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shipping tanks within USA

Discussion in 'Tanks, Valves & Bands' started by scubadiver888, Aug 24, 2014.

  1. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    1,514
    285
    Greetings,

    I'm currently located in Dallas, TX. I'll be there for a while (6 to 12 months). Rather than rent tanks I'm going to buy two AL80 tanks. When I do get relocated I could end up anywhere in the USA. We have projects in California, Florida, New York, etc. I'm wonder if it would be worth shipping tanks.

    I plan on asking the dive shop for the plug which the tank ships with and see if they have the original packing material as well. I've read Fedex will ship these things. Would you recommend I drop into a Fedex store? Or is it better to call Fedex and have them pick up the tanks at my hotel? Ebay says you want to avoid people who are charging too much for shipping & handling but they don't say how much is too much. If I was shipping from say Dallas (75247) to San Francisco (94104) how much is a reasonable amount for 2014?

    Just for piece of mind I'll probably have them VIP'd at the destination. I was planning on shipping the tanks but bringing the valves with me, in my luggage. Is there any reason I want to ship the valves with the tanks?

    Thanks,
    Darrell
     
  2. BRT

    BRT not a soft touch ScubaBoard Supporter

    15,977
    13,732
    We just shipped some steel 72's. We rolled them in cardboard and wrapped the valves in bubble wrap and stuffed them in one end. Closed the cardboard in on the ends and put on lots of strapping tape then taped 2 tanks together. The package came out under 70lb and cost about $65.
     
  3. Herb-alaska

    Herb-alaska Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Alaska
    490
    225
    Al 80's are cheap on the used market. What i would do is check around on craiglist for your area and pick up a couple of used tanks that have at least one year of hydro remaining and pick them up cheap. You should be able to find them for not much over what you would pay to ship the tank to your new assignment when you are ready to move on sell them and start the process again. If you want steel tanks then it might be worth shipping them but I would send them with the rest of your home furnishings but pack them at least with something around the tank and protect the stem of the tank with the plug and a few layers of packing materials. I have packed tanks several times as a checked bag. I bought cheap camping pads rolled them up and then duct taped them up with the valves out set them in a heavy trash bay and then more tape. I packed them after TSA looked and approved them. This works well and avoids having to open the packing for TSA. but I always get strange looks walk through the airport packing a tank in each hand. ( they make great souvenirs when you are coming back from a trip)
     
  4. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    1,514
    285
    I actually live out of a suitcase. I don't have any home furnishings. Clothes, scuba gear and a computer. That is it. :)

    Hmm, I'll look into whether I can bring them as checked luggage. That might actually work.

    I have been scanning craigslist and eBay for local tanks but no luck so far. There just doesn't seem to be a lot of people selling tanks in the Dallas area. Add to that I'm looking for DIN valves and I see almost nothing. Next time I'm going diving is September 5th. So if I don't see anything by then I'm just going to buy new tanks and be done with it.
     
  5. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    5,889
    741
    Rent aluminum tanks...buy steel tanks!

    Other than the convenience of having tanks ready to go at a moments notice there is no savings in owning aluminum tanks for recreational diving.
     
    cmulvaney likes this.
  6. Roman_66

    Roman_66 DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Allen, TX, USA
    299
    50
    Delivery from "San Diego, California" to "Allen, Texas" of Sherwood HP120 steel tank cost about $45.
    Tank must be without valve.
     
  7. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    1,514
    285
    This might be true in Santa Rosa, CA but in Dallas it is worth having AL80s. Most the places around here is too shallow to need anything bigger than an AL80. Now back home (Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River) I have a bunch of steel tanks because it just isn't worth using AL80s. The only time I use AL80s in Canada is when I'm working in the pool.

    In Dallas, if you dive more than 11 weekends, you end up spending more renting the tanks than if you bought it new. I definitely plan on diving more than 11 weekends while I'm in Dallas.
     
  8. Peter_C

    Peter_C Solo Diver

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Santa Rosa, CA
    5,889
    741
    What is the cost of a rental tank vs a fill?

    Take the purchase price of the tank, plus shipping, plus a visual, and factor in the hydro in the future and what is the payback? I would understand the convenience factor more.

    I don't know how much a fill is these days, but it used to be around $2 more if it came with a rental tank.
     
  9. scubadiver888

    scubadiver888 Divemaster

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: North America
    1,514
    285
    Yeah, it is a little messed up around Dallas. There is no diving in Dallas. I have to drive at least an hour to the nears 'dive site'. I have to drive a lot more to any good diving. So if I'm going to rent tanks I cannot rent them for a day. I'll rent them for the weekend. A weekend rental will cost me $24 and I only get one free air fill. At the scuba park an air fill is $8. So the tanks are costing me $16 every weekend per tank plus the air fills. If new tanks cost me $190 after tax then $190 / $16 = 11.875 weekends. So if I buy new and use them for 12 weekends I'm actually spending less than renting. That is my plan. I plan on diving more than 12 weekends in the next year.

    The only downside to this plan is a bunch of steel tanks back in Canada which aren't getting used. :)
     
  10. bamafan

    bamafan Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Panama City Beach, Fl.
    984
    470
    I shipped a whole pallet of tanks once. Go online and find some less than truck load discount shipping companies (like Expedia for air travel). It was under $150 to ship the pallet 1/2 way across the country. I took the valves off and taped up the end of the tanks. I wrapped all the valves in bubble wrap and boxed them up on the pallet. I have heard that the USPS is the cheapest way to ship a single tank. You will have to take the valve off also.
     

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