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Old 03-16-2014, 04:20 PM   #1
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Pothole Damage to Propane Fill Panel

I guess it was inevitable because this panel hangs so low behind rear wheel. I drove over a very large deep pothole at a wayside viewing area in Arizona near the Grand Canyon. Good thing I was going slow as it ripped off the cover and sheared off the quick-disconnect.

I didn't notice the damage right away and didn't realize the full damage until I tried to use the propane stove. It wouldn't light so I went out to check panel and smelled the propane and heard the large leak from open line where quick-disconnect once was located. Made a stop at Lowes in Carlsbad, NM and got a 3/8" flared fitting plug to cap the line so I could continue to use propane.

I'd like to relocate panel higher, but that means opening the full pressure propane fill line fittings. That's not something I want to do. Sure wish Airstream changed this design. It's a disaster waiting to happen.

Here is picture of damage.
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Old 03-16-2014, 04:43 PM   #2
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I sympathize - everything under the rear has so little clearance I'm constantly worried something will get damaged sooner or later.
I wish Airstream would use suspension assisters at the rear; an extra inch at the rear wheels should give nearly two inches right at the back.
I also wish Airstream would get up to date with technology and offer an electric only (no propane) option.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:39 PM   #3
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I wondered why they didn't put it next to the pump out hose and other connections on the street side because that would make it right next to the propane tank.
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Old 03-16-2014, 06:45 PM   #4
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The propane "box" looks almost like an afterthought. It is mounted into an extension panel of the "ground effects" paneling. Sure looks like it could've been mounted at least 6 inches higher....in a real panel.
We are always checking clearances when we park. Sometimes lying on the ground..LOL.
Have also had those "holy crap!" moments going over less than ideal terrain.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:03 PM   #5
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I backed into a parking spot in the back perimeter of a hotel lot at nite trying to minimize my exposure and didn't notice that ground rose above the curb. Luckily it was very soft as it hit the propane box. Sure made me aware of another pitfall when backing in.
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
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I wondered why they didn't put it next to the pump out hose and other connections on the street side because that would make it right next to the propane tank.
Maybe because the furnace exhaust is located over there, and you don't put you propane fill that close to a potential ignition source…
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Old 03-16-2014, 08:28 PM   #7
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Good point but not sure that designers that use soft copper tubing for propane in a high vibration environment like it's in would think of that.
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Old 03-17-2014, 03:19 PM   #8
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I backed into a parking spot in the back perimeter of a hotel lot at nite trying to minimize my exposure and didn't notice that ground rose above the curb. Luckily it was very soft as it hit the propane box. Sure made me aware of another pitfall when backing in.
We did the same thing, but it was actually the curb that was too high. I was standing outside, guiding my husband into the parking space (dark outside), but I was standing on the driver's side, and so I didn't see or remember that that stupid freakin' panel hung low on the passenger side.

We cracked the cover pretty badly. Thank goodness that's all that happened. Husband is so pissed about that low hanging design, he says he's gonna write a letter to Airstream.
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Old 03-17-2014, 07:46 PM   #9
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Good idea - I'll write them too.
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