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pegski 06-15-2014 11:44 PM

propane not flowing
I have a 1996 Scamp. Went camping and discovered that the propane wasn't working. I have two tanks so I switched the regulator to the fullest tank and still nothing. I turned the burners on and heard nor smelled anything. Could I need a new regulator? Coincidentally, the lights didn't work either but there is no connection is there? Are there fuses I should be looking at?
thanks for any help.

Borrego Dave 06-16-2014 01:11 AM

Hi Peg, welcome to the group. First off, your lights not working or fuses have nothing to do with the propane other than your refer needs 12v to operate. It does take a bit of time to purge the air out of the lines to lite things and until that happens you won't smell LP. I always do that with the stove when I first want to lite the refer because it uses a lot more propane than the refer does. I have a couple questions for you, kind of the forest and the tree thing. Are you sure there is gas in the tanks and did you open the star valve handle on the top of it and turn the supply to that tank? If you did then it may be your regulater that is out of specs and needs to be looked at. Just my first thought and I'm sure someone else will chime in.

pegski 06-16-2014 09:29 AM

I ran around and got the second one refilled to full just in case that was the problem...I'm not sure what the star valve is but this is the same connection I used a week earlier. I turned on stove for ten minutes and where I can usually hear a faint hiss I heard nothing. I turned it on and off several times, trying to turn on very slowly to get air out-nada. What do you look for in the regulator? I hate to take it to the RV place here as they charge $110 hr. I have a friend that's an electrician but he tells me all this wiring is different that what he works on.

Byron Kinnaman 06-16-2014 09:38 AM

Peg, Propane and electrical systems are the two systems that if not handled correctly can cause a disaster. If a person doesn't know how they work and understand them it's wise to take the trailer to someplace for diagnosis and repair. That could be a lot cheaper than a trailer or a life.

Bob Miller 06-16-2014 09:59 AM

Hi Peg, and welcome to the group

Regulators do fail, but they are inexpensive and only take a matter of minutes to change out.

What I would do first though is to open the burner valve on the stove again and hold a match flame right at the burner. If the flame flickers a little bit that indicates that air is being blown out by the lp gas. Just leave it open until you see a flame, then repeat for the other burner.

Rather an going to an RV store, go to an LP supply source in your area. They will be able to troubleshoot it in a minute and probably fix it for a lot less.

Good Luck and let us know what you find.

Carol H 06-16-2014 10:05 AM


Originally Posted by pegski (Post 464667)
Are there fuses I should be looking at?
thanks for any help.

Did anyone change or do something with your battery since you last used the trailer? Pretty common for the battery on a Scamp to be installed incorrectly. It should be positive to Black and negative to white. There are two inline fuses to check. One right off your battery as well one inside the trailer at the point the wires come into the trailer from the tongue (hidden in the passenger side hatch at the front - often behind the rat fur. Also check the fuses in your converter.

The Minimalist 06-16-2014 10:06 AM

"go to an LP supply source in your area" per Bob's comment is your best bet.

Steve L. 06-16-2014 10:36 AM

1 Attachment(s)
The valve on the left is the old style valve and they're not supposed to fill tanks that have it. The valve on the right is the current valve. It's the valve that must be opened (turned counterclockwise)to send gas to the stove (and other gas appliances).

You may have the old style since the OPD new style valve (the one on the right) started sometime around 2003. Technically they should also check the tank for age although they're pretty spotty doing that. I believe the industry talks about 12 years for a tank so the previous owner may have already updated them (or had them requalified) in which case you would have the one on the right. Tank age is another reason they can refuse to fill a tank despite it's condition.

beemerphile1 06-17-2014 09:33 AM


Originally Posted by pegski (Post 464667)
...Could I need a new regulator....

Possibly but the hose is more likely.


Originally Posted by pegski (Post 464667)
...the lights didn't work either but there is no connection is there....

No connection. Any work been done on the electrical system recently?

captsteve2002 06-17-2014 02:07 PM

I just had a guy that filled my tanks tells me that there is a small check valve in the hose and if you open the valve to quickly the valve will not open. Also said that the valve is sometimes made with rubber, and if there is any oil in the propane, he said unrefined propane, it can jam that check valve. I have never heard of unrefined propane, but did look in the hose end and saw a small ball valve in the end. Not sure this is an answer but worth looking at before spending to much money.

J Mac 06-17-2014 02:19 PM

I have to turn my propane off when boarding a ferry. I used to have the same problem that you are having until I changed my habits. I now turn my refrigerator off, then turn off the propane at the tank. That way I don't get empty lines like I would if I just turned my propane off at the tank and let it run through the system until the line was empty.
It works for me.

Bob Miller 06-17-2014 02:22 PM

Propane systems almost always have some oil in them. I "think" that it is a part of the odorizer used. There are whole web sites dedicated to the problem of oil in the propane system. I just drain out any I come across, it will almost always migrate to the lowest point in the system and/or the regulator.

captsteve2002 06-18-2014 06:26 AM

In the campground that I'm currently in, Whip In RV Park in Big Spring, TX.,my next door neighbor was having the problem of starting their BBQ; spark, gas on, plenty of gas in the tank, but no fire. I told them about what I had heard about turning the valve on slowly, so they tried it and it worked for their BBQ. I don't know why this works, but I'm sold as this is twice that I have seen this problem and twice that slowly turning on the tank valve seems to make things work.

Steve L. 06-18-2014 07:43 AM

FWIW, when I researched for my quick connect fitting gadget ( I found that the screw on connector color was supposed to reflect the flow rating of the fitting. In my application I wanted to be sure that the fitting I was adding wouldn't "choke" the trailer needs (say water heater, refrig and stove all on at the same time). It was my understanding that the fittings had a valve that would shut off the gas if the flow rate was exceeded, for example if the line was cut. It makes sense to me that turning on the valve rapidly could trigger this safeguard.

beemerphile1 06-18-2014 11:56 AM

You are referring to a safety device to prevent catastrophic leak events, It consists of a small ball that sits in a chamber. With normal LPG flow the gas goes around the ball and works normally. With a big rush/flow of gas the ball will move and block the orifice allowing only a tiny amount of gas to pass.

After triggered, the ball will continue to block the orifice due to the LPG pressure holding it in place. To reset the safety device, the cylinder valve needs closed and pressure in the system reduced. The ball then drops into its normal position and will allow normal gas flow once again.

Do you all also know that the portable LPG bottles are correctly called a DOT cylinder? An LPG ASME 'tank' is permanently mounted like in a motorhome.

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