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Old 11-24-2016, 12:08 PM   #1
3 Rivet Member
2006 22' Interstate
Sebastopol , California
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 210
Propane pouring out during fill

Took my 06/07 AI to fill the propane tank prior to tomorrows trip. On my model the fill is on the left side of the vehicle while the tank is on the right. As soon as the attendant started to fill the tank propane came rushing out, under the van, at the approximate location of the tank! Obviously he stopped the pump immediately. The gas leak is only on the fill side as there is still some propane in the tank and all systems are working. I have not had a chance to climb under to take a look so I am wondering if anyone else has had an experience like this and what I should look for.
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Old 11-24-2016, 05:11 PM   #2
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2006 22' Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 695
I've never experienced this but the overflow vent is next to the filll port so that doesn't sound like your issue.
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Old 11-24-2016, 05:35 PM   #3
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1981 31' Excella II
New Market , Alabama
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 6,134
Sounds like something in the fill line. Might be some relief valves under there to prevent over pressure might be something is damaged from road debris or vibration. If you are not a hands on person, I would take it to an RV place and let them take a look. I would not wait till your rig blows up to do this.

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Old 11-24-2016, 07:12 PM   #4
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2007 Interstate
League City , Texas
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 5,654
Something similar to this happens during 50% of my fills. The only question is degree of blow-by. It's not the fault of our on-board propane system (which is mostly new) but rather a setting on the fill apparatus. The time before last when it was not done properly, the resulting cloud of condensation was so large that I momentarily lost sight of the attendant.

After they get the nozzle hooked up but before they open the line to charge the Interstate tank, it is necessary to return to the main facility storage tank and adjust some setting there. It seems like it has to be done in order or there will be blow-by, although I do not understand the specifics. Inexperienced operators screw it up. They forget to do that final step before they let 'er rip, and voila, propane spewing everywhere.

Of course I did not witness your situation so I can't be sure it's the same type of event as what I see routinely.
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Old 11-24-2016, 10:00 PM   #5
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2006 22' Interstate
Sebastopol , California
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 210
Thanks IB, the only variable was the attendant, the fill station is one I have used before. Having never had this happen in the past I never paid attention to the attendants actions. And yes I lost site of both my van and the attendant in the fog! under when I return from Pismo Beach as nothing indicates I have a leak. I read your tank replacement blog and I'm satisfied I don't have to follow suit.
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Old 11-25-2016, 06:51 AM   #6
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League City , Texas
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Suggestion: Go to a "Cadillac" filling station and see if the same thing occurs. I go to a low-priced place which charges by actual meter reading with no minimum purchase. The fancier places will charge by the meter only after a minimum charge has been eclipsed. Sorry, but it irks me to pay $15 for two gallons of propane (or whatever small amount my micro-tank needs). But the upside is that the more expensive places tend to have more experienced operators. So if the same thing happens at one of those, the problem is likely on your end. I'd advise you to warn such an operator to proceed slowly, though, just in case. Tell them you think the last guy may have done something wrong, so that they will be watchful.
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Old 11-25-2016, 07:23 AM   #7
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1982 31' Airstream 310
champaign , Illinois
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Posts: 3,891
I had this happen on my '82 310. I was assuming the worst and started research on replacing the fill valve. Three things; I knew my tank was nearly full but wanted to top it off completely before our next trip....the second is that there is a rubber washer just inside the fill valve on my tank. I found a replacement washer online and replaced it......third, sometimes the float inside the tank that measures the 80% fill guideline gets stuck in the full position and will prevent more propane from entering the tank. One remedy to free the stuck float is to take a piece of wood, a foot or so long, place one end on the tanks fill valve and give the other end a good whack with a hammer. The wood wont damage the threads on the valve. So I did this also. I then used up about 3/4 of the propane in the tank during our next few outings and went to the same fill station as before. The tank filled without issue, no leaking. Not exactly sure if the washer replacement, stuck fill valve, or my tank was just too full when I first had the issue but its been just fine ever since. Good luck with yours.
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Old 11-25-2016, 10:33 AM   #8
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2014 Interstate Ext. Coach
Sedona , Arizona
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,084
Propane pouring out during fill

I always fill up at my local Ace Hardware which charges by tenths of the gallon. But their staff has a regular turnover and often I get someone who has never done it before and some is wasted. But from observation, they must open a brass bleed valve first, presumably to release the displaced air, and at some point the liquid comes out. Sometimes more comes out, and on occasion they even forget to close it!
So the whole process is subject to errors!

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Old 11-25-2016, 03:09 PM   #9
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 48
Had the same thing happen on my first LPG fill after purchasing my used 06/07 AI. The fill line from the fill port to the tank had ruptured. Airstream pricing was outrageous. Took it to local commercial propane servicing dealer, Ferrelgas, who made and installed a new hose. Total cost $84.
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Old 11-25-2016, 07:26 PM   #10
4 Rivet Member
1973 31' Sovereign
Middletown , California
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 424
I would like to hear exactly what can cause this situation because it doesn't sound safe at all! Is a pressure relief valve blowing off due to a stuck fill valve? You can never assume that the person filling your tank knows what they are doing. The stupid OPD valves were mandated because some of the filling people are stupid enough to not understand how propane systems work. I have seen a lot of the OPD valves not work right so I wouldn't bet that the improvement in safety was worth the hassle. If somebody has figured out what this problem is please post!
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Old 11-26-2016, 11:09 AM   #11
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2005 22' Interstate
san clemente , California
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 236
I had the same experience as jbray33. A new employee at RV repair shop did NOT OPEN relief valve and blew hose apart. Cost of repair was more than his and of course it was not THEIR fault -- must have been a weak hose.. I now ALWAYS am out with attendant and tell them my story which makes them LOOK for and open valve. AEW
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