Fill & shutoff valves and Regulator


New member
I just acquired a 85 Vanagon. We had problems with the propane system. The fill valve leaked so I had it replaced with a manual-bleed fill valve. Then we found that the LPG regulator was leaking from the low pressure diaphram. We couldn't find a replacement for the old, 4.25 inch long one.

Bought one from GoWesty, P/N 253 070 604 for $38.07 including shipping. It was about one inch longer than the old one. I contacted GoWesty and was informed that the old type is no longer made. They said the pipe connections can be carefully bent to make it fit. The regulator is a Marshall Gas Controls, P/N 290-01J. I installed it using teflon sealer and although scary, the pipes bent out of the way to make it fit. After checking with soapy water for leaks I tried to install the metal shield but found that in interfered with the plastic cap covering the down pointing vent. I would recommed trimming about 1.4 inch off of the snout before assembling. I cut it with a hacksaw and left some jagged edges.

Don Patterson
Sunnyvale, CA

[This message was edited by Capt. Mike on May 19, 2003 at 07:09 AM.]

Capt. Mike

[e]Transferred from another post to consolidate similar subject.[/i]

Can lp tank fill valve be replaced on 91 Westy?

Grey, Junior Member, 01-26-2001 07:53 AM


The fill valve on my propane tank won't seat properly and blows all the propane out - I can see that it appears threaded into a neck (which is welded into the tank) - I've looked on the usual suspects websites for a part but can't find one - can the valve be replaced or do I just replace the tank?


Grey D

Capt. Mike

As you can see from the above post, there are replacement valves available. Before I would go that route, I'd check with a reliable LP dealer. The tanks are US made, and it's possible the valve can be repaired if it's just a matter of the bonnet seal or seat within the neck.


New member
i replaced the regulator on mine it to was about an inch it went on without much of bending the lines but works fine so you shouldnt have a thing to worry bout

Capt. Mike

Transferred from Archives

Request for LP Auto stop valve/tank info

matt, 10/29/99 (12:25 PM)

I just found out that the auto stop valve on my LPG tank is faulty and there are no replacemnts made since the company is no longer in business. I was told it could be restored by the folks @ Manchester tank, I sent it to them to find out that they can only restore the brass one and not the Alum. ones. I am stuck.

Help, How can I get this resolved. My Westy is an 84'

Matt Crowl

Clifford Gottschalk, 12/7/99 (11:48 PM)

This has been a common problem with the automatic valve and how people have solved this problem is to put a manual valve on instead. The propane tanks are basically the same from '81 on up to '91. These tanks are produced by a USA manufacture, Manchester if my memory is correct. The '81 Vanagon I used to own had a manual valve that when I replaced it, cost $35.00 new at an RV supply place.

So if you get to an RV supply place and tell them the tank manufacture, they should have a cross reference to get you a new valve. Hope this helps and good luck.

-- Clifford Gottschalk

Richard Bulis, 3/5/00 (8:03 PM)

I had the both the fill valve and the user manual valve replaced at a LP service center (Gas Masters in Reno, NV ) for $140 parts and labor. Everything works real nice now at the LP filling station. Richard Bulis

-- Richard Bulis

Site sponsor GoWesty now has fill valve replacements. -- Capt. Mike

Capt. Mike

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Blue cap on back of propane valve

lono, Member, 09-07-2000 06:26 PM

A few days ago I had the propane tank filled.
Today,sitting in the driveway the blue plastic cap on the back of the manual valve
popped off and propane could be smelled momentarly.

Any one know the function of the cap ? Is it supposed to be glued on. Is the system safe?

Sunnyvale, CA

Capt. Mike, Moderator, 09-08-2000 07:56 PM

What year & model? See Message Forum Guidelines #3

lono, Member, 09-08-2000 08:37 PM

OOPS. It is an '85 Vanagon Camper. I see on the inside of the protection plate it is called a pressure relief valve. Possibly the newely filled tank exceeded the relief presssure as the day was very hot. I ran both stove burners for about five minutes and today the blue cap stayed on and dosen't seem to be under any pressure. Seems strange that the cover for a relief valve blew off.


Capt. Mike, Moderator, 09-09-2000 03:07 PM

Most Westies came with a plastic box that completely enclosed the pressure regulator. The regulators had a plastic plug that covered the diaphragm chamber. It was primarily for asembly purposes because adjusting the regulator after installation is not normally required. Thus the regulator was sealed. You have apparently lost the plug, quite possibly due to a leaking diaphragm. That would also give you the LP smell.

/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif A leaking diaphragm, besides preventing the LP system from working correctly, is dangerous. Please do not use the LP until you have it replaced/repaired.

Capt. Mike

Transferred from anothe post to consolidate subjects.

Red button near the lp tank fill valve

bodhi, Junior Member, 10-07-2000 11:43 PM

I have a 1986 Westy and have had trouble getting lp into the tank. Every lp gas station I have taken it to, is unable to put lp in the tank. I read the directions posted near the fill and it says if not able to fill or it fills slowly, press the red button on the side of the fill valve, which I try to do but it doesn't seem to budge and to date I have't been able to put lp gas in the tank. We have used the lp gas appliances quite a bit so I know that the tank can not be full.

Any ideas..

Capt. Mike, Moderator, 10-08-2000 08:16 AM

Unfortunately, Westfalia used several versions of LP tank so there is considerable variations. It sounds much like your 'red button' is a release valve, much like the little manual brass valve above the fill line on most models. In those, you open the valve to allow air to escape during the fill. I'd GUESS yours is a air venting valve but has frozen or gotten corroded over the years.

You'll need to go to an LP dealer -- not just a fill station -- that can advise you on repair/replacement of the fill valve.

Morgan101, Junior Member, 10-24-2000 10:55 PM

I have an '87 with a similar problem. One thing I have noticed is that if the tank is very empty it can be filled, if about 1/2 full it cannot be filled. The attendant at my local station said, 'some tanks have an automatic shut-off valve to prevent overfilling' apparently it works on backpressure within the tank. Your tank my not be empty enough to allow this valve to open.

Capt. Mike

Transferred from Archives.

Propane regulator

Robert Gavan (, 7/13/99 (9:41 PM)

I have a 91 Westy Gl Camper. I think the regulator blew out. The RV service mangager wants to know if the regulator is a simple two-stage type. How do I determine this? Bob

-- Robert Gavan

LAZY, 7/14/99 (4:58 PM)




Capt. Mike

Transferred from another post to consolidate same topics.

Propane Regulator Junior Member # 1158 posted 07-24-2001 11:39 PM

I don't know how to add a new topic to the fill valve/regulator subject...this should go there (sorry).

Basic question: When you open the master valve on the propane tank - should the regulator vent "hiss" propane out of it (if no appliances are 'on')?

Background: I tried to fill the tank yesterday at a gas station - but the fit wasn't totally right. Propane shot out of the bottom of the connection. Hoping that perhaps some propane was either left in the tank or somehow made it in, I later turned the master valve on the tank to start the flow. There was a loose connection between the valve and the regulator, so I tightened that part more leak. However, when I now turn the master valve, the regulator makes a "hissing" sound while propane comes out of the vent.

I'm not totally sure if I missed opening up another valve somewhere along the line, or if the appliances need to be turned on - in which case the propane stops leaking out the regulator vent.

I have the owner's manual for this 83 Westy, and the supplement for the camping equipment - but haven't found either of those useful.

Thus, I turn to you Wise and Experienced Westy owners.

Thanks for your help. Hoping to leave on a trip tomorrow - would be nice to use the built in equipment instead of shlepping a portable stove and ice-box.


Capt. Mike

[You add posts to an existing thread by using the "Post Reply" icon. It doesn't matter if your replying or adding to a topic.]

The regulator should never hiss. It's purpose is not to bleed LP, but to regulate the pressue. Even if an appliance is on, you shouldn't hear it through the regulator.

Regulators have a rubber diaphragm and at the age of yours, it's not unusual for it to crack and leak. If it stops hissing when the appliance is on, that basically confirms the regulator problem because the appliance is now bleeding off the pressure that was leaking through the diaphragm.

The original regulator was generic -- check your local LP dealer -- and I understand a useable non-OEM replacement is also available from GoWesty.

Capt. Mike

Transferred from another post to consolidate same topics.

Regulator Differences

harbrink Junior Member # 1951 posted 08-19-2001 07:34 PM

Hi! My 1982 Westy's original regulator hissed propane out of a small opening in the regulator. The 2-stage regulator was replaced yesterday with a 1-stage regulator by a local RV-shop.

Does it really matter how many 'stage' regulator is installed? The guy who installed it said that a 2-stage is normally used when two tanks are connected under the vehicle.

Any propane experts out there? Thanks!


New member
Regarding the 'Red Button' Post;

I also have an 87 Westy with the 'red button' on the auto shut-off. I've had troubles filling the tank and found that you must open the bleeder valve all the way (not part way like some LP filling guys want to do). If it doesn't fill, push the red button - you have to push real hard - and that usually get's it going. Also, when you open the bleeder valve, it hisses on my van. I found that it's good to let it hiss for a couple of minutes to release the air pressure that seems to build up in there.

Capt. Mike

Tranferred to consolidate same topic.

canadajin9 Member posted May 19, 2003 12:05 AM

Hi. I have an 89 Westy GL (new to me). I managed to get the fridge lit on all settings (LP was the toughest but after a few days on AC, it was no problem.) Anyway, I thought I'd shut off propane at the valve and leave the stove burners lit in order to use up the propane in the line (a habit of mine from BBQing.) I assume to turn the propane valve off and on is "lefty loosey, righty tighty" but after a good 10 minutes of leaving both burners on, there was still regular flame. So on the odd chance that the valve is reverse thread, I "lefty tightied" but still had flame after 10 minutes. Is this normal - do I need to wait longer or do I need to have the valve checked?

I thank you and my family thanks you for any assistance (I have a Bently Manual Ordered but has not arrived yet.)


Capt. Mike

For the main shut-off on the outside tank, right or clockwise is to shut off.

You may have a leaking shut-off valve. These valves can be rebuilt or replaced.

Note: LP is one exception to the rule not to open a valve all the way. With water and liquids it's a common recommendation for the valve to be opened all the way, then turned back in ¼ turn or so to keep the valve from jamming open, but in LP, the full open position is required to seal the valve bonnet. At least according to the LP dealer I discussed this with. Makes sense.


New member

I'm the new, proud owner of 1984 Westfalia with only 39,700 miles! I tried to have the propane tank filled, but found out the fill valve was shot, it was blowing propane out the the red reset button. The tank was manufactured in 1984 by Manchester. After reading the other posts and searching many parts sites, I was unable to to find a replacement. So I went straight to the source at Manchester. The kind and knowledgable rep indicated that the company that made the fill valves went out of business in the late '80s. She said that there are o-rings inside that could need replacing but that the valves are not well made and this might not help. Since I have the aluminum type fill valve, there are no matching replacements. She did seem to indicate that there are other varieties of valves that could be placed on the tank, but that they were illegal under federal regs. For specifics, call Manchester Tank, they were very helpful and answered all my questions patiently.

My plan is therefore to replace the tank in order to get a new fill valve. I plan on using the old regulator because first the system was never used much as the stove still had the blue film on it. Second, the newer tanks have wider regulators requiring either bending of tubing or new flaring. Last, I will save 40 or so dollars for the regulator if it is not needed!

Capt. Mike

Do remember the regulator contains moving parts and a rubber diaphragm, both of which deteriorate with age regardless of mileage so, while doing such a major job, be sure it's throughly inspected & tested.


New member
i just tried to have the LP tank filled on my '90 westy and was told that, after a couple of attempts by the service man, that the tank had a faulty or stuck "auto-stop".....something about a spring needing to be replaced. the tank wouldn't fill - they suggested that i run out the tank, as i was going on a quick camping trip, and try to have it filled again. i didn't run it out, but does anyone have experience with this???

also, i've read of a "regulator" - i'm assuming that this is different from some sort of gauge, like you'd see on a CO2 tank. is there suppose to be some sort of gauge (etc...) on my tank?

Capt. Mike

See your owner's manual; the regulator is a separate item from the tank and located in the LP line between the tank and appliances. It controls pressure to the appliances and has nothing to do with the fill valve & process.

There is NO gauge for the LP tanks on a Vanagon or Type II.

Fill valves can be repaired or replaced per above posts.


New member
1984 westie,
my bleeder valve/outage valve 'screw, wheel??' seems to be missing.
any one know what size opening it is so I can put something in there to open and close it.



New member
I have a Canadian 78 Westy with an icebox and a 2 burner propane stove. I have the original manuals that came with the vehicle, but neither of them make any reference to the propane system or stove. I have never had an "RV" before, so I would like to get educated on how to use this important system properly. Does anyone know of a manual or reference that I can get to help me out? Also, the icebox came empty. From the manual, it looks like there was some sort of ice holder. Can this be purchased now or has anyone made some modifications to share.?Thanks, Rhonda