ADDING A SECOND PROPANE TANK

A lot of RVs these days only come with one 20 lbs propane bottle.  For those of us that hate the idea of running out of propane, or carrying a spare bottle in the tow vehicle, upgrading to a two bottle system is a must. With a two tank system the regulator automatically switches to the full tank when one is empty giving you an uninterrupted flow of propane.  You can then easily remove and fill the empty one.

 

While the Escape Pod came with two tanks, our father (in-law)'s trailer did not.  He really wanted the added convenience of the two tank set up, so we helped him gather the necessary parts and install the setup.  

 

Please keep in mind we are not gas fitters, so we recommend consulting a local professional prior to starting any propane modifications.  

Here is what we did:

This project took about an hour to complete despite hitting a few snags. We forgot to take photos of the process, but here is a summary:

1) Remove Existing Tank - The single propane tank was actually bolted to the frame of the Jayco.  While this was a bit annoying to remove, I can' imagine doing this every time I wanted to fill the tank and then mounting the full tank afterwards.  It really baffles me that this is how some trailers come from the factory.

2) Mount Propane Rack - Position the base of the propane rack centered behind the tongue jack. Check the position by carefully placing the two bottles on top and making sure there is enough clearance for the cover.  Once you are happy with the location, remove the tanks and mount the rack using 4 #14 drill-x self tapping screws.  When mounting the rack we found that the drill-x screws left a lot of metal shavings under the rack.  To avoid a bunch of rust accumulating, we removed the rack, cleaned the shavings, and then remounted it.

 

3) Prepare Regulator - Wrap the threads on the new 12" hoses with yellow gas fitting teflon tape and screw into the dual-stage regulator.  Mount the regulator to the regulator mounting bracket.  The holes in the mounting bracket we bought didn't match up to the regulator so we had to drill new ones - this only took a couple minutes.

4) Mount Regulator - Install the threaded rod into the propane rack base.  On our Escape trailer, every time I unscrewed the large wingnut to remove a tank the threaded rod spins and unscrews from the base. This was super annoying as my quick solution is always to stop the rod from spinning with my hand (less than than comfortable). I picked up a couple 3/8" stainless steel nuts and lock washers and put them on the top and bottom of the base plate. Problem solved!  Once the threaded rod is installed, slide the regulator bracket on with the t bracket (that clamps the tanks down) under the top of the regulator mount.  This will prevent the regulator mount from sliding down the threaded rod.

5) Hook up Regulator - Feed the the existing hose that services the trailer through the hole in the base of the propane rack.  Wrap the threads with yellow gas fitting teflon tape and screw it into the dual-stage regulator. In our case we also had to buy a 24" propane hose to extend the current line to the new regulator location.

6) Install Propane Tanks - Install the tanks under the t bracket, tighten the large wing nut, and attach the new hoses. 

 

7) Soap Test - Cover each of the new connections with a soapy solution and turn on the propane.  Any bubbles indicate a leak that should be fixed. 

 

Slide the cover over the tanks and secure using a small bungee cord. Done!  

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Here is what we bought:

Camco 59005 RV Propane Double-Stage Auto-Changeover Regulator

 

This regulator hooks up to both tanks, and automatically switches when a tank is empty. This allows you to remove and fill the empty tank without interrupting the flow of propane to your RV.

SHINESTAR 12inch RV Propane Hose

 

This hose hooks the second tank to the new regulator. The existing hose can be used to hook up the existing tank to the new regulator.

 

Camco 40568 Propane Tank Cover

 

You are going to want to cover the tanks up for a finished look at the end of the project!

 

Flame King (KT20MNT) Dual RV Propane Cylinder Rack

 

This propane rack will securely hold the two 20 lbs tanks.

 

Regulator Mounting Bracket

This bracket holds the regulator between the tanks. 

 

We also bought some gas line specific teflon tape (yellow) for the propane connections and some #14 drill-x self tapping screws to mount the cylinder rack to the tongue. We also had to buy a 24" propane hose to extend the current line to the new regulator location.  And of course, we picked up a new 20 lbs tank!