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Old 04-08-2014, 01:07 PM   #1
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LP external toggle switch problem

Hello,

We recently bought a used 2013 AI Extended last week and are taking it on the road. We are new to RVing and hope someone can help us with this problem:

My husband ran over some road debris yesterday and we just realized that the external toggle switch for the LP is broken. So now we are thousands of miles from home and can't use our generator. The AI dealer doesn't carry this part but it seems to be a simple toggle switch. Does anyone know what amperage it is so maybe we can just buy one from a local auto store and switch it out ourselves?

Thanks,
Brittany
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Air Forums.

I believe the valve current is less than 1 amp. I'd get a 2 amp switch to be on the safe side. Radio Shack or auto parts store should have something to fit.

If not, cut the wires, strip, and twist them together as a Macgyver fix. Wouldn't hurt to tape them.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:32 PM   #3
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I believe the valve current is less than 1 amp. I'd get a 2 amp switch to be on the safe side. Radio Shack or auto parts store should have something to fit.
You believe right. If left on, the drain on the house batteries is 18 amp/hours in a 24-hour day, so it's about 0.75 amps actual draw.
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Old 04-08-2014, 01:43 PM   #4
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Just wrap the wires together and tape them until a more permanent repair has been made.

Very few other RVs have such a switch. They're not necessary.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:10 PM   #5
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Just wrap the wires together and tape them until a more permanent repair has been made.

Very few other RVs have such a switch. They're not necessary.
News to me. NFPA 58, which all 50 states have adapted and adopted as their propane standards— although not all the same edition— requires the propane to be shut off by that switch before the tank is refilled. RVs with portable propane cylinders don't have it; those cylinders are completely disconnected and removed to refill, but built-in tanks like on the Interstate all have the off switch.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:12 PM   #6
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Just wrap the wires together and tape them until a more permanent repair has been made.

Very few other RVs have such a switch. They're not necessary.
I believe most, if not all, states require the valve to the appliances be accessible near the fill port to prevent over pressurizing the internal plumbing. Which is why some of us added a switch inside in series rather than replacing the external switch.
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:13 PM   #7
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News to me. NFPA 58, which all 50 states have adapted and adopted as their propane standards— although not all the same edition— requires the propane to be shut off by that switch before the tank is refilled. RVs with portable propane cylinders don't have it; those cylinders are completely disconnected and removed to refill, but built-in tanks like on the Interstate all have the off switch.

I'm just too slow.

Is my logic as to why correct?
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Old 04-08-2014, 02:15 PM   #8
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I'm just too slow.
de nada. You at least gave a reason (to prevent over-pressure in the propane lines) which I didn't include in my response. Value added.

There is an additional reason, though… the technician shutting off the propane himself verifies by doing so that all propane-using appliances are OFF before adding propane, thus ensuring there's no flare-up at the appliance.
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Old 04-08-2014, 03:39 PM   #9
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Hmmmm...just added a 2 amp toggle switch to my toolbag, right next to a box of fuses.
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:40 PM   #10
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Just wrap the wires together and tape them until a more permanent repair has been made.

Very few other RVs have such a switch. They're not necessary.
Jammer -- your 30' Classic has a propane shut-off valves right on your tanks up front. This switch on an Interstate performs the same function via an electric solenoid operated shut-off valve and is very necessary. All propane systems need a shut-off at the tank.

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Hmmmm...just added a 2 amp toggle switch to my toolbag, right next to a box of fuses.
This is another good reason to have a second propane valve switch in series on the inside of your Interstate. Then if you do rip off that low hanging switch your can just tie the wires together and control the propane valve from the inside.

This low hanging propane fill panel is a real design flaw on Airstreams part. They need to change this design before someone rips off the fill or vent hose and has a propane leak that starts a fire and destroys the whole rig. They have already had recalls on Interstates for design problems that are less severe than the risks created by this propane fill panel.

The panel is 5 inches from the ground and subject to damage from curbs, potholes and road debris.

My recent incident resulted in ripping off the plastic cover and the quick-connect fitting. BTW the cover is $85 from Airstream. I bought a replacement quick-connect fitting for $15.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:09 PM   #11
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News to me. NFPA 58, which all 50 states have adapted and adopted as their propane standardsó although not all the same editionó requires the propane to be shut off by that switch before the tank is refilled. RVs with portable propane cylinders don't have it; those cylinders are completely disconnected and removed to refill, but built-in tanks like on the Interstate all have the off switch.
I'm confused. The tank valve isn't good enough?
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:57 PM   #12
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The electric valve is to isolate the appliances from the propane system during the filling process.
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Old 04-09-2014, 02:33 AM   #13
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LP external toggle switch problem

The problem is that the tank valve is analog, the switch is digital and therefore better, a bureaucrat has spoken, we therefore must click our heels just so.

<sarcasm>
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Old 04-09-2014, 04:27 AM   #14
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I'm confused. The tank valve isn't good enough?
Maybe you are confused. We're talking about built-in ASTM tanks tucked up underneath an Interstate, not a DOT cylinder perched on the tongue of a trailer. The tank valve is unreachable without jacking up the van and getting underneath, which is why a solenoid is used.
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