RV Fires While Towing - Propane Risks? - Page 5 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-27-2015, 02:28 PM   #57
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I should head this post "Eating Humble Pie" as it appears that I have posted some incorrect information. I reported in this thread that I'd found four 16.4 oz. disposable cylinders leaking after removing them from appliances this year.

Long story short, I contacted Coleman who referred me to Worthington, the company who makes the disposable cylinders sold under the Coleman brand (among many other brands in fact). After some discussions with Worthington's customer-service folks, I tested my two remaining 16.4 ounce cylinders. The result was that I found my "saliva test" can be very misleading. It tends to bubble-up as I vary the pressure on my thumb. In contrast, I swiped some soapy water across the opening which enabled me to completely remove my thumb from the cylinder. The soap film did not move at all. As a result, I now strongly suspect that none of my four disposable cylinders was actually ever leaking.

I also received a personal message from another forum member expressing concerns about the idea of using Teflon tape on the cylinder threads. Since it appears that I'd already goofed up regarding the leaking cylinders, I didn't want to jump into that issue without some further confirmation. I called Marshall Excelsior this morning. Marshall Excelsior manufactures products for the LPG industry. They transferred me to a gentlemen in their technical department.

This gentleman confirmed that the primary operating seal in a disposable propane cylinder is provided by an O-ring inside the opening where you make the connection. There is a gasket in the female appliance fitting that is intended to provide a secondary seal. And finally, he confirmed that the threads on the disposable cylinders are not tapered, and are not intended to provide a seal.

The fine-pitch threads on disposable cylinders are only intended to draw the two pieces together and to keep them joined while in service. A leaky connection would indicate that both the O-ring and the secondary gasket are not sealing properly.

To emphasize, adding Teflon tape to the threads on a disposable cylinder is not appropriate as the 1"-20-pitch threads on the disposable cylinders cannot be tightened to compress the Teflon tape and seal the joint in the same way that tapered pipe threads could.

This also made it clear to me how important it is to keep the appliance fittings and cylinder connections clean as the primary seal is provided by an O-ring inside the neck of the cylinder.

Marshall Excelsior makes a cap with a gasket; part No. ME483. It appears to be readily available. I may buy a couple for use with disposable cylinders just because I am a kind of conservative kind of guy.

And also a humbled one.
Good post. Raz
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Old 07-27-2015, 02:40 PM   #58
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Wow Johnny...that's REAL LIFE statistics and experience. Thanks for sharing! I dont think most see the potential hazard associated with the propane FLOWING if you're in an accident...especially where there's a fire. This is just me, but I simply will NOT do it!
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Old 07-27-2015, 03:39 PM   #59
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Propane tanks these days have a safety valve that shuts down if it detects a sudden flow increase. That's why you are supposed to open the tank slowly so it doesn't shut down when it isn't meant to.
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:13 PM   #60
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It's knda like (the) corollary to the comment: 'We all dig our own holes",
which is
"As long as they don't dig them where others can fall into them" LOLOLOL

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There are a few very low level risks in life that we just have to live with, and, IMHO only, using propane in the refrigerator while towing is one of the smaller, but acceptable, risks.

One can't enjoy life always being in fear of what might happen.

We agree (I think?? ) Raz
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:56 PM   #61
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Can somebody tell me why I have to turn off the propane on my camper but it's OK to tow it with this?

This is a serious question, not trying to be facetious, CNG powered vehicles have been around for decades and I would like to know what differentiates them from a propane tank on an RV?
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:19 PM   #62
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Can somebody tell me why I have to turn off the propane on my camper but it's OK to tow it with this?

This is a serious question, not trying to be facetious, CNG powered vehicles have been around for decades and I would like to know what differentiates them from a propane tank on an RV?

Controlled internal combustion comes to mind.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:20 PM   #63
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You Don't have to turn the propane off on your camper when underway.
Except when refueling, and as posted for a very few highways, bridges and tunnels, there are no state vehicle laws that require that it be turned off while underway.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:27 PM   #64
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You Don't have to turn the propane off on your camper when underway.
Except when refueling, and as posted for a very few highways, bridges and tunnels, there are no state vehicle laws that require that it be turned off while underway.
This is my understanding too. Mind you, some folks do turn it off and some do not, but that's not a matter of "have to" as evidenced by the lively exchanges in this and similar threads.


Dave mentioned the "internal combustion" factor. Propane appliance such as refrigerators operate with an "open" flame. That factors into the restrictions in the locations that Bob notes.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:38 PM   #65
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This is my understanding too. Mind you, some folks do turn it off and some do not, but that's not a matter of "have to" as evidenced by the lively exchanges in this and similar threads.


.
I also do not recall anyone here suggesting you "Have to" turn off your tank, except when refuelling, traveling on ferries and often in tunnels as well as when using some Express Lanes in major cities (you will see the signs).

I do recall though some lively exchanges as to why some of us CHOOSE due to safety concerns not to tow with the fridge running on propane though. ;-)
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:49 PM   #66
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I do recall though some lively exchanges as to why some of us CHOOSE due to safety concerns not to tow with the fridge running on propane though. ;-)
Yes, them all is some lively people we is.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:57 PM   #67
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WHAT... Did I just hear Jar Jar Binks chine in....
Welcome to the light side of this world, and May the 4th be with you.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:45 PM   #68
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The legality of turning off your propane wasn't in question it was in regard to the safety of doing so.

I can understand the open flame argument however the possibility of an ignition source is always a possibility. To me, natural gas and propane both present a hazard but a CNG cylinder in the tow vehicle is considered safe and an open LP tank in an RV is not? This is what doesn't make sense to me.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:54 PM   #69
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WHAT... Did I just hear Jar Jar Binks chine in....
Welcome to the light side of this world, and May the 4th be with you.
Please Bob. Hijack the thread. Do anything you like. But please, please, please don't bring Jar Jar Binks into it!
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Old 07-27-2015, 08:00 PM   #70
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The legality of turning off your propane wasn't in question it was in regard to the safety of doing so.

I can understand the open flame argument however the possibility of an ignition source is always a possibility. To me, natural gas and propane both present a hazard but a CNG cylinder in the tow vehicle is considered safe and an open LP tank in an RV is not? This is what doesn't make sense to me.
Randy, I am no authority. It seems that some presumptive standards were applied when Ford was sued for the fuel tank ruptures in the Pinto. Personally, I'm not real excited about how I see some LP cylinders "secured" on RVs. Perhaps the tanks that fuel NG vehicles enjoy a little better mounting and protection.

There are two basic categories of propane storage containers; DOT cylinders and ASME tanks. You might want to look into that a bit further.
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