Life In The Slow Lane...
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San Diego, CA, United States
This is a commentary about the slow lane, about the slowing of time since I suffered a severe brain injury while skateboarding with my dog. This is a blog about recovery; about our '82 VW Westfalia. It's about writing, surfing, camping, married life, bleeding ulcers that make you feel old at 32; about family, friends, and my dog Artie; it's about cruising in fourth gear, getting passed by every car and learning to appreciate every second of it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Two Sense Short: Propane In The Ass

An old friend recently bought a Westy-- goes to show he hasn't been reading this blog...thanks, friend!

Anyway, he bought a Westy and is installing a new car stereo. I said I would give him some advice, as I just replaced the stereo in ours. He came over and before he started on the install, he wanted to show me how to work the Westy's fridge by using propane. I was pretty excited. I had heard this was impossible.

So, I stepped into the van and he went around to the side of it, turning the propane tank on. I heard a hiss. Propane was flowing.

"Does it usually sound like that?" He asked.

"Yeah, no problem."

"Does it usually smell like this?" He asked shutting the valve.

"Smell? Uh, I'm not sure."

After a bit of discussion, it turns out that propane is leaking from the valve, and has been since we've had it. That means, that all this time, all these camping trips, propane has been seeping out into our campsite and I had no clue. No idea that I could have been the spark that ignited, not only the van, Artie, and Aimee, but potentially set fire to hundreds of acres.

I went in and told Aimee about the smell. I told her about the hissing sound. She said she always smelled propane but thought nothing of it.

Thanks, love, for keeping me one-step, one lighter-strike, from death's door!


  1. Lol! No laughing matter, but a post I found quite amusing.

    I "saved" my cousin from being lit on fire once. He had a white, wool sweater on and was lighting a propane burner and had the gas on just a little too long. When he lit up the burner, the flame traveled up his sleeve, all around his arm and shoulders; I could literally see the smallest blue flames just dancing all over his arm. Thankfully I was there and snuffed him out before he realized anything had happened--but, unfortunately, his sweater did crisp up nicely afterward... ;)

    Stay safe and happy camping. :)

  2. You might want to look up health issues related to propane leak....not good. B.