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Old 05-07-2005, 09:34 PM   #1
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1st post-resto trip

We just got back from three days in Ashland, OR with the newly restored Caravel. This trip once again proved that the best way to enjoy camping is to not get too hung up on little setbacks, be flexible, and make the best of it.

The part we had to be flexible about was that we turned on the water heater, and within a few minutes the cabin was filling up with what smelled like propane, or propane exhaust fumes! It seemed to be worst in the bathroom (where the water heater is), and under the fridge. We turned everything off, aired the place out, and then tried again, only to the same result (though the LP detector never went off). So the rest of the trip was limited to using water, electric, and the new fridge running on electric (which worked very well). Stove, water heater, and furnace were out. A quick trip to the hardware store for an electric space heater took care of the heat problem, and we enjoyed the rest of our trip. I wanted to investigate the propane leak, but Dave knows how obsessed I get with this stuff, so he wisely insisted that I forget about it, and go fishing.

The fishing was good advice. I enjoyed that very much, though I still didn't catch anything. Instead I got to chatting with the neighbors, who were also fishing, about bait and all. Found out they were full-timers from NC. Nice folks. Cute dog. They gave me some bait to try, which he had caught some trout with the day before, but I couldn't even get a nibble. Not that I minded sitting by the lakeshore, a couple feet from the door of my trailer, watching the osprey and herons fly by while the fish were ignoring me. Now I understand why people say a bad day fishing is still better than a good day working!

We went and saw a few plays in town at the Shakespere Festival, which was the whole point of the trip. All in all we had a very good time, and despite our problems we were still very happy to have our Caravel back on the road.
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Old 05-07-2005, 10:42 PM   #2
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Glad you were able to enjoy yourself despite the setbacks.

You'll fine tune your Caravel soon enough!

Keep us posted on what you find.
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Old 05-08-2005, 01:38 AM   #3
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Will do, I'm going to look into it tomorrow and see if I can narrow it down.

One other thing about the trip: the WD bars have never fit right. Because of the location of the tanks, I have to set the chains too far back, and I suspect the bars are much heavier than I need anyway. So this trip we left them home, and just used the ball and the sway control. The trailer towed exactly like before, but maybe with a little more gentle side-to-side bouncing. I'm hoping this will be easier on the trailer and it's newly repaired frame.
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Old 05-08-2005, 11:22 AM   #4
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Old 05-08-2005, 07:01 PM   #5
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Well, I tested all the appliances today and had no problems. I found a gap in the sealant around the water heater which I suppose exhaust could have leaked into the trailer through, so I sealed that up. Either way, it appears everything is working fine now. Looks like I'll get to enjoy a fully functional trailer at the next rally!
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Well, I tested all the appliances today and had no problems. I found a gap in the sealant around the water heater which I suppose exhaust could have leaked into the trailer through, so I sealed that up. Either way, it appears everything is working fine now. Looks like I'll get to enjoy a fully functional trailer at the next rally!
I'm so Happy you got the overhaul and repairs done. Can't wait to see it, now that you have the floor in.
Guess I'll have to wait for Trout Lake though. It's starting into our crazy season and we don't get much trailer time.
Well hope you have taken care of your exhaust leaks. Remeber that the exhaust is mostly carbon-monoxide so it probably won't fire off the propane detector before it does damage.
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Old 05-08-2005, 08:56 PM   #7
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I had a problem with water heater exhaust gasses in the coach last spring or maybe the fall before. I finally noticed that it was bad only when the wind was blowing back against the side of the coach where the heater is located. Further investigation disclosed that the gaskets and seals around the fittings were deteriorated at best, and all but gone in a few cases. There is a gasket kit for the Atwoodwood line, and I suppose for other brands as well.

About an hour of work at all was well. Yes, an hour. Those metal spring flanges which hold the gaskets for the inlet and exhaust ports are a real pain for the uninitiated.

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Old 05-08-2005, 09:38 PM   #8
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Remeber that the exhaust is mostly carbon-monoxide so it probably won't fire off the propane detector before it does damage.
I guess that's when I see if the CO detector works. Though really it was pretty stinky, so it's not like we didn't know something was getting in.

Gary, you won't believe how nice the trailer is now compared to BG lake! I can't wait to show it off!

Thanks for the advice, Mark, I'll check out the gaskets. Seems to me that nothing should get inside though, because the inlet and outlet are both outside the trailer. The seal I fixed was where the propane line comes out - it comes up in the bathroom closet through the floor of the trailer, then goes into the water heater casing and comes out the front and goes into the burner. It was windy, so it's possible it was just blowing it back into the closet through that hole.
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Old 05-09-2005, 12:00 AM   #9
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Seems to me that nothing should get inside though, because the inlet and outlet are both outside the trailer.
Yes, but the water tank is INSIDE the trailer, so there has to be a passage somewhere. That is where the gaskets come in. Without them the exhaust gasses can be blown through the intervening panel.

Again, mine was an Atwood, so yours may be different, but I know there were gaskets for the inlet and exhaust, the pressure relief valve, and it sure seems like there were maybe two other penetrations.

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Old 05-09-2005, 01:33 AM   #10
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Great !!

I bet you feel good about that eh ? You'll have the bugs worked out in no time. Congrats !

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