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Old 10-01-2008, 03:19 PM   #1
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Winterizing Propane and Water 1

I'm looking for some tips and in turn have a couple to give too.

We're not going out again so in the general trailer cleanup after 5 weeks on the road I've also done the winterizing. Sunline has some propane instructions in the manual like taking the regulator off and keeping it at room temperature. I've never done this as it doesn't make sense and I don't do that with my home bbq either and have never had any ill effects. But I took the regulator off while working on the 2499's frame this summer and was surprised how much oil had accumulated at the front of the black pipe in less than 2 yrs. I've read there is a small amount of oil dissolved in the propane and it condenses out when the propane sits in the lines. There are some people here with pretty old trailers... does this eventually become a problem?

This year, for the first time, I lit all the appliances and then shut off the tank valves while they were burning to purge all the propane from the lines. Does this help? Should I do this in summer too? On my home bbq I habitually shut off the tank valve before the burners every use thinking that would keep spiders at bay, but maybe it helps reduce oil deposition too.

Henry
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Old 10-01-2008, 10:15 PM   #2
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Well, I agree that it doesn't make sense to remove the regulator. My propane tank for the home sits outside all the time and there is never a problem. I took my Sunline regulator off last Fall and it was a royal pain to purge all the air bubbles out. It took a LONG time. I'm going to leave my regulator on from now on. The Sunline is covered all winter so I don't see how the regulator is going to be affected. Maybe others will have some more info about this.
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Old 10-01-2008, 11:02 PM   #3
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Henry

This much I do know. LP gas in rubber hoses creates the oil. The LP leaches the oil out of the rubber. This is one reason long runs of rubber hose on LP has issues.

I can attest to this as I use a 8 foot hose on my gas stove and one on my gas BBQ for the camper. Both run off a 5 lb tank. See here.




On the BBQ grill, I USE to curl up that hose and screw the 2 ends together and it has some LP vapor left in it and trapped in it. Well the next time I go to use it, oil starts dripping out of the hose and getting into the BBQ regulator. However the LP stove hose I always leave open to atmosphere and what little LP is in it comes out. That hose has very little oil in it. And i use the stove 5 times more the the BBQ. So now I never store them with the ends screwed together and the problem is kept at bay.

On our mobile homes we had for seasonal help on the farm, I would be the one to would tend to these and we never had any oil in the gas lines. However they where either black iron headers and copper feeds to all appliances. Same in the farm house. Never any rubber hose and we never had any oil in 50 plus years of using LP gas for the kitchen stove or gas dryer from my grandparents.

From what I know and have heard, the oil is from the hose not the LP gas. So getting oil in the long hose from the regulator to the black iron gas pipe on the front of the TT would not be unheard of.

I have never heard of the taking the regulator off during winter. I use my TT during winter so this is an issue for me. And we never took any of these regulators off in the mobile homes etc either.

If there is an actual concern about the regulator, there is along a special 11” WC to 10” WC regulator on the stove inside the TT. And that regulator is not made to come off very easy and I recommend not removing it as a winter storage item.

Hopefully we have someone who is a LP gas person doing this for a living and can add their input.

If we are suppose to actually remove the regulator, it would be helpful if a technical reason could be stated. The only thing that make any sense form what I know, is to vent the rubber hose to help with the oiling problem. But if you do, be sure to tape up the end of the hose so nothing crawls in after the propane fumes as them building a nest in there is worse then the oil. And in which case would defeat venting the hose by taping it closed.

Did you actually read this in the Sunline manual? Do not recall seeing it. Can you post a copy?

Hope this helps

John
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Old 10-02-2008, 08:46 AM   #4
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John,

It seems as if I recall it being in that "owner's manual" packet of papers. I don't have a manual with me at the moment, but if no one posts it, I can get it up tomorrow afternoon.

Jon
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Old 10-03-2008, 02:38 PM   #5
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Here are the propane winterizing instructions from my 2005 Sunline manual:


I've not done, and don't plan to, the anhydrous methanol route either. Methanol has a high affinity for water, hence its use as gas line antifreeze. I assume "anhydrous" must mean absolutely pure. I have never had a problem with moisture in a propane tank and don't see how you could compared to a car's gas tank.

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Old 10-04-2008, 02:25 PM   #6
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Henry

Thanks for posting the instructions.

I have never heard of that about removing the regulator. If they would of added about 5 more words on “why” it would of helped solve this mystery.

These instructions are not exactly specific to our Sunlines. Look under Furnace, it says to shut off the LP gas. Well there in no shutoff on my camper nor I’m sure yours. And if you took the LP regulators off…. What is left to shut off?

Here is a question on removing the regulator, has anyone ever seen a regulator off on a dealers lot on used campers? Or a new one for that matter.

If someone knows a technical reason to do this, “Please” post.

Since they are going down the path of dealing with moisture in the LP tank the only thing that makes any kind of sense is moisture in the regulator and ice breaking something.

If we want a factory direct answer, we could contact Marshal Brass who makes the regulator and ask them if it is OK to have it outside in the winter covered under the tank cover like it normally is. I do not think the actual cold is the problem with the physical components of the regulator.

Now on the Methanol, did some digging on this. See this Gulfstream manual. See page 17, PDF page 23. It talks about the Methanol in colder climates to prevent freeze ups. http://www.gulfstreamcoach.com/tidbi...nersManual.pdf Again key to LP gas system is to keep moisture out as it will freeze in the winter when being used. The gas does not freeze but the water will. Key is when the cylinder is filled and purged the first time, get all the air out, then when refilling make sure moisture does not get in.

Here is another camper winterizing recommendation list. It say to cover the regulator vent to keep moisture out and talks about the methanol as well. http://www.cdtrv.com/rvwinter.htm

Here is Coachmen see pdf page 53 about long term storage, 3rd bullet point down. It talks about covering the regulator to keep moisture out. http://www.coachmenrv.com/assets/pdf...aint_guide.pdf

And on page 48 of that PDF it talks about traveling in cold climates and the methanol.

So now what? Well for me I use the camper during winter months. I will have to ask the propane filling station about the methanol and see what they say. Basically it looks like it is used like dry gas in an auto but for LP systems.

As far as the regulator, I would say cover it with a plastic bag to keep moisture or other things out of the regulator vent is not a bad measure to do. The part about removing, well that can be asking for trouble long term. Each time we undo and redo the gas fittings that is an area of problems. Crossed threads, nicks on the tapered fitting surface, sometihg can get in the tpaed up gas line if it does not seal up totally, leaks when after you install, etc.

Any one else with an opinion? I would gladly change mine if we had more understanding on why to be yanking the regulator on and off. Again that to me can cause more ills then it may help.

Thanks

John
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Old 10-05-2008, 08:39 PM   #7
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John, you jogged my memory on the methanol! We had a propane bus at a school I taught at that often froze up in winter. Remember propane is LPG, ie. liquid. It evaporates and gets cold as it's used. Any moisture freezes and it's just like water in any other gas line. If you don't camp in winter--I know you do--this step should be completely unnecessary. But we do go to FL and I'm wondering, even if it's not freezing, could the propane get cold enough to ice up the lines as we're pumping it through running the furnace for example? We haven't had a problem, but something worth filing away in the memory bank... if I can only retrieve it when I need it

I bet to get the methanol added you'd have to go to some automotive LPG supplier. The typical bbq place is just going to get a funny look...

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Old 10-07-2008, 08:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryj
John, you jogged my memory on the methanol! We had a propane bus at a school I taught at that often froze up in winter. Remember propane is LPG, ie. liquid. It evaporates and gets cold as it's used. Any moisture freezes and it's just like water in any other gas line. If you don't camp in winter--I know you do--this step should be completely unnecessary. But we do go to FL and I'm wondering, even if it's not freezing, could the propane get cold enough to ice up the lines as we're pumping it through running the furnace for example? We haven't had a problem, but something worth filing away in the memory bank... if I can only retrieve it when I need it

I bet to get the methanol added you'd have to go to some automotive LPG supplier. The typical bbq place is just going to get a funny look...

Henry
Funny, I was just looking at the properties of propane in the chemical hazard books at work. FYI Propane boils at -34 degrees F. so it would have to get VERY cold for propane to stop coming out as a gas. I also used to work at a place where we sold, installed, serviced gas fireplaces and grills. Many people have propane running in their houses and the regulators are outside all the time without a problem, Never heard anything about keeping the regulator warm.
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