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problem with filling the propane tank
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Navy_Flyer
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not sure if I got an answer to my original question. Is the '87 with the auto-stop valve legal, and will commercial propane shops fill it? I remember back a few years ago that standard portable RV propane tanks had to have their valves changed, and the tanks were date stamped for 10 year life, then had to be disposed of.
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also have an 87, and the filling attendant had no reservation on filling it...he just wasn't successful.

As for Legal...no idea.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

delibessleep wrote:
...As for Legal...no idea.


I is my understanding that our tanks (due to size or construction) are not subject to retirement due to age. As noted, even terrible looking tanks are usually quite sound (very thick metal) and the various bits can be replaced as needed.

Nevertheless, I replaced mine with a new GoWesty tank just cause I wanted to. I took some pics of the labels from the new tank which you might be able to make use of. Sorry, no attempt to edit, compress or improve the image -- these were just 'insurance' shots in case I need to make a replacement label someday:

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Kam, et al -- When you get a fill-up be aware that some places may have a minimum amount (usually 5 gallons when they have one). This can mean that you will pay for 5 gallons minimum, others charge more per gallon for less than 5. Usually you can find a no-minimum place. Ace Hardwares (at least out here in AZ) seem to often have propane these days.

It is worth while to learn just how the fill is done because someday in the middle-of-nowhere you'll have an empty tank and an attendant who has never seen one of these. I carry a small pair of pliers in the glovebox in case the bleed screw is really tight. I usually fill up every 14 days on long trips (cooking every night, coffee every morning, fridge on 24/7).

I always tell the attendant 'The tank takes less than 3 gallons when empty and it isn't empty" -- just so they know what to expect.
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just filled my tank, and have a problem: Is is leaking from under the red reset button from the side of the filler housing (not from the discharge location)

I think the autostop filler is cracked. I can't stop the propane from escaping. I got 2 gallons in there that I lose unless there is something I am missing.

I've turned the discharge knob back in...no help.
Here is a picture. It is discharging from the yellowish area on the housing above the discharge spout.

Where can I get a new one???
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is another thought: I just went back out to have another look.

1) The tank has developed ice around the exterior. This I know is normal with propane in use...happens on my cylinders all the time.

2) The "hole" on the body appears to be intentional. Is this a seperate pressure bypass if the internal tank pressure exceeds a certain level? When I unscrew the dischage knob, the pressure diverts to the drain spout at the very bottom of the filler body. Could it be a natural discharge of excess propane (over the 80% fill)?

Note: While filling, liquid propane never spat from the drain spout.

Thinking out loud here...and hoping I don't have a rather impressive propane leak all night. I've never encountered anything like this and I am rather nervous.

UPDATE: The auto-suck filler (as I now refer to it) has a internal plunger that should reset once the filler nozzle disconnects. Mine obviously didn't work. I lost the entire contents of the tank and had a pretty stinky front yard.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I assume you're parked outside.
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes. I am in the driveway in front of the house and far from the neighbours!
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am about to order the following from Helmar (from a recommendation in an earlier thread):
http://www.helmarparts.com/product_p/7647sc.htm
http://www.helmarparts.com/product_p/3165c.htm
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davevickery
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2012 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like you got it figured out. Even when the original auto stop valves are working properly, propane guys have trouble figuring them out and pressure lock them. So it's just as well you are getting a new valve that doesn't have that "feature".

The only thing I would add after doing the same thing you are planning, is I read there is a fill valve that has the inside POL threads too, so you can connect other bottles to it directly such as an extra tank or a 1 lb cannister. I already replaced my valve, but if someone is familiar with the valve I am talking about and where to get it, it would be good to hear.
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I was more or less consigned to replacing the "autosuck" fill valve, I've gone ahead and ordered the regulator and the shut off valve as well. I've never used this tank, so I'd hate to replace just the one and have an additional failure.

For feedback purposes: TK tells me the Helmar valve isn't so hot and has a weaker spring than the genuine article. If you fill your tank often, this may not be the way to go. I suspect I'll fill mine once a season (I can't get out an camp as much as I'd like.) He has the better quality valve available.

Additionally...it took about 3 hours for my 2 gallons of propane to completely "leak-out" from the tank.
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JN99
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I may do this as well. I never realized these parts where replaceable; never looked into it one way or the other really. I have to think the Helmar parts are fine and will do the job.

I don't see how the valves TK is selling can be that much better, not enough to warrant an almost 5X higher price anyway...
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rockfish
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Agree on advice - either an RV store/camp/dealer or U-Haul. RV place would be my first choice - they've seen everything under the Sun no doubt.

Has anyone used the "extend-a-stay" linkage with an external (BBQ-sized) propane cylinder? Good or bad experience?
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JN99 wrote:
I may do this as well. I never realized these parts where replaceable; never looked into it one way or the other really. I have to think the Helmar parts are fine and will do the job.


I also went with an online valve and bleeder and it seems fine, a fill valve has a pretty simple job to do. Te bleeder is a little cheap feeling, but works fine. Easy to replace if it acts up.

[quote="delibessleep"]Since I was more or less consigned to replacing the "autosuck" fill valve, I've gone ahead and ordered the regulator and the shut off valve as well. I've never used this tank, so I'd hate to replace just the one and have an additional failure. [quote]

Sounds like a good plan, preventative maintenance on 25 yr old stuff. What regulator did you get. If the vent points horizontally, it is not correct and not DOT approved. The vent should point down so any water can escape. And make sure your mudflap is there, and you keep a cover on the regulator. If you got the horizontal one that points towards the front wheel, cut a qt milk jug and fit it around the front part of the regulator to keep water/ice out. If you don't drive in icy conditions, it probably doesn't matter, but I had a new regulator put on and it was dead after one winter and it had gotten covered in slush and ice. Van cafe has the correct ones.
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What regulator did you get.


I bought one from Go Westy with the cover. It looks like the one from Van Cafe and Bus Depot. I had some "Gowesty bucks" so I bought from them.

On another note...when I bought my filler/bleeder from Helmar I specified that this was intended for a Manchester tank on a VW. I received an email from the company stating there parts are more or less designed to replace tanks on Forklifts and other internal applications. They'd not heard of using these bits for my application. I got those links from an earlier associated post regarding a tank on an 86 westy. I can only assume that these will work.

Once I get them, I'll give it a go and report back.
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presslab
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, the valves from Helmar are meant for a fork lift. But they fit just fine. In fact just the other day someone sent me a PM thanking me for the links after successfully installing them on their van.

The Helmar ones are made by RegO, which looks like the same brand TK sells. Made in USA. Correct me if I'm wrong, TK. Very Happy

TK's web site wrote:
There are cheaper fill valves that can be had.--But BEWARE!
They don't have a check valve in them ( The $15.00 Acme valve is one of them, ),

Misinformation and TK go hand in hand, of course he wants to sell you his product at an inflated price.

TK wrote:
weaker spring

Where does he come up with this stuff?

The fill valve TK sells looks like the 7647DC and actually has TWO check valves. The second check valve allows one to replace the top part without draining the tank. The one from Helmar has one check valve. Without a check valve, it would be useless, as soon as the filler is removed all the gas would leak out.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2012 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

presslab wrote:
...
TK's web site wrote:
There are cheaper fill valves that can be had.--But BEWARE!
They don't have a check valve in them ( The $15.00 Acme valve is one of them, ),

Misinformation and TK go hand in hand, of course he wants to sell you his product at an inflated price.

TK wrote:
weaker spring

Where does he come up with this stuff?

...


Will, he does mention ACME and I kinda get that. I mean, that stuff never worked out for Wile E.

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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Presslab:
Perhaps you are right regarding the TK versus the Helmar valve...but I gotta give TK some credit here.
He returned my phone message within an hour to discuss my problems and give me some helpful advice. And there is nothing wrong with a little "salesmanship" to go along with it. I'd do the same.
I did buy the shut off valve from him, and I've already received notification of shipment. So in my books he's a standup guy.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

delibessleep wrote:
So in my books he's a standup guy.


Sorry, I shouldn't have been so hard on TK. But in past dealings on this forum (and others) he has shown an overly "holier-than-thou" attitude while occasionally insulting others.

He sells good products, and also helps people here on occasion. If he were always right I guess his attitude, while grating, could be justified. However he sometimes spouts misinformation, and without any humility he has earned himself a reputation.
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delibessleep
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2012 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, Fair enough.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Went to a propane place down the street and got my tank filled. No leaks and the stove worked perfectly on our first camping trip in our "new" Westy. The photo posted above of the Stopleak valve helped tremendously, as the propane guy did have problems at first. He put in 2.4lbs at my request.

Great to have a stove on our first trip. Haven't had reason to try the fridge yet on propane, but it works fine on both battery and 110, so hoping it will be fine.

Thanks folks!
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