What are your thoughts? - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-08-2011, 07:08 PM   #29
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Name: Norm and Ginny
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Francesca,

I have never heard of a case where the burning of propane has created enough carbon dioxide to make it impossible for someone to breath, to literally drown in Carbon Dioxide.

The real problem is Carbon Monoxide, the result of incomplete burning of propane; heavy Carbon monoxide production is really rare in a propane stove.

Norm
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:36 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honda03842 View Post
Francesca,

I have never heard of a case where the burning of propane has created enough carbon dioxide to make it impossible for someone to breath, to literally drown in Carbon Dioxide.

The real problem is Carbon Monoxide, the result of incomplete burning of propane; heavy Carbon monoxide production is really rare in a propane stove.

Norm
?????
That's what I just said, except your "the real problem part"
I'll say it again, shorter:
Carbon DIoxide is not a threat.
Carbon MONoxide poisoning from propane combustion is extremely rare.
The main threat from propane combustion is oxygen depletion.

And I'll add:All boat-related CO deaths at this national tracking site are from gasoline or diesel engine fumes. Like most CO poisonings.
http://www.coactiongroup.org/index.html


Francesca
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:38 PM   #31
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I have spent many years working with natural gas and propane. the fact is that i no longer work on propane because it causes my liability insurance to literally double. a propane water heater costs appx. $100 to $150 more than a natural gas water heater soley because it is so much more dangerous, not because any parts are more expensive to make (manufacturers liability insurance). I would not feel safe having propane in my house, so I would definitely not have it in my camper. Having said that, I do use propane to cook with outside. I only go to campgrounds that have full hook-ups (with few exceptions). I bought a yamaha generator a couple years ago, but have not ever used it camping and probably never will. We camp mostly in warm to hot weather and will not be without A/C. To the best of my knowledge, even propane campers need electric to run their A/C.

MY VOTE: NO PROPANE

ps: I know I am in the minority on this issue

Art
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:46 PM   #32
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Nick

Part of what I do is install and maintain Security Systems and a Fire and Gas protection system is part of most of them.

If properly designed,installed and maintained these systems are made to prevent these types of needless deaths.

Knowing how these gases disperse and are detected is the first step.
Each different toxic gas follows certain distinct patterns when produced and will disperse according to the same patterns.
This will dictate the type and position of a detector.

Installing a device exactly as it is designed and making certain there is power to the detector if there is power to the gas producing device is the 2nd step and making sure to use properly and replace the detector at the end of its useful lifespan is the 3rd step.

I am thinking of a certain trailer I had where the fridge was installed exactly as the picture in the manual said NOT to do it!
I called the trailer manufacturer and asked them about it and they told me that was how they had always installed them and would always install them?!?!

So I re-installed it the way the manual said to and kept using it confident that now I would not be pumping gas into the trailer by design.
I just can not understand that type of customer support and I am sure you are going the right direction by thinking about all of this.

Ed
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Old 06-08-2011, 07:56 PM   #33
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carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen in the blood stream and that is what causes death. not because the oxygen in the room is gone, but because the carbon monoxide attaches more easily. Carbon monoxide is present in the exhause any time you have incomplete combustion. If you have a blue flame, you do not have carbon monoxide, yellow or orange flame and you are producing carbon monoxide. I have seen furnaces installed incorrectly that were constantly recycling the ignition air (not easy to notice) but after running for several minutes, would start burning worse and worse and producing more and more carbon monoxide etc etc etc a lot of things can happen to cause incomplete combustion and carbon monoxide build up.

Art
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:19 PM   #34
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"Several hundred" deaths in the last year? Wow, I too would like to see that article.

Being all-electric is no problem here in the South. Probably because air conditioning is a necessity, all the state campgrounds in Florida and Alabama that I have been to or thought about visiting have electricity. I have thought about buying a generator, but have put that off until I actually find a need for it.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:49 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by artspe View Post
carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen in the blood stream and that is what causes death. not because the oxygen in the room is gone, but because the carbon monoxide attaches more easily. Carbon monoxide is present in the exhause any time you have incomplete combustion. If you have a blue flame, you do not have carbon monoxide, yellow or orange flame and you are producing carbon monoxide. I have seen furnaces installed incorrectly that were constantly recycling the ignition air (not easy to notice) but after running for several minutes, would start burning worse and worse and producing more and more carbon monoxide etc etc etc a lot of things can happen to cause incomplete combustion and carbon monoxide build up.

Art
You are missing the point, CO poisoning is one hazard, in addition to that any appliance that is burning a flame can also "use up" the available oxygen in a room, especially a small room (ie little campers), and hence create an oxygen deficient environment, when you get below 19% oxygen and lower, you can slowly suffocate due to the low oxygen. This is a separate but related issue.

Fire needs 3 things to survive. Ignition source, oxygen and fuel (fire triangle). Humans need one thing to survive (well food and water too but you can survive a heck of alot of time longer without food or water), oxygen.
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Old 06-08-2011, 09:23 PM   #36
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Thank you everyone for your opinions. Some very good points have been brought up in the pros and cons to LP. We are going to keep evaluating the topic and see where it goes. By the way, I apologize for the typo, I was referring to Carbon Monoxide. (tying to type to fast.

Thanks again
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:41 AM   #37
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We have a Carbon Monoxide detector in our motorhome. One day we were running our generator and there was little wind and some CO leaked into the motorhome setting off the detector. Absolutely the loudest alarm I've ever heard.

Norm
Yup generators can also be deadly! We often have power outages during high winds in the winter and lots of people use generators. Every year someone dies due to runnng the generator inside the house even though the media harps on about why we shouldnt do it.
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Old 06-09-2011, 06:25 AM   #38
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On the motorhome the generator is integral to the chassis, though open to the outside air. To prevent exhaust from gathering under the motorhome in still air, we carry an 8 foot section of plastic pipe and slip it over the exhaust moving the exhaust away from the motorhome. No problems since this addition.

Norm
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:03 AM   #39
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I just thought I'd throw my very limited input into the discussion of oxygen depletion. I think we have a tendency to assume that the air we are breathing contains oxygen, and that if it didn't we would somehow notice.

A few years ago I sold my Scamp and purchased a small LittleGuy teardrop camper. Therefore, I also lurk on a teardrop forum. There, on the front page of the forum, is a sticky posting warning teardroppers in no uncertain terms that sleeping in a closed-up teardrop can kill you.

Only a few people use propane in a teardrop, because it is seldom necessary to add heat. Two bodies in a teardrop provide quite a bit of heat, and a simple 12v mattress pad can run for several nights on a good deep cycle battery. However, just one or two people breathing can easily use up the oxygen in the small space of a teardrop camper over a 6-to-8 hour period. So, we always have a window or roof vent open.

An egg camper is several times larger than a teardrop, so the risk of oxygen depletion is therefore reduced... UNLESS you add the element of combustion. If you have a propane device burning inside air, it is relentlessly competing with your lungs for available oxygen. Therefore, it is my opinion that Little Buddy heaters and their ilk should only be used according to the instructions (provide fresh air), and never be used during sleep. My opinion.

Now, add the element that Snoozy mentioned about a boat. Now you have the added element of a sealed shell that is partially below waterline. Propane vapor is heavier than air and settles to the bottom. In a camper, there is at least SOME possibility of that dissipating through a door seal or floor penetration of some type, but in a boat, there is NO chance of that. Additionally, boats typically do not have large windows and doors to allow a degree of air infiltration.

I believe that a propane appliance that is installed and used according to the manufacturer's recommendations should be safe to use. NOW... that is a loaded statement. First, Scamp, for one, does not install the refrigerators according to specification. Dometic specifically states that it should exhaust through the roof, not through the side-wall. The flue is a necessary part of the equation, to create a draft to draw the exhaust gasses out. There are very specific measurements that the flue must be within, to create the proper updraft. Additionally, very few RVs of any brand have properly sealed the fridge cavity to separate combustion and non-combustion air.

Next on the list is that on the propane appliances that I used to have, the owner's manual stated that all the joints should be leak-tested BEFORE EVERY USE. In other words, the rattling and shaking of driving down the road can quite easily create a leak, and an annual inspection is not sufficient to rat those out.

If you choose to only inspect annually, or not at all, or only every-other use, you are doing so at increased risk to your safety. Again, I am not opposed to propane appliances, but I do recognize the risk, determine how much risk I am willing to assume, and then act to mitigate the remaining risk.
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:21 AM   #40
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Paul, great information. I am paying attention to everything shared. Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:29 AM   #41
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One item we carry with us is a handheld propane leak detector. We've had one for 10 years and it works well. Any time I make a propane connection I check with this device and it's caught a few leaks over the years.

It costs about $30. In ten years we have not even replaced the battery. As well you can take it to your stove and turn on the gas and test that the device is working at any time.

For example, we just bought a 1991 Scamp 16 and went around checking the connections and the pressure regulator had a small leak.

As to fridge installations and air/exhaust flow, this is another reason for the installation of a fan in the rear of your fridge.

Portable LP Gas Leak Detector Finds Combustible Gases - PPL Motor Homes

Norm
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:10 AM   #42
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One item we carry with us is a handheld propane leak detector.
As to fridge installations and air/exhaust flow, this is another reason for the installation of a fan in the rear of your fridge.
Norm -- Although I do not have one, I absolutely agree with you about the leak detector.

I also agree about the fan. Based on my experience with my Scamp, I know how much better the fridge worked once I installed a fan. It is also an effective mitigation to the risk of a sub-spec installation, IF the fan is installed to pull air across the coils and OUT the exhaust, rather than just blow air across the coils. If it is installed in the intake vent and just blowing air onto the coils, it may actually incrementally increase the air pressure in the fridge cavity, with the result of forcing more exhaust into the living space. It is fair to point out, however, that it is a mitigation, not a solution (in other words, a work-around, not a fix). It also increases your dependence on electricity, and is a consideration if you are using propane as an off-grid solution.
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