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Old 05-14-2021, 06:39 PM   #1
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1994 25' Excella
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Propane Tank Cover Adjustment

Today I replaced the pair of 30-lb steel propane tanks with new. My original were from 1994 and starting to corrode on the bottom, and the propane dealer said they were beyond help at this point. For good measure, I had new hoses made up to connect them to the regulator and to the trailer.

The tanks appear to be the same as the originals in size and shape. They sit on the tongue just like the old ones. I put the cast aluminum cross bar on the threaded rod and dropped it down to hold the tanks in place. All good so far.

Then I carefully lowered the propane tank cover over the top, just like it had been on the originals. The bracket inside the cover sits squarely on the cast cross bar holding the tanks down.

When I tightened the large wing nut on top things seems secure. The tanks themselves don't wobble and are held tightly.

There is a problem, however. The bottom of the propane tank cover now sits about 3/8" above the tongue all around. A slight touch anywhere and the cover wobbles. Seems like the cover needs to be dropped down about 3/8" to once again sit firmly on the tongue. Don't see any way to adjust this though.

Has anyone got suggestions on how to tweak the position of the tank cover so that it sits firmly against the tongue? Or, should I look at an alternative like using a gasket around the bottom edge of the tank cover? Maybe the same stuff that is used between the rock guards and the windows? Or maybe a plastic space of some type?
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:36 PM   #2
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Does the threaded rod for the large wing nut have a jam nut on it below a stop ?? If it does you can likely move it downward enough to allow the cover to sit where you want it. Or maybe there is adjustment where that rod goes through the tank holder plate. But since the tanks are secure - this may not help. Another possible solution is to shim with washers in the appropriate place on the hold down rod.

Dan
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Old 05-14-2021, 08:50 PM   #3
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Cut deeper notches in the propane tank hold down.
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Old 05-15-2021, 01:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmer Dan View Post
Does the threaded rod for the large wing nut have a jam nut on it below a stop ?? If it does you can likely move it downward enough to allow the cover to sit where you want it. Or maybe there is adjustment where that rod goes through the tank holder plate. But since the tanks are secure - this may not help. Another possible solution is to shim with washers in the appropriate place on the hold down rod.

Dan
No stop nut - the cross bar hold down for the tanks just drops down till it reaches the top of the tank collars. The tank cover's support then sits directly on that. What appears to have happened is the physical size of the tanks have changed slightly from the original 1994 ones to the current production tanks.

Not surprising that the size would be slightly different. What is surprising is that there doesn't appear to be any adjustment built into the propane tank cover to accommodate slight variations in tank size. Even in 1994 not every tank would have been identical from brand to brand.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JunkYard View Post
Cut deeper notches in the propane tank hold down.
Only so much metal to work with before it gets too weak to do its job.


I'll try and get a couple of photos of the problem later this weekend.
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Old 05-15-2021, 07:27 AM   #5
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Just thinking out loud.
The crossbar that attaches to the tank cover might be modified to make the attachment points HIGHER on the cover?
Even buy a new strap of aluminum and bend it to a shape that lowers the cover.
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:12 AM   #6
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I put my cross bar on the handle holes to hold it down.
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Old 05-15-2021, 09:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
Just thinking out loud.
The crossbar that attaches to the tank cover might be modified to make the attachment points HIGHER on the cover?
Even buy a new strap of aluminum and bend it to a shape that lowers the cover.
That picture is exactly like the setup I've got, and your suggestions were really helpful. When I looked at my cover more closely to see how to remove the strap which holds on the cover, I realized that it had been slightly bent over the years. Looks like I might be able to rig up a jig of some type to protect the plastic edges while I carefully bend it back into the correct shape.

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Originally Posted by JunkYard View Post
I put my cross bar on the handle holes to hold it down.
I thought of that, but the large wing nut is too long to spin between the tank rims with the cross bar in the lower position. Also, then I'd need another wing nut to hold down the tank cover.
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Old 05-15-2021, 11:02 AM   #8
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I don't recall anyone else needing a fix like this and surely, many have changed tanks.
Before cutting, make sure that the cross bar that secures the tanks is seated properly and not hung up on a ????
Also, at the bottom of the tanks, make sure the 'foot' fits into the black base attached to the A frame of the trailer.
I know people put those rubber tank guards on the bottom and yet it doesn't make the aluminum cover rise out of the base?
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Old 05-15-2021, 01:46 PM   #9
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If your crossbar is where it is in the photo that Mollysdad posted, you might try putting the hold down bar inside the handhold holes instead of across the very top of the tank. Thatís how ours is.
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Old 05-15-2021, 02:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
I don't recall anyone else needing a fix like this and surely, many have changed tanks.
Before cutting, make sure that the cross bar that secures the tanks is seated properly and not hung up on a ????
Also, at the bottom of the tanks, make sure the 'foot' fits into the black base attached to the A frame of the trailer.
I know people put those rubber tank guards on the bottom and yet it doesn't make the aluminum cover rise out of the base?
This was my thought at first too - how could the cover not fit? Maybe the tank dimensions changed slightly from 1994 to 2021? My tanks are firmly seated inside the rings welded to the tongue so I don't think that's the issue.

The support on the tank cover was a bit bent, almost as if it was over tightened at some point. Hopefully I can carefully get it back in shape.
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Old 05-15-2021, 08:32 PM   #11
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I looked at my 2019 27' FBT Globetrotter tank set up today and had one additional idea. Would a piece of Allthread rod allow you any different adjustments than you have now that may help ??

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Old 05-17-2021, 05:47 AM   #12
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I have the exact same issue.
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Farmer Dan View Post
I looked at my 2019 27' FBT Globetrotter tank set up today and had one additional idea. Would a piece of Allthread rod allow you any different adjustments than you have now that may help ??

Dan
The limitation is not the amount of thread on the rod - there is more than enough to adjust up/down as needed.

It seems to me that the limitation is that the support bar on the tank cover is not adjustable at all - it sits on top of the cross-bar which locks the tanks in place, and its position is determined strictly by the height of the tanks. If your tanks are a fraction of an inch too short, the support on the tank cover must bend down to meet it. If the tanks are too tall (like mine) just a tad, then the bottom of the tank cover doesn't reach the tongue any more.

Still working out a way to carefully bend the tank cover support enough to make things fit together.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JunkYard View Post
I put my cross bar on the handle holes to hold it down.
I got that photo from the internet because it showed the support bar. I never noticed that the hold down was on the top of the tank, not in the handle hole, like mine are. The difference is 4" and the OP needs 3/8" so I assumed that was not his problem.

Richard5933, please take a picture and maybe we can determine the exact problem.

Can we agree the setup looks like this:


I tried to find the specs on a propane tank, thinking they're 24", but there's some question of that.
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Old 05-17-2021, 07:48 PM   #15
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Why care

Just thinking about your problem what does it matter if it site up, I don't think mine ever sat down on frame.
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Old 05-18-2021, 05:38 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Just thinking about your problem what does it matter if it site up, I don't think mine ever sat down on frame.
Great question. Thought about this myself when I first put the cover back on after getting the new tanks - even wondered if it ever touched bottom.

In my experience, things that aren't fastened down well will rock, rattle, and roll as the trailer goes down the road. In the end, all this movement causes wear in places not designed for wear, and can lead to early failure of parts.

Just find it hard to believe that such a large propane tank cover would have only one point of connection to the trailer - the support bar at the top - and that the rest of it would be designed to just dangle there and move about as we roll down the road.
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Old 05-18-2021, 06:47 AM   #17
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Same problem; tanks tght, cover loose, regulator bracket rubbing on tanks and tank cover has a hole in it where it rubs on jack. The cover is so loose, one can hear it in the cab. Wife continues to %#&( about it.
I have had the cover so tight I cannot move it but after travel, it loosens up as before and gets louder and louder. Took it to local RV dealer and they did no better.
This has been the talk around the campfire.



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Old 05-18-2021, 06:53 AM   #18
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Mine sits on the A frame if I get all the cables routed properly through the notches.
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Old 05-18-2021, 06:59 AM   #19
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I have always run with some fuel line (split lengthwise) at the contact points between the frame and the bottom of the cover. This was mostly to hold it up a bit to relieve the contact with the jack wiring harness.
Now OP's 3/8" gap is quite a bit for the wall thickness of the fuel hose I use, but how about getting some 1/2" closed cell rubber tape and applying it to the frame at the desired contact points with the bottom of the cover?
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Old 05-18-2021, 08:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dznf0g View Post
I have always run with some fuel line (split lengthwise) at the contact points between the frame and the bottom of the cover. This was mostly to hold it up a bit to relieve the contact with the jack wiring harness.
Now OP's 3/8" gap is quite a bit for the wall thickness of the fuel hose I use, but how about getting some 1/2" closed cell rubber tape and applying it to the frame at the desired contact points with the bottom of the cover?
This gives me an idea - what about using some of the closed cell black pipe insulation (the stuff to keep hot water pipes hot)? It's already split and could slip over the edge of the tank cover where it meets the A-frame.
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