New propane lines in a Boler 13 - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-29-2009, 12:16 PM   #15
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Thanks for the reply, Rick. I'm glad we're both happy with the discussion at this point.

I can understand why you would be a bit sensitive to the propane issue, considering what happened to your dad.

The other day I passed someone driving a mini-van that was towing a (non-egg) trailer on an in-town stretch of Interstate, and the driver had a book propped up on the steering wheel, reading (not a map... a chapter book!).

Honestly, what are some people thinking?!

Raya
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:38 AM   #16
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If you want to make sure everthing is good do a pressure test on it. The best way to test is to have the lines capped where they would hook up to the stove, fridge, etc... and then add a gauge at the other end. Put a valve on like a tire valve and fill the tubing/piping up with air to at least 15psi. According to code it should stay at 15psi for at least 15 minutes. If pressure drops you know you have a leak but at least your not messing with the propane.
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Old 10-03-2009, 01:17 PM   #17
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Rick,

I appreciate your concern, and I share your caution.

That said, I am a very careful, conscientious person. Many of the other systems I work with have the same potential to cause death or injury, so I have to be very careful. I do believe that it is possible to do this sort of work one's self if one is cognizant of the dangers and if one has the right bent.

One plus is that there is no propane in the system while doing the work (this may not be the case on large construction sites?). In other words, someone like me can do all the work, slowly and carefully, and then test the system before using it.

(Note that my original questions were not really about how to do the basic work - i.e. flares and such - but were more about how people routed their lines, and the procedure they used for getting them in place. In other words, the logistics more than the techniques of working with the tools and materials.)

Now I have nothing against professionals doing work on my things, but I have had difficulty finding *true* professionals. As an example, I took my car to a professional shop (new to me but well recommended), and they really messed it up. I ended up having to fix it, and the job was harder than if I had just done it in the first place.

Again, I have no problem with hiring a true professional.

On the other hand, no one cares more about my life than me, and I'm not working to an estimate. So I have all the time I need to do the job carefully and methodically. As a bonus, I might see a better way to route the lines, something else I need to work on, and/or I will get a chance to check over other systems under the trailer.

I think either avenue can be appropriate; it just depends on the comfort level of the person who owns the trailer, how they feel about working with tools and handling the responsibility, and how tidy and careful they are.

Would I want to camp next to someone who had done their own propane repair sloppily? No, of course not. But I don't think that's a good reason for one to not do their own work if they do it properly.

Some professionals do great work; some are sloppy. Some people are good drivers; some aren't. Some wear proper safety equipment when they work; some don't. I wish I didn't have to share the world with the latter, but I also don't feel that they should keep everyone from doing their own work.

I certainly hope insurance companies are looking for the trailer to be safe, not for who has done the work. After all, if the latter were the case, who would be allowed to change their own flat tire and tighten their own lug nuts? (Not to be "smart" but seriously, I do feel that way.) I bet there are plenty of people going around with unsafe towing rigs, that have nothing to do with the fact that they do (or don't do) the work themselves. In fact, I would venture a guess that people who do work on their own rigs, and are aware of their condition, might even have rigs that are more safe, overall, than people who don't.

I'm sorry to ramble on, but I felt that I had addressed this in my original post, and it makes me feel a bit frustrated to hear swearing and "threatening" things about what insurers might think.

Again, please don't take this as encouragement to do your own work on a potentially dangerous system you are not comfortable with. On the other hand, know that there is no "magic" involved, and with knowledge, care, and proper procedure, people can do things.

Raya
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Old 10-06-2009, 12:46 PM   #18
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I consider myself to be fairly capable but I drew the line at the gas. I had a pro do it because there are laws about how many fittings are allowed inside the camper and other things that just plain scared me off. I paid $200 and had them all replaced. my other concern was that if I burned the egg to the ground due to my own work, would my insurance company cover me?
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Old 10-06-2009, 06:10 PM   #19
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If you hitch up your trailer improperly, and it flies off and hurts someone, will your insurance cover you?

Scott, I'm glad that you did not tackle a job on your camper that you were not comfortable with. That's how everyone should handle projects, whether they be propane, electrical, changing a tire, or whatever. But to pose the question about "would insurance cover me?" and then leave it hanging in mid air like that seems to make it sound as though propane would be a special case, and that people had better not even think of trying it themselves. It uses fear to add an element of doubt and then leaves it at that.

I do understand that one must research how to do it properly, and must be comfortable doing it. That holds true for propane, electricity, hitching up, driving, pumping sewage, using power tools, and many other things on our trailers. People have all different levels of comfort with these things, and either choose to do them or to have them done by others.

If someone wires a circuit wrong and the trailer burns down, is it covered? How about if someone doesn't tighten the hitch coupler properly? Or turns in front of oncoming traffic (their own fault)? I don't know but I guess if I wanted to find out I would call my insurance company and ask.

I realize this is a bit of a rant, but I get tired of people acting as if propane is somehow so much more dangerous than driving down the freeway at 70mph, or handling 120 volts of electricity, or running a gasoline appliance. They can all be very dangerous if one is not careful.

If you're not comfortable with it, that is totally understandable. But please let's keep to the facts here. I started this thread to ask about the logistics of getting the old propane lines out of the trailer (with no propane in them) and the new ones in (still with no propane in them). The next step would be to pressure test them (with no propane in them). Only after that would propane be introduced, and I have to say that at that point such a system would likely be much more "tested" than most of the older trailers out there who are using theirs as-is.

Raya
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Old 10-07-2009, 03:02 PM   #20
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Reminds me of a discussion we had with our builder when we bought our first house in Phoenix. I had never heard this before, and not saying it is necessarily related but an interesting story just the same.
We were looking at a builder spec house that had fallen through on the original buyer and we couldn't make our decision for a few weeks. There was another elderly couple that was hot on it, so we were afraid we wouldn't get it. Turns out that the other couple got frightened off because it had a gas stove. The builder rep told us he had found that Seniors in general get really nervous about gas appliances and almost never went with them over electric. Since AZ has a lot of Seniors you don't see a ton of gas appliances in the resale homes.

I personally have worked with gas connections all my life and feel very comfortable hooking up gas lines. After watching many pros over the years, I'm more comfortable with my connections and always go behind them when they do the work and soap test everything anyway.

Like the Seniors in AZ and their gas appliance nervousness you certainly need to operate within your comfort zone and shouldn't do any repairs or have items in the camper that are outside that zone. Since things sometimes come loose in transit, propane repairs may have to be done in the field where pros aren't available, so one might want to consider an all electric option for their camper if they are nervous working with propane lines and connections. I know there have been several discussions on this board over the years about folks removing the propane from their camper or ordering all electric for very similar reasons. I almost totally removed the propane from my Scamp until I discovered how well the fridge works on propane for "boondocking." I'm now in the process of removing the propane stove since we never use it but will keep the fridge for now.

As for Raya's project I'm not familiar with the Boler or where they run the lines, but the Scamp 13 was a breeze to remove the old lines and replace. I'd estimate that when I replaced mine it was about a 45 minute to 1 hour job.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:31 PM   #21
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For flaring, I used an old fashioned tool that clamps around the tubing, with a conical piece that screws down into the end of the tubing. I guess that's still the common tool for such jobs. Anyway, I suggest practicing on some scrap to learn where to clamp the tubing to get the right amount of flare. And most important......don't forget to slide the nut on the tube BEFORE flaring. I supposed everyone has to do this once, but it just doesn't make one's day to take the flaring tool off the tube and the see the nut laying nearby.



As a side note to flaring copper for gas/propane. All flared joints will be double flared with the proper flare fittings a little mopre money but safe and is required by law here.
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Old 10-07-2009, 08:44 PM   #22
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And most important......don't forget to slide the nut on the tube BEFORE flaring. I supposed everyone has to do this once, but it just doesn't make one's day to take the flaring tool off the tube and the see the nut laying nearby.
I can think of a couple of corollaries to that:

1) Put the hose clamp on the hose *before* you wrestle the hose onto the barbed fitting (sure you can unscrew the entire hose clamp, but it's not fun).

2) Put the heat-shrink tubing on the wire, *before* you crimp the connection (no way to get around this one).

Don't ask me how I know these things
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:13 PM   #23
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I see it as the same as hooking up your own gas range or dryer in your home. there are codes that state that a professional gasfitter "must" do the job. would this not hold true with auto insurance? I called the guys that did the job for me and they or course agreed with me.... so just to be sure, I called a friend that works for our public insurance company to ask the question. guess what... if it wasn't done to code, they could refuse the claim unless I could prove it was done by a registered gasfitter.
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Old 10-07-2009, 11:31 PM   #24
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Right....like anyone I know including me is going to call "a professional gas fitter" to hook up a stove. Here the delivery person hooks it up if you buy a new stove and we hook it up if it's a used one.

Laws must/might be different in the frozen north but I'm sure people still hook up their own stoves.

We've been remodeling houses, (completely re piping our house 22 years ago) and RV for 25+ years and have never even considered hiring someone to do gas piping. Our house work was permitted and manage to pass inspection, even tho it was done by mere mortals.

Like Raya says if you are not comfortable doing it don't. We are comfortable doing it.


Ps...we test the lines and fittings with a match to make sure there are no leaks. <sub>Just kidding!</sub>
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:46 PM   #25
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I'm one of those people that learn.. by doing. Perhaps replumb the new lines yourself... then ask/pay a "professional" to inspect it? You will have accomplished/learned something, but still may feel safer by having it "approved" for use...
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:30 PM   #26
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Hi Donna,

Thanks for the encouragement. I'm actually comfortable with installing the propane fittings (have done so for boats) and then checking them for leaks. In starting the thread, I was mostly curious about how folks who had replaced the lines in their Bolers had gone about the logistics (as in, did they take it out in one piece; were there any caveats specific to the Boler; had they gone back in with similar or newer/better materials; anything they'd do differently the next time, etc.)

Somehow that morphed into a discussion about whether people were or weren't comfortable doing their own work, or whether they should be allowed to, etc.

I'm into other projects right at the moment. I posted the thread when I did because Lizbeth had posted in another thread about replacing her lines, and rather than interrupt that thread to query her I started my own new one.

Just thought I'd explain. Thanks for the note,

Raya
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