Broken Bolts on Propane Tank Holder - Escape Trailer Owners Community

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Old 05-01-2019, 09:44 AM   #1
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Broken Bolts on Propane Tank Holder

Removed the driver's side propane tank to fill for the first time and much to my surprise, I found that both self tapping screw heads that hold the propane tank holder base to the frame on the driver's side had been broken off, I assume since they were rusted, during installation by a worker with too much pressure in the air tool. The base plate was being held in place by a single zip tie and the two intact bolts on the other side. I also found that rust had begun on the frame under the base plate when I removed it to try to drill out the broken bolts. This is a work in progress since the bolts were broker right at the frame and there was not enough sticking up to get visegrips on the broken studs to twist them out. This should have been detected in the various inspections that ETI does during manufacturing and I have reported this to Dave in Parts and Service.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:31 AM   #2
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We also had a couple self tapping screw heads pop off on our trailer right after delivery. On our first night with the trailer we noticed a screw head had broken off one of the rear stabilizer jacks. ETI was nice enough to have someone come in on the weekend to fixed this for us as we were going down to California the next week. On out first propane fill, we also noticed one of the propane rack screw heads had broken off. I bought a box of self tapping screws and will just toss a new one in when I have a chance.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:59 AM   #3
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Attaching the propane hold down plate to the frame with screws is not one of ETI best ideas.
I think it should be welded on during frame construction.
I believe that in 5 to 10 years depending where you live that the rust build up will compromise the integrity of the 4 screws holding on the plate.
This is what I found...
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Old 05-01-2019, 11:24 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Eggscape View Post
Attaching the propane hold down plate to the frame with screws is not one of ETI best ideas.
I think it should be welded on during frame construction.
I think it is welded on the earlier trailers. When I was working on the tongue for my mini-split A/C condenser placement I remember looking at moving it and it didn't look easy. I will check.
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:24 PM   #5
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Welcome to the club. There's probably not many trailers that don't have at least one broken self tapping screw. I also have one on my propane tray as well as two on the stabilizers. I put it down to too much torque during installation. Personally, when I'm installing them I don't max out the impact driver and back off at the first sign that they're bottomed out.

They're hardened steel and difficult to drill out. I find it easier to put another one nearby.

I'd rather ETI weld an angle bracket on and make attachments to that. I got them to do that for what was the previously welded on angle iron battery supports. Holes through the flange of the angle iron can use conventional bolts and don't have any impact on frame rust etc.

Ron
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Old 05-01-2019, 12:41 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Welcome to the club. There's probably not many trailers that don't have at least one broken self tapping screw. I also have one on my propane tray as well as two on the stabilizers. I put it down to too much torque during installation. Personally, when I'm installing them I don't max out the impact driver and back off at the first sign that they're bottomed out.

They're hardened steel and difficult to drill out. I find it easier to put another one nearby.

I'd rather ETI weld an angle bracket on and make attachments to that. I got them to do that for what was the previously welded on angle iron battery supports. Holes through the flange of the angle iron can use conventional bolts and don't have any impact on frame rust etc.

Ron
Ron, you are so right about being difficult to drill out. I got one out but had to make a new hole next to the other one for the seond. They are very hard steel, as you say. That probably also explains why they break from too much torque during installation. I agree on having the tank holder attached to angle iron brackets welded onto the frame. Would be much better and no holes in frame.
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Old 05-01-2019, 01:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Ron in BC View Post
Welcome to the club. There's probably not many trailers that don't have at least one broken self tapping screw. I also have one on my propane tray as well as two on the stabilizers. I put it down to too much torque during installation. Personally, when I'm installing them I don't max out the impact driver and back off at the first sign that they're bottomed out.
Interesting. The stabilizers (actually true scissor jacks) were welded on in 2010. Wonder when they made the switch?
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Old 05-01-2019, 04:44 PM   #8
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Based on this thread, took a look at mine. Completed February of this year.
One stripped screw. Plus the piece of all-thread that runs from the bracket that secures the tanks through the bottom of the support under discussion came out as I removed the tanks. It must have been held in place by a half of a thread.

A .55 cent self-drilling screw from Ace Hardware and all is well.

Whoever installs the propane tanks needs to be trained better plus alerted to look for such
issues.
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:22 PM   #9
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Interesting. The stabilizers (actually true scissor jacks) were welded on in 2010. Wonder when they made the switch?
Had the same scissor jacks on a 2010 17B. The story evidently is those were a one-off, either ordered/sent by mistake. ETI used them until they were gone then went back to BAL 23219 C Series jacks.
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Old 05-01-2019, 05:36 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by EdColorado View Post
Based on this thread, took a look at mine. Completed February of this year.
One stripped screw. Plus the piece of all-thread that runs from the bracket that secures the tanks through the bottom of the support under discussion came out as I removed the tanks. It must have been held in place by a half of a thread.

A .55 cent self-drilling screw from Ace Hardware and all is well.

Whoever installs the propane tanks needs to be trained better plus alerted to look for such
issues.
I think the first thing I'll do when getting home with the new Escape is remove the screws, seal and paint the area, drill some holes in the pan for water run off, install some plastic trim on the tank bottoms.
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