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Old 03-26-2023, 12:13 PM   #1
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Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: Walla Walla, Washington
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RV propane problem

Hello! We are new owners of an off-grid rv set up. The appliances are all propane and are connected to the tanks outside. We have only had this for fall and winter time so far. The first time so the appliances worked just fine. We disconnected everything and they haven't worked since - and it has been below freezing ever since.

Two questions- 1. are the regulators just frozen and we should try again when it is above freezing and dried out? I'm sure moisture got in there. Or could we use a hair dryer to warm up and try again? I'm nervous with not a lot of propane experience. Don't want to blow the joint up!

2. Do we need to disconnect the tank from regulator and connection to appliances in winter when we are not here? Or can we just leave connected but turn valve off and on?

Thank you for any insight!
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Old 03-26-2023, 12:51 PM   #2
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Like you, we live where it’s below freezing and often below zero in the winter months. At the end of the season in the fall when I winterize I shut the tanks off with each valve but leave the system all hooked up. We are stored in an unheated “tight” pole building with soffit vents so the temp inside is usually about the same as outside. But no snow or rain gets in.

With the valves off, there’s no accidental drawdown on the tanks even if there would be a leaky hose or fitting which we’ve not had. Tanks are equipped with a float device which shuts off the flow if immediate demand is too fast. To that end here are a few things to check

1. Is there adequate propane in your tanks?
2. You can remove your regulator and hoses and take them well away from the trailer an let them set where warm dry air can take away the possibility of perched condensation.
3. When you’re all hooked up open the valves on the tanks real slow. This may keep your protection devices from “jumping up” and sealing off tank flow.

4. Then when you open up a gas using source like the stove listen and sniff for gas at the burner, then try to ignite. It takes a while to purge air from the lines.
Those are all first step methods to get you going.
Others may have additional tips.
Iowa Dave
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Old 03-26-2023, 01:38 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
Like you, we live where it’s below freezing and often below zero in the winter months. At the end of the season in the fall when I winterize I shut the tanks off with each valve but leave the system all hooked up. We are stored in an unheated “tight” pole building with soffit vents so the temp inside is usually about the same as outside. But no snow or rain gets in.

With the valves off, there’s no accidental drawdown on the tanks even if there would be a leaky hose or fitting which we’ve not had. Tanks are equipped with a float device which shuts off the flow if immediate demand is too fast. To that end here are a few things to check

1. Is there adequate propane in your tanks?
2. You can remove your regulator and hoses and take them well away from the trailer an let them set where warm dry air can take away the possibility of perched condensation.
3. When you’re all hooked up open the valves on the tanks real slow. This may keep your protection devices from “jumping up” and sealing off tank flow.

4. Then when you open up a gas using source like the stove listen and sniff for gas at the burner, then try to ignite. It takes a while to purge air from the lines.
Those are all first step methods to get you going.
Others may have additional tips.
Iowa Dave
This is very helpful- thank you! I think we might try to build an enclosure for the tanks this summer. In the meantime at least we have natural cooling by nother nature and our campstove!
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Old 03-26-2023, 02:33 PM   #4
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My 2cent Open both tanks ,,then turn on all valves on the stove to remove any air in the lines,, this should only take a minute at most,, probably less. Then turn off the 2 back burners and try lighting the front burner.
Not sure but I don’t think propane/ regulator can freeze??good luck,,Safe travels
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Old 03-26-2023, 03:06 PM   #5
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Two items;
There is a float inside the tank, if it sticks try holding the tank horizontal and shake it. You can hear the float.
Sometimes when the valve is opened to fast you need to shake it a little to unstick it.

If the hose is not screwed in all the way it will not push on the valve allowing gas to come out.
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Old 03-26-2023, 03:07 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iowa Dave View Post
....
3. When you’re all hooked up open the valves on the tanks real slow.
....
IMO / IME this is an often overlooked but very valuable tip worth reinforcing.

Modern protective devices can clamp shut surprisingly easily, leaving one baffled about 'no gas delivery'.
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