As the next test of the trailer we wanted to cook and eat a meal in it. A three-pot dinner sounded like a good test.
On the morning of July 12th I tested all the propane
connections and the cooktop valves to make sure there were no leaks
. I also lit the three burners (one at a time) and made sure the valves still did not leak. Everything was fine. So I told my wife to plan on cooking in the trailer that evening. Then she left on errands.
In the meantime, I thought I should really take a good look at the propane
tank to see how badly rusted it is, and also to measure how much we had. When I took it loose the O-ring on the POL (Prest-O-Lite) fitting gave up the ghost. After all those years of outdoor exposure it had dried out and shrunk, and the act of taking the fitting loose was the final straw.
Now I was in trouble -- there was no way of using the propane
system without that O-ring, and it was late afternoon on a Sunday. And our town doesn't have any RV places at all. All our good local hardware stores are closed on Sunday, so that wasn't an option. I tried Home Depot but all they had was faucet repair kits, and none of them seemed to have the right O-ring.
I then went to OSH and, wonder of wonders, they actually have O-rings, neatly packages by size. And they had exactly one package of the size I needed!
I scampered home and slipped on the O-ring, buttoned things up, tested for leaks
-- oh dear, the POL fitting was leaking slowly -- reseated the POL, retested, and everything was fine.
Oh yeah, the tank is going to need to be recertified in 2 years and the rust looks bad enough that I don't want to do all the scraping and painting
for such a short lifetime. Especially after I bought another empty tank in excellent condition for $5!
So we'll use up the propane that's in the tank (it's nearly full, BTW), then turn it in to be scrapped.
This little escapade put me in mind of Frederick L. Simson's age-related failure of the propane tubing on his refrigerator
, (see Refrigerator Fire
) and how a small, inexpensive part can cause drastic changes in plans.
Oh yes, dinner was yummy, and the trailer passed it's second major test.