What are your thoughts? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-08-2011, 10:07 AM   #1
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Name: Nicholas
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What are your thoughts?

I read an article in a boating magazine a few days ago that scared the heck out of me. The article was written about CO2 emissions leaking from the LP heater, causing a young girl to loose her life. I did some digging and found that several hundred deaths have been attributed to gas appliances in the last year. This is very troubling to me. I admit that I am one of the many that say "..this is something that only happens on the news, not to me." Thinking deeper, what if it DID happen to me? What if my niece was the little girl I read about? What if it where a customers child, grandchild or spouse? words cannot describe how horrible that would be. With that in mind I am wondering what the forum's opinion is. As a company, we are seriously considering removing our factory installed LP options.
With the efficiency and low price of electric appliances, is propane truly worth the danger and hassle?

Nicholas
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:43 AM   #2
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I wonder... In these deaths, were things improperly used, maintained?
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:43 AM   #3
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Would you instead offer a solar option? There are areas that dont allow generators and folks who dont want to use them even if they are allowed so that can be limiting if you need to run everything especially an A/C. Eggcamper builds their trailers all electric. Some owners are installing propane for heat so it looks like folks still want at least some propane items. That would be a great poll to take. "How many would pass on a trailer with no propane sytem" From all the mods done here it looks like folks like propane and keep it when they mod. Long term heating capability is important to lots of folks. We have far more Casita/Scamp/Trillium owners with propane than Eggcampers and other converted electric campers.

With all the different kinds of leak detectors available you would have to wonder if one wasnt installed or was faulty (no being checked regularly) in the instances you mentioned.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:13 AM   #4
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Nicholas, I understand what you're thinking but it's impossible to completely remove all risk from a recreational activity. I live in Colorado, where every year a dozen or so people die on the ski slopes. Hiking in the mountains and river rafting usually also account for another half dozen deaths each. There's little we can do to make things safer. People agree to assume the risk when they decide to start the activity.

I have also seen articles about people dying from faulty LP appliances but like Meghan and Melissa, I wonder if these were people sleeping in areas with well-maintained equipment and had CO detectors. Unless someone is camping at a campground with hookups, I don't see a way a trailer can provide cooking, heating, and refrigeration without LP gas. You'd need an impossibly large solar panel to provide enough electricity for all these things. I certainly would never consider an all-electric trailer with current technology.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:26 AM   #5
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For me Propane is a necessity. If you're a long term camper or a boondocker you need propane or a continuous source of electricity, for your fridge or heating or even cooking. Many places don't allow running your generator in the evening, often when you most need it.

If I have a choice I do run my electric heater, heat my water with electricity and run my fridge on electricity otherwise propane is there. I believe both convenient and safe.

Most of the population heats their homes with propane/natural gas. Unfortunately some percentage of heating systems and protective systems will fail. I recall when I was a youngster my best friend's mother was electrocuted washing her kitchen floor. Unfortunately accidents happen; we just need to be as observant and aware as possible.

Norm
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:58 AM   #6
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Maybe the answer is to equip them with CO2 and fire detectors and maybe a sign of dos and donts attached to the wall?

CindyL
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:59 AM   #7
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IMHO in many cases the problem is not the use of propane but the people using it. A simple working dectector would have gone a long way to prevent most of the deaths and dectectors come as standard equipment on most new trailers these days. Lots more people die everyday driving cars but they are still used by most of us.

I know a few people who have decided to purchase new trailers in the past couple of years without propane and in each case they have had to spend the extra money on a solar system so they can acutally use the trailer for more than two days. None of them would purchase another new trailer without propane. If you look through this site you will see very few without propane and it looks to me as though the few that dont are having to look at installing solar panels or purchasing a generator.

Here generators are not a good option as they are not welcome in a lot of campgrounds unless they are needed for a medical condition. They may soon be against the law to use in a lot more parks. Not to mention the added weight of the generator and where to stow it - the very real danager of traveling with gas in containers to feed a generator and the cost of gas itself over the course of a year of camping.

If I was making a new trailer today without propane as standard (from a marketing share point though I would not do that) I would at the very least sell the trailer pre wired for solar as standard and offer a couple of different levels of solar system packages as options.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:23 PM   #8
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It depends on who your market is, Nicholas.

If your customer base is the crowd that camp at full-facility campgrounds only, then you could leave a lot of stuff off.

If your market includes those of us who camp on private property or who love to boondock or camp in unimproved campgrounds, then we require self-sufficient, self-contained campers.

Most of the deaths I've read about are people using unvented catalytic heaters in tents and trailers despite the warnings that a window and a vent MUST be left open.

Occasionally someone's trailer will blow up at the gas pumps because they did not turn off their propane and a pilot light ignited gasoline fumes.

Personally, I make sure I have adequate ventilation when I use my Black Cat or my Mr. Heater heater. I crack a window and open a vent when I use my propane stove. And I turn off the gas when I pull into a gas station, and turn it back on after I have pulled away from the pumps.

I love the convenience and efficiency of propane.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:28 PM   #9
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I started to respond to this post when I realized that I was defending the propane since it's already there (in my trailer). However, all things being equal (cost, power output, etc.), if I were buying a new trailer and solar power was an option, that would be my choice!
But, if I were buying a trailer with propane, I'd appreciate a quality detector. (Maybe that's already standard with a new trailer??) I would like a nice obvious (but not ugly) sticker posting a reminder to test the detector, change batteries, etc.
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Old 06-08-2011, 12:56 PM   #10
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I'd offer both, with proper detectors in accordance with the RVIA rules, with one caveat, have the new owner sign an acknowledgement of the propane risks and the use thereof, releasing you from any liability. Propane is a necessity for boon docking and that is part of your customer target.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:12 PM   #11
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I would not buy a travel trailer that didn't have propane. A gas detector (installation or option) might help you sleep better. There are deaths every year due to heating/cooking sources; propane, natural gas, electric and wood stoves. You can't predict nor protect the public from everything. If you switch to pure electric there can still be a fire caused by a short. I haven't heard of any deaths caused by nuclear powered egg trailers.... maybe you could offer that as an option?... Nah... that would scare folks too. What can ya do, eh?
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiL Snoozy View Post
I read an article in a boating magazine a few days ago that scared the heck out of me. The article was written about CO2 emissions leaking from the LP heater, causing a young girl to loose her life. I did some digging and found that several hundred deaths have been attributed to gas appliances in the last year. This is very troubling to me. I admit that I am one of the many that say "..this is something that only happens on the news, not to me." Thinking deeper, what if it DID happen to me? What if my niece was the little girl I read about? What if it where a customers child, grandchild or spouse? words cannot describe how horrible that would be. With that in mind I am wondering what the forum's opinion is. As a company, we are seriously considering removing our factory installed LP options.
With the efficiency and low price of electric appliances, is propane truly worth the danger and hassle?

Nicholas
Rather than eliminate propane appliances I suggest that you might want to try and find out why these things happened. Make sure that the installations are such that problems will be reduced or eliminated. There are thousands of propane equipped boats and RVs in the world. If it were a real problem that would change.
You might want to take the lessons Egg Camper learned by going totally electric. Much has been said here about eliminating propane out the trailer and you must remember this is a relatively small group in the RV and Boat world. There's a large percentage of people that use their RV off the grid. If you want to see an example go to Quartzite in January.
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Old 06-08-2011, 01:30 PM   #13
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Those advocating "Solar" power need to understand how much power is needed to cook and heat with. It's almost impossible to get enough power using solar and batteries. Solar works great to recharge a battery during the day, sunny day that is, but the battery cannot handle even the refrigerator on a full time basis. Let alone heating and cooking.
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Old 06-08-2011, 02:25 PM   #14
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I like CindyL's suggestion of quality safety devices and EDUCATION, EDUCATION!

That being said, I am one of the minority who is not totally comfortable with the gas. We are in the midst of renovating the interior and have decided to remove the 3-way fridge and stove burners. I'm not adverse to using my Coleman propane stove inside if weather is bad, or a Mr. HeaterBuddy. There's something about SEEING the whole set up with those portable appliances that gives me alittle peace.

Truth be known, I'm probably more likely to have a tree fall on me than a propane problem!
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