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Old 06-02-2004, 12:27 AM   #1
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Question LP System Checkup???

We're trying to get our trailer ready to go on it's first trip, but haven't got to all of the systems that run on LP yet (furnace, water heater, refridgerator, catalytic heater). Other than the cat heater all are original to the trailer as far as I know (i.e. 1966 vintage) and none of these systems have been used for a few years. We were told that the fridge only works on 120VAC, not LP. I don't feel comfortable checking out these systems myself. Before going to the WBCCI International Rally at the end of this month we'd really like to make sure the fridge, water heater, and perhaps the cat heater (going well north into Canada after the International - could be cold nights) work .

Where would you suggest we have them looked at? We've thought about towing it to the AS factory in Ohio, but doubt that we could get an appointment before the International. Other options might be Woodland RV in Grand Rapids (anyone had good or bad luck with them?), or doing nothing and hoping to get things check out at the International (could this be "pricey?). Based upon the local Camping World only having one guy that deals with Airstreams, I think I'd like to avoid that option. Anyone care to offer up any suggestions? Thanks in advance,

Joe
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Old 06-02-2004, 03:16 AM   #2
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I hope you find a local RV shop that can help you with this. This was one of the first things we did, and it made it a lot easier to sleep at night with the LP furnace running, and not be afraid it was going to kill us all! BTW, our RV shop of choice is not an Airstream facility, but came to us highly recommended. Luckily most RV shops should be able to deal with basic LP issues, and help you get the appliances working. The best thing about the shop we are working with is his willingness to understand that I have some special needs as a vintage trailer owner, and he is working with me (like keeping old appliances running, instead of just swapping out for new). Good luck!
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Old 06-02-2004, 06:00 AM   #3
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maybe need for A/C

Hello Joe.. Congratulations on your new trailer.. very good idea to get all LP lines and appliances checked.. also very important is a LP detector.. had a leak in our first trailer a SOB.. and ever since LP detector in every travel trailer.. If you are coming to Canada after the International.. good chance you will need the air.. can be as hot here also.. If coming Peterborough way.. northeast of Toronto.. Kawartha Lakes.. Lots of lakes.. please drop in.. we have a lovely campground in our City called Beavermead.. on our Little Lake.. Annie
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:06 AM   #4
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The LP systems and appliances can be checked and repaired at any decent RV shop.

If the fridge works on AC but not LP then you probably aren't getting gas to it or the thermistor is bad (simple fix).

Be careful with the catalytic heater. See
http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/ow...icheaters.html
also see
http://sierranevadaairstreams.org/ow...g/propane.html
for a bit about propane systems.

You can check for pressure and leaks in the LP system with a simple water tube manometer. see
http://www.rverscorner.com/articles/manometer.html
or
http://www.komar.org/faq/manometer/
You check for leaks by looking for pressure drops over a few minutes.

Propane systems are usually rather simple and the nose is usually a good leak detector.
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:48 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leipper
...If the fridge works on AC but not LP then you probably aren't getting gas to it or the thermistor is bad (simple fix)...
I believe Leipper means the "thermocouple". If you are getting gas, but the pilot light won't stay lit when you let go of the button, then you probably have a bad thermocouple.

My refrigerator did not work on gas even though the pilot light stayed lit. Turns out enough soot had collected on top of the pilot jet to effectively throttle down the amount of gas being delivered. The flame did not get hot enough to heat the system.

Tom
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Old 06-02-2004, 11:48 AM   #6
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Thanks for the Catalytic Heater link. Bambi came with one, and the PO told me you could use it all year around, and not even have to worry abuot opening a vent! I knew that couldn't be right, if it makes heat using LP it must be making some by-product that should be vented!
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Old 06-02-2004, 09:31 PM   #7
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To all who have responded . . Thanks!

Annie, Sorry we won't be going Toronto way this year (maybe next year as we'd like to go out Nova Scotia way eventually). Our trip this year will take us north to Manitoulin Island and probably to Cochrane to catch the Polar Bear Express to Moosonee.

Bryan/Tom, Thanks for the links and other info. Armed with this info I might be able to do some of the checkout myself (stove, water heater, cat heater). The PO never used the furnace, so I might want to have that checked out professionally. Also, I could probably try to light the fridge, but have become concerned about other aspects of using it on LP based upon other posts to this forum. Those posts seemed to suggest that rusted piping on the fridge could create the opportunity for coolant leaks and possibly a resulting fire. Is this a valid concern?

Thanks again,

Joe
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Old 06-03-2004, 04:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Overlander
...Those posts seemed to suggest that rusted piping on the fridge could create the opportunity for coolant leaks and possibly a resulting fire. Is this a valid concern?
In my opinion, "No". But here is a good thread on that concern.

Tom
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Old 06-03-2004, 07:06 AM   #9
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Thumbs up Thanks . . .

That's the thread I remember, but I must have missed that latter posts where Janet's Husband debunked the myth.

Joe
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