CAUTION ! Serious concern regarding Flying J's new policy

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dpickard

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This posting applies to an incident of concern which took place tonight at FLYING J TRAVEL PLAZA  HAW RIVER, NC.

A technician named "Clifford" refused to fill the propane tank on our coach. He based his refusal on the fact that our coach is more than 12 years old. (We own a 1993 model.)

He said the law says that if the tank is over 12 years old they are not to fill them.

This is the first time we have EVER been refused a fill ANYWHERE. Our coach is in pristine condition. There is no rust anywhere on our tank. I could understand if he cited a reason such as rust, however, he stated it was only due to the AGE of our coach.

If this 12 year age thing is really the case, that will eliminate the ability of those who own coaches older than 1995 to fill their tanks. I know that people who bring in portable bottles such as those used on gas grills and such need the newer type connector, but I have never HEARD of such a policy applying to motorhomes.

Where can I go to clarify this  "new" policy ???

I know there are going to be a lot of very irate people if this proves true.

I wonder if this guy is simply misinformed. I asked for the manager and Clifford said he was the supervisor in charge tonight.

As motorhomers, we cant take chances out on the open road in cold weather as to whether or not we can get a propane fill up with an older coach. I am just glad it isn't cold tonight here.

We all spend a lot of money at Flying J.

They need to know that we wont take bad service by misinformed employees lightly.

I welcome any replies.






 

Ned

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He doesn't understand the difference between propane bottles and the ASME tanks that are installed in most motor homes.
 

dpickard

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Thanks for your response Ned. What's the best approach to deal with this matter as far as Flying J is concerned?
 

Ned

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I would just find another propane filling station, but if you want to pursue it, talk to the FJ manager.
 

John From Detroit

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My porta-tank needs to be re-certified every so often.  Rules are different when the tank is bolted in place

I traded in my old tanks on new OPD tanks a year or so ago.  (Old tanks had reached re-cert age anyway)

As Ned said, the underpaid and under-educated technician simply did not know of where he was speaking.
 

Jeff

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I'll bet anything this isn't a Flying J policy but the ignorance of one outdoor maintenance guy which is who FJ uses to fill propane.
 

Jim Dick

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Take a look at this site.

This may explain why the tech said what he did. Tanks are good for 12 years and then are subject to recertification. That allows another 5 years of use.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The 12 year re-certification rule applies only to DOT-certified portable tanks - the vertical cylinders commonly used as BBQ tanks and on most trailers.  Nearly all motorhomes have ASME-certified, horizontally mounted, permanent tanks which do not require re-certification on any fixed schedule.  When they are refilled, they are supposed to be visually inspected for corrosion, but there are no other requirements.
 

Jim Dick

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Gary,

I was trying to find info on ASME tanks but it was too early. :) My guess is the guy knows the rules for DOT tanks and refused on that basis. Sounds like he needs some retraining.
 

Karl

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The site Jim mentioned has some good information, but I would add a caution: They talk about replacing the valve yourself and you can certainly do that, but after you do, I would STRONGLY suggest you tell the operator that you want the tank purged; then filled. You don't want a mixture of propane and air in there. Could be dangerous.
 

blueblood

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Jim Dick said:
Gary,

I was trying to find info on ASME tanks but it was too early. :) My guess is the guy knows the rules for DOT tanks and refused on that basis. Sounds like he needs some retraining.

The "rules" for LPG are NFPA phamplet 58. However, these rules are not federal regulations. They require the individual states to adopt , modify or reject them. Therefore, I seems to me that one would need to look at the state where this occurred and determine what, if any, form of NFPA 58 they adopted and then evaluate whether the operator was right or wrong.
 

Jim Dick

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Karl,

I would hope everybody would have it done by trained techs. Of course we all know that won't always happen. Whenever I take a coach for propane and it is used they always check for leaks and the condition of the tank. They have found leaks in the past. Usually it's a valve.
 

scottydl

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John Canfield said:
Why not email or snail mail FJ corporate offices with details about your incident?  This appears to be a 'training' opportunity for them.

Here's their online contact page: http://www.flyingj.com/contact/index.cfm

I'd also recommend getting in touch with them.  Explain your experience as you have to us, including your concerns about not being able to receive service when you needed it.  If they have a 12-year policy in writing, they'll tell you.  If not, hopefully they will apologize and make some sort of amends to keep you as a customer.  I've had good luck over the years (with various companies/service) reporting an unsatisfactory experience, and receiving a positive outcome.
 

dpickard

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Thank you Scotty!  I will contact them immediately.

What is truly scary is that if there is one, there are probably MORE misinformed propane techs out there.

I am sure I am not the only one with an older model coach who has the potential to be affected. 

We travel a lot, especially in winter. I was just thinking that this is something  FMCA or Good Sam might want to know about also.

Dianne
 

scottydl

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dpickard said:
I am sure I am not the only one with an older model coach who has the potential to be affected. 

That's for SURE; in fact, the motorhome we end up buying will likely be in that age range also, so I am particularly interested to hear what you find out.  :)
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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The "rules" for LPG are NFPA phamplet 58. However, these rules are not federal regulations.

Yes and No. Federal DOT Hazardous Material Regulations apply to all DOT-certified tanks (the familiar vertical, portable ones) without being adopted locally. NFPA 58 also applies to the use, handling and storage of propane and may be fully or partially adopted in any given state or municipality. There may also be local regulations and big cities (NY, Chicago, etc) typically have them as well.

I'm pretty sure from my past research on this subject that the 12 year re-certification rule is part of the DOT tank specification/regulation, but couldn't find a handy source for the entire DOT reg.
 

dpickard

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Eden, NC
UPDATE

It seems that the propane technician, "Clifford," was in fact, misinformed.

It is NOT a FJ policy to refuse motorhomes with tanks older than 12 years.

The manager at the Haw River location, Bob McDonald, assured me that if anyone has difficulties there to insist that the cashier on duty call him at home, if necessary.

Flying J's District Manager, Robert Clark, seemed to be far less interested in the plight of RVers, but DID indicate that he would issue a training memo to all locations in his District.

Dianne
 

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