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Old 07-22-2019, 11:58 AM   #1
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High Altitude RV段ng

Hello all! We are going to Yellowstone in a few months. Altitude is 7000+ feet. That means the air is thinner and fuel burning devices, heck, even baking bread, all works different. The question is, are there adjustments needed to the water, air and refrigerator burners? I can foresee possibly adjusting the propane mix to burn properly. Thoughts? Experiences are much appreciated!!
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:13 PM   #2
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I have never had to change anything on my propane systems, stove, refer or heater. We have camped at Convict Lake, CA 7,850' for several months March through Oct. (camp host) Snow and ice to 100 degree heat with no issues at all. Enjoy.

As you mentioned cooking at high elevations will require longer cook times. For example at sea level water boils at 212 degrees. At 7,500' water boils at 198 degrees. So it will take longer to cook food safely.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by DAVSCH View Post
Hello all! We are going to Yellowstone in a few months. Altitude is 7000+ feet. That means the air is thinner and fuel burning devices, heck, even baking bread, all works different. The question is, are there adjustments needed to the water, air and refrigerator burners? I can foresee possibly adjusting the propane mix to burn properly. Thoughts? Experiences are much appreciated!!
I've camped a bunch of times at 7700 ft in Gunnison, CO and both my old trailer and new worked fine with no adjustments. I can't remember if I've ever used the furnace there (I go there in the summer) but the fridge and water heater work fine. I've done both boondocking or plugging in a long cheap cord at a friend's place (no need for AC!) When I was boondocking I was still using a big bulletproof 3k Yamaha, and with enough power to keep the battery charged at my friend's place I haven't used the newer 2k generators up there, but I did at 8000 ft on Casper Mountain and they worked fine up there.
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Old 07-22-2019, 12:29 PM   #4
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Was at Yellowstone/Grand Tetons for a week last year in our '04 Safari 25...no issues with any of the appliances except aforementioned considerations for cooking at altitude. Rig worked like a champ.
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:15 PM   #5
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As shown above and in my own travels, high altitude RV'ing is awesome and definitely doable. Likely without any additional effort to make sure all the propane fired gear is working.

That said, it can be challenging at times depending on age, particular appliance, condition, etc. To your point which I believe is the goal of this thread, is to be informed as to potential issues and workarounds.

Air is less dense and has less oxygen up there. Some devices may need some adjustment to open breather gaps to burn more optimally. Sometimes they can be too "blue" without enough oxygen to burn optimally. How to adjust depends on that particular item.

Older regulators (device at the propane tank) seem not to like elevation and their worn diaphragms don't deliver enough propane pressure. One of the key ways to "supercharge" and ensure the devices work and work better, is to increase propane pressure. Standard is 11 inches of water. Many say that increasing it up to 14 inches of water column help devices run more stably at higher elevations. If you find devices flaming out, this is likely the problem that needs to be addressed.

Every regulator comes adjusted off the production line. In a bind and without a manometer, one can adjust the regulator with an allen wrench 1/2 turn to see if it improves. Perhaps another one to two, half turns can get things working again. The allen screw is usually behind a plastic hex cap.

I had a problem with my water heater flaming out at just over 6000' elevation. I adjusted my regulator 1 full turn. Just did a weeklong trip over 7000' and everything worked great.
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:45 PM   #6
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I lived in the Lake District (north end of Yellowstone Lake) for 10 straight summers, 2008-2018. Elevation just under 8000'. Never had to adjust any of the propane appliances. Water boils at 190f so eggs and pasta take longer. Never tried seriously to bake as it does take some skill.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:49 PM   #7
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Forgot to mention. Adjusting the regulator. Clockwise is to increase pressure. Counter-clockwise decrease.

If something doesn't work, give the pressure regulator 1/2 a turn and give it a try again.
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Old 07-22-2019, 08:07 PM   #8
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High Altitude Camping

We live at 7400 feet in Monument, CO and regularly camp at 10,000 feet. We have put high altitude jets in our two Honda 2000 generators to improve their operation (less carbon build-up = easier to start). You will need two generator because of the loss of power/efficiency at these altitudes. We also found that our water heater was not operating well until we increased the air flow (on the sliding tube) to adjust for less oxygen and attain a blue flame. We have had no problems with the furnace or refrigerator when operating on gas. The TVs, with their new ECU-operated fuel injection (and turbo charging), do fine (for the most part).

For cooking, particularly boiled food, an Instapot greatly speeds up the cooking process.
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Old 07-22-2019, 09:47 PM   #9
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We live at 5,000 feet. We did adjust the water heater air inlet tube to get a better looking flame (there are youtube videos). The furnace and fridge don't seem to have any adjustments. We have camped from sea level to 10,000 feet without any trouble.

We have seen people with a fridge that worked fine at 5,000 feet and worked badly at 10,000 (the flame needed many tries to start, and would sometimes go out).

We got a Honda 1000 generator. It came with a sea-level jet, and we could not get it to start until we put in a high-altitude jet.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:12 PM   #10
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High Altitude RV段ng

I知 boondocking outside Telluride at 9700 ft. right now and the furnace is working to take the chill out of the air just fine. No problems with the stove, refrigerator or hot water heater. The hot water heater does seem to run a little longer than usual though.
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Old 07-22-2019, 11:22 PM   #11
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Most of the information is correct and you probably will not need to adjust anything. However you probably have the same regulator that is (was) on our 2019 so you may have problems depending on how it was adjusted at the factory.

We picked up our new trailer in Iowa and went to Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, and then home. Everything worked fine on propane for the whole trip.

The last day we came from 1800' to over 6000'. We got home and cleaned out the trailer and put it in storage. The next time we used the trailer, I was not able to get any of the propane appliances to work. I would get just enough propane to light one burner on the stove and then the flame would go out. If I waited a few minutes, it would light and then go out again.

I visited with 3 different people at Airstream and 2 different RV repair people. They all told me I needed a new regulator. Since Airstream does not cover mobile RV repair and the nearest dealer is over 6 hours away, I ordered a new regulator on my dime.

Guess what came with the new regulator - instructions on how to adjust the pressure. It requires a small screwdriver and when I turned it, a good flow of propane came out of the regulator. Now I just need to build a manometer to set the pressure and reinstall the regulator.
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Old 07-23-2019, 08:18 AM   #12
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Only the Honda dual fuel 2000 has needed adjustment at altitude.
Easily done with UScarb conversion.👍

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Old 07-24-2019, 11:16 AM   #13
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We just left Leadville, Colorado @10,000 feet. The furnace did fine. The LP water heater did fine. The air was thin but the LP/air ratio appears to self-adjust.

I think you will be fine.
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