It is simple math. Or you can just place an empty propane tank on your bathroom scale to get an exact measurement. Either way, you will end up with a heavy empty propane tank. These things are made of steel so they are not going to be light.
The empty 30-pound propane tanks weigh in the neighborhood of about 28 pounds. Depending on who makes it, some of these tanks may be as light as 25 pounds. Either way, it may be a struggle for some older RV owners to lift the tank to get it into their tow vehicle.
To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It explores the issue so you have the information you need to know. It is best to be prepared for the weight of these propane tanks. That way you are ready for when you actually have to lift one up.
There are several different companies that make these tanks so each one will weigh according to the design, the materials used to make the tank, and other factors.
There will be some tanks that will weigh as low as 23.5 pounds and others that reach 28 pounds. But the 30-pound propane tank does not get its name from its empty weight.
Instead, it gets its name from the amount of propane it holds. That weight is roughly 30 pounds of propane. When you add the two weights together, you better be prepared as that total can reach almost 60 pounds you have to pick up.
If you are not sure how much your specific propane tank weighs when empty, then look for the tare weight on the collar. It should be stamped there and that number lets you know the exact weight of the propane tank when it is empty.
The full propane tank will weigh as much as the tare weight and the propane weight combined. The equation goes like this- tare weight + propane weight = total weight.
It is simple math and you can get the tare weight off the collar of the tank. For example, if your tank weighs 25 pounds, and a propane gallon weighs 4.125 each, all you need is the number of gallons in the tank to get the answer.
Usually, a 30-pound propane tank holds 7.5 gallons. This means that you are getting almost 30 pounds of propane inside the tank. The actual figure is 30.9375, give or take a few ounces.
So when you add 25 to 28 pounds for the empty tank to 30 pounds of propane your answer is going to be 55 to 60 pounds
The extra weight of the propane tank may keep it more stable when you are traveling. They outweigh a 20-pound tank by 17 pounds approx. This extra weight makes sure you are getting more propane for your camping needs.
The two tanks are different sizes as well. The 20-pound tank is 18 inches tall. The 30-pound option is 24 inches tall. That means you will need more room on your trailer’s tongue or RV storage area if you carry 30-pound propane tanks.
Both tanks are 12.5 inches in diameter so they should easily fit into the same propane holder on your trailer’s tongue, at least diameter-wise. The BTU capacity is better with the 30-pound tank. It has 650,000 BTUs inside its tank while the 20-pound option only produces 430,000 BTUs approx.
The weight of the 30-pound tank just means that you are going to be able to use it longer than any smaller tank.
There are different methods you can use to help you determine how much propane you have left in your tank. Here are 4 methods that should help you:
1. Hot water- they actually say to pour the hot water inside your propane tank. Then feel for the cool spot. The top of the cool spot is your propane level. However, this is not a very accurate way to measure your propane levels but it does give you an idea of how much is left.
2. By weight- if you have used propane tanks for a long time, you can generally pick a tank up and go by how heavy it feels. This method is also inaccurate and only gives you an idea.
The best way to use this method is to use an accurate scale and see how heavy the tank is. Then subtract that weight from the total weight of your tank when full and you should have your answer.
3. Cooking time- this is a complicated method to use. It needs some good math skills as you have to figure out how many BTUs you use per hour. One gallon sends out about 92,000 BTUs every hour you use the tank.
Then you have to figure out how many BTUs your appliances use per hour and then consider how many gallons are in your tank. It does get complicated and confusing at times.
4. A Gauge- this is the best option to use. Buy a gauge and install it on your propane tank. This is the most accurate method you can use to find out how much propane is left in your tank.
The gauges come in different designs and prices but they are effective.
Propane tanks can feel heavy. That is because you are always dead lifting them and the item can feel heavier than it really is. But if you work out, you should be able to handle the 25 to 60-pound weight of the propane tank.
If you can’t, then do not be afraid to ask for help. Protecting your body is essential if you want to enjoy your RV vacation. At this stage of life, you have nothing to prove.