How do you transport your refilled/full CO2 tank w/o a truck?

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Knightshade

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I don’t have access to a truck, otherwise I’d probably place it in a milk crate and secure it vertically in the bed.

Having a passenger vehicle, I’ve transported a couple different ways all of which I’m relatively certain are not ideal.

I’ve wanted to keep it upright, so a couple of times I’ve put it in the passenger seat with the seat belt and driven home with 1 hand on the damn tank to make sure it doesn’t fall over.

I’ve done in the same in the back seat, but wrapped it around the tank a couple times to help/hope it doesn’t fall over.

I’ve put it into a cooler, which isn’t quite tall enough so it has to angle a bit for both the 10lb and 20lb tank. This cooler is also too big for the trunk, so it sits in the back seat as well.

I believe I placed the 10lb inside the trunk cargo net once (again at an angle) but that gave me the heebies until I got home because I kept wondering if I’d open up the trunk and pass out or something after it center or exploded or??

So..looking for some guidance/help on what I should be doing, or perhaps absolutely should not be doing and maybe a bit of, this is how I’ve been doing for “X” number of years without an issue.
 

Jonakr

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I've driven with 5-6 laying on the side in the back of a cross over vehicle with no worries. (45-minute drive)
Yeah, my CO2 tanks are the little 5 pounders. I put them in a crate either in my trunk or on my back seat. I've used the insulated Costco bags to prop them up.
 

Brooothru

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Sometimes even a truck doesn't cut it. Five or six years ago I went to my usual gas supply place to get a small bottle fill. It was a shiny new bottle that I used on my kegerator. They usually didn't have 2.5# on hand for exchange, and if they did it would be some ugly, heavy steel one. So I opted to have them fill it.

Now the problem with filling a 2.5# bottle is that the tare weight is less than the weight of the fill hardware, so getting an accurate fill can be problematic. This time I got a real big overfill. It was a really hot summer day. I had a King Cab Ford at the time.

I strapped that bad boy in the back seat, turned up the a/c and headed out on the Interstate for the 20 minute drive home. Somewhere around 80 mph I heard a loud bang followed by serious fogging in the cabin and some trouble breathing. I knew immediately that the bottle had discharged, and hit the gang switch to open all the passenger windows plus the rear window pass- through to vent the CO2.

I've gone through training in hyperbaric chambers for rapid decompression. The noise and condensing moisture, plus the subtle signs of hypoxia. Not what you want to experience on a busy highway.

What had happened was an overfill and high ambient temperature in my truck. The internal pressure exceeded the burst pressure of the OPD. Now I do only bottle exchanges. I figure if a CO2 tank can handle the jostling on a delivery truck and sit in a warehouse for a period of time, it'll survive the drive home....in the trunk.
 

bracconiere

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i swap 20lb tanks, i have a 4x4 in my trunk to keep it from rolling around...not saying it's ideal, just that it's what i do....
 

BrewSomeMore

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Use truck straps either face down in your trunk or upright on your back seat. Figure a way to tether them down so the tank doesn't move. Harbor Freight or Walmart has them.
 

tracer bullet

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I do the seat / seatbelt thing as well. And careful driving, and with a window open.

I think the gist of what you do is 1) make sure it doesn't bang around and damage the valve, and 2) have a window(s) open so that if something were to happen and cause a leak, it wouldn't have as much of an effect on you / would be slower so you could pull over.

I guess having it explode is just too far out as a possible thing and not really covered...

I guess having seen the Mythbusters show where they knock the valve off and seeing the bottle shoot through a brick wall, I'm pretty cautious about belting it in place. And having had an experience something like @Brooothru where I had an imperial stout keg from a liquor store spray beer around my car (warm car, warming keg, lots of shaking around), I started doing the window thing. The beer smelled fine LOL but I'm not sure if CO2 will sting my nose before it makes me pass out...
 

Golddiggie

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While I do have a truck, I put the tank in the back of the cab, on the floor, with the valve raised via the hump in the floor. I have an ammo box filled with straps that I use to keep it from rolling around (between that and keeping at least part of the bench seat lowered does the trick). Years ago I had one in the passenger side foot well, to keep it from moving around. Another time (in my old truck from back then) I had it strapped in place in the back of the cab (had already removed the jump seats IIRC). AFAIK, if you have the tank on it's side, you just don't want to connect it up immediately after getting it home. Nitro mix tanks don't have that concern since they don't have liquid in the fill (IIRC).

I'm still on the original fill for the 20# CO2 tank that serves kegs. My other one is in the fermenting area and used to carbonate beer in conical and for packaging the finished beer. I also have a 5# and 2.5# tank in that same area. Need to decide what I'm going to do with that 2.5# since I'm not using it. I'll probably keep the 5# as a 'just in case' tank. Even though I probably won't need it for anything.
 

MaxStout

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@Brooothru's story is a good cautionary tale. Lucky you didn't pass out at 80mph.

I have a 5 lb. CO2 tank and a 20 cu ft O2 tank. I never like to have compressed gas in the passenger compartment, and not having a truck I would set it upright in the center of a milk crate in the car's trunk and surround it with all the cloth shopping bags we always have back there. That keeps it upright and less likely to tip. Then I bungee cord the crate to the side of the trunk.

Not so CSB: A few years ago one of my co-workers went to fill a 20# propane tank at the local U-Haul. He had it belted in the back seat for the ride home. While driving down the freeway, the OPD suddenly popped open and the passenger compartment filled with propane. He rolled down the windows, quickly pulled over to the side of the road and shut off the ignition. Luckily, nothing sparked the gas (it was probably well above the LEL at some point). He tossed the still-venting tank into the ditch and waited for it to empty.

The U-Haul guy had overfilled the tank.

My co-worker's 5-year-old daughter was sitting next to the tank in a car seat. :eek: She was OK, and IIRC, he said he had positioned the valve to not point in her direction, which was good, as she could've gotten a blast of propane in her face. Still, I bet the ordeal freaked her out.
/CSB
 

MaxStout

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I strap it to the back of the font passenger seat, just to stop it rolling around. Double-check it's not hissing, bung on some Iron Maiden then head home. If the kids are in the car I'll leave a window open, unless it's cold outside. That way, if they start turning blue I know the CO2's leaking 🥶

Canary in a coal mine. ;)
 

FloppyKnockers

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I generally toss it in the bed of the truck
(actual footage)
320636F5-63D5-48E6-861E-03EED6CD9C75.gif.b85e411bdca0ddccd1076d82ad8a07c6.gif


Then drive home on the back roads. I use this time to test the integrity of the valve and the bottle.
(actual footage)
5fMuOEB.gif


After I get home, I give the valve one more resiliency test. This usually fails and I have to rebuild a wall or two.
(actual footage)
HelplessOfficialAidi-max-1mb.gif





Seriously though. Transported on its side or upright... does not matter. As long as it's secure. Has to be upright during use.
 

McMullan

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I strap it to the back of the font passenger seat, just to stop it rolling around. Double-check it's not hissing, bung on some Iron Maiden then head home. If the kids are in the car I'll leave a window open, unless it's cold outside. That way, if they start turning blue I know the CO2's leaking 🥶
Just in case anyone's concerned about the wellbeing of my kids, it's a 3-hour round trip to get beverage grade CO2. By the time I've finished in the bar it turns out to be a day out for 'em. And, after we stagger off to a burger joint, and finish our happy meals, if I haven't sobered up, I let one of them drive home. No point putting my driver's license on the line. Especially with a leaky CO2 cylinder in the back. **** no.
 

grampamark

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There‘s an awful lot of overthinking in this thread (but, what’s the Internet for, anyway? :cool:). Transport the tank vertically or horizontally; it doesn’t matter. If it’s been horizontal for very long leave it upright for awhile before putting it into service. Beyond that, RDWHAHB. The only thing that could cause a catastrophic failure would be a crash of sufficient violence to cause massive, blunt force, trauma to the occupants, in which case you’d have bigger problems.

I have first hand experience with the sudden, catastrophic, failure of a high pressure gas bottle. Many years ago, our fire department responded to a report of a cargo truck with a possible fire in the trailer, which contained, in a mixed load of cargo, some hazardous materials. We arrived at the location, a highway junction in the middle of nowhere, just before sunrise on a cold day. Long story short, the preparation for determining the nature and extent of a fire involved starting the pump on one of the trucks and laying a charged line, with the nozzle cracked to keep water flowing, because the temp was well below freezing. The water trickling out of the nozzle was flowing into the shaded side of the trailer and freezing. One of the guys who was going to go up the ladder with a Halligan tool (an all purpose, fire service, wrecking bar) was about 5’6”, 130 lbs. add 30 or 40 pounds for turnouts, SCBA, and tools. He stepped on the ice and landed square on his butt. SCBA tanks are pressurized to 2200 psi and mounted with the valve and high pressure line to the regulator about level with the wearer’s butt. The impact with the pavement snapped the high pressure fitting at the valve and evacuated the tank on a matter of seconds. Ever watch these Road Runner cartoons where Wile E. Coyote steps on the banana peels scattered out by the Road Runner? Jack, the firefighter spun around 3 or 4 times on his ass, in as much of a blur as the coyote does in the cartoons, in the span of a few seconds. When the shock wore off everybody laughed their asses off and went about the business of dealing with the fire (which turned out to be smoldering, restaurant pack, soda crackers which had slid up against the small, propane, heater which some dry vans use in the winter months to keep cargo which shouldn’t freeze from freezing).

So, unless there is the chance of an impact which would impart a force eqivalent to smacking the valve of a rigidly supported tank a direct blow with a 12 lb hammer, it ain’t gonna blow up. But, if it does, you’ll have a story to tell. ;)
 

day_trippr

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fwiw, when I used to get my 5 pounders refilled I just laid them on the floor behind the front passenger seat.
When I switched to filling my fivers from a 20 pound siphon tank, I just lay the big guy down in the same spot...

Cheers!
 

DuncB

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@kevin58

Upright when using it, unless you are refilling a sodastream cylinder from your main cylinder and in that case you should invert the main cylinder.

I hang the mother in law on a hook on the door next to her broomstick!
 

Brooothru

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I'm still on the original fill for the 20# CO2 tank that serves kegs. My other one is in the fermenting area and used to carbonate beer in conical and for packaging the finished beer. I also have a 5# and 2.5# tank in that same area. Need to decide what I'm going to do with that 2.5# since I'm not using it. I'll probably keep the 5# as a 'just in case' tank. Even though I probably won't need it for anything.

Shorty after my rapid discharge incident I exchanged my 2.5# for a 5#, plus the upcharge, and just used the 5# mounted externally to supply the kegerator. I also have a 20# for general use in my brew area, but increasingly my back reminds me that a 10# would probably have been a better purchase. Last summer before our extended family beach house rental I bought another 2.5# for my portable dispensing rig, since I'd grown weary of the expense of 72 gram CO2 bottle and mini-reg dispensers. Those suckers get expensive when you have beer drinkers like our clan draining kegs. With the $$$ saved, even after purchasing the 2.5# bottle and new regulator, it'll pay for itself during this summer's vacation.
 

McMullan

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Shorty after my rapid discharge incident I exchanged my 2.5# for a 5#, plus the upcharge, and just used the 5# mounted externally to supply the kegerator. I also have a 20# for general use in my brew area, but increasingly my back reminds me that a 10# would probably have been a better purchase. Last summer before our extended family beach house rental I bought another 2.5# for my portable dispensing rig, since I'd grown weary of the expense of 72 gram CO2 bottle and mini-reg dispensers. Those suckers get expensive when you have beer drinkers like our clan draining kegs. With the $$$ saved, even after purchasing the 2.5# bottle and new regulator, it'll pay for itself during this summer's vacation.
I had a rapid discharge incident in Delhi back in '98. Campylobacter, apparently 😩
 

odie

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My local gas suppliers won't fill/swap unless you have a truck or trailer. Cannot be transported in enclosed in passenger compartment. Jeeps a no no too. Annoying.

IDK...park behind a pickup and pretend it's yours? Walk the empty up to the dock and walk your exchange back out?
 

Rob2010SS

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My local gas suppliers won't fill/swap unless you have a truck or trailer. Cannot be transported in enclosed in passenger compartment. Jeeps a no no too. Annoying.

IDK...park behind a pickup and pretend it's yours? Walk the empty up to the dock and walk your exchange back out?
Interesting. Even the lil' 5 pounder?
 

El Whedo

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I just strap a few on each side of my bike, and zip on home. No-one tailgates, and I always get the right-of-way! (J/K... I live in the US now and don't want someone to kill me for a little reckless fun.)

Though, it's not as impressive as a 55 gallon drum filled with something, strapped to each side of a Honda Cb 150, an Indonesian dude, his wife, and two kids all riding home together.

Or even better: in Pakistan I saw a trusty Cb 150 with a youngish goat, a cage with 3-4 chickens, and a family of two adults with a baby each in a bag on their chest, and maybe 4 children grooving on down the road.
 
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Knightshade

Knightshade

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Thanks all. I dropped off my 20lb to get refilled on Monday, picked it up today. Shoved it upright into a plastic crate and filled up the extra space with crap my wife always keeps in the trunk. Placed crate on floor in rear area and backed up the front passenger seat to lock it into place.

Drove home with the windows open, despite the fact that it was raining and hooked it up when I got home. All good.
 

mashpaddled

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That's ridiculous. Is that a Texas regulation or are you just dealing with idiots?

When I lived in Texas I never came across this. Sometimes the homebrew shop would volunteer to take the tank out to my car because it was cold and they would stick it on the floorboard below the back seat. Not saying that's a barometer of regulations but never had such an issue raised.
 

faithie999

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Sometimes even a truck doesn't cut it. Five or six years ago I went to my usual gas supply place to get a small bottle fill. It was a shiny new bottle that I used on my kegerator. They usually didn't have 2.5# on hand for exchange, and if they did it would be some ugly, heavy steel one. So I opted to have them fill it.

Now the problem with filling a 2.5# bottle is that the tare weight is less than the weight of the fill hardware, so getting an accurate fill can be problematic. This time I got a real big overfill. It was a really hot summer day. I had a King Cab Ford at the time.

I strapped that bad boy in the back seat, turned up the a/c and headed out on the Interstate for the 20 minute drive home. Somewhere around 80 mph I heard a loud bang followed by serious fogging in the cabin and some trouble breathing. I knew immediately that the bottle had discharged, and hit the gang switch to open all the passenger windows plus the rear window pass- through to vent the CO2.

I've gone through training in hyperbaric chambers for rapid decompression. The noise and condensing moisture, plus the subtle signs of hypoxia. Not what you want to experience on a busy highway.

What had happened was an overfill and high ambient temperature in my truck. The internal pressure exceeded the burst pressure of the OPD. Now I do only bottle exchanges. I figure if a CO2 tank can handle the jostling on a delivery truck and sit in a warehouse for a period of time, it'll survive the drive home....in the trunk.
I'd be finding a different supplier. this sounds more like incompetency or poor training on the part of the person who filled it for you. the tare weight of a 2.5# steel tank is 9 lb. not sure what the "fill hardware" weight is, but maybe a couple of pounds? say 3 lb for argument. the tare weight plus fill hardware is 12 lb; the filled weight plus fill hardware is 14.5lb. if their scale can't resolve to that accuracy they need a new scale.
 

odie

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That's ridiculous. Is that a Texas regulation or are you just dealing with idiots?
Major gas suppliers and producers...Praxair and AirGas.

I gather HB shops are most likely filling smaller tanks from a large commercial size tank. I think it's no longer high pressure liquid CO2 once it's transferred that way. And they probably get those large commercial size tanks delivered by the local gas supplier. They may not be aware of the regulations for transport.

But it's strange when I get my propane tanks filled at a major supplier they don't bat an eye at me putting propane tanks inside a vehicle.
 
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