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4fun

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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #1 

I didn’t like the big gas boxes on the front of my 440. Why not?

  • Extra unnecessary weight,
  • clumsy to get tanks in and out (the rubber protection strips kept coming off),
  • specifically clumsy if you forgot to take one out when setting up camp - and you’ve already opened for front bed,
  • I couldn’t open the back door of my defender for more than 15 cm,
  • bad turning circle. I had dents on both boxes where the back of my defender (I have a rear bumper) had collided with it.
  • turning the jockey wheel handle was difficult and has resulted a few times in scratches on my knuckles

Do NOT take my word for this, but when reading the official gas rules I can’t find anything that says that a gas bottle on an A frame needs to be in a box.

However if you DO put it in a box, then it needs to be well ventilated, hence the inverted snorkel pipes. And it’s not allowed to have them in the same box with e.g. the webasto hot water heater or anything that may spark.

I’m furthermore reading that the A frame at the front is the safest spot to carry gas bottles. The rear would be just about the worst place, and inside is illegal unless it’s in a separate enclosure that is well ventilated.

I also checked out quite a few other camper trailer manufacturers, and I'm seeing quite a few models that still carry gas bottles on the A frame without a complete box enclosure around it, so I'm pretty sure this feature was intended to make the front look nice.

So, for good old memories, here's the old situation one more time :-)

_DSC0722.jpg 
First thing I did was remove the boxes, measure out the gas bottle holders that I purchased, and take away a chunk of the metal from the 'platform' with an angle grinder. In the next picture you can see the left side 'done' and the markings on the right side of what I'm about to take off.

_DSC0724.jpg 
To mount the gas bottle holders I used M8 high tensile bolts with decent washers to give it all some strength, as well as obviously the use of our beloved SikaFlex 227.

The slight problem was that the big bolts were sticking out on the inside of the storage space and potentially the webasto diesel fuel tank could be rubbing against it. To prevent this from happening I used some rubber on the inside to give the tank some space.

_DSC0727.jpg 

I also needed to move the diesel tank slightly since one of the three long bolts was sitting in the way with the new gas holders so I drilled two new holes and used a piece of aluminium to cover the old holes (again with some sikaflex magic to make it waterproof).

I then mounted the two new gas bottle holders, and used plenty of sikaflex on all contact areas to get maximum bonding strength.

Note also the rubber protection I put on the sides of the steel platform as well as on the gas bottle holders.

_DSC0730.jpg 
After that I put back the diesel tank, and whilst doing so I remembered that filling the tank with diesel wasn't always easy because it's difficult to put the filler in the tank opening. I realised that I could easily bend a bit of the brown aluminium section out of the way, and now it's much easier to fill the tank.

_DSC0728.jpg 
Here's the end result.

_DSC0732.jpg

Note that the locks on the gas holders are on the left and right side. This wasn't so when I purchased the gas holders, but I used the angle grinder on one to take loose the front part, and then went to a welder who put it back 180 degrees mirrored.

I believe this looks pretty OK and I have shaved a few Kg off the tow ball weight. Also, the defender door opens almost completely and my turning circle is better as well!!!

Finally, the connection between the gas bottle and the gas burner is with a very short hose. It's just long enough to put the gas bottle on the ground below the burner but I think this is clumsy, and it's an extra action again because I always need to take the tank out of the holder, put it below the burner and then connect the gas regulator to it. It creates clutter around the camper, and well .. I didn't like it.

I understand why the hose is short. The shorter the hose, the less chance of damage and leaks and the less chance of people tripping over it. What I'd like is to get a short 1M extension to the hose, long enough so that I can keep the connection to the gas stove permanently connected, and have a hose that is just long enough to connect it to the gas tank whilst it's still firmly sitting in it's gas holder on the A frame.

Not only is this easier and less work, but I believe it's also safer. The hose will be short enough so that there isn't an increased risk of tripping over it but my most important consideration is fire. Let's assume something on the gas burner gets on fire and you want to shut down gas supply by closing the knob on the gas tank. Guess what is easier and safer: a tank that is standing UNDER the kitchen that is on fire, or a tank that is slightly out of the way on the A frame, in a position that is fixed and that you can find with your eyes closed? I'm betting that the A frame location is better and safer.

If there is anyone more familiar than I am with gas rules, could you please let me know if extending the gas hose with a meter is allowed? I'd be happy to have a gas fitter extend it if that's what it would take, although I believe I can get an extension hose from Bunnings.

OK, that's it folks. Have fun with your UEV, and modification projects.


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Doc

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Reply with quote  #2 
Hi 4fun - always enjoy reading your posts mate. Not a gas expert by any stretch of the imagination but, if it's helpful, I was talking to a Caravan Gas fitter before Christmas and was asking about hose length maximums. He said at the time that he was able to sell me a braided line to about 1500mm but that there was some new type of braided hose (which had a skin over the top of the braiding) which could go out longer again. I can't remember much more than that but maybe that points you in the right direction. I'll see if I can find his contact details and give him a call if you'd like too.
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comjero

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Reply with quote  #3 
Hey 4fun nice job, I`m about to do similar to mine by mounting gas bottles the same and hard piping to a bayonet fitting probably up under the front bed. So it would be accessible when kitchen is slid out and I can connect to it via a flexible braided line with isolation still at the cylinders 
My brother in-law is a licensed gas fitter so he can sign it off as legal (as long as it complies to NSW regulations) thanks for the updates on you mods and the photos
Cheers 
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4fun

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thanks Doc, I'll look around in my area first, but if I can't find anything I'll definitely ping you. Thanks for the offer.
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Der Wutzl

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Reply with quote  #5 
I have extended my gas hose on our 490 with a 1.5m extension (available from a number of gas fitters/camping stores) and connect in situ.  I also added a gas fuse to detect any leaks which also gives you a measure of the content of the bottle.
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Monstered up 2012 Prado Kakadu (chip, exhaust, lift, winch etc etc),  2013 UEV-490 Evolution
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OneEye

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Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #6 
Hi 4fun. I am in the process of removing one of my gas cylinders (only need one and will replace with tool box) which are up front on the A frame and in the open. Having probs removing the plate that the gas bottle sits on. What did you use to cut thru the sikaflex? I assume an angle grinder?
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4fun

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Posts: 150
Reply with quote  #7 
OneEye, in all cases where I need to separate something that is glued with Sikaflex I have used a hammer and big screw driver that I would slowly drive between the two materials. The sikaflex is (as the name suggests) flexible so it'll give way, and at some point you'll have created so much space between the two materials that the sikaflex tears apart. Depending on the total surface area that is glued, that may require some force and patience.

If that doesn't work, please take a picture so I can see your setup, which sounds to be different from mine.

Cheers,

Ed.

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OneEye

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Reply with quote  #8 
4fun. See attached photo. The gas cylinder sits in a frame that is glued to the metal base attached to the A frame.

Attached Images
jpeg image.jpeg (1.01 MB, 50 views)

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William the Conqueror

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Reply with quote  #9 
OneEye

I had to remove my gas holders when I upgraded the tool box on my 2012 490.

I used a piece of wide flat bar with a sharpened end and belted it underneath until it gave way. - You will not save the gas holder!

Cheers

Anthony

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OneEye

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Reply with quote  #10 
Thanks guys.........
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Drover

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Reply with quote  #11 
The mod makes it look like my 2012 440 UEV.
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William the Conqueror

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Reply with quote  #12 
Exactly - why did they change it in the first place?

Definitely not because of gas regs (as was reported by Conqueror Australia). My mates trailer has his gas in the same location and it is certified.

Below is my 2012 490 front end.

Cheers

Anthony

Attached Images
jpeg image.jpeg (1.00 MB, 65 views)
jpeg image.jpeg (961.04 KB, 60 views)


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4fun

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Reply with quote  #13 
I have no idea why it was changed. It doesn't make sense at all.
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