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Old 06-29-2017, 09:30 PM   #1
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1983 31' Excella
Pooler , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 4
LP issue - 1983 31' Excella

First time post for me, just purchased this Airstream which is mostly all original and in 100% working order. The only thing I can't get is the gas. From the panel, both tanks read full. The tank nozzles are open and everything looks connected. However, when opening the gas on the stove, no flame. I do smell a faint gas smell, but it doesn't light with a flame next to it (lighter).

Is there a master shut-off valve somewhere that I need to open to allow gas to flow?
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:47 PM   #2
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1999 34' Excella
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Hillsboro , Texas
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Older folks like me and Airstreams tend to have gas issues...

Sounds like the LP gas regulator may be bad. The regulator reduces the LP cylinder gas pressure to usable levels. The regulator will be by the LP cylinders and the hoses from each connect to the regulator. There is a third hose connecting the output to the Airstream piping.

You won't be able to run your water heater, heater or refrigerator on LP until this is resolved.

If you don't have the experience to diagnose and repair, it is mobile tech or take to an RV repair shop.

LP stuff is nothing to be wrong about...

Our 1999 LP worked great! For a week. When I disconnected the regulator hose, a black oil ran out... it was the "odorant" they put in the odorless LP gas so you can smell it.... the odorant had come out of solution in the hose (somewhat normal) and was hard for the LP to get thru the liquid.

Also, after clearing the line, the regulator was still bad.

To verify regulator operation, there should be a specific WC (water column) pressure provided during operation of the appliances.

While just slapping on a new regulator is possible, there is no guarantee there are no other problems, as my example suggests.

So, whatcha think???
Peace and Blessings..
WBCCI# 30676
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:48 AM   #3
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1989 32' Excella
Sharon Springs , New York
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 172
Greetings, when we bought our 1989 Excella 3 years ago, everything worked great, but was original. In my humble opinion, you should replace not only the regulator but all the rubber gas lines and the L.P. gas detector/alarm.
I think there is a few shut off valves as part of the copper gas lines, your owners manual,
if you have one, should show you where they are located. I did have some oily substance when I replaced the rubber lines come out of the copper line. I didn't flush the copper lines as not much came out, but it is something to consider. Good luck and safe travels!!
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:09 AM   #4
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1966 22' Safari
Hilltop Lakes , Texas
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My Airstream is older than yours and probably different, but mine has a shutoff valve under the stovetop that has to be on for the stove to light. The old Magic Chef RV stoves had that valve so the gas could be shut off for travel (as it should be). The stovetop is hinged at the back and has friction latches at the front. A good pull upward at the front edge will open it.

I also agree that it might be a regulator issue if the entire propane system is affected. A good propane dealer can help you with a new regulator and replacement hose. Not expensive and a good thing to do for safety reasons. They can also re-certify your propane bottles if that is needed.

Good news is that almost the entire propane system is visible, as the lines run beneath the belly pan (also for safety) and most of the shutoff valves are down there. Crawl around a bit and look for the gas line to each appliance. Normally, the shutoff valves are where the line enters the belly at each location.

Once you get the gas working and there is some pressure in the lines, it's a good idea to spray soapy water on each fitting to check for leaks. The pressure is low, so wait a few minutes for bubbles to develop before deciding a fitting is good.

And I will repeat Channing's caution. If you don't know what you're doing with propane, find someone who does--and start learning.
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:10 AM   #5
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1983 31' Excella
Pooler , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 4
Hey everyone, thank you for the insight! I went ahead and took the tank assembly apart, the tanks are definitely empty. On the top of the regulator, there is a clear window that has an orange color showing, some type of alarm? I assume to show empty. I pulled all the rubber hoses down to the copper, only a small amount of black liquid came from copper line, none from rubber lines. Is there a way to flush the copper system?

Funny thing, with the copper line connected to nothing, I still show full tanks on my panel. Where is the sensor?!

Oh, and I do have an owners manual, but there is no mention of a master shutoff in the copper. Not even a diagram of the lines...
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:35 AM   #6
3 Rivet Member
1989 32' Excella
Sharon Springs , New York
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 172
The sensor wires on my unit connect to a small brass (I think) threaded stud on top of each tank itself, below the lift handles. I would depend more on the regulator indicator than the electric sensor, but it's nice when they both day the same thing : )
As others have indicated, there usually are separate valves for each L.P. appliance. If you can't locate them via the owners manual, have to follow the copper lines as they are probably not in the same places on every model. I have seen threads on this forum talking about how to flush your LP hard lines, but since I had very little deposits observed, I decided to update the regulator/rubber lines and not open another "can of worms" by trying to flush the lines. So far all works well!! Also, the soapy water leak test works well, but I also picked up a handheld gas leak detector to add to my RV toolbox... Good luck and travel safe!!
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Old 06-30-2017, 08:37 AM   #7
3 Rivet Member
1989 32' Excella
Sharon Springs , New York
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 172
P.S. - Got my handheld gas leak detector at Lowe's... : )
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:20 PM   #8
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1984 34' Excella
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 17
I have a 84 excella there was a rubber hose about a foot long on the trailer Frameand it had decomposed and inside , Black molasses looking gunk was obstructing the gas flow. I took that hose off and A hydraulic hose Company theymade me a replacement. Then ,MyLP gas units started to work. Footnote I replace the regulator first but found out there was nothing wrong with the old one.
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Old 07-01-2017, 11:43 AM   #9
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1983 31' Excella
Pooler , Georgia
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 4
Hey guys, thanks for all the help. I ended up needing new tanks (mine from 1982, illegal to fill), new regulator and new hoses down to the copper. Just got all put together and the stove fired up, so all is well!

Thanks again -
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