Turning gas off underslung tank

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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Jaytee on Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:37 pm

Good point, no sorry I don't know Dave. confused3

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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Gromit on Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:45 pm

Thanks anyway.

I'm sure there will be a simple way around it which will satisfy the Tunnel people. It appears they are happy if only the internal isolating valves are turned off - which is a bit surprising.

I shall have to wait until we get the new van and see how it goes.

Thanks

Dave
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by artheytrate on Tue Mar 17, 2015 3:25 pm

I've had another look under my Broadway today and there is a yellow lever type valve next to the regulator which I can switch off when needed. It is still easier to switch it off if you kneel down.

John.
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Cymro on Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:57 pm

That makes two of us, Artheytrate: I ventured under the Nuevo for the first time this afternoon. Found that the cover on the side of the cylinder (next to the inside of the offside skirt) is just above the fresh water tank outflow tap. No need to mark it's location. So I lay on my back, and reached up to locate the cover's retaining knob. Undid it, and the cover came down. That revealed a gauge (which couldn't be read because it was facing the skirt) and some wires, and the brass master control knob. I turned that off, and on again, to get the feel of it. Didn't happen to notice the yellow lever type valve which you mentioned - but wasn't really looking for anything other than the brass master control knob. Next time (goodness knows when!) I'll look out for it.  Reinstalling the cover was easy.

So it's not fearsome - but not a job to do when it's raining or dark; and I don't know how long I'll remain sufficiently supple to get down there!

Having seen it (it's as shown in the extract from the handbook which I posted earlier) I still can't work out how having a removable hole in the skirt would help unless it's a big one - because the cover has to be unscrewed and removed (it would have to be a sizeable hole to allow the cover to come through) before you can put your hand through to reach the master control valve.

Anyway, I'm less worried now, albeit that I hope never to have to go through that palaver for the ferryman! (Might cause me to meet another FerryMan!)

Cymro
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Bad Penny on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:05 pm

Hi Gromit. Sorry, but I emailed them last year with this question, and they were adamant it must be turned off at the tank. It is obviously a safety issue while being in the tunnel. 
Speak to them direct rather than go by what people think they know, then you are clear as to the regulations.

As you may know, they do not accept vehicles which run on LPG, so probably they are afraid of this substance and what it can do.  They also limit the quantity of LPG which can be carried through the tunnel, I'm not sure of the figure but there is a restriction. 

Hope this helps
Regards Leighton.
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Bad Penny on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:10 pm

Cymro keep drinking Brains beer and you will be supple for many years to come.

Leighton.
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:46 pm

Bad Penny wrote:Hi Gromit. Sorry, but I emailed them last year with this question, and they were adamant it must be turned off at the tank. It is obviously a safety issue while being in the tunnel. 
Speak to them direct rather than go by what people think they know, then you are clear as to the regulations.

As you may know, they do not accept vehicles which run on LPG, so probably they are afraid of this substance and what it can do.  They also limit the quantity of LPG which can be carried through the tunnel, I'm not sure of the figure but there is a restriction. 

Hope this helps
Regards Leighton.
Eurotunnel regs on LPG. http://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/site-information/lpg/

Note the comments about easy access to valves and gauges.

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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Quilter on Tue Mar 17, 2015 5:59 pm

PLOUGHLIN wrote:

Note the comments about easy access to valves and gauges.


No problem on the Uk side of the tunnel in October last. We offered the young man who did the checking a mat to save him getting wet and dirty  ( it was raining heavily and the whole affair was outside, not under shelter) but he refused, had clearly done it before and knew exactly where to look to check it was turned off.

We did suggest that Eurotunnel provide him with a rubber mat or one of those wheeled trolly thingies that you lie on and, if underslung gas tanks become more common, then they might just do this.

The French side accepted our word that it was off.

G
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Gromit on Tue Mar 17, 2015 7:32 pm

Bad Penny wrote:Hi Gromit. Sorry, but I emailed them last year with this question, and they were adamant it must be turned off at the tank. It is obviously a safety issue while being in the tunnel. 
Speak to them direct rather than go by what people think they know, then you are clear as to the regulations.

As you may know, they do not accept vehicles which run on LPG, so probably they are afraid of this substance and what it can do.  They also limit the quantity of LPG which can be carried through the tunnel, I'm not sure of the figure but there is a restriction. 

Hope this helps
Regards Leighton.

Thanks Leighton, and the others who have offered suggestions. I don't think there is a definitive answer judging from the varying experiences of the members posting on this thread.

Like Cymro, my main concern is about my continuing ability to crawl under the van.

If I can't easily reach the little yellow handle on the regulator, I think I shall resort to a similar philosophy in the debate about where to put the LPG filler for a Gaslow system. If it's inside the locker there's a concern that some French filling stations will refuse you. If it's on the skirt outside, there's much less risk of being refused.

Likewise with the Tunnel question I think (I hope confused3 ) an easily accessible external isolation valve is likely to be accepted. My conclusion (thanks largely to the input on this thread) is that such a valve will not cost very much to have fitted, and in any case it will be useful for turning off the gas when driving. If it works at the Tunnel check-in I shall be delighted, but I shall still carry a groundsheet . . .

 . . . just in case I have to shove the wife under the van!! broomstick

Thanks again all


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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Cymro on Tue Mar 17, 2015 11:20 pm

Forgot to mention the Bonus: when I gingerly lowered the cover from the cylinder this afternoon, there inside it was an Engineer's adjustable wrench - much better quality than the one I have!

Leighton: Glad to hear you like Brains. Their SA (Strong ale) is fondly referred to here as Skull Attack!
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Bad Penny on Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:41 pm

I spoke to Alan Curry today, he is the gas expert at AS. He said it is acceptable to turn the gas supply off via the yellow switch on the regulator of the gas tank. He also said it is accepted by the Channel Tunnel company.

Leighton.
P.S  No more from me on this subject.
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Gromit on Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:37 pm

Thank you for that Leighton.

Alan is very sound so it's good to hear reassuring advice from him.

No more from me on the subject either so :-

It's goodnight from me, and it's goodnight from him! drinksallround

Dave
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Cymro on Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:43 pm

Bad Penny wrote:I spoke to Alan Curry today, he is the gas expert at AS. He said it is acceptable to turn the gas supply off via the yellow switch on the regulator of the gas tank. He also said it is accepted by the Channel Tunnel company.

Leighton.
P.S  No more from me on this subject.
 Er.... what yellow switch on the regulator of the gas tank?

When on my back underneath the AS, looking up at the gas tank, there's the cover; when that is removed, there's what is shown in the diagram which I posted earlier in this thread - which shows the brass master turn-off screw knob.  I didn't see any yellow switch.

Are you referring to the in-pipeline knobs within the AS? (Sorry - am colour blind and can't describe them). But they're inside, and not the first control from the cylinder, and so may not satisfy Tunnel Jobsworths.

Could you please decsribe exactly where the yellow switch is?

Thanks

Cymro
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by artheytrate on Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:57 pm

artheytrate wrote:I've had another look under my Broadway today and there is a yellow lever type valve next to the regulator which I can switch off when needed. It is still easier to switch it off if you kneel down.

John.

Here Cymro.
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Bad Penny on Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:32 pm

Hi Cymro, the yellow switch is next to the gas tank where the gas pipe leaves the tank and enters the regulator, the switch is there. Therefore underneath the vehicle.

Hope this helps you find it, once you know it's position it will be easy from then on. You don't remove the cover.

Regards Leighton.
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Cymro on Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:36 pm

Shall use my Davy Lamp tomorrow and crawl back underneath!  I fear that the liberal coating of black waxoyl will exacerbate the hunt for the elusive yellow switch!

Many thanks for the details.
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Cymro on Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:05 am

BINGO!  Thanks to Leighton's information, I found that (a) the regulator, and the yellow switch by which the supply can be turned off, is not under the metal cover which protects the master control valve on the cylinder; (b) the regulator and yellow switch lie to the rear of the cylinder, in front of the rear O?S wheel, tucked up near the skirt and below the floor; (c) no wonder I'd missed it: mine was smothered in black underseal.

So after the delights of cleaning the switch with white spirit (which, of course ran down my arm and covered my specs) I revealed the yellow. And I turned it off / on a few times just to ensure it works.

Now, to return to the aspect of this thread which pointed out that the Tunnel and ferries require the gas supply to be turned off externally, the yellow tap is certainly more convenient to reach than the brass master valve, because to reach the latter you first have to remove the metal cover. But, on an unmodified AS, you still have to lie on your back on the ground with a torch! I can now understand how a hole in the skirt will permit easier access to that yellow tap.

However, if someone insists that the supply is turned off "at source", then it has to me the brass master valve.  The AS Handbook makes no mention of the yellow tap, but merely says that, for the Tunnel and ferries, all the (internal) red gas supply isolating taps must be turned off - but that, as we now know - is insufficient to comply with the official requirements.

Many thanks to Forum Members for their patience and advice.
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Angel6855 on Fri Mar 27, 2015 9:18 pm

Gromit wrote:P.S. Should have said "externally accessed" isolation valve - in what used to be the gas locker.

I don't think they would be happy if only the internal isolating valves were turned off. The surveillance cameras would not be able to see if the gas was turned on again after inspection.

Dave
We have travelled to France via the Eurotunnel twice now. The first trip in our van which had bottles in an external  locker. They were checked at Folkstone to ensure they were disconnected but no checks were made in Calais.
The second trip last September was in our new Warwick XL. They were happy to check the 3 internal valves were in the off position and did not check or insist the valve in the under slung tank was off. Again, in Calais, no checks were made.

David.
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by KMRTOPAZ on Fri Mar 27, 2015 11:37 pm

There is a solution, already referred to in a previous post. A recently departed Timberland Endevour had a 12v solenoid-controlled valve with a switch on a panel at the point of exit.
It was readily accessible from inside or outside through the open door. I cannot comment on the current drain mentioned previously, but with two 110AH leisure batteries on board, that's not surprising. I have no knowledge of the possibility of a retrofit.
PS While you are underneath as described above, take a moment to check the condition of the tank mounting straps !

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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Infared on Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:22 am

Angel6855 wrote:
Gromit wrote:P.S. Should have said "externally accessed" isolation valve - in what used to be the gas locker.

I don't think they would be happy if only the internal isolating valves were turned off. The surveillance cameras would not be able to see if the gas was turned on again after inspection.

Dave
We have travelled to France via the Eurotunnel twice now. The first trip in our van which had bottles in an external  locker. They were checked at Folkstone to ensure they were disconnected but no checks were made in Calais.
The second trip last September was in our new Warwick XL. They were happy to check the 3 internal valves were in the off position and did not check or insist the valve in the under slung tank was off. Again, in Calais, no checks were made.

David.

When I go through the tunnel next month I shall show them the 3 internal valves are off and see what happens!!  Actually we have a forth valve for the external BBQ point as well.
We did three trips last year with bottles in an external locker and no checks were carried out in Calais.
Ian
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by rich g on Sat Mar 28, 2015 9:02 am

Help needed I have looked under my van and cannot find where to turn the gas off,if it's on the tank I cannot reach that far in.
ThNks

Rich
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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Gromit on Sat Mar 28, 2015 10:16 am

Thanks to David and Ian.

On the one hand I'm pleased to hear that the Tunnel operators are not likely to cause problems by sticking to the letter of their own regulations, but on the other hand it does not fill me with confidence when travelling with them.

It seems they are prepared to trust motorhomers not to switch on their gas from the internal cut-off valves, and use it while in transit. Regrettably there are idiots around who will disregard any rules and safety advice, and I'm sure a few are stupid enough to brew up while under the Channel.

I was told by one of the British attendants as he checked my gas, that they wanted external cut-off valves to be used so their surveillance cameras could catch anyone who tried to switch their gas back on again after checking. That seems eminently sensible to me, and although I seriously do not want to crawl under the van, I would feel more secure if fellow travellers could not turn on their gas without being detected. (Hence my interest in the reachable valve by the regulator, or the installation of an accessible in-line valve under the skirt.)

 Perhaps I'm over cautious in me old age! shrugg

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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Jaytee on Sat Mar 28, 2015 11:24 am

I think you are spot on Gromit up!

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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by PLOUGHLIN on Sat Mar 28, 2015 12:20 pm

Jaytee wrote:I think you are spot on Gromit up!
+1

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Re: Turning gas off underslung tank

Post by Bad Penny on Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:20 pm

Well said Gromit, I still can't believe that some people are still prepared to take short cuts and possibly endanger others. As I said before, just remember that ferry from Greece, I wouldn't like to be in that kind of situation on a ferry here, or in the channel tunnel.

Be Safe, Leighton
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