Barthmobile Portal
Beware of Blue Rhino

This topic can be found at:

07-21-2005, 10:17 AM
bill h
Beware of Blue Rhino
I know Barths have horizontal propane tanks, but some of you may use the 20 lb tanks for spares or for grilles or whatever, so I thought I would share this information:

Blue Rhino is installing a different valve on their bottles. It is called TriSafe2, and assures that you cannot have it refilled, but must pay to exchange it at only a Blue Rhino station. The valve in question can be identified by a small triangular depression in the flat wrenching surface on one side of the valve, just above the threads.

Actually, a strong magnet will move a steel ball out of the way to allow the thing to be filled, but who wants to go to that trouble? And some refillers are hinky about things like that. And some charge extra to fill BR tanks with that valve.

So, if you are going to get a BR, check the valves and be sure you don't get one of those if you ever might want to get it refilled. In our case, we are often way far away from a Blue Rhino station. And their prices are quite high.

Also, BR bottles can be any age, so you could trade in a new one and get an old one, ready to expire. At twelve years they must be certified and restamped at your cost.

Some Blue Rhino places will charge much more if you are exchanging an older bottle without the triangular knob, so beware of that, too. Prices really vary.

So, if you do the Blue Rhino thing, check to be sure you get the bottle with the latest date to avoid paying for recertification and without the triangular depression on the valve to avoid being stuck with a non-refillable bottle.

Amerigas has an exchange service, without the valve issues.

07-23-2005, 01:16 AM
Good catch Bill. The kind of specific information I have come to expect from you.

Now, I see a market for a Male-Male (trademark) BlueRhino filler mechanism. I envision some sort of threadolet welded into the side of the bottle (do not try this at home) with all-thread stand-off brackets (metric of course). Let me do a cost analysis and a couple of dry runs and I'll get back to the collective with my design.
07-23-2005, 01:51 AM
bill h
Good to see you back, Ron.
07-23-2005, 02:46 AM
It's NOT Ron, it's ron.

Got to love that ron.

07-25-2005, 02:19 AM
Talk about hijacking a's the re-modeling coming along Cuz? Pics should be made available.
11-20-2005, 02:09 AM
bill h
I was selecting a Blue Rhino bottle today and saw one that was 1987. That is 6 years past recertification. So check them carefully.
05-10-2006, 11:37 PM
bill h
Update: Home Depot has a hefty surcharge if you are exchanging a non-OPD tank. Lowe's does not, at least not yet.

Yeah, I was out barbecuing planked salmon tonight with a digital scale, magnifying glass and slide rule. .......and I learned that the last two Blue Rhino bottles I received had 18 lbs of propane in them.

The tank is marked 47.6 pts, which is 5.95 gallons, which is 25.228 pounds. 80% of that is 20.18 lbs, which is what I expect from a bottle sold as refilled or full. They are often called 5 gallon bottles, which also works out to a little over 20 lbs.

So, expect to get less than a full tank from Blue Rhino.


84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
07-04-2009, 10:17 PM
bill h
Update: Blue Rhino is now down to 15 lbs of propane in a 20 lb exchange tank. The conversion factor is 4.25 lbs per gallon, so that is about 3 1/2 gallons. At $20 exchange, that is over $5.50 per gallon.


84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
07-04-2009, 11:48 PM
Danny Z
Sure wish I'd seen this thread back in 06. I thought my new grill was a real LP Hog, but it turns out I was just getting screwed by a Rhino.

79 Barth Classic
07-05-2009, 08:08 AM
lenny and judy
mister blue rino does all over Florida I don't know about other states or if there is a fraud law against that or not.just like they have on gas pumps.

lenny and judy
32', Regency, Cummins 8.3L, Spartan Chassis, 1992
Tag# 9112 0158 32RS 1B
07-05-2009, 09:12 AM
We just filled our 1000 gallon tank at $1.29 a gallon. I too got tired of being ripped off getting my small tanks refilled. We have added a wet leg to our tank and now are refilling at home. Cost for the valves and adapters for the Barth and for the 20 lb's was $200. I don't think it will take long to make my $200 back.

1978 Barth 17' Cabin Fever
1997 Barth 23' 4 door Command Center
07-05-2009, 01:50 PM
bill h
Originally posted by lenny and judy:
mister blue rino does all over Florida I don't know about other states or if there is a fraud law against that or not.just like they have on gas pumps.

I don't think it is quite fraud, since the label does state the contents to be 15 lbs. Just because the cylinder will hold 20 lbs doesn't mean the law requires it to be full. It is legal to chisel as long as you don't out and out tell a provable lie.

Now, in Germany, a beer glass has an etched line at one liter. It is a crime to serve a glass not filled to the line.

In the middle ages, a baker caught selling smaller than standard loaves had to close his bakery for the day and stand in the pillory with his small loaf displayed.

Cheating on quantities abounds in this country. Time and again, a product will be in the same box but with reduced contents. Or a bigger box with the same contents.

Have you ever measured the size of the alleged "shot" in a bar or restaurant? Particularly in a mixed drink. Bar and restaurant suppliers sell different size shot glasses and pourers, depending on how small a shot the bar owner wants to use. I am not a giant lover of strong drink, but the idea of being shorted really galls me, just like Blue Rhino.

I also don't like all the long stalks they leave on broccoli, then sell it by the pound.


84 30T PeeThirty-Something, 502 powered
07-05-2009, 04:25 PM
Anyone purchased a bag of Lay's recently???? Seriously, over 1/2 of the bag is empty! The disclaimer that comes to mind is "This product is sold by weight, not volume. Some settling of contents may have occurred during handling and shipping".

Just because we buy the big box, doesn't mean it's full, another reason for "buyer Beware".


36' Barth Regency
3208 Cat 250 HP
Allison 4 speed Transmission, Gillig Chassis
"If it ain't a CAT it's a DOG"
07-05-2009, 06:00 PM
Bill N.Y.
~Class Action Lawsuit~

AmeriGas and Blue Rhino Propane
Date Filed: June 4, 2009
Court: U.S. District Court
Location: California
Ticker Symbol: NYSE: APU

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro filed a class-action lawsuit against propane cylinder providers AmeriGas and Blue Rhino, claiming the two companies reduced the amount of propane in tanks when energy prices rose and failed to inform customers.

When energy prices soared last year, the price of propane gas increased. Plaintiffs claim the companies reduced the amount of propane in the tanks from 17 or 18 pounds to 15 pounds in lieu of raising the price for a full tank.

The lawsuit claims customers were still under the impression they were purchasing a 'full' cylinder despite the reduced product volume.

Even though energy prices have bottomed out since the high last year, the suit claims, the companies have not yet reduced prices or resumed the prior practice of selling full tanks.

Liquefied propane gas cylinders can hold 20 pounds of propane. Due to safety regulations, tanks typically fill to 17 or 18 pounds to remain safe for use.

Propane cylinders are used for a wide variety of applications including gas grills, patio heaters, outdoor fireplaces, mosquito traps and more.

AmeriGas and Blue Rhino distribute propane tanks through tens of thousands of retailers across the country including Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Safeway and other local grocery stores, convenience stores and gas stations.

The lawsuit seeks to represent anyone who purchased an AmeriGas or Blue Rhino propane cylinder from Jan. 1, 2008 to present. You can join this suit by clicking here or calling HBSS at (206) 623-7292.

˙ʎ˙u ןןıq- „ǝןƃuɐ ʇuǝɹǝɟɟıp ɐ ɯoɹɟ pןɹoʍ ǝɥʇ ʇɐ ʞooן ɐ ƃuıʞɐʇ sı ǝɟıן oʇ ʇǝɹɔǝs ǝɥʇ„

Regis Widebody1990 Barth Regis Widebody
8908 0128 40RDS-C1
L-10 Cummins
Allison MT647 Transmission
Spartan Chassis
Regal Conversion1991 Medical Lab Conversion
9102 3709 33S-12
Ford 460 MPFI
C6 Transmission
Oshkosh Chassis

Quick Link: Members Only Link To Send Me A Private Message
07-05-2009, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by T&T&B:
Anyone purchased a bag of Lay's recently???? Seriously, over 1/2 of the bag is empty! The disclaimer that comes to mind is "This product is sold by weight, not volume. Some settling of contents may have occurred during handling and shipping".

Just because we buy the big box, doesn't mean it's full, another reason for "buyer Beware".


I don't want to appear to taking sides in this thread but;
I worked in the packaged goods R&D area and often found myself neither right or left, only uncomfortable. Do you notice the reduced level of crushed chips in the potato chip bags now? I remember the days of my youth in grade school when someone would do a crunch test on your snack bag of chips. There was little extra space in the bag and suddenly you had a handful of fines and no chips. The cost of the current bag is much higher, permeability is near that of a can, the void is not due to lack of chips but making a void before sealing. Result, fewer broken chips, longer shelf life, crisper chips. Costs? Fewer bags in a box so shipping costs are probably higher, costs of doing business.
Other products?
5# bag is normal, cost of new product is much higher to manufacturer, resolution, lower density, same price, 3.5#/bag, narrower bag, present face only so it still appears the same on shelf. Net net? Product cost is higher to manufacturer, product is well received in market, customers are pleased, cost per ounce is higher but satisfaction per unit is greater/dollar. Not a commodity issue, prime rib versus round steak.
Under fill the tank? Let me know there is a difference, that you are keeping my costs the same by giving me less, that you are not cheating me, you are doing standard price point selling rather than quantity price point selling. I go to the gas station, I know how much the gallon costs, I know whether I want fill the tank or buy $10, I want that choice.

Money can't buy poverty