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Filling the propane tank
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fyrgrrl
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 6:21 pm    Post subject: Filling the propane tank Reply with quote

I had a guy describe filling the propane tank and he pointed out a knob to turn on the right side of the "fill valve" and then he pointed to a "button" to the left of the fill valve. I got down on the ground and turned the knob and pushed the button. I have looked in my VW books and elsewhere on the internet, and I still don't know how to fill the tank.

What do I need to know about filling that there durn-it-all tank?

Thanks!

Embarassed
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blackglasspirate
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You should just be able to take it to any place that fills up propane tanks and have them fill it up.

They just take the cap off, plug in the hose, and turn it on.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<You should just be able to take it to any place that fills up propane tanks and have them fill it up.>>

You should, but this is obviously too high tech an operation for some fill stations.

<<They just take the cap off, plug in the hose, and turn it on.>>

Negative---

The bleeder valve MUST be open prior to the tank taking on any propane.
If it isn't open it most certainly Will Not Take any Juice Bruce.
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fyrgrrl
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is the bleeder valve the turn knob on the right side of the fill?
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1987 Vanagon Westfalia (auto)
1985 Vanagon GL 7-passenger van (auto) - "Blau Frau"
1985 Vanagon GL 7-passenger van (manual) - "Braunkuh"
1998 Subaru Legacy Outback (auto)
2003 Subaru Legacy L wagon (auto)
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CF
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes the bleed valve is on the right . i just had mine done . you will need to advise them that there will be a propane smell / gas fumes coming out .keep filling untill propane"frost"comes out.that will be about 3 gal.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<<you will need to advise them that there will be a propane smell / gas fumes coming out>>

Most all of the better propane fill stations are aware of what will happen when the bleed valve is open as all RV propane tanks have it----

It's just the off the wall, buried location of it in a Vanagon they won't see, or know about being there.
They aren't your normal RV with that crummy usually non operating Auto Stop Valve that hasn't been around for eons, and were only on Vanagons--nothing else.
They are are in the big minority, and not your mainstay in RV / camperland.

Point the bleeder valve out to the guy--he'll know what to do from there.
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Last edited by Terry Kay on Sun Aug 06, 2006 6:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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bunker108
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had mine filled at three different places the entire eight years I have had the van. All three of them knew how to do it and where the bleeder valve was without me showing them. Only one was an RV service shop.
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Terry Kay
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2006 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your a lucky dog to find 3 places that know what there doing, especially with the manchester ato stop valve, and the not easy to find /see bleed valve.

Most Westy folks have a problem with getting thier tanks filled properly--or at all because of the rarity of the fill valve.

VW was the only camper to use this set up---and in a minorty.
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fyrgrrl
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wanna thank all those that responded to my forlorn plea for help. I was able to take my Vanagon to Camping World in Burlington WA and have my tank filled up. That was a first for me. When I got home, I opened up the valve, grabbed my BBQ lighter, turned the propane knobs to the "light" position and VOILA!!! FIRE!! Boy, those those burners put a generous amount of heat. Very Happy

Next.....the propane portion of the fridge...when I get my courage up!! Shocked

Thanks again everyone!!
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1987 Vanagon Westfalia (auto)
1985 Vanagon GL 7-passenger van (auto) - "Blau Frau"
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Guy Smilie
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: bleeder valve Reply with quote

Here's a tip, I think. I was travelling around British Columbia and went to get my tank filled up (which hadn't been filled in a couple years). A teenage girl came out to fill the tank. She tried to loosen the bleeder valve with her rubber wrench and it wouldn't loosen. I was going to loosen it with a pair of pliers, but, she said that she couldn't fill it if I did that. I'm not sure about the rules she was governed by, but, we were stuck without propane as there wasn't another propane supplier in the town. So, I drove down the road a mile, pulled over, loosened the slightly seized bleeder valve screw with a pair of pliers, and then drove an hour down the road and got filled up in another town where a guy used the same wrench and had no problem opening my newly loosened bleeder valve.

I think there's a lesson in there. Wink

Cheers,

Ken
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 12:03 am    Post subject: HOW TO BURN A VANAGON Reply with quote

Just a warning from the fellows who did such a nice job of fixing up Winston's propane system, and who didn't bat an eyelash at the mechanics of filling it.

Evil or Very Mad DO NOT EVER FILL OR CAUSE TO BE FILLED A VANAGON PROPANE SYSTEM WITH THE DOMETIC REFRIGERATOR RUNNING ON PROPANE! Evil or Very Mad

Fellow said he'd seen two of them BURN that way. He described the reasons, and they were terrifying to hear. I repeat this warning in the hope of saving Vans yet unburned!

Best!
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r39o
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The big propane service place has a sign that says to stuff off before entering the lot. I guess you can understand why!
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ilovemydog
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone have any idea of where to get said propane tank filled in Boston area?? For some reason I think that there is some strange law that prohibits filling of horizontal tanks. Is this true?
Help.
Thanks
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Mr.Donut
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bruce is my new best friend since January 2006. Surprised

His bleeder valve was severely seized. I was using pliers when it broke off. After drilling and tapping the hole, I have replaced the valve with a inch stainless screw. I think it may be too short. When I took the tank to be filled, propane continued to flow from the lower elbow of the valve housing. Any suggestions? How long should the screw be and should I be concerned with tapping a new hole? Question
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Van-na White
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bumping an old topic here.

Does anyone have any tips on getting the propane filled for a first timer?
I know I need to have the stove off. How do you ensure the fridge is turned off?
Any other tips are welcome.
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BitterBeerFace
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2013 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turn off the main valve on the propane tank... the fridge/stove won't be getting propane then.

If you want to be sure the fridge isn't "trying to run on propane" even with the main valve off, change the knobs in the fridge to the 110V setting (electric plug icon by the 3-way switch)

But really, just being sure that the main valve is off should be all you need to do.

Otherwise just make sure the tank/valves are clean enough for a filling person to recognize what they are and that they operate properly. If it's your first time, try to find the older person who's probably seen a Vanagon before and tell them you're a rookie and have them explain what they're doing while you're there... then you can explain to the HS kid at the next place...

Also, don't be surprised if the propane tank takes almost nothing to fill... I've been on the road for weeks and thought "I should top off the tank"... and had like 1 gallon put in. Rolling Eyes
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Scottn59c
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 5:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Filling the propane tank Reply with quote

Guys,

Forgive me if this has been asked in another thread, but this one probably needs to be updated anyways. It's been 10 years or so since the last post on this thread, and it has become increasingly difficult to find anyplace that will fill a propane tank.

Every place I know of locally that deals with propane, whether the local hardware store or the service stations, just does the exchange thing, where you bring in a 15 or 20 lb cylinder and just do an exchange of the empty one for a full one. There are no more "operators" who fill the Westy tanks.

What are folks doing to fill theirs these days? Is there a method to fill the Westy's tank from the 15 or 20 lb cylinders?
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fxr
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Filling the propane tank Reply with quote

I've never had a problem getting my tank filled. U-Haul, any RV rental place, many filling stations, Ace hardware, Pacific Propane, all other big propane suppliers - you name it.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Filling the propane tank Reply with quote

Ace Hardware is my 'go-to'. Many truck stops also offer bulk sale of LP - e.g. Love's.
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2020 7:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Filling the propane tank Reply with quote

They're not on every street corner but lots of places fill tanks. Google propane refill to see what turns up. Suburban Propane, Amerigas, U-Haul, etc. Not every attendant quite gets it either so it sometimes takes patience.
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