Gas plumbing suggestion


Staff member
I like to work on my own stuff, and I like to modify things so that they are more reliable and/or more easy to work on.

Here's a suggestion for any of you who like simple things that make life way easier ...
Put separate gas isolation valves under your rig in the propane supply lines (assuming you can get to them under there), or if not under your rig, then inside it.

Just like having shut off valves for water plumbing, gas appliances are far easier to work on (and safer) when you have isolation valves. When my RV was delivered to me, there was only one way to work on the propane supply system; shut the tanks off! There was no shut off at individual locations.

So I took it upon myself to correct this; under the RV, I separated each supply line (water heater, fridge, stove, furnace) and installed a simple gas-rated ball valve in-line to the appliances. There is a main 1/2" pipe that runs along the underbelly, and then each line just came off at a Tee and headed right to the appliance. All I had to do was disconnect the compression coupler, install a ball valve, and then recouple.

This makes any work easier, and frankly nearly perfect in a time of "must do it now". If, for example, your water heater got a gas leak necessitating shutting it down, and yet you needed the furnace to run because it was 45F all night, you can isolate the H20 heater line and shut it down without affecting the rest of the rig.

I was not shocked, but disappointed, that simple things like this are not standard on all RVs. They may be included in high-end stuff, but typical "normal" RVs will have either one main shut off valve under the front of the RV on the main header supply, or none at all (having to turn off the tanks as your only resort).
Great idea! Never thought about doing this. Probably like auto manufacturing , they watch every expense.
Spasm, you are probably correct. It's not that each appliance shouldn't have a shutoff valve, but the accountants say, "why spend the $20 for three 1/4 turn ball valves, when it's not required and may never get used?".

I think I'll do this to my trailer.
When I had to pull out my furnace for some home repairs, I was pleased that I had done the upgrade several years ago.

For we whom do our own work, or want the convenience of avoiding the inconvenience of a total shutdown of gas during a trip, it's no big deal to spend the money. But for the RV industry, when you add up all the extra fittings and valves they don't have to pay for, it really is a savings for them.