January 4th, 2020

Lisa

Learing About Propane Connectors

Lisa and I went to Reno this morning and started the day with a leisurely brunch at the Peppermill (possibly the best meal value with our locals' discount that they have, in my opinion). Well-fed, we went to Safari RV to seek out the adapter to allow us to connect our new large propane bottle to the existing trailer fittings. Now the adapter we bought was not cheap (and appears to cost significantly less online than from Safari), but we were able to hold it in our hands, confirm that it will connect to both one of the large bottles (they had one on display) and to our fittings (we brought a spare fitting with us), and that it had the necessary rubber O rings in the right places. Also, we could see with our own eyes that it was US-made, not a cheap Chinese knock-off.

After dealing with RV parts, we stopped at Smart Foodservice in Reno so that Lisa could look over what they had and see their prices, in order to give her a better handle on what she would need to budget for Westercon 74. We currently expect to buy much of what we need in wholesale quantities in Reno and transport them to Tonopah, so we only need to buy perishables and last-minute stuff from the grocery store there. It was good to have had such a big breakfast before examining the store, as it allowed us to consider the selection academically, not with growling stomachs.

Returning home, it was time to work on installing and connecting the propane adapter. You can skip the rest of this if you are uninterested in the trivia of different types of propane plumbing connectors and why our first attempt to connect things could have led to a very dangerous or even deadly situation.

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Now we have a large bottle that holds roughly 3x as much gas as a single "normal" bottle. We still have a second 7.5-gallon bottle connected to the trailer. The propane regulator on the trailer is designed to hold two bottles, with a fail-over valve that will redirect propane to the other bottle if the pressure falls below a critical point. The idea of course is that you then change bottles, but you do have to remember to go look at the regulator periodically as it displays a red bar when it has failed over. Having the larger bottle (with the adapter) on the trailer will be useful when it is "moored" at home, while still allowing us to have both smaller bottles when traveling without having to change fittings or hoses. We'll still have to refill propane bottles, as the 100# bottle is portable (just barely) on the hand truck, but we shouldn't have to go buy propane so often.