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The Continuing Saga of the Commodore's Cruiser

Propane Tank Compartment Upgrade

Courtesy of Richard "Arch" Archer

Richard Archer("Arch") is in the process of rebuilding a 1976 Glenbrook with 128,000 miles that he purchased for $5,000. This is another installment in the continuing saga of one man's adventure with a "bargain" GMC.
When I opened the hatch for the propane tank it was sad. No it was ugly. So its time to fix it. Lots of rust and almost two shovels full of dirt to the rear of the tank. It is obvious to me that these three holes under the tank are letting a lot of stuff thrown up by the wheels come inside. Got to fix that. Talked to several people. Most said to put ¼" plywood over the holes. I dont like that. The holes are there to let out a lot of propane in a hurry if needed.

Well first we take out the plywood - it is in very good shape. I had about a ½ gallon of light gray stain left from painting one of my rental units so painted the old plywood, inside and out. From several posts here and private conversations I have heard about how cold the water tank gets. I would also bet it gets hot in summer. All that separates the tank and the outside is that piece of heat conducting aluminum. Earlier, I insulated inside of the coach(next to the water tank) with ½ inch foil covered urethane foam now I put another ½ inch in the compartment(next to the propane tank). This should go a long way in keeping the water warm in winter and cool in summer.

Sanded tank, sprayed with rust converter, primed, and painted. Then took it to my local propane dealer - he flushed it out with methyl alcohol and installed a new service valve(the old one had a very slow leak) and a new fill valve. I had one stick and not shut off on the LeSharo; just did it. He also put in a new bleed off valve. The old one had to be too tight to seal. I should add here we tried to get a new 80% fill valve to put in this tank. The problem is that our tanks are a spray fill tank; very advanced for its time. An 80% valve can not be put on this tank.

OK, upgrade time. Moving to the right from the POL, first the high pressure outlet so I can hookup my fish fryer and deep fried turkey cooker. Next the 2 stage regulator and then the new hose.

Here is the big solution. I bought a standard house vent. It had screen over the louvers. I paid $1.95 for it. I cut it into 3 pieces as shown. I then installed them with the louvers opening to the back of the coach. I put silly-cone all around the edge and screwed them in place with stainless steel screws. I now have the best of all worlds. I have the holes just in case the pop-off valve blows. With the louvers facing back any propane will be sucked out while driving and the wheels cant throw so much dirt in there. With the screen over the holes there should not be any more wasp nests in there. There were 4 when I bought it. This is the best $1.95 I have spent so far.

Now this looks a lot better. The problem is you cant see the vent covers. The best and cheapest idea yet.

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© 1998 by Patrick Flowers. All Rights Reserved
Revised 10/26/98