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Old 07-15-2017, 07:19 PM   #211
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Thanks for the info on propane line lifespan. Something to put in our tickler file for 2022.
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Old 07-15-2017, 07:53 PM   #212
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IB, our gas lines are copper:



Were yours different?
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Old 07-15-2017, 08:26 PM   #213
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My 2006 also has the flexible lines- but it appears I can reach them ok without removing the drain line (but of course I have not DONE it yet, but I may be full of it).

I'll be following closely, perhaps more could be purchased from the same vendor?

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Old 07-16-2017, 07:35 AM   #214
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post
IB, our gas lines are copper:

Were yours different?
As Lotus says - yes, many. I suspect it might have been due to a code thing, maybe? Amidships, the distribution lines (including the fill and overfill) are all flex lines. But the aft lines (furnace and water heater) are copper.

Furthermore, it's a bit freakish-looking because Airstream encased the copper lines in PEX (cross-linked polyethylene tubing). I almost had a heart attack when I first saw it, because I thought they'd used PEX for the propane lines themselves (which would be a no-no). But apparently they used random scraps of PEX as conduiting material, for an extra level of protection.

I suspect that some guidance document somewhere said, "If the line is over X feet long, you must use copper instead of flex". Hence the mixture of materials.

I also have a dim and distant memory that the particular flex lines that Airstream used for fill and overfill have built-in safety features relating to pressure. The tank itself does, but so do the lines, IIRC. That can only be achieved using an organic technology.
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:40 AM   #215
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Different topic now... genset oil changes.

I noticed that the easily-accessible Onan oil change guides are generic, and don't really speak to the challenges involved with performing the task in very tight spaces. Therefore, I've augmented those existing resources with this blog post:

OIL CHANGE FOR AN UNDERMOUNTED, CONSTRICTED ONAN 2500 LP GENERATOR
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:24 PM   #216
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amirm View Post
IB, our gas lines are copper:

Were yours different?

All Interstates have a mix of solid copper and rubber flex lines for the LP system.

Thanks to IB for discussing this important safety issue. I suspect the life span on these flex LP lines is one of the reasons we see fires on older RVs.

While I like propane for heating and cooking I plan to avoid it if I ever buy another B-van.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:05 AM   #217
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All Interstates have a mix of solid copper and rubber flex lines for the LP system.
.....
Even the NCV3s, I take it.

My advice is to get under the chassis and evaluate what you have. The Interstates pack so much complexity into such a small space... I find that it takes a fresh mind focusing on one issue at a time in order to properly register it. One day I might get under with the sole intention of dealing with the generator - no distractions. The next day, it's the LP lines, and no other issue.

The LP distribution system is fairly complex. On our rig, of the lines that are not copper, there is one solid-shell internal distribution line manufactured by Marshall Gas Controls and three braided-shell lines manufactured by Parker. All three Parker lines are different diameters, however (two for the fill system and one for the genset). Presumably there were reasons why Airstream made these choices.

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Old 07-17-2017, 09:23 AM   #218
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Yes - even on NCV3 Interstates those same four lines; genset, overflow, fill and external quick connect lines are flex hoses.
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:34 PM   #219
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Recommendation for the Interstate maintenance / DIY crowd:

Get yourself one of these $25 creepers from Harbor Freight. For a long time, I resisted. Why DIY-build 4.5-inch wooden ramps only to then forfeit about 2 of those precious inches to a creeper?! Why, why, why?

Because fire ants. Invasive South American fire ants finally drove me to it. I was perfectly happy getting bruised and battered rolling around on the concrete beneath the chassis, but after the 300th expletive-laden fire ant bite, I asked my husband to go fetch one of these. The worst thing about fire ants is that you never know in advance how the bites are going to turn out - they are ticking time bombs. Sometimes there's almost no reaction. Sometimes there's the typical formic acid inflammation. Other times, you'll develop full-blown abscesses. It all depends on which pathogens happen to be flourishing within the ant mounds at any given time in any given place. Welcome to the subtropics. But there's a defensive countermeasure, plus it really does make some jobs easier, like when you have to keep swiveling around to try to position yourself to reach something in a constricted area. Hail the match made in heaven:

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Old 07-27-2017, 05:32 AM   #220
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If you are not regularly inspecting your roof, you must do so....yourself, with your very own, discerning-as-only-an-owner-can-be, eyes.

This is an antennae on my roof, found 2 days ago....it is going to have to be cut out, and replaced, and there is also a little bit of rust starting around a vent up there.

These cut holes were not painted, and when moisture seeps in they rust.

This has obviously been developing for awhile, tho my roof was supposedly checked/looked at last year and again this past June, I was not informed of this.


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Old 07-27-2017, 07:27 AM   #221
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On the T1N Interstate, the antenna issue is compounded by the fact that the rubber will crack with age at the base of both antennae (front and amidships), allowing water where it would not have had access initially.

In other words, the antenna base might have "sandwiched" the sheet metal to start with and protected it for a time, even if the sheet metal was not properly sealed. But as soon as the cracking starts, that protection is lost.

I've noticed incipient break-down of ours, but it hadn't progressed to anywhere near to the stage of Maggie's, so I pushed it out on our priority list. The fact that I Bus Kote'd our roof this year bought me time on a number of maintenance items. It is serving as a secondary seal over the entire roof.

I highly recommend the Telesteps 1400E as the portable ladder of choice for Interstates. I wouldn't be able to function without ours.

On a semi-related note...

More and more, we are noticing that older northern Interstates tend to age predominantly via rusting. Older southern Interstates tend to age predominantly via rotting. No surprises there. That's the way automobiles age generally in the U.S.

No surprise there, but imagine my surprise when an Amazon box appeared at our door and a glance at the label confirmed that it was from neither my husband's account nor from my account - but the origin account was unstated. My first question to my husband was, "Honey, who gifted us with a turbo charger hose?" Answer: Our local friend with the southern-born 2007 Interstate, whose gray water system we helped rehab several weeks back. He was having his rig go into limp mode repeatedly around the time that he brought it over to our house. His Sprinter mechanic finally isolated the problem to a cracked hose, the same part that he also ordered for us when he replaced his own.

I basically told him (paraphrased and generalized), dude, first you lost your propane fill line, now you've lost your turbo charger hose. You're set to lose every remaining original hose, belt and line on that entire vehicle. It's just that time in its life.

Anyway, we moved our northern-born Interstate into the south almost three years ago when we bought it, so acceleration in the aging of our rubber and plastic parts commenced at that point. Ours isn't manifesting turbo problems yet, but now we've got one more preemptive maintenance replacement item on our list. And we've got the part for it.

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Old 07-27-2017, 07:35 AM   #222
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Quote:
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All three Parker lines are different diameters, however (two for the fill system and one for the genset). Presumably there were reasons why Airstream made these choices.
The flex line running to the genset is easy to guess the reason for vibration when the genset is running.

The flex lines on the fill system aren't as easy to guess. I have a couple of theories, having to do with the fact that liquid propane is a "normal boiling point" liquid, meaning it's kept in liquid form only by pressure, and the fact that propane under normal atmospheric pressure vaporizes at -44F. But I need more research before I would be comfortable sharing my theories with the rest of the class.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:37 AM   #223
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A caution regarding the generator oil change post:
The generator is enclosed in a metal box. The bottom of this box has a cut-out that aligns (or is suppose to align) with the oil drain plug. On mine the alignment is off a bit. So when I remove the drain plug some of the oil drains into my catch-pan. But some of the oil (seemed like most, but probably wasn't) is deflected into the bottom of the box. It then proceeds to fill the box and drain out several other places. This makes a mess of things immediately and for the days (weeks) that follow. I tried to stuff rags into the bottom of the box to soak up as much as possible. Before my next generator oil change I plan to try to enlarge the hole in the bottom of the enclosure.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:51 AM   #224
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I tried to stuff rags into the bottom of the box to soak up as much as possible.
Handy hint, use disposable diapers to catch spilled oil. They're designed to absorb and trap liquids. And the impervious outer cover means you don't even get your hands dirty. Best of all, once the oil is trapped in the diaper, it's considered solid waste and can be legally disposed of in any dumpster.

Learned this trick dealing with minor oil spills in machinery rooms at Corps of Engineers navigation locks and pumping stations when I still worked for a living.

Another use for disposable diapers— field-expedient pressure bandages that are too big for band aids. Kotex maxi-pads are also good for field-expedient pressure bandages when a diaper is just too big for the wound. Learned these tricks from a paramedic friend.
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