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Old 08-22-2012, 04:08 PM   #1
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New Market , Virginia
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Problem with propane tank cover

Am on first night of a cross country trip. Never have used stove but tonight want to. Have a 22' sport Bambi with a plastic cover over tanks.

Can't get cover off. Turned on tanks (through top holes) but no luck with lighting burners, so I must be missing something under the cover.

Yes?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:23 PM   #2
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If the new trailers are like the vintage units, there is a valve in the line under the trailer. If not, look under the stove top. I would bet money there is a shut off valve somewhere in the line. Usually each appliance has it's individual shut off valve.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:26 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MStewart View Post
Am on first night of a cross country trip. Never have used stove but tonight want to. Have a 22' sport Bambi with a plastic cover over tanks.

Can't get cover off. Turned on tanks (through top holes) but no luck with lighting burners, so I must be missing something under the cover.

Yes?

Thanks for the help.
Three simple things, are the tanks empty? Simply dinging them with a screwdriver, etc. will sound hollow if low or empty. Second, the regulator has a valve that turns from one tank to the other, if you have one tank empty and the valve is turned to it, switching to the other might give you gas. (er -propane). Third, the stove doesn't have a pilot light- you have to use the sparker aka: igniter, or a match or lighter.

Last, I never turn on the exhaust fan until after the flame is lit.

Do you have a white plastic cover or an Aluminum one? They are removed differently.

Paula
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:32 PM   #4
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Got cover off but can't see anything more than I already did (turn propane on). Crawled under trailer and followed line from tanks to where they come into trailer. Nothing.

Stove top doesn't lift up.
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:38 PM   #5
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Tanks have never been used and sound full. I have been doing the sparkler thing, no luck. Switched the lever to one tank, tried to light, then to the other, tried to light again without luck.

Keep thinking!
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:40 PM   #6
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Exhaust fan is off. No luck.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:07 PM   #7
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Fixed! Air in line, bled and now working. Thank you so much.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:04 PM   #8
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Fixed! Air in line, bled and now working. Thank you so much.
For future reference, if you don't know how much LP is in the tanks, simply pour some hot water over them. A dew line will form at the level of the cold LP on the outside of the tanks.
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Old 08-23-2012, 04:50 AM   #9
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Thanks for that advice. Even though I got it going, was fiddling a lot with knobs. Noticed this morning that one knob was left on "light" and now nothing will light. If I drained them in one night this can go in the thread about dumb thing I have done. Will try the hot water trick and hope, once the sun comes up.

Thank you again. Live and learn.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:14 AM   #10
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Thanks for that advice. Even though I got it going, was fiddling a lot with knobs. Noticed this morning that one knob was left on "light" and now nothing will light. If I drained them in one night this can go in the thread about dumb thing I have done. Will try the hot water trick and hope, once the sun comes up.

Thank you again. Live and learn.
AIR OUT THE TRAILER before trying to light anything! Remember propane is heavier than air and will be near the floor, so you'll need to open your door.
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:38 AM   #11
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I second what Skater wrote. Also if you did leave the gas on, your alarm below the oven area should have sounded...

I would look at your regulator by your tanks. There should be a plastic dome above the switch over valve. Inside the dome is a red/green indicator. This will show you if the selected tank has pressure. Is it Green or Red, or somewhere in between? I would do this for both tanks.

In my opinion, this is kind of like a go/no go indicator. It will detect pressure, but not the amount of gas. I know the valve is an 'automatic crossover' valve, but I don't keep both tanks open at the same time. When one tank begins to show more red than green, I open up the full one switch the valve over, and close the almost empty one.

I learned on our second or third trip when we ran out of gas in the middle of making breakfast. No biggie, good thing there was still some hot coffee left , and the campground refilled tanks.

I know the valve is supposed to be automatic, but...

The second tank will usually be ok for the rest of the trip. When home, I will have both refilled before our next trip.

Good Luck and Be Safe
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:34 PM   #12
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Another way to tell how much propane is in a tank is to weigh it. A bathroom scale works; or we use a small portable luggage scale (kind of like a fish scale) that we found near the suit cases in Walmart, for a couple of bucks. This isn't rocket science, so it doesn't have to be terribly accurate.

Not sure which tanks you have, but the tall ones hold 30 pounds of propane, and the smaller (BBQ size) tanks hold 20 pounds. The empty weight of each tank is stamped on the tank body or handle, and that value needs to be included when calculating the total tank weight when full. Just subtract the empty weight from the total weight to determine how much propane is in the tank.

Also, when refilling, some places charge a flat rate, while others have a minimum charge. So, it pays to wait until a tank is almost empty. If it is more than half full, you may be paying more (sometimes, much more) than necessary.

Note: In sub-freezing weather, tank pressure drops; so you may have to refill tanks when they get down to 1/2 or 1/3 full. Otherwise, your propane alarm will sound (usually in the middle of the night) and propane appliances won't work reliably, especially the furnace.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:27 PM   #13
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MStewart,
  • Are any of your propane appliances working?
    • Refrigerator
    • Hot Water Heater
    • Furnace
This first step will prove the absence or presence of propane. If the answer to this first question is yes, you have propane. If the answer is no, I'd try to go to a propane dealer and get your tanks weighed and filled (if necessary).
  • If you have propane, you need to make sure that the gas line to the stove is purged of air.
    • turn on all of the burners on your stove for about 30 seconds or until you smell propane; then turn them off but do not attempt to light anything during this step.
    • Can you hear any noise like something is coming out of the burner(s)?
    • Do you smell propane? If the answer is yes, wait about five minutes, review the stove lighting instructions and try relighting after five minutes have elapsed.
    • If you hear some sound but didn't smell any gas, repeat the previous step (purging the line to the stove) one more time. If that doesn't bear fruit, I'd go to an RV dealer or find someone with experience in these matters and ask them to troubleshoot this issue further.
I wish you the best in getting this straightened out. You'll be "cooking with gas" pretty soon!
All my best,

Steve
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:49 PM   #14
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I have found that with some of the change over valves if you turn on the tank the valve isn't set to first no propane will come out until you change the valve.
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