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Propex Install, Water Line Change, Wiring, Etc.
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Rodknock
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Joined: April 06, 2006
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Location: Boulder CO
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:22 pm    Post subject: Propex Install, Water Line Change, Wiring, Etc. Reply with quote

Finally had time to install my Propex furnace, just in time for summer Rolling Eyes

First, I noticed the water lines were really scummy, my wife freaked out when she saw these...
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I wonder whay there was this union here under the sink?
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Got the new new water lines in and did some sound proofing with Damplifier behind the kitchen appliances/cabinets. Next was the wiring for the propex, auxillary 12v outlet above the rear table, and wiring for the 2nd water tank & pump to go in at a later date. I tapped into the lower left pin on the fuse block behind the driver's seat, hot all the time...

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Got some sheath material from the hardware store, ran the big hot wire (14 ga) inside it, pain in the but material to work with..
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Could have done everything in a few days, but I had a helper, so it took 3 weeks....
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More sheathing behind the fridge...
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Got a fuse block from JC Whitney (could not find it locally) and put in in the cabinet for of the water tank and under the shelf. Lots of wiring in there already and a nice ground pin at the green wire...
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Standard placement, but tight, so be really sure before you drill holes in your floor. A template is provided, but it does not give a side-to-side location, so you really have to look at it a long time...
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I wanted the supply propane line to run straight up through the hole, and I wanted daylight all around the hole for RTV silicon rubber sealent, otherwise the copper line may vibrate against the hole in the metal floor and eventually wear through, go to be safe. Put in an elbow, and made the upper end into a question-mark looking part to fit perfectly. Painted the bare metal in the hole first, ran the line up, and RTV'd it. I put high temp sealent on the furnace pipe outlet...
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Now get out your 3-3/4" hole saw (yeah right) and drill your foot locker. Dont' have one? Then off to Home Depot yet again buddy, but they don't have one, so I drilled lots of small holes in a circle and filed it, nice and clean when finally done...
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Here's the four-way fitting you have to find at some hardware store, not a common part apparently, use special tape on the threads for propane...
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I ran my supply copper line (1/4" dia) over the frame tubes of the van floor, in a little gap between the top of the frame tube and bottom of the floor, put rubber sheathing and RTV in there to keep the copper safe.

Now get out your drill again and drill the hole for the wire for the thermostat, which by the way has tiny screws to fit the wires on the PCB inside it, another trip to the hardware store to get eyeglass repair screwdrivers..
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The thermostat wire is too fat to fit under the closet wall, so you have to drill a hole, and this is a perfect opportunity to drill right through your water tank, I did not thankfully...
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I created a shelf over the Propex unit to provide maximum storage space and protect it. ...
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Got one of these to be REALLY safe...
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Since I will be using more propane now, I got a level indicator for $2 from an RV shop, throw hot water on it and the colors tell you the level...
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Fired it up and it works! My flame is a bit unstable, so I need to dial in the propane pressure a bit, but it kicks out heat and is no louder than the furnace in my house. This thing is made in the UK, and they do things differently, so get out your arsenal of tools, you will need all of them, and you will get to know the girls working at Home Depot very well with all your trips there (unless you've done RV type work a lot). Hope this helps the next guy.


Last edited by Rodknock on Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:53 am; edited 2 times in total
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Rodknock
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Installing the Propex is not easy, especially if like me you have never done RV electrical and propane plumbing. Give yourself a couple of weeks of evenings/weekends. I was going to route the propane line interior, but did not want to take the water tank and cabinet out, so I did it exterior. I still have enough room in the foot locker for everything I used to store in there, so the loss of space was minimal. I ran it for 2 hours and the unit barely felt warm to the touch, so I'm not concerned about heat coming off the unit in there. The exhaust I am a bit concerned about, it may eventually discolor the paint on the side of the van, and you never want to leave the slider open for very long or it will probably cook the interior panel. Lots to think about and ponder while you are doing the install.

Last edited by Rodknock on Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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ranchero
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:31 pm    Post subject: nice install Reply with quote

Hey - i just finished my Propex install today too.
Originally, I was going to clamp the combustion intake and exhaust lines on the inside of the storage area directly under the propex, but then changed my mind and decided to do it below the floor board. Looks like you'll be doing the same. There isn't a whole lot for the hoseclamps and the stainless flexible tubing to clamp on to. Are you worried about this as well?
Thanks
Steve
Salida
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Rodknock
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 6:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I drilled a larger hole through the wood and material from inside, and then a 1" hole through the metal floor of the van to create a tight fit for the Propex inlet/outlet tubes. I painted these holes first, then put the Propex unit in, then used hi-temp sealer.

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There is about 1" or so of propex housing tubes sticking out from the bottom of the van floor, enough to clamp to, but the stainless flex tubes fit a bit loose and it is hard to tighten the hose lamps enought to get clamping force on the tubes. I had to put a small slot in the flex tube about 3/8" from the end to allow enough clamping force. I stripped one of the hose clamps first trying to tighten it enough. I drilled a small hole and put a M6 bolt and nylock nut through the jack hole (to the far front side) to hold the exhaust tube.

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Finally, here is a pic of my new 12v socket that will power a laptop or portable DVD player in back..

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kasdtech
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice pics of the install. Here is my site of a few of my mods and Propex install:
http://homepage.mac.com/kasdtech/comiclife/Westfalia_Mods/Comic.html

I have a 2 year old little helper too. She loves playing in the Westy, also a great excuse to get the Propex.
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bucko
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kasdtech wrote:
Nice pics of the install. Here is my site of a few of my mods and Propex install:
http://homepage.mac.com/kasdtech/comiclife/Westfalia_Mods/Comic.html

I have a 2 year old little helper too. She loves playing in the Westy, also a great excuse to get the Propex.


Great site! Felt like I was watching "POP UP VIDEO'S" on VH1!

So, how can I get a wiring diagram from you that shows your radiator fan switch overide??

Maybe you posted it here and a search is all I need?
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kasdtech
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I don't. I took a short piece of wire and made a jumper to test the sensor switch at the radiator. This is easy...just take off the front grill and it is right there. Then I ran the wires up through to the dash and put a simple toggle switch on. I also added an insulator sleeve around the wire as I routed it up to the dash so the wire won't fray from rubbing. It turns the fan on high, it is great when you are caught in traffic in the summer and you want to help with cooling before the fan would kick on. The temp switch still works as it should, the switch just allows you to turn it on sooner. Hope this helps? Mark
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noganav
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work. I fretted over my propex install for a long time, and like you once I got going it took a few trips to the hardware store the get er done. Well worth the upgrade though, I use mine all the time.

That protective shelf is absolutely slick. Cool What did you make it out of?
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Rodknock
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 17, 2007 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made the shelf out of some aluminum sheet (painted black) with little holes in it , like a mesh, that I gof from the local hardware store. First I made a pattern with construction paper, then made the cover. I gots some rubber edging material from the hardware store to cover the sharp edges. Screws and washers to hold it to the wood. Works great!
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uther
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 9:15 am    Post subject: Propex Install, Water Line Change, Wiring, Etc. Reply with quote

noganav,

you said "Well worth the upgrade though, I use mine all the time." do you use it when you're driving? i'm thinking of getting one and, if i can use it while driving, getting rid of the rear heater 'cause i need the storage space.

thanks,
r

Ron Tipton
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noganav
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2007 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes I do use it while driving. Mine is an aircooled with a stuck-on-cold heat lever (Still Rolling Eyes), so i will often warm up the inside before heading out somewhere. Honestly, at highway speeds it won't keep the inside really hot, but it is noticeably warmer than without it. It is also really nice to return to a warm van after grocery shopping and so on. I live in mine 4 days a week, so I get a lot of use out of the propex. I mounted mine over the back wheel well, I think this location has a lot of benefits. I'll add a couple of more recent pictures to the original post to bump it to the top again.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=155324
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Corn1849
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Rodknock for your post.
I poached your idea for using perforated metal to cover the heater.
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Texxxxx
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice ideas...must be the time of the year for Propex installs. I finished mine a couple weeks ago.

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=299613&highlight=propex

I, too, will steal your cover idea...thx.
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singler3360
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

good posts, maybe I'll get to this in the next year.
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