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Old 10-08-2002, 03:02 PM   #1
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Unhappy LP Gas/Carbon Monoxide Detectors

I need to install some safety stuff on my 1980 Caravelle. Can you please advise me on LP gas, and Carbon Monoxide detectors. I have a smoke detector. Being new at this, I thought I could get such detectors that would opperate like the smoke detectors - a long time on a 9v battery. Wrong. The best I've been able to locate is an 110AC LP detector with recharable battery back up - for $67 plus postage. Do I need a Carbon Monoxide detector? I will appreciate any advice. Thanks, Joe
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Old 10-08-2002, 03:27 PM   #2
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My advice is to get the Carbon Monoxide detector, use your nose, and save the $67.00 bucks on the LP detector. Most of the LP fittings are outside of the unit and LP is heavier than air so it will sink. Since the trailer is higher than the ground it will tend to sink out of the trailer if the leak is small. Big leaks you will smell. There are 12VDC Carbon Monoxide detectors available, I have one but it was installed with a on/off switch by the PO.

The carbon Monoxide detector is really only needed if you will be doing alot of cool/cold weather camping and plan to use your furnace and cooktop with the trailer closed up. If your pricipal use is summer camping then the need would be minimal. This is MY opinion, I advocate safety, but not if it seems to be overkill. You should do what makes you sleep well at night.

You have the furnace, cooktop, and refer that can create Carbon Monoxide. These should be checked each year for proper operation. This is where I would suggest spending the $67.00 since you do not know the history of the appliances.
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Old 10-08-2002, 03:32 PM   #3
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Joe,
You need a battery operated smoke and a CO detector designed for RV use.
Here is a basic RV safety link I found.
Randy

http://www.rversonline.org/01ConfCCFire.html
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Old 10-08-2002, 03:50 PM   #4
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Gas detectors

Thanks Brett, Good advice. I was worried about not waking up in the morning. It does seem logical that the LP gas will drop out the bottom. The carbon monoxide is another thing all together. Most of my camping is in the winter down here in the South. The summers are too hot - I go with my Scout troop to summer camp, but my family and I prefer either the winter or mountains. (Well, I keep forgetting that I now have air-conditioning so that my change). So, I will definately get a carbon Monoxide detector, and re-think the LP gas. Maybe I'll get a hand held detector to periodically check for LP leaks.

Thank you, and God Bless, Joe
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Old 10-08-2002, 03:55 PM   #5
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Gas detectors and fire

Randy, Great advice on the Web Link. Thanks, Joe
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Old 10-08-2002, 04:38 PM   #6
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I purchased a combination Smoke/fire/carbon monoxide alarm by Alert from the local Lowes lumber yard. It seems to work fine and is battery powered.
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Old 10-08-2002, 04:44 PM   #7
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Just to add

The three things that scare me when I sleep are the furnace, the water heater, and my wife. They make detectors for the first two.
I turn my water heater off at night just to rule it out because it is gas only. Even if it catches fire and the detector wakes me up, I would rather fight the fire during the day with my pants on.
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Old 10-08-2002, 05:25 PM   #8
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I find at night the standing pilot keeps the water warm enough that the main burner will not light unless it is very cold out. The noise would be my main reason for turning off the water heater. The hand held unit is a good idea, you may get nominated as the saftey officer of your unit if members know you have a handheld unit. Fittings on the tanks and the connected hoses will tend to leak with age, so checking these should be done a few times a year.

Randy, Figting a fire in your underwear is part of the "camping" experience not to be missed. Besides it gives all the neighbors something to talk about over morning coffee!
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Old 10-08-2002, 09:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by thenewkid64
I find at night the standing pilot keeps the water warm enough that the main burner will not light unless it is very cold out. The noise would be my main reason for turning off the water heater.
My water heater has the self igniter so it has no standing pilot. I do miss the pilot in the fact that the main burner usually only ran when I used water. With the self igniter the water heater will call for heat a couple times a night. It takes me a few nights to get used to the click and the pop of the heater starting up in the middle of the night. Its a strange enough noise that it usually will wake me up, especially since the heater sits underneath my streetside twin bed.

Jack
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Old 10-09-2002, 01:34 PM   #10
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Randy, Try tying a bell around your wifes big toe. Poor man's wife detector. I think we're on to something here... Joe
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Old 10-09-2002, 01:37 PM   #11
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Lightbulb Funny

That was good but on the serious side..........

This thread got my attention. I went and bought CO detector during my lunch break.

My son and I are going to our first Rally this month near the mountains of SC / TN ,( Cleveland SC), and we may need to run the furnace.

His mom would be really upset if we did not come back safe and sound.

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Old 10-09-2002, 01:38 PM   #12
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Hey Joe

I just noticed your location!!!!!!!!!

Are you a member at the local WBCCI chapter?

Good to see someone from close by on this forum.

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AKA Ken Smillie
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Old 10-09-2002, 01:41 PM   #13
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Combination detectors

Craig, That's what I'm going to do. In fact, I bought a combination smoke and carbon monoxide detector at Lowes for my daughter's college dorm room last year that I will be using. What would be the value of getting one made specifically for RVs? Thanks, Joe
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Old 10-09-2002, 02:37 PM   #14
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Wink WBCCI chapter & CO

Ken, My wife wanted me to exercise some, so we just got back from a bike ride while the rain let up, or I would have responded quicker. I didn't take my on advice to tie the bell on her toe. Next time. (She gave me permission to say that.) I'm don't know much about WBCCI, nor anything about a local WBCCI chapter. What's it all about? You're right about the CO detector - scary stuff. I do plan to get one of the inexpensive hand held LP detectors. My main concern is that I've just bought my outfit and have yet to camp in it. So I have no experience with any of the equipment. Right now it is having new curtains installed and this week end I hope to carpet the inside. I just finished repairing the floor, water hoses, and a bunch of cosmetic cleaning, etc. Yep, I'm down hill here in Mt. Pleasant. Joe
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Old 10-09-2002, 02:44 PM   #15
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Detectors

Joe,
I looked through RV catalogs and over the internet and have read different opinions of 12 volt direct wire-in vs. 9 volt replaceable battery. I don't think I have ever seen a test comparing a 110/120 volt plug-in vs. 12 volt wire-in vs. replaceable batteries or home vs. RV. Most of my camping is boondocking during the turkey and deer hunting season where 110 v. is not available. I have two 9 v. battery smoke detectors in my house on a single level and change them every year during the time change because I have an Earth Stove wood burning stove on a stone hearth to offset the electric heat pump. I test them every once in awhile to make sure everything is working properly. I write the date I put the battery in directly on the battery with a marking pen to make sure I do not mess up and skip the replacement date.

My rationale for using 9 v. or replaceable batteries is that the power source in totally independent of my trailer batteries or 110 v. shore power. What if something caused my two trailer batteries to run down during the night (slim chance but who knows) or the 110 v. power at a campground goes out due to electrical failure at the post or the entire grid for that section. Where is my protection from smoke, fire or carbon monoxide? I'm still looking for a suitable LP battery detector and if I can't find a replaceable battery detector I like then I will bite the bullet and get a 12 v. wire-in style. My only concern is with how much it draws from the two 12 v. trailer batteries and if my 5 watt solar charger/maintainer will offset this and still have the power to keep the batteries up like it does now.
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:05 PM   #16
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Batteries and LP Gas

Craig,

Yeah, I like the idea of fresh batteries and there being independent of the AC plug. But it appears that because the LP detectors require so much power that they don't last too long. I have found one hand held at Camper World (see below) that'll last through the night. I may go this route, or I may have some install a system that'll work with AC with a 12v backup Portable Gas Detector.

Camper World: Hand held detector locates leaks of LP, butane, methane and natural gas. $29.67 Member SALE * SALE $32.97 Reg. $36.99

One site had an interesting observation. It says to use RV certified detectors. What's the difference? See below:

Make sure the CO detector you select is certified for RV use. Certain popular brands commonly found in department and discount stores may not be certified for use in motorhomes. All CO detectors for RV use must be labeled as meeting UL Standard for Safety No. 2034 Single and Multiple Station Carbon-Monoxide Detectors.

I added to the end of this post a comment from the same site about fire extingueshers. Though if I have a lp explosion, fire is the least of my problem.


Fire Extinguishers:
Have at least two... one in the cooking area, and one close to the sleeping facilities. The fire departments recommend a 2A-10BC, it's a 5 pound dry chemical extinguisher, and can be used against any type of fire. With an adequate fire extinguisher and quick detection, your chances of putting out most fires are good.

I called one of the local Trailer places and asked about installing a LP detector. They didn't give me much confidence. Most of the newer trailers have them installed as required by law. So, I suspect they don't do a lot of retrofitting. I'll keep at it until I get the right stuff to protect my family.

Deer hunting. I hope to use my toaster in the same way occasionally. Last year they killed about 50,000+ deer in South Carolina, and about that many on the highway. Friends of mine in the SC Wildlife and Natural Resources says they harvested many for charity that were eating farmers out of a living. I wonder why it is that when I go in the woods with my rifle I see few deer? Someone is getting my share! Joe
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Old 10-09-2002, 04:25 PM   #17
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Joe,
The LP detectors I see listed at Camping World are the same design or model as other catalogs I have looked at. It still makes me wonder why the "Certified for RV use"? Why do the LP detectors require so much power?
I had one fire extinguisher sitting in the spice rack when I bought my trailer. A lot of good it would do if I had a fire on the stove. I moved it to a side credenza next to the sink. I have another that is under the flex-steel couch to the right of the entrance door. I will either mount it low on the wall just to the right of the inside entrance wall or wiretie it to the frame of the couch next to the floor. I have a 10 lb. extinguisher that I have thought about putting in one of the wardrobe cabinents near the end of the trailer but I try not to store anything near the end because I have the rear bath and tanks.
Deer are strange creatures. Three years ago, I saw just one deer during bow season standing in the middle of the logging road as I was driving in. I walked into a bedding area by mistake the next afternoon but the grass was so high that I only heard them running. I had no luck with bow, muzzleloader or rifle that year. Matter of fact, deer hunting has turned upside down for me. In the last 3 years I have harvested only 2 deer and both were by bows. This year I am off to a good start with one in the freezer on the second day.
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Old 10-10-2002, 07:14 AM   #18
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Joe

Joe,

Installed new CO detector last night and gave my furnace another test run. Works great with no CO emanations.

I am also new to the AS but I have camped a few times and my wife is ready to leave me if I work on the AS any more, I am gonna miss her, just kidding but she is jealous.........

We installed new curtains for a great price. Dont know where you are having yours done but we spent less than 300 dollars for hours at a shop over in West Ashley. I can point you in the direction if needed.

I have just went through all of the upgrades you describe and some. I think I will start on the outside of the trailer this winter... maybe.

Any way we are joining the WBCCI South Carolina Coastal Unit and I plan to attend a the State Rally the 16th of Oct -20th. My wife has other plans but me and the boy are going.

You can join the unit for free if you are first time owner of AS. Details in the community forum under free WBCCI memberships.

you can also type in www.WBCCI.com and you can e-mail the membership director for details. or you can just call myself or
Ms Marie Syrett @ (843) 766-1227. She is the local chapter president.


My phone number is (843) 200 5577 if you would like to chat.

Ken
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Old 10-12-2002, 12:41 PM   #19
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Got gas detectors

Ken & Craig,

Ken, I may call you if I run into any trouble as I continue to renovate. I also got a new CO and Smoke detector, as well as, a Fire Extinguisher - all from Lowes. Sometime soon I'll have someone, maybe Sonny's install a 12v LP detector with a AC override(?). I'm going to crank up the water heater next week, get new tires, and install carpet. Right now the toaster is having curtains installed. Looking at your price, I see that I paid way too much for curtains. It was ready Friday, but the bridge winds where too high due to the storm, so I'll pick it up Monday. My plan is to have it ready by the end of the week so I can take it to Clemson for Parent's Weekend. This will be my first trip with the Airstream. Keep me informed as you start on the outside. Thanks the next thing for me too. Ken, Who do you use locally for service?

Thanks Craig for your good advice. I think you are right about a LP detector certified for RV use - associated with a 12v system.

Peace, Joe
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Old 10-13-2002, 07:13 AM   #20
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Services

I do everything myself. I usually get advice from the forum or I will go talk to Donny over at Sonny's RV. I will buy parts from him sometimes but I exhaust all other resources first. RV sales places are just like baot shops, they mark everything up big time, example: I bought marker lights from Sonny's for 5 dollars ea. I go to Wal-mart and they have the exact same light for half the price. This has been the case with many items. I also have a resource for used parts that I met through E-bay. I buy direct from him now. Anyway, calls are welcome. We are currently tying to upgrade to a 34 foot excella.

Got the bug nad the wife wants her own permanent bedroom instead of folding out the Gaucho. I want grey water tank.

Ken, ( smily)
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