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Old 10-09-2002, 02:44 PM   #15
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Detectors

Joe,
I looked through RV catalogs and over the internet and have read different opinions of 12 volt direct wire-in vs. 9 volt replaceable battery. I don't think I have ever seen a test comparing a 110/120 volt plug-in vs. 12 volt wire-in vs. replaceable batteries or home vs. RV. Most of my camping is boondocking during the turkey and deer hunting season where 110 v. is not available. I have two 9 v. battery smoke detectors in my house on a single level and change them every year during the time change because I have an Earth Stove wood burning stove on a stone hearth to offset the electric heat pump. I test them every once in awhile to make sure everything is working properly. I write the date I put the battery in directly on the battery with a marking pen to make sure I do not mess up and skip the replacement date.

My rationale for using 9 v. or replaceable batteries is that the power source in totally independent of my trailer batteries or 110 v. shore power. What if something caused my two trailer batteries to run down during the night (slim chance but who knows) or the 110 v. power at a campground goes out due to electrical failure at the post or the entire grid for that section. Where is my protection from smoke, fire or carbon monoxide? I'm still looking for a suitable LP battery detector and if I can't find a replaceable battery detector I like then I will bite the bullet and get a 12 v. wire-in style. My only concern is with how much it draws from the two 12 v. trailer batteries and if my 5 watt solar charger/maintainer will offset this and still have the power to keep the batteries up like it does now.
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:05 PM   #16
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Batteries and LP Gas

Craig,

Yeah, I like the idea of fresh batteries and there being independent of the AC plug. But it appears that because the LP detectors require so much power that they don't last too long. I have found one hand held at Camper World (see below) that'll last through the night. I may go this route, or I may have some install a system that'll work with AC with a 12v backup Portable Gas Detector.

Camper World: Hand held detector locates leaks of LP, butane, methane and natural gas. $29.67 Member SALE * SALE $32.97 Reg. $36.99

One site had an interesting observation. It says to use RV certified detectors. What's the difference? See below:

Make sure the CO detector you select is certified for RV use. Certain popular brands commonly found in department and discount stores may not be certified for use in motorhomes. All CO detectors for RV use must be labeled as meeting UL Standard for Safety No. 2034 Single and Multiple Station Carbon-Monoxide Detectors.

I added to the end of this post a comment from the same site about fire extingueshers. Though if I have a lp explosion, fire is the least of my problem.


Fire Extinguishers:
Have at least two... one in the cooking area, and one close to the sleeping facilities. The fire departments recommend a 2A-10BC, it's a 5 pound dry chemical extinguisher, and can be used against any type of fire. With an adequate fire extinguisher and quick detection, your chances of putting out most fires are good.

I called one of the local Trailer places and asked about installing a LP detector. They didn't give me much confidence. Most of the newer trailers have them installed as required by law. So, I suspect they don't do a lot of retrofitting. I'll keep at it until I get the right stuff to protect my family.

Deer hunting. I hope to use my toaster in the same way occasionally. Last year they killed about 50,000+ deer in South Carolina, and about that many on the highway. Friends of mine in the SC Wildlife and Natural Resources says they harvested many for charity that were eating farmers out of a living. I wonder why it is that when I go in the woods with my rifle I see few deer? Someone is getting my share! Joe
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:25 PM   #17
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Joe,
The LP detectors I see listed at Camping World are the same design or model as other catalogs I have looked at. It still makes me wonder why the "Certified for RV use"? Why do the LP detectors require so much power?
I had one fire extinguisher sitting in the spice rack when I bought my trailer. A lot of good it would do if I had a fire on the stove. I moved it to a side credenza next to the sink. I have another that is under the flex-steel couch to the right of the entrance door. I will either mount it low on the wall just to the right of the inside entrance wall or wiretie it to the frame of the couch next to the floor. I have a 10 lb. extinguisher that I have thought about putting in one of the wardrobe cabinents near the end of the trailer but I try not to store anything near the end because I have the rear bath and tanks.
Deer are strange creatures. Three years ago, I saw just one deer during bow season standing in the middle of the logging road as I was driving in. I walked into a bedding area by mistake the next afternoon but the grass was so high that I only heard them running. I had no luck with bow, muzzleloader or rifle that year. Matter of fact, deer hunting has turned upside down for me. In the last 3 years I have harvested only 2 deer and both were by bows. This year I am off to a good start with one in the freezer on the second day.
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Amsoil synthetics all around
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Old 10-10-2002, 07:14 AM   #18
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Joe

Joe,

Installed new CO detector last night and gave my furnace another test run. Works great with no CO emanations.

I am also new to the AS but I have camped a few times and my wife is ready to leave me if I work on the AS any more, I am gonna miss her, just kidding but she is jealous.........

We installed new curtains for a great price. Dont know where you are having yours done but we spent less than 300 dollars for hours at a shop over in West Ashley. I can point you in the direction if needed.

I have just went through all of the upgrades you describe and some. I think I will start on the outside of the trailer this winter... maybe.

Any way we are joining the WBCCI South Carolina Coastal Unit and I plan to attend a the State Rally the 16th of Oct -20th. My wife has other plans but me and the boy are going.

You can join the unit for free if you are first time owner of AS. Details in the community forum under free WBCCI memberships.

you can also type in www.WBCCI.com and you can e-mail the membership director for details. or you can just call myself or
Ms Marie Syrett @ (843) 766-1227. She is the local chapter president.


My phone number is (843) 200 5577 if you would like to chat.

Ken
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Old 10-12-2002, 12:41 PM   #19
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Got gas detectors

Ken & Craig,

Ken, I may call you if I run into any trouble as I continue to renovate. I also got a new CO and Smoke detector, as well as, a Fire Extinguisher - all from Lowes. Sometime soon I'll have someone, maybe Sonny's install a 12v LP detector with a AC override(?). I'm going to crank up the water heater next week, get new tires, and install carpet. Right now the toaster is having curtains installed. Looking at your price, I see that I paid way too much for curtains. It was ready Friday, but the bridge winds where too high due to the storm, so I'll pick it up Monday. My plan is to have it ready by the end of the week so I can take it to Clemson for Parent's Weekend. This will be my first trip with the Airstream. Keep me informed as you start on the outside. Thanks the next thing for me too. Ken, Who do you use locally for service?

Thanks Craig for your good advice. I think you are right about a LP detector certified for RV use - associated with a 12v system.

Peace, Joe
joesmithmtp@yahoo.com 843.881-3447
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Old 10-13-2002, 07:13 AM   #20
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Services

I do everything myself. I usually get advice from the forum or I will go talk to Donny over at Sonny's RV. I will buy parts from him sometimes but I exhaust all other resources first. RV sales places are just like baot shops, they mark everything up big time, example: I bought marker lights from Sonny's for 5 dollars ea. I go to Wal-mart and they have the exact same light for half the price. This has been the case with many items. I also have a resource for used parts that I met through E-bay. I buy direct from him now. Anyway, calls are welcome. We are currently tying to upgrade to a 34 foot excella.

Got the bug nad the wife wants her own permanent bedroom instead of folding out the Gaucho. I want grey water tank.

Ken, ( smily)
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Old 10-13-2002, 02:25 PM   #21
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Thanks guys

I want to thank everyone for your great advice on the detectors. I feel safer already. Pray that my water heater works. If it doesn't, I'll be back!

Joe
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Old 10-13-2002, 04:13 PM   #22
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Joe,
Have a safe and wonderful trip. I've been polishing my rockguard and entrance door by hand today and my arms are getting tired. It is currently 58 degrees so I will probably fire up the furnace for awhile to check everything out before leaving next Thur. morning for a 3 day deer hunt.
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Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
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Old 10-31-2002, 08:48 PM   #23
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Smelling the Propane and not the roses

I think your question is a good one Joe. I can smell propane in my rig all the time. It's a '78 Soveriegn. So far I haven't died in the nite, butthe smell makes me wonder why not. I think the idea that the gas dropping out the bottom makes sense, but I would sure like to not have the smell. I have the pilot's for the oven and stove top lit and of course the hot water heater. That's it. It can't be the Catalytic heater, because I don't use it all that often and I smell propane all the time. Is it from the burning propane? JLD
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Old 10-31-2002, 10:49 PM   #24
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Re: Smelling the Propane and not the roses

Quote:
Originally posted by Joan D'Andrea
and I smell propane all the time. Is it from the burning propane? JLD
Joan,

I haven't picked up how long you have owned your A/S but I know that as you get to burning the last of the propane in a tank, there seems to be an increase in the concentration of the chemical which gives propane its odor. This odor becomes apparent as the tank runs dry even though the various gas consuming devices are burning properly and no leak is present.

For example I remember on our last trip I was in the bathroom after taking a shower. I had the roof hatch open and I smelled the propane odor coming through the vent. It was obviously coming from the water heater which was in use.

Shortly after getting dressed I went outside and Patty yelled at me that the igniter indicator light for the water heater was now on solidly. I went over to the water heater and it was not burning. I checked the propane tank and saw it was empty. Once I opened up the other bottle and reset the ignition switch, the water heater started up...no more propane smell.

I'm not sure this is your issue but when a tank is close to running dry, the smell can make you think you have a leak.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 10-31-2002, 11:29 PM   #25
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Propane smell

Thanks Jack. I think you may have answered my question. I know we are on the very last of that tank. I have been hoping it would finish up so I can take it for a refittingof the valve. You seem to have a good deal of experience. I hve only had my AS a few months and am getting used to it. Joan
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Old 10-31-2002, 11:43 PM   #26
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Joan,

I've posted this tip before but there is a fairly easy way to check for leaks in your propane system. I have been told this by several folks and it seems to be logical and works for me.

You turn on your tank and light your stove. Once it is burning ok, you turn it off. Then go to your tanks and shut them off. Wait 20-30 minutes. Go back to the stove and attempt to light it, do not turn on the gas tanks. If the stove lights and burns, your system is holding pressure. If it has very little initial flame or cannot be lit, you probably have a leak somewhere in the system.

In my old trailer I had an inline leak detector. You pushed down on the detector when you initially opened the gas bottle. The gas was forced through some type of liquid within the detector. You would see bubbles in the liquid until the system came up to pressure. If the bubbles continued without stopping, you had a leak in the system.

I'm glad that my initial guess about a near empty tank seems to be the situation. You might try the other test sometime in the future.

Regards,

Jack
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Old 11-01-2002, 12:02 PM   #27
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Joan, I see you got lots of good advice on your gas smell. Truly, I am still learning and can apply the advice myself. All I know is that if I smelled gas I'd be worried. That's why when I bought my 22 year old, the first thing I did was pay to have it checked. I used my Airstream for the first time a couple a weeks ago. I threw down some rugs to soften my "hardwood" flours. I haven't re-carpeted because I STILL have a water heater hose leak. I thought I was finished with leaks, but during the trip I discovered a wet spot near the one I fixed. Patch, patch, patch. My next questions will be how to polish the top of the trailer. Standing on top of a ladder seems to be a ticket to the local emergency room. Peace, Joe
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Old 11-01-2002, 12:23 PM   #28
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Joe's way is the best way to be at peace with the odor and know it is not a leak. Even a small leak will give off the smell. You can also get a LP leak detector from Campingworld and check it out for yourself whenever the mood or odor strikes.

Leak detector
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