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Old 06-28-2011, 08:04 PM   #1
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External propane tank

We want to take the motor home to Salt Lake City over the Christmas/New Years holiday. We have done it once or twice in the past but it tends to get and bit cold during that time and runs through our 20 gal propane tank like sand through an hour glass. I haven't found anyone that can figure out how to plumb an external tank to our system. Unlike the Pace Arrow we had previously with the tank and controls on an outside bay, our current Expedition (Fleetwood) has the tank mounted squarely between the chassis rails. Has anyone had a similar issue?
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:14 PM   #2
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How do you get access to fill the tank? And deso the propane feed line run anywhere near the outside? The Extend-a-Stay tee does not have to be near the tank - it can go downstream from the regulator if you use a regulator on the external tank.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:12 PM   #3
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The filler is in the last bin on the passenger side and the propane tank is about mid chassis. It might be possible to mount the Extend-a-stay in the first bin behind the bins in the slide out.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #4
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I had the same issue with my Bounder Diesel (probably quite similar to your Expedition). I'm sure glad I took a look, as you did, before buying anything.

You know this already, but the "filler in your most rearward compartment is intended for liquid propane. Extend-a-Stay is for gaseous propane. Because the propane tank is not easily accessible, the gaseous valve on the tank is electrically opened and closed. It is connected to the regulator via a 3/8"x3/8" flared coupler. It does not use any of the POL-type propane fittings typical of most RVs and is not a good candidate for the Extend-a-Stay since it uses POL-type fittings.

I ended up using a 12" high pressure flex propane hose and looped it to insert a brass "T" between the inch or so between the valve and the regulator. To the "T" I connected one end of a 15' high pressure flex hose with a shut-off valve and an ACME type bottle connector. Also used was about 2 gallons of soapy water checking for leaks.

It was a genuine pain to assemble, but there was no readily available alternative. It works, but I'm still looking for a more, shall we say, elegant solution.

Steve
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Old 06-30-2011, 07:21 AM   #5
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Steve, thanks for the detail. I didn't think this was going to be an easy fix.
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Old 06-30-2011, 10:05 AM   #6
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Where is the propane pressure regulator? And where is the tank shut off valve?

The Extend=a=stay is designed to mount between the valve and the regulator. If those are where you can easily access. No problem

If they are hard to access then.. The Extend-a-stay's input can be extended, there are reasons I'd rather not but frankly they are very minor. And you will loose one of the "Features" (less you crawl under the rig to use it) that being the ability to run high pressure propane to a grill or other accssory outside the coach. but the device installs between the tank valve and the regulator.

I suspect that will be in the bay next to the inlet, since you have to turn off the tank valve before re-filling (or at least they tell me they do)
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Old 06-30-2011, 02:29 PM   #7
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Not to get off topic, but if you are looking for heating options, and are in a CG, get a couple of space heaters and burn the CG's power rather than your propane.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:17 PM   #8
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wa8yxm,

As I said in my post:

1. I ended up using a 12" high pressure flex propane hose and looped it to insert a brass "T" between the inch or so between the valve and the regulator.

2. It does not use any of the POL-type propane fittings typical of most RVs and is not a good candidate for the Extend-a-Stay since it uses POL-type fittings.

3. the "filler in your most rearward compartment is intended for liquid propane. Extend-a-Stay is for gaseous propane.

In short, Extend-a-Stay will not work with the Fleetwood, propane tank between the chassis rail configuration ahead of the regulator unless the regulator is relocated to make room (easier said than done) and POL type fittings are installed. IMO, WAY too much work and expense.

As Gary RVRoamer mentioned, it can be installed AFTER the regulator, but that would require another regulator AND the POL fittings. Again, easier said than done laying on your back under the coach center line.

Steve
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:43 PM   #9
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I ran into that problem last February in Santa Cruz, CA. We just have a budget Fleetwood Fiesta and I was able to unscrew the POL fitting from the RV's tank and screw it into a standard 20# barbeque style propane tank.
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Old 06-30-2011, 05:45 PM   #10
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Alas wackymac,

These Fleetwoods aren't set up that way. There are no POL fittings.

Steve
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:23 PM   #11
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A picture to hopefully provide a bit of clarity...


Name:   propane.jpg
Views: 2290
Size:  23.6 KB

This is my setup (and probably wlw41's as well). You can see the liquid line (remote fill port is in the rear-most, curb-side compartment, the propane tank is not far behind the front wheels) arriving at the tank just above the valve solenoid and the level indicator wiring to the left of the solenoid.

Please note the 3/8x3/8 flare x flare coupling between the electrically controlled valve (left) and the regulator (other left). No POL fittings nor room to add (Regulator cover removed for clarity).

Don't forget, the tank is not in an outboard compartment. It is under the coach between the chassis rails.

Steve
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Old 07-01-2011, 11:37 AM   #12
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I see no POL's..

In that case my only suggestion would be to put a CHECK VALVE on the extension hose port on the "T" fitting.. That way heaven forbid you have a hose break.. no gas will escape the motor home's system.

I'd hate to a hose break in the night, a spark happen and you wake up 2 counties from where you parked.
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Old 07-02-2011, 08:34 AM   #13
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Since I have no plans to do this myself, I've been looking for someone, preferably a certified propane tech, to do the job. I got a NO from a local Fleetwood dealer and an emphatic NO from Fleetwood factory service (something about lawyers and liability). Still looking.
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