Using LP Bottles and Propane Regulator

by Airstream, Inc.

Learn how to turn your Airstream Basecamp propane "on" and "off".

Open the front LP storage by releasing the two fasteners and pushing the lid up.

Airstream Basecamp LP Tank Lid Fastener

Remove the power cord and stabilizer jack from the storage compartment.

Airstream Basecamp Power Cable and Stabilizer Jack

Pull up the tray to reveal the propane tanks.

 Airstream Basecamp LP Tray Removal

The two 20 lb. LP bottles have a two-stage regulator. To select which tank to use, turn the regulator switch towards that bottle. When it is good on propane, the regulator will show a green light. When the tank is empty, it will show a red light. Rotate the knob back the opposite direction to select the other tank.

 Airstream Basecamp LP Tanks



The LPG tanks are equipped with fill valve connections RV Type I Acme. The large, green, nylon swivel nut is a right-hand thread and is designed for hand operation only. The valve features an internal spring-loaded module that will not allow gas to flow from the cylinder until a positive seal has been made at the connection.

The valve outlet has 1-5/16 in. Acme threads on the outlet exterior, and female POL, left-handed threads on its interior. This feature allows for connection of the new wrenchless, right-handed, Acme RV connection while still accommodating the standard left-handed POL fittings used for filling propane cylinders.

The mating, green swivel nut and brass nipple also incorporate new features: the green nylon nut swivels on a black bushing that is heat-sensitive. Between 240 and 300°F, the bushing will yield (melt) allowing the spring-loaded module in the valve to push the brass nipple back (approximately 1/4 in.), closing the module and stopping the flow of gas from the cylinder. Inside the brass nipple is a flow-limiting device designed to sense excessive gas flow. If an excessive flow is sensed, the flow-limiting device shuts the flow down to a maximum of 10 SCFH (Standard Cubic Feet per Hour) or less. This is also referred to as the bypass flow.

Bypass flow is extremely important in the proper operation of this connection. The flow-limiting device may activate if the cylinder valve is opened quickly. When all appliances are off, the bypass flow allows the pressure downstream from the flow-limiting device to equalize. When pressure is equalized, the flowlimiting device will supply normal flow to the system. Equalization occurs in approximately 5 seconds and, in most cases, goes completely unnoticed. If, however, an appliance is left on or there is a leak or open flow in the system, the bypass pressure will not be able to equalize and allow the flow-limiting device to reopen.

Symptoms of this condition would be appliances that light but have lower than normal flame or starve out from lack of gas, a substantial reduction in the flame when another appliance is operating, or pilots that are difficult to light. If this should happen, the following steps should eliminate the condition:

1. Close LPG cylinder valve.

2. Extinguish all flames and smoking materials.

3. Be sure all gas appliances, including their pilot lights, are off.

4. Open LPG cylinder valve slowly. Do not snap open.

5. Wait at least 15 seconds before lighting appliances.

6. If operational difficulties continue, there may be a leak in the system. Immediately close the LPG cylinder valve and have the system inspected by a qualified RV service technician. When reconnecting a full cylinder to an auto changeover regulator, it is not necessary to shut off the appliances or close the valve of the cylinder already in service.


All models are equipped with a two-stage automatic change-over gas regulator that offers the convenience of automatic changeover from empty to full gas cylinders. Both tanks are connected to this regulator.

Make sure there is propane in both tanks before you start. Rotate the white knob on the top-front side of the regulator toward the cylinder you want to use first. This will be the service cylinder and the other will be the reserve cylinder. Slowly open both cylinders valves. Open both cylinder valves completely, then close about 1/4 turn. This will allow you to easily check to see if valves are open or closed. The indicator on top of the regulator will turn bright green. The indicator will stay bright green as long as there is fuel coming from the service cylinder. When the service cylinder empties, the regulator will draw fuel automatically from the reserve cylinder, providing an uninterrupted fuel flow to the system. When it switches over, the indicator will change from green to red. This red color indicates the service cylinder is empty and needs to be filled.


The following procedure outlines the proper method of removing and installing LPG bottles:

1. Unhook the two shock cords from both sides of the tank cover to open the top for access. Remove the shelf to expose the LPG tanks.

2. Turn the knob on your automatic regulator until the arrow points to the tank opposite the one to be removed. Shut off the gas valve on the tank to be removed.

3. Disconnect the rubber gas line at the tank to be removed. (The green plastic fitting is a right-hand thread and no tools should be used.)

4. Turn the large clamping T-handle counterclockwise until the hold-down bracket is loosened enough to be able to remove the tank.

LPG Tank Installation:

1. Place the tanks in position on the A-frame and tank cross-member so that it rests on the upper collar of both tanks with the collar rims engaged in the grooves on the underside of the bracket. Make sure the hold-down rod projects up through the hole in the shroud center bracket.

2. Replace the T-handle and tighten down until the tanks are held firmly in place.

3. Test fittings with liquid soap free of ammonia or chlorine, or products deigned for testing, such as Snoop® liquid leak detector.

If you have allowed both tanks to run out, air may have gotten into the lines. In this event, the air must be forced out through the lines by gas pressure before you will be able to light the pilots. Hold a match to the pilot of the appliance closest to the tanks until it lights and stays lit. Then move to the next-closest appliance, etc.


Always reference your Basecamp owner's manual for further instruction:


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