How To Connect a BBQ Grill to an RV’s Onboard Propane Tank

TheRVgeeks Installation, Propane, Updates & Upgrades 112 Comments

When you drive a vehicle with a large built-in propane tank, carrying around small disposable propane cylinders for your barbecue grill somehow seems, well… wrong. We’ll show you exactly how we set up our RV to allow us to connect our grill to our on-board propane tank.

While small portable grills are often designed to use disposable propane canisters, we have a whole list of reasons we object to doing that.

First, there’s nothing much worse than thinking dinner’s ready, only to discover that the propane ran out right after you put your food on the grill. Since those little canisters are so… little, that seems just about as likely to happen as not.

Second, we’re full-timers, so space is at a premium. Removing disposable propane cylinders from the list of gear we need to keep on board saves space, and of course avoids running out of them, too (the best way to exacerbate objection #1 above: rummage around for a fresh canister to finish cooking dinner, then find that you already used the last one). Even though you could connect the barbecue to one of those larger 20 lb portable tanks typically used for grilling in a sticks & bricks house, those of course take up even more of that precious storage space. And… they run out, too.

Third, there are the dual evils of waste (the type that ends up in landfills) and waste (spending money unnecessarily). Those little canisters cost more and are bad for the planet.

Lastly, a prime directive of a do-it-yourselfer is to identify ways of improving the RVing experience through simple modifications. How great is it to be able to eliminate a redundancy, while improving functionality and reducing costs. So having the grill connected to the RV’s propane system is a triple win. A quadruple win if you do the modification yourself. wink

Because we’ve received so many questions about this, we’ve added some additional details. Besides the video above, we’ve diagrammed out every part we used to modify our propane system to make grill connection (and disconnection) quick and easy. You can click on the two images below to view larger versions of the diagrams. We’ve also catalogued the entire parts list, in sequential order from propane tank to grill, with links to each piece on Amazon.

And if you want to download a copy of these images & the parts list, here’s a PDF document that contains both:

Downloadable PDF with Parts Diagrams and Shopping List

Click to view a larger version.

Click to view a larger version.

Click to view a larger version.

Click to view a larger version.


Of course your system may be a little different, but these details will hopefully make it easy for your to get your grill connected to your RV, and toss those canisters (figuratively, of course).


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We're handy RVers, not professional technicians. We're happy with the techniques and products we use, but be sure to confirm that all methods and materials you use are compatible with your equipment and abilities. Regardless of what we recommend, consult a professional if you're unsure about working on your RV. Any task you perform or product you purchase based on any information we provide is strictly at your own risk.

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Comments 112

  1. I did return and found stove would indeed light. I tried at different days and burned off the gas on different days and could always lite the stove and burn off the gas. It would take long to burn off. Winnebago is sending me valve even though one year warranty over. It’s been 1 1/2 years. What appalling to me that I mentioned this to Winnebago Aspect group on Facebook and no one cared. Said they always keep their valve open anyway. Did not matter even when I said if you smelled gas in your Motorhome then it’s too late if your valve will not close. I said why take a chance just check, it’s simple.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks for the update, Gene. And glad to hear that Winnebago is replacing that valve, even though you’re out of warranty. It’s nice to know that companies are willing to stand behind their owners… especially in a situation like this that’s a safety issue. Can’t believe that other owners are so complacent about this. Propane’s not the kind of thing you want to fool around with… and we’d think more people would be concerned!

      Hope the new valve solves the problem for you so you can rest easy knowing your propane is off when you want it to be!

  2. I can’t return the Mr Heater quick release that I ordered through RVGEEKS from Amazon as returned expired on Feb 5th. I have reorders through RVGEEKS from Jejas Smokers the high pressure quick release. I attached the 15 PSI in front of the regulator per RVGEEKS and therefore a high pressure quick release is now required. An unfortunate costly mistake by earlier adaptors.

    1. If you have a high pressure female quick connect then you need the high pressure male to mate with it. I have several sets of low pressure connectors as well. Will put then up at the next park yard sale. There are lots of RVs out there with low pressure connectors that can use them. The only reason I went with the high pressure connectors is because I am obsessive about these things and decided to eat the cost of the low pressure connectors I got from Amazon even though I knew low pressure connectors would work perfectly well. However once you decide to go with the high pressure connectors you are committed to them and they are not that easy to find. I did a lot of research and the only source was Jejas Smokers. Again, as near as I can tell, you can stay with the low pressure type as long as you are aware of the issue of not using a low pressure appliance with the mod.

  3. hello again,

    I have been using the hose set up for several months and it works great. But I have a question about the grill. I have a Weber Q100 grill, I have noticed that the flame height is barely different on the high and low setting on the regulator. It still gets hot enough to grill a thin steak or burgers. I do not remember if this was the case with the 1lb propane bottles or not. Checking on the web, I see there can be an issue if using a unregulated 20lb tank and converter hose. Is this an issues with grill regulator? Or is there something wrong with my setup? Thanks again for all the great tips and help.
    Don

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      Author

      Hi Don. Glad the propane hookup is working for you! But sorry to hear you think there could be a problem with the Weber Q. To be honest, it’s been so long since we’ve run the Q on a 1-pound propane tank, we can’t recall whether there is a difference running it off the onboard one. We’ve seen that thread regarding the issue with the OPD on 20# tanks resulting in too low of flow from the tank to properly power the grill. But we’d doubt that was the problem in this situation, since the 15psi regulator installed near the grill should prevent the flow from being large enough to cause that specific problem with the onboard tank.

      We’d suggest that if you think there’s a problem, the easiest solution might be to pick up one of the 1-pound propane canisters (if you don’t already have one on hand) and hook it up to the grill to see how it behaves. If you’re having the same problem with the canister as you do with the onboard propane, then you likely have a problem with the grill’s regulator or flow-control valve. You could try removing them (can be a challenge on the Qs) to clean them out with something like denatured alcohol… in case they’ve gotten gummed up from oil in the propane. If you DON’T have the problem (i.e. notice a difference in flame height or the grill gets hotter), then it’s something wrong with the flow from the onboard tank and would need some further troubleshooting to try to isolate the part(s) causing the trouble.

      Hope this helps… and let us know what you determine if you go ahead and test with a propane canister.

      1. I have noticed a reduce flame height as well but I can still achieve temperatures plenty hot for grilling. Depending on weather I can easily see temps close to 500 in my Weber Q 200. I attributed it to almost 30 feet of 1/4 inch inside diameter hose that the propane has to flow through. Although my mods are attached to a 40 pound upright cylinder, the cylinder configuration should have no effect. So far the mod has worked flawlessly, except for a failed regulator which was replaced. If you do this mod, be sure to use high pressure couplings, not the low pressure ones normally seen on RV OEM installations. At 15 psi this mod is considered high pressure to supply devices with built in regulators to reduce 15 psi to .5 psi. Using high pressure quick connects prevents a low pressure appliance from being used on a high pressure line in case you sell the RV with the mod installed. An disconnect mismatch will NOT flow propane. Anything over a half psi (0.5) would be considered high pressure.

        1. After reading Casey comments ie low and high pressure connectors, I now see RVGEEKS have changed the connectors parts list to high pressure connections. Does this mean I need to change my connectors?

          1. No. Probably not. Since you are the sole user of the mod you know that your mod can only be used with appliances that have regulators built into them. However if you decide to sell the RV or allow others to use it without your oversite, I would remove the mod prior to sale. If the new owners want the mod, then one needs to change the quick disconnects to high pressure models and explain the difference to the new owner. The quick disconnects look identical (except for the pressure rating engraved into the connector and are probably built with the same parts. There is a slight variation in the connectors that prevents the flow of propane if a low pressure male is used with a high pressure female or visa versa. Obviously this was done as a safey measure.

            I like the RV Geek solution as it allows any high pressure appliance (those with regulators) to be used with the on board propane supply, where as the low pressure connections supplied by the RV manufacturers can only be used with low pressure appliances which typically don’t have regulators or have the regulators removed. Pretty well any propane appliance one can buy at any hardware or department store are high pressure devices with regulators and can be used with the mod. However trying to use a high pressure appliance with a typical factory RV low pressure quick connect (.5 psi) will result in little of no propane flow as the high pressure regulator requires much higher pressures to operate.

          2. My attached BBQ does have a regulator so I do need to replace with high pressure quick disconnect?

          3. Post
            Author

            Hi Gene,

            As Casey said: No, you don’t NEED to replace it with the high pressure disconnect (our Weber Q is the same as yours and has been operating fine for the past 5 years with the exact low-pressure disconnect setup we outlined in our original post… we still have it in place and it hasn’t leaked, the grill operates fine, etc). We updated the parts we linked to after Casey pointed out that the quick disconnect we were using (and the one you have) is, technically, a low-pressure unit. The primary difference between the two disconnects is the shape of the male side of the pair. They are designed so that you cannot plug a low-pressure device (one without a regulator that was expecting to be supplied with 11″ water column (0.5psi) propane pressure) into a high-pressure supply, which could damage the low-pressure device. As long as you are aware of that, as Casey mentioned, you should be good to go. Your Weber Q IS a high-pressure device… it’s expecting high propane pressure right from a tank and has its own, built-in regulator designed to handle that.

            But for re-sale purposes, he’s right… you’d want to remove that low-pressure quick connect and replace it with the proper high-pressure version so another owner wouldn’t accidentally plug in a device that couldn’t handle the (15psi) pressure and would be damaged by it. Keep in mind that pressure and flow aren’t the same thing… the low-pressure quick connect still has plenty of flow to supply the grill.

            Sorry for any confusion.

          4. Post
            Author

            Hi Gene,

            In reading all this over, we want to clarify our understanding of the connections just a bit further. There are two types of propane-powered devices that get connected to RVs:

            1) Low Pressure Devices, which means they do not have a built-in regulator, and therefore are not designed to receive a high-pressure supply from the RV. These can only be connected to the RV’s propane system downstream of the RV’s main regulator, which brings propane pressure all the way down to 11″ water column, which is about 0.5 PSI.

            2) High Pressure Devices, which are designed to be connected directly to a propane tank. All propane tanks, whether they’re those little portable canisters, a 20-lb portable tank (think Blue Rhino) or the RV’s on board tank are “high pressure” putting out far more than 11″ water column.

            If you were to connect a high-pressure device (one with its own regulator) to a low-pressure line (one already regulated to 11″ WC / 0.5 PSI), it would not get enough pressure to function properly, due to double regulation (not to be confused with our step-down 15 PSI regulator, which is still considered “high-pressure” and only exists to prevent oil build-up in the long hose).

            If you were to connect a LOW-pressure device to HIGH-pressure propane (NO regulators), that could damage the device or cause it to burn too high, and therefore be a fire hazard.

            The reason we switched the spec sheet on our post to include a high-pressure quick connect is for the reason Casey mentioned…. if you sell the rig to someone who owns a barbecue WITHOUT a regulator on it (a “low pressure” device), that already has a quick-connect on it, they could then connect their grill to our high-pressure line.

            As far as we know and in our experience, the reason the quick-connects are labeled “high-pressure” or “low pressure” is to keep them incompatible with each other (via different-shaped ends), and not (again in our experience and as far as we know) because one is able to handle higher pressure than the other). We have been using the “low pressure” connection for years, and no leaks have ever occurred, and it works flawlessly with our Weber grill, which is of course a high-pressure device, since it has a regulator on it.

            Despite the fact that we’ve been using our low-pressure quick-connects all this time with no problem, is it possible that they are built less robustly than high-pressure quick connects? (In other words, do they not only have different shaped ends to prevent them from being connected to a high-pressure connect, but are they also built to lower standards)? We’re not 100% sure, which is the other reason we switched the post to high-pressure connects… just as an added safety, just in case that’s true.

            Keeping all this in mind, FLOW and PRESSURE are not the same thing. Both quick-connects (high and low pressure) should carry the same flow, and should have no effect on your ability to get proper heat from your grill.

            Hope this all helps a bit.

          5. Your reply makes perfect sense and I now feel like an erudite regarding propane low and high pressure quick connects and when and where to use them.

  4. When I opened the connection just above the 15 psi regulator wouldn’t the regulator release all propane at once since not connected to BBQ?

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      Author

      Yes, it should, but we’re not sure exactly how the regulator works, and wondering if it might take a little time for it to release all of the high pressure that’s held behind it on the tank side, even after the tank is shut off. We’re probably just being over-cautious by recommending that you turn the valve off and wait a bit.

      1. I have turned on RV stove and burned off the gas in the line. I will return in a few weeks and see if I can ignite the stove. If not then we will know the red 15 psi regulator take awhile to dissipate the propane and I don’t have a bad propane tank valve.

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          Author
  5. The 15 psi regulator has propane gas in it at 15 psi. Since the appliance uses propane at a half psi, that is a fair amount of gas. I have found it takes several seconds to bleed all of the propane out of the regulator. Mine has a gauge on it and it the appliance can run a fair amount of time until the gauge hits zero. I suspect that the gas internal in the regulator is where the propane is coming from. Not saying the main valve isn’t leaking but this is one thing to consider.

    1. Post
      Author

      If you close off the main valve, and run your stove until it goes out, there really shouldn’t be any more pressure in the system. If you do that, and a month, or a week, later you’re able to light the stove again at all, we’d get the valve checked by a professional propane person. Once that pressure is all off the system, a properly sealed-off tank shouldn’t let any more propane or pressure into the lines. Keep an eye on it. You’re way ahead of the game by being aware and vigilant.

  6. I have everything connected and ready to go. There are no external gas leaks. I turned off the main propane valve and came back a month later and noticed there was gas in the line to the BBQ. I checked again after another month with the main valve still shut off and again a small amount of propane in the line. I have not turned on the propane for two month. Do I have a main propane valve problem?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Gene! When you say they was gas in the line, do you mean you can turn on the grill and get it to run without turning on the main valve on the RV? Or when you turn the grill to the “on” position without first turning on the RV’s main valve, you smell some propane? Unless you’re actually getting enough to fire up the grill for more than a second or two, we’re not thinking you have a problem, since leaving everything hooked up would leave some propane in the line while you’re away. If there’s more to this that we’re understanding, please let us know.

      1. I am checking at the cap just above the red 15 psi regulator. When I took off the cap it popped. I am assuming that cleared out the propane? I received my new propane lines and took the cap off again to install the line and again a pop.

        1. Post
          Author

          Hmmm…. if it popped, and you re-capped it, and it popped again a little later, you may indeed have a leak. Are you also able to get the stove to light for several seconds without opening the valve on the main tank? Because if it’s leaking, some propane would also be going up into the main house system and potentially pressurizing it enough to light the stove. If you can actually light the stove with the main valve closed, then shut the stove off, then get the stove to light again a couple of hours later, you almost certainly have a leak. Here’s another way to check. Firmly shut off the propane. Then remove the hose just above the 15 PSI regulator, and cap it again… loosely… so that if any propane is flowing it will be able to squeeze past the loose-fitting cap. There should of course be no propane coming out around the cap, since the valve is closed. Mix a small amount of dish soap into a cup full of water, and very slowly pour that soapy water over the cap, being sure it runs down all sides. If there’s any propane leaking out from the main valve, it should blow clearly visible bubbles around the edge of the cap. One note…. since the 15 PSI regulator holds back much higher pressure propane, it’s POSSIBLE that it could bubble for a while even if there is no leak, as the last little bit of high-pressure propane moves through the regulator. But if you have the main shut-off closed for any period of time (like overnight) and the bubbles appear, it must be leaking.

          1. Thank you, I will check per your suggestions. Without installing your connection, I would have never known.

  7. Thanks so much for creating this video and providing links to the parts you used. I really appreciate the content and detail you provide in all of your videos as I am brand new to the RV world and have so much to learn. I plan to add this modification to my motor home within the next few weeks. I noticed that at 4:14 in the video you rotated the shut-off valve on the extended hose end to enable you to insert it through the hole just under your slide-out. Did you first shut off all flow from the propane tank or does the shut-off valve not open, regardless of the valve arm position, when not connected?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Steve! Great to have you here with us as you begin your RVing adventure. One real beauty of those quick releases is that they shut off the flow of propane upon disconnection from the other side, which makes turning off the propane at the tank unnecessary. It’s a double shut-off… one with the valve that you can turn to 90 degrees, and one built inside the connection that prevents propane from flowing unless the two sides are connected together. It’s nice to have both, since we like to keep the grill connected for days or weeks at a time when we’re set up at a campsite, but don’t want to depend 100% on the grill’s on/off valve to stop the flow of propane. Whenever we’re done using the grill, we turn that valve 90 degrees as an additional safety for preventing accidentally having propane flow when we’re not using it (which can happen by accidentally rotating the grill’s control knob partially while putting the grill cover back on after dinner). We’ve done that more than once, and are glad we’re in the habit of flipping that additional valve, too. :)

  8. I have ordered all the parts except the propane extension hose as I have those from a prior RV. Now I am wondering if I should buy new extension hoses as well has I noticed oily residue extruding from the ends. Any thoughts?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Gene. Good question! We had this exact issue when we upgraded our propane system with the 15psi regulator at the tank end… our existing hoses still had oily residue in them. So we installed a propane fuel filter (like this one on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2DXEQfs) inline at the end of the hoses (between the hose and the quick release/shut-off valve at the grill end). Since the regulator was ensuring that no NEW oil was being created, the fuel filter caught any remaining oil from the hose. After about a year, we removed it and haven’t had any problems since.

      We had contemplated using denatured alcohol to clean the residue out of the hoses… but because the openings in them are so small, we figured it would end up being a mess and wouldn’t guarantee that we’d gotten it all out. Plus, we were concerned that the alcohol might cause a problem with the hoses… resulting in them cracking/leaking… or could even be a fire hazard if we didn’t get it removed/evaporated out. So we went with the filter route since it was easier (and cheaper than new hoses).

      Hope this helps!

      1. Thank you for the excellent fix. Do you think the barbecue regulator is ok since I will be using the same one again? Is there a way to clean it?

        1. Post
          Author

          If it’s working, we’d leave it alone. Before we installed the 15 PSI regulator at the tank, our grill regulator was once so clogged up that it wouldn’t work. So we removed it and thoroughly cleaned it with isopropyl alcohol, and then let it dry out for a while (alcohol evaporates quickly). If your grill works, we wouldn’t do a thing. Except make burgers that is. ;-)

  9. Went back to one of your earlier posts regarding running the BBQ from the onboard propane tank…and am planning to do this conversion this week or so…we have a lot of propane capacity…our 2015 Newmar has a 35 gal tank that only supplies the cook top!? three years out and the propane tank is still 1/2 full!? Coach heat and hot water is all via the Oasis system…one question I have after looking at your detailed instructions is this…can I also use this setup to provide propane to a portable gas fire pit…is 15 psi adequate for that function?? Thanks for your insight!
    Happy New Year…have a GR8 2018!!

    1. Post
      Author

      LOL, Harold! 3 years on half a tank of propane? That’s awesome! What a hardy resource propane is! ;) And it’s always nice to hear from fellow Newmar owners!

      As far as the portable gas fire pit, the 15psi SHOULD be enough pressure, but we’d recommend that you check with the manufacturer first to be sure that the fire pit’s regulator doesn’t require a higher input pressure to activate it (if it does, you won’t get any flow). But the other thing to consider is what the BTU output of the fire pit is… if it’s high enough, it may require more FLOW of propane than this setup can provide (it’s not just the 15PSI regulator that would be at issue here, but the size of the openings through all of the connections, since they could restrict the flow to being lower than what the fire pit needs). Of course, if it can’t provide enough flow… the fire put would just have smaller flame (and less heat) than it normally would. So if you never run it full-blast, you may be OK.

      Hope this helps!

  10. Hi, intresting video and write up. This is about what I want for my pop up. Im so tired of those 1lb bottles, the cost and waste. I want to do something like this to run my portable grill off my camper’s 20lb tank. I think your set up can be changed some to make that work.

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      Author
  11. I am planning on doing the propane line mod for my Weber Q to run off one of my 10 Gallon removeble propane tanks on our 2008 Kountry Aire fifth wheel. Just gives me one less thing to carry. You mentioned that the 15 psi regulator will prevent that oily buildup in the hoses that one sees from time to time. Since you did this mod a year ago, have you found the additional regulator has in fact prevented the oil from forming in the lines? Really like your videos by the way. And thanks for the parts list on this project. Made it really easy.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks so much for the nice comments and great follow-up question, Casey. We have not had a single repeat of the oil-in-the-propane-line situation since we installed the 15 PSI regulator about 18 months ago.

  12. I put the extend a stay T fitting in place and it had several leaks. I took it out and put it back together like the factory had it and no leaks. So I tried yellow tape (in the correct direction) on both ends, still leaks. Tried again without tape, still leaks. Made the connections super tight on each end, still leaks. I ran the stove until the flame went out on each try to ensure there still wasn’t pressure in the line between tests. I am using a combustable gas sniffer, pretty reliable. Is there some kind of secret to getting this T adapter to not leak?

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Chris. We installed our tee years ago without a problem, and have been using it ever since with no issues. So we can’t speak to any “secret” since ours just worked and has never leaked. We’re only guessing, but it sounds like it’s possible you got a bad one, as no special steps should be needed to prevent it from leaking. Might try exchanging it to see if a replacement solves the problem.

      1. Thanks for the reply.

        I went to Camping World today and bought the Mr. Heater version of the T Valve. Will try that and see how it works out.

        Your videos have been a indispensable resource for fixing, improving, and maintaining my RV.

        The video’s regarding generator maintenance are particularly valuable.

        One painful part of full time RV’ing is finding trustworthy and reliable mechanics to handle the big jobs.

        Since you folks have been doing this a while, maybe you could create some content around specific shops (mobile or otherwise) that you have done business with and had favorable results. Or perhaps, without naming names, a general guide to choosing the right shop and how to avoid bad ones. Lot’s of folks including myself have gotten ripped off, swindled, and/or burned by not seeing some warning signs experienced RV’ers have learned to identify.

        Thank you.

        1. Post
          Author

          Hope you make out okay with the Mr. Heater version of the tee, Chris. Glad to hear our videos have been helpful. Thanks for letting us know.

          As far as expertise regarding how to find a good shop, we might be the wrong ones to ask about that, since we do so much of our own repairs and maintenance. The primary thing we use shops for is chassis stuff, and we only have a few places we’ve used, the primary one being Cummins Coach Care. They’re diesel shops that can handle both our engine & chassis, and also our generator (only needed them for a genset no-start problem once…. as we have done EVERY routine maintenance on our own Onan since day one).

          If you’re a mostly-west-coaster, like us, (and have a diesel) we’ve had a lot of great work done over the years at Massey Diesel in Phoenix. We also had one very good experience at Brazzles RV Performance in Centralia, Oregon, which was recommended by friends… who also recommend Redlands Truck & RV Performance Center in Redlands, Calif, although we’ve never been there ourselves. Our friends have a Class A gas rig, so both Brazzles & Redlands are obviously more than diesel shops.

          One other resource that can be of some use is http://www.rvservicereviews.com which we’ve referred to a few times. It’s not the be-all-end-all of finding a shop, but it can help.

  13. Oops……I just read through some posts from last year on this subject. Looks like I may be ok without removing the regulator on the grill. I’ll try it and see if it works.
    Thanks….
    Randy

    1. Post
      Author
  14. My portable grill has the on/off valve built into the pressure regulator. Doesn’t the regulator need to be removed since the tanks on my RV are already regulated? If I remove this piece does the quick connector with shutoff valve replace the old assembly and allow me to regulate my heat/flame?
    Thanks……
    Randy

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Randy! Our portable grill has the same set-up yours does, with the on/off control and the regulator being one unit. But it doesn’t need to be removed because we’re teeing off our on-board propane tank upstream of the RV’s regulator (which is high-pressure right from the tank). The red 15 PSI regulator we added to the line is still much higher pressure than the grill uses, so therefore plenty of pressure to get over to the other side of the RV, and still in need of being regulated down to grill pressure. It of course does that, since it’s got it’s own regulator built in. It works great.

      Now we did originally try adding a different regulator in the line before we settled on the 15 PSI unit. That first attempt used the same type of 11″ water column unit that’s built onto the grill (which, as we mentioned, equals about 0.4 PSI). That unit, when combined with the one already in place on the grill was too low for the grill to operate (double regulation). The trick is to not use two 11″ water column regulators in the same line, but rather to step down to 15 PSI for the long run across to the other side of the RV (to prevent oily build-up), and then to step the rest of the way down to the final pressure with the grill’s own regulator. Hope this is all clear!

  15. Hi. I just received all my parts. One question, I did buy the yellow tape but wondering the best way to check for leaks with all those connections.
    I only ordered the 12 ft hose and just realized I may be grilling very close to the coach. I’ll have to order another hose. Thanks for putting this article together

    1. Post
      Author

      Hey Don! The way we check for leaks is to mix up a small amount of dish soap into a plastic cup full of water, then pour the soapy water slowly over each and every connection, of course while the propane is turned on and the line under pressure. If there’s even the slightest leak, it will blow bubbles! You don’t need much solution to do the job, but if you run out, you can just mix up another cup. If you find a spot that you think is blowing bubbles, pour some more over to check. A couple of bubbles on the surface that just sit there isn’t a leak. If it’s leaking, you’ll know it! It either blows one or two big bubbles, or a bunch of little ones that foam up.

    2. Hello, I needed to make a couple of mods, after hooking up the regulator, I couldn’t leave the 20′ extension hose connected because it ran in to the slide out gears. I added a 90 degree elbow I found at Lowes, and then I bought Mr. Heater part# F273755, which is a 1/4″ male to the 1-20 throw away threads. This part has the check valve, so now I can leave the regulator and fittings connected to the main propane tank and just screw on the hose. The female to male 1-20 in your article didn’t have a check valve, so I could not
      leave it attached. Some day, I will make a more permanent situation like yours and run the hose through the coach. We have a gas coach, so a bit harder to run the propane hose over the driveshaft and exhaust.

      Once again thank you for all your articles and help. We will be full timing it next year, and will have plenty of propane for the grill.

      Don

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        Author

        Hey Don! Glad to hear that you pieced together a system that works for you! There’s no ONE way to do this, as each RV likely has a different setup (as evidenced by the fact that your gas coach is much harder to route the hose across the driveline & exhaust than our diesel pusher). One thing you may want to consider is putting a shutoff valve after the 15psi regulator (you could use the same one we used all the way at the far end of our setup, or something like it: High Pressure Female Quick Connect w/Shutoff and the High Pressure Male Quick Connect ). While the Mr. Heater valve you show does, indeed, have a check valve… we’re not sure we’d want to rely on that as your means of shutting off the propane when the grill’s not connected. Just an extra safety check, that’s all.

        Good luck in your preparations for going full-time! It’s an exciting part of the journey!

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      Author

      Hi Gene. We’ve had the propane line leading from the Extend-a-Stay to the grill connected for years…. 24/7/365 with no problem. The incoming propane line from an external tank we only connect if we’re spending a long period in one spot during the winter in a northern climate. Of course the Extend-a-Stay itself is permanently installed in the system, and stays in place at all times.

      1. Can you verify this is the correct item as I we directed to Amazon from your listing. It appears this is terminator from the picture.

        1″-20 Male Throwaway Cylinder thread x 1/4″ Female Pipe Thread Fitting

        1. Post
          Author

          Hi Gene,

          Yes… all those links are to Amazon (we are affiliates… using those links helps support our channel, but doesn’t cost you any extra), so if you clicked on the 1″-20 Male Throwaway Cylinder thread link in the post, that’s the correct item (here’s the link again, if you need it: http://amzn.to/2GJ8lCP ).

          1. I was curious on the Male adaptor as the picture shows it closed at the end. The female adaptor looks fine.

          2. Post
            Author

            Hi Gene. All of the parts listed are exactly what we used… so if a picture looks wrong, the part should still be correct. Not sure which “Male adapter” you mean… as this whole setup is a conglomeration of adapters! LOL!

          3. Ok, thanks!
            For your information it was the Throwaway Propane Cylinder Adapter, 1-In. -20 Male x 1/4-In.

  16. You guys are unbelievable! Resonding on Sunday.
    Thanks, I’ll do what you suggest. If it doesn’t work I’ll let you know

  17. Hi Guys
    Great series.
    Using your links below the video, I ordered all the parts from Amazon. They sent me a Hot Max Model 24208, which is a 0-10 PSI adjustable regulator. Aside from the lower pressure, it has a 1/8″ NPT (Female) outlet, so I can’t hook it up without a 1/4″ to 1/8″ adapter.
    Before going that route, I looked it up on Amazon. They say they are sold out of the Model 24215, which is the 15PSI regulator you suggested. Also, there appear to be 2 versions of this model. One is fixed, one is adjustable.
    Before going ahead, what do you recommend? Is 10PSI enough. If it is, I can use the one I have with an adapter. If not, I’ll happily send it back. Should I get the fixed or adjustable model? If not available from Amazon, do you have another source?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Post
      Author

      Hi Jeffrey! Sorry to hear you had trouble with getting the regulator we used. But the 0-10psi adjustable regulator should work just fine. Turned up to 10psi, that should provide plenty of input pressure for your grill to work. Most low-pressure regulators (like the one on your grill) expect between about 5 and 20psi of input pressure. So 10psi output from the regulator you received should work just fine. If you need it… here’s a link to a 1/8″ male NPT to 1/4″ male NPT reducing nipple available on Amazon… which should let you connect the 10psi regulator to the rest of the components. Let us know how you make out!

      1. Hi Geeks
        I tried using the 10 psi regulator with a small Weber BBQ. It worked, but not well. The flame wasn’t very big, and it took a long time to heat up the BBQ.
        As we were about to leave on a long trip to Alaska, I had no time to get the 15 psi regulator, so I went back to the old way of using small canisters. I intend to replace the regulator when I get home.
        Thanks!

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          Author

          Not sure why 10 PSI wouldn’t be enough pressure, since it’s WAY more than the 10 inches water column required by the grill. But if it’s not working for you, it’s not working. Although we’re wondering it there’s some other restriction to the volume and/or pressure. Please let us know how you make out when you get the new regulator installed and tested.

  18. I just bought a motorhome that has a tee after the tank regular with copper tubing and a quick disconnect on the other side. I was thinking of moving the tee in front of the regular so I can hook up my Weber grill. Do I need a 15 psi regular to prevent oil build up or does the copper tubing prevent oil buildup?

    Ron

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      Hi Ron,

      We’ve only ever heard of the problem with oil in the line affecting hoses, not pipes. Installing the 15psi regulator won’t hurt anything, but if you want to avoid having to install one, you might want to ask your local propane distributor for their rerecommendation. Sorry we can’t be more help!

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      Hi Tori! Thanks! Glad you liked the video… and thanks for letting us know about the problem with the link to the PDF. We just made a change that should have fixed it… so you should be able to download it now. Please let us know if you continue to have a problem with it!

      Thanks!

  19. That is such a great video. Thanks. We have the same grill, since our tank is between outside the door and the rear wheels do I really need a 15 psi regulator since we would only be attaching a 12 ft line off the tank.

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      Author

      Ours is two 12′ hoses connected together, and we had the oil problem. Not 100% sure what the cut-off is. If we had to guess, we think you’ll be fine without it, particularly if you tend to RV where it’s not as cold, since the problem is supposedly worse the colder it is. Worst case scenario, you’d have to remove and clean the regulator (like we did…. with alcohol) and then add the 15 psi unit. It took a year or so for that to happen, so you’ll be okay for a while either way, and may never need the 15psi unit.

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      Hi Mike,

      It does sound like that’s a distinct possibility. If you’re connecting the grill downstream of the onboard regulator, then the pressure is too low for the input on the grill’s regulator, and it won’t allow the propane to flow. Classic “double regulation” problem. To solve it, you’d either have to (1) tap in a Tee between the tank and the onboard regulator (like we did) and use that as the supply to the grill… or (2) remove the regulator from the grill. If you opt for #2, just be aware that you won’t be able to use the grill with an external/portable tank without re-attaching the regulator.

      Hope that helps!

  20. I’ve wanted to do this to have propane outside to the bbq and another one inside the coach to supply the Mr Heater. My concern it in putting the Tee between the tank valve and the switch operated shut-off valve. If there was a gas leak, or if going thru a tunnel or some other place which required gas to be shut off, I would have to climb into a basement bay to access the tank valve, a real hassle. Our tank is mounted between the chassis rails with remote fill and vent fittings at the side of the coach. I need to find out what the thread pattern is on the tank end of the electric operated shut off valve to see if it would fit the POL connection on the end of the Tee.

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      Author

      Hi Ralph. You are correct… with your set-up, you would indeed want to install an Extend-a-Stay AFTER the electric valve. But actually, you probably wouldn’t want to use the same version we do, since you would’t be able to easily reach it anyway due to the location of your tank down under the RV. We’d suggest a Tee like this one: http://amzn.to/2k5NxKb but it will indeed likely require an adapter to fit downstream of your electric valve. This type uses the small tank connection, which might be easier to adapt: http://amzn.to/2l5LB54

      These types of Tees won’t allow you to connect the RV to an external propane tank (which we’ve only done a couple of times when RVing in cold winter locations), but you’ll still have the benefit of being able to connect your grill to the rig. If you DO want to be able to connect to an external tank, and are willing to crawl under the RV to connect it, you can use the same setup we have, with the appropriate adapters. Good luck with your set-up!

      1. Thank you, Gentlemen, for the reply. I’m not so intent on being able to connect an external tank since my goal is to be in places where a lot of heating is not necessary although I’d just as soon not preclude an external tank if possible. I really need to find out what is at the input end of the electric valve.

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      Author
  21. Pingback: How To Check Your Propane Tank Level Without A Gauge - TheRVgeeks

  22. Great idea as I have wondered the same. My question is the propane line is regulated to 15 psi but the BBQ also has a pressure regulator. Did you disconnect or bypass the BBQ pressure regulator? My small napoleon bbq has the pressure regulator built into the flame controller so a bypass is not possible. In simpler terms will the bbq work properly with 2 regulators?

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      Author

      It will absolutely work with your grill, Tim, just as it works with ours. The trick is using the 15 PSI regulator at the T on the big supply tank. If you were to use a standard 11″ water column regulator (which is what comes on your grill, and ours), that would not work, since 11″ water column equals about 0.4 PSI. There would be too little pressure if you used two in the same line. The 15 PSI is perfect, allowing enough pressure to reach and power the grill (with the grill’s regulator still in place), but not so much pressure that it creates any oil problems in the long hose.

  23. Your video is incredibly timely. I was just thinking I wanted to do this and now you’ve provided all the directions. Thanks for all the informative videos you create. They are greatly appreciated!

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      Author
  24. You mentioned you found oil in the regulator or your Q-grill prior to installing the 15PSI regulator. Did you have to replace the regulator on the grill or is there a way to clean it? Is there an performance indicator(low flame, different color flame) for the presence of oil in the regulator? I have a Q-200 that I am currently feeding with a 15-foot hose without an in-line regulator, other than the one on the grill. I get the same flame color/height using the hose or the small bottle, but that doesn’t mean anything other than the burner is getting gas. I have noticed that when I lite the burner, it will only go half way around, eventually making the full loop. I usually have to tap the burner to make it go all the way around. I’m beginning to think its a pressure or maybe an oil problem now.

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      Hi Jerry. The grill regulator that got full of oil was our old one, and it’s been so many years that we can’t recall if we cleaned it, replaced it, or replaced the whole grill (the oil issue may have coincided with wanting/needing a new grill anyway). We do remember that we had the issue twice…. once in the grill regulator and once on the RV’s regulator (that one happened immediately after a fill-up of what we believe was a bad batch of propane).

      IN the case of the RV, we removed and cleaned the RV regulator with rubbing alcohol by pouring some alcohol in and shaking it vigorously while holding a thumb and finger over the two openings. We did that several times, and then left it to dry for a while, so the alcohol would evaporate after having broken down the oily residue. We figured we had nothing to lose by trying that before going the replacement route. It did work, and the RV’s regulator is still working fine all these years later. That might work for the grill regulator, too, but of course you’ll have to get it off first to try. If it does need to be replaced, they’re readily available: http://amzn.to/2fiWHQD

      The indicator that something was wrong was very low flame, that got so bad it wouldn’t stay lit. If you’re not getting enough flow from either the small bottle OR the RV hose connection, that would make us think that it’s an oil problem in the grill’s regulator.

      Hope this helps!

      1. Curious… If a 15lb regulator is good would there be any advantage to using a 20lb instead?

        I’ve been using two 12′ hoses (and dealing with the oil problem) but wonder if a run of copper pipe from the Tee regulator to the curb side would be preferable? Thanks!

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          Hi Les. As far as we’ve been told, 15psi is about the highest you want to go… otherwise, it’s possible you’ll experience the same oil problem with the run of rubber hose. And we can’t say for sure if a run of copper pipe would solve the oil problem or not, but we’d be concerned about vibration and flex causing a problem (i.e. a leak) with the pipe over time. On our coach, Newmar uses a length of rubber hose to connect from the regulator up to the chassis where the copper pipe is attached (and not susceptible to being torqued/twisted as it’s securely fastened to the chassis). Running copper directly up from the propane tank and across the RV to the curb side could result in a problem in the long run.

  25. Thank you for the great idea. One thing that people may also need to know is that some propane appliances such as some stoves and lanterns that you might want to hook up this way do require high pressure. Anyone doing this would want to shop for a low pressure version of the appliance or have the ability to modify their appliance to run on low pressure.

    In your video you show a picture of your motorhome covered in snow and ice during a long winter stay. We live in northwest Washington state where it can get below freezing for extended periods. We thought that we might like to spend some time in the mountains in winter but thought that would not be possible because our water supply would freeze. How did you supply water to your motorhome and keep the hose and holding tanks from freezing? If this takes some special equipment or technique, maybe you could make an instructional video?

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      Hi Bruce,

      Good point about some appliances needing high pressure in order to operate correctly. If they are like our Weber Q grill, they should work fine using the 15 PSI regulator we installed. But it’s always smart to check first.

      As for RVing in the winter… we have a video (titled “How To RV in the Winter“) about what we did when we stayed in southern BC the year we experienced the snow you saw. We used heat tape in order to keep our water line from freezing, since we were parked in one spot for an extended time. If you’re just going to be in extremely cold weather for a short time, you could avoid that by only hooking up to the water supply to fill your tank, then just running off the tank. That way you don’t need to worry about the water line potentially freezing and rupturing.

      Other than that, be sure you have a means of providing heat in the water compartment to ensure that nothing in there freezes. Many motorhomes have a means of opening a vent from the furnace (or even a dedicated zone from a hydronic heat source) to provide warm air down there whenever the heat kicks on. But you can use a 40-60W incandescent bulb (a trouble light, like this one on Amazon, is great because you can hang it from the built-in hook)… the heat from the light is enough to keep it above freezing there.

      Hope this helps… let us know if you have any other questions and we’ll try to help answer them (or direct you somewhere that you CAN get them answered).

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      Thanks for the nice comment, Larry. Always good to hear we’ve been helpful. That said, we’re not sure we can help with this one long-distance. Of course you need to be especially careful dealing with propane for obvious reasons. The first thing we do in situations like this is determine if we have propane flow and ignition. Do you have spark from the igniter? Is there a pilot light? In our limited experience with RV ovens (our first rig had one) we recall that the pilot had to be successfully lit before you could actually light the oven. If you don’t already have the owners manual, it might help to get your hands on one and follow the instructions for lighting the pilot (again assuming it has one). Hope this helps get you started.

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      Hi Casey! If your RV came with a port for connecting a grill, it’s a virtual certainty that it’s designed to work with a grill that comes equipped with its own regulator, since they all come with one. Can’t imagine that the RV manufacturer wouldn’t know this. The best thing to do is just hook the grill up with its regulator in place and see if it works. Our guess is that it will. If the propane pressure at the port is already regulated down to 11″ water column, there may not be enough pressure to run the grill, but not only is that unlikely, but there’s no harm in trying that first before even considering removing the grill’s regulator. Let us know how you make out!

  26. You guys are amazing!!!! What an easy way to use your grill, The builders of these rv s sould have you giving them ideas so owners like you wont have to do all this after you buy it Have a great day

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      Thanks Gary! They must have been listening to somebody since we bought our rig over 11 years ago, because more and more RVs are coming with propane outlets on the curb side. :)

  27. Talk about timing!! I just had my water heater and ‘fridge serviced at CampingWorld yesterday. The tech was great and let me watch and answered all my questions. We noticed that the flame on the propane burner on the fridge was burping and spitting and the tech eventually came to the conclusion that I might have some oil buildup on my regulator at the propane tank. My initial thought was ‘oil buildup from propane? This guy is just trying to sell me something I don’t need!’ After watching this and after hearing Peter talk about oil buildup in the propane extension, I realized it’s NOT akin to ‘snipe hunting’, and it really exists!! (obviously, I’m new to RVing).

    I think I’ll change out my regulator myself and see if that doesn’t solve the spitting problem on my fridge burner. And if I do that, I’ll likely put in a T-connector for just this type of propane extension.

    As always, excellent video guys!!

    Jim & Jon

    1. Post
      Author

      Absolutely! Oil can indeed be a problem. If the new regulator doesn’t solve your burping and spitting issue, check out two other things. Our original Norcold fridge had the same problem, and it turned out to be a cracked burner orifice (the tiny little hole that the propane comes out right where it mixes with air and ignites). Took us a LOT of service stops to diagnose that one. The other thing to check is for spiders or mud daubers in the air inlet. We’ve heard that can cause ignition problems also. Good luck and please let us know how you make out. Thanks guys.

      1. Thanks for the suggestions! I just replaced the regulator but the sputtering is still there. It seems to be reduced, but maybe that’s my imagination. I’ll let it run for awhile and see how it behaves.

        A new burner element will be next on the list of things to try if I’m not happy with the fridge behavior. It does cool, even with the sputtering flame. I found this out because the tech left the fridge on, so it ran overnight sitting in front of the house (!) and the everything the freezer and fridge sections were cool this morning. I might just leave it be until something stops working completely….

        Thanks again!!

        Jim n Jon

  28. Another video. Thanks, enjoy ’em all.

    Did this years ago on our old 5’th wheel. When we purchase our Tiffin in 2014 I found oil in the system on our first trip. So after regulator replacement, etc., I added a tee with a sediment trap at the tank outlet after the on/off value, and I relocated the regulator above the tank, this way oil and foreign matter should stay below the regulator.

    re, mike
    san jose, ca.

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      Author

      Great solution, Mike. Sounds like you had oil inside the tank itself, which we’ve been lucky to have never experienced. Ours only built up in the long hose, and for a while (after we discovered oil but before we added the 15 PSI regulator), we added a propane filter into the line (between the two 12′ hoses). That worked fine, but we always considered it a stop-gap measure until we stopped the oil from forming by lowering the pressure in the hose.

  29. Hi guys !
    I was wondering, is there two regulators in between the thank and the BBQ. One at the exit on the T fitting and one on the Weber ?
    Shouldn’t you only need one at the T fitting ?

    As usual, you have done a great job.

    Thank you !

    1. Post
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      Bon Jour Jean! Thanks so much. You are correct that there are indeed two regulators. The one on the grill is built on, and not easily removable without modification. If it had been easily removable, we could have simply removed it and moved it to the far end of the hose (coming right off the T), eliminating the need for the extra 15 psi regulator.

      A couple of notes about the regulators…. we mentioned that the main one going into the RV is “11 inches water column” which equals about 0.4 PSI. That is a standard that just about all appliances use, including the grill. So the small built-in regulator on the grill is also 11 inches water column.

      As we mentioned, the only reason we needed to add in regulation coming off the T is to prevent the oily build-up that can occur in the long hose. But the reason we used a 15 PSI unit at the T (rather than a standard 11″ water column model) is that there wouldn’t be enough pressure to run the grill due to double regulation (having TWO 11″ water column units won’t work).

      So the 15 PSI regulator at the T reduces the pressure enough to prevent oil build-up, while still providing enough input pressure for the grill’s regulator.

      Hope this is all clear!

  30. I had a setup like this for a while…except there were a few issues. 1) Each time I disconnected the grill for storage, the supply line from the onboard propane tank would then empty itself…and you would waste that amount of propane. You’d have to put a shutoff at the end near the grill to prevent that from happening. 2) There were plenty of times where I wanted to locate the grill in an area that was too far away from where I had the auxiliary propane supply line and it kept me tethered to a certain area. 3) I would go through my onboard propane tank quicker…and refilling a motorhome propane tank is somewhat inconvenient.

    The way I solved this was to purchase a 20 lb propane tank that comes equipped with most home grills. They are easy to refill and they last a long time — especially if only used for cooking. I then purchased a splitter that I attached to the tank. This allowed me to place the propane tank anywhere in the campground I wanted — and the splitter allowed me to hook up my grill and my camp chef stove at the same time. There is plenty of pressure from the tank to run both simultaneously . Granted the tank was one more thing to carry around with me, but I liked the flexibility of being able to place my cooking equipment wherever I wanted — including far away from the camper — especially if I was deep-frying in a dutch oven base. And refilling a 20 lb propane tank could be done at nearly every gas station or big box store which were all over during our daily jaunts away from camp. And lastly, I would only have to refill the propane tank once per season (YMMV).

    To keep an eye on tank level, you can either get a propane tank that has a float inside it which will give you very accurate results (but the tanks are expensive) or do what I did and purchase a level that is basically a spring, a hook, a gauge, and a handle. Simply hook the tank to the gauge, lift the tank off the ground, and look at the reading. Takes 2 seconds and is accurate enough. To do the above you’ll need an adapter hose to go from the propane tank to the existing tap that is attached to the regulator that is designed to accept small spin-on tanks.

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      Sounds like your system is working great for you, Rob! Thanks so much for all the input. There sure are many ways to skin a cat. :) Since we never set the grill up anywhere other than along the curb side of our RV, portability wasn’t a priority for us, but we can sure see where you’d want that in your case. As far as losing propane from the line when disconnecting the grill for storage, the quick-connects prevent that through the use of an internal valve, and the little gate valve on it. We’ve had our grill disconnected for months at a time (when traveling away from the RV) and it fires up instantly upon our return every time.

      1. Excellent point about the quick-disconnect. Y’all are really fantastic. Have been camping since I was a kid — so for the last 40 years. But didn’t get our first camper until 5 years ago. Your how-to vids were absolutely instrumental in getting us going — and I have referred countless fellow-campers to your site/videos. Thanks SO incredible much for all you do. :)

  31. I have wanted to do this with my 5th wheel. I have 2 – 30 lb cylinders located in a compartment next to my front legs. The bottles take up all the space and there is no room that I can see to tap off from to get the extend hose attached. Could you do a set up like mine as most 5th wheels have the same arrangement…

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      Hi Robert. Sorry to report that we have no experience with 5th wheel-specific systems, and aren’t sure how the connections work on the propane. We’d suggest a good place to look for info about that is on the user forums at iRV2. If you’re not already on them, it’s free to sign up and post questions at http://irv2.com/forums or you might find threads about this already in 5th wheel or brand specific forums. Sorry we’re not of more help on this one, but we don’t want to speculate about a system we’re not familiar with, especially where something like propane is concerned.

    2. Robert,
      I have a 5th wheel with tanks on each side also. I had an “extend-a-stay” type high pressure setup with a 15 foot hose for connection between the tank and the regulator for my former TT. I bought the kit from an online propane equipment site. I parted it out and put the “T” inline between the tank and the red regulator(probably 15PSI) on the pipe that goes across the trailer from the curb side to the street side main regulator and other tank. Other adapters and 90’s were purchased at the local big box store. After seeing this video, I will be going back and adding a 15PSI regulator prior to my shut-off valve to lower the pressure to prevent oil buildup in the hose.

      Current connections:
      Curb side Tank / hose ==> T (base of T to red regulator, other side towards grill) ==> shut-off valve ===> 90 (to point path downward) ==> quick disconnect ==>15 foot hose ==> regulator on grill

      Jerry

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        Thanks so much for jumping in here, Jerry! Hope this helps get Robert on the right track, too. And we do think you’re going the right route by adding the 15 PSI regulator at the tank, since that hose is an oily build-up waiting to happen, even if it’s not your current problem. If you do remove your current grill regulator, it will be easy to tell if it’s getting oil in it, since it will slowly start dripping out when you hold it with one of the openings facing downward. Please let us know how you make out with that.

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