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Old 07-05-2016, 10:42 PM   #29
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The Ext can back into spaces with grass behind them. Low clearance so make sure not much higher than the curb. I didn't have any issues in Chicago parallel parking. Like others have said. Just pay for two spaces. Love driving mine in the city!


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Old 07-06-2016, 04:50 AM   #30
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The Ext can back into spaces with grass behind them. Low clearance so make sure not much higher than the curb. I didn't have any issues in Chicago parallel parking. Like others have said. Just pay for two spaces. Love driving mine in the city!
I've thought about mounting old-fashioned clip-on curb feelers in the rear to warn me if I'm about to back into a space where the ground clearance is too low for my propane fill port, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Still trying to figure out the best way to orient them.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:17 AM   #31
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I've thought about mounting old-fashioned clip-on curb feelers in the rear to warn me if I'm about to back into a space where the ground clearance is too low for my propane fill port, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Still trying to figure out the best way to orient them.

That sounds like an interesting solution. Do they even still make those curb feelers?

I've smashed two propane fill port covers already. First one was from driving over a deep off-road pot hole in Arizona that totally ripped off the cover and grill port quick-disconnect. Didn't even notice it until I stopped for the night and tried to use the propane. The second time I just cracked the cover backing over an icy snow bank last winter. My goal is to eventually raise that fill panel about 4" so it is no lower than the side trim. But that is a big project that requires an empty propane tank to remove all the fill fittings and relocate the panel higher. I would also need to cut an opening in the side trim above the fill panel. Last year at Hersey I saw a Sprinter RV conversion done by Midwest Automotive Design that had a nearly identical fill panel mounted higher so it was just below the Sprinter sheet metal. Here is photo I took at the time.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:53 AM   #32
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That sounds like an interesting solution. Do they even still make those curb feelers?
Yes. Bought them on Amazon. Still trying to figure out the optimum mounting position. As soon as I do I'll post pictures.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:03 AM   #33
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I've thought about mounting old-fashioned clip-on curb feelers in the rear to warn me if I'm about to back into a space where the ground clearance is too low for my propane fill port, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Still trying to figure out the best way to orient them.
My propane filler cover now holds a prominent position in my garage. After ripping it off on a curb long ago I realized how convenient it was not to have it. My knees and pants stay much cleaner as I no longer have to wrestle with that stupid thumbscrew to open it. I just walk by and bend over a bit and switch her on/off. Great modification.
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Old 07-06-2016, 09:14 AM   #34
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My propane filler cover now holds a prominent position in my garage. After ripping it off on a curb long ago I realized how convenient it was not to have it. My knees and pants stay much cleaner as I no longer have to wrestle with that stupid thumbscrew to open it. I just walk by and bend over a bit and switch her on/off. Great modification.
Maybe, but the cover also serves to protect the switch, fill port, etc. from stuff thrown up by your tires. If I ventured off-pavement (as I do in many campgrounds) I'd want that cover in place.

A better option in my opinion would be to replace the screw knob with something easier to use, such as a latch that can be engaged or disengaged just by flipping a lever. For fire safety reasons the cover can't be locked shut (no propane solenoid switch on any RV comes with an actual lock) but quick access for fire safety purposes would be facilitated by getting rid of the screw in favor of something more ergonomic.

Next time I talk to an Airstream representative I'll have to remember to mention that. Maybe Airstream could come up with a better system for new models that could also be retrofitted to older models. But given that they haven't yet adopted my idea of using heat tape on the macerator pump to heat it along with the tanks for winter camping despite multiple mentions…
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Old 07-06-2016, 10:47 AM   #35
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Don't believe the clearance signs!

Last year at the Region 3 rally we took the truck to Charleston to do some sightseeing. Most of the available parking was in multi-level garages. We found one with available spaces that had a clearance sign and hanging bar at the entry that was allegedly adequate for the truck, so we turned in. Once inside it became apparent that there were only a few high clearance spots, and even worse, it wasn't possible to turn around and get to the exit. We had to proceed into the garage with DW hanging out the window checking clearance on fire sprinkler piping and exit signs. We made it with about an inch to spare. When in doubt, check it out!

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Old 07-06-2016, 10:56 AM   #36
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We had to proceed into the garage with DW hanging out the window checking clearance on fire sprinkler piping and exit signs. We made it with about an inch to spare. When in doubt, check it out!
I find that a telescoping flagpole, marked so that you can extend it out to exactly 10 feet, makes a good measuring stick. With the butt end of the pole on the ground, if the tip touches an overhanging obstruction, the clearance is too tight for comfort (the highest point of my van is 9'8" tall).

For a vehicle in motion, a similar technique would be to mount an antenna on the front bumper as a probe, with the antenna long enough to be slightly taller than the van. If the antenna hits something, it will bend before the van can hit the obstruction. I've seen escort vehicles for oversized loads that have something similar. A removable mount would let you take down the probe/antenna when you don't need it.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:51 PM   #37
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Yes. Bought them on Amazon. Still trying to figure out the optimum mounting position. As soon as I do I'll post pictures.
I tried that ... could not make it work. The problem is the feelers are designed to make noise when rubbing along the side of the curb as you slide closer to it with your wide white walls ... not approach it dead on with your ridiculously low hanging propane panel. I tried mounting them like bayonets pointed out the back and they made no noise at all. Also tried hanging them down so they would scrape over the curb before the fill panel did ... that did not work either. If you get it to work I will be very impressed ... and copy your install. I gave up defeated.

I have thought about raising it but messing with the propane lines and cutting into the trim has kept me from attempting it.

In the mean time I'm driving around without the cover since I last ripped it off and have not gotten around to putting it back again.

I find the generator exhaust heat shield to scrape sometimes too but it's just a tiny bit higher than the propane fill panel. When it scrapes it makes a horrible noise .. much like a curb feeler. Hmmmmmm .... maybe there's an idea there. Make a sheet metal panel that hangs down just behind the propane fill panel to act as your audio warning.
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Old 07-06-2016, 11:58 PM   #38
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We found one with available spaces that had a clearance sign and hanging bar at the entry that was allegedly adequate for the truck, so we turned in.

Al
I carry a Fat Max tape measure for doing my own measuring whenever its going to be close. You have to buy the expensive tape ($30+) to get the good stand out you need to measure up 10 feet without it trying to fold over on you as you extend. In a high wind (seems like every day here in OK) it can be trying.
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Old 07-07-2016, 09:24 AM   #39
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I tried that .......

In the mean time I'm driving around without the cover since I last ripped it off and have not gotten around to putting it back again.

I find the generator exhaust heat shield to scrape sometimes too but it's just a tiny bit higher than the propane fill panel. When it scrapes it makes a horrible noise .. much like a curb feeler. Hmmmmmm .... maybe there's an idea there. Make a sheet metal panel that hangs down just behind the propane fill panel to act as your audio warning.

The cover is about $60 from Airstream. A crazy price for a small piece of plastic. I have not replaced my second damaged cover as it is only cracked. Used some duct tape to hold it together.

Your idea of a sheet metal noise maker might just work.


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Old 07-07-2016, 03:42 PM   #40
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The problem w/ a sheet metal noise maker is that it clears the curb but not the upslope of the ground behind the curb which was what happened to me once. Fortunately the ground/grass was fairly soft and gave enuf to prevent damage. Now if I need to back the rear over something, I have a spotter spelled wife.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:51 PM   #41
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Speaking of parking anywhere and hopefully this isn't off topic too much, is anyone aware of nicer hotels in New Orleans that have parking lots that can accommodate an interstate? Like the Hyatt? We are planning a trip for a conference and want to take the interstate.. Allstays has not been helpful in this regard. I could cold call hotels but I wanted to take advantage of the collective wisdom here first if possible. Thanks!
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:56 PM   #42
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Speaking of parking anywhere and hopefully this isn't off topic too much, is anyone aware of nicer hotels in New Orleans that have parking lots that can accommodate an interstate? Like the Hyatt? We are planning a trip for a conference and want to take the interstate.. Allstays has not been helpful in this regard. I could cold call hotels but I wanted to take advantage of the collective wisdom here first if possible. Thanks!
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