Unvented Propane Heaters Kill Again - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-17-2017, 07:04 PM   #21
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I think that the term "common sense" is a misnomer, and that all sense is learned (either poorly or well, through observation, trial-and-error, etc.) during life.
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Old 01-17-2017, 07:55 PM   #22
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A favorite quote from Will Rogers" Good judgement comes from experience and a lot of that comes from bad judgement"


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Old 01-18-2017, 04:33 AM   #23
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Some people have good sense and bad judgement:
I know a person in his position as Fire Chief and should have common sense but there is no way I would stay in his camper due to his lack of good judgement in his application of batteries inside, unvented, to run an inverter, and his using the oven to heat the trailer on cold winter nights.
NOT GOOD !
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Old 01-18-2017, 08:42 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Jon in AZ View Post
That's the first time I've heard that, Carl. Thanks for the information. My 2008 came with nothing. What detectors do they supply?
My 2015 Scamp model came with single battery operated CO alarm mounted at front of dinette seat near the floor.

I added smoke and propane detector / alarms. The former battery operated and the later hardwired to the 12 volt system in the Scamp.

One thing I noticed about (properly) using my Wave heater (on the few occasions where I did use it). Turns out I took MUCH more of a risk driving to and from the campground then I did by using the heater.
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:02 AM   #25
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Turns out I took MUCH more of a risk driving to and from the campground then I did by using the heater.
That information will be of great comfort to the family and friends of the deceased . Hopefully it will lighten their burden !
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Old 01-18-2017, 09:09 AM   #26
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That information will be of great comfort to the family and friends of the deceased . Hopefully it will lighten their burden !
If you are talking about the news report that started this thread.. there is no connection as far as we know. Since we know next to nothing about the circumstances in that case, no correlation was stated or implied in my statement.
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:02 AM   #27
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I tried the CO and smoke detectors, however, I smoke cigars and cook a lot in the Scamp so they did not work out so well. Always going off
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Old 01-19-2017, 08:25 AM   #28
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I tried the CO and smoke detectors, however, I smoke cigars and cook a lot in the Scamp so they did not work out so well. Always going off
Rather than eliminate the protection, I would be inclined to pop out the batteries as needed during the day and pop them back in at night. That works if they are not hard-wired, of course.

EDIT- ...but not the CO detector, even during the day, if I were running an unvented propane heater! CO doesn't give you any warning.

We get some false alarms, too. Doesn't take much in such a small space, and we don't cook or smoke inside.
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Old 01-19-2017, 11:09 AM   #29
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I replaced my smoke detector with one made for use in kitchens. Has a "silence" button that shuts it down for about ten minutes while your toast burns. Easier and safer than removing the battery.
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Old 01-19-2017, 12:33 PM   #30
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Wonder if the people involved read the instructions on the propane heater? I bet not.......hope they were drinking good whiskey.
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Old 01-20-2017, 05:27 AM   #31
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I've been wondering...The little test button they all seem to have...
Is that testing the actual working device or just the battery and/or hard wire conection.?

Suppose the only way to check the device if you have a question is to blow smoke on it...Smoke Detector, I did this- alarm good.
introduce propane to it via small unlit propane touch...for LP leak detector...I did this - alarm good.
How would I check the CO or CO2 detector.?.
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Old 01-20-2017, 07:36 AM   #32
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If i leave the bathroom door open,and forget to turn fan on at home, the steam from the shower sets ours off. Carl
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:14 AM   #33
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introduce propane to it via small unlit propane touch...for LP leak detector...I did this - alarm good.
Best look up the instruction manual for the propane detector, if you don't have a hard copy. My recollection is that you can damage the unit trying to test it that way.
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:47 AM   #34
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That sucks since just a little open window or air inlet would have been sufficient enough for them not to die.

Although Scamps are so drafty especially with the huge metal refrigerator vent that even if I didn't have electric heat I bet I could burn a huge propane heater in it with all the doors and windows shut.

But just for good measure we always have the propane turned off if not cooking anything.
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Old 01-22-2017, 10:40 AM   #35
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That sucks since just a little open window or air inlet would have been sufficient enough for them not to die.

Although Scamps are so drafty especially with the huge metal refrigerator vent that even if I didn't have electric heat I bet I could burn a huge propane heater in it with all the doors and windows shut.

But just for good measure we always have the propane turned off if not cooking anything.
Rob, if your refrigerator compartment is not completely sealed, please reseal it immediately. The small flame on the refrigerator produces enough CO to kill you. Aluminum duct tape does a good job of sealing up the seams provided the surfaces are clean for a good adherence.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:14 PM   #36
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When someone dies in a car accident, we do not immediately blame the vehicle. But when someone dies using a propane appliance, we are often quick to blame the device.

The reality is there is typically little education or preparation before using either of these potentially deadly machines. Perhaps it's the "Apple effect": we have been deluded into believing every machine ought to be intuitive- turn it on and go.

I do not make light of these deaths, which are the more tragic because they were almost certainly avoidable. But I hope they do not feed hysteria surrounding the use of propane in general, which can be used safely in an RV for heating, cooking, refrigeration, etc., when proper equipment is used and maintained with care according to the manufacturer's directions.

Proper detectors are just common sense. I am very surprised Scamp does not supply any in a new trailer.
I thought it was a law that all RV's must have a CO detector. There must be one somewhere if it is an RVIA approved RV. It could be a CO/Smoke detector. If not then get a portable one immediately. We have at least one in both RV's and even in our vehicle used for long driving. Don't be a statistic. It's to bad that people don't read the instructions, the warnings and heed them.
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Old 01-27-2017, 10:27 PM   #37
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Unvented Propane Heaters Kill Again

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Originally Posted by Jann Todd View Post
I thought it was a law that all RV's must have a CO detector. There must be one somewhere if it is an RVIA approved RV. It could be a CO/Smoke detector. If not then get a portable one immediately. We have at least one in both RV's and even in our vehicle used for long driving. Don't be a statistic. It's to bad that people don't read the instructions, the warnings and heed them.
RVIA membership is not a law. It is a voluntary trade association. Scamp is not a member, which is costly and represents only a promise of compliance. There are no code inspectors as there are for houses.

Mine came, as said, with nothing. Another more recent buyer reported that his new Scamp came with a CO detector only. It is a bit surprising in these litigious times.

But not worry... I added them myself. No big deal.
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:57 AM   #38
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It is not just propane appliances RVers need to be cautious of. In my younger days following the rodeo circuit, 2 young men were camping in a truck camper (in the summer months I believe) and had a generator running outside a little to close and the CO made its way inside and they never woke up. As an RVer particularly in campgrounds with small or close together sites you don't only have to worry about your generator but you neighbors as well. I realize generator use is not widely used in my area mainly due to campground rules but still a concern nonetheless. Why do think it is outlawed in most areas to ride in a pull behind RV trailer while in tow? The potential of CO from the tow to seep right in.

Someone mentioned here that CO has little warning signs, and granted while sleeping you may not realize any of them, being a retired firefighter, I though I would include them with this post:

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include:

  • Dull headache.
  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Confusion.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Loss of consciousness
Much like the retired reported stated, I can't tell you how many deaths I have seen over my 25+ year career that were fire/smoke inhalation/CO related. More times than not on a fire fatality they were either no smoke detectors present on someone had removed or failed to replace the batteries. To easy to forget to put them back in.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:31 AM   #39
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Just to clarify, Johnny... CO2 is carbon dioxide, a byproduct of human respiration as well as complete combustion. It occurs naturally in the atmosphere and is only dangerous in high concentrations. You can die from it (think Apollo 13), and it's another good reason to keep a window or vent cracked open, but they do not sell home/RV detectors for CO2.

CO is carbon monoxide, a highly toxic byproduct of incomplete combustion. You make a valid point that it could come from sources beyond your own trailer and equipment. This is the one of the detectors every home and RV should have.

NOTE: the post has been corrected to show "CO" instead of "CO2." Because I've seen the two confused elsewhere, I'll let this post stand.
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Old 01-28-2017, 08:39 AM   #40
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Just to clarify, Johnny. CO2 is carbon dioxide, a byproduct of human respiration as well as combustion. It occurs naturally in the atmosphere and is only dangerous in high concentrations. They do not sell home detectors for it.

CO is carbon monoxide, a highly toxic byproduct of incomplete combustion. And you make a valid point that it could come from sources beyond your trailer and even your own equipment. This is the one of the detectors every home and RV should have.
Jon you are correct thanks for catching that, I edited my post. I hadn't had my coffee yet when I wrote that...lol
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