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Old 22-02-2024, 11:40   #1
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10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

OK, I exaggerate. There's only one. As far as I'm concerned it's the only one you need.

I freely admit that I was seduced by the promise of lightweight, explosion proof, rust free propane cylinders that were translucent and allowed you to see the level. I bought two and they did all of that.

But there's a catch. Molded into the plastic is the date of manufacture, the notice of a maximum service life of 15 years and the requirement to have them recertified every 5 years. But try finding a place that will check them for you and you will quickly discover that you are not likely to find one.

I've been trying to get mine retested at every stop I've made along the way from Corpus Christi Texas to Sarasota Florida, including at several places that sell them. No one will touch them. The Viking website provides contact information but don't respond to voice or email. I bought mine from Defender who were able to point me to Trident Rubber.

Trident was helpful insofar as they told me any big propane place can do the recertification but admitted that many of them choose not to. They were unable to give me a list of places that do the retest. If I understood the CS rep, he had tried but you can't compile an empty list.

If anyone else has had the same experience, please share. Or better yet, if anyone has found a place that will recertify them, post it. They are great tanks, no question but if you buy one, it seems you need to do so with the understanding that after 5 years it transforms into an expensive fiberglass decoration.
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Old 22-02-2024, 12:37   #2
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

Let me think… propane… that was a fossil fuel we used to cook with before solar and lithium, right?
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Old 22-02-2024, 12:45   #3
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

Lol.
But you still use diesel fuel, the nastiest of fossil fuels!!
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Old 22-02-2024, 12:57   #4
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

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Lol.
But you still use diesel fuel, the nastiest of fossil fuels!!
Not much though… last time I bought was three years ago and I have half still left
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Old 22-02-2024, 13:39   #5
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

i find that the run of the mill propane refillers pretty much want to deal with the 20 lb. BBQ tanks. i was refused a refill for an aluminum 10 lb. tank.
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Old 22-02-2024, 14:19   #6
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

I paid for some nice 20lb aluminum tanks many years ago, but getting them recertified is a pain and it is also hard to find the right place that will do it, especially when you are on the boat. I think in the future I will just get regular steel tanks and replace periodically, or maybe just rent BBQ tanks from some big-box store.
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Old 22-02-2024, 15:28   #7
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexican Hat View Post
OK, I exaggerate. There's only one. As far as I'm concerned it's the only one you need.

I freely admit that I was seduced by the promise of lightweight, explosion proof, rust free propane cylinders that were translucent and allowed you to see the level. I bought two and they did all of that.

But there's a catch. Molded into the plastic is the date of manufacture, the notice of a maximum service life of 15 years and the requirement to have them recertified every 5 years. But try finding a place that will check them for you and you will quickly discover that you are not likely to find one.

I've been trying to get mine retested at every stop I've made along the way from Corpus Christi Texas to Sarasota Florida, including at several places that sell them. No one will touch them. The Viking website provides contact information but don't respond to voice or email. I bought mine from Defender who were able to point me to Trident Rubber.

Trident was helpful insofar as they told me any big propane place can do the recertification but admitted that many of them choose not to. They were unable to give me a list of places that do the retest. If I understood the CS rep, he had tried but you can't compile an empty list.

If anyone else has had the same experience, please share. Or better yet, if anyone has found a place that will recertify them, post it. They are great tanks, no question but if you buy one, it seems you need to do so with the understanding that after 5 years it transforms into an expensive fiberglass decoration.
I have out of date steel cylinders that no one has complained about. Only one place, Ace in Ft. Pierce, complained about it but gave me a pass.
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Old 22-02-2024, 16:17   #8
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

This is exactly why I built my propane lockers (on 3 different boats now) to fit the regular 20# BBQ tanks. You can get them filled or exchanged anywhere in the US. And when they expire, just exchange them. The exchange places don't even look at the dates.
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Old 22-02-2024, 16:46   #9
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

I can't imagine anyone certifying a used fuel tank because the liability of such would be extreme and the price would likely be much more than purchasing a new tank from the OEM.

Tanks are intended to be disposed of once they get old, rusty, dented, etc.

Disposal is also difficult because of the explosive residue potential. A scrap yard would not which to see one arrive.

In the USA just use the standard 20 lb. Blue Rhino and swap an empty for a filled tank at the convenience store or fueling station, forget refilling.
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Old 22-02-2024, 18:10   #10
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

My 1985 Manchester tank, 20 lb propane tanks have been re-certified every five years since new - no problems. They have also been re-valved twice. Once for the OPD mandate and once for corrosion.

The only time I had a problem refilling them was in Australia. That was because they were not certified in Australia. I managed to talk then into a one time fill, saying that they would be put on a foreign flagged vessel and leave the country shortly.

These tanks are a little shorter than the current crop of 20 lb tanks and just barely fit into my propane locker. When these fail certification the propane locker will have to be modified.

The fiberglass tanks will fit in the locker so what I am reading here is bad news.
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Old 23-02-2024, 04:20   #11
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

Montanan, I won't even begin to guess how many propane tanks there are in the US but I'm sure millions are checked and recertified every year. DOT has established a simple visual check for the 5 year steel tank test. As long as the tanks are not cracked, dented, rusted or otherwise visibly damaged they pass. Getting the license to certify them is a simple online process. These are not pressure vessels in nuclear reactors... if it were a real issue we'd have propane tanks exploding all the time.

I poked around on the DOT website and found a few references to the steel tank certification but couldn't find anything about inspecting the composite tanks. It's beginning to look as if Viking has been happily advertising and selling these without having ensured that they can be recertified.
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Old 23-02-2024, 05:48   #12
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

Just phone or stop by the nearest Fire Station. They have oxygen tanks and fire extinguishers recertified and they can tell you who they use. I had my Worthington aluminum propane tank recertified by a local business specializing in recertification of fire apparatus several years ago. They did it overnight and it was inexpensive. Those composite tanks may be an issue but one call to the local Fire Station should clarify that for you.
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Old 23-02-2024, 09:35   #13
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
I can't imagine anyone certifying a used fuel tank because the liability of such would be extreme and the price would likely be much more than purchasing a new tank from the OEM.

Tanks are intended to be disposed of once they get old, rusty, dented, etc.

Disposal is also difficult because of the explosive residue potential. A scrap yard would not which to see one arrive.

In the USA just use the standard 20 lb. Blue Rhino and swap an empty for a filled tank at the convenience store or fueling station, forget refilling.
The exchange system is kinda terrible though.

When you exchange a tank, you get 15 lbs (3.5 gal) of propane in a 20 lb (4.6 gal) capacity tank. According to blue rhino’s website they dropped it down from 17 lbs in 2008. It’s not so much the cost that bothers me about that, I understand there is a convenience factor, but I want a full tank. I don’t fill my car to 3/4 at the gas station to feel the illusion that I’m saving money.

Also, I’ve received an exchange tank with a badly cracked o-ring that leaked dangerously when I tried to use it. So remember to remove that plastic shrink-wrap and inspect it at the store before you leave.

And the steel tanks also kinda suck. Heavy with hard steel edges, and you can only guess at how much gas you have left.

This 5 year recertification thing could be a fatal flaw with the Viking tanks though. I just got one a couple years ago, so guess I’ll find out. Until then it’s better than a steel tank in every way.
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Old 23-02-2024, 17:09   #14
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

Wyb2, I know right? The grp tanks are the bomb for so many reasons. When you have to ride or walk several miles carrying them to get a refill, you really begin to appreciate the difference..


I did find a company that prints blank recertification stickers...$60 for a big roll. But that would be in violation of several commandments, never mind the law. I've asked the DoT for help in finding certified certifiers as they are the agency that manages all this..

Thanks for the tip about the fire station..
I suspect these grp tanks are different but I will ask at the next one I see.
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Old 23-02-2024, 17:16   #15
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Re: 10 REASONS NOT TO BUY VIKING PROPANE CYLINDERS.

Let us know if you find a place
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