Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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Ask Dave: The rubber LP line runs near my trailer’s tires! What should I do?

Dave Solberg is a leading expert in the RV industry and author of the “RV Handbook” as well as the Managing Editor of the RV Repair Club. Today Dave discusses an LP line located near a trailer’s tires.

Dear Dave,
My new trailer has this alarming feature… the gas line for a rear grill runs unprotected RIGHT alongside the tires, not even (safer) on the other side of the frame. It’s a soft rubber gas line, not threaded iron. I’ve had two explosive tire failures in the past, so am VERY concerned how much of a rolling bomb this is, if I had another failure. I’m thinking to replace the rubber line with iron on the other side of the frame, but how likely/urgent is this in your opinion? –Wolfe

Dear Wolfe,
This is not uncommon in the RV industry and I have even witnessed metal LP lines running inside the wheel wells of motorized RVs! Although the hose does have reinforced steel braiding, I would not feel safe with the line running where it is. One safety feature that is mandated for the LP system is an excess flow valve on the POL and Type 1 LP connection that is designed to shut off the flow if a rupture occurs.

But what happens if the leak is very minor, such as a slight crack or pinhole versus a ruptured line? The RV Technical Institute tests the LP system at 50%, so there could be a slow leak that does not trigger the excess flow valve. That is why I recommend shutting off the LP at the tank – not only for the LP line in your situation, but also the soft copper lines that run to most appliances such as the refrigerator pictured here.

These lines and fittings are positioned very close to the sidewall of the unit and sideswiping a sign or construction could be just as dangerous.

GasStopAnother product that could be beneficial is GasStop, which was featured in an article by Tony Barthel last August. You can read it here.

So, if it were me, I’d move the lines just to be safe and either shut off the fuel source or get a GasStop.

Read more from Dave here

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Truckman
1 month ago

Why not just put a valve where that line tees off fron the other piping and then you can shut it off when not in use?

wolfe
1 month ago
Reply to  Truckman

That’s actually 1/2 of what I decided to do… 🙂 The portion that passes the tires is only for the rear grill that I never use (so far) because I carry a freestanding grill. So, I’ll put in a cutoff valve (which also prevents any slow leaks as Dave mentioned) at the manifold when I (probably) also relocate the line to the other side of the frame. I’m also still tempted to mount an actual steel fender inside the wheelwell, since the last time a tire exploded it took most of the side of the trailer off in 100yards of flailing stop distance. These trailers are tinfoil and cardboard. :-S

Seann Fox
1 month ago

Technically you shouldn’t be driving with the propane on anyways

wolfe
1 month ago
Reply to  Seann Fox

Yeah yeah… I know the fridge “probably” stays cold enough, but I actually do 10-12hr relocation drives at times where the freezer does seem to be getting too warm for comfort. I do “usually” (ahem!) shut down at gas stations. 😀