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Old 09-24-2022, 08:36 PM   #1
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Propane Tank Word of Warning

I went to fill my two 20# tanks today and found something very scary. The dual propane tank plate that is bolted to the frame tongue, had both bolt heads sheared off on the left tank side. Thankfully the 2 bolts on the right tank side were Ok. Also the 1/2" center shaft bolt that the regulator and tank clamp down mounts to, had come out of the plate just hanging on the tank clamp.

Very scary as there was nothing at all holding either tank to the tongue. Luckily I found this in the driveway.

I had to drill out the 1/4" x 1/2" long self tapping bolts that held the tank plate to the tongue. I replaced with new 1/4" x 1" long self tapping bolts with a flat washer. I replaced all 4 self tapping bolts on the plate.

I then found a 1/2" split ring lock washer and a 1/2 nut to lock in the shaft bolt to the plate. So now the tanks are clamped securely to the tongue of the camper.

Scary find!
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:14 AM   #2
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It pays to inspect things now and again. JMHO
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Old 09-25-2022, 10:16 AM   #3
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It pays to inspect things now and again. JMHO
X2. I go completely through my RV at least once a season tightening and testing everything I can think of. But then I'm retired have time to do that!
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Old 09-25-2022, 11:58 AM   #4
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It pays to inspect things now and again. JMHO
My two tanks get a firm "shake" after hooking up and before I hit the road.

Problems like OP described can occur anytime and I'd rather fix at home than on the road (perhaps literally).
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Old 09-25-2022, 12:11 PM   #5
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My two tanks get a firm "shake" after hooking up and before I hit the road.
Do you think to yourself as you shake them "that's not going anyplace"

Safe travels
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Old 09-25-2022, 12:14 PM   #6
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vibration takes its toll on metal brackets . etc. weld it.
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Old 09-25-2022, 12:39 PM   #7
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Do you think to yourself as you shake them "that's not going anyplace"

Safe travels
It's worked for me since the early 70's and has uncovered loose tanks twice.
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Old 09-25-2022, 01:29 PM   #8
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The problem is that vibration causes some of this. That's why I used a nut and lock washer to hold in the long shaft bolt for the clamp and regulator. This honestly should had been done from the factory as the handle nut that you tighten to hold the clamp on the tanks, can move with the shaft bolt. Vibration can also move it. Locking the shaft bolt to the plate keeps that from happening.

I'm guessing but don't know for sure, since the shaft bolt wasn't locked to the propane plate, was tightening and pushing off of the tongue plate. This was creating a gap between tongue plate and propane tank plate, and stressed the plate bolts and sheared their heads after some vibration.

So locking down the shaft bolt, tree bolt, or what ever you'd like to call it, may be preventing most of this. However I will always double check it. Luckily the right tank side of the tank plate still had it's 2 plate bolts holding the tank plate to the tongue plate. The shaft bolt could had come out of the plate when I was loosening the handle nut but I don't know for sure. None the less, it's something I never had happen, EVER, on the other 4 campers I've had. So it's just something else to do a thorough inspection on frequently.
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Old 09-25-2022, 01:41 PM   #9
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Do you think to yourself as you shake them "that's not going anyplace"



Safe travels
I try not to say or think that but can't help it
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:47 PM   #10
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Do you think to yourself as you shake them "that's not going anyplace"

Safe travels
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Old 09-25-2022, 09:56 PM   #11
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Yikes. Glad you caught it at home.
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Old 09-26-2022, 09:00 AM   #12
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Here's a dumb question...how is the propane tank(s) cover removed? It appears to slide up and down with a little effort, but I haven't tried it yet. Don't use the gas much, but it's been eatin' my shorts not knowing exactly how to remove the thing without breakin' it.
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Old 09-26-2022, 09:05 AM   #13
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Here's a dumb question...how is the propane tank(s) cover removed? It appears to slide up and down with a little effort, but I haven't tried it yet. Don't use the gas much, but it's been eatin' my shorts not knowing exactly how to remove the thing without breakin' it.
It slides up and off like you said. Some have a small bungee cord to hold them down.
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