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Old 09-02-2006, 07:06 AM   #1
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LP main pipe underneath

My LP lines running under the trailer are snaking all over the shut off valves are very tight and should be replaced.

I was looking around at new trailers not airstreams just the run of the mill types.
They all use black pipe as the main run then branch off of that.
I think that would be safer road debris couldn’t damage it for example.

Has anyone done a retrofit like this?
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Old 09-02-2006, 07:24 AM   #2
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Black pipe? As in PVC pipe?
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Old 09-02-2006, 07:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Black pipe? As in PVC pipe?
Nope Black Pipe as in residential style gas piping. IIRC it is soft iron.

Lipets,
I plan on going back with what was there orginally. It lasted over 30 years...works for me. I think that the soft iron pipe will break loose from the vibration and may rust out from road salt, etc.

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Old 09-02-2006, 07:41 AM   #4
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Iron pipe slung under something that will shake and vibrate doesn't sound like a good plan. SOB's tend to last 5, maybe 10, years, so the longevity isn't a problem for them.
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Old 09-02-2006, 09:43 AM   #5
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Typically on most SOB's they have a fairly ridgid frame, and the pipe is up inside the frame. so it is less prone to vibration...sort of

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Old 09-02-2006, 11:07 AM   #6
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Stay with Copper

The copper is flexible, won't rust and will last a very long time. It's also very good at absorbing road vibration and frame flex and is far easier to repair if needed. If you are worried about road debris, wrap the copper tubing in a heavy guage vinyl wire loom to add additional protection.
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Old 09-02-2006, 12:22 PM   #7
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Ok, those are good points.

I'll stick with the copper, any hints on the reinstall?
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Old 09-02-2006, 01:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
Ok, those are good points.

I'll stick with the copper, any hints on the reinstall?
I plan on completely replacing the LP systems on both of my units. Plus installing at least one LP light...just because I plan on pretty much duplicating the existing system. However be forewarned that the current RV standard calls for double flared ends and fittings. I haven't done any research into it...yet. The older units like ours have single flare fittings. I would hope that the single flair nuts and hubs are still available.

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Old 09-02-2006, 03:58 PM   #9
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What is the proper way to go through the belly pan wood floor and to appliance.

Now I see a tiny valve, then copper which is downsized through the belly pan, but these holes are maybe 1" in diameter with no bushing or protection from chafe.

Shouldn't something be there and again through the floor.

Anyone have a pic or schematic of what the right way to do this is?

What size should the branches be to each appliance?
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Old 09-02-2006, 05:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
What is the proper way to go through the belly pan wood floor and to appliance.

Now I see a tiny valve, then copper which is downsized through the belly pan, but these holes are maybe 1" in diameter with no bushing or protection from chafe.

Shouldn't something be there and again through the floor.

Anyone have a pic or schematic of what the right way to do this is?

What size should the branches be to each appliance?
Lipets,
I would fill the holes with some expanding foam at the wooden floor, and a caulking at the belly pan, or a rubber donut if you can find the right size. You want the hole at the pan large enough that it doesn't wear on the pipe. I have attached a scan of the gas piping system for a 76 Sovereign. If it isn't the right one for your trailer let me know. It tells you what size pipe to use where.

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File Type: pdf Gas Line Scan.pdf (48.9 KB, 116 views)
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Old 09-02-2006, 05:41 PM   #11
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Aaron, thanks for input on this.

I think I've got if figured out pretty much now.

The only thing I think I want to change is placing the shutoff valves inside the cabinets instead of outside underneath.

All the new trailiers I see have no valves outside.
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Old 09-02-2006, 05:41 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wahoonc
I plan on completely replacing the LP systems on both of my units. Plus installing at least one LP light...just because I plan on pretty much duplicating the existing system. However be forewarned that the current RV standard calls for double flared ends and fittings. I haven't done any research into it...yet. The older units like ours have single flare fittings. I would hope that the single flair nuts and hubs are still available.

Aaron
Aaron,

A double flair is the same dimension as a single flair and they both fit any currently available flair nut. A double flair simply has another layer of copper tucked inside of the outer flair, allowing it to have a little extra cushion when sealing into the flair nipple.

Just be sure that you put the flair nut onto the tube, threads facing OUT......................BEFORE you make your flair and don't over tighten them!

Also, you can get a nylon pipe clamp from most plumbing supply houses that will wrap around the tubing and then get secured by screws to the floor to seal the opening and secure the tubing.
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Old 09-02-2006, 05:51 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
Aaron, thanks for input on this.

I think I've got if figured out pretty much now.

The only thing I think I want to change is placing the shutoff valves inside the cabinets instead of outside underneath.

All the new trailiers I see have no valves outside.
Actually with the new OPD valves, shut offs are more of a convinence rather than a necessity (I think) I will probably put my shut off valves outside, easier to find and get to.

Lewster....been there done that! My favorite trick used to be flare the pipe, then remember the fitting! I don't mind working with copper pipe at all. Must come from all those years of "vintage" home ownership

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Old 09-02-2006, 09:27 PM   #14
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To fill the hole around the pipe use "duct seal" or "divers putty". It is a flexable stickie glob that is made to seal small voids. I found mine at an electrical suply house. It goes by different names but usualy if you tell them you need a sticky glob they will chuckle and go get it. I always keep a little on hand just in case duct tape want work.
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Old 09-04-2006, 11:29 AM   #15
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Is it possible to use the rubber pigtails from the main branches up through the floor directly to each appliance.

I would put something over the exposed hose under and through the pan and floor.
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Old 09-04-2006, 12:53 PM   #16
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piping penetration, etc

Lipets,
Newer airstreams use what appears to be ABS plastic about 1/8" thick cut like a donut with the hole in the center and split for installation around the pipe; then pop-riveted to the belly pan in 3 places; I copied this idea some years ago and it works well. I have the best results using low expanding foam for sealing (the white stuff) where the plywood floor is penetrated to avoid a mess and trimming; duct seal works real well too as suggested already but is not always completely rodent proof. Double flaring tools are readily available nowadays and a lot cheaper then they used to be.

I use adel style cushion clamps to secure the lines because I have them for the race cars in the shop; (the way airstream did it in the old days) but the nylon clamps work well too; I recommend only colored nylon black or grey for longevity. Another source/option for clamping is hydraulic line cushion clamps at the industrial hose and fitting shop; most however require 2 fasteners rather than one.

Be sure to use fully annealed new gas line tubing; old stuff may crack unless annealed first before flaring because it does work harden slowly; kind of a time sponget o do annealing and clean up the scale inside the tubes though.

My Caravel only had one shut off valve underneath; for the water heater and I left it there; all other valves (heater, fridge,stove) were next to the appliances where it is more convenient for servicing.

The only time I ever experienced damaged gas lines on an airstream was a trip on the Alcan in the 60's when it was mostly still gravel.
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Old 09-04-2006, 01:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wlj1943
Lipets,
Newer airstreams use what appears to be ABS plastic about 1/8" thick cut like a donut with the hole in the center and split for installation around the pipe; then pop-riveted to the belly pan in 3 places;
WLJ1943
Good input, not sure how the ABS is used?

Any pic's
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Old 09-05-2006, 10:13 PM   #18
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Lipits, I will try to take a photo tomorrow and post it.
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Old 09-06-2006, 05:23 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lipets
Good input, not sure how the ABS is used?

Any pic's
The piece is a standard issue Mobile Home or RV plumbing part. It is more like a split flange than a donut. It may even be available at you local home center in the plumping department.

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Old 09-06-2006, 02:01 PM   #20
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entrance flange

Lipets,
Wahoonc is correct, you can buy these at the RV supply, but I just made my own using abs scraps from the local body shop ( old bumper cover pieces), cutting them with a hole saw, enlarging the center hole with a unibit or drill bit to the needed diameter; then cutting into the two halves with tinsnips thru the centerline. This is the way rural folks do things at times to save a 50 mile trip for gofers.
The bumper ABS will likely hold up better than the plastic used in what the RV shop sells. I took a picture of the neighbors 1992 unit because it was easier to get under and you can see this one is cracked/deteriorated somewhat and used sheet metal screws to secure; both methods work. The purpose is to keep the critters out and avoid metal to metal contact.
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