Needless design aggravation - hold down opening height

Anthony Hitchings

Super Active Member
Silver Supporting Member
Mar 2, 2019
Oakland, California
Our propane tanks have handholds that 5/16" diam. J-bolts hook over (into?) to hold the tank down to its support (usually on the tongue). Its always been a bit of a struggle as the J-bolts seemed too short. Before our last big trip, we had to buy a new tank as the old tank's cert' had expired and recertification cost more than a new tank. And now the j-bolts seemed even shorter (tho' they were the same). The new tank is "Manchester" brand bought at our local ACOE hardare store. It turns out that due to the difference in tank design, that handhold bottom lip, that the j-bolt hooks to, went from being 14.5" (old) above the base to 15" (new) above the base. Effectively making my j-bolts 1/2 Shorter in use. Which is really aggravating!!

So I went into the attic to get a spare pair of new J-bolts that I had not used, which are a measly 1/4" diam.. and lo and behold they are about 3/8" longer than my old J-bolts, so I get some relief. On the downside, these narrower j-bolt rods have smaller wing nuts, making it harder to hand tighten them adequately.

Its just a shame that the j-bolt grip height on the RV/BBQ propane cylinders has not been standardized after all these years.


Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
I also found having them exactly perpendicular helps also. I had mine off a bit and they wouldn't fit.