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Old 07-26-2021, 10:00 AM   #1
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Propane pigtail connector challenge

I have a 2019 Hymer Aktiv. So many things are awesome on this camper van but one thing that is not is the location of the pigtail connector for the BBQ.

I don't know if other camper vans have this problem, but on the Aktiv, the gas valves and connectors are on the passenger side, a little more than half way back and about a foot off the ground, under a lift panel that is about 6' long. This area (valves and connectors) has a metal frame around it to protect it from potential bottoming out (bumps, pot holes, etc). The problem is that the pigtail comes through a part of this metal framing and only sticks a short way past it.

The lift panel does not stay up on its own, so at present I use a hatchet that is almost exactly the right length to hold it up and free a hand (I will be looking to add some sort of hinged leg that can drop down when the panel is opened so i don't have to dig the hatchet out all the time). Even so, because the pigtail barely sticks past the metal frame, I have a heck of a time connecting the BBQ hose to the connector. It is a pain to do the first time I set up somewhere, but it is really annoying to have to do it every day if I am somewhere where there are bears and I need to put the BBQ away each night.

I wondered if I could add a very short piece of hose and introduce another pigtail and just connect that upon setup and only take it off on pack up. It would then be easy to connect the BBQ hose to this hose without kneeling and struggling with a short connection. One place said it would be dangerous to introduce another connection. I don't understand why one pigtail connector is OK but two would be dangerous, but then I am not a propane expert.

Any thoughts on how to deal with this challenge?

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2021, 10:47 AM   #2
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Every connection introduces additional risk - but doing so is not unheard of.

Just make sure whatever you add is held securely in place for when you traveling as there is nothing to limit lp flow if the hose snags on something as your traveling down the road.
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:25 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply MrMark52.

Ideally I would be able to leave "the solution" in place, but if it is a small piece of hose with an additional pigtail, I would be removing it before driving away. In the case of adding a small piece of hose, I would do this when pulling into camp and remove it before leaving camp instead of having to connect every day and disconnect every evening to put the BBQ away. I just can't emphasize enough how incredibly awkward it is right now to connect to the existing pigtail, even with the panel held by a prop
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:29 AM   #4
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How about replacing the hose/pigtail with a longer one???
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Old 07-26-2021, 11:42 AM   #5
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"One place said it would be dangerous to introduce another connection." is that one RV place, or an actual propane dealer? I would take it to an actual propane dealer, explain the problem, and ask them what could be done about it. Safely.
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AktivCanuck View Post
Thanks for the reply MrMark52.

Ideally I would be able to leave "the solution" in place, but if it is a small piece of hose with an additional pigtail, I would be removing it before driving away. In the case of adding a small piece of hose, I would do this when pulling into camp and remove it before leaving camp instead of having to connect every day and disconnect every evening to put the BBQ away. I just can't emphasize enough how incredibly awkward it is right now to connect to the existing pigtail, even with the panel held by a prop
Between your thoughts and those listed above, your on the right track and all should be good.
Be cautious of the smell of lp, leak check your connections JWP hen you make them, and all should be good. 😀
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Old 07-26-2021, 01:20 PM   #7
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Working from a mental image of the existing pigtail set up, would it be possible to turn the assembly 90 degrees left or right, so it doesn't exit through the bottom of the storage compartment, and use it with the side door opened? I know that presents a problem, because the door doesn't stay open without some sort of apparatus to prop it open.
Would that work? You might get a propane shop to do that for you, if you didn't feel comfortable trying to turn it 90 degrees yourself.
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Old 07-27-2021, 11:19 AM   #8
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The connection has a shutoff valve at the quick disconnect fitting, doesn't it? If so, then there's nothing wrong with leaving a hose connected. In fact, I'd remove the quick coupler, put a short length of hose to a nice rigid support, add a bulkhead fitting, then put the coupler there.

The valve should be off any time you're not using the grill or fire pit, of course.

I have a quick disconnect on my fire pit and at the van tank, so if I wanted to, I could leave the hose (coiled under the van) with the valve off, and put the fire pit away at night. If I ever stayed more than one night in any place, of course. But I don't see a reason you couldn't do the same.

Mine's a bit of a pain, too. I have to lay on the ground to plug it in.
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Old 07-27-2021, 03:17 PM   #9
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Is there enough slack in the hose to take the screws out of the angle bracket, then rotate the fitting and angle down and around so the screw flange is against the bottom of the rail and the fitting would now be horizontal - then shoot the screws up thru the angle and against the bottom of the frame?

Or, if the hose isn’t long enough, move the angle as described after removing the hose from the fitting. Then get a pipe coupling to screw onto the hose, a close nipple to screw into the other side of the coupling, and then either a street 90 or a 90 and a close nipple to reassemble to the hose connector fitting - and then reattach the bracket to the bottom of the original rail.

The idea is to get the quick connect hose fitting in a horizontal position sticking slightly out the side of the coach. Then you’ll only have to knee down on the ground, maybe.
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