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Old 04-10-2011, 01:33 PM   #21
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The LP Gas Regulator Chronicles - Part 1

I recently had some LP regulator problems that are now hopefully resolved. While I was dementing myself over the issue, I read a probably unhealthy number of posts in many forums.

The personal theory that I formed from a consensus of complaints and remedies is that when the LP system malfunctions, it is most likely something imbalancing the carefully and sensitive design of modern LP systems on RVs.

LP gas lines on newer units (I dont really know what year it started) all contain a safety check-valve in them. This is to prevent gas leaks, which is the realy boogyman of the industry, not customers being devoid of gas supply.

Personally, I think that condensation builds up in LP systems for many reasons especially if the outside temperature is extremely cold OR extremely hot versus that inside the lines. The condensation then forms ice crystals that partially block the flow of pressure (like cholesterol in your arteries), then it unblocks and surges pressure and that makes the sensitive check valve IN THE LINE shut down...the valve is designed to deal with sudden surges.

Long story short, if your system is malfunctioning, I would go for the lines (so-called pigtails) first, not last, because it seems that is what everyone ends up having to change. I found at least five people who posted that they had their regulator replaced, then the tanks and finally the pigtails only to discover it was something in the pigtails..!

My RV dealer does not agree with my hypothesis, so he just changed (and upgraded) my regulator...but I may have to revisit him if my problems return...this is the kind of situation that prompted me to buy a new TT with a warranty instead of a used one (my dealer's shop rate on non-warranty repairs would be $105 per hour !).
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:19 PM   #22
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Where can you get one of these red regulators. Mine started leaking and I just removed it. Maybe I need to put a new one back in there.
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Old 04-10-2011, 11:04 PM   #23
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Red regulator

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Originally Posted by murrayflagstaff View Post
Where can you get one of these red regulators. Mine started leaking and I just removed it. Maybe I need to put a new one back in there.
If by "red regulator" you mean the first stage regulator in a two stage system you most certainly need to "put a new one back in" or you will have a very distressing LP gas event...any RV Dealer must stock it and I think they are probably one size fits all or close to it. Or you can find and buy them on the internet; someone told me that WalMart even sells them because they are so common, but I have not seen that for myself.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:19 AM   #24
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The Red Regulator. In my 5th wheel (specifically) there are two 30 pound tanks; one on each side. There is a 8 foot long crossover hose that transits the front storage compartment through a plastic tube.

On the door side of the camper, the propane compartment has the automatic switchover LOW pressure (Silver) regulator. That regulator has a one way check valve on each propane tank inlet that is VERY easy to damage and is also susceptible to sticking due to condensation and oils from the propane. On one side of the silver switch over regulator is the short 18 inch pigtail (with Acme Nut) that connects to the one way check valve. The other end goes to the 8 foot hose to the other side.

On the other side of the 8 foot hose, there is a RED Higher pressure regulator and connected to the inlet of that red regulator is another 18 inch pigtail with Acme Nut going to the tank. That red regulator drops tank pressure to 18 PSI (the only replacement I could find drops it to 20 PSI.

While not required for operation of the system (It worked fine with a union in the line till the one I ordered came in), apparently the red regulator is required by DoT regulations for travel on the road when the tanks are separated by that long hose.

I had to special order mine from Lazy Dayz RV when I was in Tampa because NO ONE seems to carry the threaded high pressure regulators on the shelf. The home store (Lowes or Home Depot) ones have crimped on fittings and can not be made to work. The correct part was cheap (13 bucks).
Hope this helps.
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:30 PM   #25
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I got my regulator today so I went to put it on and now my pigtail is bad. Try to fix one thing and something else goes bad. I have had no luck with the propane. We are on our 2nd auto changeover regulator and our 3rd pigtail, not to mention this red regulator.
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Old 09-16-2011, 12:17 PM   #26
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E.S.P I am having the same issue as herk7769, is the internal check valve you are talking about located at the end of the black iron pipe or right at the end of the flexible hose where it connects to the automatic changeover? Could you tell by looking at it that is a check valve?(ie see the fitting?identification?etc.) Just trying to go by memory as I am at work and dont have access to my Fifth wheel until i get back to our lot.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:06 PM   #27
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The pigtail has a lot more stuff built into it and should be your first stop.

At the change-over regulator where the pigtail (rubber hose fitting) screws in are two brass check valves one for each bottle. They can not be bought separate (I tried). They come with a new change-over regulator.
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:08 PM   #28
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Id like to also know how auto switch over works as well
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Old 09-16-2011, 01:10 PM   #29
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Here is the manual and some other good reading.
Attached Thumbnails
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Name:	Propane Pigtail 2.jpg
Views:	295
Size:	28.4 KB
ID:	8056  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Marshal Auto Changover Regulators Pamplet.PDF (4.79 MB, 1507 views)
File Type: docx Propane 101.docx (40.8 KB, 228 views)
File Type: docx propane safety and use.docx (19.5 KB, 208 views)
File Type: docx Purging propane containers.docx (15.7 KB, 119 views)
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Old 09-16-2011, 03:17 PM   #30
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Quote:
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Here is the manual and some other good reading.

Lou you always have the files and docs on all the parts on our trailers.
Thank you
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:38 PM   #31
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I was wondering what that red regulator was all about. Now I know. Our last trip I ended up replacing the auto change regulator. I had a choice of two regulators that fit. The same that was original---made in India---, or one made in Texas. I opted for the 'made in Texas' regulator.
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Old 09-16-2011, 11:02 PM   #32
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The main reason for the regulator is to make sure that once the propane leaves the tank as a vapor that it stays a vapor. Propane regulators in trailers do not regulate liquid only vapor. If the regulator was not there the pressure in the hose would be the same as the tank. This could lead to the vapor condensening back into a liquid. With a reduction in the pressure from the regulator to the other side of the coach this will greatly reduce the possibility of the vapor in the crossover hose turning back into a liquid. This is all based on propanes vapor/pressure saturation points. the lower the pressure the lower the temperature to turn it back into a liquid.
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:06 PM   #33
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I had a cracked fitting on the right side of my 5er . dealer fixed under warranty .
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:15 PM   #34
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Low LP Gas Pressure

LP Gas leaks and malfuntions
I recently had problems with my Cougar 5th wheel dual tank system. Low pressure from drivers side tank remote from the main two stage regulator. I could smell a faint odor of gas when I turned on the bottle. I replaced the remote high pressure regulator (18 psi) with a 30 psi regulator. I also replaced the hose on the remote side because I found that it was corroded and was malfunctioning.

I continued to have issues with low pressure from the remote side. Replaced the auto change over regulator on the passenger side and continued to have low pressure problems. After rechecking everything and not being able to really determine the problem, I took the entire system apart.

My 5th wheel has a gas pipe running across the front of the RV with brass fittings on both ends. The passenger side has a brass compression fitting on the passenger side and a brass reduction (1/2 to 1/4) fitting on the drivers side that connected the red single phase high pressure regulator. I found the reduction fitting on the drivers side had a crack in it which allowed gas to leak from the system causing the low pressure.

I took the pipe to a gas pipe and fitting store and they examined the fitting to find a replacement. Turns out the brass fitting was intended for use in water systems only and when screwed onto the pipe, it cracked from the pressure from the tapered threads on the gas pipe. I replaced the fitting with a steel pipe fitting (1/2 to 1/4) and a steel 1/4 inch nipple. I put it all back together and it works better now than it ever has and there is absoluty no gas smell. The crack in the brass fitting was letting off just enough pressure to make the auto changeover regulator not work properly and was not bleeding off enough gas so you could smell it at times.

I read many posts on different forums of people having this same problem. I did not see where anyone else had a bad or cracked fitting. Check your fittings to insure they are gas fittings and that the brass has not cracked and is the cause of the problem.

You may also want to check out this link:

MGC 5th WHEEL REMOTE CYLINDER LP GAS SYSTEM

Happy Trails!
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:29 PM   #35
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Additional Propane info
Attached Files
File Type: pdf propane safety and use.pdf (171.5 KB, 63 views)
File Type: pdf Marshal Auto Changover Regulators Pamplet.PDF (4.79 MB, 132 views)
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Old 04-20-2012, 04:33 PM   #36
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Yea!! My new fifth wheel has both propane bottles on one side, no red regulator. One less thing to go wrong.
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Old 04-20-2012, 05:11 PM   #37
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I tried to bypass the red regulator on mine, but could not find the fittings to go by it. I did end up replacing all my hoses and all my fittings, including the big screw on to the tank itself. The old hoses were all very stiff and starting to crack (after only two years). I had problems with it leaking, and before I finally gave in and replaced the all, I couldn't even screw the fitting on the tank on the door side. It would not seal. But all is well now, no leaks, no problems.
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Old 05-21-2012, 05:07 PM   #38
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what will replace a gr 618 regulator
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