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Old 10-03-2013, 11:01 AM   #1
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Putting in a gas light?

My 74 Argosy 22 was not equipped with interior gas lighting from the factory but I'd like to install one Has anyone ever done this? Is this trailer suicide or is it doable?
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:14 PM   #2
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Tim: of course you can do it, but I am not sure why you would want to. The propane lights are heat producing, moisture producing, and don't give a very pleasant light (in my opinion), and use oxygen from the rig. The mantles are fragile and hard to find these days.

LED or fluorescent lighting makes the most sense today. Put a second battery in your Argosy, change to a good 3 stage converter/charger like a PD 9245, and go modern....LOL.

But, if you still want a propane light, you will need to run a 1/4" copper line from your existing gas system under the trailer, to the place you chose for the light. Flair fittings on both ends and a cut off valve under the trailer. Be careful of the location, due to the heat produced by the light.

But, again, why?
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:23 PM   #3
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I completely agree with idroba.
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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There's just something about the ambience of a gas light. The warm glow, the lonesome haunting whistle. I grew up camping by lantern light and have never had any trouble finding the mantles. I dont know about heat shields or globes but I'm sure I can find something.

It was just a thought. I may not go through with it, just exploring some options and ideas. I've owned the trailer for three weeks. It is my first trailer and I'm just enjoying the experience of tinkering and exploring the possibilities.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #5
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My 78 Excella didn't come with one either, but I put one in and am glad I did. There several reasons for my decision: since the propane system is a separate one from the electrical, it gives me an alternate source of light if there is electrical trouble; if it is cold outside, it gives me warmth as well as light-sometimes just the right amount; it isn't difficult or dangerous so why not? I rather enjoy the very gentle hiss and the mellow light. To install one tap into a convenient propane line with a "T" (you'll need to flare the tubing) and keep the mounting point away from the ceiling or other flamables. If you search the forums you will find pictures, etc.. Sometimes you can find a nice vintage fixture on e**y.
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:25 PM   #6
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Love the mellow, relaxed light a gas light gives. There's just something great about a living flame that a bulb or an LED can't duplicate.

We got a bunch of barn oil lamps that we use outside, for the same reason.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:05 PM   #7
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We used ours quite a bit in the 63 Safari. It was an OEM unit complete with heat shield behind & above it.

Surprising how much warmth it generated on those chilly/damp mornings.


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Old 10-03-2013, 03:22 PM   #8
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Thank you all for the ideas and encouragement. I think I would tap into the line near the furnace and come up the wall to the end of the overhead cabinet above the bed. That should give enough clearance on all sides for the heat to be safe. Now I need to find a simple fixture that goes with my minimalist theme.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:32 PM   #9
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I keep the old Coleman lantern in the Airstream for emergencies, or when I feel nostalgic.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:39 PM   #10
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I have one from my '72 Trade Wind. I'll see if I can attach a pic of it. Let me know if you are interested.
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:48 PM   #11
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My '72 Trade Wind had one and I loved it! It was located on the gable right beside the entry door. Mine came with a Paulin and there were no problems with overheating and mantles are easily had at any camping supply store that sells Coleman lanterns/supplies.

PAULIN OUTDOOR PRODUCTS - INDOOR HEATERS

I'd say that if you are handy with running your own gas line, go for it!
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VtTim View Post
Thank you all for the ideas and encouragement. I think I would tap into the line near the furnace and come up the wall to the end of the overhead cabinet above the bed. That should give enough clearance on all sides for the heat to be safe. Now I need to find a simple fixture that goes with my minimalist theme.
You should not make a tap inside the trailer. No more connections than absolutely necessary inside. That is why on the original gas line system, all but the very last connection to the specific appliance are made outside, below the belly pan. Propane is heavier than air, and with a leak, can puddle inside cabinets etc, build up until it finds an ignition source and then, poof, fire, explosion etc.

I had a neighbor who found that out the hard way. Their home was rubble when they got back. Since it was their second home fire, the insurance company did a very careful investigation prior to paying out. They found that gas had built up, from a leak, inside the lower portion of their range. The range had a standing oven pilot. When the propane built up high enough, it hit the pilot and the place was torched. They were lucky to not be home.
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Old 10-03-2013, 05:22 PM   #13
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I like them too. My 1975 did not come with one but I am definitely going to add one. On my 75 the lamp was mounted on the side of the fridge cabinet. I second the suggestion to keep the T-connection outside the skin of the trailer. On my LP plan it calls for a shut off valve outside too. Plan to follow with that when the time comes. I had a pickup camper way back that I actually lived in for a couple of years, it had a couple of LP lights in it and it was a great way to enjoy a winter's evening when it was chilly.

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Old 10-03-2013, 05:23 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VtTim View Post
My 74 Argosy 22 was not equipped with interior gas lighting from the factory but I'd like to install one Has anyone ever done this? Is this trailer suicide or is it doable?
I have not done it in my trailer but had one in my last stick house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
Tim: of course you can do it, but I am not sure why you would want to. The propane lights are heat producing, moisture producing, and don't give a very pleasant light (in my opinion), and use oxygen from the rig. The mantles are fragile and hard to find these days.
The main advantage of gas lights is that they are not dependent on the electrical system. On an older trailer, or for extended boondocking, they may be a more cost effective solution than upgrading the battery and converter. The heat is an advantage in the cool spring and fall season when days are short and extra lighting is most necessary.

Mantles and the dust from them are toxic, avoid putting gas lights above countertops or tables where a broken mantle might get into food.

Follow the advice of others about keeping the propane T outside the trailer shell.

Follow the manufacturer's recommended clearance to the ceiling and wall corners. 4-6" seems to be typical.
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