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Old 12-04-2007, 12:13 PM   #1
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HI Folks,
Between cold weather, winds and some snow we've been working on our 5ver. Got the air hitch installed and it tows very easily.
We plan on hitting the road in Jan. and was not going to winterize the unit, but keep it at about 45 inside. But we've had propane troubles and the heater would not come on , so we added some winterizer today.

Q #1 - We have 2 propane tanks and we assume when one empties it switches over to the other one. There are no gages, just a red indicator between the tanks. It's hard to read. How do you know when you're getting low on propane? (before you run out and the furnace quits!) It looks like we are going to have to install some type of gage on each tank so we know what the level is.

Q#2 - Is there a fresh water tank drain? We could not find one. We ended pumping out the water through the kitchen sink, then emptying the gray tank. Does the 5vers not have one like the MH's did?
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Old 12-04-2007, 12:13 PM   #2
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HI Folks,
Between cold weather, winds and some snow we've been working on our 5ver. Got the air hitch installed and it tows very easily.
We plan on hitting the road in Jan. and was not going to winterize the unit, but keep it at about 45 inside. But we've had propane troubles and the heater would not come on , so we added some winterizer today.

Q #1 - We have 2 propane tanks and we assume when one empties it switches over to the other one. There are no gages, just a red indicator between the tanks. It's hard to read. How do you know when you're getting low on propane? (before you run out and the furnace quits!) It looks like we are going to have to install some type of gage on each tank so we know what the level is.

Q#2 - Is there a fresh water tank drain? We could not find one. We ended pumping out the water through the kitchen sink, then emptying the gray tank. Does the 5vers not have one like the MH's did?
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Old 12-04-2007, 01:07 PM   #3
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From my trailer days if the indicator is red that tank is empty a good tank would indicate green. You may have to turn a valve handle to the good tank side. If you have air in line for furnace turn on stove to get rig of some of the air in line than furnace should light after a few trys.
There should be a drain for fresh water tank look under belly of 5th you should see a plastic tube under your fresh water tank area follow tube up and there should be a valve. You will also see a rubber flat tube for the over flow. Some times the valve will be in a compartment behind something.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:05 PM   #4
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Q#1 - There are aftermarket gauges that can be installed on the tanks, the one offered by RV Upgrades has provisions for an indicator inside the trailer.

Q#2 - I'd be surprised if your trailer doesn't have a fresh water drain somewhere. If you can't find it call the factory.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the info.

We did not crawl under the 5ver but Bob said he didn't see any valves for the frest water tank. He did see some for various lines, but they didn't drain the tank. We got it drained, even if it wasn't by conventional methods. At least now when we get back to freezing weather, if there is a bit of H20 in it, it will have plenty of expansion room and the lines are all winterized with RV antifreeze.

As for the propane being green...we've never seen a green indicator. It reads red all the time even when we come back from filling the tanks.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:13 PM   #6
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Thanks Hitchhiker,

We are looking into some type of added on gage. Saw one at Lowe's for $20 each,(and we'll need 2) so shopping around. During the summer (BBQ'ing season) the hardware stores have a bunch, but not in winter around here.

Once we get south and can spend some time working with the unit where the wind isn't blowing at 60 mph or snowing, we'll do some more hunting for the valves etc. If we can't find them, then we'll call the factory.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:17 PM   #7
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You may need a new indicator as Hitchhiker said it should show something. The valve maybe frozed tapping it gently may free it up.
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Old 12-04-2007, 02:25 PM   #8
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The valves between the tanks moves but we've never seen the indicator move. Looks like we may have something defective. A better tank level indicator is in the works.
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Old 12-04-2007, 04:52 PM   #9
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Sue -

I am a bit surprised by now that you haven't gotten definitive replies from another 5th wheel owner, and am sorry that I can't be of more help, but I don't even own a Newmar yet -- however, my wife and I are planning to get a new Kountry Aire next spring -- maybe we 5th wheelers can help each other out more then.

Here's a link to an automatic LP 2 stage regulator that's now being sold on Ebay (there's more for sale there also) but I thought this one is particularly descriptive (with pictures) of how you set the regulator so that it automatically switches from one LP tank to the other.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/RV-LP-PROPANE-AUTO-SWITC...dZ1QQsspagenameZWDVW

I would hope that you have something similar to this on your 5th wheel -- we've had an Airsteam, and that's how ours worked (or at least was supposed to work.) Our Airstream tanks were also hooked up to our control monitor inside where (if it worked right, but didn't) we should have been able to also see the status of each LP tank.

These regulators don't always work as they are supposed to. The best thing is to make sure you know how they are supposed to work, and then replace them if they become defective.

Also, you have to have a drain (probably outside, underneath) for your fresh water tank. In any case, you can pump most, but not all of the water out of the tank using the water pump, and I'm not sure that a little bit left in there will hurt much. However, if the inside of your RV gets real cold, I would be concerned about a small bit of water that's left inside the pump itself. We always pumped RV antifreexe into our RV by using the water pump, with a siphon tube (from a gallon of antifreeze) connected to the incomping side of the water pump. That way we were sure to have some antifreeze in the pump itself over the winter.

This winter we don't have to contend with that stuff because we just sold our Airstream, and have plans to get the Kountry Aire as I said, which we'll use in Montana during the summer and fall - and winterize it before next winter comes.

John
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Old 12-04-2007, 06:44 PM   #10
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I do have a Newmar and the advice you are getting about the valve/regulator and indicator between the two tanks as well as the drain are dead on.

If you have the manual selector valve the valve between the two propane tanks will need to be fully turned so that it "points" to the tank you want to use. Then you fully turn on the valve on the tank itself. My red/green indicator takes a few seconds to change, once I get the tank's valve open.

Like mentioned above, the system will be full of air and you will have to purge for awhile. If you go to the stove and turn on one of the burners and you can hear the flow, then your tank selector valve and regulator are probably working correctly. If you get no flow at the burner, try putting the selector valve in the position for the other tank (and be sure to turn that tank on) and try again.

This is a picture of a Torrey Pine automatic switching valve. Whether you have an automatic or manual, the valve should be turned similar to the way it is in the picture.



Once you get flow it may take up to two minutes of purging before the burner will light. You just have to keep a flame near the burner to light the gas once it gets there.

As for the fresh water drain valve: Your Newmar is a few years newer than mine but I suspect that ours will be similar. The tanks are put as close to mid-ship as possible. If you go to the rear axle and look at the underbelly there may be a tube sticking through the belly liner. In my case there is a 1/4-turn valve on the end of the tube. This little tube and valve is the fresh water drain.

One of the differences between your new Torrey Pine and my Kountry Star is that a lot of the service points have been moved to a compartment. I looked at pictures of a Torrey Pine on-line and could see that where you add fresh water there are also a couple of small lines with valves. One is probably for winterizing, the other may be the fresh water drain.

This is what I am talking about:


Sorry the photos are so small, that is the way they came from the Newmar site.

You can pop over there yourself and see them in an enlargement window.
Torrey Pine Propane and Water Valves
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:21 PM   #11
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jperry29 - thanks for the info, but your photos did not come through on the forum site. Please send them directly to us at: suemach@mac.com

I'm beginning to think the indicator between tanks is defective. We've never seen anything green at all, only red. We know we have propane for the cook top works fine and yes, sometimes we have to pull the air out of the lines and get a burner to light.

We'll have to look more underneath the rig for the water drain.

Appreciate the info.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:29 PM   #12
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I got my post finished before the photos were "approved". They are there now and I added a link to the source so you can navigate directly to them.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:29 PM   #13
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MT flyfisher - That's how we got the water out of the tank today, by using the pump, then dumping the tank and siphon the antifreeze up the lines. Worked just fine. I'm sure the H20 tank isn't completly empty, but there is plenty of expansion room for the dab of water left when it freezes by tomorrow night again.

We did add 2 electric space heaters in the 5ver to help keep it above freezing in there when the regular heater quit. It kept it about 45 so we were ok. We check the heaters quite often to be sure all is ok and it has been so far. Now with winterizing we aren't so worried about lines cracking etc. but we'll keep the heaters going on low so it doesn't get so cold in there.

I think getting something better on the propane tanks will help a bunch. Too bad there isn't an indicator inside the coach too. Add it to the project list!

Thanks for the eBay link. Hope you get your Kountry Aire next spring. So far we like the 5ver. After the holidays we'll be glad to hit the road with it and live in it for a few months.

Where in Montana do you stay? We have relatives in Stevensville.

Thanks again to everyone's ideas.
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Old 12-04-2007, 07:33 PM   #14
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I got the photos...thanks.
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