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When shopping for an outdoor fire pit or fire table, you need to think about where you're going to store your propane and how protected it's going to be. This is why many experienced fire pit owners choose to use a propane tank cover instead of having an exposed propane tank in their outdoor space. Whether you want to choose a propane tank cover for aesthetic, convenience or safety reasons, our guide will help you understand the importance of this critical piece of equipment.
- The first is that they are a dramatic aesthetic improvement from an exposed propane tank. An aesthetically pleasing propane tank cover can be the perfect addition to complete your outdoor patio environment while providing utility and protection.
- The second reason to use a propane tank cover is for safety reasons, condensed gas like propane is always a fire and explosion hazard, and should be treated with caution and respect.
- A third reason is transportation protection. A durable tank cover will protect your vehicle or RV from impacting with the metal cylinder walls.
- The final reason is convenience, many propane tank covers double as end-tables or integrates easily with your outdoor space, turning a clunky exposed tank into an extra piece of furniture.
What Material Should My Propane Tank Cover Be?
When shopping for a propane tank cover, it's easy to get overwhelmed by how many different options there are, from large cages to simple cloth covers. With so many choices, what is the best option for you?
Metal cage covers are extremely durable, but they run into many of the same issues that an exposed propane tank does, like rust and they may not potentially suit the patio look that you're looking for. Unless you're storing multiple large volume propane bottles, there are going to be easier options to install and maintain.
A great option for hardcovers made of plastic or similar materials. Though these are quite durable and would work better in a moving van, they have serious disadvantages as well. Plastic and other materials like it are prone to scratches and marks when left outside, which can quickly ruin the aesthetic look of your propane tank. Many of the things we want to protect a propane tank from, like road debris, are going to seriously damage plastic containers, which severely lowers their lifespan.
The best option for a propane tank cover material is a durable thick fabric like polyester, or Dacron. Variants of polyester, or Dacron, are differentiated by their tear strength ie. 420D, or 600D Polyester. The “D” stands for ‘denier’ and a higher number is a stronger tear strength denomination Look for a heavy polyester infused with UV (ultra-violet) protection to protect from fading in direct sunlight. Polyester isn't water absorbent, which means you'll never run into mildew or similar issues, and you can always clean your propane tank covers with a simple wipe down using a damp cloth, or blast from a garden hose.
It's easy to think of fabric as less durable than hardcovers, but in most cases, the fabric options are lighter and solve more of the issues involved with covering propane than their hardcover counterparts.
What Should I Look For in a Propane Tank Cover?
Now that you've chosen a material, it's critical that you know what to search for when you're shopping for a propane tank cover. There are some important safety features and convenient add-ons for you to keep in mind.
Your propane tank cover should be UV and Water resistant. It's critical that your cover of choice is UV resistant so that it resists color fading in direct sunlight. as this severely lowers how much heat reaches the propane tank, and water resistance is how you ensure that the tank will remain rust-free, Being water resistant, the fabric cover is less susceptible to mildew. Keep in mind, no propane tank covers are going to be waterproof, as they need openings to let you access the tank inside as well as slots for air flow.
Your propane tank should be easy to access. Whether it's through a zipper, velcro at the top or another opening, it should be simple to connect the gas hose and regulator and adjust the tank valve. It should also be convenient to remove the cover from the cylinder. If you can't easily access the gas hose connection and propane cylinder valve, then your cover will make every bar-b-que or patio night start with an annoyance, which isn't what you want.
Your cover should be slightly elastic. Though there are some industry standards when it comes to propane bottle size, it's always good to have some wiggle room when it comes to fitting the cover over the tank. Elasticity ensures that you're never stuck with a cover that doesn't quite fit.
Your cover should have accessory slots. Pockets or compartments can make a nice feature benefit to some tank covers. Whether you need quick access to a lighter or a bottle opener, having a zipper, weather-resistant pocket on the outside of your cylinder is always handy.
Go Shop for a Propane Tank Cover
Now that you know what to look for in a propane tank cover, you're free to shop around and find the perfect one for you. If you want our recommendation, the Outland Living propane tank cover has all of the critical elements we mentioned above with some style and a good price.