Post by charliemyers on Jun 12, 2017 7:56:41 GMT -8
I'm installing new propane lines on my '61 Compact, and plan to remove the gas light which leaves only the stove/oven that will need propane. The propane tank is mounted in the triangle formed by the frame.
I know that usually black iron pipe is used for the runs under the camper, but would that be necessary in this case? It would only be about a 12" - 16" length before running the copper vertically up to the stove. Should I just run copper the full length and protect it with something where it runs under the camper?
I don't think you need black iron. The regulator is fine for your purposes. (2 stage is an RV regulator) Go from the regulator to the copper tubing with a rubber propane hose and up and into the trailer with copper. I use a 3/8 flare nut on the copper, a male union and the hose is a 3/8 female flare fitting on the trailer end. At the regulator, it should be 3/8 IP, but CHECK anyway.
You are right in that the copper needs to be protected. Today's tubing is not near as thick walled as it was in the old days, so benefits from some sort of cover. I use split loom. If you have the old copper line, use it. Great stuff and will last forever.
Black Iron is only required after a certain year. I'm not positive when the code changed, but believe it to be in the early 70s. When I completely replumb a trailer, I do use black iron from the front to the tee point, then copper from there.
Most vintage trailers are "legal" if equipped to the RV code the year they were manufactured. Some don't even require a two stage regulator.
Great info here--I'm getting to that stage where I need to consider my propane situation. I have all the old copper tubing from my '58 Mercury. I was able to save three of the flare fittings on the tubing. Is it okay to reuse those fittings/tubing or should I redo them? Also is a male union a way to join two sections of copper tubing--essentially a splice? Thanks...
Yes, use the old nuts. The flares on the older lines are usually in good condition and seal well. Of course you have to check all fittings when done, but I've had very good luck with the older tubing and nuts.
A male union will complete a splice if you need it. I use old and new, every new flare needs to be well seated. They tend to leak at first. Have fun with it.
That's good to know. I'll be glad to use the old tubing as it feels pretty substantial. Now that I know that I will draw out what I need and make sure I have all the tubing I need. Thanks for the advice--I'm sure I'll have fun!
-The main line from the regulator tube has over the years been made from black iron pipe or copper tubing, both successfully. Iron pipe is a bit cheaper, but, if other than a straight run with a terminal tee fitting is required, can be more difficult to work with. On a previous rebuild, I had to work around a low tank and other obstacles, and pipe would have been a nightmare.
-Copper comes in two thicknesses for propane, K and L. "Soft" copper (bendable and workable for flare fittings) is for gas; "hard" is for water (solder fittings). Type K is thicker and is more commonly seen in older trailers. It is a little harder to find than type L, costs more, is harder to bend, and is tougher against under-trailer trauma. If type L is used, extra care such as covering with split plastic tubing and padding around entrance holes is needed. Type K can be bent with a cheap spring tubing bender without too much trouble. I would only use type K.
-All tubing fittings/connections must be kept underneath the trailer, outside. The only inside fittings are at the appliance connections.
-The old fittings can be reused if cleaned. However, the nuts can have stress cracks from over-tightening that can be hard to see and then require cutting off your nice, new flare to replace. It seems worth it to me to use new nuts for this reason, even if reusing an old fitting. Old type K tubing should be fine to reuse if undamaged.
Thanks for the quick tutorial. You included a lot of information and it's definitely not TMI. I've seen several of these terms before and didn't know what they meant--now I do. I think my trailer had some internal fittings and connections so I will put them on them outside and underneath. Are the fittings available at Lowes or Homey D or an RV shop? Thanks again!