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Old 05-25-2024, 03:18 PM   #1
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Before Starting Out. . . Check Your Systems!

Our Escape sat under its canopy all winter, winterized (with compressed air) and batteries kept charged on 30A. We planned to leave on Thursday, the 18th for the Spring Fling in Chocorua Lake in NH, only a three-hour drive. So Wednesday, I started to sanitize the fresh tank and pipes with Purogene—and found my water pump putting out only air. Turns out the strainer (filter) had a nice crack in its clear dome, as I described here:
https://www.escapeforum.org/forums/f...lem-26250.html

So I ordered a replacement strainer and figured we could do without the pump, as our site had 'city' water. So I filled the Expy with gas, hitched up, and off we went.

Well, it was chilly at night, and rain was coming, so when we got settled, I turned on the propane tanks. One was almost empty, the other full. But the stove wouldn't light. Uh-oh! Maybe the regulator wasn't switching to the full tank? Well, it was, all right, with a nice hissing sound from the pigtail hose, which had a big hole in it. No propane that evening.

This hose had exterior cracks, which of course I had conveniently ignored last year; I figured the inside was probably OK. Fortunately the other hose looked sound, so in the morning I went out in the rain and swapped the tanks, connecting the full one to the good hose. Problem solved, temporarily.

Back home, I have just ordered two new pigtail hoses, Marshall MER425-15 Type 1 Pigtail Propane Hose, from Panther RV Products, where I had found the hard-to-find correct pump strainer. I'm getting 3" longer hoses, for no particular reason (see older threads for much discussion); these are the shortest at Panther; I can angle the tank outputs to accommodate the slightly longer hoses:
https://pantherrvproducts.com/mer425-15/

So I've got a little work to do (should check the LP lines under the trailer, too—possible with all the foam under there?). And of course, this is all work I should have done before ever leaving home for a camping trip. This Escape has been so solid and trouble-free (aside from mistakes I make, like kicking off the battery disconnect), that I just assumed everything would work after sitting unattended since November.

Moral of the story: Never assume anything: before heading out, check all your systems and make sure everything works. Of course, you all do that—right?
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Old 05-25-2024, 03:28 PM   #2
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We had the same problem with a crack in the water pump filter strainer. We blew out the water lines before winter, but just a bit of water sits in that little cup, enough to freeze and crack the cap. We now have a replacement cap in our spare parts box. We also take that cap off before putting it to bed for the winter. But you better remember to put it back on in the Spring
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Old 05-25-2024, 03:31 PM   #3
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Yes I do.

That’s why I really don’t like trips less than 3 weeks. It takes just as long to prep for 3 months as it does for 3 days. We don’t do many short trips because of that.

I’ve tried load and go without working through everything ahead. Sometimes you get away with it; sometimes you don’t. At least if it’s not below freezing and it’s a really short trip, that big fiberglass tent is sufficient, but appliances and systems are nice when they work.
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Old 05-26-2024, 07:47 AM   #4
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I go over most things before we head out for our first trip of the year. Last year I missed the defective propane switching valve. We were woken early one morning by the fridge beeping. It was barely light outside so, as quietly as I could, I moved the full tank to the working side. I'm afraid it woke up the neighbours though, cuz their dogs started barking, again.

The switch was easily replaced once we were home but it's something I'll add to my annual routine.
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Old 05-26-2024, 08:01 AM   #5
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I go over most things before we head out for our first trip of the year. Last year I missed the defective propane switching valve. We were woken early one morning by the fridge beeping. It was barely light outside so, as quietly as I could, I moved the full tank to the working side. I'm afraid it woke up the neighbours though, cuz their dogs started barking, again.

The switch was easily replaced once we were home but it's something I'll add to my annual routine.
How can you test the switching valve?
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Old 05-26-2024, 09:32 AM   #6
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This hose had exterior cracks, which of course I had conveniently ignored last year; I figured the inside was probably OK. Fortunately the other hose looked sound, so in the morning I went out in the rain and swapped the tanks, connecting the full one to the good hose. Problem solved, temporarily.

I too noticed our 2019 E19 had severe cracking in the propane hoses last year right after we bought it. I thought much the same thing, probably just external, but due to the fact its a flammable gas I didn't want to take a chance so I installed new hoses before our 1st trip.
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Old 05-26-2024, 12:29 PM   #7
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How can you test the switching valve?
For me, one side of the switch stopped working and that's why I had to change the full tank to the other side. Manually operating the switch while the fridge was running could check that.

To test the automatic switching function, one could shut off the tank an appliance is operating on and see if the switch changed over to the other tank.

At least that's what I was thinking. Or am I way off-base on how that switch works?
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Old 05-28-2024, 07:08 AM   #8
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Before a trip I park our 17B in the driveway to prep. Testing the function of the furnace, fridge, stove, AC, converter, water pump, propane and electric systems.

When we did our orientation picking up at the factory, they said to remove the plastic dome and filter after blowing out the water lines. Keep it in the sink to remember to reinstall in the spring, so far so good.

I have installed an accumulator tank on my boats in the past and liked having them. I found with the new model water pump our 2019 came with the pump is quieter and does not run as much. So far I’ve resisted installing one.

An advantage of not installing an accumulator is that you will know right away if you have a drip in your plumbing system. Hearing that pump tick every once in a while is the alarm. I’ve had to tighten the connections to our galley sink and outdoor shower taps twice since purchase. Maybe because I live in an area with temperature extremes, (90° to -25°), causes expansion and contraction of the seals ?

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Old 05-28-2024, 07:28 AM   #9
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Before a trip I park our 17B in the driveway to prep. Testing the function of the furnace, fridge, stove, AC, converter, water pump, propane and electric systems.

When we did our orientation picking up at the factory, they said to remove the plastic dome and filter after blowing out the water lines. Keep it in the sink to remember to reinstall in the spring, so far so good. . .

Bob
Bob, do you just unscrew the dome with filter inside and leave the black-plastic base/channel? Or do you take out the whole unit?
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Old 05-28-2024, 07:30 AM   #10
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I just unscrew the plastic dome, lift out the stainless mess filter, and place both in the sink.

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Old 05-28-2024, 07:33 AM   #11
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I too noticed our 2019 E19 had severe cracking in the propane hoses last year right after we bought it. I thought much the same thing, probably just external, but due to the fact its a flammable gas I didn't want to take a chance so I installed new hoses before our 1st trip.
Our 2022 21C had cracked hoses just months after picking it up. I called Escape and they said they would send me a replacement set. Just in case I picked up a set locally.

When the Escape package arrived they sent me two hoses and the switching valve. I called them to let them know they sent too much and they said it comes to them in this set so they just mailed the entire box. Way to go Escape!

Also, while preparing for our recent trip I hooked up the water to ensure the pump, etc were in working order. Good thing because the faucet failed and dumped a lot of water inside before I caught it. Good thing I was close by. We now have a new faucet.

As my old Boy Scout days taught me: "Be Prepared"
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Old 05-28-2024, 10:23 AM   #12
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This spring, I discovered that that the outer jacketing had cracked on both pigtails between the propane tank and regulator. They were only in use for a year.

ETI was quick to send me replacements. They mentioned that the jacketing had changed to a thermoplastic material. The new lines were labelled with same vendor/part # as the old ones, but the jacketing was definitely different. Hopefully they hold up longer.

I did my best to inspect the line downstream of the regulator, but most of propane system is buried beneath the spray foam insulation. I couldn't find any signs of deterioration on the visible portions. It looks like the the issue was limited to just the pigtails.
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Old 06-01-2024, 07:08 AM   #13
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Update

UPDATE: Installed new strainer/filter unit (Shurflo 255-225) between water pump and line from tank. Easy to do; pump now works well; no leaks.

Also installed two LP pigtail hoses (Marshall MER 42525 Type 1). These are 15", so I had to angle the tanks a bit to comfortably accommodate them. Also an easy install; checked for leaks with soapy water; found none. Saving base of old unit for a spare.

Like Selkirk, I looked at LP hose from regulator into the mass of foam under the trailer. This is a heavier hose than the pigtails; I could see no cracking, but as said, most of it is invisible.

If I were buying new, would I opt for the foam underbody insulation? Arguably, besides keeping the trailer warmer, it might help protect plumbing and LP lines from road damage. But it does prevent easy inspection and access underneath. Topic for another thread, I guess.
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Old 06-01-2024, 08:13 AM   #14
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The foam threads have gone on as long as the foam has been offered. There are those that feel strongly one way or the other.
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Old 06-01-2024, 09:03 PM   #15
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The foam threads have gone on as long as the foam has been offered. There are those that feel strongly one way or the other.
I figured there were plenty. Leads me to wonder whether there might be a better way to insulate the underside, short of a full Oliver/Bigfoot double hull. Maybe a removable fiberglass plate with an insular coating?
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Old 06-01-2024, 10:36 PM   #16
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I figured there were plenty. Leads me to wonder whether there might be a better way to insulate the underside, short of a full Oliver/Bigfoot double hull. Maybe a removable fiberglass plate with an insular coating?
Bigfoot does not have a double hull. They bond thick insulation to the walls and ceilings and use a much thicker layer of fiber glass than my old Escape. The underside has fiberglass panels with similar insulation bonded . In the newer builds a couple of the panels are removable for service. I witnessed the owner take a section of the body and smack it with a hammer as hard as he could with it breaking. Impressive. Of course it comes at a weight price. I’m curious on the insulation properties of the 23 ?
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Old 06-05-2024, 11:17 AM   #17
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We use Marshall hoses too. Marshall Excelsior MER426-15P RV Thermo Pigtail
Made in America by Marshall Excelsior. I highly recommend these for replacement.
https://amzn.to/3rOqjQn

Marshall Excelsior MER611-36P Thermoplastic Hose, 3/8″ Hose ID – 36″
https://amzn.to/3XOGSa7

DO NOT BUY Cheap Chinese Propane Pigtails – they both failed and I lost all of the propane in our tanks due to the failure of the GASPRO 15-Inch Braided RV Propane Pigtail Hose, Durable Camper Gas Line Replacement for Propane Tank, 1/4-Inch Male NPT x QCC-1, 2-Pack. DO NOT BUY THESE https://amzn.to/40jtxrZ
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