Propane Install

One of the projects I decided to tackle while the parents were in town was the propane install.  I haven’t worked a lot with propane, but this seemed like a good project to at least have a second set of eyes or second opinion on.  As it turns out my father hasn’t done much propane work either…but the second opinion gave the confidence to go ahead and knock this out.  It also helped that the parents were willing to pickup the propane canister en route to VAN.
We spent the extra money for one of the new fiberglass propane canisters as it allows us to see the fuel level and also cuts a ton of weight as compared to the old fashioned steel tanks.  these things are really great, and our tank is meant to be installed laying down, which meant it could be housed under our seat.  Bonus!The space under the seat turned out to be the perfect size (with only a small curve cutout of the seat support beam to allow the tank to clear, but also hold it securely in place.  Secured the valve and gauge inside the cabinet with enough free space to allow removing/filling the tank and also added a splitter inline so that we could run a second line for a bbq as needed.  We have been using the 1lb disposable coleman tanks  but just learned this summer that its impossible to recycle those things.  They go straight to the landfill and that’s more than enough reason for us to never buy them again.Our stove/cooktop sits on the other side of the bus (across the walk-through) so the only option was to run the hose down through the floor, tuck it away behind one of the structural beams under the bus and back up under the stove.  I was planning to wrap the hose to protect it, but several posts I’ve read online from RV experts state that its actually more dangerous and more likely to trap propane should a leak start.  The hose is strapped in tight and well protected, but i think we’ll be inspecting this part of the setup often.  Luckily, the previous owner had already drilled a hole in the cargo floor, so we didn’t have to add any holes, but this also worked well for ventilation as any leak would simply vent out the bottom of the bus.
We got to test the system out a few days later when we took the parents camping in the BC interior.  Sadly, we had already planned to grill and didn’t have the second line up and running yet (must get to west marine yet again for another propane fitting) but the water sure did boil fast and that matcha latte might have been the best one yet!  Everything worked great and we love our low profile SMEV cooktop.We also installed a dual propane/carbon monoxide alarm into the bus just in case every other backup fails.  It is hard-wired into the electrical system and has a backup battery.  Don’t get me wrong…the bus is anything BUT airtight, but this doesn’t seem like the area to cut corners or take chances.

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