What I just learned about propane. - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-05-2012, 09:59 PM   #15
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Hope your heater has a LOW OXYGEN shut off.
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Old 09-05-2012, 10:07 PM   #16
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Buddy heaters do have low oxygen shutoff.

Note: for anyone who uses a Buddy heater on a bulk tank -- use their screw-on filter at the heater end of the hose! Otherwise, propane will pick up contaminants from the hose and will foul the heater. This is in the instructions, and there are MANY cases of this happening... Just read some of the reviews. The filter is designed to catch all of the contaminants.

I usually use electric heat p, but have used the Buddy heater when boon docking or when the electric just won't keep up. I have a splitter at the tank, as described in a previous post. Works great!
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Old 09-06-2012, 04:41 PM   #17
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Funny you mention it. I could not get that filter to seal at the heater, I tried it at the tank and sealed just fine. Didn't really think it would matter which end it connected to, thanks for the info. I'll try it again at some point.
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Old 09-07-2012, 07:23 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by dylanear
Funny you mention it. I could not get that filter to seal at the heater, I tried it at the tank and sealed just fine. Didn't really think it would matter which end it connected to, thanks for the info. I'll try it again at some point.
Dylan, it does matter. The problem is the hose itself. What you are filtering out are contaminants that the propane leaches from the rubber hose.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:41 PM   #19
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Dylan, it does matter. The problem is the hose itself. What you are filtering out are contaminants that the propane leaches from the rubber hose.
I hear what your saying. I'll try it again that way next time I need to, but just curious why it didn't seal the way it's supposed to be used?
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Old 09-07-2012, 08:28 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by dylanear

I hear what your saying. I'll try it again that way next time I need to, but just curious why it didn't seal the way it's supposed to be used?
I can't imagine why... Mine seals up fine. Could be a manufacturing defect on the sealing surface that is, for some reason, able to seal at the other end of your hose. I deal with CO2 tanks at work every day and have seen some odd things like that.
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:36 PM   #21
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What I want is one that hooks into 12V and uses that when available, but also keeps a backup internal battery charged.

What I really want to avoid is seriously over draining my batteries (will be much less of an issue once I have some permanent solar panels on the roof). But also having detection without main battery power is good. I could always put a switch on the detector for times I had the propane off, but I'd want to make sure I never forget to put it back on!
I have a 12V propane detector hooked up to my trailer battery. It has an LED that lights when it is on. The detector is installed on my rear dinette wall about 8 inches away from and below the furnace (propane is heavier than air). The current draw is about 0.2 amps. I was also concerned about battery draw, so I installed a standard on-off switch beside it so that I only turn it on when the furnace is on, generally at night. There is a reassuring series of loud beeps as the detector charges up, and the LED comes on so I know it is working. Because it is right next to the furnace, I never forget to turn it on when lighting the furnace. I donít worry about it for the kitchen stove because I always use that when I am awake and generally have ventilation going, and the fridge propane is vented to the outdoors and its enclosure is well sealed.

I have solar power, but it is ineffective at night (darn that!).

Hope that helps,
Rick G
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Old 09-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #22
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I have a 12V propane detector hooked up to my trailer battery. It has an LED that lights when it is on. The detector is installed on my rear dinette wall about 8 inches away from and below the furnace (propane is heavier than air). The current draw is about 0.2 amps. I was also concerned about battery draw, so I installed a standard on-off switch beside it so that I only turn it on when the furnace is on, generally at night. There is a reassuring series of loud beeps as the detector charges up, and the LED comes on so I know it is working. Because it is right next to the furnace, I never forget to turn it on when lighting the furnace. I donít worry about it for the kitchen stove because I always use that when I am awake and generally have ventilation going, and the fridge propane is vented to the outdoors and its enclosure is well sealed.

I have solar power, but it is ineffective at night (darn that!).

Hope that helps,
Rick G
There's a reason that the manufacturers of propane detectors recommend full time connection to the house battery. By turning the propane detector off you've put yourself in greater danger than not having one, in my humble opinion. When turn the switch to turn on the detector you create a spark inside the switch, unless it a hermetically sealed switch any propane that happened leak prior to activating switch, the switch activation will set off. Loud noises can ruin your day.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:29 PM   #23
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Rick, I will post my previous post again. The reason these people got blown up is that there was a slow leak and the smell that is put in the propane tends to go away when there is a slow leak. The explosion happened when she lit the cook stove. Just leave the thing turned on and in 5 years when it tells you it is worn out, replace it with a new one and stay alive.


13 Aug 2012
How important is it to have a working Propane Detector?

Here in Louisa County Virginia it is in the local paper this week the story of a family of 4 that were badly burned when their camper exploded from a propane leek. They spent 2 months in the Hospital and still have a ways to go
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Old 09-13-2012, 07:43 PM   #24
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If you can't be responsible, attentive enough to turn on/off the detector, you probably shouldn't be trusted using propane in your RV. Personally, I'd only turn it off when I shut the valve off at the tank. I love the switch idea.

Keep in mind, if the battery is dead, the detector is not going to be on.
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:04 PM   #25
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AA Batteries, propane detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, etc. etc. are CHEAP to purchase when considering the alternative.

Occasionally buy a lower quality steak, rather than cheaping out on something that may save your life... YMMV
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:13 PM   #26
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If you can't be responsible, attentive enough to turn on/off the detector, you probably shouldn't be trusted using propane in your RV. Personally, I'd only turn it off when I shut the valve off at the tank. I love the switch idea.

Keep in mind, if the battery is dead, the detector is not going to be on.
True about the battery being dead.
This has been interesting and I had to do a little research. I don't know what detector anybody else has. Mine a a Safe T Alert Model 40-442RV. The amount of current it uses is 0.046 amp or 46 miliamps. Now for the math. Typical 74 amp hour battery, that's what I have, has a useful current usage of 34.5 amp hours. Therefore 34.5 amp hour divided by .046 amps = 750 hours. (divide that by 24 hours and you get 31.25 days.

If nothing else was running it would take 31 days to use up the battery to 50% charge.

According to one chart I looked at the self discharge rate to the same point would be between 5 and 16 months.

This is just information, no recommendations.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:00 PM   #27
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AA Batteries, propane detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, etc. etc. are CHEAP to purchase when considering the alternative.

Occasionally buy a lower quality steak, rather than cheaping out on something that may save your life... YMMV
It's not a matter of money at all. If you can find me a propane detector that runs on AAs or a 9v point it out. My CO and smoke detector are powered by internal batteries. I'd love to find a propane detector that hooked to trailer power, but also had an internal battery that it would use if trailer power got below 11 11 volts or whatever half charged voltage is.

A deeply discharged and thus degraded main battery is pretty expensive to replace.
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Old 09-13-2012, 11:08 PM   #28
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True about the battery being dead.
This has been interesting and I had to do a little research. I don't know what detector anybody else has. Mine a a Safe T Alert Model 40-442RV. The amount of current it uses is 0.046 amp or 46 miliamps. Now for the math. Typical 74 amp hour battery, that's what I have, has a useful current usage of 34.5 amp hours. Therefore 34.5 amp hour divided by .046 amps = 750 hours. (divide that by 24 hours and you get 31.25 days.

If nothing else was running it would take 31 days to use up the battery to 50% charge.

According to one chart I looked at the self discharge rate to the same point would be between 5 and 16 months.

This is just information, no recommendations.
Good info. Once I have solar panels on the roof full time, I'd be pretty comfortable leaving the detector powered up.

But as I said, if I can't remember to flip a switch when I open the tank valve, I shouldn't be using propane, or towing a trailer for that matter. It would just be part of the safety check. As it is now, I do a check of the propane appliances after I open the tank, look at the knob positions, take a sniff. Flipping the switch would just be part of that routine.
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