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Old 09-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #1
wakamicamper's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 90
LPG Switch problem

We just got back from a month long dry camping trip. One of my 30 lb propane bottles ran out and following the instructions from the manual, I turned the bottle off, turned the LPG switch which was showing red over to the other side 30 lb tank, then disconnected the empty tank at the connector. Closed the access panel on the trailer and put the empty tank in to the back of my truck to go for refilling.

About and hour later, the LPG detector in the trailer went off, and we could smell propane inside the trailer.

I ran outside and turned off the other 30 lb bottle and opened all the windows to clear the trailer. Rechecked that I had swithced over the indicator to the full bottle and noted that the indicator where the other bottle had been was still showing red. (When a new bottle is hooked up to it it will change back to green).

Waited 10 minutes and turned the full bottle back on. Walked back to the empty bay and could hear a hissing sound coming from the LPG connector that had been disconnected from the empty bottle. LPG detector in trailer sounded again and had to turn everything off again.

I had a 20 lb bottle for my bbq with me and I put that into the empty hatch and attached it to the connector, the green indicator showed and I was able to turn on the 30 lb bottle.

Is this a defect in the LPG regulator or is this a commaon occurance? I spoke to several other 5th wheel owners in the campground and they also have had the same problem and carry a small bottle to use as I did while getting the empty refilled.

I consider myself lucky that I had a bbq with a 20 lb bottle, or I would have had to buy ice to keep the frig going.

Should I report this to my dealer or were the other owners correct?
Scarred the living daylights out of my wife and myself.


2009 GMC Sierra SLT Crew Cab 4x4 Diesel
2010 Rockwood 8280SS

Camping 2012: 40 nights
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:10 AM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Buena Park
Posts: 24
Can't reply to your situation but my regulator stopped working on one side and no matter how full the bottle was it said empty. I replaced the hose connecting the bottle to the regulator and all seem well again.

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Old 10-28-2010, 10:57 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Maple Ridge, BC, Canada
Posts: 622
My guess is that BOTH your 30lb bottles were "empty". One of the bottle went empty at some point during your trip and auto-switched over to the other bottle. Perhaps you didn't notice the switchover indicator then, so didn't turn the pointer to the active bottle (the pointer won't changeover automatically - you have to change it manually). When you removed the first bottle for refilling, it was likely actually the last "active" bottle that had been auto-selected by the regulator and there was insufficient pressure in the other tank cause the internal valve to switch over.
It is often confusing to initially know which tank is actually the "active" tank regardless of which way the pointer is pointing. The procedure for determining this is as follows. Start with two known full tanks. SLOWLY open the valve for one tank and then turn the pointer to that tank. After first valve is fully open then SLOWLY open the other tank valve. Later, when the indicator has changed to red, switch the pointer to the other tank. You can then remove the first tank for re-filling. When you replace the re-filled tank and slowly opened it`s valve, the indicator will change to green and stay that way until the active tank goes empty. Then you do it all over again.

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Old 10-28-2010, 12:06 PM   #4
Head Rambler
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Southwest Alabama
Posts: 3,281
Some of those switchover regulators have very specific instructions on how they have to be setup in order to indicate and switch over to the empty cylinder. However, it sounds like there's a bad check valve in the pigtail(s). Even with tank pressure on the disconnected pigtail there shouldn't be any gas leaking out of it.
Salem 29RKSS Pushing a 2500 Mega-Cab CTD!
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Old 10-28-2010, 12:58 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 201
My WC you can switch & pull bottle with no leaks. It like Bama Ramgler said the pig tail check is bad & should have held , Even if reg. is bad. My son-in-law had the same thing happen to him, lucky we saw it when pulling the LP bottle.
2010 wildcat 31ts
05 Ford F350 SD PS
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