How Long Will A 20 lb Propane Tank Last At (5,000-60,000) BTUs


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How Long Will A 20 lb Propane Tank Last

Propane tanks are the lifeblood of a camper’s kitchen and knowing how long a certain tank will last you is important if you’re going to be cooking over a propane burner.

This is because there are a few things that affect how long your propane will last, including the outside temperature, how much fuel you use, and the size of the tank.

For example, using a propane tank at a high setting will drain the tank faster than using it at a low setting. Likewise, a smaller propane tank will, of course, last longer than a larger one.

Propane is a popular fuel source for camping stoves and grills. It’s relatively inexpensive, easy to find, and burns cleanly, making it a good choice for outdoor cooking.

For every camper, we all know that the heat out from our stoves is measured in BTUs. The higher the BTUs, the more heat you’ll get from your burner.

You can also use the BTUs to help you figure out how long a tank will last you while on the go. However; based on average, a 20 lb propane tank at full pressure will last you approximately 432 hours. Sometimes you’ll get a little extra, sometimes a little less.

Now… let’s break it down based on BTUs…

>>Read also: Can I Use A Propane Stove in A Camper

How To Calculate The Time A Propane Tank Will Last (5,000 to 60,000) BTUs

To calculate how long your propane tank will last; first, we need to understand some basic rules. A 20-lb propane tank contains 4.25 gallons of propane that contain 430,588 BTU of energy.

With a single Coleman propane burner, with a total power output of 10,000 BTUs propane patio heater.

When we cook on average 1 hour per day and use the burner for 2 hours each day, then the tank will last approximately 18 days (18*24=432 hrs).

To calculate the amount of fuel a stove can burn, you need to know:

The BTU content of the fuel. We usually express this as the number of gallons needed to burn a certain amount of fuel (20 pounds).

The BTU output of your stove. This is the number of BTUs per hour that your stove burns up.

The number of hours you want to run your stove for.

The equation is 20 lbs = 4.70588 gallons × 91,500 BTU per gallon = 430,588 BTU

20 lbs tank lifespan = 430,588 BTU ÷ 5,000 BTU/h = 86.1178 hours

With this, finding how long will a 20 lb propane tank last at 5,000 to 60,000 BTUs…

Propane Tank Size (lbs) and BTUs Rates

Approx. Burn Time

20 lb Propane Tank Last at 5,000 BTU

86.12 Hours

20 lb Propane Tank Last at 10,000 BTU

43.16 Hours

20 lb Propane Tank Last at 20,000 BTU

21.59 Hours

20 lb Propane Tank Last at 30,000 BTU

14.40 Hours

20 lb Propane Tank Last at 40,000 BTU

10.80 Hours

20 lb Propane Tank Last at 50,000 BTU

8.64 Hours

20 lb Propane Tank Last at 60,000 BTU

7.20 Hours

How To Calculate The Amount of Fuel A Propane Tank Can Hold

The amount of propane a tank can hold is determined by the size of the tank. For example, an 8-foot tank can hold up to 250 gallons and a 10-foot tank can hold up to 300 gallons. Calculating how much fuel a propane tank can hold is easy to do with this simple formula:

Tank Length x Width x Height = Gallons

For example, if you purchased an 8-foot by 4-foot by 4-foot propane tank, it would have a volume of 256 cubic feet and could hold approximately 250 gallons of propane.

>>Read also: How Long Does A Butane Gas Canister Last?

How To Calculate The Amount of Fuel A Stove Can Burn

When you are camping or hiking, it is important to know how much fuel your stove can burn. This will help you determine how long your stove will last before you need to refill it.

You also need to know this information so that you can plan how many meals you can cook with your stove. Otherwise, if you run out of fuel while cooking a meal, then you may have to wait until your next stop before eating again.

However; we measured the amount of fuel that a stove can burn in grams. For example, if the stove uses 70g of fuel per hour, then it can burn for a maximum of 70 hours. However, this does not mean that it will actually burn for that long.

The reason for this is that when burning stoves are used to heat water or cook food, they use more fuel than when they are just heating the air inside the tent or other structure.

If you want to calculate how much time your stove will run on its fuel source, then use the following formula:

Time = Fuel / Burn Rate


As the above results suggest, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It will depend on the size of your stove, how long you plan to cook, your cooking technique, and other factors. In reality, you will probably have to make a few adjustments to find the right balance for your needs. That said, as long as you buy a propane tank that is about half your stove’s capacity, you’ll probably be okay.

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