RV Fires While Towing - Propane Risks? - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-19-2015, 10:27 PM   #15
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...Some time back one of the builders actually stated that LP in an RV was inherently dangerous, for what ever reason, but no definitive proof or statistical evidence was ever offered.
...
I wondered why my ears were burning.

LP
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:37 PM   #16
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Some time back one of the builders actually stated that LP in an RV was inherently dangerous, for what ever reason, but no definitive proof or statistical evidence was ever offered.
I would say that LP's in an RV being inherently dangerous can be attributed to the physical properties of propane itself related to fire danger. In the fire service the term BLEVE refers to Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapor Explosion, so with any RV fire that has LP tanks on the unit this creates an especially dangerous situation for both civilians as well as firefighters.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:17 PM   #17
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Ellpea, you're just collateral damage here. I never meant for my post to be so inflammatory.
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Old 07-19-2015, 11:41 PM   #18
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Ellpea, you're just collateral damage here. I never meant for my post to be so inflammatory.
Civilguy, I'm sure you have the best of intentions. However, am busy reading up on how to be more inherently dangerous than I already am, and wondering how the builders found out about this before I did, so have no time to worry about being collateral damage.

LP
more dangerous than we thought she was
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:46 AM   #19
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Reading this thread got me thinking. Does anybody remember having a gas heater in their car. It siphoned off gas from the carburetor to burn in a separate heater. Heat came on in 10 seconds. No waiting for engine to warm up.
Yup, had a gasoline heater in my 1963 VW bug. That sucker put out an AMAZING amount of heat; exhaust was out the right front wheel well. IF it didn't fire up you just replaced the spark plug!
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Old 07-20-2015, 10:28 AM   #20
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One thing I did in my vintage camper was to put in GFCIs on both circuits. These don't generally save you from fires, but they can do a fine job of saving you from an electrical shock. Planning ahead to arc-fault breakers (which may happen sooner, rather than later, as I noticed that one of my stock breakers was a little slow to trip when I tested it), I used plug-in GFCIs on the first outlet in both daisy chains.

As I was explaining it to my 10 year old son, "you already know that 'water and electricity don't mix.' Now look around you and tell me where there is electricity that isn't close enough to water that you couldn't touch both at the same time..."

Fuel fired heaters are alive and well and used in really cold climates on things like military trucks, by the way. They tend to have multiple safety systems and timed blower runs after shutoff to purge combustion gases.
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Old 07-20-2015, 03:20 PM   #21
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Reading this thread got me thinking. Does anybody remember having a gas heater in their car. It siphoned off gas from the carburetor to burn in a separate heater. Heat came on in 10 seconds. No waiting for engine to warm up.
Only a child of 5 when we had a Ford woody wagon with a gasoline heater. Scorched the right front passenger and did little good for anyone else. Can't remember Mother liking the thing at all!
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:00 PM   #22
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One thing I did in my vintage camper was to put in GFCIs on both circuits. These don't generally save you from fires, but they can do a fine job of saving you from an electrical shock. Planning ahead to arc-fault breakers (which may happen sooner, rather than later, as I noticed that one of my stock breakers was a little slow to trip when I tested it), I used plug-in GFCIs on the first outlet in both daisy chains.

As I was explaining it to my 10 year old son, "you already know that 'water and electricity don't mix.' Now look around you and tell me where there is electricity that isn't close enough to water that you couldn't touch both at the same time..."

Fuel fired heaters are alive and well and used in really cold climates on things like military trucks, by the way. They tend to have multiple safety systems and timed blower runs after shutoff to purge combustion gases.
I believe that since there's little 120 VAC in a trailer that most, if not all, electrical fires are started with the 12 VDC wiring. CGCIs work great to keep you from getting shocked from the 120 VAC system. Not to worry if you're like me and never connected to 120 VAC.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:09 PM   #23
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One thing I did in my vintage camper was to put in GFCIs on both circuits. These don't generally save you from fires, but they can do a fine job of saving you from an electrical shock. Planning ahead to arc-fault breakers (which may happen sooner, rather than later, as I noticed that one of my stock breakers was a little slow to trip when I tested it), I used plug-in GFCIs on the first outlet in both daisy chains.

As I was explaining it to my 10 year old son, "you already know that 'water and electricity don't mix.' Now look around you and tell me where there is electricity that isn't close enough to water that you couldn't touch both at the same time..."

Fuel fired heaters are alive and well and used in really cold climates on things like military trucks, by the way. They tend to have multiple safety systems and timed blower runs after shutoff to purge combustion gases.
Siemens and Eaton (Cutler Hammer) do make a combination GFCI/ Arc Fault circuit breaker.
Price is around $50/ each down from over a $100 / each a few years back. GFCI's do not totally eliminate shock hazards . In the OSHA class I taught we would drop a running / energized hair dryer into a plastic bucket filled with water . After 5 or ten minutes the class had to guess if the hair dryer was still running or if the GFCI tripped. If you guessed the GFCI
tripped ,like many did you would be wrong. THE HAIR DRYER WAS STILL RUNNING.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:18 PM   #24
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Just because you have a trailer with propane, no one says you have to use it under tow...
That's what I've been thinking. Is there any reason *not* to switch a 3-way fridge to 12 V while traveling?

-- Anne
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:37 PM   #25
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Siemens and Eaton (Cutler Hammer) do make a combination GFCI/ Arc Fault circuit breaker.
Price is around $50/ each down from over a $100 / each a few years back. GFCI's do not totally eliminate shock hazards . In the OSHA class I taught we would drop a running / energized hair dryer into a plastic bucket filled with water . After 5 or ten minutes the class had to guess if the hair dryer was still running or if the GFCI tripped. If you guessed the GFCI
tripped ,like many did you would be wrong. THE HAIR DRYER WAS STILL RUNNING.
That makes sense in a bucket. No ground fault, no circuit interruption. The bucket is insulated from ground. If it was a bathtub, or sink, the drain would act as a path to ground. Then the GFCI would trip.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:52 PM   #26
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That makes sense in a bucket. No ground fault, no circuit interruption. The bucket is insulated from ground. If it was a bathtub, or sink, the drain would act as a path to ground. Then the GFCI would trip.
Yeah, I read through the scenario and thought - 'sure - no path to ground at all, so how could there be a ground fault?' The point is, of course, particularly if you're connected to shore water, your water system is most likely at ground potential. Which means that any leakage on the neutral could make things unpleasant...

I had the GFCIs sitting on the shelf - they were older two-socket models that I'd removed because they were ivory and all the other sockets in that condo were bright white. So the cost to me was my labor, and I could do it sooner rather than later. The next time I'm somewhere that sells that kind of stuff I'll pick up a couple of Westinghouse pattern Arc fault CBs for the converter/load center.

As for propane risks, I will admit to running the fridge on propane while moving now and again, mostly because I haven't run a dedicated power line on the TV back for power to the trailer. A charging system upgrade is on the list of things to do...

I can't imagine having the water heater lit while driving? Why would you? Mine's all of six gallons, and it doesn't take that long to get hot...
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:21 PM   #27
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That makes sense in a bucket. No ground fault, no circuit interruption. The bucket is insulated from ground. If it was a bathtub, or sink, the drain would act as a path to ground. Then the GFCI would trip.
Not if the water lines and drain piping to the tub or sink is in plastic (Pexs / PVC /ABS ), then the plumbing fixtures provide no path to ground . The same as the plastic bucket. Your trailer
has plastic water lines , a plastic water tank ,pvc/ abs drain / vent piping and is fed by a vinyl water hose. None of which are conductive and water is not an excellent. conductor in itself. Because of the increasing use of plastic for both underground and interior plumbing systems ,the NEC is looking at requiring the bonding / grounding of all metallic plumbing
fixtures. The SS kitchen sink in my Casita is neither grounded or bonded
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:32 PM   #28
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Hmmmm... Arc fault protectors, in an RV, Me thinks that we are overthinking the complexity (actually lack thereof) in our FGRV's. Pleasel us why this protection is needed.
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