Saturday, January 4, 2014

Replacing the Propane Regulator in Agile

This article is not intended to qualify anyone to work on a propane system. Propane when improperly handled can be very dangerous and should always be treated with the utmost respect. If there is ever a concern about a propane system, a qualified technician should check it out as soon as possible.

The propane regulator is the heart of the propane system, if it fails, appliances that uses propane as fuel will no longer work and that can be a major headache for anyone dry camping. Leaking at the propane regulator is one of the major regulator failures. If you noticed a propane leak in the system, it is highly advised to shut the propane flow at the service valve to prevent further leaking that can/ may result in disastrous situations.

Agile has a two-stage horizontal mount propane regulator and a single high pressure regulator feeding the outdoor pig tail that is located on the passenger side rear wheel well area. The propane regulator is mounted on the propane tank towards the rear end and can only be accessed under the RV.

I highly recommend that a qualified propane technician do the propane regulator replacement. If you are out camping and needed to change the propane regulator, you are doing so at your own risk. This article is only intended to familiarize you with the propane regulator in RT Agile and not intended to qualify anyone to work on propane system.

Before you start, make sure to close the propane service valve.

1. Disconnect the propane pigtail hose from the propane service port. The thread on the pigtail (P.O.L end) is reversed as marked with the indentation on the P.O.L nut; turn clockwise to loosen from the service valve outlet port.

 
2. Remove the pigtail hose clamp located midway of the hose and is held with one screw to the frame of the Sprinter (not pictured). Remove the regulator protective covering (plastic corrugated box secured with Velcro's).
 
3. RT Agile has two propane regulators, one high pressure regulator (red), and the other 2-stage regulator (as pictured below). Loosen both swivel flare nut connectors from the regulator outputs.
 
4. Remove the two screws that secure the regulator mounting plate towards the top of propane tank. The whole regulator assembly should easily be removed at this point.
 

5. Remove the regulator from the mounting plate; it is attached with 3 screws located behind the mounting plate. Replace with a new regulator; use thread sealant esp. made for gas fittings (like the Harvey Pipe Thread Sealant ) on the fitting threads, but not necessarily needed on the flare fittings. Reverse the process then check for leaks using commercial leak detectors (Liquid gas Detectors) or a soapy solution, just make sure to wipe and dry soapy solutions after.

6. Have a qualified service technician test the propane system for any leaks and proper functioning of the regulator. You can search the net to learn more about propane leak drop pressure test, propane flow test, and lock-up pressure test on the propane system.
 
I did remove the high pressure regulator on mine as I don't use it anyway. It is also an extra hazard if you drive with the propane service valve open as I do on mine (not recommended). My greatest fear is the location of the outside high pressure propane pig tail that is located on the passenger wheel well area, what happens if road debris or a blown-up tire damage and sever the propane hose...a big "kaboom" maybe? I'm not taking any chances. The flare end connection to the outside propane pig tail was capped off to prevent dirt getting into the line. I also replaced the flimsy regulator protective cover with a custom acrylic box cover.
 
Ignore the propane filter in the picture below; it is not necessarily needed as I was told. I just installed it there for peace of mind; I'm paranoid of getting contaminated propane at some service stations. Propane vapor should not contain any solid contaminants as it is a vapor, obviously...but through experience, liquid propane from time to time gets in to the vapor tube and into the system during travel...it is your call. The propane filter is usually fitted on forklifts that use propane as fuel.
 
 
UPDATE: After few more propane regulator failures, I decided to call RT and inquire about the early failures of these regulators. I was informed that there are bad batches of regulators out there and are known for early failures. RT recommended the Marshall brand regulators as a replacement as they are better built. I was also told that there is a recall on certain Propane tanks which were fitted with shorter pickup tubes causing liquid propane getting into the lines and eventually into the regulator causing the failure. If you are experiencing multiple regulator failures, it maybe a good idea to have your tank checked at a qualified propane service centers.
 
The new replacement Marshall Excelsior (MEGR-298) regulator has been trouble free for many months now, so I'm crossing my fingers. I also removed the add-on propane filter as I feel it is not doing anything and just another potential point for failure...live and learn.
 

4 comments:

  1. In my 2013 agile I also had the regulator to the external pig tail removed and capped off the line. Useless for my purposes and only a few more connections that could loosen up and leak while rolling down the road.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The regulator you installed is not the standard-issue Camco. What brand is it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, the factory installed regulator on mine was made by different brand not Camco, can't remember the name, but was told that the company is no longer in business.

      The replacement brand is made by "Fairview" I got it from a local propane supplier. Some regulator brand has different mounting holes so be aware of that. Or, you can just drill new mounting holes if needed if you don't mind doing that. Hope that helps.

      Delete
    2. Thanks, I'll check it out. I have a 2013 Agile and have blown through a dozen regulators in 2 years!
      BTW I installed 3 160 watt panels on the roof. I'll send pix as a pm, if you post your email address.

      Delete

Unfortunately due to high levels of spam, all comments are now moderated before they are posted. Thank you.