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Old 07-09-2003, 06:12 PM   #1
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Propane holder adjustment

Hi all, my 75 Argosy came with old 30# tanks, I think I want to lower my tank size to 20#, but I can't seem to find a hex wrench (std. sizes) that fit the screw that sits in the adjustment hole. Anyone out there try this? Do I need metric - I was sure at 75 metric wasn't even heard of!

Any ideas?
Marc
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Old 07-09-2003, 06:59 PM   #2
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Marc,

Normally the rod is just a threaded piece of steel that it welded or bolted to the tank bracket. If you want to go shorter just get a die and a hack saw and have at it.

If I am way off, post a picture, maybe that will explain it better.
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Old 07-09-2003, 08:31 PM   #3
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rod

Brett,
My rod is indeed threaded, but it is loose in the holder with a small metal dowel that goes through the holder, through the rod, and appears to thread into the far side of the holder. There are two other holes further up the rod, which leads me to believe it is adjustable. The "hex" hole is in side of the dowel that I can see. I'll be going to my trailer next week, so I'll post pictures then.

However, I may just end up getting 30# tanks if I can't figure it out.....I have one new 20# tank, just thought I'd save some $ and weight if I could.
Marc
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Old 07-09-2003, 08:40 PM   #4
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One other option is to use a screw remover of small enough size to get in the hex pocket. There may not be a hex wrench to fit in the hole, because the hole is no longer the original size from rust, etc.

The screw removers are reverse threaded and you just turn them and the screw the proper direction. I have also heard them referred to as Easy Outs. They are made of carbon steel and will bite into the screw. It will be wasted when you get it out, but you should be able to find a suitable replacement. Barring that, you could just drill it out and replace it with a hefty cotter pin or bolt.
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Old 07-09-2003, 09:16 PM   #5
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Propane holder adjustment

Greetings Marc!

It sounds like your propane tank hold-down hardware is very similar to that used on my '78 Minuet. Yesterday, while fine-tuning my Dual Cam Sway Control, the attaching pin just disintegrated and the rod pulled out when I tried to tighten the mechansim after puting the tanks back on the tongue. The rod does indeed have three spaced attachment points that appear to correspond to the approximate height of 20, 30 and 40 pound tanks.

Quite honestly, after having two of these "pin" arrangments shear when the tanks were taken off of the hitch this season, I have decided to go with new threaded rod of the appropriate size. It won't be dificult to fabricate - - my local building center will cut the rod to any size that I specify and clean the threads on the cut-end at no additional charge. My plan is to establish the rough height and place two nuts and a washer either side of the mounting plate on the tongue - - then it will be a simple process of painting the rod to match the tongue and placing the orginal tank hold-down hardware on top of the rod.

I realize that it is a cost savings to go with the 20 pound replacement tanks, but have you checked to be sure that the original tanks on your Argosy aren't aluminum? I was rather shocked to learn that the original tanks on my '78 Minuet were aluminum so I went ahead and had the new OPD valves installed on them along with the proper recertification. Another issue you might want to consider with tank size is what impact, if any it will have on your hitch weight and balance of the coach - - granted the difference might not be much, but I am always cautious when it comes to tampering with anything that might impact the balance of the coach or reduce hitch weight - - granted, the approximate 20 pounds difference probably wouldn't be signficant.

Good luck with your modification!

Kevin
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Old 07-10-2003, 12:30 AM   #6
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I like Kevin's solution. I recently had to move my LPG bottle mounts forward about 4" and re-fabricate the bottle holding system completely to instally my Hensley Arrow.

I simply got 1/2" all-thread stainless steel rod from the local Home Depot. It is available in the perfect length for my 40# bottles. You could easily cut it to fit for the size bottles you have.

I was always wary of the pin that used to hold that rod in place--but after I ruined a steel punch trying to get it out...it was in there pretty solidly! You just never know till you inspect it, or it gives out suddenly.

(For folks with newer trailers, your gas bottles are usually mounted further forward than on the vintage 'streams. This probably had to do with manual tounge jacks which needed clearance for the handle to turn without hitting the bottles. You wouldn't have to do this for the Hensley.)

Here's a picture of my final setup.
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Old 07-10-2003, 06:07 AM   #7
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Marc,

I recently filled my tanks up and where I got them filled the attendant asked me if I knew what I had. He was referring to the 30# aluminum tanks. He said they were rare and he also stated that if I wasn't careful someone may try and swap out the tanks whenever I was refilling them. I told him that wasn't going to happen.

I don't know why you would want to go to a smaller tank but the tanks you have may be worth something if you plan on getting rid of them!

Just thought I would mention it.
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Old 07-10-2003, 10:29 AM   #8
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While on the subject of propane holders...

1.) Make sure your regulator is in good condition.

This is a frequently neglected item. For safety's sake, get it leak tested either with a propane detector, and/or look for leaks with soapy water.

My regulator was leaking last year and I wouldn't have known it except for having it checked while at an WBCCI rally. The safety team found it! It was leaking from the vent. I wouldn't have thought to check there, plus it's upside down and probably hard to get bubbles from since it's a large surface. It only leaked when all gas using appliances were shut off, or on pilot. When something was using gas pressure it would stop.

2.) Try to replace copper pigtails (the part from the regulator to the bottle) with rubber ones. If you've changed to the OPD style valves, then you'll be able to get the nice big female connectors that go on by hand. The copper pigtails are prone to splitting. At the pressure inside the tank, that's something don't want.

You can pick up a new regulator from an RV store, but be sure and check your local gas dealer, too. Their price may be better. I was able to get ahold of an exact replacement of the Fisher unit that originally came on mine and fit the holder perfectly (plus it's gray!). Airstream, other RV dealers, Camping World all sell the rubber pigtails.
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Old 07-10-2003, 11:10 AM   #9
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how to check for aluminum

Ok, I'm curious if my old, painted presumably steel tanks are infact aluminum. Is there a magnet test? I'm interested as I did notice that the orginal brown/tan paint is not rusted....I presumed it was because they were under cover.

I already did get a new Fisher regulator (slightly different from the orginal) thanks to the hot tip from Chas. Interestly, the reason I bought another one was that the orginal one "leaked" gas slowly out of the unused pigtail when I put a new full OPD tank on the other pigtail (I only had one 20# OPD tank, as I was deciding what size to eventually use). After I hooked up the new regulator with new hoses, the new one does the same thing! Oh well, I'm sure the almost 30 yr old thing needed to be replaced eventually, and now I have a spare. Just a word to the wise, always have TWO tanks hooked up at the same time!

I like the Home Depot holder solution, my old rod is fairly rusted anyway.
Thanks all!
Marc
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Old 07-10-2003, 12:07 PM   #10
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Propane holder adjustment

Greetings Marc!

Yes, the magnet test should work on the body of the tank. Also, the optional aluminum tanks used by Airstream and Argosy were typically Worthington and they are typically stamped "Worthington" on the collar. There were, however, other manufacturers of aluminum tanks so if they aren't marked "Worthington" that isn't an absolute either. The magent test is likely the most reliable if they aren't marked, and most reputable propane dealers will be able to identify the tanks for you.

If you find that your tanks are aluminum, be prepared to insist that the OPD valves are the correct ones for the aluminum tanks as there is a difference between the OPD valves for the same sizes of aluminum and steel tanks. Check out the thred below for more information about OPD valves for aluminum tanks.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ight=OPD+valve

Good luck with your tanks!

Kevin
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