Refilling propane camp stove bottles

I’ve seen this covered years ago, even saw the devise for doing it, but apparently it didn’t catch on. So, since I haven’t tried it, I’ll ask again. Does anyone know a way to refill small campstove propane bottles from larger tanks, like a 20 lb. bottle. Obviously, safety is an issue, but it seems a real waste to keep throwing perfectly good steel bottles away.

You can recycle the bottles
There are instructions for doing that on the web.

Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion.

The disposable bottles are not designed to be refilled.

Yes, it is possible to refill the. In fact, it’s possible to over fill them.

An over filled propane bottle is a bomb.

Just recycle them.

What is it about southerners?

That blowed up real good!

Key phrase for BLEVE

– Last Updated: Nov-11-10 11:47 AM EST –

Pronounced in the industry (my industry, anyway) as "Blevvy".

"When a tank is exposed to sustained heat, such as from a fire..."

Undamaged tanks don't BLEVE just from overfilling.

Overfilling does not, in itself, create the conditions for a BLEVE. Exposure to fire does - whether overfilled or not. Overfilling does set you up for venting when the tank warms. The vented fuel can then be ignited, of course, but that still won't cause a BLEVE unless the flame is sustained or (I suppose) the ignition is extremely explosive. Don't store or transport your tanks in an enclosed compartment or near flame (duh) whether refilled or not.

But the YouTube video of a tank just venting isn’t very dramatic.

I’ve done it for many years…
…and have never had a problem. I have never had a refilled bottle leak, either. I’ve got several refilled bottles kicking around as we speak. The overfilling claim is bunk, as if anything, the refilled canisters are under-filled compared to new ones.

Granted, the practice is not recommended and you do it at your own risk, but IME, that risk is very small.

Another Option

– Last Updated: Nov-12-10 2:20 PM EST –

I have a 1 gallon - 4.25 pound propane tank. It replaces about 4 bottles, and a gallon of propane is less than $3.

I paid less than $50 for mine.

A simple adapter will work to run just one appliance, like a stove.

I can also run a full size table top BBQ directly from the bulk tank without and adaptor

I have an extension like this:

The cool thing about the extension is that it raises the lantern up to provide much more light in camp. Like hanging it from a tree limb, but you can put it on the picnic table.

I have had trouble running more than one appliance, like a lantern and stove at the same time. I thinks its a pressure regulator thing.

For a quick weekend at the beach I still use bottles, but if I am going to camp for a few days I take the take and set it up.

I can also run a full size table top BBQ directly from the bulk tank without and adptor

That was my main reason for this rig was I hated the waste of some much aluminum, but it will also pay for itself eventually.

Dont do it, dangerous and illegal.

Not illegal…
You cannot use a refilled bottle in interstate commerce or offer them for sale…but an individual CAN legally refill one for personal use.

agree with barracuda
i started using a 5 lb cylinder a few years ago. Can use a tree with hoses to run a light/BBQ/Stove at the same time. Handy if you have the room to haul it.