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Old 07-16-2020, 08:52 AM   #1
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1977 29' Ambassador
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New Airstream owner and question about aluminum tanks

Hello all! We just bought a new old 1977 29' Ambassador. It needs a lot of work and has been in a storage lot for a couple years. Took the 2 aluminum propane tanks in to get recertified and filled. One was good, the other has a leaky valve. One of the propane guys told my husband, "don't let them talk you out of that tank. You can't find them like that anymore." Of course then the salesman tried to get my husband to swap for a new steel tank. Now we have this aluminum tank that needs a new valve. Over the phone, my propane store said they should be able to fix it, but I took it in and the guy said changing the valve was tricky because the aluminum would get stripped and it would be no good. I haven't come across this issue in the forum questions I've looked through, only that the dip stick is different between steel and aluminum tanks and that's the problem with getting the valves replaced. Was this guy just trying to scam me, or is this a real problem? Or, should I just buy the right valve and figure out how to change it myself? Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:05 AM   #2
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Itís probably a Worthington tank, they still make them. I guess itís possible that the tanks threads will strip but Iíve never had that problem with the 4 tanks Iíve re-valved.
I do recall that finding the right valve took some research since my aluminum tanks were different dimensions than the same capacity steel ones.
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:08 AM   #3
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Scam. Keep the aluminum. The valve both need replacement to new OPD. You can buy at LP distributors or last chance amazone. They are standard.

Run all the propane out. Vent to atmosphere. I had ours changed in Cedar Park.
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Old 07-16-2020, 09:24 AM   #4
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What I did...

Get a heat gun...the sealer used on the threads will get soft with heat, strap the tank to a tree with a ratchet strap, find a spanner that will fit the valve, use a breaker bar to work the valve back & forth, remove valve, let the LP evaporate in an open outdoor space & use the old valve to match with the new valve.
Have the tanked purged & filled.👍
KEEP those tanks.

Bob
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Old 07-16-2020, 10:41 AM   #5
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Heat gun (or even just a hair dryer on high) to loosen the valve is good advice.


If someone is telling you that the valve is too hard to replace, they're just trying to sell you something (literally).
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Old 07-16-2020, 12:55 PM   #6
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1977 29' Ambassador
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OK, so my propane guy is giving me a load of horse manure. I'm guessing I should change it myself. Now to find the right OPD valve for my 30 lb aluminum tank. There was a link to one I found on this forum at Out-Of-Doors Mart, but it said it was stamped with 5.8 for the dip tube on the side and my tank says 6.0. I called the place and they said I should find one that fits my tank. They only have that one. I called an rv place here in Austin and they can do it all tolled for just under $100.... Hmmm, if I can't find the $30 part myself, I guess I go there and pay way more. Sigh.
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Old 07-16-2020, 01:19 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by WORCShopATX View Post
I called an rv place here in Austin and they can do it all tolled for just under $100.... Hmmm, if I can't find the $30 part myself, I guess I go there and pay way more. Sigh.
I assume "all in" includes certification? Maybe try and get them to throw in a tank fill as well, and it will be worth just having it all done (and re-certified).
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Old 07-16-2020, 02:33 PM   #8
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We had an Argosy some years ago that had aluminium tanks. When we sold it I did keep the aluminum tanks. We use them for grilling and ice fishing, anyway, they had the old valves that had to be replaced with the newer OPD valves and re-certified before our local propane company would refill them. They informed me of the same risk, the threads can sometimes be damaged beyond repair but they would try. It went fine, new valves and re-certified. I think they just want to make sure you know the risk on expensive aluminium tanks.
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