Propane furnace safety - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-04-2014, 06:32 PM   #1
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Propane furnace safety

Other than getting a carbon monoxide alarm does anyone have any safety tips for using the propane furnace on a 1974 Boler?
Is it best to get rid of it for example?


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Old 09-04-2014, 06:48 PM   #2
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check exhaust pipe to be sure it is clear and not restricted or plugged by critters like the mud daubers. When I worked on home heating equipment it was not unusual to find cracks in the heat exchangers of older hot air furnaces or leaks around gaskets of inspection covers. Don't know if this could be an issue in older RV furnaces, Inspection by a qualified RV technician would be a good idea. Also check for propane leaks and condition of propane lines.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:15 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
check exhaust pipe to be sure it is clear and not restricted or plugged by critters like the mud daubers. When I worked on home heating equipment it was not unusual to find cracks in the heat exchangers of older hot air furnaces or leaks around gaskets of inspection covers. Don't know if this could be an issue in older RV furnaces, Inspection by a qualified RV technician would be a good idea. Also check for propane leaks and condition of propane lines.
I agree with Bob . Inspect the exhaust pipe and heat exchanger for rust holes and cracks. Also check the burner for rust holes ,plugged gas ports or evidence of insects
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:16 PM   #4
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Mary and Bob are correct. Get the propane system inspected by a qualified technician.

Propane and Natural Gas furnaces have been used for years. Many homes have a gas furnace either propane or Natural Gas. Most RVs have a propane furnace. A CO detector is always a good idea. Plus, I have a small window over the stove that I keep open all the time and usually the roof vent is open a little. You're more likely to have CO problems with the cook surfaces than the furnace. And even greater danger is from a neighbor camper with a generator running. Keep the trailer ventilated as much as possible.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:29 PM   #5
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My 2 cents for what it's worth, but I think propane needs to be used! It's that "occasional" use that gives problems. Don't ask me how I know So, if you have propane appliances and you know (because you've checked and maintained your trailer) USE it. If you have a 2-way hotwater heater, use propane at least one day out camping during a weekend stay, same thing with a 2- or 3- way refrigerator.

It's when you NEED it and haven't used it for a while (years?) that you wonder what in the world you need to do to "fix" it.

Someday, sometime I think each one of us may use our all molded towables as a bug-out shack. Don't you want to know everything is working as it should? I do.

YMMV
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:39 PM   #6
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My 2 cents for what it's worth, but I think propane needs to be used! It's that "occasional" use that gives problems. Don't ask me how I know So, if you have propane appliances and you know (because you've checked and maintained your trailer) USE it. If you have a 2-way hotwater heater, use propane at least one day out camping during a weekend stay, same thing with a 2- or 3- way refrigerator.

It's when you NEED it and haven't used it for a while (years?) that you wonder what in the world you need to do to "fix" it.

Someday, sometime I think each one of us may use our all molded towables as a bug-out shack. Don't you want to know everything is working as it should? I do.

YMMV

I agree with you, but add, fire up propane appliances on periodic basis. Further items to do. Put an anti-wasp screen over the intake and exhaust port for the furnace. DO NOT put just window screen over the ports. You want the kind that stick out from the ports so there no air flow restriction.

Around the refrigerator burner and exhaust a good 90 day spider spay is a good thing to use. Twice I've had spiders build nests in the burner. Once I got to Death Valley before I discovered it. I think this would also apply if have a hot water heater. It's a small thing but can save a lot of head aches and money.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:30 AM   #7
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All good information! Luv this forum


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Old 09-05-2014, 06:46 AM   #8
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I eliminated any propane problems, removed it all from our camper. LOL We don't cook inside and I didn't trust the old furnace.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:49 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by EwaW View Post
Other than getting a carbon monoxide alarm does anyone have any safety tips for using the propane furnace on a 1974 Boler?
Is it best to get rid of it for example?


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FWIW: (My Opinion Anyway)
I think that a 40 y.o. RV furnace is plain over-the-hill for safety...period, and I would be looking for a replacement.
New Furnace: $$$, Ones Life: Priceless.....

As an alternative:
Take your rig to a real LP service company and have them inspect for condition and CO leaks with the CO detector probes they use. An experienced technician, with eyes and hands on your furnace, trumps any of us by 1000 times.
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Old 09-05-2014, 09:29 AM   #10
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I eliminated any propane problems, removed it all from our camper. LOL We don't cook inside and I didn't trust the old furnace.
Me too, except I have yet to snatch the water heater. All my stuff was 26 years old and either did not work or was suspect. We do cook inside, but with 120V electric appliances plugged into shore power. Outside cooking is over fire, charcoal or gas (propane).
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:35 AM   #11
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I agree with you, but add, fire up propane appliances on periodic basis. Further items to do. Put an anti-wasp screen over the intake and exhaust port for the furnace. DO NOT put just window screen over the ports. You want the kind that stick out from the ports so there no air flow restriction.

Around the refrigerator burner and exhaust a good 90 day spider spay is a good thing to use. Twice I've had spiders build nests in the burner. Once I got to Death Valley before I discovered it. I think this would also apply if have a hot water heater. It's a small thing but can save a lot of head aches and money.
Byron,
What is the difference between anti-wasp screen and window screen?
Just wondering!
Thanks,
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:47 AM   #12
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Byron,
What is the difference between anti-wasp screen and window screen?
Just wondering!
Thanks,
Good bug shields are made from stainless steel screening so they won't rust or burn out from hot exhaust.

Charlie Y
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:01 AM   #13
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Byron,
What is the difference between anti-wasp screen and window screen?
Just wondering!
Thanks,
Anti-wasp, mud dauber, screens have a larger mesh and made is such a manner as to NOT decrease the air flow. Window screen has a smaller mesh and does decrease air flow. (restricts air flow)

Here's a picture of what I use. If you like I could go into the fluid dynamics of why this is important.
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Old 09-05-2014, 11:15 AM   #14
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Timely thread for me. Planning a Nov trip & debating whether to get the furnace going. I've never used any furnace in any RV before, so kind of scares me. Will definitely have it checked by a pro first! Once I do, I like the suggestion to fire it up regularly as a maintenance item. Will install smoke detector & CO detector. Byron, where would I look for the bug screen? RV store? Are they specific to each furnace?
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