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Old 10-24-2018, 03:54 PM   #1
2019 30' International
 
2019 30' International
Bolingbrook , Illinois
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 16
Our Propane Alarm Works

We took our first long trip in our new Airstream in September from IL to CO. The second night we were boondocking in the WalMart parking lot in Sterling, CO (hello to the airstream parked beside us). We were sound asleep when an alarm inside the trailer woke us up. I had no idea what it could be, until I got my wits to me and realized the propane detector had a red light, instead of green. I thought it was malfunctioning, well maybe I didn't have my wits yet. I silenced the alarm and got back in bed. A few minutes later it went off again. Realizing that I should check the stovetop, I found one of the burners was left in the low position, probably after being bumped.

I'm glad we have a propane detector.
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Old 10-24-2018, 08:36 PM   #2
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2015 28' International
Ofallon , Missouri
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Wow. I appreciate mine now! Always thought of it as good safety but unlikely to be needed. But when you do need it, it is literally a life saver.
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Old 10-24-2018, 08:55 PM   #3
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2019 27' Globetrotter
North Bay , Ontario
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Glad to hear you are OK. It does make you think.
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:06 PM   #4
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2007 27' Safari FB SE
Forest Grove , Oregon
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Thank you for taking the time to post. It helps to balance out the ones who have disconnected theirs to avoid phantom draw and because they see them as something not needed for what ever reason they have.......
For those of us with older trailers it is a good reminder to be sure ours are still functioning properly. I tested mine with a propane torch (not lit) this past summer and was quite surprised at the amount of gas it took to activate it. So I replaced it.
Protagonist has some good information on what happens to a person when inhaling propane, even without a boom.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:14 AM   #5
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2014 20' Flying Cloud
Watertown , Massachusetts
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Propane detector

Interesting. Where is the propane detector? I don't think we have one, but it sounds like a good idea. Did you add it or did your trailer come with it?

Our trailer is winterized and buttoned up for the winter, but I went in the other day to do a last check of any freezable liquids, and there was a detector high on the wall in the bed area beeping every so often. It was labeled as a CO detector, but having it high on the wall seemed like a bad idea since we'd be dead before the gas got that high. Now I'm wondering if it's a propane detector. I know CO is heavy and accumulates on the floor, but what about propane?

I tried to open it to remove and replace the battery, but couldn't figure out how to open it. Is this likely to be a propane detector?
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:30 AM   #6
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1984 34.5' Airstream 345
Franklin Park , Illinois
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Ditto that thanks
After I bought my airstream 345 motorhome I install the smoke and CO2 detector and a separate LP detector I located my LP detector just above the floor in the middle of a motorhome I do testing every once in a while and after hearing your story it makes me realize this was NOT a waste of time and money
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:31 AM   #7
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2019 25' International
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This reminds me of something I did with my new trailer on my first voyage. On the 3rd or 4th day when I was breaking camp and following my check sheet for everything internal, I looked over at the stovetop and saw that the front burner was barely on, the flame just visible. What I had done when turning it off that morning after cooking oatmeal, was to actually turn it to low (in the opposite direction of 'off'). After that, I always make sure I really turn it off.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:39 AM   #8
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2006 25' Safari FB SE
Draper , Utah
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On our first boondocking trip many years ago, I chained the, running, generator up to the A-frame at the front of the trailer. Not long after that, the CO detector started screeming.

We bugged out quickly on a cold October night, turned off the genny, and ventilated the trailer. Thank goodness for panoramic windows...

Never made that mistake again.

On a side note, we were once parked on a VERY dusty dirt road and were intermittently running the furnace. The CO detector went off once again. The furnace is in the rear of our trailer and the CO detector is in the front bedroom. All I can figure is it was old and malfunctioned, or the dust caused it to go off. Spooked me from sleeping with the furnace on for quite a while.

Yearly I test the CO detector by placing it in/near the exhaust of the generator.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:41 AM   #9
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Prescott , Arizona
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sallye View Post
Interesting. Where is the propane detector? I don't think we have one, but it sounds like a good idea. Did you add it or did your trailer come with it?

Our trailer is winterized and buttoned up for the winter, but I went in the other day to do a last check of any freezable liquids, and there was a detector high on the wall in the bed area beeping every so often. It was labeled as a CO detector, but having it high on the wall seemed like a bad idea since we'd be dead before the gas got that high. Now I'm wondering if it's a propane detector. I know CO is heavy and accumulates on the floor, but what about propane?

I tried to open it to remove and replace the battery, but couldn't figure out how to open it. Is this likely to be a propane detector?
CO is lighter than air and the detector should be placed higher up
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:56 AM   #10
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Greeneville , Tennessee
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Alarms are fun. Funny when they sound we think they are malfunctioning.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:23 AM   #11
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gurnee , Illinois
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Car running to close to the front open window, CO alarm went off. Wife cooking with door open blocking exhaust vent, smoke alarm when off. Raining out so I move the grill next to the trailer near open window, cook steaks, smoke alarm went off. Boon docked til the batteries almost died, last thing the propane detector does is to go off letting you know you no longer have an active propane detector, Propane detector went off. When your entire indoor life is living in a tin can many precautions must be taken to insure everyone's safety, this includes back up 9 volt battery before we leave for our smoke alarm/CO detector. Better safe than sorry.
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:27 AM   #12
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Surrey , British Columbia
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Our dog used to like lying on the lino flooring because it was cooler and that is where the propane detector is....she passed wind in the middle of the night and set it off (scared the you-know-what outta her and us too...). We found out it worked just fine
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:35 AM   #13
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Holmen , Wisconsin
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Propane Alarm -- CHECK the DATE

I have learned the hard way about propane alarms -- CHECK THE EXPIRATION DATE



We have an Airstream TT and a Truck Camper. Both have the same type of propane alarm. For some reason I changed my Airstream alarm at 5 years of age ( maybe I read it some place, maybe it did something goofy).



Several years ago on a fall trip in our truck camper in the middle of the nite in a Walmart parking lot our propane alarm went off -- note this is a big deal for us so we were wide awake. I hopped out of bed checked the stove burners ( none on) waved a magazine by the alarm and it silenced itself. ( My experience is that these alarms are super sensitive - it only takes a few stray molecules of propane to set them off.)



So everyone back to sleep. After another hour or so - a repeat performance when the propane alarm went off. And no apparent offender. ( As I recall it happened a total of 3 times in 1 nite.) The next morning I checked the date on the alarm - it had expired. Needless to say the next RV place we saw i was ordered to buy a new alarm and I was not permitted to put it in myself.


Moral of the story -- CHECK THE DATE CODE ON YOUR PROPANE ALARM EACH YEAR ( I assume all propane alarms have an expiration date.) If it is expired or soon to expire -- REPLACE IT!
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Old 10-25-2018, 10:36 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a.matches View Post
Our dog used to like lying on the lino flooring because it was cooler and that is where the propane detector is....she passed wind in the middle of the night and set it off (scared the you-know-what outta her and us too...). We found out it worked just fine
Have 2 dogs. Need to keep that in mind when we run low on propane.
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