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Old 06-05-2016, 09:02 PM   #1
Kevin & Marcia Howes
 
2014 16' Sport
ST Louis , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Intermittent Gas Smell

New Airstreamers and have 2014 Bambi Sport 16. Have noticed a smell in the trailer at night with the front window open. It goes and comes but can be overwhelming. Interesting next morning no issue when using gas for cooking with the window open. Control Valve? The odor seems strongest on the door side of the trailer. Opinions as to why we get it sometimes and not other?
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Old 06-05-2016, 09:35 PM   #2
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Hello, Welcome to Air Forums.

I don't have a definite answer but something for you to consider. Our Airstream has a propane odor when the tank is nearly empty. I don't know why this happens and we've inspected the copper tubing, joints, etc. and cannot identify any leaks. This may or may not be your issue but it's worth considering.

When one of our tanks nears "E" (we have gauges on the tanks) we begin smelling propane. Sometimes the odor is stronger than others. Sometimes we smell it inside the trailer sometimes outside the trailer. Weather conditions affect how strong the odor is for us - humidity seems to make the odor stronger.

Regardless of whether you find one of your tanks is nearly empty be sure to check the connections on the propane line. If you're not familiar with this be sure to go to a dealer and have them check it out.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:00 AM   #3
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Intermittent Gas Smell

By gas do you mean propane or sulphur? If propane do a leak test (soapy water on connections and pipes and check for bubbles). If sulphur that could be boiled batteries. Be careful either way and get it checked. We were at a site once and heard a BANG that shook the floor of our trailer. Turns out our neighbor's battery boiled and blew up.

If you're in close proximity to another camper it could be them as well. Good luck and stay safe.
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Old 06-06-2016, 08:49 AM   #4
Kevin & Marcia Howes
 
2014 16' Sport
ST Louis , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvestysly View Post
Hello, Welcome to Air Forums.

I don't have a definite answer but something for you to consider. Our Airstream has a propane odor when the tank is nearly empty. I don't know why this happens and we've inspected the copper tubing, joints, etc. and cannot identify any leaks. This may or may not be your issue but it's worth considering.

When one of our tanks nears "E" (we have gauges on the tanks) we begin smelling propane. Sometimes the odor is stronger than others. Sometimes we smell it inside the trailer sometimes outside the trailer. Weather conditions affect how strong the odor is for us - humidity seems to make the odor stronger.

Regardless of whether you find one of your tanks is nearly empty be sure to check the connections on the propane line. If you're not familiar with this be sure to go to a dealer and have them check it out.
Lucias and Danielle,

thanks for your response and you described exactly what we are experiencing. It had rained some Friday night so the humidity was high and I know the one tank is getting low but hasn't run out as the valve isn't red for that side. I am still going to get it checked out at the dealer when I can get in and do some line and connection checks with the soapy water method in between. We experienced the smell on just our 2nd trip last summer and it was hot and humid. Tanks should have been nearly full. Our first two trips in April of this year were the opposite where we actually needed heat because it was cool. I ended up turning the gas off while we slept and remarkably the hot water tank kept the water fairly hot next morning. Thanks for your reply again and your suggestions.

Kevin & Marcia Howes
2014 Sport 16
2011 BMW X5 D
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:11 AM   #5
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If the smell is sulfur check the water level in the batteries. If they are low and have boiled replace the batteries. Batteries in pair have to be replaced in pairs.

If it is propane shut off the tank over night and reopen them the next am. If you hear gas move as you open the tanks you have a leak. Now it is time to get out the soapy water.

Check the fitting from the hose off the tank to the piping under the trailer. That flare nut can vibrate loose.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:14 AM   #6
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Could be leaking from regulator vent

The regulator has a vent which is a hole about 3/4" in diameter that typically has a screen over it. It is usually on the bottom of the regulator. If the regulator is defective you could be getting leakage from the vent.

Al
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:37 AM   #7
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As someone else commented, about 6 months ago I thought I was having a propane problem and it was one of my batteries was going bad and had boiled the water. One battery read perfect the other one registered at 8 volts and was low on water. New battery from Costco and I'm good to go, and no more smell.
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Old 06-06-2016, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al and Missy View Post
The regulator has a vent which is a hole about 3/4" in diameter that typically has a screen over it. It is usually on the bottom of the regulator. If the regulator is defective you could be getting leakage from the vent.

Al
That vent is the atmosphere side of the diaphragm. If the diaphragm fails you will empty the tank in very short order. That is time to get out of Dodge.
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Old 06-06-2016, 02:41 PM   #9
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When a propane bottle is nearly empty the regulator may dump propane from the discharge vent on the regulator. The regulator will only pass through gas at the correct pressure. Test for propane fullness by pouring hot water down the outside of the tank. The cold metal will give an approximation of the gas level.

If the tank is not empty then an easy test is to daub soapy water (Dawn) over all of the fittings and look for bubbles growing.

If the piping is old it may be corroded - replace.
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Old 06-06-2016, 05:59 PM   #10
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Same thing happened to us on our year old Bambi Sport. Turned out to be a bad battery. I diagnosed it by pulling a battery cap and seeing the water boiling with water all over the battery (careful because it contains sulphuric acid and will burn). I took the battery back to the dealer and he replaced it for free -- could see it bulged and was defective.
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:13 AM   #11
Kevin & Marcia Howes
 
2014 16' Sport
ST Louis , Missouri
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveSueMac View Post
By gas do you mean propane or sulphur? If propane do a leak test (soapy water on connections and pipes and check for bubbles). If sulphur that could be boiled batteries. Be careful either way and get it checked. We were at a site once and heard a BANG that shook the floor of our trailer. Turns out our neighbor's battery boiled and blew up.

If you're in close proximity to another camper it could be them as well. Good luck and stay safe.
Thanks- I'll have a look at the battery
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Old 06-07-2016, 09:24 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by RyeL View Post
As someone else commented, about 6 months ago I thought I was having a propane problem and it was one of my batteries was going bad and had boiled the water. One battery read perfect the other one registered at 8 volts and was low on water. New battery from Costco and I'm good to go, and no more smell.
same here... fried both batteries
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