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Old 09-05-2015, 07:55 AM   #1
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LP gas question from newbie

Hello! I just purchased a preowned 2014 AI. We are taking it on a 4 day trip and I have a question about the LP switch. For the duration of my trip, do I need to turn the LP switch to "off" whenever I am not using gas? And turn it back on every time I want to run the generator or cook? Or can I simply turn off the battery disconnect switch when we are leaving the vehicle for a while? any words of wisdom regarding the propane system? I want to feel safe as we use it. Thanks so much!
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Old 09-05-2015, 08:20 AM   #2
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While traveling I leave everything on.. You should be just fine leaving the propane on and if you are not leaving your coach unplugged for more than a night you shouldn't have to turn off the battery..

When we travel we usually stay in hotels and I leave the power on over night with the fridge running, the battery is low in the morning but not depleted and that is during the summer in FL so that fridge is working hard to stay cool.. Have fun and enjoy!!
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Old 09-05-2015, 09:50 AM   #3
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I personally don't travel with it on, nor do I leave it on all the time.

First of all, it draws quite a bit of current when it's on and drains the house batteries. Yes, the alternator should keep them charged while driving, but when parked it just wastes energy you may need fully charged batteries for something else. I'm not sure if the battery disconnect switch kills it or not. It may for some, and not others, depending on how the guys wired it up. It would seem so say it does, and some say it doesn't.

Second, if you leave the propane switch and the hot water heater turned on and it decides to fire up just as you decide to fill up, it could go kaboom near a filling station. Not great odds, but leaving it off makes that odds zero. It's sort of like a plane crash. The odds are infinitesimally small you could die on a commercial airliner, but if you're on the plane that makes unintended contact with terrain, as they say, and you end up a bug spat on 20 acres somewhere, it's pretty much 100 percent for you.

That's why I added a second switch inside the van. Now, I just turn it on when I need it, and turn it off when I don't. The off position simply goes along with the water tank switches and furnace switch positions. It is something Airstream should already do. The little plastic box with it's tiny little plastic pin simply is a very poor design to use it the way it should be used.
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Old 09-05-2015, 10:50 AM   #4
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The only places where you're legally required to shut off the propane is in some tunnels, especially tunnels that go under a river or bay where propane and/or gasoline vapors that leak from vehicles can pool at the tunnel's low point.

It's also a good idea to turn off the propane aboard a ferry boat where you're not allowed to leave the engine running either. Same thing as at a service station— as gmillerok1 so rightly mentioned. Anyplace you have to shut off ignition sources to keep from going "boom," you should shut off your propane as well.

If your route doesn't include tunnels or ferry boats, there is no harm in leaving the propane on in between fuel stops. In fact, it's sometimes desirable to drive with the rooftop air conditioner operating, and you can only do that if the generator is running as well, which in turn requires the propane to be on.
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:44 PM   #5
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Here's a pic showing an added propane switch (between the Water heater and the EMS) that's in series w/ the one on the outside.
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Old 09-05-2015, 05:55 PM   #6
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What migman said.

Unless yours is different than mine, turning the battery disconnect off prevents anything in your Interstate from drawing power from your battery, and you not only don't want that while traveling, you want to keep your batteries charging while driving.

We have always left our propane switch on during an entire trip, unless in a situation where it is required for it to be off.....such as ferry's, when getting the propane filled, etc.

We keep the hot water heater off, unless we need hot water, then turn it on 15 minutes or so, then turn it off. The water stays quite warm in the hot water tank for quite awhile, and leaving it on all the time just wastes propane.

We turn the battery switch to off when parked at the house and not in use, and when it goes into storage over the winter.

You want this switch on, too, when plugged into electricity, to charge your coach battery.

Have fun!


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Old 09-05-2015, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
What mjgman said.

Unless yours is different than mine, turning the battery disconnect off prevents anything in your Interstate from drawing power from your battery, and you not only don't want that while traveling, you want to keep your batteries charging while driving.
Not sure that the battery disconnect kills the propane switch on all years or even within model years. It does on mine but not on Protag's. Best to check. I can here my valve click when I'm inside and switch it. Not sure why AS is inconsistent but then there are a lot of things that they do that don't make sense to me.
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Old 09-05-2015, 07:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post

You want this switch on, too, when plugged into electricity, to charge your coach battery.

Maggie

Actually Maggie, with the Magnum inverter, it's smart enough to charge the batteries whether the coach battery switch is on or off, and whether you are plugged in or driving.
Peter


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Old 09-06-2015, 09:18 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone!
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