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Old 01-11-2011, 06:47 AM   #1
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2006 25' Safari
Buffalo Grove , Illinois
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Propane detector disconnect

I am rustic camping and wonder if there is a way to disconnect the propane alarm, I'm told it eats up the batteries. advise!
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:07 AM   #2
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Tafton , Pennsylvania
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I'm not sure I'd recommend doing it, but I had one malfunction a couple of years ago while boon docking. I made a cell call to the dealer and he said the only way to stop the noise it was making was to cut the wire going to it. they are hard-wired to be on all the time.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:45 AM   #3
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Just bought a new CO/LP alarm for my 1974.
It draws 108 milliamps. That is .108 Amps.
If that was the only thing on a 100 Amp/Hour battery, your battery would theoretically last 926 hours.

Aside from that I would rather use my TV to recharge my AS battery more often than disconnect something that could save my life.

I installed a battery switch to turn off the battery when i'm not using the AS so nothing will drain the battery.

If you really thought it was necessary, you could add a switch to have the alarm off when you are awake and could smell the gas, and on at night when you are sleeping.
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:24 AM   #4
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South of the river , Minnesota
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I do not believe that LP alarms provide a material safety benefit in RVs.

They came to the RV industry from yachts and stick houses. Both of these environments have a much worse history of fires and explosions from propane leaks, yachts especially. In a yacht, there is the problem of propane accumulating below decks and in the bilge, where it can go unnoticed since these areas are often unoccupied. The warning properties of the propane odorant are less useful in a yacht, because a mixture of strong odors is not entirely unusual in the bilge area or below decks.

Unlike a yacht or stick house, nearly all the propane plumbing in an RV is outdoors.

Fires in travel trailers are nearly always electrical in origin; those few that are not are generally appliance or smoking related. An arc fault circuit breaker would be a better investment in safety than a propane detector.

In addition to being the largest source of phantom draw on the 12v system, propane detectors are notorious for false alarms, and have a short useful life. The useful life is usually quoted at five years but there are plenty of examples of earlier and later failures.

I maintain nearly all of the safety-related systems on my trailer with great care, and have added the Hensley hitch chiefly for its safety benefit. I tolerate the numerous false alarms from the smoke detector and replace the battery every year because there is little doubt that smoke detectors save lives. And I understand the sentiment that any safety improvement, however marginal, is worthwhile. But my choice, in my trailer, has been to remove and discard the propane detector.
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:10 AM   #5
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We added single-pole toggle switches to ours (the lp and co) when we installed them:


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Old 01-11-2011, 12:52 PM   #6
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Buffalo Grove , Illinois
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Thanks all, I will try to put a volt meter on it and see the draw.
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #7
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Joshua , Texas
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I just wired an in-line fuse (small amp) to ours....when it is put in storage, I just pull the fuse out....the in-line fuse was something I found around the house or else I would have put a switch on it.
History doesn't repeat itself, people do!
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:09 PM   #8
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I just installed a marine battery switch. That way batteries are completely disconnected. This also prevents the batteries from boiling dry when connected to shore power. No problems with batteries since doing this the year after we bought our 2005 Bambi.
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