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Old 01-24-2008, 09:50 AM   #1
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Propane tank, lines, regulator question

If you were to buy an orginal 1973 airstream and you had the orginal tanks, lines and regulator on it what would you change if everything was working? Should I just leave it, or is it wise to update? What should I add or change?

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Old 01-24-2008, 10:01 AM   #2
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Check the date on your tanks. I owned my 74 almost two years before I discovered the tanks were stamped 79. Still pretty old however. The date can be found on the upper handle of the tank.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:04 AM   #3
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Rubber hoses should be replaced, regulator should be looked at closely, and probably replaced. If the tanks are aluminum, take them in and have them recertified, it is much cheaper than buying new replacements.
Copper lines should be replaced if they show signs of wear or damage.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overlander63
Rubber hoses should be replaced, ....
Go ahead and replace the rubber and get the new style ends. Any RV Dealer will have the parts. One of mine sprung a leak and empytied the tank while on the road. The cost of the lost propane was more than a replacement hose . One failure mode of the regulators is, when bad, they will allow a full tank to discharge into the empty tank if both valves are open. This results in no warning until both tanks are empty if you run with both valves open.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:34 AM   #5
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The overfill protection valve requirements are about 5 years old. All tanks not equipped with them will not be filled (legally) with propane. That apply to portable tanks, not the commercial type build-in in motorhomes.
New tanks also have different, more convenient couplers.
I just bought new switchover valve with regulator at Camping World for about $50.
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Old 01-24-2008, 11:06 AM   #6
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Thanks a bunch!

Before I bought the trailer I tested the stove and the propane heater by the door. Everything worked. I would like to keep the tanks and upgrade the hoses and regulator. I did not know there was a legal issue about parts.

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Old 02-04-2008, 07:31 PM   #7
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I just had the old valves on my 40lb alumnum tanks replaced with the new OPV valve and also had them both certified for $69.00 total. Much cheaper then buying the new tanks
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Old 02-04-2008, 08:38 PM   #8
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Modern legal valves are easy to spot. They have triangular valve handles, that is, three lobe.
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Old 02-05-2008, 03:53 AM   #9
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I never had my tanks "recertified". Maybe that is a state to state requirement. No way to get around new OPD valves. I never replaced the copper lines from the tank to the regulator and my old regulator still works fine. There are new lines that hand tighten that are more convenient. An old regulator can have a bad diaphram that won't give you the right pressure.
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Old 02-06-2008, 10:29 AM   #10
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My 40lb Worthington aluminum tanks have a gasket on the inside of the valve connection - and one of them is worn and leaking. Are these a common replacement part? Have any of you replaced them?

Thanks - Pat.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:04 AM   #11
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I took my tanks in for recertification at a major wholesale distributor and the guys saw the new style valves and just filled them, I had asked for the stamp style testing so some backwoods vendor would not refuse me and afterwards found they used a small grinder to free-hand engrave something like VIP-date (visual inspection passed + date) so be wary what level of 'certification' they actually are providing BEFORE you let them take possession of your Worthingtons!
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:16 AM   #12
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my recert is a metal tape with a pen markd date. The tanks i had revalved were the 40 lb worthington so its prety easy and cheap
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Old 02-06-2008, 12:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kajtek1
The overfill protection valve requirements are about 5 years old. All tanks not equipped with them will not be filled (legally) with propane. That apply to portable tanks, not the commercial type build-in in motorhomes.
New tanks also have different, more convenient couplers.
I just bought new switchover valve with regulator at Camping World for about $50.
Overfill protection valves (OPD) are NOT required on HORIZONTAL tanks of 4 to 40 lbs made before 1 Oct 1998 and are labeld that they do not have OPD valve installed.Ref Home - National Propane Gas Association under issues. Some Argosy and Airstreams TT made in the 1980's and early 1990's use horizontal tanks.
Certification/recertification is by State law.In most States new tanks are good for 12 years from date made and recertification is good for 5 years and can be recertifed as often as tank passes test.But this is a State by State issue so check your State and any State that you may need your tank filled in.
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:43 PM   #14
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I have a 1981 that I've never had checked for leaks. I did upgrade the tanks last year to the new valves since I couldn't get them filled otherwise, and yes it was much less expensive then buying new tanks. Everything that runs on propane has worked very well since we've had it. What would be the easiest way to have the system checked? Do they sell a cheap leak detector, or do most people have the system professionally checked?
Overlander: You mentioned replacing the rubber hoses. Are these only the hoses that run from the tank to the regulator that should be replaced?

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Old 02-26-2008, 02:10 PM   #15
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New tanks have to be inspected every 12 years, and once you change the valves you have to have the tank inspected every 5 years. The steel tank's replacement valves are so expensive that, with the inspection cost, it is hardly worth chaging the valve. It is best to buy new tanks.
With the aluminum tanks that is another story. The guide lines for inspections are the same but they are so much nicer. The replacement valves for the aluminum tanks vs the steel tanks are differant. They look about the same but the aluminum tank valves are a little longer. The right valve for the right bottle is a serious matter. The Overfill Protection Devise will not work properly in the wrong tank.
We do carry both replacement valves 30lb and 40 lb at Out-of-Doors Mart MORE Airstream Parts on-line than anyone!!! And we accept PayPal.
30 lb OPD Valve for Aluminum bottles SKU8355 - $28.95 : ODMRV , Out-of-Doors Mart

40 lb OPD Valve for Aluminum bottles SKU8356 - $29.95 : ODMRV , Out-of-Doors Mart

These replacment valves do interface with the new hand tighten hoses so it makes little since to not get them also. It sure beats getting in the tool box every time you need to refill your bottles to get a wrench.

I had a guy share with me one time that he changed the valves himself. He said ,once his bottle was empty he got some cloth and wrapped the gas bottle so he would not scratch it. He got a large chain and wraped it around the bottle then put the chain into the vise. After cutting the hose off the brass fitting of his old hoses he screwed it back into the bottle. Then he used a large pair of slip pliers to screw out the old valve by grabing a hold of the brass fitting. He then used the same method to put it back in. Mind you, I did not see this done but do know he did not return the gas bottles valves.
I have also heard of where the gas companies who inspect the Gas Bottles do have the tool to change the new valves but do not carry the aluminum tank valves.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:30 PM   #16
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I had two of the old style valves on my 1974 31' International Sovereign. I took the aluminum tanks to a propane dealer. He was able to remove and replace one of the valves. Even though he was very careful, the other valve stripped the threads on the aluminum tank when he attempted to remove it. I probably will have to buy a new tank. I doubt that the tank threads can be rethreaded?
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:02 PM   #17
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When i bought my 1977 argosy MH I took it into a place that installs propane tanks and asked him to check the propane system over and replace anything that needed replacing. They replace all the flexable hoses and checked the system over. It was less than $100 and it gave me a piece of mind that everything was Ok. I have'nt had any problems in the six years I've owned it. It was also checked over by a crew with a sniffer at the international rally in salem oregon a couple of years ago.
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