Time to quit ignoring my propane

Discussion in 'Propane - Got Gas' started by Orchid, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I need advice on what to do with my propane system. It has a spare tank in the front cargo, that I had initially planned to mount on the hitch with this one, and put an auto-switch-between (whatever they're called) thing on them.

    I just found out the other day that I don't have a gas furnace (no laughing [LOL]) so now thinking there is really no need for two tanks. Propane will be used for fridge, hot water, and cooking only.

    Currently, there is a single stage regulator, which I know I have to replace with a 2 stage. I also have no use for that meter thing on there and want to just get rid of that.

    1) Can someone give me advice, preferably with links, of what I need to buy to make this right? And step by step directions of where everything goes.

    2) Should I go ahead and mount the second tank, or just leave it with one?

    3) Shouldn't 2-stage regulators be mounted vertical? Or does it matter? I really don't like the way this single one looks and would prefer a vertical one.

    4) See any problems I should be aware of in these pics?

    Thank you in advance for your time and advice! :)

    [​IMG]

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  2. ScoobyDoo

    ScoobyDoo New Member

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    Ok, first step; The nut inbound from the regulator should spin on tube to unscrew lefthanded thread out of that gauge adapter. With that loose, turn the hand nut to screw the adapter off the tank. The lefthanded nut will now screw into the tank. Unless the regulator is bad, it will likely last longer than a new one. Check for leaks.
    I don't know why the 2 lines are teed there, but there is nothing wrong with it...
     
  3. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    It's not bad, but isn't it illegal?
     
  4. ByramTra

    ByramTra Member

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    Also, Why do you want to switch to a 2 stage regulator? Any reason you need one?
     
  5. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Only because I thought I had to.
     
  6. Camp-or

    Camp-or New Member

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    from my limited experience, the vent should be facing down if it's not covered by a cap of some sort, but it's not like the cops are going to come bust you. The problem with not having the vent facing down is that debris could enter the regulator through the vent. I think, judging from the pictures, the way yours is situated should be ok, but I'm no expert by far.
     
  7. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    I wasn't really worried about getting in trouble. [LOL] I'm basically just a rule follower. I also thought if the single stage were now not legal on campers, it must be a safety issue, and I want my family to be safe. :)

    To be honest, I find propane and propane accessories (Hank Hill reference [LOL]) very mysterious and scary. And I want my hitch to be attractive like this one:

    [​IMG]
     
  8. ByramTra

    ByramTra Member

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    Having the vent pointing down is a good idea. With as much gas as you will be using a 2 stage regulator probably you won't see much of any benefit, other than ease of switching if you empty a tank. Living in my 32' fifth wheel, in really cold weather, running the heater, I use a 7 gallon tank a week. So it shouldn't be a big need for you, but I can understand on replacing it just for the aesthetic value. Are single stage regulators illegal now? Haven't heard of that.
     
  9. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Thank you. [:D] I wish I could make it look nice and neat with just one tank. It looks messy.

    Maybe not. I thought I had read that, but I may just be confused.
     
  10. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    You have an old 1 stage propane regulator (you know that already so I have no idea why I write that.. lol).
    If you want to get rid of the gauge do as scooby wrote.
    2 Stage regulators does not mean you can have 2 propane gas bottles. 2 stage regulator refers to the way the regulator works which lowers the pressure of the gas to 11wc in two stages instead of one. The benefit is that it can deal with large changes of propane demands and maintain the 11wc better than the 1 stage. 2 stage regulators are the norm now for rv's. I am not sure there is a "law" but there are codes that the RVIA members follows which dictate to use 2 stage regulators.
     
  11. ByramTra

    ByramTra Member

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    Exactly. In welding we still use single stage regulators all the time. Unless we are running high amounts of gass the pressure change as the bottle drains is minimal, and with propane being a liquid it is completely null. The draw your trailer would produce is really minimal. Twin tanks is really nice. More capacity, and looks better. My pup has twin tanks, but is only plumed for one at a time. Takes 1 minute to switch tanks, and I can take the spare off to run other things. I'm planning on leaving it that way.
     
  12. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    This much I knew. The actual reason for them, that you posted, I didn't know. I only knew that I wanted things to be safe. :)

    Perhaps just taking the gauge off will make the whole set-up look a little neater. Glad Scooby gave me a heads up about which way to turn adapter!

    I read that it is only on RVs that they were not allowed anymore. I will try to find where I read it. I believe several places.

    Glad you understand my desire to have it look nice. Right now it's just so awful looking.

    I can safely say that I would never be removing a tank to use for anything else. Even the miniature propane cans make me nervous. I always feel like they are an explosion looking for a place to happen.
     
  13. Nandy

    Nandy Active Member

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    for your use one propane tank should be enough. If you do search for the 1 stage/2stage rv debacle you will read many people saying it is illegal, I have not found anywhere to confirm that. RVIA set the standards but it is not law. I still to see a safety issue with a 1 stage regulator. I would like to know the reasoning for the change. I will say this, if it was a safety issue I am sure there would have been a recall of some sort.
    2 stage is better regulator than 1 stage and the money difference should not break the bank so I would go for 2 stage. when you have hungry units like a furnace you definitely need a 2 stage, If you are just cooking and keeping that little refrigerator flame I doubt you will benefit from a 2 stage. Still, go with the standard gear.
     
  14. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    Thank you all for your answers.

    Nandy, you are probably correct that what I've been reading about needing 2-stage was more opinion than fact. I tend to wander aimlessly all over the internet. I often have to consult my browser history to see where I've been. I doubt I have read it on any official sites, more like blogs or forums.

    I'll just pretty mine up as best as I can. I do have an extra tank taking up space in the cargo area. Not sure if I will mount it for looks or just stick it in the shed. Probably the shed, as it is dead weight, as much as I'd like to see my hitch have a uniform appearance. Oh, well.

    I'm glad that 1-stage is not dangerous, just saved me some money. I did see a Campco 2-stage on Walmart for $23, which isn't bad. But I'll use that money to fill up the one ugly, lonely tank. [;)]
     
  15. ScoobyDoo

    ScoobyDoo New Member

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    I have no idea why, but the threads on the inside of the tank connection half been left handed for as long as I can remember. Gives me no trouble taking it off, but I feel like a bear cub in boxing gloves when starting it back together. Now a new regulator will screw on the outside threads, with the plastic hand nut, you don't have to deal with the LH threads, or a wrench. Personally, I have more faith I will get it tight enough not to leak with the wrench, and know that the brass will take centuries to degrade. Plastic? Not so sure, but smarter people than me call it safe.
    As for making the area look better; Delete that useless gauge deal will move the regulator over the tank, square up the hoses. Tank MT? When it is exchange for a prettier one. And, a little more complicated, trace the 2 hoses, learn the why of them. If both are needed, can you tee them together someplace under the box, only have 1 hose up to tank?
    A 2-stage regulator might hold the flow a little more constant for a short time, (likely less than a second with the short lines of a RV.) when a big burner (furnace or water heater) kicks on, but I bet most would not notice it. What you are more likely to notice is the 2 stage has 2 diaphragms, compared to the 1 in a single stage. Twice as many moving parts, plus the least cost supplier...I'll keep my 20 YO for as long as it works.
    Thoughts on safety; I'm not going to say there is no risk, but think about it. Millions of RVs, over decades. Many more millions of houses, over at least as many decades, use propane. Even more millions of houses, plumbed with natural gas, which will have the same safety issues. Where does gas come in on the list of causes of house fires?
     
  16. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    NFPA 1192
    https://www.nfpa.org/Assets/files/AboutTheCodes/1192/1192_F2013_FDR.pdf

    start with 5.2.15 Propane Regulators.

    5.3.1.4
    Low-pressure piping systems for propane shall require at least two stages of pressure regulation to reduce container pressure to appliance utilization pressure.


    The OP's system has been 'hacked'. The outside regulated high pressure line is connected to the low pressure regulator. daul regs are called for to provide more consistent pressure inside the PU, the first stage eliminates the large swing of pressure in the container and provides a more consistent pressure to the 2 nd stage so that it regulates more accurately.

    These days, the reg is affixed to something and connected to the cylinder via a rubber hose with ACME excess flow features.

    page 33 of this parts book shows a high pressure reg, a tee to the outside reg high pressure, a dual stage reg and the ACME pigtail to the cylinder
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/37743407/COLEMAN%20PARTS%20BOOK/2004/2004%20coleman%20grand%20tour.pdf
     
  17. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    see page 32 for the original propane piping of a '99 coleman
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/37743407/COLEMAN%20PARTS%20BOOK/1999/1999%20coleman%20grand%20tour.pdf
     
  18. Orchid

    Orchid Sharp Shootin' Grandma

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    This was exactly my plan for today until I saw bupkis' posts. I'm not sure where the lines go to, but will at least find that out today. Looks like I may have to do a bit more than expected to make it right, though.

    Thank you for all this great info! I'm trying to process what it all means.

    The way I'm understanding what you posted is that two-stage regulators are now the legal code? Single stage should no longer be used?

    Yeah, this looks nothing at all like my set-up. [:!]
     
  19. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    your first stage is missing, it has been removed.

    at one time you had a high pressure regulator (16 psi) and tee to the high pressure stove and to the 2nd stage (low pressure regulator) to the inside stove w/h, just like the linked parts manual.

    that's how they did it to get 16 psi to the outside stove.

    the same yr destiny series uses a single 2 stage regulator since it does not have a high pressure stove. 2 stage has been required for a long time for indoor use.

    see page 22 https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/37743407/COLEMAN%20PARTS%20BOOK/1999/1999%20coleman%20destiny.pdf
     
  20. rabird

    rabird Howdy!

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    12 is the POL connector to 'gauge'
    item 11 the high pressure reg is missing
    item 10 the tee has been moved to after item 7
    item 9 now hooks to the tee and then onto inside
    the hose with the red tape was once the high pressure line to the outside stove.
    7 is the low pressure regulator
     

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