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Old 12-01-2003, 10:15 PM   #1
Rivet Master
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1992 30' Airstream 30
Santa Rosa , Northern California wine country
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 618
Images: 4
Bleed lines after propane refill!!!

On my way to Seattle from the San Francisco bay area. It got dark, and my running lights stopped working. So I stopped for the night at this truck stop in Weed, CA. Tried to turn on furnace. NOTHING! Again...nada. Went to sleep. Froze.
Couldn't sleep...thinking about the Donner party. Freezing! Curled up like my cat Silver, covered all up, put on all my clothing in layers and my down jacket....helped somewhat. Now that I'm warming up, had to get up in the cold to pee (even that was tepid).
Got up, still dark, ate a banana I left up front...frozen, crunchy, good. Darn, no coffee, oh well, generator not working anyway for the microwave. Must... get... to... MacDonald's...
I thought, "what the heck, I'm going" and I left in pitch black with my emergency blinkers on til it got light. (but I was warm again).

Fast forward on the way home I passed this place again and to my awe and astonishment, I had boondocked at the foot of Mt. Shasta! Snow down close to the base. No wonder I froze. It was so dark I didn't see it! Boy was that mountain pretty! I'll never forget it.

On edit: I forgot to say, the furnace didn't work because I didn't bleed the lines after refilling the tank. An RV place turned on the stove, then the furnace worked too. I think he felt sorry for me because he didn't charge me anything

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Old 12-01-2003, 10:25 PM   #2
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1968 17' Caravel
Battle Ground , Washington
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,818
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Wow, that's a tough way to learn your lesson! I feel for you. No one should have to spend a night like that. Sounds like being at the foot of the mountain would have been a pretty cool place to wake up under warmer circumstance.

I have also learned to not even bother trying to start any propane appliances until I've been able to light a burner on the stove. I've held the pilot button on the furnace until my fingers were numb, when all I needed to do is light the stove first and then the furnace will start right up!


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Old 12-01-2003, 10:33 PM   #3
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1959 24' Tradewind
Phoenix , Arizona
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: I currently do not own a 2nd Airstream
Posts: 4,313
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I found this out as well. Burner first - anything else there after.

4CU 2699 / AIR 10 / TAC AZ-1

I'm haunted by aluminum.
Charter Member of the 4 Corners Unit.
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Old 12-01-2003, 11:05 PM   #4
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1986 34.5' Airstream 345
Louisville , Kentucky
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,861
Images: 4
Backup plan

This may sound silly but I've kept two North Face sleeping bags under the bed storage since we got the MH.

I lost a furnace last December in NH (in another brand) and nearly froze..certainly did not sleep. Since then I've used the bags once in the AS, when I ran my coach battery down dry camping at Wal Mart in the smokies this fall. The furnaces stopped igniting without enough power for the fans so it got real cold, real fast.

The last thing you want to do is deal with cold batteries or gas lines at 3:30am....the bags are rated to 30 I was toasty until morning.

Better safe (and warm) then sorry.

I've also heard stove first from my favorite RV mechanic.
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
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Old 12-01-2003, 11:08 PM   #5
Rivet Master
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1992 30' Airstream 30
Santa Rosa , Northern California wine country
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 618
Images: 4
Those sleeping bags sound like a great idea. I wouldn't want my kids to go through that! I'll buy some soon.
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