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  • Dangerous* Propane Adapter

    *Dangerous in the hands of your humble moderator, I should caveat!

    Like all good stories, this one starts with "So there I was...".

    So there I was packing away my Little Red Campfire (LRC) after using it last night (for only the second time). To understand what happened next, the reader needs to understand that I used an adapter to get propane from a small green bottle instead of using a full-size, 20lb propane tank. The LRC has a connection for a standard propane tank, not a small green bottle. The adapter setup worked well--no problem having a "campfire" last night.

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    This morning I went to put everything away and while trying to unscrew the adapter from the bottle I inadvertently unscrewed the LRC's line from the adapter leaving the adapter still attached to the propane bottle. As you can guess by the title of this post that didn't go well--the adapter has no safety, so gas vented furiously from the bottle.

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    A white cloud immediately mushroomed around me--super dangerous situation. I wasn't going to try and unscrew the adapter at that point. I was in an "immediate action" situation. I ran away from the camper (bottle in hand) and thrust the venting end into the (soft) ground making sure there was nothing like a rock that would spark. It took less than a minute for the gas to stop venting. Of course there was no breeze so the gas smell hung in the air for a good couple of minutes.

    Thankfully where I'm parked there is good spacing between me and the neighbors. (Certainly not the case in most of the RV parks I've frequented.) I got lucky in that regard.

    So that's my tale this morning. I hope by telling it that it saves someone else from making the same mistake.

    Howard
    Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

    Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

  • #2
    You're right howson, that is a good story. Glad you are okay! I have a similar experience with one of those propane bottle distribution trees. I disconnected the tree from the bottle and it proceeded to vent out the propane that was still in there, and those little things hold a fair amount of gas. Thankfully I could connect it back onto the bottle before a substantial mushroom cloud formed for me, but still with propane being so heavy compared to air, it certainly sticks around.

    All part of the experience
    2019 Imagine 2400bh
    2019 f150 XLT Crew, EcoBoost, 6.5' box, 3.55 ratio

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    • #3
      Exciting morning for sure. At least the little bottles don't hold much, but still dangerous for sure. I do not know what connection is on the pit itself, but I have the one Jim does and modified it to run off the grill port on the rig. No tanks to mess with.

      Glad you are safe.
      Neil Citro
      2018 Reflection 28bh
      2019 F350 6.7L Long Bed Crew Cab

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      • #4
        Well that will substitute for a cup of coffee any day. Glad that you are all OK as this could have turned bad in a hurry. As an aside , and not that it makes much difference , brass should not create a spark.

        Brian
        Brian & Michelle
        2018 Reflection 29RS Oct.2017 build date, EMS-HW50C , Lippert Remote
        2015 Chevy 3500HD CC LB Duramax , Reese Elite 18K

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Country Campers View Post
          ... brass should not create a spark.
          Well at least there was one factor on my side! (Another tidbit I'd forgotten about.)

          Forum moderators are not GD employees--we are volunteers and owners presumably just like yourself. Unless specifically mentioned otherwise, we have nothing to gain should you choose to purchase a product or engage a service we discuss on this forum.

          Howard, 2017 Ford F-350 DRW, '19 315RLTSPlus

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          • #6
            Howard howson - you need to get a solar/battery powered fire pit and stop playing with flammable things ! Trust your solar system has an "app for that" or you will build one. Be careful out there my friend ! This was a good piece of information that you shared.

            Dan
            Dan & Carol
            2014 303RLS Reflection #185 (10/2013 build)
            2012 Silverado LTZ Crew Duramax 2500HD - 2700/16K Pullrite Superglide

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            • #7
              An adapter like that without a shutoff is dangerous in and of itself unless you use all the gas in the cylinder. At this point you know to remove the cylinder from the adapter first.

              With regards to the distribution tree for propane devices, mine has 3 connection possibilities. But the long tube acts as a cylinder once filled. What I do to alleviate this is I typically have a lantern as the top connection. I leave the lantern on, and shut the gas off at the main cylinder. The lantern will burn the rest of the gas in the tube and then just go out. This works well as I turn off the gas and I have perhaps 10 or 15 minutes of light to take care of putting other stuff away before the light goes out. Very handy when tent camping too.
              Tony G
              2020 Chevy Silverado 3500 Highcountry
              2016 Grand Designs Reflection 303RLS
              KTM 250XC

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              • #8
                I nearly lost a good friend 20 years ago due to a propane fire. He was moving from California to Arizona and needed to empty a 5 gallon cylinder before the movers would take it. He took it in the back yard, installed a cut off hose and opened the handle to vent it to the atmosphere. A cloud of propane formed near the ground where he was standing. He forgot about the pilot light on the water heater at the back of the house. It ignited the cloud of propane that Mark was standing in. He was engulfed in flames and severely burned. He survived, but he is now scarred for life. Moral: Be careful with that stuff. It can kill you. BTW, Mark's nickname is now Blaze.

                Jim
                The moderators for this site are not GDRV employees, but we do own GDRV products.

                Jim and Ginnie
                2017 Reflection 297RSTS

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                • #9
                  howson Howard,

                  Nice that you are unscathed. Good lesson to pass on to others.

                  Jim
                  2017 Imagine 2600RB
                  2015 GMC Sierra 4x4

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                  • #10
                    Sounds like one of these should be in your future;

                    https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/...F9WPP7CA&psc=1

                    Before your next outing when you will want to be using that fire pit.

                    Ray
                    2008 Dodge Ram 2500
                    2022 GD Reflection 260RD

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                    • #11
                      howson This story should almost start with the phrase "Here Hold My BEER, and Watch This".

                      I have an adapter that is used to re-fill those little green bottles (not highly recommended) that I use for hunting. It should be noted that these bottles are the cheapest thing built next to a BIC ink pen. The valves have been known to stick open. Everyone should be cautions around propane, and always when disconnecting bottles, be prepared to either to reconnect, or toss in a save direction to prevent the build up of gas.
                      Joseph
                      Tow
                      Vehicle: 2018 GMC K2500 Denali Diesel
                      Coach: 303RLS Delivered March 5, 2021
                      South of Houston Texas

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                      • #12
                        Just for an added level of safety, I got a set of these to use when storing/transporting the cylinders. As Jlawles2 mentioned, the valves in those are not real swift.

                        https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

                        Terry and Patty (Dogs-Sophie and Tessa)
                        2020 Reflection 297RSTS - bought Oct 2019
                        2021 F350 crew cab, SRW, 6.7L diesel, 14K equal-i-zer hitch

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                        • #13
                          I would highly recommend the caps for the small cylinders. I have experienced these small cylinders not shutting off after removal from whatever they were supplying. Not like the valve is completely open, just a small hiss. I do not trust them. Imagine taking apart your lantern, and stowing the lantern and culinder in your side compartment, with a leaking cylinder, building up propane gas in your storage. A pilot or an electrical spark and Boom. Not a good situation. USE THE CAPS!

                          I also would not trust refilling these cylinders. I doubt the valves are very sturdy to begin with; they're made for a one time use. If you do choose to refill them, use the caps.
                          Tony G
                          2020 Chevy Silverado 3500 Highcountry
                          2016 Grand Designs Reflection 303RLS
                          KTM 250XC

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