Passing Gas Again - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-29-2008, 02:16 PM   #1
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I want to know more about the "proper" plumbing of portable propane appliances. I've Googled some and I can't find a good resource to read up about this.

I have two 20 pound tanks on the trailer tongue. I presume the tanks are considered high pressure gas. It goes through a regulator where the pressure is lowered to about 11 in. of water and from there it's distributed to water heater, stove, furnace and reefer.

Every appliance IN my trailer runs on low pressure propane.

Outside my trailer I have two propane appliances. A Coleman grill/stove and a Coleman lantern. Both are designed to run off of the disposable 1 pound bottles. I presume the 1 pound bottles are considered high pressure devices.

Here is where my questions start to arise.

1. Are the stove and lantern actually low pressure devices and they each have built in regulators?

I know they have valves in them since I can adjust the flame heights, but do they also have internal regulators?

I normally run the stove and lantern off of an 11 pound portable tank (I think it's "cuter" (!) than the 5 pound tanks.) I have a hose that at one end connects to the inside thread of the 11 pound bottle OPD fitting and at the other end threads into the stove and lantern where the disposable 1 pound tanks normally would go. (When I run both at the same time I use a distribution post.)

2. Should I "properly" have a high pressure regulator at the tank?

3. What if I installed a low pressure regulator at the portable tank. That would be having 2 low pressures regulators in a row. One at the portable tank and another built into the stove and lantern (see question no. 1).

4. Would the stove and lantern work as designed anyhow?

I expect that only the first regulator would do any regulating and the stove and lantern regulator (if they have one) would just be along for the ride. I think the stove and lantern would work just fine.

I'm thinking about lightening the load for travel by the weight of one 11 pound tank and propane. I don't want to use a 20 foot propane hose run from a "tap" upstream from the regulators up front of the trailer all the back to where I cook. At the right rear of the Casita I'm near the trailers low pressure tubing for furnace and stove top.

I was considering plumbing in a quick connect fitting, perhaps in the storage compartment at the right rear. But it would be low pressure propane and I'm trying to get a handle on if that's a problem or not.

And if I don't do the quick connect, I want to know how I should "properly" be handling the two portable appliances.

So, what d'ya know?
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Old 07-29-2008, 02:46 PM   #2
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Hi Steve,

Some of this was covered in a Topic I started about using Extenda-T and Add-A-Tee as, like you, I wanted to reduce the complications of the propane system. My final system consists of 3 12' propane high pressure hoses, an Extenda-T on the propane tank and an Add-A-Tee at the end of a the 12' connected to the Extenda-T. From there 2 hoses split off for the shared hose for cooking and the single hose for the lamp.

An alternative was to use a seperate 10lb tank/Propane Tree system. Up here a 10lb tank runs almost $70 at CanadianTire so adding a Propane tree and 2 hoses worked out to close to what I paid for my system.

My understanding is that most (if not all) exterior propane camping appliances have built in regulators - I know my coleman stove and lamp and Weber q220 do. Your appliances in your trailer are all low pressure appliances and require a bit in regulator on your trailer like you currently have.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:50 AM   #3
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Steve, you're on to it -- There are 'low' pressure and 'high' pressure devices and the cannister-powered devices usually have some sort of regulator built in (might be as simple as a small orifice to limit flow).

BTW, what I do is have a single main tank and then a steak-saver fitting plus a canister or two as backup, so I am not hauling around a full tank and LP when all I need is a pound -- Different for all the posh rigs with fridge and water heater, of course. In my case, the main tank is only 10 lbs because I don't use much LP.
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Old 07-30-2008, 12:34 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.

From the thread that Booker references it looks like Greg tapped into the lines after the regulator. That means that low pressure gas is being used at his grill.

I don't want the 20' hose. I think I'll crawl around under the Casita this evening. Perhaps tapping into the copper lines somewhere near the back of the trailer is an option and installing a shut off valve and quick connect fitting is an option.

My sister's Coleman pop-up had that outside stove and propane hook up but I didn't know if the stove was something different than the stoves using the 1 pound bottles.

For me, half the fun of a project is the planning...
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:36 PM   #5
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I wonder if you'd be able to bypass the "internal" regulator for some of those portable devices. My portable Coleman grill has a small detachable elbow-shaped regulator part that normally goes between the grill and a 1lb canister. I use that same regulator when hooking up to my 5lb tank with the right hose. But if I were to tap into the low-pressure side of the trailer as the gas supply for my portable grill, I'd probably try to find out if I could connect it directly to the grill without the second regulator. I suspect there might be an actual standard with propane hose connections so you can't get it wrong - something to look into, perhaps.
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Old 07-30-2008, 02:29 PM   #6
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I'm coming to the opinion that a second regulator in the line does basically no harm. (NOT to be confused with two stage regulators.)

I'm imagining two traffic cops (regulators), one at each end of the block, who each want to limit me to 45 mph. Either one will slow me to 45 mph. If I arrive at the second traffic cop at 45 mph then I'm in no way hindered. So two with propane gas.

(I have a more elaborate analogy involving bar straws and Reynolds numbers but it either bespeaks of a misspent youth and/or unrepentant geekiness!)
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Old 07-30-2008, 09:04 PM   #7
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I see no problem with regulators in series. If the pressure's right coming out of the first one, the second one would do nothing -- They are using the ambient air pressure as part of the system.

The internal regulators are likely designed for a higher range of pressures because the canisters are close to the appliance and subject to heat but also frost over when high gas delivery is used (like the mushroom space heaters).
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Old 07-30-2008, 10:18 PM   #8
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Wow, that is good news. I was debating how to pull this off - wanting to keep the "auto-failover" feature that appears to be built into the regulator on my Casita. I knew the stuff at the stove/furnace/fridge was low pressure so didn't think I could tap into it to drive external goodies like the grill and lantern.

Assuming the above is true, I could T one of the lines and put a connector on the outside of the trailer on the curb side. Perhaps finding some kind of quick connect rig. That would be ideal IMHO....

Do you think you could use high pressure quck connects on a low pressure line?

-Kyle
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Do you think you could use high pressure quck connects on a low pressure line?

-Kyle
My sense from reading that page is no. The link suggests that you should have the type 375 socket and they are shown in the natural gas section on that web site.
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