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problem with filling the propane tank
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:25 pm    Post subject: problem with filling the propane tank Reply with quote

Hi,

This is the first time I've taken my westy in for a propane fill, and it was unsuccessful. The attendant couldn't get the fluid to enter the cylinder.

I know nothing of these things...to the right of where the nozzle connects is a screw device. Is it necessary to open that while filling?

The instructions on my Manchester tank are completely illegible...I tried like hell to read it but it made no sense. Cleaning the dirt off of the label made the printing magically disappear.

Help!
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a bleed screw -- perhaps that is what you are referring to -- that must be opened in order for the tank to accept fuel.

On my old tank it sometimes had to be opened a lot before the fuel would begin pumping, expecially in hot weather. Many times I have had to coach the attendant to 'open it more'... 'some more'... 'still more' until finally the dial would start to move.

The screw on mine was a knurled knob, some are different from that (such as my replacement tank) but the operation is the same.

It remains open until liquid propane squirts out, the it is closed as the pump is shut down.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is from my 84, but possibly useful depending on how different yours is:

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kamzcab86
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[threadjack Very Happy ]

Stupid questions: How low does the propane level have to be in order to fill the tank? Do you guys just run the propane out (i.e. until the stove won't light) and then refill? If you turn the bleed screw and get a <pssshhhh> of propane, does that mean it has enough to not warrant filling?

The reason I ask, is because the first time I tried having the tank filled, the attendant cracked opened the valve and <pssshhhh>; "It's already full," she said. Ever since then, I've cracked the valve open and still get a <pssshhh> although it's not as strong today as it was two years ago (yes, it's been two years since attempting to fill the tank and the stove still lights!). I'd like to get the tank topped off before Syncro Soltice, but am unsure how to go about it if the valve is still going <pssshhh>. Confused
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Timwhy
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kammie I do believe that the check valve or auto stop valve will not allow some one to over fill a tank.

Maybe they can try but wouldn't they shut off their hose when they hear gas escaping.

If it were me I'd take it to an RV place and they can tell you better than I as well as top off
your tank. Then you know it's full. I just had my new tank filled a few weeks ago, 3 and a
half gallons filled.

kamzcab86 wrote:
[threadjack Very Happy ]

Stupid questions: How low does the propane level have to be in order to fill the tank? Do you guys just run the propane out (i.e. until the stove won't light) and then refill? If you turn the bleed screw and get a <pssshhhh> of propane, does that mean it has enough to not warrant filling?

The reason I ask, is because the first time I tried having the tank filled, the attendant cracked opened the valve and <pssshhhh>; "It's already full," she said. Ever since then, I've cracked the valve open and still get a <pssshhh> although it's not as strong today as it was two years ago (yes, it's been two years since attempting to fill the tank and the stove still lights!). I'd like to get the tank topped off before Syncro Soltice, but am unsure how to go about it if the valve is still going <pssshhh>. Confused

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Rodknock
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the attendant has to press the red reset button while he is trying to fill the tank (valve open) otherwise nothing will happen when you press the reset button.
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://i1214.photobucket.com/albums/cc499/Ahwahnee18/VW/AutoStopInstructions.jpg
Ahwahnee: This looks exactly like the sticker on mine (except it is complete)! Thanks! I'll print this and hand it to the attendant...keep one in the westy too in case I run into this problem again!
Thanks very much.
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are these autostop stickers available anywhere? I thought I saw reproductions somewhere, but for the life of me I can't remember where.
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
[threadjack Very Happy ]

Stupid questions: How low does the propane level have to be in order to fill the tank? Do you guys just run the propane out (i.e. until the stove won't light) and then refill? If you turn the bleed screw and get a <pssshhhh> of propane, does that mean it has enough to not warrant filling?

The reason I ask, is because the first time I tried having the tank filled, the attendant cracked opened the valve and <pssshhhh>; "It's already full," she said. Ever since then, I've cracked the valve open and still get a <pssshhh> although it's not as strong today as it was two years ago (yes, it's been two years since attempting to fill the tank and the stove still lights!). I'd like to get the tank topped off before Syncro Soltice, but am unsure how to go about it if the valve is still going <pssshhh>. Confused


Kamz, when we travel, I fill up about once a week. It usually takes only one gallon or whatever the measurement it is. I stop when I see a convenient hardware store etc. We use the fridge and the stove continuosly. Based on my observations, we could probably go two plus weeks based on our use, but I feel better when I know it is full. Easier to do when it is convenient than having to drive around looking for a fill.

I don't take the bleed cap off, I only loosen it. You can hear and smell the gas escaping, but no vapor cloud. When the attendant gets it full, you see a white vapor cloud, which indicates to me and the attendant, it is full. I try to politely assist as much as possible to be sure it does not get cross threaded etc. Make sure the fridge is off during the fill. mark
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My '88 has the AutoStop valve, but I have to compress the red button with pliers while the attendant fills the tank. A little awkward for 2 under the tank, but it works every time.
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Corwyn Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It sounds like the "attendant" is clueless. Take your van to an RV place - they are very familiar with the fittings and procedures.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My '87 has the auto-stop valve, and a bit of the instruction sticker still left (but thanks for the 'new' jpg of it - I will reproduce it, laminate it, and put it in the Westy)...
Question, how do I know if my tank is 'legal'? I have never had it filled (yet) since I acquired it, and need to know if I need the tank mod to bring it up to current spec. Hate to find out my local Propane dealer won't fill it when I need it.... like soon (Spring is here - time to camp!)...
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Mmartinphd
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm having the same dilemma. I just got an '87 and part of me wants to just give it a shot and part of me wants to go for the new tank.

I do know my tank is empty, but I'm not sure if I should bother having it checked.
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GreenMachineVW
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can buy the hardware for much less than the tanks. The tank might have some outside rust, but they are quite solid.
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JN99
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an `87 that I've yet to refill either but need to do so now. The PO had a new regulator installed and I have no idea of that has anything to do with refilling or changes the procedure? The only local place I know if to get a refill is a U-Haul where I get my BBQ tanks refilled but I wonder if they'll have ANY idea how to fill the van; I sure don't!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JN99 wrote:
I have an `87 that I've yet to refill either but need to do so now. The PO had a new regulator installed and I have no idea of that has anything to do with refilling or changes the procedure? The only local place I know if to get a refill is a U-Haul where I get my BBQ tanks refilled but I wonder if they'll have ANY idea how to fill the van; I sure don't!


Really - just uhaul in redmond? i find that hard to believe. I have had good luck at gas stations. If you don't have the auto stop valve, it is as easy as filling a barbecue tank. The AutoStop valve causes the problems. I have one, and I have experienced some problems filling it. About 50% of the time.

If you go to Uhaul, ask if they have filled a westy before, and don't let the kid do it. usually the old farts have a better understanding of the procedure.

Anyone with the AutoStop that has too many problems getting there tanks filled can go to an RV store and get a regular fill valve. Installation is simple, spray soapy water on all the connections after it is filled to check for leaks.

Paul
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 10:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a quick google returns
Pacer Propane

18459 Northeast 76th Street, Redmond, WA
(425) 883-4242 www.pacerpropaneredmond.com
natural gas liquefied petroleum

JN99 wrote:
I have an `87 that I've yet to refill either but need to do so now. The PO had a new regulator installed and I have no idea of that has anything to do with refilling or changes the procedure? The only local place I know if to get a refill is a U-Haul where I get my BBQ tanks refilled but I wonder if they'll have ANY idea how to fill the van; I sure don't!
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JN99
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't say the U-Haul is the only place, or that I cannot find another place, just that it's the only place I know of since I've never needed to look elsewhere to fill the BBQ tanks.

I've not looked closely at my tank but I assume it's still got the original auto stop valve so that's my concern with going to a place like UHaul. Then again, it sounds like other than RV shops there's a good chance there will be a problem refilling the tanks with the auto stop valve wherever we go.

Franklinstower wrote:
The AutoStop valve causes the problems. I have one, and I have experienced some problems filling it. About 50% of the time.

Paul


Paul - what problems have you had and were they related to the valve or the person filling it not knowing how to operate it?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Paul - what problems have you had and were they related to the valve or the person filling it not knowing how to operate it?


Mostly the valve itself. Sometimes, the dude just hooks up the hose, opens the bleeder and it fills. But other times, it has taked a few trys, and requires pushing the reset button. I think if the button needs to be pushed, you got to know when to push it and do it at the right time or sequence. I also have experienced the reset button stuck. And don't know if it is stuck depressed or not.

I think I am going to add another tank to the right side and use a normal fill valve, so I will always have a back up tank. You can get a solid two weeks running the fridge 24/7 on one tank!
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

rsxsr wrote:
I don't take the bleed cap off, I only loosen it. You can hear and smell the gas escaping, but no vapor cloud. When the attendant gets it full, you see a white vapor cloud, which indicates to me and the attendant, it is full. I try to politely assist as much as possible to be sure it does not get cross threaded etc. Make sure the fridge is off during the fill. mark


Okay, I think that answers my questions. At the gas station 2 years ago, there was a vapor cloud; now there isn't one, just that putrid aroma and gas.

Before heading up to Moab, I'll give the refill another go. There's an RV place just down the street; maybe I'll pop in there first.

Thanks!
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