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Author Topic: Baltimore Tunnel Propane Restrictions  (Read 9062 times)
Gabby
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« on: February 01, 2009, 06:54:36 AM »

I am planning travel route to Disney FL.
We will be traveling through/around Balti.
There are two tunnels with propane rectricitons and a slightly longer path using a bridge as a work around for the tunnel restrictions.

This is from the DOT from Balti:
Vehicles carrying bottled propane gas in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers), bulk gasoline, explosives, significant amounts of radioactive materials, and other hazardous materials are prohibited from using both the Fort McHenry and Baltimore Harbor Tunnels. In addition, vehicles in excess of 13 feet, 6 inches, in height, or 96 inches (8 feet) in width; and all double trailers are prohibited from using the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel. Vehicles carrying Class 1 explosives and radioactive materials require an escort at the Francis Scott Key Bridge. For additional information regarding these restrictions, please call 410-537-1374.

The questions is my mind are:

1. Is the 10 lb. restriction (per container) actual liquid propane?

2. Does a 20 lb. bottle of propane have more than 10 lbs. of actual liquid propane in it?

What's your thoughts?
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Red Barchetta
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2009, 08:05:58 AM »


please call 410-537-1374

2. Does a 20 lb. bottle of propane have more than 10 lbs. of actual liquid propane in it?

What's your thoughts?

Gabby -

I know it's a strange & scary thought in this computer age we live in, but call the phone # and ask somebody.   Big Smile Tongue Wink

I just did (10:55am Sunday morning MD/eastern time) and the guy that answered was very friendly.  He said you wouldn't be able to go through the tunnel(s), but to "take the 695 instead".

I also asked him what if the tank was turned off (as opposed to fueling a fridge while in transit).  As I expected, it made no difference.

A full 20# LP tank has around 17 lbs. of LP inside of it.

HTH!   Smile
« Last Edit: February 01, 2009, 08:08:02 AM by Red Barchetta » Logged

Jeff
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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2009, 10:42:49 AM »

I can answer your question speaking from experience.  In Sept. 2007 while driving home from DC towing the PUP, I drove through the Baltimore Harbor tunnel.  In my rush to make it home to get to work, I disregarded the signs noting the restrictions.  I made it through the tunnel, paid the toll, and was promptly directed to the side of the road by a Baltimore Transit Police Officer.  Even though my tongue mounted propane tank was empty, I was told I was still in violation of the law prohibiting bottled propane in excess of 10 lbs. in the tunnel.  Technically, as the bottle was empty, I was not in possession of anything but an empty propane tank.  The officer did not buy my arguement, but I was let go with a written warning (no fines) instead  of a summons.  So, to answer your question, if you are towing your trailer and you have a propane tank(s) attached to it, avoid the tunnels.
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« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2009, 11:46:50 AM »

A full "20# tank" of propane has 20# of LP unless your propane vendor is cheating you.  They'll actually hold 25 pounds but are restricted to 80% capacity to allow effective gas generation and to avoid over filling.

An empty 20# tank weighs about 18 pounds.  Full it weighs about 38 pounds.

-- Chuck
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Gabby
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« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2009, 12:31:31 PM »

I had planned to call the number on Monday figuring I wouldn't get an answer today but I thought this would be a good subject for this forum as I'll bet a few people don't even think of restrictions like this when planning a trip.
Red, thanks for calling.
And thanks to the others for their info.

The bridge route it is...
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rabird
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« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2009, 01:15:26 PM »

Wonder how many folks hide their propane round those parts?

The permitted fill density for propane is found in 49 CFR 173.304a (d) and is 42% of the cylinder’s water capacity. So I've been told  Wink

Tare weight, water capacity and dip tube are all stamped into the collar that protects the OPD/QCC1 valve.
A typical WC of 47.6 lbs * .42 = 19.992 lbs. 

My OPDs trip at about 17 +/- lbs, so I can't get em 'full', I only pay for what I get. Both volumetric (venting) or weighing are not extremely accurate, neither is the OPD that can stop one of the other two methods of filing.

My understanding is that they are under filled so they won't vent with temperature increases when full.
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« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2009, 01:31:11 PM »

I had planned to call the number on Monday figuring I wouldn't get an answer today but I thought this would be a good subject for this forum as I'll bet a few people don't even think of restrictions like this when planning a trip.
Red, thanks for calling.
And thanks to the others for their info.

The bridge route it is...


I'm surprised that he received an answer also, but that number may be to the Transit Police station which is manned all the time.

Another option is to go the other way around the Baltimore beltway.  But it depends on where you get on the beltway and the time you get on. 
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« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2009, 01:36:17 PM »

Taking the bridge is no problem.
At least we now have a planned route around Balt.

Looking further down the route it looks like I have an option around Jacksonville FL on 295.
Any input on this?
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« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2009, 05:14:38 PM »

Taking the bridge is no problem.
At least we now have a planned route around Balt.

Looking further down the route it looks like I have an option around Jacksonville FL on 295.
Any input on this?

Take 295.  A bit longer but an easier drive than going through the city.   We take it on our way to St. Augustine.
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Red Barchetta
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« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2009, 05:41:14 PM »

My pleasure Gabby.
I could actually hear traffic in the background when I was on the phone.
It's my nature, I tend to take action when something can be found out or done quickly & easily.
You posted the phone #, my cell phone has free long distance, I had 20 seconds to spare, & most importantly there was a PUX'er from "Blazing Saddles" in need.   Smile Cool Cool Wink Smile
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« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2009, 05:25:02 AM »

Seems to me that the way the rule is written, an empty tank is not a violation and you should be allowed to proceed.  If the rule stated "Vehicles carrying propane gas bottles capable of holding in excess of 10 pounds per container (maximum of 10 containers)"  But as it's written, carrying an empty bottle in and of itself shouldn't be a violation of the law (and it's unlikely a ticket issued on such an offense would hold up in court).

The same issue could be arise for the 5-gallon can of gasoline in the bad of the truck to power the generator...  What defines 'bulk?'  A tanker?  Probably.  A 55-gallon drum strapped to a trailer?  Maybe.  A 55-gallon auxiliary fuel tank mounted to the pickup bed?  Hmmmm... 

So, what exactly did the officer give you a written warning for?  He warned you that you were not breaking the law??  WTF?
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