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Old 04-27-2015, 08:40 AM   #1
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LPG Line Questions

I'm a total newbie so please forgive me if this is too basic a question.

We recently purchased a 1960 Safari and it has it's original range, refrigerator and hot water heater. It also has an older replacement space heater furnace.

I don't know if any of it works and I purchased the trailer assuming it would need work. I'd definitely like to re-use the oven / range and fridge for sure.

I plan on updating the plumbing and replacing the water heater. However, before I can figure that part out I want to first understand the LPG lines.

The LPG lines on my trailer run outside the belly pan on the street side. There's a T- to go up into the trailer for the furnace, then a T up for the range, then a T- to the curbside for the refer, and then the line continues past (and under) the axle until it goes up and into the water heater.



First question... Should these lines be outside the belly pan or inside? The line under the axle has been crushed by what I assume was a misplaced jack.

Second question... the line is held to the belly pan by aluminum strips riveted in place. In some places the aluminum has corroded and will need to be replaced. Is there a better fastening system? I've read about running the lines inside a PEX tube to protect from rocks, etc. I guess that would eliminate the dissimilar metal corrosion too.

Third question... could (should) I run a single line into the trailer under the range and then T off from inside the trailer to feed the hot water heater and furnace? Is it better (or okay) to run the LPG lines inside the trailer like plumbing the lines? Seems to me like that would be more prudent than running under the trailer where the lines could be damaged. I'd still have to get from street side to curbside for the refrigerator though.
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:42 AM   #2
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Are you familiar with The VAP (vintage airstream podcast). I believe they recently did an episode regarding LP lines. You might look that up online.


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Old 04-27-2015, 08:47 AM   #3
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Run outside in case of damage. Don't want leaking gas enclosed in anything. Jim
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Old 04-27-2015, 08:49 AM   #4
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ALL lines that can be should be under the trailer outside the living area. This is because of potential leaks that may occur at the Tees.

The crushed line can be repaired by cutting out a section and replacing it with 2 flared connectors. You must use flared fitting on gas.

If you remount the gas line to the underside of the trailer use straps that have a rubber insulator between the strap and the copper pipe. The rubber will reduce any ware point that may happen to the pipe from road vibration and stop electrolysis at that point.
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Old 04-27-2015, 09:31 AM   #5
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Do NOT run a main line into the trailer and tee off it. To the extent possible, all connections should be outside living spaces.
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Old 04-27-2015, 10:44 AM   #6
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As stated above, the LPG lines run outside of the belly pan. Even on the new Airstreams the LPG lines are run on the bottom, outside of the pan.

Just redo the LPG lines the same way the factory did it 1960, but do replace the regulator and the shutoff valves, and the rubber hoses.

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Old 04-27-2015, 11:03 AM   #7
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And valves are always to remain outside too, below the belly pan. The reason for all of this is that propane is heavier than air, and will pocket and pool in low spots. If it pools and ignites, there are disastrous consequences. All fittings are potential leak spots so other than the last one to the actual appliance inside, they all should be outside.

Soft copper pipe itself is very resilient and will take a lot of abuse from road trash, but where you think it may need extra help it can be covered with PEX or old hose.
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Old 04-27-2015, 12:49 PM   #8
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Awesome information. I'm glad I asked! Thanks everyone!
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Old 04-27-2015, 03:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHandyDan View Post
First question... Should these lines be outside the belly pan or inside? The line under the axle has been crushed by what I assume was a misplaced jack.
Outside as noted in the replies upthread.

Quote:
Second question... the line is held to the belly pan by aluminum strips riveted in place. In some places the aluminum has corroded and will need to be replaced. Is there a better fastening system? I've read about running the lines inside a PEX tube to protect from rocks, etc. I guess that would eliminate the dissimilar metal corrosion too.
Stainless steel clamps with neoprene liners are now used by Airstream. I've used them for my additions to the propane system also. The clamps are sold as a means of securing electric wiring. You can get the clamps at auto parts stores and home centers.

Quote:
Third question... could (should) I run a single line into the trailer under the range and then T off from inside the trailer to feed the hot water heater and furnace? Is it better (or okay) to run the LPG lines inside the trailer like plumbing the lines? Seems to me like that would be more prudent than running under the trailer where the lines could be damaged. I'd still have to get from street side to curbside for the refrigerator though.
As noted upthread, the lines should stay outside the trailer.

If you use type K tubing and forged nuts, the lines will last a very long time indeed. While the PEX sleeve that Canada now requires seems prudent, it is pretty unusual for the lines to leak as the result of abrasion from road debris.
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