.

Step 1 – Bring the water to a boil, and make sure the cup is also warm before continuing. Use a cup that is not too chilly to the touch, and the water should be practically boiling when placed in the cup.

Step 2 – Pour a little amount of hot water down the edge of your propane tank in a slow, controlled manner. This means that the water should be able to slide down the edge without skipping.

 Step 3 — by gliding your palm over the propane cylinder’s metal, the propane level will be colder than the remainder of the tank, allowing you to detect its level. This is because the empty tank is hotter than the full tank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the Camping Propane Tanks Have an Expiry Date?

Answer; propane tanks with a capacity of 100 pounds or less have a 12-year shelf life starting from the manufacturing date. The tank can be exchanged with a new one after 12 years, or it can be subjected to an inspection to be requalified for a further five years.

Is Leaving the Propane Tanks Outside During Winter Safe?

Answer; since low and freezing temperatures are not as harmful as high temperatures, it is perfectly safe for you to keep the propane tanks outside throughout the winter. But you should be informed that the moisture caused by snow and rain might lead to rusting of the tank’s metal parts, which should be avoided.


Hopefully, this article has guided you on a lot to do with propane. Be warned that Propane gas is dangerous and should not be handled carelessly. Thus exercise extreme caution when handling all of your propane tanks.

In conclusion, remember to keep the tank in a cool, dry location in your residence. Always ensure that the valve is completely closed and in the upright position before traveling.

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